Tuesday, December 13, 2011

January Quarters Coming to a Close

Lost in the mapmania…. Two weeks to the end of the quarter.  Here’s what I’m watching for:



Dave Spence has tossed in $2 million of his own dough and corralled a couple of large-dollar checks, but the expense side might be more interesting.  Has he hired every single consultant to tie up the Republican side?  Will we see how much he’s been spending early on the internet ads to build buzz?  And one assumes he’s polled…


For Governor Jay Nixon, the flow of large checks has been steady but seemingly subdued recently.  Will he turn the corner on the New Year with $5 million in the bank?




Sen. Claire McCaskill is weak in the polls, but strong at the bank.  That’s a vulnerable position.  The past is riddled with candidates who sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into TV ads in tough environment and their numbers don’t budge.


The silver-lining for McCaskill is that Republicans have yet to field a strong opponent.  Will one of them break out?  Sarah Steelman needs to show she can produce a good quarter.  Todd Akin has to allay concerns that he’s just too far right for a statewide contest.  And John Brunner has to get someone excited about his campaign who isn’t being paid to be excited.



First Congressional

I continue to subscribe to the view that the rational course of action for Rep. Russ Carnahan is to challenge Rep. Lacy Clay in the new 1st Congressional, where he currently resides.  The two are shoulder to shoulder on fundraising (Clay had $313K on-hand; Carnahan $393K on-hand).  Will one of them take a substantive lead, and raise the kind of money which could affect the result next August?



Wagner – Martin

It’s seems improbable that Ann Wagner can continue her torrid fundraising pace.  But if she can dig out yet another monster quarter that might actually fill out her budget and let her transition to full-scale work on field.  She ended last quarter with $857K on-hand.  Ed Martin meanwhile ($270K on-hand) may believe that he is recruiting an army of believers, but he needs to close the money gap or he’ll be swamped in Wagner TV, yard signs and mailers.



Lieutenant Governor

Have either Peter Kinder or Brad Lager done anything this quarter except stare at each other and think ugly thoughts?  It wouldn’t surprise me to see a complete absence of activity here, with neither raising more than $100K.


I have heard others make the case for Lager to beat Kinder, but I don’t see it given Kinder’s $1.5 million in the bank and strong statewide name ID.   If Lager truly plans to unseat the incumbent, this is Round 1.


Meanwhile the rumor of Judy Baker mulling an entry onto the Democratic side of the ballot puts some pressure on Susan Montee to kick her campaign into gear.



Secretary of State

On the Republican side this is the quarter to see if a leader emerges.  Sen. Scott Rupp is thought to be the best fundraiser of the group, as Sen. Bill Stouffer has resorted to self-funding and Rep. Shane Schoeller never put up big numbers despite being in a leadership position in the House.


Meanwhile I expect that Rep. Jason Kander will demonstrate his well-known focus and work ethic to put up a respectable quarter.


And yesterday Ryan Dillon, former aide to Ike Skelton, announced for SOS as well.  See the mighty Jason Rosenbaum’s article Here.  I don’t expect Dillon to present any serious challenge to Kander.




For Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Attorney General Chris Koster, they get another quarter to chug along.  Both are remarkably disciplined – if qualitatively different – fundraisers; Zweifel tends to harvest crops of low dollar donors while Koster is a gifted whale-hunter.  Last quarter Koster did $318K and Zweifel did $217K.  That’s the pace I’m look to continue.



What’s up with Speaker Steve Tilley’s huge stash?  It’s said that he was contacting some of the large donors to gauge what they preferred he do with their contributions.  Perhaps we’ll get a look at how much was refunded?  And how much he’s retaining for some future effort?



Right now Rep. Cole McNary is the only Republican in the state treasurer’s race.  He just announced after Thanksgiving.  That mean he only has one month (smack in the holiday season) to put some numbers on the board.  But the stakes couldn’t be higher.  He needs to give potential primary opponents pause before launching their own campaign.  And he needs to burn the common criticism that he can’t raise money.  Can he?



Sounds Like It’s Personal in Senate 5

From the Facebook Page of Damon Jones

“For those who may not know, State Sen. Robin Wright-Jones is my mother and Michael Jones, Senior Policy Advisor for St. Louis County Executive, is my father. I am an avid viewer of Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday, and MSNBC with two successful campaigns as a consultant Clem Smith, Missouri State Representative and Hattie Jackson, Trustee St. Louis Community College.


“Last night, I witnessed a level of coonery associated with a Tyler Perry film. Unfortunately, it was not a reality TV show, but a three time elected representative grabbing the microphone (for no apparent reason), yelling to stop the music. This interruption of socializing and networking was not to inform the crowd of a lost phone, keys, or a vehicle being towed. It was to declare her candidacy for higher office, Missouri’s 5th Senatorial, currently represented by Sen. Robin Wright-Jones…


“This is not only disrespectful but also insulting to Democrats black, white, north, and south. Not only does the challenger have shaky credentials, but also lacks discipline, coherency and class by declaring at Da’ Club on a Friday night…


“In 2008, I was a former member of the United Auto Workers helping his mother with a Progressive record and limited legislative success become State Senator. Today, I am a proven political consultant developing a strategy for re-election for the incumbent, State Senator Robin Wright-Jones, Democrat with seven bills that became law on August 28, 2011. The check for professional services was written on November 26, 1972.”  Read in its entirety Here.



Wahby for Treasurer

St. Louis City Democratic Committee Chair Brian Wahby finally and officially announced for St. Louis city treasurer yesterday.  The current treasurer, Larry Williams, has been dogged by allegations of ghost employees and gross inefficiencies.  But the race to replace Williams threatens to break open into a free-for-all.  In addition to the vows of the incumbent to run again, one alderman has declared, with a second weighing a race, and Rep. Tishaura Jones is said to be preparing to jump in as well.


Wahby will likely distinguish himself from the field as uniquely qualified for the job, having once worked for the treasurer’s office, but also having done deal from the private sector.  In fact between his knowledge of real estate and financing and his political savvy, he’s ideally suited for the position.


Still it’s no gimme, in the twitterverse Wahby was an immediate target of Rep. Chris Carter:  “Chairman of the democratic central committee @bwahby denounces corruption that he benefits from.”



Baker Bit

The Columbia Tribune confirmed what I reported as a rumor last week: that Judy Baker was resigning her position with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  No mention of the rumored LG bid though yet.  Read it Here.



Lobbyists’ Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Kyna Iman added Missouri Humanities Council, and deleted Water Patrol Association.

Bennie Lewis added Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and deleted Reality Media and YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

Michael Grote added The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Betsy Ledgerwood added Mallinckrodt LLC, a Covidien Company.



$5k+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc PAC.

MO Democratic State Committee - $36,000 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

MO Democratic State Committee - $7,200 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

Kander for Missouri – $15,000 from David, Ketchmark, McCreight & Ivers PC.




Rep. Gary Fuhr is 64, and former Rep. Curt Dougherty is 55.




To Mo McCullough on his son’s passing after a long battle with cancer.