Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who is James Majewski?  And Does it Matter?

The short answers are: not sure, and not sure.


Here’s what I know.  Last week the Missouri Ethics Commission finally cleaned up a complaint from the 2008 cycle, and fined James Majewski $269,342.  (If he pays within thirty days, he only has to pay $20,200 and stay out of violations for two years).


Majewski was deputy treasurer or treasurer for the First Senatorial Political Party Committee for the last four years. During that time it failed to report all its contributions and expenditures and sometimes to file reports at all.  Read the consent order here.


Two things are interesting here.


First, in the immediate run-up to the November 2008 elections, the committee appears to have been used by organized labor.  The previously unreported contributions in October of that year were: $20,000 from Missouri AFL-CIO COPE; $6,000 from North County Labor Legislative Club; $5,000 from St. Louis Labor Club; $5,000 from Pipefitters; $5,000 from Rockwood Labor Club; $1,000 from Tri County Labor Legislative Club.


And expenditure: some small contributions but mostly $41K to Telephone Contact, which may have been doing robo-calls, or polling.  It’s hard to know.  And it’s impossible to know if these activities were aimed at the Senate 1 race (Joan Barry against Jim Lembke) or at the lower level House races in that vicinity, or directed somewhere else.



Second, the treasurer of the committee until Feburary 2010 – and not a party to this consent order – was Chris Schoemehl, who (from the address listed) appears to be the husband of current Senate 1 candidate Sue SchoemehlRead his resignation here.


Does this stuff matter?  I’m just not sure.



That Vexing Senate 5

The consensus of observers in Senate 5 has shifted to favor Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford.  Here’s the basic math of the district as I see it.


A crude division of the St. Louis city wards in the Senate 5 District, they break down like this: the northern wards have about 39% of the population.  The central wards have about 26% of the population.  And the southern wards have about 34% of the population.


When you then account for turnout, the camel smoothes out. Both the north and south sides of the ward tend to be lower turnout wards than the central corridor.  I should lead to a near 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split, with a slight tilt toward the northern side of the district.


The northern wards are expected to produce about 36% of the votes; the central wards will account for 32-ish%; and the southern wards will produce 31% of the votes.


In the northern area of the ward, I am projecting Rep. Jamilah Nasheed to win 80% of the vote.  I imagine Oxford and Sen. Robin Wright Jones splitting the remaining 20%.


In the southern area, Oxford should be almost equally strong.  Almost, but not entirely because she is more liberal than the voters there, and because Nasheed is playing a strong south-side hand in terms of endorsements.  (Nasheed has Mayor Francis Slay, Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and less heavy, but important in showing unity of spirit, Collector of Revenue Gregg FX Daly).  I am projecting Oxford to win 75% of the vote with Wright Jones taking 15% and Nasheed getting 10% of the vote.


The central wards then are where the real battle may take place.  I think this is a most natural fit for Oxford, but Wright Jones will take a chunk because this is her home turf.  And Nasheed will get her share because there will be a black base here as well.  I am projecting Oxford to get 45% of the vote, with Nasheed at 30% and Wright Jones at 25%.


The math according to these guesses would put Nasheed at 41.5%, Oxford at 41.3% and Wright Jones at 16.6%.


Now, obviously Nasheed and Oxford – according to this potentially flawed analysis – are in a tight struggle.  Their fundraising has been similar and their campaigns have been equally energetic.


The balance may be determined by outside forces, and so far they seem to be aligned in Oxford’s favor.  She has had three positive mailers from Noranda-funded Missourians Against Higher Utility Rates.  Meanwhile Nasheed has been hit by a negative mailer from Planned Parenthood.  And one imagines if MNEA – which has endorzed Oxford – enters, it will be on the attack against Nasheed as well.


Nasheed’s friends may show up in these final two weeks, but the opposition will likely continue their onslaught.


Yesterday Once More?

From MOScout four years ago (exactly, July 24, 2008):

“The Rep. Robin Wright-Jones’ camp says that there’s a huge number of undecideds still, a fact that would seem to support Rep. Rodney Hubbard who is amply financed to do more mail than Jones.


“Both sides expect to see third-party entities. Hubbard’s camp says that they hear MNEA is trying to raise funds for independent expenditure against him.  And Jones’ camp expects that Rex Sinquefield’s organization will weigh in for Hubbard.


“One observation that rang true – the race is largely about Hubbard.  There are people who are passionately for him and people who are passionately against him.”



House 24

An on-the-ground source in House 24 makes the case that Judy Morgan is in fine position to win.  “I wonder about your choice of Sarah Gillooly.  Morgan has triple the funds, every important endorsement (including the most important gay group in the district, though Gilooly is gay), an army of teachers and union folks (she is the former president of the KCMO teacher union) hitting the doors and is the incumbent in at least some of the district.   She also has strong support of Dutch Newman, the grand dame of Democrats in that area.  Can't see where it will be very close; Gillooly's only real asset is that she is supported by an outstanding ground game guy, Doug Grey, but he often relies on the very folks who are supporting Morgan.”




New John Brunner ads…  See them here: Lost His Way (anti-Akin ad) and Already Have (positive fighter spot).  Dude’s got some money it run some new ads it seems.



Is Sen. Jane Cunningham going to wade into the Senate 21 primary?  Her tweet yesterday sounded like she might: “Tomorrow, Tues 2pm on Bott radio in MO, tune in for my comments on McGhee Right2Pray Amendment & US Senate & State Senate District 21 races.”



Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay enter the radio ring next week.  They’ll debate on KMOX.  Read about it here.



Rep. Jason Kander announced that he’s “reserved more than $1 million worth of dollars of television ad time in October and November.”  Whoever comes out of the Republican primary will have a steep fundraising hill to climb.



Missouri Juvenile Justice Association presented Rep. Ward Franz with the Michael W. Prenger award of meritorious service during a ceremony Monday at Howell County Courthouse in West Plains.



Rep. Wayne Wallingford gets the endorsement of Sen. Jason Crowell in his increasingly nasty primary with Rep. Ellen Brandom.



Speaker Tim Jones’ golf event probably netted six figures…




On Sara Lampe’s Radio Interveiw

Lobbyist: “The Lampe interview was a great example of how the House debate style (heavy on sound bites, light on facts) doesn’t work in the real world. She got completely dismantled by a sports reporter in a public policy debate.”



$5K+ Contributions

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Southwestern Bell Telephone.

Citizens for Hendrickson Committee - $15,000 from Michael Hendrickson.

KCS Rail PAC - $15,000 from Kansas City Southern.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $25,000 from AT&T Missouri.

Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists Political Action Committee - $50,000 from Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from CNS Corporation.

Friends of Mehlville School District - $40,473 from Unicom ARC.

Roper for Commissioner - $24,900 from Beverlee Roper.

Citizens for Kurt Schaefer - $50,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Claire McCaskill (59), Sen. Jim Lembke (51) and lobbyist Betsy Ledgerwood AuBuchon (37).