Wednesday, December 14. 2011


Special Committee for Judicial Reform

Still seething from the appellate commission’s redistricting plan, the House is plotting its course for next session.  The locus of the action will be a new committee.  Look for Speaker Steve Tilley to unveil a Special Committee on Judicial Reform.  The chair is said to be Rep. Jason Smith, but it’s a strong bet that there will be plenty of pissed off lawyers on the committee as well, both Republicans and Democrats.


The expectation, however, would be that the more stoic Senate will let their standing committee, Judiciary, receive any bombastic legislation from the House.  And that committee’s constitution is more sober.  Chair Jack Goodman is measured and fair.  Together with Jesuit-trained attorney Sen. Eric Schmitt and Democratic senator-lawyers Jolie Justus and Joe Keaveny, these self-possessed legislators would comprise a majority of that committee and could offer a moderating tonic to the raging House.



Workouts Not Working


The Republicans appear to be down to three problematic pairing of incumbents as a result of the redistricting map.  One of them (Reps. Eric Burlison and Thomas Long) is thought to have an imminent compromise.  But the other two look to be more troublesome.


In House 2, Reps. Casey Guernsey and Glen Klippenstein are still deadlocked.  The most obvious solution is for Klippenstein to step aside, for two years.  Then when Guersney runs for Senate 12 (Brad Lager termed), he could return to the House.  But Klippenstein is said to be balking at the notion.  In House 43, it’s Jay Houghton and John Cauthorn who are without a tidy solution.


The unwillingness of those in the twilight of their careers (Klippenstein and Cauthorn) to yield to those in their morning has one observer calling it “former senator’s disease.”  But the truth is this: real estate is very rarely ever ceded in politics without a carrot or a stick.


If these matters can’t be resolved otherwise, the initial estimate is that the ballot box will favor Guernsey in House 2, and Cauthorn in House 43.



The toughest Democratic workouts are House 67, 85, and  87.  In House 67, Reps. Sylvester Taylor and Steve Webb are trying to work thing out.  But one source says that their ultimate solution may end up being Taylor running against Rep. Rochelle Walton-Gray in House 75.


Meanwhile in House Rep. Sharon Pace may move out of House 85 where she was pair with Rep. Clem Smith and move into House 74 to primary Rep. Churie Spreng.  Spreng’s district has undergone a radical racial change making it much more hospitable to African American representation.  Her current House 76 had 19.9% black voting age population in 2001.  The new House 74 has a 59.6% black voting age population.


Finally, in House 87 liberal stalwarts Reps. Stacey Newman and Susan Carlson are locked in the same district.  Carlson is considered the front-runner if they end up in a duel.



Not a New Story

E-tailers continue to grow their share of the pie.  From Internet Retailer Magazine: “Early retail sales estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce for November show total retail sales increased 6.7% in November, but that sales at non-store retailers increased at more than twice that rate, 13.9%. E-commerce and mail-order sales make up more than 75% of the non-store retailer subsector, the Commerce Department says.”  Read it Here.



Jones Steps into Role of Head House Fundraiser

Speaker-elect Tim Jones will put up another $100K quarter.  That was the word circulating a donor appreciation party last night in the St. Louis exurb of Wildwood.  Spotted at the event were bold-faced names Jim Talent, Dave Spence and Peter Kinder.




Rep. Randy Asbury will move into House 6.  That puts him back representing Moberly.  With no incumbent, it also puts the new House 48 into play.  That district has Fayette and Central Methodist University.



One observer watching the endless slap-fight between St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and County Executive Charlie Dooley wonders if St. Louis County politics is becoming more like St. Louis City politics.  As it transitions from a swing county to a Democratically dominant one, the ruling party is more likely to create warring factions.  The extrapolation is that it becomes harder to run statewide from that area because your formative political experience includes the creation of enemies and a fractured base.



Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger tells a GOP crowd that he will continue to push for a constitutional convention.  See it Here.



And Sen. Ryan McKenna was clearly ahead of his time, calling for a texting ban.  The Feds now are recommending a total cellphone ban.  Read it Here.



Lobbyists’ Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Scott Swain deleted Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission, Home Builders Association



$5K+ Contributions

Stand Up Missouri - $10,000 from Noble Finance Corp.

Spence for Governor - $25,000 from John Tlapek.

Washburn for Missouri - $20,000 from Frank Washburn.

Missouri Farmers Care - $11,500 from Protect the Harvest.

John Crawford for Kansas City - $5,490 from John Crawford.




Happy birthday to lobbyist Cheryl Dillard.



Must RSVP by Friday

Friday is the last day to RSVP for the “2012 Forecast” presentations.  The hour-long discussion will cover implications of the new redistricting maps, as well as the statewide races and the next legislative session.


Monday, December 19 – St. Louis, 8am

Tuesday, December 20 – Kansas City, 8am

Wednesday, December 21 – Jefferson City, 1:30pm


Each attendee will receive a booklet with analysis of every state House and Senate district. RSVP to