Monday, March 14, 2011

The Case for Akin

With the buzz building that a Todd Akin Senate candidacy is at least a possibility, here’s the case for him to run and win:

  • 1.      No bad votes – from TARP to ObamaCare he’s been voting consistently on behalf of the conservative (and motivated) class.
  • 2.      Cash – His year-end filing showed $532,124 on-hand.  That’s a nice head start in the fundraising battle that will define the next nine months of the race.
  • 3.      Base – St. Louis County is one of the largest caches of Republican voters.



Akin House Seat

If Akin vacates for a Senate bid, his seat should be expected to be a free-for-all because there’s no shortage of Republicans or money in the district. 


However one pol goes contrary on this conventional wisdom, running through the potential candidates and imagining that most would pass on a congressional run in favor of their current endeavors.


From the state senate – Sen. Tom Dempsey has the potential to be Pro Tem for four years; Sen. Eric Schmitt has EcoDevo and could be Floor Leader in two years; Sen. Jane Cunningham is just starting to sink her teeth into education reform in the Senate… That’d leave Sen. Scott Rupp, who’s been eying Secretary of State lately.


From the state house – Rep. Tim Jones is preparing to become Speaker; and Rep. John Diehl is in line for Floor Leader; Rep. Rick Stream will presumably take over Budget.  And the others probably couldn’t raise the money for a legitimate congressional bid.




Lobbyist: “Rep. Russ Carnahan should be working behind the scenes to get Akin in the Senate race, and then make sure enough of St. Louis County is in the new 2nd District so he could possibly win it. Didn’t say he was doing this, just that he should...”



House Love-fest Infects Budget

The continuing love-fest in the House between the huge Republican majority and the dwarfish Democratic minority now looks to be spilling into the budget process.


I’d normally expect a tight budget to produce sharp contrasts and frisky dissents. But sources from both sides of the aisle indicate that many of the budget bills will pass out of committee with bipartisan support.


Credit Budget Chair Ryan Silvey for working with the minority until they simply felt too indebted to vote No.


Says one Dem representative who expects to vote for a lot of the budget bills in committee, “It’s hard to vote against something that has something in it for you.”



Great Plains Has Great Pains?

Motley Fool looks at Great Plains’ cash flow.  Read it Here.  And file it under “The Case for CWIP-lite.”


“Overall, the biggest drag on FCF came from capital expenditures, which consumed all of cash from operations, and more besides.”


In short, the article notes GXP’s capital expenditure needs are surpassing all of their free cash flow.  They’ve already cut dividends.  This is precisely why Ameren could never finance a nuclear plant without a whole lot of help.  A new nuclear plant would take at least two to three more years longer to construct and be three to four times as expensive.



Aftershocks From Japanese Earthquake?

As the world watched Japan struggle to avoid multiple meltdowns of nuclear power plants stricken by the earthquake and tsunami, the question for Jefferson City politicos is whether opponents to the CWIP-lite plan will attempt to use the fresh nuclear fears? And if so, will they be successful?


The New York Times sees it affecting national nuclear policy: “The fragile bipartisan consensus that nuclear power offers a big piece of the answer to America’s energy and global warming challenges may have dissolved in the crippled cores of Japan’s nuclear reactors.”  Read it Here.



Money Without A Face

The KC Chamber’s “City Haller” e-newsletter pokes E-tax opponents for not being willing to show their face.  Read it Here.


“If opponents think the earnings tax does not merit support, why do they make a concerted effort to hide their financial support of the opposition campaign? The Keep KC Alive campaign has listed all of its donors and the amounts of their donations with the Missouri Ethics Commission.


“Over $300,000 in funds has been donated recently into the opposition campaign, and there is no idea where any of the money has come from. It could be from anyone, or anywhere. Clearly the voters of Kansas City should know who is behind the efforts to kill the earnings tax.”



Nieves to Press: No Such Thing as a Free Parking Space

I’m not a member of the Capitol Press Corps, but I have been tempted to apply every once in a while.  That once in while occurs on rainy days when I cast a covetous eye towards their reserved parking spaces near the Capitol.


Now comes Sen. Brian Nieves with a bill – SB 341 – which would strip the Fourth Estate of the parking real estate.  Sen. Kevin Engler’s Government Org Committee will hear the bill at 3pm today (Senate Lounge).




Chugging along… It’s another $75,000 (below in $5k+ Contributions) for Attorney Chris Koster



FiredUp Missouri offers its version of March Madness… See it Here.



Sedalia Democrat dings Governor Jay Nixon for bringing his “entourage” into town at tax-payer expense when a simple press release would have sufficed.  Read it Here.



Doug Crews of the Missouri Press Association argues against tax-payer funded lobbyists fighting “against the public good.”  Read it Here.



Smoking bans are being proposed in four Missouri cities – Springfield, O’Fallon, Webb City and Cape Girardeau.  In Cape, the group in opposition is named “Stand Up Cape, What’s Next?”  Read it Here.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Mark Rhoads deleted Crosslink Strategy Group.

Chris Sutherland deleted Omega Solutions. 

Joseph Bednar Jr added Global Cash Access Inc., International Game Technology,  

James C. Bowers, Jr. added Colt & Garrett, LLC.

Aaron March added Hood Plaza LLC.

Richard McIntosh added Kelly Mitchell Group, Inc.   

Jim Moody deleted Valic.



$5k+ Contributions

Citizens for Clean Air Springfield - $5,008 from American Heart Association.

Citizens for Responsible Spending - $16,500 from James Nutter Sr.

Citizens for Responsible Spending - $10,000 from David Fenley.

Missourians for Koster - $75,000 from James Stowers.

UNITE HERE Tip Missouri State and Local Fund - $10,000 from UNITE HERE.

HNTB Holding Ltd PAC – Missouri - $7,500 from HNTB Holding Ltd PAC.




Happy birthdays to Sara Howard and former state representative Mark Burns (the big 5-0).