Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Unknowns

Yesterday I spoke to someone who shared information with law enforcement alleging that candidate Eric Greitens had conversations to explore whether foreign citizens could fund his campaign.

I don’t know if or to what extent authorities have pursued this lead, but it’s an indication that there’s a lot of unknowns going forward.

What It Means

It’s impossible to know how many tips or leads the various investigators are tracking down.  Predicting how this all will end remains a foolish endeavor.  We just know we’re nowhere near the end.

 

Reassuring Donors

Governor Eric Greitens has been working to reassure supporters and donors that his legal woes won’t be politically terminal.  What’s interesting is that his lawyers are apparently helping to make the pitch.  One source spoke of a conference call with national supporters which included one of Greiten’ lawyers outlining why they feel good about the case.  Another was an in-person event in Kansas City, again with the legal team represented.

What It Means

Let’s be real and stop referring to the investigations as a “distraction” for the governor.  This is a full-court press. Survival is his top priority.  It’s driving every decision, and taking loads of time and energy.

Also assuming the lawyers are charging by the hour, it means bigger bills….

 

Leakster in House Special Committee?

I’ve heard from two folks who are increasing concerned that leaks have started from the House Special Investigative Committee.  Perhaps Chair Jay Barnes need to re-chaulk….

 

Greene’s Tax Bill

Wowza.  KY3 reports that Graves Garrett billed over $200K to the Greene County Commission.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Greene County taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars in legal fees to an outside law firm. Greene County Commissioners opted to hire the firm in response to a Missouri State Ethics Commission investigation and an audit request from the Missouri State Auditor. The average Springfield-area worker earns just less than $19 an hour; that's a little more than $750 a week (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). For one of the attorneys listed on the bill from the outside firm, Graves Garrett, that average weekly income locally equals approximately two hours of work as billed by the firm Graves Garrett to taxpayers.  "I went on record voting against hiring them (Graves Garrett), and now we have $228,000 worth of legal bills, and we're still not at the end of it," said Greene County Associate Commissioner Lincoln Hough, who voted against hiring…

Auditor Nicole Galloway tweets: It’s outrageous Greene Co. taxpayers are on the hook for almost a quarter million dollars in fees to a private law firm that recommended against allowing me to do an audit at no charge.

 

And… Chrisitan County to Follow Greene?

A tipster writes that yesterday “a [Missouri Ethics Commission] complaint was filled regarding potential RSMo 115.646 violation against the City of Ozark. The complaint alleges that the City of Ozark used taxpayer money and resources to illegally ‘advocate’ for the tax issue on the ballot for April 3rd. Allegation is that the ‘informational’ flyers, website and video produced by the City of Ozark were thinly veiled attempts at advocating for a ‘YES’ vote.”

 

Filing News

A final wave of candidates descended on the secretary of state’s office yesterday to file on the final day.  Democrats had one of their best showing – in terms of raw numbers of folks running for office. There are 18 House districts in which no Democrat filed, and 28 without a Republican candidate.  A few Republicans who reached out to me, or I bumped into, have focused on the quality of their candidates.  And let’s not lose sight of the fact that while it was a super year for Dem recruiting, there still are more Republicans running than Dems.  26 GOP Senate filers versus 23 Dems; and 208 GOP House filers versus 189 Dems.

 

One long-time Democrat: Some people will attribute the Dems success recruiting candidates for the legislature to some sense of  increased post-Trump/Greitens activism. While it's true that there is more enthusiasm on the Dem side in 2018. The credit goes to the MDP staffers who have been working on this for 15 months and traversing the state to find people to run. Like most things in politics it's months of hard work that makes it happen. Time for candidates and the caucuses to raise money, knock doors, and close the deal.

 

Among the more interesting last day filings… Former Reps. Eileen Grant McGeoghegan and Chris Carter filed to run to return to the House.  McGeoghegan is running in House 72, and Carter in House 76.

Former Democratic Rep. Leonard Jonas Hughes IV, now a staffer for Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle Nadal, filed to run as a Republican against Sen. Mike Cierpiot in Senate 8.

