Monday, February 19, 2018

Rumorville: Garvey Joins Greitens Legal Team

Word is circulating the Jack Garvey has joined Governor Eric Greitens’ legal team.  Garvey knows St. Louis City politics as well as anyone.  See a proclamation from Mayor Francis Slay declaring December 14, 2011 as Jack Garvey Day here.  It recounts his political resume.

Why add Garvey?  One MOScouter writes: “Team Greitens needs street cred inside the city circuit courts - and they want to influence Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner’s top trial assistant, former City Circuit Judge Robert Dierker…”  Garvey and Dierker were colleagues on the circuit city bench.

The fact is that Garvey will help them navigate the pitfalls and players of city politics.  But don’t discount that he also has experience with grand juries, and it can’t hurt to add some expertise in that arena.


Interesting to note – given that Greitens has refused to answer a direct yes-or-no question about taking a photograph – that Dowd, Bennett has an in-house “electronic discovery practice” that “focuses on complex and large scale electronic discovery matters and related evidentiary and technical issues.” The practice has “over forty team members.”


Q&A #1: Is Gardner on a “Fishing Expedition?”

Short answer: I think we’ll start to hear this push-back from the governor’s supporters, but from the outside you really can’t know.


St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has beefed up her Jefferson City focus in the past week.  She sent investigators to go visit legislators last week, and some of the governor’s staff have reportedly received subpoenas.  One tipster texts me: Lucinda Luetkemeyer, Michael Roche, Nick Maddux, and Will Scharf received subpoenas to appear before grand jury.”  That’s unconfirmed but it jives with other sources.


These JCity forays brought a question from one building staffer: “How would Kim Gardner have the authority to investigate anything other than what happened in the Governor's basement? Doesn't her jurisdiction stop at St. Louis City limits?”

The best answer comes from one building veteran who tells me out that “Gardner’s folks can ask questions about criminal activities where they have no jurisdiction. It may lead to pushback, but they have broad latitude with subpoenas as long as there’s some kind of reasonable chance that it can lead to something jurisdictional or it can be quashed.”

And in terms of asking lawmakers about their conversations with the governor: that’s directly related to his actions in the basement.  The investigation would want to talk to everyone that he talked to about the affair.  They’d be checking to see if he said anything that would corroborate either his story or the hairdresser’s story.

I’m told – and believe – that Governor Greitens was working from a script when he called legislators.  Therefore it’s highly unlikely that someone asked him about the photo and he admitted it in one of these private conversations.  But when you’re investigating a high-profile case, you follow every lead and run every trap.


Morley Swingle, a prosecutor in Gardner’s office, wrote an article on the “invasion of privacy” statute about 20 years ago.  See it here.  When you read it, you may wonder whether the statute would apply to this situation.  Swingle puts the it in the context of modernizing “peeping Tom” laws.


House Postpones Gun Bill Hearings

General Laws Chairman Robert Cornejo writes to his committee members that “due to some recent developments and conversations, the public hearings on gun bills will be delayed… Right now the game plan is to likely still have a committee hearing on Tuesday, the 20th, but with a new slate of bills.  Then we can have a hearing on Monday the 26th which we will hear several gun bills…”

Recent developments: The Florida school kids who survived the latest shooting are marching on Washington DC on March 24.

House Bills in General Laws

HB 1256 – Nick Schroer – Imposes restrictions on the use of firearm tracking technology.

HB 1326 – Steve Roberts – Authorizes a tax deduction for the costs of firearm training or firearm safety courses.

HB 1382 – Rocky Miller – Eliminates the requirement that concealed carry permit holders get permission from the minister or persons representing such religious organization in order to carry concealed firearms in churches or places of worship.

HB 1865 – Justin Hill – Specifies that lawful owners of firearms may transport or store the firearms in locked, privately-owned motor vehicles.

HB 1936 – Jered Taylor – Modifies provisions relating to the concealed carrying of firearms

HB 1937 – Jered Taylor – Prohibits political subdivisions from regulating the open carry of firearms.


MPC Touts Progress

Both the New Approach and the Brad Bradshaw medical marijuana initiative petitions have been reportedly closing in on their signature goals.  Now comes the third effort, saying that they’re making progress too, and explaining why they think they’re the best alternative.

The press release: Missourians for Patient Care (MPC) is excited to announce passing our first major fundraising milestone with a quarter of one million dollars raised as of today. The Missouri Patient Care Act (MPCA - 2018-271) is a state statutory ballot initiative that would allow patients to legally use medical cannabis with the written certification by a physician who treats patients diagnosed with those qualifying medical conditions.

Compared against amending the Missouri State Constitution, qualifying the Missouri Patient Care Act to the ballot has several advantages.  First, one hundred percent of funds raised is dedicated to strictly-professional statewide circulators with a flawless track record of ballot certification. Second, this measure includes clear authority for local licensing authorities to work with county prosecutors and first responders likely to encounter permitting, zoning, and control disputes. Third, the campaign needs an average of 60,000 fewer signatures to qualify over large constitutional rewrites.

