Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Special Session Begins

The Senate started with a three hour stomp by Sen. Jason Crowell who listed his grievances.  The top complaint was that Governor Jay Nixon’s call is absurdly crafted (more below) as if the governor was writing the legislation himself.


The Crowell theatrics (including a testy exchange with Pro Tem Rob Mayer, calling out of Republican power-brokers Lloyd Smith and David Barklage, and humor related to his upcoming wedding) inspired head-shaking and eye-rolling from those who had forgotten how easily he can capture the middle ring of the Senate.  Still despite the delay, nothing in the underlying dynamics appeared to change.


Where We Are

Today Sen. Eric Schmitt’s Jobs Committee will meet in the morning and in the evening.  See the Schedule Here.  It’s undetermined if Sen. Chuck Purgason has officially left the “compromise caravan,” but sooner or later, he seems destined to be a dropout.  If/when Purgy goes AWOL with his own bill, Mayer’s SB 8 filed yesterday is expected to be the new vehicle with the pro tem himself taking Purgy’s space as the ecodevo Senate handler.


Reading Crowell’s Mind

If Crowell wants to kill the bill, he has break the legislative leadership of their will to continue.  Unless they give up, he loses.  


His bet best to wear their resistance is if the Senate sends the House something other than this summer’s compromise.  That would send the legislature back into a hellish repeat of laborious negotiations, and create calls to abandon the bill.  Looking for the weak link in the ecodevo armor, it appears to be the circuit-breaker for seniors who rent.  Seniors vote.


But remember, Crowell is smart enough to look for exits along the way.  Crowell’s early deployment of stalling tactics yesterday can be read as war dance the only purpose of which would be to bring his opponents to the negotiating table.  Could the drama be bypassed with the simple changes to MHDC and MODESA?  I doubt we’ll find out, but the future is hard to see.


Cunningham on Facebook Fix

The governor’s call for the SB 54 fix is to end it, don’t amend it.  That is, repeal the whole provision.  Sen. Jane Cunningham instead introduced her fix (SB 1) and told the senators that her reading of the constitution was that the governor was out of bounds.  The governor determines topic; the legislature determines action.


This is the legislative grumble with the whole approach from the second floor.  The governor is trying to legislate with his call.  If push comes to shove, Nixon either vetoes or someone sues and the courts play ref.


The Count

One effort to do a vote count of senators on economic development came up with: 25 Yes and 9 No/Undecideds.


Over in the House

Very few House members were around yesterday.  They’ll do committee hearings tomorrow and should be full speed on Friday.  Speaker Steve Tilley filed a House version of the economic development bill as yet another layer of redundancy depending on how things go in the Senate.


Wright-Jones Promise Amendments

In a press release yesterday… “Jefferson City - State Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis, has several amendments prepared to address legislation that will be debated by the Legislature during the First Extraordinary Session of the 96th General Assembly, which began at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 6.  These amendments will keep the circuit breaker tax credit for low-income renters, eliminate educational facilities from a cap on development tax credits, and add minority and women-owned business inclusion for all legislation concerning the China Hub planned for the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.”



Good Week for Kinder So Far

Finally out of the news for a week, has Peter Kinder found “the Discipline?”


Governor Jay Nixon found the discipline they said he didn’t have in 2008 thanks to his Hilltop consultants; Matt Blunt had naval academy discipline and the 16-hour a day work ethic of his father; Bob Holden raised $1,000,000 in $1,000 contributions in the era of campaign finance limits.  That’s discipline. 



“Don’t Over Read on Hanaway”

Yesterday I wrote that Rep. Sue Allen’s trivia night fundraiser listed Catherine Hanaway as one of the 2012 candidates who’s be in attendance.  Hanaway will be there as Ann Wagner’s campaign chair, (and Allen Icet is expected to be there for Ed Martin).




St. Louis Business Journal’s online poll asks: Should Peter Kinder take his name out of consideration as a possible candidate for governor?  See Results Here.  As of this writing Kinder’s trailing 54-46 with 469 votes in.



It’s said that Bill Corrigan – who ran well but unsuccessfully as a Republican for St. Louis County Executive last cycle – was asked to try for attorney general this cycle.  He’s declined, but sees another race down road still.



Attorney General Chris Koster holds his re-election kick-off on Thursday September 22 at the home of Stephen and Andrea Bough.  Headlining the invite: Governor Jay Nixon, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, County Exec Mike Sanders, and KC Mayor Sly James.




Concerning Judge Michael Manners and the Supreme Court

“I suppose it does no good to point out that Judge Michael Manners was the only panelist to receive all 7 votes...including those from the ‘Republican’ members. Or that he is a past recipient of Judge of the Year presented by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. If he is so toxic why would the 2 Rs vote for him?”



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


George L Oestreich added Comprehensive Pharmaceutical Services, and G.L.O. and Associates.



$5k+ Contributions

Friends of Tilley - $8,260 from QC Holdings.

MO Cable PAC - $16,000 from Missouri Cable Telecommunication Association.

Missourians fo Koster - $20,000 from Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher and Hayes LLP.




Former state representative Kathlyn Fares turns 69 today.