Monday, January 22, 2018

Where We Are

The governor had a good weekend.  He finally emerged from the bunker and started engaging with (friendly) media.  It was the same message: yes to the affair, everything else was deny, deny, deny.  It’s been pointed out to me that this is not generally the definition of winning. But by getting out there – even in a limited fashion – it shows he’s not curled up on the couch sucking his thumb.  He’s out of hiding.  Not only will he not resign, he may attempt to govern.  And that’s the task now for the governor’s office: try to re-normalize after the earthquake.

To that end, it’s budget day for them.

The press release: Governor Greitens will release his budget recommendations for fiscal year 2019. It will be followed by a press conference with budget director Dan Haug.

Governor Greitens Budget Rollout

4:00 PM--Governor’s Office

Observers were wondering Sunday night if Greitens would actually be on-hand to “release” his budget and risk questions being shouted from the press – tougher questions than his current limited media tour.  The consensus bet was for a Facebook roll-out.  We’ll see…

And

The governor has been helped by the absence of additional new stories.  For days now the consensus in the halls has been that there are surely other women from the governor’s past and that one of them would be stepping forward.  However, day after day has passed, and now we have a week without any new bombshell revelations.

Yes, the FBI inquiry is real, and that is a serious longer-term threat for Greitens.  However in his immediate quest for political survival, the FBI is only clouds on the horizon right now.

But

I think it’s likely the House will investigate.  I believe there are House Republicans who are considering drafting a resolution to call for an investigation.  But it’s also possible that Speaker Todd Richardson will preempt such a move and take the initiative.   I’d expect to see movement on this front one way or the other this week.

eMailbag on The Impeachment Process

If the speaker puts together a special committee to investigate and make recommendations to the House, I believe he can include non-legislators on that committee. Two Former Supreme Court judges, appointed by Gov Ashcroft, come to mind: John Holstein of Springfield and Ann Covington of Columbia. Both are extraordinarily well respected, and both were on the Supreme Court when the court tried the impeachment-removal case of Judith Moriarty, the secretary of state.

The constitution, in article VII, says that impeachment is the role of the House. It does not specify a procedure. A House of 163 members will need a committee to gather, consider and evaluate the evidence and make a recommendation. The committee is not specified, so the House speaker can appoint whomever he chooses or refer the matter to a regular committee.  The House will have to have a lawyer investigate and present the evidence to the committee and perhaps help prepare the committee’s report to the House (this lawyer also might present the evidence to the “special commission” that will vote whether to remove the governor).

If the House votes to impeach, the trial of the governor is to be conducted by a “special commission” of seven “eminent jurists” selected by the Senate, as mandated by the constitution, Article VII, sec. 2.

The grounds for impeachment and removal listed in Article VII, section 1, are “crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.”

What is misconduct? What is corruption in office? What is an offense involving moral turpitude? The constitution leaves it to the House and to the special commission of eminent jurists to figure that out.

 

On Twitter

Lobbyist Jane Dueker shares the questions she’d be asking the governor if she were interviewing him.  See it here.  (SPOILER: They’re a little tougher)

Ryan Silvey – who was just appointed by the governor – turns around and cuts him loose on Statehouse Blend.  See it here.  Silvey apparently isn’t worried about having to be re-appointed by this governor in six years…

 

Q&A #1: Could This Make Greitens A Better Governor?

Short answer: Yes it could.  But will it?

 

I spoke to one support of the governor who noted that this crisis has forced Greitens to undertake several exercises he shunned during his first year.  Greitens has finally started reaching out to legislators.  It’s obviously because he has no other choice for survival, but he’s now acting as if they are partners, not just corrupt career politicians.

Greitens, this weekend, was starting to engage the media.  He seemed to realize that Facebook videos, regardless of how many “hits” he gets, aren’t going to connect with the broader public.

And last week, he finally showed some glimmer of policy.  Again, it’s being driven by a desire to change the subject, but his office released a few policy ideas.

Forget about Iowa and instead: engage the legislature, leave the safety of Facebook, and propose policy.  This could be the start of a serious tenure in office.

I ran this thinking by a top Republicans who laughed.  “It won’t last.”

 

Meet Senator White

MOScouter writes: On Friday, Rep Charlie Davis announced he was dropping the race for State Senate, leaving Bill White as only candidate in the race. With over $227,000 on hand, a very strong local organization and the ability to continue self-funding, White is very likely to be the new Senator from Joplin in January 2019.

