Q&A #1: What’s Up With Wagner?
Short answer: Taking indications of interest.
PoliticoPro reports that “Rep. Ann Wagner is taking a second look at entering Missouri's Senate race, three Republican sources say. Wagner's rethinking comes after Attorney General Josh Hawley — who was heralded as a top GOP recruit when he declared his candidacy — stumbled in recent days. Her chances of ultimately entering the race are low, all three sources said. But Republicans in Missouri have approached her about reconsidering the contest, and two sources said she discussed it with other members at the GOP's congressional retreat in West Virginia this week…
While Wagner was considering a bid last spring, major donors and politicians in the state began to consolidate around Hawley, the 38-year-old who had become state attorney general in 2016, breaking a two-decade-long Democratic hold on the office. Party leaders, including former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and TAMKO Building Products CEO David Humphreys, wrote letters encouraging him to run…
But Hawley's fundraising hasn't met expectations. While he collected hundreds of thousands at a time from big donors while he was running for attorney general, raising money at the federal limit of $5,400 has proven tougher. He raised $958,000 in the final three months of the year and has $1.2 million on hand. A super PAC backing him has $2 million in the bank.
McCaskill, meanwhile, raised $2.9 million in the last three months and has $9 million on hand. Wagner, a former RNC co-chair and U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, has $3.2 million in the bank….”
I agree with Politico that “her chances of ultimately entering the race are low.” However there are a lot of considerations that argue in favor of her running. And so it makes sense to take another look.
First, Wagner has $2 million more in the bank than Hawley. In that regard it’s not like she’s late to the game and would be playing catch-up. If she pulls the trigger, she’s has a running start at the campaign.
Second, the consensus is that a woman running against McCaskill is a better match-up for Republicans. Last time around, McCaskill played off of Todd Akin’s out-of-touch old guy image. With last week’s human trafficking remarks, she’s trying to play Hawley as out-of-touch young guy.
Third, Wagner has a harder re-election campaign this time around. Her likely Democratic opponent is fundraising well, and President Donald Trump’s declining popularity with suburban voters with compress the Republican advantage in her district. If you’re going to have a tough run, might as well reach for the brass ring.
Fourth, some think Hawley might not be altogether unhappy with an exit option. His fundraising hints at a lukewarm embrace of the race. With Trump under 50% approval in the state, and Governor Eric Greitens upside-down on his favorability, this could be an unfortunate time to run. And finishing his first term as AG would at least put some space between his climbing the ladder and his climbing the ladder ad.
If she did take the plunge – filing opens in three weeks – it would set off a scramble for her congressional seat…
McCaskill Fundraising Off Hawley Comments
My likely opponent, Josh Hawley, recently claimed that “[t]he sexual revolution has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined” and is directly responsible for the scourge of human trafficking.
Hawley’s comments are ignorant, sexist and just plain backward…. Please, donate today and help me defend Missouri’s Democratic Senate seat. Winning depends on you….
Hawley Fundraising Off Same Thing
One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of during my time as Attorney General is our crackdown on sex trafficking…. But to end this epidemic, we have to do more than put the predators behind bars. We have to change a culture that accepts the exploitation of women.
And that requires some blunt talk. I have called out Hollywood and the media for their role in treating women as objects to be used by men. And it’s the truth.
But now Senator McCaskill and her liberal allies in the media are blasting me for my honesty…
If you agree, please consider supporting my campaign with a small donation…
Lincoln Days Bits
Eli Yokley tweeted out this picture showing a sparse crowd at Greitens’ rally… https://twitter.com/eyokley/status/959914387216662528
Attorney General Josh Hawley skipped out early, drawing this tweet from PR guru Scott Charton…“Minimizing risk of being photographed or seen by religious conservative base with politically radioactive admitted adulterer Gov. Eric #Greitens. #SexualRevolution….”
And tipster texts: Seated at Governor Eric Greitens’ table was Craig Porter….
Anderson Escapes Accident
From the Facebook post of Rep. Sonya Murray Anderson… I have so much to be thankful for this evening! God is so good! I left this afternoon to head back to Jeff City just as the snow became heavy and I-44 quickly became glazed with ice. I passed several accidents between Springfield and Strafford and next thing I knew, I was part of the mess on I44. Shortly after, Senator Cunningham and his wife saw my truck in the ditch and stopped. They graciously stayed for over an hour until Jim could get there to pick me up and I was safety on the road back home. Thank you Senator Cunningham for taking the time to make sure I was ok! Thank you to the wonderful Highway Patrolman who was so kind and made sure I was Ok before I left. It could gave been so much worse! The adrenaline has started to wear off and I cant even explain the horror of hydroplaning sideways on I-44 with oncoming traffic. Please pray for everyone on the roads tonight. They are dangerous! Glad to be back home and will try again tomorrow! Did I mention that God is good?!
