Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Senate Poll

Public Policy Polling released a poll on the Missouri US Senate race.  See it Here.


It showed no clear leader in the Republican primary: Sarah Steelman, 28%; John Brunner, 25%; and Todd Akin, 23%.  That’s very good news for Brunner.  His early spending has brought him into the pack after starting as a virtual unknown a year ago.  Presumably the businessman has plenty of money left to continue his television ads through the next ten weeks.  However, he has yet to face any negative attacks from his opponents.  That will come…


Conversely it’s bad news for Steelman who has had the smallest war-chest of the group, though there have been hints that she too may bring personal resources to the race.


Incumbent Claire McCaskill’s job approval numbers continue to show weakness; she is vulnerable.  40% approve and 50% disapprove.  If there’s any good news for McCaskill, it’s that her head-to-head numbers are a bit better in this poll than the Rasmussen poll from six weeks ago. In that poll she trailed Steelman and Akin, and was tied with Brunner.  In this poll she is basically tied with all three candidates.



Brunner nabs the Soybean bloc… “Today, U.S. Senate Candidate John Brunner announces the

Missouri Soybean Association’s endorsement — another major statewide endorsement as Missouri’s agribusiness coalesces in support of Brunner’s campaign.”



Re-living Session: Tilley-Crowell Duel

One of the more interesting dances of a mostly uneventful final stretch of legislative session was the interplay of Sen. Jason Crowell and Speaker Steve Tilley.


The two have been good friends – both close to former speaker Rod Jetton – but their relationship has had some ups and downs.  Since redistricting – when Tilley and Crowell sparred on the shape of the new Eighth Congressional District – it has seemed mostly down.


On the Senate floor last session Crowell repeatedly intoned against Tilley for maintaining a million-dollar campaign account with no plans to run for office, and for plotting a lobbying career after his term expired.


Crowell’s playbook from previous sessions was to find a high-value piece of legislation and threaten to kill it in exchange for something he wanted.  Sometimes the legislation died because his ransom was too high – i.e. economic development bills died at the altar of tax credit reform.

Other times it worked.  He allowed the Ford tax credits to pass in order to win the pension reforms.


Last session Crowell sifted through the hundreds of bills filed and found the high-value piece of legislation that Tilley wanted to pass: a funding stream for veteran’s homes.


But Tilley was able to prevent Crowell from using it offensively. Tilley did this by throwing out a decoy: extra money for SEMO.  It was something Tilley could live without, but it was a hot-button with Crowell and became a target for which he would negotiate.


While the rage over SEMO money roared, Tilley’s real concern – his precious tax credit programs – were kept safely out of the line of fire from Crowell.




The rumor making the rounds now is that Tilley will resign before his term ends in January.  Those who favor this theory offer these observations: first, Tilley has adopted a “been-there, done-that” attitude to the speakership and is eager to move onto the next phase of his life.  Second, he has lamented in the past that he didn’t have more time to “set up” the speaker’s office and prepare; he might want to gift some extra time to Speaker-elect Tim Jones.  And third, he trusts Jones and wouldn’t worry about handing over the reins early.  We will see…



Leara Fundy

June 14 is your chance to support Rep. Mike Leara’s leadership bid, and play with machine guns!


The invite:  “Enjoy a fun filled afternoon of shooting your favorite machine guns! June 14th at noon; CMMG Range Fayette, MO.  Gold Sponsor $5,000; Silver Sponsor $2,500; Sponsor $1,000; Shooter Only $500.  Come for an afternoon of shooting the premier Full-Auto Machine Guns—M16, MP5, M249 (Belt-Fed) etc...”



STL Police Fight

“The St. Louis Police Officers Association announced that Chuck Canterbury, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police will headline a rally at the SLPOA Hall at 7:00 pm tonight… President Canterbury will be speaking before the membership of the St. Louis Police

Officers Association and other union leaders and dignitaries to bring attention to the need to unionize Sergeants on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and calling out a management organization that includes the Chief of Police and other high-ranking police officials for interfering with the legitimate union representation of department employees of that rank.


“In September of last year, the St. Louis Police Leadership Organization (PLO) threatened litigation over a proposal to voluntarily recognize the SLPOA, who turned in authorization cards from about 60% of the Sergeants, as the union representative for Sergeants.  That threatened litigation delayed a vote to unionize the sergeants by nine months.  The election is set for June 14….”



Holly Announces Campaign Manager

In House 148, Holly Rehder announced that Wes Sutton has joined her team as Campaign Manager.  “Sutton, son of Jeff and Tracey Sutton of Sikeston and incoming junior at the

University of Mississippi-Oxford, has already accumulated an extensive political resume which includes volunteering and fronting events for Missouri State Representative Ellen Brandom, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, and Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. In 2010, Wes helped lead grassroots political efforts for Mississippi Congressman Alan Nunnelee.”


Rehder faces Josh Bill in the Republican primary.



Missourian Hiring a New Sales Director

Washington Missourian is searching for a new sales director.  “We are looking for someone who can develop sales strategies to achieve budgeted goals in print, online and across other medi platforms. This person needs to be excited about the future of this business, and be able to lead us farther into the digital age.”  See it Here.




On McGhee’s Car and What a Spence Intern Should Do Today

“The way that I read the Ethics Commission ruling, any elected official, staffer, or state employee who has a political bumper sticker on a car that they have received state mileage reimbursement for, would be in violation of Section 115.646.  This is low hanging fruit for anyone running against an incumbent.  A Spence campaign staffer would have a productive day walking the parking lots in Jeff City.”



On Schweich’s policy, fiscal note and $100K check

“116.170 requires the auditor to prepare the fiscal note for SJR 51, in accordance with the provisions of 116.175.  Judge Beetem ruled the delegation to the state auditor to prepare a fiscal note as provided by 116.175 violates the Mo Constitution and that section of law is unconstitutional. the auditor thinks they can adopt a ‘policy’ that will determine when they will decide to implement Beetem’s ruling and when they choose not to?  The ruling states that section of law is unconstitutional, period.  It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, or if it's sunny or cloudy...or if it’s an SJR or initiative petition...still unconstitutional.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Ralph E Bellar Jr deleted Southview Plaza LLC.

Thomas J Campbell deleted Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.

Nancy Giddens, Shannon Cooper, and Jessica Land deleted Red Brokerage LLC.

James Harris deleted Rural Housing Developers LLC.

Charles F Miller deleted Price Brothers Development Company and Price Development Group LLC.

Randy J Scherr deleted Dewey and Leboeuf LLP.



Lobbyist Registration Exegesis

Yesterday’s registration changes showed that Matt Hill deleted his affiliation with John Britton.  It appears that after eight years in that shop, Hill is going out on his own.  It’s said that he and Britton will still work on some issues together, but to hang out his own shingle.




$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Health and Education - $25,000 from Orscheln Management Co.

MO Democratic State Committee - $8,500 from AT&T.




Happy birthday to Rep. Galen Higdon (58).




House grades tomorrow…