 

Terry Schlemeier Passes

Ron Leone shares the news that former lobbyist Terry Schlemeier, father of Jorgen Schlemeier died. My friend Terry Schlemeier was many things to many people - a good husband, father, friend, lobbyist, columnist, voracious reader, and avid student of history. He had a fantastic memory, and could tell a story and a joke better than just about anyone. He and his wonderful wife Barb are two of the most kind-hearted and generous people I know.  A good man has passed, and he will be missed. And remembered. Rest in peace, old friend.

 

About PPP’s Missouri Has “Shifted”

One important difference between the PPP poll which showed Senator Claire McCaskill taking the lead and the Remington polls which conduct my weekly polls are their underlying assumptions about the make-up of the Missouri electorate in November 2018.  (PPP is considered Democratic.  Remington is owned by GOP consultant Jeff Roe.)

The PPP poll weighted the partisan turnout to be +3 in favor of Democrats with 37% Democrats vs 34% Republicans in the demographics.  Remington is at +9 Republican (44% GOP and 35% Dem).  You can have the same set of answers and get different results depending on such weighting.

What’s the right weighting?  President Donald Trump won Missouri by 19 points.  And non-presidential cycles are usually characterized by lower Dem turnout in Missouri.

On the other hand, Trump is much less popular now, Dems appear energized, and mid-terms are usually not good for the party with the White House.

 

Bits

Dana Loesch gets profiled in the in NYTimes’ Style section.  See it here.

 

See the City of St. Louis’ 300+ page Amazon proposal here.

 

The Senate website shows Jonas Hughes joining the staff of Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

 

Lucas Dieckhaus terminated his committee to run for House 109.

 

Help Wanted

St. Louis Community Colleges seek Government and Community Relations Liaison. “Works with the state legislature during the legislative session to formulate, track and support legislation favorable to the community college and to secure funding and support;Works with local elected officials to create awareness of the college and expand awareness of college programming; Provides leadership for Governmental Affairs at the State and local levels. Coordinates such activities with the Chancellor and MCCA officials as applicable; Oversees federal government relations consultants to track policy initiatives and secure targeted federal appropriations to support the College…”  See the ad here.

 

New Committees

Heat & Frost Insulators Local 27 Political Education Committee was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Scott Vanbebber.

Lewis County Democrats And Friends was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer Denise Goodwin.

Kevin Fitzgerald formed a candidate committee (Elect Kevin Fitzgerald) to run for House 89 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Rep. Dean Plocher.

Kevin Windham formed a candidate committee (Friends For Windham) to run for House 85 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent, Rep. Clem Smith, is termed.

Ron Rommaha formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Ron Rammaha) to run for House 94 as a Republican. The current incumbent is Rep. Cloria Brown.

 

This Week’s Events

Monday – Senate Charity Bowling – Capitol Bowl at 7:30PM.

Tuesday – Rep. Joe Adams Reception – 223 Madison Street, Jefferson City at 5PM.

Wednesday – MCTA Cable Day – Reception at Revel, Jefferson City at 5:30PM.

Thursday – Reception for Auditor Nicole Galloway – home of Jeanne Kirkton & Larry King, Webster Groves at 5:30PM.

Thursday – Fundraiser for Rep. Donna Baringer – Pietro's Restaurant, St. Louis at 5:30PM.

Saturday – “Brunch with Claire McCaskill” – at the home of Dana & Barry Sandweiss, Saint Louis, 63124 at 10:30 AM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Tom Dempsey added K12 Inc.

Jeffrey Altmann added Golden Entertainment Inc.

Jenelle Beavers added University of Missouri System.

Michael Berg added Sierra Club Missouri Chapter.

Peter Colarelli added Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Byron DeLear and Vicki Lorenz Englund added Ygrene Energy Fund.

Erin Elliott added Missouri Family Health Council Inc.

Kathryn Ann Harness added Uniform Law Commission.

Sean Higgins added Golden Entertainment Inc.

Brandon Peck added Johnson Controls Inc.

Uriah Stark added National Decency Coalition.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Elect Tim Brinker - $10,000 from Rockwood Asset Management LLC.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $30,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Reps. Lynn Morris, and Andrew McDaniel, Anne Marie Moy, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, Michelle Colbert, Jay Hahn, and Mike Lodewegen.

 

Congratulations

To Joe and Emilee Lakin on the birth of their daughter, Georgia Mae!