Followup on Greitens’ Legislative Outreach
One building denizen takes issue with my assertion Friday that Team Greitens hasn’t “moved off their presidential playbook.” That is, playing the legislature as a punching bag rather than a partner to get things done.
“[Eric Greitens has] called and met with them more in the past month than he did in the year before that… And he hasn’t attacked anyone, at all… And the staff getting off Confide is another example. You think a year ago they would have ever given in on that issue?... [I]t absolutely cannot change overnight. It should be much easier. But change takes time. Especially change during crisis… He is absolutely in a hole because of a bad strategy his first year. But at least he has stopped digging…”
Follow-Up on January Revenue Number
One budget watcher thinks part of the high January revenue figure could be because folks adjusted some payments in anticipation of the changes to the federal tax code… “People making payments in late December (deposited in January) so they can avoid the elimination of the deduction for State and local taxes in the new federal law…”
RFP for Banking Services
From the RFP: The Department of Revenue (DOR) collects taxes and fees due from individuals and entities that work or operate in Missouri. The majority of the monies collected will eventually be held in, and disbursed from, accounts at banks contracted by the State Treasurer.
DOR also collects certain taxes on behalf of cities, counties, and other political subdivisions in Missouri. In addition, DOR is the custodian of non-state funds collected by other state agencies. Article IV, Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution authorizes DOR to invest and distribute these non-state funds.
This RFP is for banking services for the non-state funds while in the custody and control of DOR… The current contract for banking services is expiring.
It appears Central Bank Jefferson City
Elizabeth Zucharksi and Wendy Campbell were fined $6,195 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for several reporting violations related to the 20th Ward Open Democratic Organization. See the consent order here.
The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to fill the associate circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the retirement of Judge Dennis Smith. They are: Diane Monahan, John Newsham, and Nicole Zellweger.
Judy Dungan, lobbyist for Missouri Children’s Leadership Council, was appointed by President Donald Trump to be Senior Advisor to the Regional Administrator for the GSA.
Independent Physicians PAC was formed. Its treasurer is Zachary Kluesner.
Jessica Catron formed a candidate committee (Catron For Missouri) to run as a Republican for House 42.
Taxpayers For Accountability was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is Renee Paluka.
Bryan Stevenson formed a candidate committee (Stevenson For Judge) to run as a Republican for Associate Circuit Judge Newton County
Jamie Keen formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Keen) to run as a Republican for Collector of Revenue Franklin County.
Crime Victim Advocacy Center seeks Executive Director. “The Executive Director is the key management leader of the Crime Victim Advocacy Center, responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, fund development and strategic plan of the Organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors… Ensure advocacy on behalf of the agency, its mission and the needs of its clients. Responsible for the organization’s visibility in the community and managing public relations and outreach efforts to the community and civic organizations, donors, funders and supporters, and the general public… Representing CVAC to regulatory bodies and other agencies. Maintenance of official records and documents to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations….” See it here.
This Week’s Events
Missouri Electric Cooperatives Legislative Reception – Capitol Plaza – 5:30PM.
Heartland Credit Union Assn. Legislative Reception – Millbottom.
30th Birthday fundraiser for Rep. DaRon McGee – Boulevard Brewery, KC – 5:30PM.
Keri Ingle Campaign Kick-off (Dem, House 35) – Llywelyn’s Pub, Lee’s Summit - 6PM.
Missouri Library Association Advocacy Day at the capitol.
MTIA Reception & Dinner – JCCC – 6-8 pm
Association of Missouri's Nurse Practitioners Advocacy Day at the capitol.
Missouri Recovery Network Advocacy Day at the capitol.
Citizens' for the Arts Day at the capitol.
Sean Ostrow added Major League Baseball, and National Basketball Association.
Heath Clarkston and Harry Gallagher deleted Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
John Watson deleted Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System.
Kaetlin Lamberson added Kyna Iman LLC.
Vote Judge Joe Z Satterfield - $50,000 from Joe Satterfield.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Allen Andrews, Teresa Hensley and Steve Hobbs.
Tomorrow is Wear Red Day. Hosted by the American Heart Association. See details here.