Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teter Troubles

Yesterday various news outlets reported that Matt Teter, executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party, was involved in a domestic situation last weekend.  Read Jake Wagman’s account Here.


Teter is on unpaid leave pending the resolution of the episode.  Within a week, the St. Louis City prosecutor will decide whether to file charges or not.



After Teter

The best guess among Dem politicos is that Teter resigns from his position.  And as is often the case in these situations, they hope it’s sooner rather than later to avoid continued “distraction.”


The willingness of those Dems to toss Teter under the bus seems attributable to two factors: the gravity of the allegation.  Domestic abuse charges are politically explosive.  And second, Teter was balanced in the cross-fire between rival Dem camps – those loyal to Susan Montee, those loyal to Jay Nixon – without ever picking a side.  When trouble came, there wasn’t a side ready to stick up for him.


This second factor hints at the troubles current besetting the party apparatus.  Since Montee’s departure – along with her crew – the party is considered Claire McCaskill’s with Nixon running his own operation separately.  (Most expect McCaskill to install Teter’s successor.) There’s no sense that the party is much relevant to the state house or senate candidates in the trenches.


One Dem donor rolled her eyes yesterday imagining the landscape without an active party; it might not make a difference.




The Democratic voter information files known as the VAN was previously provided to Democratic candidates for free to help them with their field programs.  Now candidates must pay for access to the files.


According to one operative, the lack of a field program from Barack Obama (Missouri is not a targeted state) – together with the fact that neither Governor Jay Nixon nor Senator Claire McCaskill run robust field operations – mean that there are no resources devoted to maintaining and updating the voter information.




A circuit court judge ruled yesterday that the MOSIRA law passed during special session was invalid.  Read AP’s story Here.


News of this setback brought head-shakes from folks without a dog in the fight as the atmosphere in the building is steaming frustration that no progress seems possible.



As Post-Dispatch editorial writer Tony Messenger tweeted: “And now, short of the Facebook fix, last fall's special session is officially a complete failure.”



MOBio: “MOSIRA has enjoyed bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature for years. This is too important to the future of our state, its citizens and its economy.  We need to get this done.  MOSIRA deserves the follow-through of this General Assembly and we will continue to work with them to pass, implement and fund MOSIRA.”


Legislative leaders: House side said it was possible they’d give it another go; senate side less optimistic re-passing it was likely this session.



Map Talk

The commission working on the senate maps may fold before their time has expired.  One senate source sees that outcome happening this week unless there’s progress on finding a compromise.



AP says the supreme court will hold its hearing on the state rep maps on Monday – the day before filing would open if they’re not delayed.  Read it Here.



Mitchell vs Mayer?

Stephen Mitchell, an associate circuit judge in Stoddard County started a campaign committee yesterday to run for Circuit Court Judge of Division 35.  That’s where Judge Stephen Sharp is expected to not seek re-election and where Sen. Rob Mayer is expected to run.


Mitchell is a Democrat.  And although the bootheel has Dem leanings, one observer says that Mayer – with his name ID and fundraising ability – should be the winner of that contest.



Kehoe Skewers New Prop C Petition

From Sen. Mike Kehoe’s Capitol Report:


“As my fellow Senators and I have looked into the initiative petition that is being circulated to put this expensive, job-killing, anti-business measure on the ballot, we have made some very interesting discoveries.


“First, this initiative petition will be significantly more costly to residential customers, small, and medium businesses than the original Proposition C passed in 2008.  In fact, under this initiative petition, residential customers will, on average, pay a difference of 140% more to reach the renewable mandates than they will under SB759 or under the current Proposition C language.  Some small businesses will pay a difference of 13,100%, (yes, you are reading that right:  one hundred and thirty-one times) more than they will under SB759 or currently under Proposition C…


“Second, there are over one hundred businesses in the state for which the initiative petition will result in incredible savings that can be characterized as nothing short of a windfall.  For eighty-one of these companies, the initiative petition will have them pay, on average, a difference of 1854% less than they would under SB759 or under the current Proposition C…


“Third, given the incredible benefits of the initiative petition for a handful of select large businesses, as well as the devastating effect on residential customers, small and medium sized businesses, it is clear that these large companies want to appear to be green, but want you and I to pay for it.


“Fourth, the initiative petition is being driven by a group that has had their corporation administratively dissolved by the Secretary of State for failing to submit proper reports and is now backed by three fictitious filings including an entity based in Berkley, California.


“Finally, among the eighty-two companies that get a sweet-heart deal as a result of the initiative petition, three are those that are leading efforts in opposition to securing Missouri’s energy future, ensuring plentiful and reliable electricity, and putting thousands of Missourians back to work by building additional nuclear capacity at the current Callaway site…”



One source says that the polling for the new petition is weaker than it was in 2008.  If so, you’d expect that they’d be more willing to look for a legislative compromise instead of pursuing the initiative route.



Rolling Up Scholarships

The Department of Higher Education is planning to “roll up” smaller undersubscribed scholarship programs – veterans, public service survivor et al – and put that money into the Margeurite Ross Barnett program.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Susan Fike added Cooper Governmental Service.

Amanda Rolat added Americans United for Separation of Church and State.



$5K+ Contributions

Yes for Cares - $11,000 from Cottleville Professional Firefighters Association.

Citizens for a Safer Cass County - $10,000 from Motorola Solutions Inc.