Wednesday, April 11, 2012

McCaskill Rakes It In

Sen. Claire McCaskill pre-announced a monster $2.3 million quarter, which her campaign says brings her cash on-hand to $6 million.


How big is $2.3 million?  Well last quarter Sarah Steelman raised about $88,000, or 3.8% of that.


But the fear in Dem hearts is that no number is big enough.  Every observer with even short-term memory has seen an incumbent on the wrong side of an election shovel dollars into an endless hole of television ad buys with seemingly no impact.



Conservative Senators Balk at Tax Amnesty

Conservative Republican senators won a victory yesterday.  About ten of them decided that they would not support tax amnesty legislation.  That amounted to $68 million that the Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer had intended to book for FY2013 revenue.


But, convinced that the senators would indeed derail the proposal, Schaefer had to go back to the drawing board for a bit.


What’s Conservative About Not Bringing More Taxpayers into Compliance?

Basically – in addition to the Crowell resistance to one-time band-aids to the state’s structural deficit – these senators appear to be concerned with the moral hazard of repeated tax amnesties.


There is a belief that every decade we pass an amnesty bill and bail the delinquent folks out.  It “encourages people to not pay taxes on time, just wait a few years and you can pay what you owe, without interest or penalty.   It becomes unfair to those who do pay on time.”



Teacher Tenure Vote Coming

Camp Cunningham is confident they have the votes, even if it is “closer” than they’d like…



Nixon Releases Bus Money

From the press release: “Gov. Jay Nixon today made available an additional $6,755,697 for public K-12 and higher education programs in Missouri for the current fiscal year. The amount includes $5 million for local school district transportation programs and $200,000 for the Fine Arts and Scholars academies; the remainder will go to a variety of education programs. The Governor provided these additional funds as a result of the spike in lottery sales caused by the recent Mega Millions jackpot…”



The Economy, Stupid

From Politico’s Morning Money: “DON'T LOOK NOW BUT IT'S GETTING UGLY AGAIN - Sure feels like deja vu all over again. U.S. economic data, after a strong start, is again turning soft (weak employment, small business confidence dropping, markets tanking) and POW! Europe is now freaking everyone out again. This time it's on concern about whether big debtor nations including Spain, Italy and Portugal can slash spending and keep their economies from completely tanking, making debt repayment impossible. The fear has driven up yields on riskier Euro debt and sent U.S. Treasuries back below 2 percent… If it turns into a real rout, that we could default back to the initial campaign 2012 narrative: President Obama runs in very weak economy against a turn-around specialist rather than in a pretty decent recovery against a Wall Street plutocrat (yes, Romney in both cases). It's too soon to say we are back-drifting like we did in 2011. But the potential is rising.”



Candidate Withdrawals

Rep. Darrell Pollock withdrew from the Senate 33 race leaving a three-way primary (Reps. Mike Cunningham, Ward Franz and Don Wells).



Rep. Zach Wyatt withdrew from House 3.  According to election rules (SOS has them posted Here), filing reopens until April 17.  Former state representative Nate Walker announced her would run in Waytt’s place.  See his announcement Here.



Linda Rallo withdrew from House 89, leaving Rep. John Diehl uncontested.



CORRECTION on Battleground Report

Thanks for the heads up that I flubbed a few maps in the House Battleground Districts Report.  A corrected version has been uploaded.  View it, print it or download it Here.




Turnout Healthcare

Republican: “Your Dem source arguing that McCaskill is helped by the race for president has conveniently forgotten about the health care initiative that passed 70-30 against the President and his general unpopularity across the state. Obama is not going to win Missouri. He probably won’t even compete here – leaving McCaskill on her own to defend him.”


Democrat: “Your guy is on crack if he thinks turnout will go into ‘the low 70s.’ In 08, natl voter turnout was higher than it's been in a generation - and it was 57%.  The dozen battleground states are almost always higher than average…  Missouri was hotly contested last time but won’t be this time which means that its turnout rate is likely to approximate or be slightly below the national average.”


Another Democrat: “Your comment on health reform in which you said that Obama is making a mistake to defend health reform in Missouri because it was defeated 70/30 misses the point. What you forget is that referendum happened in an election when a disproportionate number of Republicans voted (there was not contested Democratic seat).  That is why it was 70/30.  If you reweight the vote towards the actual number of Dems and Republicans in the state, it would come out 55/45,  about the national average opinion on health reform.”

And Another Democrat: “Your democratic observer is correct. Except he/she fails to mention that we aren’t a battleground state this cycle. So we don't get the air time that we usually see from the national ticket.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Michael R Gibbons and Tricia Workman added Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufactures.

Kevin Houlihan added Johnston & Associates.

Jason Allen Shackelford deleted Boyd Harris Companies Inc.



Lobbyists’ Registration Exegesis

Last week’s Randy Scherr and Brian Berskoetter registration of the City of Pine Lawn appears related to a growing coalition of St. Louis County municipalities working on a compromise for revising that county’s sales tax pooling system.



Today’s Mike Gibbons and Tricia Workman registration of the Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers appears related to HB 2063 which passed out of the Transportation Committee yesterday.  Read the bill Here.   The American Beverage Institute, by the way, is fighting the bill, saying, “Removing judicial discretion from the sentencing process for low-blood alcohol concentration, first-time offenders would overwhelm Missouri’s courts and criminal justice system and cost the state millions of dollars.”



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Responsible Lending - $7,500 SEIU Healthcare IL IN.

Give Missourians A Raise - $12,500 from UFCW District Union Local 2.

Give Missourians A Raise - $6,250 from Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers Dist Council PAC.

Give Missourians A Raise - $7,500 from SEIU Healthcare IL IN.

Enough Taxes Already - $51,000 from Cheyenne International.

Stand Up Missouri – $6,600 from Brundage Management Company.

Stand Up Missouri - $14,400 from World Acceptance Corporation.




Happy birthday to RBC’s Dave Leipholtz.


And seven years ago my daughter was born, this morning she was on the computer checking the Evite to her slumber party…