Q&A #1: WFT?
Short answer: Greitens posed for a photo with his new hairdresser?! Must be an internet photoshop fake, no way he would do that right? See it here.
Gov Gets Handed Loss in House
Governor Eric Greitens hopped on what looked like a law-and-order/heart-strings bill that would have increased the penalty for anyone who harms a police dog. It was referred to as “Champ’s bill,” after a canine in the news that generated great sympathy.
In a stunning turn of events, the bill failed to pass yesterday. It had been perfected with 101 votes last week.
But the floor debate went decidedly against the bill with Rep. Shamed Dogan making arguments and African American Dems who didn't criticize their opposition but instead tried to give them a sense of what it’s like in their communities.
Normally debate doesn’t move many votes, but that wasn’t the case with this bill. Meanwhile the supporters, perhaps complacent after the perfection vote, didn’t work it.
One building denizen took it as a knock on the governor:“The Governor's priority bill was voted down on third read. The Governor can't even influence, pressure, or even govern his way through a bill passing out of the House. Or count votes. That's all that anyone needs to know about his state in Jeff City. And the House is the easier chamber for him to deal with!...”
Another offered a asimilar assessment: “If [House Republicans] feared him at all they would not have done this…”
However, outside the building, supporters of the governor see some good news in the latest MOScout poll. The swing district of Senate 17 showed that Governor Eric Greitens’ job approval rating is rebounding. In fact slightly – ever so slightly – positive.
Q3: Do you approve or disapprove of Eric Greitens’ job performance as Governor of Missouri?
Not sure: 11%
This seems to be a reflection of the $1 million state-wide ad campaign. But more importantly the lack of any additional bombshell news.
Driving the Day: Tax Reform
8:30AM: Senate Ways and Means Committee may finally vote out a senate tax reform package. It’ll be a mix of several bills filed, including a bump in gas tax, together with cuts to the personal and corporate rates to make it overall revenue neutral.
10AM: Governor Eric Greitens will be in St. Joe’s continuing his state-wide tour to tout his plan. That’s in Sen. Rob Schaaf’s district, by the way. He’s been one of the governor’s fiercest critics.
Otto in House 65
In an email blast, former Rep. Bill Otto announces that he will seek to return to the state House.
Friends, neighbors, and colleagues have asked me to serve once again in the Missouri House of Representatives, this time in District 65. District 65 includes most of the City of St. Charles and extends north to the confluence of the Missouri and the mighty Mississippi.
After a lifetime of service starting when I was a teen in the Navy and continuing through 20 years as an Air Traffic Controller at Lambert, followed by 4 years of service in the Missouri House of Representatives, I’m honored to announce that I am ready, willing, and able to represent you.
But politics is not about me, it’s about you….
Otto previously represented House 70. In 2016, he opted to run for congress (unsuccessfully against Ann Wagner) instead of running for re-election.
Rep. Tom Hannegan currently represents House 65. I have always thought of St. Charles as a Republican stronghold. However Dems are hopeful that the environment this year will put these seats in play.
Follow-Up on Gov’s Legal Bills
To clear up any confusion, here’s the deal: Eric Greitens is personally paying for his legal defense as it related to the investigation into his actions surrounding his affair with the hairdresser. But that same law firm, Dowd Bennett is providing its services pro bono as they relate to the Confide investigation, and the sunshine lawsuit from use of the Confide app.
Haahr at White House
Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr met President Donald Trump yesterday at the White House’s roll-out of their new infrastructure proposal. Haahr spoke about the I-49 connector, and I-270 bottleneck, and why they need to be in plan. Word is that Haahr was the youngest representative at the roundtable discussion.
One Dem observer back home pooh-poohs the plan for being light on federal funding. The “plan is a Nothing Burger. Instead of 80/20 Fed/ State split its flipped. If it’s not toll-able, they don’t care.”
Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons added Express Script Holdings, Nexus Group, and Telsa Motors; and deleted BMO Financial, Dentons US LLP, Diggs Construction, Dynamic Fitness Management III LLC, Elantas PDG Inc, Express Scripts, Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC, KD Development LLC, Safe and Strong Missouri, SAS Institute, U.S. RAS Association Midwest, and Zenefits.
Lisa Christie added Voyce.
Danny Pfeifer, Alex Eaton, Rebecca Lohmann and Greg Porter added Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association.
Chris Grimm added Major League Baseball, and National Basketball Association.
Jewell Patek added Ygrene Energy Fund.
Mantovani for STL - $10,000 from George Walker III.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor – $10,000 from Roy Pfautch.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor – $7,500 from Spire Political Action Committee.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor – $10,000 from APLUX LLC.
Happy birthdays to Jay Nixon, and Rep. Steve Roberts.