Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ahead of the Report

Yesterday see-sawed.  In the morning papers across the state reported on the defense lawyers’ court filing claiming that the hairdresser said the picture was “a dream.”  This led one lobbyist to exclaim: Regardless of how you feel about the governor it's clear he had a good day today in what will certainly be a very difficult week ahead…

But with the evening came a press release from the hairdresser’s attorney rebutting the charge, and saying that the governor admitted, more than once, to taking the picture.

 

Gaming Out the LG Issue

As folks consider the possibility that Governor Eric Greitens will resign or be impeached, there’s some debate in Jefferson City about how the lieutenant governor’s spot would be filled if Mike Parson becomes governor.

The ack of clarity comes because the constitution says that the governor fills vacancies “unless otherwise provided.”  And statutes say that the governor doesn’t appoint state representatives, state senators or the lieutenant governor.

This controversy is not new. It arose when Republicans were nervous that Peter Kinder might vacate his spot for the 8th Congressional District and Governor Jay Nixon would appoint the new LG.

And farther back, from an old Kansas City Star article: The most recent lieutenant governor vacancy arose in 2000 when Democratic Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson became governor after the death of Mel Carnahan. After the election that year, Wilson appointed just-elected Democratic Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell to start early.  Democratic Gov. Warren Hearnes in 1969 appointed just-elected Lt. Gov. William S. Morris to fill the remainder of Thomas Eagleton’s term after Eagleton left for the U.S. Senate before his term ended. However, the state Senate leader refused to recognize the appointment, called it illegal and threatened to throw Morris out of the chamber if he came to preside. Morris ultimately waited until his elected term began.

 

Republicans now are gaming out the possibility of Sen. Mike Kehoe, among others, being appointed to the lieutenant governor’s position.  One Dem source calls such talk “a major power-grab… counting on the impending chaos of the Barnes report to provide cover as they pull a legislative fast one to make sure Republican insiders and lobbyists will decide who will be the next Lieutenant Governor.”  And Democrats now would rather a vote of the people to determine who is a heartbeat away from being the state’s chief executive….

 

House Investigative Committee Update

State Rep. Jay Barnes, who chairs the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, released the following statement: “Nothing has changed. The committee will release a report this week. The committee will also continue working through the end of session.”

What It Means

Although their report will be issued tomorrow, the Investigative Committee will continue to meet. This could be that there are items in the report upon which they feel they must follow-up.  It could be that this report will only cover issues arising from the affair, and the committee will continue with its investigation of the Mission Continues donor list.  Either way, it’s clear that this cloud will not simply dissipate with Wednesday’s report.

 

Civilizing the Charter Debate

Yesterday Sen. Caleb Rowden tweeted about a post he read on Facebook from a lobbyist “for the MO School Administrators. Among other statements, he referred to charter schools as a ‘cancer.’”

If you know anything about the conversation in Jefferson City re: education reform, the expansion of charter schools, etc, you know that the issue is a divisive one with passionate people on both sides of the issue.  Regardless of your position on education reforms like this one, resorting to this type of lazy, politically-motivated rhetoric is something that should be challenged and condemned… If we want to have a conversation that is laser-focused on providing a world-class education for every student — no matter their zip code or their socioeconomic status — then that is a conversation I want to be a part of. Comparing entities aimed at providing a better education for students who need different scenery to achieve everything they’re capable of to a fatal disease with no cure that has devastated millions of lives? That’s a conversation I want no part of.

 

The lobbyist Rowden was referring to, Mike Lodewegen, then posted an apology for his tone…

Yesterday evening, I made a post on my personal page regarding charter schools that was has been criticized as being offensive which I have since deleted.

I stand behind my position that the laws governing charter schools in MO need to be drastically improved in order to ensure the schools are serving all students, taxpayers, and communities, especially before they are expanded to more school districts.

However, public dialogue today is too often unnecessarily harsh and plays on people’s emotions. This is a dangerous trend that sets a bad example to future generations. Yesterday, I contributed to that trend.

Words matter and my words distracted the true intent of my message which was to thank the lawmakers that are approaching the issue of charter schools in what I believe is a levelheaded and thoughtful manner.

