Monday, April 11, 2011

Koster Files Amicus Brief in Healthcare Lawsuit

Attorney General Chris Koster filed an amicus brief in Florida v US, the lawsuit against the federal healthcare reform. 


What it Means

Koster is once again positioning himself as a general election candidate.  With 70% of Missourians voting last summer against the federal healthcare law, Koster stays in the mainstream.


But this does open himself up to a Democratic revolt, and renew charges that he’s not a “real Democrat.”  However so far there have been no names mentioned as a primary opponent.  That will change with this, I suspect.



Deal or No Deal?

The “Lembke gang” deal to cut $250 from federal funds in exchange for letting through unemployment benefits was apparently cut without including Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer or House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey.  Huh?  I mean then it’s not a deal.  Read it Here.


Schaefer quote: “I wasn’t in the room, and I haven’t agreed to be part of any deal.”


Silvey says that the House will continue with its current plan, sending HB 14 to the Senate without any of the cuts, let them do as they will and then work it out in conference.


One assumes the Lembke position will be – either give me my cuts or we’ll filibuster the whole federal supplemental bill.


At that point it may be leadership’s time to call their bluff and let them stand as long as they can.



If this scenario occurs, does it help the expected Sen. Jason Crowell position of tinkering with the budget on the Senate floor.  It would be a precedent for senators to contravene the Approps Chair, but it may also create wariness on the part of the body.  Not that Crowell would care…



Redistricting Bits

The House map is said to have the support now of all the Republican delegations which should provide some top-down pressure on the renegade states senators – Sens. Jason Crowell and Bill Stouffer.


Additionally the word is that Reps. Emanuel Cleaver and Lacy Clay are ok with the map.  Their acquiescence could bring non-opposition from the black caucus.  And that might make it less likely for Governor Jay Nixon to expend political capital on a veto which would face being overridden.



CWIP-lite to Floor?

Prime Buzz says that the CWIP-lite legislation could hit the Senate floor “as soon as this week.”  Read it Here.


Supporters of the legislation have been cautious in their optimism, knowing that Pro Tem Rob Mayer, whose district includes aluminum giant Noranda, is not a fan. They are anxious to see if he prevents it from coming to a vote, as he has stated that he would allow it eventually to be debated and voted on. 


According to one source, Sen. Brad Lager said at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce Energy Summit last week that he does not believe it will come to a vote because of some procedural tricks.  That is pretty bold for Lager to announce to a large diverse group.  Mayer is probably the only one that can procedurally turn this thing upside down. Lager may have just been saying it to put Mayer in the spotlight.  Remember Lager is the key fundraiser for Mayer in getting him to the pro tem post…



Maria Follow-on

St. Louis Board President Lewis Reed continues to make the media circuit putting pressure on Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal to back off her “house slave” comments.  This morning on WGNU he called again for her resignation if those comments reflect “what she truly believes.”  He acknowledged that sometimes people misspeak, and said if she apologized it would be different.  He also recalled that Chappelle-Nadal insisted on asking his position on reparations at the Senate hearing on local control, saying that she’s been trying to inject race into this issue all along.


Meanwhile Rep. Jamilah Nasheed who gave interviews last week saying that she thought Chappelle-Nadal suffered from mental instability and needed help, apparently bumped into her last night according to her twitterfeed:


Nasheed60 Jamilah Nasheed

Senator Nadle (sic) said to me-"If I had a knife I would cut your fucking throat."


Nasheed60 Jamilah Nasheed

The only thing I said was Hi!


What This Means

Chappelle-Nadal will have a target on her back in 2014.  That’s a long-way off, and there are plenty of variable to the equation of her vulnerability.  She won the four-way primary with 30.9%, beating second-place finisher Ted Hoskins by 264 votes.

The questions are how will the lines be drawn for her Senate district?  Can her mentor Joe Maxwell, chairing the House panel, provide her with cover? Will opposition coalesce or will it be fractured?  Can she make-up with ideological allies, like LGBT groups, with whom there have been tensions previously?



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Cheryl Dozier added Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Watertable Group, and Valdes & Moreno.

Rodney Boyd and Brian Grace added Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC.

Zachary Brunnert, Doyle Childers, David McCracken, Richard McIntosh, Dan Schuette and Earl Pabst added Syncare LLC.

Michael Michelson added Central Missouri Physical Therapy PC.

Michael Reid added R. J. Scherr and Associates.




Former state rep candidates Mik Chester and Dave Leipholtz celebrate birthdays today.  And my daughter Sarah Ann turns 6…. crazy.