Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Voter ID in the New Senate

The Senate debated Voter ID for a few hours yesterday.  The most interesting development was Pro Tem Rob Mayer ruling that Minority Leader Victor Callahan’s amendment to add early voting to the resolution was beyond the scope.


It’s interesting for two reasons. 


First, it’s still early but Mayer seems to be taking a narrower approach and ruling amendments out of order.  (There is also the suggestion that he’s not playing it fair on these rulings, but it’s far too early to make that judgment).

Second, from a political perspective, adding early voting to the Voter ID proposal was the most obvious grounds for compromise with Democrats.  Voter ID is thought to have the effect of reducing Democratic numbers at the polls, and early voting to increase them.  (Of course the end of straight-ticket voting was supposed to kill Dems and didn’t, so these things are often overblown.)


By disallowing that amendment, Mayer has shut down the most natural line for compromise and increased the likelihood for a PQ later in the session.



The Auditor Doth Protest Too Much

Minority Leader Mike Talboy sent a letter to Auditor Tom Schweich ripping him for failing to provide a fiscal note to the Fair Tax proposal.  Talboy wrote that Schweich either “found the task too difficult and just gave up, or you feared political retribution from mega tax supporters.”


Schweich’s reply missive: “Your letter improperly attempts to exert political influence on an office that operates in a nonpartisan manner, inappropriately questions my integrity, and insults the high quality professional accounting and legal staff that advised me on this matter.”


Read more Here.



US Senate Scuttlebutt

The best guess now is that Ann Wagner passes on US Senate.  But she’s appears to be weighing the landscape and waiting to see if her path improves or obscures as things develop.


Wagner has told folks that she won’t run unless she thinks that she can win – and that she’s unexcited with the prospect of raising lots of money to fight through a primary.


Another source says that Wagner was miffed at Ed Martin’s sudden entry into the race.  Her camp apparently thought they had some understanding, which consequentially disappeared when he jumped in.


And while Wagner seems to question whether Sarah Steelman or Ed Martin can beat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, she seems equally unsure whether she can navigate that primary to win either.



House Hearsay

For all the talk that Rep. John Diehl won’t be able to keep his place in line, but will be leap-frogging Floor Leader Tim Jones in 2012, comes this tidbit… Diehl has heard the talk too, and to nip it in the bud has told Jones face-to-face, “I’m endorsing you for Speaker.” 


According to one source close to the matter: rumors of tension between the two men stem largely from the local control bill.  Diehl supports it strongly and Jones is ambivalent.  Beyond that particular issue the two are eye-to-eye on most matters.



Senate Stuff

Due to scheduling conflicts – Sen. John Lamping is off the Financial, Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee, and Sen. Will Kraus is on.



Sen. Jason Crowell is once again knocking bill off the Consent Calendar.  He’s done this in sessions past.  It doesn’t necessarily mean he has a problem with the bills, he just doesn’t want anything to slide by.




KC Police will start e-ticketing motorists.  Ouch.



St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial slams Nixon on police control comments.  The Nixon hate-fest is becoming a sport in St. Louis. 



Last week the Secretary of State’s office approved five petitions for circulation.  Three involve “early voting” and two reduce the number of state representatives.  Read more Here



Lobbyist Principal Changes
From the Pelopidas website:


John Blanchard added General Motors Company.  

Andrew Blunt and Jay Reichard added Barkley Inc.

Phyllis Quigg Edson added Edson Consulting.  

Andrew Engler added American Traffic Solutions Inc., Missouri Dental Association, and Missouri Pharmacy Association.

Dale Findlay added Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

Michael Moorefield added Polsinelli Shughart PC.

Earl Pabst and Dan Schuette added Flotron & McIntosh LLC

John Parris added Astrazenca Pharmaceuticals, LP.

James Sharp III added Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Tom Rackers deleted Genesis Group Ltd.

Michael Reid deleted The Missouri Bar.



$5k+ Contributions

Committee for Integrity - $10,000 from James Nutter.




Former rep. Tim Flook turns 44.