Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Richard for Floor?

Three sources say that the rumor moving on the Senate side is that Sen. Ron Richard told Sen. Mike Parson yesterday that he planned to challenge him and run for floor leader next session.


It’s a strange development.  Parson and Richard have been allies.  Parson supported Richard for speaker and Richard appointed Parson chair of the Rules Committee in the House.  They came over to the Senate together.


But Parson has been more engaged in the Senate.  He ran for a leadership position; spearheaded the Prop B reform bill last session; and has attempted to be a trusted bridge between the hawkish “gang of nine” and the other members of the Republican caucus.


It is said that Parson previously asked Richard if he had any designs on floor leader, and Richard declined.  So yesterday is a reversal which likely stunned Parson.


One Republican wondered if Richard’s motivation was “delusions of past grandeur,” given that he has had practically no presence on the Senate floor or any of this session’s difficult negotiations.


Another Republican was quick to recount Richard’s indecisive style as speaker of the House and imagined he would try to run the Senate floor with a “gruff” House-like mentality.  (Though I do find it hard to picture Richard with enough command of the rules of the Senate to be effective in bringing any House-like efficiency to the Senate, even if that’s what people wanted.).



Workers Comp

The Senate passed a scaled back workers’ comp bill yesterday with Floor Leader Tom Dempsey saying that the issue was like a hydra.  Every time you cut off one head, two more grew back.  “I think I took a circuitous route to end up where the Senator from Lawrence was last year.”


Come back for more next year?  Not unless Dave Spence upsets Jay Nixon says one lobbyist.  Otherwise the issue is stalled for four more years.



Question- Will Rep. John Diehl’s injury be covered by workers’ comp?  He’s walking around in a cast.  It’s said to be a stress fracture in the foot from the accumulated days and nights walking on the Capitol marble floors all session.



Mad Hatter Mailer

A professionally done glossy multi-piece mailer arrived at legislators’ offices yesterday hitting Sen. Rob Schaaf for his opposition to SB 322 which has been stalled in the Senate.


It’s said that the reforms in the bill would be harmful to the company with which he’s associated. The Kansas City Star wrote about this last year.  See it Here.


Schaaf’s position on the bill is old news in the building, but folks were impressed with the amount of effort that apparently went into the Alice in Wonderland-themed piece, complete with Schaaf photoshopped up as the Mad Hatter.


The piece says it’s paid for by “Citizens for Common Sense,” but a supporter of Schaaf says it appears to be the handiwork of Tim Trout, a malpractice insurance competitor.



Steelman on Rush Bust

In an interview yesterday, Sarah Steelman weighs in on Rush Limbaugh’s induction – for which she was present.  Listen to it Here.


Steelman: To me it’s not controversial.  He’s a famous Missourian.  He made a difference in talk radio.  I know the family quite well; they are very patriotic.  They’ve contributed a lot to our state. And I’m proud that he’s being inducted.  It was a very nice ceremony, and he had some great things to say about the state of Missouri…


KFNS:  Let’s say Howard Stern were from the state of Missouri… would you still be in favor of that?


Steelman: Uh, I don’t know about that.


KFNS:  And what’s the difference?


Steelman: I just don’t think that Rush Limbaugh has the Howard Stern style he’s talking about conservative ideas.


KFNS:  But the standard was they’ve both been very successful in their industry?


Steelman: Well the standard was he’s changed the face of talk radio.

KFNS:  And I would say Howard Stern has done that just as much, would you disagree?


Steelman: You know I haven’t watched Howard Stern and listened to him much, but I understand he’s pretty vulgar most of the time…


And back and forth….



Rumorville: 2nd Floor Tipped Off Press

And one credible source says that the press – caught flat footed by the surprise Rush induction ceremony – received their first heads-up about the event from folks within the Nixon administration – who apparently got wind of the arrangements when the Capitol police were alerted.



Firefighters’ Grudge in Senate 7?

Camp Crystal fires back on the firefighters’ endorsement of Senate rival Jason Holsman by recalling that they also supported her vanquished Jackson County Legislature foe Henry Rizzo.  Sounds like the old Vince Schoemehl adage may hold true on the western side of the state as well: your friends come and go, but your enemies just accumulate…




Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed a few cases last week.  Of note, Donna Pfautsch running as a Republican in House 33, has the case against her dismissed.  The complaint was that the Harrison Board of Aldermen on which she serves failed to enforce the residency requirement.



The House passed the charter school expansion/accountability bill yesterday.  See Virginia Young’s story Here.  There are a number of rural districts which could potentially lose their accreditation in the coming years.  This would open up the possibility of charter schools in rural parts of Missouri, changing the educational landscape.



NYTimes: Other states also using mortgage settlement funds to plug budget holes.  Read it Here.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Matthew L. Roney deleted Willco Technologies.



Registration Exegesis

The recent registration of Chris Roepe to represent Freedom Bonding LLC may have had something to do with attempts to change the bail bonds.  Read it Here.



$5K+ Contributions

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Forum - $6,000 from hth companies.

Your Vote Counts - $5,442 from The Humane Society of the United States.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $6,000 from MFA Oil Company.

Clean Water STL - $25,000 from SAK Construction.



Let the Word Go Forth

That the torch has been passed to a new generation…. Brian Schmidt will host the end-of-session party this year, as Richard and Susan Moore start their long descent toward middle-age and away from keggers in their new Columbia house.