Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Would like to say something like “buckle in,” but there will be time for that later.  This is a slow start.  We’re walking up to the starting line, shaking the legs, imagining mile 20 or mile 21.



Police Beat

Front-page of today’s Post-Dispatch is about a cop beating some dude with his baton then pepper spraying him because apparently he mouthed off to the officer.  The exchange was caught on video by a bystander and promptly posted on YouTube. 


See it Here.


The incident will likely be seized upon again by proponent of local control of the police force.  They cite every scandal – of which there have been plenty – as evidence that the gubernatorial appointment process continues to perpetuate a politicized board incapable of properly governing the department.


This case was best made last year when restaurateur / board member Vincent Bommarito issued a get-out-of-jail card for his nephew.  After the puzzling over his Bommarito’s shrugging explanation that this was what uncles did for nephews, the larger civic question was: yeah, the dude serves a plate of spaghetti that melts in your mouth, but how the hell did he end up on the Police Board?



The End of the LA Drama

Yesterday’s showdown between cost-cutter Steve Tilley and the legislative assistants was reportedly “not all that.”


The salary cut is on ice and the work week will be extended to 40 hours from the current 35 hours.



Revenue Continues to Recover

The December General Revenue report showed net collections rose 9.4% over the same month in 2009.  So far, this fiscal year, collections are up 4.6% compared to the previous year.


Corporate income and franchise tax collections are leading the gains.  They’re up 11.1% for the year.  Individual income tax receipts are up 3.3% for the year.  And sales tax revenues continue to lag.  They’re flat (+.2%) on the year.


The good news here is that the corner is turned and it’s possible there will be upward revisions to the recently announced consensus revenue estimate for FY2012 (+4%).  The bad news is that even with such increases on the revenue side, there will still be a shortfall in the hundreds of millions.



Tilley, Rizzo and Voter ID

There’s been some reports that Speaker-elect Steve Tilley would take the unusual move of not seating JJ Rizzo due to the allegations of “irregularities” surrounding his one-vote victory over Will Royster in house 40.


Smart money bets that Tilley grumbles and does nothing.  Denying citizens representation is a not really a choice regardless of what one thinks might have happened on Election Day.  And a Republican getting involved in a Democratic primary, the result of which has been upheld by the judicial branch brings nothing but further allegations of politics.


So what’s with the protestations?  For Tilley and the Republicans it serves as a flag to wave around in their contention that there is sufficient voter fraud to warrant measures such as Voter ID. 


Sen. Bill Stouffer has pre-filed SJR2, a constitutional amendment along these lines.




Ed Martin’s name gets mentioned, especially among the St. Louis Tea Party crowd as a possible Senate candidate.  It’s said that if Jim Talent ultimately can’t pull the trigger, Martin will leap.  And for those pushing the case for Martin, they point to his ability to raise $1.6 million in a race which never really found the spotlight for national money.




The St. Louis Business Journals reports that Laclede Gas CEO Douglas Yaeger will retire next year (2012)



Politico reports that Sen. Roy Blunt will likely get a seat on the Commerce Committee.


One piece of last year’s streamlining efforts came to fruition yesterday as the Highway Patrol and Water Patrol merged into the Missouri Highway Water Patrol.


Kansas governor Sam Brownback appointed Robert Siedlecki Jr. as Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services.  It was the cabinet spot said to be coveted by Rep. Jeff Grisamore.



Mark Your Calendar: Cable Day

Next Tuesday 1/11/11 is Cable Day at the Capitol and the MCTA is bringing in former Cardinals slugger Jack Clark, compliments of Fox Sports, that day to meet, greet and sign some autographs. There will also be other fun activities for Cable Day 2011. Look on the MCTA web site for more details.



Mark You Calendar: Reboot Schedule

Next week the Senate will do its “reboot” sessions.  With a “reporting out” on the following Wednesday (January 19). 


Courts and Public Safety – Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


Education – Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


General Government and Office of Administration – Tuesday, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Retirement and Employee Structure – Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


Social Programs – Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Tax Structure and Economic Development – Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Agriculture, Outdoors, Department of Natural Resources and Transportation – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



Mark Your Calendar: State of the State

Governor Jay Nixon announced he’ll give his state of the state address on Wednesday January 19.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Gamble & Schlemeier added General Cigar Company.  

Elizabeth Hansen added Madsen & Wright Inc.

Kenny Jackson added Missouri State Medical Association.

Ken Jacob deleted Office of the State Auditor.



$5k+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7, 400 from Peabody Investment Corp.

Save Kansas City Committee - $10,000 from Saint Luke’s Health System.

Save Kansas City Committee - $20,000 from State Street Bank.

Committee to Elect Rick Gans - $6,000 from Richard Gans.




Rep. Sara Lampe turns 62 today.