Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And Then There Were Three?

Will the Republican lieutenant governor’s field expand today?  That’s the word on the street.  Sen. Luann Ridgeway is in Springfield this morning, and there’s an expectation that she’ll be dropping the hint – or maybe just plain announcing.  She’s on the air right now on KWTO AM 560.  Stay tuned… literally…

 

The Case for Ridgeway

For starters, there’s demographics.  She’d be (right now) one woman against two men.

Then add in her base, Clay County.  It’s not as big as St. Louis County, but there’s probably a reason that she’d be announcing in Springfield…

Ideologically, Ridgeway would likely attempt to become the “conservative’s conservative.”  We got a glimpse of it during session when she was sympathetic to the St. Louis Tea Party’s stance against local control.

The pivotal issue though might be the Ford plant incentives from a year ago.  On the one hand, some could say it was hypocritical given her vocal skepticism of other economic development packages.  But it also shows her to be productive legislator on the #1 issue for voters.  And it would distinguish her from both the “anti-everything” crowd as well as the McKee land assemblage subsidies which have thus far shown no progress or jobs creation.

 

Rumorville

David Kerr to take Dick Fleming’s place at RCGA??  That’s the hunch of one St. Louis government relations exec.  Kerr announced yesterday that he was stepping down as Governor Jay Nixon’s director of Economic Development.  “It’s just a guess. I hear he was considered. The timing fits. The resume fits….”

 

Continued turnover in Auditor Tom Schweich’s office?…That’s what one person tells me, saying that Schweich’s chief of state Matt Beckmann is stepping down.  This comes on the heels of the departures of Mike Lodewegen and Gary McElyeaTrish Vincent, it’s said, will be Schweich’s new chief.

 

Rumor is that Judge Stephen Sharp (Stoddard, Judicial Circuit 35) has given his blessing to Sen. Rob Mayer… that is to say: Sharp’s decided not to run again and Mayer’s path to judgeship has been cleared for smooth sailing…

 

Why isn’t Rep. Sue Allen running for her leadership position again?  Word is that she covets a chairmanship.  Specifically, she’d be content to influence the budget process from a perch as chair of Appropriations Health and Mental Health.  From there she could use her private sector experience to inform state spending.

 

One Dem says that Rep. Jill Schupp will likely evaluate her options when the new maps come out and if the lines wiggled in the right direction, you could see her launching a high energy state senate campaign… potential opponent?  Ideological arch-nemesis, Sen. Jane Cunningham

 

And Speaking of Maps…

One Supreme Court observer cautions that anyone who is acting like they know what the state House and Senate maps look like is misled or misleading.

According to this source the six judges are drawing the maps themselves.  Literally, sleeves rolled up.  And although rumors of proposed maps may have some validity, the discussions are ongoing and nothing has been finalized.

A second observer claims that the judges divided their work according to region and have run into real difficulty fitting their different pieces together…

 

Supreme Court Ruling on Strip Clubs

The Missouri Supreme Court upheld former state senator Matt Bartle’s anti-strip club bill.  They rejected the argument that the bill was an unconstitutional limit on freedom of speech.

Perhaps more importantly for us, they also rejected the argument that the legislature’s failure to follow its statutory procedures for creating a fiscal note invalidated the law.

The Court held that the constitution only mandates the formation of a committee to advise the legislature on fiscal impact.  The constitution doesn’t require any specific procedure for the committee.  Thus the challenge falters.

One critic of the court lamented that it was a precedent for the legislature to ignore the fiscal review process in the future.

 

Bits

Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller rolled out endorsements from his House colleagues, about what you’d expect… 60 members from a caucus of 106, with big holes in parts of the state from which Sens. Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer hail.

 

The Interim Joint House and Senate Hearing on School Accreditation will hold a hearing on Thursday. “The function of this committee is to evaluate the impact of recent court cases on school attendance and student choices.”  The 1 p.m. hearing will be at City Academy (4175 North Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63115).  Sen. Jane Cunningham and Rep. Scott Dieckhaus chair the committee.

 

November 16, 2010… one year ago, American Viewpoint produced a memo for Camp Kinder laying out the case for his gubernatorial campaign.  One wonders how much of it holds today after the summer of mishaps… “Kinder leads Nixon 47%-38%, with 15% undecided and has already nearly fully locked in the base, leading among Republicans 84%-7%, with Nixon leading 5%-88% among Democrats.”

 

And

Dave Spence kicked off his primary challenge to Peter Kinder yesterday.  Read it Here.  It’s said that Republican Governors Association, populated now by governors who took on the establishment to win their seats, is reluctant to wade into a primary.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Penney Rector (46).