Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Exclusive: Rupp Eyes Secretary of State

Sen. Scott Rupp is considering a 2012 bid for Secretary of State.


The case for Rupp’s candidacy rests on great geography (the St. Charles area he represents is a “powerhouse” for Republican voters); fundraising ability (he’s tapped into business donor before, and his Redistricting chairmanship gives him a high profile) and a list of legislative achievements (cyber-bullying, illegal immigration, and autism).  Additionally, he can run without losing his Senate seat since it’s off cycle for him.


Rupp’s early announcement – a strong source says to look for something this week from his campaign – might be an attempt to dissuade others from entering.  Incumbent Robin Carnahan’s worse than expected showing last November makes her a target for Republicans.



Closed Door? Open Windows

Despite the protestations of those involved in the redistricting process that there’s no predetermined outcome for the map, a consensus among observers has solidified that Rep. Russ Carnahan will be the odd man out at the end of the dance.


Still he has options, and maybe it’s time he starts positioning…



Governor Jay Nixon aint exactly popular with the base, and Carnahan entered the race with equal name ID among Democrats.  It’s a leap, but he could probably take Nixon out in a primary as the urban Dems will outweigh the rural ones. 


Lieutenant Governor

There haven’t been any Dems to step up against the seemingly consensus Republican candidacy of Steve Tilley


Attorney General

Finally, all this talk about Chris Koster joining the healthcare lawsuit is understandable.  He’s putting back on some fresh Republican stripes to balance the Democratic spots he painted on a few years ago.  But that’s not understandable to the Democratic primary voters.  If Koster joins the lawsuit, he’s ripe for the primary picking from a dude with the Carnahan last name.



Brown Hospitalized

Freshman Rep. Wanda Brown was in a “serious” car accident.  Car overturned on icy roads, not wearing seatbelt, broken bones in neck and back, but she is able to walk –  Read the AP Story Here.


She is the mother to Nicole Brown who worked for Rod Jetton’s consulting firm and is now a staffer to Sen. Luann Ridgeway.



St. Louis Loses?

From the KWMU twitter-feed this morning: BREAKING: #DNC to make convention announcement in 1 hour. Word on the street is that #STL will not be selected and Charlotte will.



Back Away Slowly, Keep Your Eye on His Checkbook

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder tiptoes away from Fair Tax.



Speed, Not Quantity

While the House has fast-tracked a number of bills and is moving very fast this session, there are very many bills in play.  So far there have only been 361 bills filed.  It looks like the House will fall way short of the usual 1,000+ bills introduced.


This is probably mostly a function of the large freshmen class.  Most legislators automatically pre-filed their bills which died from the previous session.  That didn’t happen for about half the House of Representatives this year.



Bits from Senate Approps

The hearing on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Educations yesterday didn’t yield much.  Here are the most interesting quotes from Chairman Kurt Schaefer:


“The pay increases have not gone unnoticed” – signaling that the $300,000 or so of salary increases for management will likely be slashed.


“IF we do take the federal money…” – signaling that Schaefer is aware and perhaps open to the push from hawks Lembke, Nieves and others to refuse the money.


“if you have kids in grade school, you realize kids don’t go on field trips anymore.” – meaning the withholds to school transportation funding are still on the radar for legislative action.



What Markets Are Saying – Budget

In addition to Missouri’s AAA bond rating, the bond markets are agreeing.  A recent report from BMO Capital markets evaluating the relative financial strength of all 50 states, shows that the Missouri General Obligation bonds are trading in line with the Municipal Market Data AAA index.


That saves the state money on interest for one thing.



What Folks Are Saying - Senate

“There’s no way it will just be Sarah Steelman / Ed Martin in the primary.  Saner (and hopefully more moderate) heads in the GOP will prevail, and someone else will jump in.”




Joe Maxwell for Supreme Court?....  Remember just a rumor folks…



Lobbyists Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Steven Carroll added Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association.  

Jarrod Forbes added United Healthcare Services Inc.

Michael Grote added Missouri Ambulance Association.  

Scott Swain added National Tobacco Company.


$5k+ Contributions

Citizens for a Strong St. Louis - $10,000 from BJC Health System.