Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Could Missouri Go the Way of Kansas?

The new state House and Senate redistricting maps perpetuate the status quo Republican majorities in both chambers.  According to the courts’ data, the House map now has 102 districts with over 50% GOP voting index.


Dems also point out that since the courts’ data appears to be a straight average of 2002 – 2010 races, it is bias towards showing higher Dem indexes than might truly exist.  That is, five of the six statewide offices were up for election in the strong Dem year of 2008; only one in the strong Republican year of 2010.  So the index leans more Democratic than it should in places.


Similarly, the Senate map – according to the courts’ data – renders 23 seats with over 50% GOP voting index.


The new maps, then, give Republicans a better than even shot at 62.5% of the House seats and 67.6% of the Senate seats.


With the Republican majorities apparently entrenched for the next decade, one observer wonders if candidates – especially in suburban areas – who might have run as moderate Democrats will now file as moderate Republicans.  Furthermore rural candidates who would have run as conservative Democrats a decade ago, may now be pro-labor Republicans or moderate Republicans.


Over time, this will translate into an even farther diminished minority for Democrats across the state.


The other consequence would be a de facto two parties within the Republican party: conservatives and moderates.  And in this scenario, Democrats would be relegated to swing votes between the two Republican factions, within narrow and specific issues.



Do You Believe in Rex?

Christmas time for candidates!  Rex Sinquefield checks are said to be in the mail.  Watch the $5K+ filing to see who got stocking stuffers this year…  $5K+ Filing Here.



Southeast Senate Seats

Yesterday Rep. Ellen Brandom announced definitively that she would be running in Senate 25.  That sends her into a primary with Rep. Billy Pat Wright.  The early expectation would be that Brandom prevails.  But the winner will face Democrat Rep. Terry Swinger.  This is a real chance for a Democratic pick-up.  The court’s data pus Senate 25 at a 49.1 Democratic Performance Index.


With Brandom certainly not moving into Senate 3, Cape Girardeau civvies are said to be turning to Rep. Donna Lichtenegger to represent them in that district. There are already two Republicans running from the northern Farmington area – Pat Naeger and Gary Romine.  Therefore Lichtenegger would be the early favorite on a pure geographical play.  But things are still fluid.


And, in Senate 33, Rep. Don Wells put out a press release officially launching his campaign.  Again, Wells’ entry complicates Rep. Ward Franz’ chances on geographic grounds by splitting the rural area against businessman Doug Libla’s Poplar Bluff base.



Fitzwater in House 49

One day after Rep. Jeanie Riddle announced her run for Senate, Travis Fitzwater announced for the House seat she’s vacating.  Fitzwater is the Callaway County Republican Central Committee Secretary.  He’s also son of Ron Fitzwater, executive director of the Missouri Pharmacy Association.


The immediate response was good.  His announcement included endorsements from Sen. Mike Kehoe as well as Callaway County’s presiding commissioner, Gary Jungermann. Aaron Baker, chief of staff to Sen. Bill Stouffer, enthused in a tweet: “Best. Recruit. Ever.”


His top listed legislative priority is “Installation of the Callaway Two nuclear plant that will create thousands of jobs.”



Observer: Moley Must Mull Senate 31

So far the only one who’s announced for the new Senate 31 is Rep. Scott Largent.  He sits smack in the middle of the sprawling senate district.


But one observer looking at the map points out that although there’s a lot of rural areas (Henry, Bates, Hickory, Benton, and St. Clair Counties), the real population center is in Cass County.


Rep. Chris Molendorp might be able to run from Cass and win the Republican primary, this person thinks.  Furthermore, without jumping at an up-or-out opportunity now, Molendorp might be termed into a stay-and-out dead end.  Something to think about, I guess, if you’re Chris Molendorp.



Simmons Stepped Down

Kelvin Simmons, director of the Office of Administration, resigned yesterday.  The news surprised Jefferson City yesterday, and no one had an immediate answer about what prompted the resignation.


One rumor was that he would be entering the lieutenant governor’s race.  But the Beacon nabbed the resignation letter (Read it Here) in which Simmons writes he will pursue and opportunity “outside state government.”


Another observer opined, “Think he just got tired of the (stuff) that he usually got left having to clean up. The Higher Ed mess being the latest.”




Republican Chrissy Sommer prevailed – as expected – in the recount of her extremely close special election for House 15 (old Sally Faith seat).  Read it Here.  Democrat Paul Woody emailed supporters:  “Last Wednesday, I participated in a complete recount of the November 8 Special Election for House District 15.  Now that those results have been submitted to the Secretary of State, I am free to acknowledge that the recount confirmed the results announced on election night. Therefore, I have called Ms. Sommer and conceded the race…”



Online retailers’ holiday sales up 15% over last year.  Read it Here.



At both my St. Louis and Kansas City presentations this week, there have been questions about a rumor that Speaker Steve Tilley would be resigning before his term is up.  I am assured that those rumors are false.



Lobbyists’ Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Larry Rohrbach and Doyle Childers added Missouri Doctors Mutual Insurance Company.

Jack Dillard added Altria Client Services Inc and its affiliates Philip Morris USA, John Middleton Co, and US Smokeless Tobacco.

Mike R Gibbons and Tricia Workman added Logan College of Chiropractic, Delta Dental Plan of Missouri, and

Mike Gibbons added Public School Retirement System of the School District of Kansas City, and deleted The Missouri Bar, and Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.



$5K+ Contributions

Citizens to Elect Rocky Miller - $6,000 from PTI Customer Solutions.

CWA District 6 – Political Education Committee - $6,600 from CWA COPE.




Happy birthdays to Rep. Andrew Koenig (29) and the peerless John Combest (34).