Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For As Long as the Lease

The $3 million monthly transfer payments from the sports and entertainers’ tax to St. Louis and Kansas City which has been used for stadium debt service was written to expire after 30 years.  Now comes the committee substitute of HB 470 which removes the time period and in its place inserts the more indefinite “for as long as the contract or lease.”


In other words just as Kansas City finishes a major renovation of its stadium and St. Louis stares down a need to upgrade its arena to keep the Rams, the funding stream is being extended for as far as the bond market’s eye can see.


One long-time observer laughs that when the original deal was struck twenty years ago, people fought to the death.  They drew a line in the sand where they said they would let public financing of stadiums go no farther.


Now – in part thanks to the tide of new legislators without that history – the line in the sand looks to be washed away without an eyebrow upward.



Puppy Mills

Although the House debated its version of overhauling Prop B (HB 131) yesterday, they seem to have settled on using Sen. Mike Parson’s Senate bill (SB 113) as their preferred vehicle.  So this was just a preview.  Parson’s bill will have its House committee hearing after spring break.


But it was quite a preview with Rep. Jeanie Riddle adding fuel to the rhetorical fire by calling the US Humane Society a “legislative terrorist.”


Meanwhile Rep. Cloria Brown has a consent bill which would let people easily donate their tax refund to fund more inspectors to enforce Prop B.  All sides agree that the laws need more enforcement.



There’s also the question of Riddle’s future.  Her lightning and thunder speech is the sort of puppet theater loved by red-meat Caucus.  And one source keeping an ear to the ground of the Freshmen Mob says she’s popular with them.


Yet, where does she go from here?  Is she stuck in the Assistant Floor Leader position, boxed in by next cycle’s expected Speaker Tim Jones and Floor Leader John Diehl?



MO Dem Party Bits

The Missouri Democratic Party named Matthew Teter as the new executive director.  News reports note that he previously worked on a Claire McCaskill campaign.  The Party has declared that the top-of-the-ticket Senate campaign is its first priority, a departure from past gubernatorial cycles where the Party apparatus was an extension of the governor’s political team.


Teter replaces Brian Zuzenak, who gets a MOScout shout-out for de-friending me on Facebook after I zinged him here.



Suddenly Gossipy Rumors

Seriously, if the Teter hire is one more indication of a Party-Nixon chill, there are others in the rumor mill…


Who’s Suite?

One is the tale of the Mizzou Arena suite where Governor Jay Nixon enjoys ball games and entertains.  Word is that the suite was billed to the MO Dem Party, not Nixon for Governor.  So when Susan Montee took the Party office keys, she asked for the tickets figuring on using it as a fundraising tool.  The Nixon folks demurred, held onto the tickets and said they’d pick up the tab rather than give up the digs.


The Pitch

The other is that Nixon’s fundraising pitch has included telling donors that the governor will be “helping” other Democratic candidates so they should give larger checks with that in mind.  It’s a touchy subject, especially with some House Dems who felt promises were abandoned during the last cycle.



What’s That Smell?

In a typo worthy of MOScout fingers, yesterday’s email blast for a low-dollar fundraising event had this howler of a subject line: “Gassroots Reception for Senator McCakill”



Akin Inches Closer?

Rep. Todd Akin is in the field… I have a report that Akin has been doing a statewide automated poll.  It has twenty of so questions, including a horserace poll of Sarah Steelman, Ed Martin and Akin.


The automated poll could be a Survey St. Louis special since Akin aide Patrick Werner in his office has a tie there, and it could be done cheaply.


Says one savvy Republican, “In the primary, he’s a rocket ship... but the general is more problematic.”




Friday is the deadline for Governor Jay Nixon to choose the members of the House and Senate redistricting commissions.


Last week Ann Wagner told a radio interviewer that she would decide about Senate this week


And rumors have Todd Akin deciding about Senate as well this week.



Quote of the Day

“I’m a Democrat, but I can’t predict what the governor of our party will do.” – Sen. Tim Green.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Nathan Adams added Branson Sport Entertainment Complex; and deleted Nathan Adams.

Polsinelli Shughart added Tracfone Wireless Inc.

Lou Hamilton added Centrex Strategies.

Sharon Daniels added Sicpa Product Security LLC.  

Stephen Moergen added Leggett & Platt; Peabody Energy; and Care One Services Inc.

Mary Paulsell added Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers.

Sergio Santiviago added Healthcare Distribution Management Association.

Gregory Yielding added Missouri Rice Council.

James Brown deleted BiState Development Agency.

Michael Mills deleted Missouri Forest Products Association; Will Co Technologies Inc; Proenergy Services LLC; and Enerpath LLC.

Frank Plescia deleted State Government Strategies, Inc.



$5k+ Contributions

Citizens Association Political Action Committee - $10,000 from James B Nutter Sr.




Happy birthday to former state senator Jon Dolan (44), and former state representative Tom Villa (66).