Friday, January 19, 2018

Rumorville: Watson Out At MOSERS

A very good source tells me that John Watson has exited as the head of the Missouri State Employee Retirement System.

This comes about a month after the MOSERS board voted to begin a national search.  Watson was a former top aide to Jay Nixon.  Some had questioned his credentials to lead MOSERS.


Greitens Scandal Bits

KC Star reports that last weekend, while her boss was being thrashed by the worst scandal of his brief political career, Lucinda Luetkemeyer went to party at Mar-a-Lago.  See it here.


The First Family – sans the governor – took off for a vacation, creating some interesting reactions on Twitter.  PR Guru Scott Charton tweeted his take: “What could possibly be more important to a “husband and father” family man than being with his family at a time like this? Tax policy? Geez.”

And Post reporter Celeste Bott pushed back against the suggestion that a shield of privacy should envelope Sheena GreitensShe tweeted: The First Lady of Missouri is a public figure. She advocates for public policy. She's recently reached out to lawmakers and donors alongside the governor. She certainly doesn't have to comment, but reporters have the right to reach out to her.


I had a bunch of people text me a hot rumor going around that the governor will resign today.  I’m not a believer in it for a variety of reasons.  But as always… we’ll see.


Tax Plan “Principles” Unveiled

Yesterday the governor’s office released its “Principles for Tax Reform.”  The press release didn’t actually say much more than he’d said in his State of State.

In the coming weeks, Governor Greitens and his team will release a detailed tax reform plan that follows the following principles: Cut taxes for working families.  Lower taxes for businesses to create more jobs.  End loopholes that primarily benefit big businesses and high earners to responsibly cut taxes without breaking our budget. Cut taxes in a way that is fiscally sound, maintains our state’s triple-A credit rating, and does not burden our children with debt.

The press release mentions not adding debt three times.  SuperAttorney Chuck Hatfield pointed out in a tweet that it was an unusual point to repeatedly emphasize.  “Not sure how we can take on debt anyway. Borrowing extremely limited under Missouri law. Basically can’t deficit spend like feds do.”


Forget that $3K in Savings

News Tribune reports: A state law on the books since at least 1939, and last modified in 2003, may prevent Gov. Eric Greitens from keeping one of his State of the State promises. During last week's half-hour State of the State address, Greitens told lawmakers: "Every year, the Governor's office printed thousands of pages of paper for its annual budget. And every year, many of those big books sat on shelves, unopened and collecting dust. So this year, we are putting the budget online and saving $3,601.50 in printing costs."

But Missouri law — in Section 33.270, part of the chapter on the executive branch's administration of state finances — says the budget "shall be submitted to the general assembly in printed form," and must be presented in two parts.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden didn't return messages seeking a comment for this story…


Senate Bits

Pro Tem Ron Richard said that his highest priority tax bills will be the ones that cap the Historic tax credits and the Low-Income Housing tax credits.


Sen. Bob Onder took a whack at Anthem on the Senate floor when introducing his SB 928. He said they’d engaged in “unconscionable actions.”


For all the public pouting by Sen. Rob Schaaf about the governor’s staff using Confide, one tipster sent me a screenshot of the senator apparently as a user on a similar app, Signal.  One MOScouter though says:  “The Signal app is not the same… Signal doesn’t auto destruct… The only similarity is the use of end-to-end encryption… In short Confide acts as a paper shredder while Signal is a secure filing cabinet.”




STL Pres Board Quarters

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed leads her competition in fundraising for the President of Board of Alderman race (Spring 2019).  Friends of Nasheed raised $24,140; spent $2,488; and has $288,534 on-hand.  She also has Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed.  That committee raised $23,385; spent $19,601; and has $16,516 on-hand.  In total she has over $300K on-hand.

The incumbent, Lewis Reed, raised $17,000; spent $11,831; and has $171,328 on-hand.  He also has a committee from his last mayor race with $39,327 on-hand, putting him with over $200K on-hand.

And Alderwoman Megan Green for St. Louis raised $9,693; spent $185; and has $9,507 on-hand.


Kelly’s Family Leave Bill Withdrawn

Rep. Hannah Kelly withdrew her HB 1974 which would have created a Family Medical Leave Fund people could have tapped into for up to eight weeks.  She said she withdrew the bill after being unable to find acceptable compromise language.   See the tweet here.

From the bill: There is hereby created in the state treasury the "Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Fund", which shall consist of moneys collected under this section…. moneys in the fund shall be used solely by the department of labor and industrial relations for the purpose of distributing Missouri earned family and medical leave program benefits…. In order to provide funding to implement the provisions of sections 285.40012 to 285.410, employees shall contribute one-quarter of one percent of their average weekly pay to the Missouri earned family and medical leave fund beginning January 1, 2020.


New MEC Opinions

The Missouri Ethics Commission issues two new opinions.  One considers when a book meets the definition of gift.  See it here.  And the other says that Federal leadership committees can’t make or receive contributions to or from Missouri candidates.   See it here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Patricia Strader deleted Missouri Association of Home Inspectors.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $20,000 from Missouri AFL-CIO General Fund.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Michael Butler, former Rep. Michele Kratky, and Scott Faughn.

Sunday: Farrah Fite.