 

Cort in Senate 30

David Cort amended his campaign committee to run as an Independent in Senate 30.  See it here.  And see his Facebook post here.

What It Means

I wouldn’t expect him to have a big impact, but whatever impact he does have will be to draw conservative votes away from Republican nominee Lincoln Hough.  If Dems do target Senate 30 and make a play for it, this is a net – albeit small – positive for them.

 

No Distraction

In response to my blurb that the Missouri Republican Party is distracted trying to defend Governor Eric Greitens comes this…

This year, the Missouri Republican Party has: Knocked on over 20,000 doors; made over 70,000 phone calls; gathered over 1,300 signatures on petitions; held 22 Republican Leadership Initiative grassroots training sessions.  Additionally, the Missouri Republican Party has grown their staff, with 188 active Republican Leadership Initiative fellows, 5 Regional Field Directors, 10 Field Organizers, and 15 full-time staff. With 7 offices statewide, the Missouri GOP is continually expanding its grassroots efforts.

 

Sallee Passes

The obituary: Former Representative Mary Lou Sallee, 87, of Ava, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2018. After retiring from teaching, Mary Lou began her second career, serving her community as State Representative of the 144th District. She served as State Representative for eight years. Her key legislation included lowering the legal blood alcohol concentration level from .1 to .08.

Visitation: The visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 10th from 6-7:30 PM at the Ava High School Gymnasium, 507 NE 3rd St, Ava, MO 65608

Memorial Service: The memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 11th at 2 PM at the Ava United Methodist Church.

For more details, please visit: https://prod1.meaningfulfunerals.net/obituary/mary-lou-sallee?fh_id=10859

 

Bits

Former Auditor Susan Montee amended her campaign committee to seek statewide office in 2020.  See it here.

 

In the Democratic primary for St. Louis County Executive, Mark Mantovani will hold a press conference today at 10AM.  “Nearly 20 current and former area mayors and key municipal leaders calling for “real leadership and a new vision for St. Louis County…”

 

After Jamie Allman got the boot yesterday for inappropriate comments, it’s former Speaker Tim Jones who got the bullpen call and is filling in for him this morning.  That’s 97.1FM in St. Louis, FYI.

 

“Missouri State House Committee on Legislative Oversight votes 7-4 to do pass Rep. Jim Neely's HB 1554 for medical marijuana.”  See it here.

 

eMailbag on Senate 17

“I wouldn’t disagree with the writer you posted in today’s update if I hadn’t heard Corlew’s advisors were pushing a ‘guns, god and abortion’ strategy. They seem to think because all special elections generally have low turnouts it’s a race to the base, which is a bad strategy in this year and in that district… They’ve had a decade of running to the right within increasingly safe seats, so are they simply unequipped to run any campaign designed to appeal to moderates? The only check on such a strategy has been an astoundingly incompetent D organization, which is showing signs of new blood, tactics and enthusiasm…”

 

New Committees

Mike Haffner formed a candidate committee (Haffner For Missouri) to run for House 55 as a Republican.

Phoebe Ottomeyer formed a candidate committee (Ottomeyer 111) to run for House 111 as a Democrat.

 

Help Wanted

Beyond Housing seeks Manager of Public Policy & Special Projects.  “The Manager of Public Policy & Special Projects is responsible for some organizational management oversight, administrative tasks, and external partner relationships as directed by the President/CEO.  This position will manage assigned projects from planning through completion of execution.  This position will also provide leadership for policy and advocacy initiatives at the organization…” See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Richard AuBuchon added College of American Pathologists, and Missouri Society of Pathologists.

Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added REJIS, and Community Gaming Association.

Sarah Schlemeier added Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs.

Kurt Brewer deleted Missouri Community Action Network.

Jeffrey Altmann deleted Anchor Technologies, and The City of Ellisville Missouri.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Energy Development Association Political Action Committee - $10,000 from Kansas City Power and Light.

Find The Cures - $107,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.

Missourians for Patient Care - $35,000 from             Missourians for Patient Care.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Governor Eric Greitens and former Rep. Judy Baker.