Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Willis to Take Steelman Reins

David Willis, chief of staff to Speaker Steve Tilley, will become Sarah Steelman’s new campaign manager.  Willis has previous campaign experience as a regional director in the House Republican Campaign Committee.


His hire shows that Tilley is heavily engaged in the senate race and moving to put his stamp on the Steelman organization.



Koster Monster Fundraiser

Last night Attorney General Chris Koster showed his fundraising muscle with an estimated crowd of 270 – 300 people.  The rumored money number was $400K.


Mayor Francis Slay opened and emceed the event. Harrison Hickman, a national pollster, gave a presentation of the national and state climate. Labor heavy Jeff Aboussie and St. Louis City Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Joyce both spoke.


Spotted at the tables: Candidates Susan Montee (LG), Jason Kander (SOS),  Tishaura Jones and Brian Wahby (City Treasurer), Gina Walsh (Senate 13); other electeds Rep. Sylvester Taylor and Sen. Joe Keaveny; corporate men ATT’s Craig Unruh, Ameren’s Warren Wood, BNSF’s Jeff Davis, Monsanto’s Duane Simpson, AB’s Ted Powers; association men MO Chamber’s Dan Mehan, MO Dental’s Aaron Washburn and MO Healthcare’s Jon Dolan; and lobbyists/lawyer Jeff City denizens SNR’s Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons, Danny Pfeifer, Pelopidi Travis and Rachel Brown, Richard McIntosh, Stinson’s Chuck Hatfield, and Jorgen Schlemeier and Jeff Brooks.


Said one attendee: “This is the most impressive, heavy-hitting crowd I have seen for a state level candidate this cycle.”


Said another attendee:  “Koster’s poised to raise $1 million this quarter – that’s a show of strength. People are already starting to align with the guy they think will be governor in 2016.”


Koster talked a lot about his defense in Turner case.  Then perhaps previewing his campaign theme, he informed the audience that “one of my opponents has never prosecuted a criminal case in his life.”  Expect to hear about that over the next seven months.




Before heading into the legislature tomorrow, here are the other branches:


Governor Jay Nixon: A-

Writes one lobbyist: “Has anybody even seen governor’s legislative folks on 3rd floor?”


I have, but there’s no real presence. And there’s definitely no leadership.  The vacuum has senators on the floor grumbling that they only find out where the governor is on an issue after he signs it or vetoes it.


So, how does an absent governor get an A-?  Well, I don’t grade on what I want in a governor.  His AWOL strategy is working out to be good politics.  It’s part of the “no fumbles” strategy.  Or as the governor like to call it “3 yards and a cloud of dirt.”  Same thing.  Play it safe. Don’t worry about systemic problems that can be kicked down the road.  Get re-elected.


His big stand this week: aid for the blind!


Congratulations governor, you’re a natural.



Judiciary: C-

There is a temptation to write the quick F simply because of their total political malpractice in the redistricting process.  And really, when the appellate commission can’t follow the constitution, do we really blame the legislature for having Hammerschmidt problems?


But the supreme court’s redeeming value remains: their willingness to follow the constitution regardless of the consequences.


It’s made life a complete mess in Jefferson City, but it’s the rule of law.  Now if they would just rule on the congressional maps…



Cunningham to Supporters: Thank You

From: Jane Cunningham []

Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:12 PM

To: Jane Cunningham

Subject: outcome of your efforts


Dear Advocates-


Yesterday the redistricting commissioners voted 10-0 to adopt the tentative map with a few changes. While I am personally very disappointed since my service in the State Senate will end this year, I have been humbled by the groundswell of support I have received for myself and for the state of our Republican majority we helped build. I had one commissioner tell me that he personally received over 400 contacts from individuals around the state with concerns on the now approved map. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I plan on taking this week to relax and regroup with my husband Gary who has been a tireless supporter, counsel and advocate.


Your friend,

-Jane Cunningham



eMailbag: Handicapping the Dance-offBack and Forth and Forth and Back Again

“As far as a dance off...are you thinking like a dancing with the stars dance off? I think Kehoe wins...unless it is a tie then Mayer would probably draw the right straw.”



New Candidate Filings

Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, as expected, filed against Sen. Robin Wright Jones in Senate 5.  Mayor Francis Slay, who appears to abide by the political rule that endorsements are most meaningful either in the beginning or at the end, quickly endorsed Nasheed over the incumbent.



Eldon Kelley filed to run as a Republican in House 62.  He is now the 7th Republican to file for that seat (Rep. Tom Loehner termed).



Casey Clark filed to run as a Democrat in House 135.  He’ll face Republican incumbent Rep. Lincoln Hough.  This district is more competitive that Hough’s old House 140.  It’s now about a 47% DPI as opposed to House 140’s 40% DPI.  Clark is an assistant prosecutor in Greene County.  Read the article on his kick-off Here (from the peerless Combest).



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Joseph P Bednar Jr, Keith Wenzel, and Kelli Stiles added Socket.

Gregory Porter added Brewer Science.

Michael T. White added Ball’s Food Stores Inc, and Bank Midwest; and deleted             Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, AMC Theatres, VT Inc, Hanger 10, VA West Properties LLC, Kansas City Star, Wholesale Liquor Distributors Association, ABC Corp, Ameresco, and Mike Heath.

John Loudon deleted Legacy Group, and Chesterfield Senior Care Community.



$5K+ Contributions

Give Missourians a Raise - $12,500 from United Food & Commerical Workers Local 655.

Holsman for Missouri - $5,001 from Sandy Krigel.




Happy birthdays to Sara Howard, MO Dental’s Aaron Washburn (35), and former Rep turned lobbyist Mark Bruns (51).