Friday, January 5, 2018

Arthur Consolidating Support for Senate 17 Run

Rep. Lauren Arthur has secured the support of Rep. Jon Carpenter to be the Democratic nominee for the Senate 17 race to replace Ryan Silvey.  Carpenter’s support will likely signal to Rep. Mark Ellebracht that Arthur has clinched the nomination.

Arthur brings several strengths to the race.  She’s smart, tough and a hard worker.  She’ll need to use all of her skills to pull this back to the D column.  Even though this is technically a lean Dem seat, it’s been held by the GOP for a while and I’m viewing it as a toss-up right now.

Republicans are expected to nominate Rep. Kevin Corlew, as good a fit for the district as they will find.

 

Senate Shuffles

With the resignation of Ryan Silvey, a few changes occurred to Senate committees.

First, as expected, Sen. Ed Emery took over the chairmanship of the Commerce Committee.  Sen. Jeanie Riddle was appointed vice-chair.

Emery’s chairmanship of Government Reform Committee then went to Sen. Caleb Rowden.  Rowden also scored a seat on the Appropriations Committee.

Vote of Confidence for Hoskins, Rowden

Sens. Denny Hoskins and Caleb Rowden winning chairmanships is seen by some as a critical vote of confidence.  Both are freshmen.  And both are mentioned as possible floor leaders in the future….

 

Q&A#1: What Did We Learn This Week?

Short answer: Nuggets and hints.  No game-changers yet.

 

The governor’s move to appoint Sen. Ryan Silvey to the Public Service Commission won wide praise across the political spectrum.  It seemed to solve a lot of people problems.  For starters it helps Pro Tem Ron Richard and Floor Leader Mike Kehoe retain their grip on the Senate.  Silvey was an integral part of the “dissidents.”  They won’t go away without Silvey – Sen. Rob Schaaf signaled he’ll be an active trouble-maker, Sen. Gary Romine showed no signs of fading into the back ground, and the Dems will seek to ferment disunity to in the supermajority GOP – but they have lost an important ally.

 

Senate Dems decision to keep Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal off committees hurts them in two ways.  First, they are “short-staffed,” being in the super-minority, so it’s a greater load on the other Dems to cover those committees.  And second, by not repairing the rift, there’s a danger than Chappelle-Nadal dances with Republicans in her final legislative session.  She’s not a good ideological partner for them, but with her singular focus on the landfill issue in her district, she might be willing to help them in other places when they need it.

 

The House is already referring bills.  They’re going to be humming along again this session.  And it appears that the Senate will again be the body to watch to see if the legislature can function efficiently.

 

Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard stated repeatedly about defending “the institution” of the Senate.  This is the final session of his long career.  It’s been a historic one in many respects.  He’s the only Speaker of the House to also serve as Senate Pro Tem.  It’s clear he’s thinking about how he leaves things.  He’d probably scoff at this, but… he’s thinking legacy.

 

There’s a collective exhale given Professor Joseph Haslag’s forecast that the federal tax cut’s hit to the state revenues will be eight-figures, that is less than $100 million.  But despite the easing of this fear, others say we’re not out of the woods yet, noting the phased-in state tax cut will still occur, further reducing revenues.

 

The governor’s State of the State speech is coming next week.  The scheduling means it will once again be decoupled from his presentation of the budget.  One critique last year was that Greitens’ SOTS was disconnected from his budget.  For example, he called for Educational Savings Accounts, but put no money in the budget to help fund it.

 

Session Fuels MMJ Uncertainty

AP reports that “Attorney General Jeff Sessions…  is going after legalized marijuana. Sessions is rescinding a policy that had let legalized marijuana flourish without federal intervention across the country…. The move will leave it to U.S. attorneys where pot is legal to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law. The move likely will add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where it’s legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it….”

And

Rep. Shamed Dogan responds tweetingThis is a waste of law enforcement resources and a slap in the face to voters and legislators around the country. Thank you @SenCoryGardner for standing up for federalism against Jeff Sessions' federal tyranny.

Also

Speaker Todd Richardson says that the legislature is the “best place” for medical marijuana to be decided.  Listen to him here.

 

$750K to We Are Missouri

Another huge union check was recorded yesterday… $750,000 from United Brotherhood of Carpenter & Joiners of America to We Are Missouri.  That’s the campaign committee to attempt to reverse the legislature’s passage of right to work.

This enormous check puts the campaign over $3 million raise as last year’s large checks added up to over $2.3 million.

