Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bit Parade…

Cleared for Take-off

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s ambitious “Aerotropolis tax credit” legislation appears to have taxied past a major hurdle – Sen. Chuck Purgason.  When Purgy’s tax credit reform opus returns to the Senate floor (possibly as early as today), look for the China Hub incentives to be stapled onto the deal. 


EcoDevo Chair Schmitt and Ways and Means Chair Purgason, who previously faced a mutually assured destruction stand-off with each poised to kill the other’s bill, are said to have reached an accommodation.  It’s still a long haul for the Aerotropolis bill, but this removes one obstacle.



Crowell Complication

No word of course where Sen. Jason Crowell is on it.  In the past he’s opposed any tax credit reform which doesn’t make the whole sack of programs subject to appropriations.


Crowell is also said opposed to St. Louis City’s local control campaign. He doesn’t have a problem with the local control itself. Rather it’s an example of the Rubik’s Cube-like difficulty of the twisting a thorny problem through the legislative process.  His beef is against the collective bargaining compromise.  Of course that’s what brought the Police Officers Association on board.



Budget Process Moving

The budget process is chugging along nicely.  The conferees are: Sens. Kurt Schaefer, Scott Rupp, David Pearce, Tim Green and Kiki Curls; Reps. Ryan Silvey, Rick Stream, Tom Flanigan, Chris Kelly and Sara Lampe.  That’s for all the budget bills except HB2 in which Rep. Jamilah Nasheed will have a seat at the table in lieu of Kelly.  She will likely be especially attentive to protecting some after-school funding she’s sought in previous years which has been line-itemed out by Governor Jay Nixon.



Redistricting Process Not Moving

By contrast, the congressional redistricting process has stalled.  Not a word was exchanged between chambers over the long weekend.  The Senate is said to have worked up a new map, but it doesn’t seem to move the two sides any closer.



But Why Wait For A Map?

The news of yesterday was, in the words of one wry observer, Ann Wagner announcing that Todd Akin is running for Senate.  From hallway scuttlebutt, it’s very likely that Sen. Jane Cunningham will join that congressional race as well though she will keep her powder dry until the official Akin leap in mid-to-late May.



A Different Non-Announcement

Also in the hallway one savvy observer remarked that he thinks Robin Carnahan running for re-election is a coin-toss proposition.  The data points he’s looking at: the move of a stalwart staffer out of the SOS office, and Carnahan’s Hannibal Days address that was written to sound ambiguous about her future….



Challenging Koster

Meanwhile grassroots Democrats are casting about looking for someone to challenge Attorney General Chris Koster after his amicus brief in the healthcare lawsuit. The demographic of their ideal candidate: a woman lawyer from St. Louis County, who would have wealth connections to match the Koster war-chest.



The Other Prop C

Rep. Jason Holsman’s Renewable Energies Committee has hashed around innumerable drafts of their fix/clarification to the renewable energy ballot initiative that was passed in 2008.  Look for debate in the House. For all the hard work of the committee, they’re now crunched against the clock to pass it through both chambers.



Tobacco Money

HB 491 was laid over in House last week.  One of the many lobbyists working the issue says that the Senate will probably take up its vehicle soon, SB 375.  This is a reworking of the master tobacco settlement, so there’s real money involved.  And the effort to include smaller tobacco companies that have previously not paid into the fund defies clear-cut ideological lines.



Silvey’s Cash

Rep. Ryan Silvey’s April report showing $57,107 on-hand is said to be giving Bill Skaggs second thoughts about running for Senate 17, regardless of how the state Senate redistricting lines come out.



MDP’s Debt

The most recent financial report from the Missouri Democratic Party showed signs of life since Susan Montee took the helm… It also showed the Party carrying a debt owed to Nixon fundraiser, Margaret Onken.  No word on who will be picking up that tab…



Power Couple

Joining the Missouri Democratic Party as political director is Gregg Christian, a veteran of several campaigns including that of Sen. Joe Keaveny, and a committeeman in the City of St. Louis.  Christian is also the long-time beau of MDP press gal, Allison Bruns.



The Social Calendar

Yesterday’s cancelled charity softball tournament has been rescheduled for next Wednesday (May 4), which pushes back that rooftop Cinco de Mayo party to Tuesday (May 3).



Lobbyists Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Amy Niederhelm added Missouri Department of Transportation.



$5k+ Contributions

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Fund - $12,000 from RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc.




Happiest of birthdays to Sen. Ryan McKenna celebrating #38.