Tuesday, January 10, 2012

House Dems Look for Labor Love

House Dem leadership says they had a very good meeting with Missouri Chamber last week.  While they won’t be going along with the whole business agenda, it was a contrast – according to one Dem – to organized labor’s approach which has been less cozy lately.


The Dem minority worries about being taken for granted by labor.  As the “last line of defense” when it comes to upholding Nixon’s vetoes, they worry that labor will be too tepid in their support of the 2012 campaign to help Dems hold onto the seat necessary to prevent the enactment of anti-labor legislation.



In senate committee hearings this morning: Sen. Tom Dempsey’s work comp change; and Sen. Brad Lager’s employment discrimination change.



Source to Drebes: Gannon will be State Rep!

Yesterday I mentioned that Elaine Gannon had announced a run for House 115, and called her a long shot.  Not the case, says one top Republican.  There are two factors involved in upgrading her chances.  First, Rep. Linda Black is moving to the less Democratic district of House 117, so there’s no incumbent to beat.  Second, the Gannon family has deep, deep roots in the district.  Including Jack Gannon a former Democratic state senator from the area (whose seat Jay Nixon took when he retired in 1986).


It’s said that Sen. Kevin Engler is helping with recruiting in this part of the state will good results.



Dollars for the Dome?

Post-Dispatch reports on furious behind-the-scenes work among St. Louis civvies to figure a way to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome to keep the Rams in town.   Read it Here.



Jotte for CD-2?

The Beacon reports that Randy Jotte is considering entering the CD-2 race. Read it Here.  Jotte has run unsuccessfully for state representative and county council.  He wouldn’t have a major impact on the race, but whatever votes he gets will likely come at the expense of Ed Martin, who can’t seem to catch a break lately.



Lager for Geographic Diversity

I missed this last week.  Sen. Brad Lager is warning he will block the governor’s nomination of Robert Dowis to the Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents.  In his statement, Lager explains that calls Dowis is a “good friend… however, I cannot — in good conscience — confirm this nomination. I have been very clear in my objection to filling a majority of the NWMSU Board of Regents with people who live within 20 miles of each other. I remain open to revisiting the appointment of Mr. Dowis in future years.  There are 14 counties that fall within the NWMSU service area, which has a population of more than 350,000 people. I look forward to having a dialogue with the governor about the best way to ensure a geographically balanced board.”



Return of Rebecca McClanahan?

Former state representative Rebecca McClanahan started a campaign committee to run for Senate 3.  My guess is that it’s a typo and she’s actually running for House 3, as Senate 3 is a couple hundred miles to the south of his house.


But House 3 is more Republican than the current equivalent House 2 which she represented.  One Dem has speculated that she would run against Rep. Craig Redmon in the new House 4.  But this indicates a rematch against Rep. Zach Wyatt, and is part of a trend among Dems – Vicki Englund, Jeff Roorda, Sam Komo – who were swept out in the 2010 GOP wave seeking a return in 2012.



Wolff: Judges Shouldn’t Draw Lines

Thanks to the peerless John Combest for pointing out this op/ed in today’s Post-Dispatch by former Supreme Mike Wolff, regarding the state redistricting process.  Read it Here.


Pull-quote: “The oddest irony is that judges — who have been criticized by some legislators for years for being too "political" in their judgments — are under attack for not being political enough…


“In the Senate, they gave a politically safe district to Sen. Jim Lembke, the most persistent and pernicious of the courts' legislative critics, and they awarded Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a thoughtful and able lawyer who consistently has defended the judiciary, a district that is more difficult to win than his current district. So, obviously, these nonpartisan judges took no account of where incumbents live and who they are. Imagine that: a nonpolitical result…


“In our flawed scheme, judges are required to make that law in the first place… The making of such laws is fundamentally a political process and should not be assigned to judges… Separation of powers is fundamental and timeless. There is no time like the present to restore it.”




If the Missouri Supreme Court throws out the Senate map, the process re-starts with the governor appointing a commission (Art. III, sec. 7). Unless as federal court lawsuit takes some action, which is unlikely when the state process is pending, that would mean the senators would run under the 2001 maps, and changes would have to wait until the 2014 election.



eMailbag: Follow the Car

On Whether Kelvin Simmons is Still Working

“You received bad intel on Simmons. He has been in the office every day. You can

verify it yourself - everyone knows where he parks his car in the Capitol basement.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Jennifer Martin added David Klarich and all of his clients.

John Hancock and Stephen Moergen deleted Leggett and Platt Inc.



$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

Democratic Governors Association-Missouri - $50,000 from SEIU.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Ameren UE.




Happy birthday to Sen. Roy Blunt (62), Great Circle’s Carmen Schulze, former state representative candidate Cy Dashtaki, and possible congressional candidate Randy Jotte.



Birthday Wish Gone Bad

“Sen. Tim Green was surprised on Saturday when a lobbyist asked him if I had left his employ last week. I got three calls on Sunday and another this morning. You gave us all quite a laugh with the use of the phrase "Former staffer." I wanted to share with you that I continue to work for Sen. Green serving as his chief of staff , hopefully putting my recently earned Master of Public Administration to work for him for at least another year. I graduated from the University of Missouri, Truman School of Public Affairs this past December.


“To avoid future unnecessary calls of concern, I would be grateful for a printed correction. Thank you for the birthday wishes too. All my best—Janson”