 

Greene County Saga

KY3 reports that on the continuing saga in Greene County.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Dave Coonrod, a democrat, becomes the second former presiding commissioner to speak out in favor of allowing the state auditor into Greene County to investigate. Coonrod and Jim Viebrock, a republican, are among those who signed the citizens petition requesting just that. Coonrod questioned Wednesday what he sees as a deterioration of transparency in Greene County…

 

No Consequences for Love’s Posting

Post-Dispatch reports…. Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, originally agreed to whatever punishment the House Ethics Committee handed down in response to the comments he posted on Facebook in August. However, when the committee voted 6-4 to reprimand him, meaning the speaker of the House would decide his punishment, Love backtracked. He said he did not intend to accept the punishment before it was handed down and had been confused about the proceedings. Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Austin, R-Springfield, allowed him to walk back his original agreement.

Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, called on the speaker to remove Love from his committee assignments…

And

The Dem in a huge long-shot campaign in House 125 is trying to raise money off the Love hearing…

Subject: Does Warren Love embarrass you?

From: "Chase Crawford" <crawfordformissouri@gmail.com>

Date:   Thu, January 4, 2018 4:46 pm

Today I went to Jefferson City and witnessed our public tax dollars spent on a legislative hearing because my so-called "Representative" Warren Love called for a lynching.  During the hearing, Mr. Love was caught lying under oath. It's a circus…. That's why I'm running for State Representative in the 125th District….

 

Meanwhile

In his uphill race to wrest Senate 16 from Republican control Democrat Ryan Dillon writes that… “when I go to Jefferson City to file with the Missouri Secretary of State, I am going to walk 63 miles on Highway 63 from the 16th Senatorial District to our capital.  Along the way, I am going to tell you 63 stories about 63 people that I have met during this campaign…. To join this journey, pledge $63 today...”

 

Dueks on the Move?

Lobbyist / radio personality / lawyer Jane Dueker has left Spencer Fane.  Where’s she headed?  One tipster thinks “she’s going out on her own….”  We’ll see.

 

MOScouter: Zahnd Not Out Yet!

One reader points out… Eric Zahnd wasn't passed over. It was an interim appointment that had to go to someone in the office. Zahnd is the Platte County Prosecutor. No nominee has been put forward for US Attorney for the Western District- yet….”

 

Wasinger Declines Another Run

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that… St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger said Thursday she will not seek a fourth term on the council, and former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said Thursday he is running for her seat... Her husband, David Wasinger, an attorney and CPA, announced in September he is running as a Republican for state auditor... Fitch said he had never considered a political career until the unrest in Ferguson. He said he was inspired by a Dec. 29, 2014 tweet by St. Louis Alderman Antonio French that said: “Don't feel you're being represented? Step up. Run for office.”   See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Richard AuBuchon and Nikki Strong added Missouri Rising.

Richard AuBuchon deleted American National Property and Casualty Company, Service Contract Industry Council, and American National General Insurance Company.

Guy William Black added St. Charles Tower Inc.; and deleted Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc, and Ford Motor Company

Heath Clarkston, Richard Crews, Harry Gallagher and Norb Plassmeyer added Lathorp Gage LLP.

Jeremy LaFaver added Restart Inc.

Charles Miller added Northtown Devco

Gordon Pace added Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, Missouri Association of School Business Officials, Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education, Missouri Association of Rural Education, Missouri State High School Activities Association, Missouri United School Insurance Council MO K-8 Association, Missouri Council of School Administrators, and Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Randy Scherr added Missouri Academy of Family Physicians.

Jennifer Durham deleted Missouri Assn Of Insurance & Financial Advisors, and Missouri Amusement Machine Operators Association

James Durham deleted Missouri Amusement Machine Operators Association

Brian Colby deleted AARP.

Edward (Tony) Shepherd deleted Missouri Confederation of Clubs and Independents.

Nikki Strong deleted City Of Wentzville.

 

$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $750,000 from United Brotherhood of Carpenter & Joiners of America.

Xcaliber MOPAC - $7,500 from Lee Levinson.

Xcaliber MOPAC - $7,500 from Bruce Taylor.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Joe Adams, former Rep. Sara Lampe, and Emilee Lakin.

Saturday: Sen. Bob Onder, Rep. Rob Vescovo, former Reps. Genise Montecillo and Mike Daus, Stacy Morse, and Geoff Gerling.

Sunday: Gentry Trotter.