“Each of us likely know some family who might benefit from proper access to a cannabis therapy developed to meet their unique medical needs,” said Travis H. Brown, CEO, First Rule…

Brown’s twenty plus years of state & local government affairs experience with highly-regulated products helps explain why his firm stepped up with a $33,000 corporate check today…


Basye Contra MDC

I missed this story last week in the Columbia Missourian.  See it here.


A proposal to cut hunting permit fees for nonresident Missouri landowners hasn't gone as smoothly as the lawmaker who filed it originally predicted. The bill is now surrounded by allegations of nepotism, a fiery newspaper column and the possibility of a $500,000 snip to the Missouri Department of Conservation's annual funding.

The legislation in question is Rep. Chuck Basye's House Bill 1657, which would grant nonresidents who own 75 or more acres of land in Missouri the same hunting, fishing and trapping permit privileges as residents. These privileges would lower permit costs for those that qualify.

Basye's brother falls into this category. He works for Shell Oil Company in California, but owns property in Missouri and goes hunting on it at least once a year.

Brandon Butler, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, testified against the bill in front of a House committee last Wednesday. He accused Basye, R-Rocheport, of filing the bill for the direct benefit of his brother. He didn't stop there.

Butler writes a column that runs in newspapers across the state. This week, he went after Basye, though he didn't use his name in the column….

In an interview, Butler said his disagreement with Basye was simply one of political principal and was nothing personal against the legislator. He added that Basye is a very nice guy.

Basye sees it differently.

"Bullshit," Basye said. "He offended me. He offended my father. He offended my brother. My 90-year-old father was extremely upset when he saw that in the paper Sunday."


Follow Up on Pole Attachment

The Missouri Municipal League has been negotiating with the cell phone companies to try to come to an accommodation.  And after hours and hours of work, one source says they are down to just a couple issues, and expect some compromise could be reached.

However, they’re not the only to players in the game.

For example, one legislative source says that Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) which represents municipally-owned utilities has been less willing to work “with legislators.  The constant bullying and intimidation tactics that they used, while not entertaining compromises, will lead to [them] getting rolled this year…”

We’ll see…


Follow-up on Plescia for Schupp

I wrote last week that it was impressive that Sen. Jill Schupp had converted her one-time political opponent Frank Plescia into a supporter.   But one MOScouter says, “Don’t over-read Plescia's support of Schupp.”  They both have been a part of the coalition to oppose investor owned utilities’ legislation.   “It's been Plescia's vocational charge for years.   This is not a Republican to Democrat switchover...”



AP’s short article on to case before Judge Richard Callahan seeking to “void the Missouri Board of Education's decision to fire the former education commissioner.” See it here.


Sen. Ryan Silvey tweets that Governor Eric Greitens has set June 5 for the special election to replace him in Senate 17.  See it here.


Rep. Jay Barnes writes again about the “forced arbitration” bill HB 1512.  See it here.


eMailbag on Senate Poker Game

Schaaf clearly came across as a sore loser this week. He lost fair and square through the traditional rules of the Senate. It is a poker game... Kehoe leveraged the one official power he has over the senate, and that’s time… the majority of the Senate called the opposition’s bluff that they would filibuster... The Senate worked how it’s supposed to and Schaaf needs to accept that he lost and move on.


This Week’s Events


Missouri Moms Advocacy Day hosted by Moms Demand Action at the Capitol.

Truman State’s Mid-Missouri Alumni Chapter Reception in the Treasurer’s Office – 5PM

Missouri's LGBT Lobby Day hosted by PROMO at the Capitol.


Missouri Nurse Advocacy Day at the Capitol.

The Eastern Missouri Chapter of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Day at the Capitol.

Hillary Shield for Senate Kick-off at Llywelyn's Pub in Lee's Summit – 6PM.


LaDonna Appelbaum (Dem, House 71) Kick-off at Talayna’s, Chesterfield, MO - 5:30PM.

Rep. Cora Faith Walker Dessert Fundraiser at Natalie's Cakes & More  Ferguson, MO – 6PM.

Rep. Greg Razer Re-election Kick-off at The Well, 7421 Broadway Blvd, KC - 5:30PM


Lunch Fundraiser for Raychel Proudie (Dem, House 73) at 3-S’s Soup, Salads, Sandwiches Bistro, 8573 Airport, Berkeley, MO - 2:30PM.


Politics of Business and Business of Politics in Black St. Louis Panel Discussion hosted by Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce at William J. Harrison Education Center, 3140 Cass Avenue at 3PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jonathan Dalton added City of Wildwood.

David Klarich added Club Managers Association Of America.

Brian Schmidt added Kids Win Missouri; and deleted Missouri Children's Leadership Council.

Steven Carroll added Humane Society of The United States.


$5K+ Contributions

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $82,137 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Friends of David Ernst - $10,000 from David Ernst.

Missourians for Patient Care - $33,000 from First Rule L.L.C.



Happy birthdays to Ron Gladney, Jay Kanzler, Alex T. Eaton, Steve Stenger, Lynne Schlosser, and Rodney Schad.