Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jockeying for Position

Businessman Dave Spence tells Politico that if Peter Kinder is out, he’s in for the governor’s race.  Read it Here.  He says that Kinder is a friend.  And he sent a check to Kinder’s campaign for that effect.  (See the $5,500 check in the $5K+s below). 


Get it? He’s prepared to spend $5K if his friend runs – and $5 million if he doesn’t. Thanks pal.


In the Politico article, Spence confirms he’s spoken with the Republican Governors Association about his candidacy. 


To paraphrase an old political joke, he fits all three of the RGA’s criteria.  First, he has money, second, he has money, and third… I forget what the third criteria is…


But he’s not alone.


Ed Martin, still nominally a candidate for 2nd Congressional, has also spoken to RGA, according to a strong source.  Martin presumably does not fit RGA’s criteria.


But that’s not all Ed’s doing to inch himself away from 2-CD and toward statewide.


Yesterday his email blast sounded like that of a gubernatorial candidate, not a congressional candidate.  Gone was any mention of an ambassador with friends in high places.  Instead we got a contrast with the incumbent governor: “To see Jay Nixon sign a law, passed with Republican support that does not have the strongest protections against this is more than depressing … it is a betrayal of all pro-lifers efforts for years.  It is no surprise that Jay Nixon, a pro-abortion supporter who refused to sign a partial-birth abortion ban earlier this year, would support this bill but it is depressing nonetheless.”


Furthermore, a “Draft Ed for Governor” group has sprung up on Facebook, apparently spearheaded by non-registered lobbyist Ron Calzone.  Tomorrow they’ll have a group meeting.  The RSVPs right now are: 4 attending, 7 maybe attending, 601 haven’t replied, and 42 not attending…


Finally, where does all of this leave Sen. Brad Lager?  Answers one Republican, “I don’t know. He might just sit it out.  (If he does run, he) will find out quickly how badly damaged he is in the St. Louis business community (from the Ecodevo episode).”



An A For Ann

Against the hesitation of Camp Kinder to pull the plug and get on with a 2nd Act, and Ed Martin’s two legged, race-hopping dance, Ann Wagner looks like the most capable candidate in the cycle. 


Yesterday she unequivocally ruled out the possibility of jumping up to the Senate where the current field continues to underwhelm.  Read it Here. (Thanks to the singular John Combest for keeping me aware of Roll Call articles.) 


Even though she’s outraising those candidates, Wagner is right to stay focused on the race in front of her. And from congress there could always be a leap higher down the road…



Nixon Does China

The export deal that Governor Jay Nixon signed is huge. (Read it Here).  The three year agreement to export $4.4 billion of Missouri goods to China would more than double the current exports to that country.  It demonstrates the potential that China offers to spur economic growth in the state.  And this is a perfect counterpoint for Nixon (and Dems) to the Republican special session ineptitude.  Who is focused on the economy?  Looks like Nixon, not GOP.



State Rev Solid

State revenues are solid so far this month with sales tax and corporate tax receipt up double-digits from a year ago; individual income also up 6%ish. This should give some confidence that the state’s worst budget problems are behind it, although refunds are running higher, dampening the bottom-line number.



E-tailing Tax Coming?

New federal legislation would make it easier for states to collect sales tax from internet retailers.  It would “override existing federal law that says states can require retailers to collect sales tax only when merchants have in-state physical facilities, such as stores or distribution centers.” Read it Here.


Pull Quote:  “It’s intended to win over Republican freshmen in the House by keeping it simple and positioning it as a matter of states’ rights and free markets.”



Can We Just Skip Tomorrow

It may seem premature to write off the next legislative session already, but no one would object that the reasons for pessimism outweigh those for optimism.  And lobbyists are already starting to talk about the session afterwards.



Floor Leader Tom Dempsey is expected to ascend to pro tem, but after Sen. Kevin Engler’s ousting, eyes are open for a challenge.  Will Dempsey be considered too moderate by the rabble-rousing right?  He’s done a good job keeping his powder dry during the last session, not over-extending his political capital.


For the floor leader position, the two names being mentioned as potential candidates by lobbyists are Sens. Eric Schmitt and Mike Parson.  The strength of Parson (if he’s even interested) will be in the cadre of former House members in his Senate class as well as those who will be joining after the November 2012 elections. (Six GOP Senators are termed in November). But his weakness will be his junior status and the fact that taking the floor position so early in his Senate career will occupy a spot that others might covet.



About two dozen reps will be term-limited in November.  That down from six dozen last cycle, but it still represents a nice chunk of the body.  About one in seven reps will exit.


Of more interest than the incoming freshmen, is the psychology of the mob, also known as the current freshmen class.


Which of them will ascend to positions of leadership?  The best guess is that those who reach for the leadership ring too soon won’t be there in the end.  The speaker and floor leader to come out of this class will likely be the ones who take a less immediate route and get experience as a committee chair first.  They will solidify relationships based on substantive legislative work and win the confidence of their class.




On Spence

“With a house like that, this guy seems like easy prey for Nixon - who is at his best when he’s playing the populist card. Missouri is a populist state. Nixon’s one of the best populist politicians around.”


On Lograsso

I don’t think Don Lograsso is actually the LA for Rep. Vicki Schneider. He doesn’t appear in the Missouri Accountability Portal under either an employee or vendor.  If you recall his general counsel work for the House was as a vendor.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Carmen Schulze added Great Circle.



$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Timothy Jones - $10,000 from Noranda Aluminum.

Emersons Missouri Responsible Government Fund - $15,000 from Emerson Electric.

Your Vote Counts - $10,000 from Jennifer Fournier.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from United Health Group.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $5,500 from Davis Spence.




Happy birthday to developer Pete Rothschild.