Tuesday, October 18,2011

Senate: No Sunsets, No Conference

Well… there you have it… Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer stood yesterday and effectively ended the special session by declining to make the motion to go to conference with the House on economic development.


For those following the never-ending frustration, last week Mayer had said he would make that motion. 


No one could explain why he would say that last week and then not do it this week. 


What Mayer said was that the House wouldn’t yield on sunsets, so it was pointless to go to conference.  However, it’s not like the House’s position on sunsets changed from last week.   



The Senate was also unable to pass the legislation to end the presidential primary and save the state $6 – 8 million.  The train wreck that is the Senate not only refused to pursue the substantive  EcoDevo legislation, but then was incapable of passing even the inside baseball primary legislation.


One observer called it “poetic” that the 16-16 tie on which the primary legislation failed was reminiscent of Mayer’s ascension to the pro tem position which he won, by chance, after a tie vote.


He ran on the platform of “getting things done.”



Nixon Conference Call

Could the change of heart have come from some second floor inspiration?  Last week Governor Jay Nixon convened a conference call with leadership from the Republican and Democratic House and Senate leadership.


After speechifying how he appreciated the role of the legislature, Nixon told the leaders that they should consider ending the special session since they seemed unable to get a bill passed.  He then asked Mayer what he thought, in a move that one source says sounded scripted, but another believes wasn’t.  Mayer concurred with the governor, echoing his thoughts.


House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller objected to giving up, according to one person on the call.  With the unemployment environment he felt it was important that the legislature try to finish the job.



October Quarters


Governor Jay Nixon lapped Peter Kinder several times during the last three months.  Nixon raised $1.4 million (versus Kinder’s $.4 million) last quarter and now has $4.2 million on-hand (versus Kinder’s $1.5 million).


Sexy Ski Lodge

The latest ouchy-wa-wa comes from Politico’s Dave Catanese who notes that one expenditure on Kinder’s latest report is for Sky Hotel in Aspen which was named the “sexiest” ski lodge by Playboy back in – get this – 2006! (Read it Here)


On the one hand, it is completely unfair.  Like Peter Kinder now has to scan old Playboys to see if they’ve ever mentioned a place before going there (although I admit, I’m not clear on why an Aspen ski lodge should show up on a Missouri gubernatorial campaign report).


On the other hand, it is exactly the type of thing he will be tagged with for the rest of his political life.  And that makes him a damaged candidate – fairly or unfairly.


Where We Are

The consensus remains that Kinder bows out.  The problem for Republicans is that there’s no one else with $1.5 million in the bank and actual name ID who wants the fight.



Sen. Brad Lager raised $21K and has $71K on-hand.  He has neither $1.5 million nor name ID, but it’s said that he wants the fight…



Lieutenant Governor

Speaker Steve Tilley reported $576K raised, and $1.5 million on-hand.  And yet his path over the past three months has become rockier.  With the increasing weakness above him on the ballot (see above), and the disastrous special session (see higher above), his political environment is turning more hostile.



Secretary of State

Rep. Jason Kander raised $65K and has $233K on-hand.  That gives him a substantial money edge on all three Republicans.  If he can avoid a primary while they tussle it out, it will be a significant advantage.


Sen. Scott Rupp raised the most of the SOS candidates, hitting $86K raised.  He now has $96K on-hand.  Sen. Bill Stouffer raised $29K, but augmented that by plunking down a $150K self-loan to bring his cash on-hand total to $170K.  The personal loan is only a temporary fix for Stouffer; he needs to show a real fundraising quarter unless he’s planning to fully self-fund.



Attorney General

Incumbent Chris Koster appears to be pacing himself.  Most anyone reporting a $318K quarter would be confetti and clown-nose happy.  But for Koster it looks down-right restrained.  He now has $1.2 million on-hand.  Are Republican operatives dialing Becky or have they given up trying to beat Koster?


The only one to float their name against Koster, Rep. Caleb Jones, raised $27K (not chump change for a freshman rep, btw) and has $32K on-hand.



House Leadership Possibilities

Speaker-elect Tim Jones raised $126K and has $219K on-hand.


Rep. John Diehl raised $62K and $164K on-hand.


Assistant Floor Leader Jeanne Riddle raised $40K and has $43K on-hand.


Rep. Sheila Solon raised $23K and has $23K on-hand.


Caucus Secretary Sue Allen raised $17K and has $26K on-hand.


Rep. Kevin Elmer raised $13K and has $10K on-hand.


Caucus Chair Shelley Keeney raised $9K and has $11K on-hand.



Various Senate Quarters

In Senate 1 – Sue Schoemehl raised $6K and has $17K on-hand.


In Senate 5 – Sen. Robin Wright Jones is putting her troubles away.  She filed her report on time ($12K raised; $14K spent; $693 on-hand), and paid some MEC fines ($2,300).


In Senate 15 – Sen. Eric Schmitt raised $166K and has $336K on-hand.  That’s starting to approach “state-wide” war-chest territory… let the talk begin…


In Senate 19 – Sen. Kurt Schaefer raised $33K and has $198K on-hand.


In Senate 33 – Rep. Ward Franz raised $28K and has $66K on-hand.



TPM From Camp Zweifel

A few notes about Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s fundraising since the 2008 election:

95% of Zweifel’s contributors since the 2008 election are Missourians; 69% are individuals; and

60% of his contributors are new since the 2008 election…  The message: “These numbers demonstrate strong support across the entire state and a base of donors that has more than doubled during Zweifel’s first term as State  Treasurer. As the contributors on this and previous reports show, he has strong support from his Democratic base, but he has also built a significant level of support among Republicans and independents.”




MO Chamber Dan Mehan has been making calls vouching for Senate candidate John Brunner…. Look for an announcement “within days” from House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller declaring himself a candidate for secretary of state… Schoeller’s statement may be starting gun for others putting their sneakers on for a leadership race… On the recent China trip, Rep. Todd Richardson demonstrated an “iron stomach” trying all the local foods from silk worms to scorpions… Yesterday Speaker Steve Tilley gathered about 17 teams at Sunset Country Club for a high-end golf event that bought in about $90K… Who’s phone won’t stop ringing these days? St. Louis Cardinal lobbyist John Bardgett



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Andrea Follett added Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals and Missouri Council of School Administrators.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Mayer - $22,500 from Express Scripts.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Herzog Contracting Corp.




Happy birthday to Jim Talent and AIM’s Ray McCarty.