Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Montee Poll: I’m Winning

Susan Montee released a polling memo yesterday that shows she leads the crowded field of challengers.


Montee leads the Democratic primary for LG contest by 25 points:  She took 37%, trailed by Judy Baker (12%), Sara Lampe (8%), Fred Kratky (8%), and Becky Plattner (3%).


The poll was conducted on February 3-6 of 600 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.0%.


The memo also states that “Montee is the best known and best defined candidate in the race:  Montee is familiar to 39% of Democratic primary voters and is rated favorably by a margin of more than 2 to 1 (27% favorable/11% unfavorable).  The other candidates in the field are known by just one in five voters (22% familiar Baker/20% familiar Lampe/17% familiar Plattner/17% familiar Kratky).”


Montee’s inclusion of Kratky was aimed perhaps at dispelling the myth that the gender split will doom her candidacy.  The implicit question to donors and would-be endorsers: do you want to be with the frontrunner? Or will one of the underdogs?



Kinder Calling

Two House members report their telephone ringing with LG Peter Kinder on the line asking for endorsements.  Kinder, they say, declared that he’s all in for the race and that rumors to the contrary are bunk.



Zweifel to Unveil MOST Match

Look for state treasurer Clint Zweifel to unveil a new initiative in which the state would match individual contributions into MOST, Missouri’s 529 College Saving Program.  Under the plan, families with income under $74K would be eligible for a dollar for dollar matching contribution for up to $500/year.  The program will be funded with $500,000 over 5 years, and available on a first come, first serve basis.



Supreme Court Overturns Ethics Bill

Between the redistricting slog and the news yesterday that the Supreme Court had overturned the 2010 ethics bill (Read the Opinion Here), the atmosphere around the Capitol is “one step up, two steps back.”


No one disputes the clear Hammerschimdt violation.  But it feels unfortunate that energy must now be expended in a flurry of bill filings to reconstruct the ethics laws under which everyone’s become accustomed to.


That includes the reporting of campaign contributions during legislative session, the ban on committee-to-committee contributions use to make contributions less transparent, and the ability of the Missouri Ethics Commission to initiate its own investigations.


It also impacts Senate 5 where Sen. Robin Wright Jones is running for reelection.  Observers had expected to see a fine come from her previous confused filings.  Under the ethics law she would have had to pay that fine before filing or being sworn in.  That’s gone.


(If no one else does, look for her primary opponent Rep. Jamilah Nasheed to file an ethics bill which reinstates this provision. Soon.)


It’s not terrible news for Rep. Jason Kander.  This news lets him remind voters of his ethics bill cred.  He announced that he would re-file his legislation which had banned committee-to-committee contributions.



Bright Flight Dims

The number of Missouri students using the Bright Flight continues to drop as the grant amount declines in value against the ever higher costs of college.  Over 8,000 students used the program a decade ago – when the award was $2,000/year.  But now at $1,750, the question is whether it’s bright enough to restrain flight.


Program numbers recently have dropped from 7,400 to 7,200.  This last year the Department of Higher Education budgeted for 7,000 students, but it came in around only 6,800.



Lottery Windfall Coming?

One source says that the lottery revenues are likely to surprise on the upside this year.  The reason is that the price of Powerball tickets has been increased from $1 to $2.


That doubling of price pushes the Powerball jackpots into the $100+ million range more often.  That in turn helps lure the less frequent ticket buyers who only pile in on large jackpots.



Sign Here Please
Out in St. Louis County yesterday a MOScout tipster was approached by a signature gatherer for the city’s local police control initiative.  Under questioning, it was learned that the gatherer was being paid $1/signature.  According to this source, that’s “on the cheaper side” with other gigs paying more in the $2-3/range.

“When I asked if it was the issue that the mayor tried to get passed last year, the petitioner said, ‘Yeah, and it passed with 85%. Then Jay Nixon vetoed it.’  Don’t know if that’s what they’re telling everyone…”


Chris Koster and Ed Martin trade blows over “Obamacare.”  Read it Here.


Audit the Chair?  Sen. Joe Keaveny’s SB 786 would require an audit of administering the death penalty in Missouri.


The Missouri Republican Party released a web video which contrasts the statements made by  candidate Jay Nixon and the actions taken by Governor Nixon.  See it Here.


Missouri Roundtable for Life’s Fred Sauer calls for a public meeting on MOSIRA. The press release: “MRFL is preparing an analysis by ordinary taxpayers and citizens of Missouri of what the MOSIRA scheme is all about. This is a prerequisite to asking for an open public discussion about MOSIRA, to be held in the rotunda of the Capitol.”



Final Randoms

The march continues toward my destiny, the day when I will be the “Last Person in the Building with a Blackberry”… Mike Gibbons has gone Android.



Singing on the second floor?  One source says that was a barbershop quartet sent by Jeff Harris’ wife to serenade him on Valentine’s Day.



And the House takes off early again this week, with no session tomorrow.  “House tech guys need to do a two-day shutdown for computer maintenance, etc.  Probably last technical, calendar getting fatter now.”



$5K+ Contributions

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from August Busch III.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from Capital Partners LLC.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from HTH Technologies.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from Nelson Grumney Jr.

Spence for Governor - $50,000 from Steven Trulaske Sr.

Missourians for Health and Education - $5,308 from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Rupp for Missouri - $12,500 from Bill Holekamp.

Citizens for Safe Courts and Kids - $10,000 from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562.




Former state rep Tim Flook turns 45 today.