Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Morning’s Mamtek Hearing

The Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability holds a hearing this morning on the Mamtek scandal/debacle.


In the spotlight will be emails sent within the Department of Economic Development which appear to show skepticism at the plausibility of the project.


For example, On April 13 DED’s contact in China Edward Li, a consultant with Armstrong Teasdale, searching for Mamtek’s manufacturing facility in China, uncovered a situation where the company had worked with a local government but never got to the manufacturing phase of their project.


On August 19, Corey Mehaffy from the Moberly Economic Development Corporation writes a DED staffer, “Apparently someone from DED was in Sedalia today for the breakfast and was bad mouthing our Mamtek project again.”



Spence Kicks-off

Dave Spence kicked off this gubernatorial campaign with an email blast addressed to “fellow Republicans.”  It focused on his experience in business as a remedy to the ailing economy. Read Announcement Here.


Excerpts of Announcement

My name is Dave Spence, and I am a Republican running for the office of Governor of the great state of Missouri.  For those of you who might not know me that well, I am sending this note to introduce myself.  I also want to let you know why I am running for Governor, and how we can win back our state.


Far too many of our families, friends, and neighbors are struggling right now.  The job-destroying policies of President Barack Obama and Jay Nixon are hurting Missourians, but what would you expect from two politicians that don’t understand how the private sector creates jobs?...


When I bought Alpha Packaging at the age of 26, it had 15 employees and $350,000 in annual sales.  Since that time we have grown to over 800 employees and $200 million in annual revenue.


My entire professional life has been dedicated to creating quality jobs for good people who work hard and simply want to provide for their families.  I want to do that for folks across our great state.  That means less government intrusion, fewer regulations, and low taxes.  As fellow conservatives, I know you stand with me and not the Nixon-Obama regime…


The Bible says to whom much is given much is required.  The Grace of God has blessed me throughout my life and my family and I are very excited about giving back through service to our great state…



The Consultantization of Spence

It’s said that Dave Spence has hired David Barklage and Jared Craighead as his consultants. Barklage will also work the Peter Kinder re-elect.



Martin Contra Spence?

Yesterday’s hit piece on Dave Spence was revealed to be the handiwork of someone on the Ed Martin for Congress payroll.


Eli Yokely at PoliticMO uncovered the connection: “At closer examination, the PDF file appears to be authored by Steven Michael, political director for Martin’s current congressional campaign.”  Read it Here.


It’s a bit embarrassing for Martin, who according to rumors was offered a chance to switch to the lieutenant governor’s race with assurances of party unity, yet declined.


Now his political director is spending time putting together and leaking a shoddy background hit on top-of-the-ticket Republican Spence.  Furthermore, there had been no public or private apology from the Martin team to Spence for the overzealous or misguided (or however you want to characterize) Michael.


At some point allies, donors and supporters may have organize an intervention and demand some clarity of purpose from Martin.



LAs Get a Raise…

The House legislative assistants received news about their “compensation adjustment” the day before Thanksgiving. It was somewhere around 2%.  Says one source, “Basically they were just throwing the LAs a bone.”


Here’s an excerpt from Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss’ email:


Dear House Members and Legislator Assistants:


In June, Speaker Tilley directed me to implement various strategies to reduce administrative costs in order to provide enough funding to institute salary increases for both the member office staff and the administrative staff.  When the Governor announced nearly $150,000 in withholdings from the House Contingent Fund later that month, the task became significantly more challenging… 


By this message, I wish to inform you that every Legislator Assistant will see a salary increase in the payroll check they receive around December 15.


These salary adjustments are not made without sacrifice.  Since the regular session concluded in May, several administrative staff positions have been eliminated and additional duty assignments have been given to various administrative personnel.  Administrative employees are doing more work with fewer personnel in order to make funds available for salary adjustments for all House employees.  Additional spending reductions have been or will be put in place.


While some wish for more, and others will be disappointed on how the increases are structured, I hope that everyone recognizes that doing something for all LA's is better than doing nothing for any LA's… 


These advancements reflect the next step in an on-going discussion of how the House operates, how we compensate employees, and how we can better serve the Members and the citizen taxpayers of Missouri.  We have outstanding employees both in Member offices and in the administrative staff that have gone a long time without salary advancements in order to implement budget reductions adopted by the General Assembly.  Our goal should be to become the leading public sector employer-of-choice among Missourians.  This goal should be reflected in our productivity, accountability, customer service, compensation, and willingness to be the standard-bearer of public employers.  Together, we can all do better and be better.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.



Ugliness Continues

NYTimes Headline: Business Scramble as Credit Tightens in Europe.  Read it Here.


Recession there means gridlock here: if Europe’s economy starts to contract again, growth here will be harder to come by… lower tax receipts and continued divisive public policy debates over whether the medicine should be demand side stimulus or austerity measures.




Thanks to the peerless John Combest for pointing me to Tony’s KC this morning, where Jeff Roe’s wife, Missy, has a food blog going.  See it Here.




On Ron Calzone’s role as a treasurer of the Draft Ed PAC

“Interesting that Calzone found the Missouri Ethics Commission in order to file the papers for the ‘Draft Ed Martin for Governor Committee.’ Something he hasn’t been able to do during the years of continuous lobbying without filing a lobbyist registration. Can’t claim he doesn’t know where to find them.”


On Stand Up Missouri’s fundraising

“It’s apparent from the size of their donations that the payday loan firms are squeezed so tight that their business just won’t work at all if regulated any more stringently.”



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


David Klarich added Missouri Association of Naturopathic Physicians.



$5K+ Contributions

Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Fund - $10,000 from Local 101 Political Action Fund.

Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Fund - $20,000 from Local 101 Political Action Fund.

UTU-PAC - $12,000 from UTU-PAC.

SEIU Missouri State Council PAC - $21,500 from SEIU Missouri/Kansas State Council.

5th Congressional Democratic Committee - $6,000 from IBEW Educational Committee.

Missouri American Water Company Employees Political Action Committee - $10,000 from Missouri American Water.




Happy birthday to Rep. Mike Bernskoetter (52), Planned Parenthood’s Alison Gee, and Jobs with Justice’s Lara Granich.