Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Blaine Game

Suddenly it’s all about Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer?  How did this happen?  Yesterday, I wrote that Luetks was toying with a Senate run leading to renewed St. Charles interest in his congressional seat.   Then Politico reported that Luetky was looking at Senate as well.  Read it Here.


And suddenly the whole thing starts to smell like a take-me-seriously leak…


Could the whole “I’m looking at Senate” bit be a message from Camp Luetkemeyer to Planet Akin?  Get me a map I’m comfortable with, or get ready for some company in your Senate race.  If so, that would give Rep. Todd Akin a fine motive for opposing the Senate map.


One source says that Luetkemeyer himself denies an interest in the Senate and that the rumor had been seeded by others… ah intrigue…



How This Ends

The funniest part of this whole play is that the House and Senate are both actually saying the exact same thing: we can’t sustain an override on their map, do ours instead.


Because of Luetkemeyer’s opposition (see above and below) it’s said that he could withhold ten or so state representatives from supporting the Senate map in the House.  Therefore if Speaker Steve Tilley and Redistricting Chair John Diehl go to the mat for the Senate map, they could pass it, but would be wobbly on over-ride. 


The Senate side thinks House could muster the votes, like they always do, if it was really a priority.  But by pretending impotence the House leaders are trying to increase their leverage for their map (see conspiracy theory #2).  


Meanwhile the Senate is thought to have 21 votes in favor of the House map.  Again, if they could get it to a vote, it would pass… yet there’s still the question of override.  However the assumption is that when faced between holding their nose or watching the map-powers go to the courts, stray Republicans would come home.


So, in the end, they get to a map.  But it won’t happen this week.  And what the new compromise map will look like is still unknowable.   However chances of stalemate by session’s end are tiny, less than 5%.    



Choose Your Own Conspiracy Theory

Although there was no group hug emerging from the big congressional pow-wow at least there were plenty of new conspiracy theories, none of which may be true, but all of which seem quite plausible.  Enjoy…


Engler for Congress

Sen. Kevin Engler would like to run for Congress when Rep. Jo Ann Emerson is finished.  If true, this would explain why he has floated the notion of running for state House after he’s termed, to stay in the mix.  Furthermore since Engler is an ally of Speaker Steve Tilley, it would explain the House map on Jefferson County.  Engler, being pro-labor, would do better with some of JeffCo which is culturally pro-labor.


Tilley for Lieutenant Governor

By creating, passing, and pushing a map to the liking of all the Republican members of Missouri’s congressional delegation, Speaker Steve Tilley looks like a hero to them. (Contrast this with Sen. Scott Rupp’s quote in the Beacon giving congressional opinions the same weight as someone off the street.  Read it Here.)  This helps cement his LG bid as they will presumably poo-poo anyone floating a primary challenge.


Back to Blaine…

House Redistricting Chair John Diehl promised the congressional delegation he would work to draw a map they all could live with. Because Luetkemeyer doesn’t have a senator that will throw down for him in Senate, he’s dependent on Diehl, and that promise, to fight off the Senate map.  What Blaine wants: a central Missouri district.  What he fears: the courts putting him in a district with either Rep. Vicky Hartlzer or Jo Ann Emerson.  He’s in do-or-die mode.


And Final Redistricting Bits

Sen. Jason Crowell showed up for the huddle yesterday but was reportedly denied participation as it was a principals-only invite…



One source says that Rep Russ Carnahan thinks he can win the 2nd Congressional District as drawn in the Senate map.  It has a good chuck of his former district and he’d have the Democratic nomination while there’d probably be a messy Republican primary on the other side…



Another Deal Not Quite Done?

The new Prop B compromise looks like a big fat win for Governor Jay Nixon.  Or, if not a win, at least a loss avoided.  By gathering up a new compromise on Prop B, Nixon looks to sidestep a controversy which has divided rural and suburban voters.


But some question whether the deal holds.  The consensus group – Kathy Warnick, Humane Society of Missouri; Karen Strange, Missouri Federation of Animal Owners; Bob Baker, Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation; Barbara York, Missouri Pet Breeders Association; Don Nikodim, Missouri Farmers Care; and Director Jon Hagler, Missouri Department of Agriculture – was missing two players. 


From the puppy side, the Humane Society of the United States, who contributed $2,118,367 to the Prop B measure (versus Missouri Humane Society’s $193,321) didn’t sign off.  On the other side, the Farm Bureau was missing – which could cause rural Republicans to buck the deal. 


It’s a box Republicans wanted to put Nixon in, we’ll see if he escaped…



CWIP-Lite 2013

Senate Floor Leader Tom Dempsey said yesterday that he hadn’t heard from Sen. Robin Wright-Jones yet that she was ready for floor debate on her bill which now has the early site permit language from previous CWIP-lite bills.  He also sounded pessimistic about its chances given the narrowing time window this session.


Separately, one Republican thinks that the reason behind Rep. Jeanie Riddle deciding not to run for Assistant Floor Leader next cycle is so that she can chair the Utilities Committee.  That’d put her in the driver’s seat to push the legislation.  And on the Senate side Sens. Rob Mayer and Jason Crowell would be termed out by then.



Reader: Curls Not the First

Responding to my mention last week that Sen. Kiki Curls was in the unique situation of being both the House and Senate handler of her bill, HB229, on reader recalled other examples:


“The Kiki Curls situation, possibly being both the House and Senate sponsor of a bill that ends up on the Governor’s desk.  Bill McKenna did that when he moved from the House to the Senate in the 1993 special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant when Jay Nixon was elected Attorney General, and the late Ed Dirck did it when he moved from the House to the Senate in the 1977 special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant when Bob Young was elected to Congress.”



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Jewell Patek added Health Care Compact Alliance.



$5k+ Contributions

Teamsters Local Union 688 PAC - $10,711 from DRIVE Committee.

Emerson’s Missouri Responsible Government Fund - $7,500 from Emerson Electric.

Teamsters Local Union 688 PAC - $11,571 from IBT DRIVE Committee.




Rep. Bert Atkins is 56 today; Rep. Sylvester Taylor is 45; and Sen. Bill Stouffer is 64.