 

But the biggest stories came from St. Joseph.  Brenda Shields filed in House 11; and Scot Van Meter filed in Senate 34.

Brenda Shields is known in the building as the wife of former Sen. Charlie Shields. But she has an impressive resume that indicates that she’s better known in St. Joe’s.  She’s former President and CEO of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph.  With Rep. Galen Higdon termed, this was on my list as a likely Dem flip.  But now with the recruitment of Shields, Republicans have a strong chance to hold it for another eight years.

Van Meter’s entry into Senate 34 brought twitter cries from Sen. Rob Schaaf of foul play (see it here): Running a democrat from Buchanan as a republican for my seat in order to split the vote and advantage the machine's candidate Leutkemeyer shows their desperation and total lack of honor.

There may be some merit to Schaaf’s accusation. Van Meter would draw from the geographic base of Harry Roberts.  And it does appear that Van Meter was elected to five terms as assessor as a Democrat.

 

Incumbents without a Major Party Primary or General Election Opponent

Jack Bondon (R)

Richard Brown (D)

Ingrid Burnett (D)

Bob Burns (D)

Robert Cornejo (R)

Brandon Ellington (D)

Scott Fitzpatrick (R)

Bruce Franks (D)

Alan Gray (D)

Jim Hansen (R)

Hannah Kelly (R)

Kip Kendrick (D)

Deb Lavender (D)

Steve Lynch (R)

DaRon McGee (D)

Gina Mitten (D)

Judy Morgan (D)

Jay Mosley (D)

Greg Razer (D)

Holly Rehder (R)

Shawn Rhoads (R)

Robert Ross (R)

Rory Rowland (D)

Cora Faith Walker (D)

David Wood (R)

 

Senate Work

The Senate debated without resolution Sen. Bob Dixon’s SB 553 which would revise some of the municipal court reforms they passed after the Ferguson unrest.  Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who spearheaded those reforms as senator, tweeted his disapproval (see it here): SB553 being debated today in #moleg & others like it reinstate debtor prisons & criminalize poverty.  We’ve come too far to go backwards & breathe life into #TaxationByCitation schemes by some cities.

 

Then the Senate worked on Sen. Caleb Rowden’s wide-ranging criminal justice SB 966.  The bill is the result of the Criminal Justice Task Force that worked over the summer to find ways to keep those who really shouldn’t be in prison from occupying space to avoid the need for building two new prisons.  The bill took on nearly a dozen amendments on its way to perfection as Rowden once again showed the ability to navigate a complex issue.

 

Bits

The campaign for St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger released a pair of TV ads.  Here’s the hit on his primary opponent Mark Mantovani for supporting Eric Greitens.  And this one also attacks Mantivani while Stenger defends one of his redevelopment deals.

 

Rep. David Muntzel was in a car accident earlier this week.  He and his wife were rear-ended on I-70.  See the Highway Report here.

 

New Candidate Filings

Leonard Jonas Hughes IV filed to run for Senate 8 as a Republican.

Nate Walker filed to run in Senate 18 as a Republican.

Crystal Stephens filed to run Senate 18 as a Democrat.

Carolyn McGowan filed to run in Senate 32 as a Democrat.

Scot Van Meter filed to run in Senate 34 as a Republican.

Joni Perry filed to run in House 3 as a Democrat.

Joe Frese filed to run for House 5 as a Democrat.

Bob Bergland and Karen Planalp filed to run for House 9 as Democrats.

Brenda Shields filed to run in House 11 as a Republican.

Jessica Merrick filed to run in House 20 as a Democrat.

Ashley Bland Manlove filed for House 26 as a Democrat.

Shea Tan Henderson filed to run for House 28 as a Democrat.

Ryana Parks-Shaw filed to run in House 30 as a Democrat.

Janice Brill filed to run for House 32 as a Democrat.

Cathy D. Richards filed to run for House 46 as a Republican.

Raymond (Jeff) Faubion filed to run for House 48 as a Democrat.

Lisa Buhr filed to run for House 49 as a Democrat.

Mike Haffner filed for House 55 as a Republican.

Billy Moffett filed for House 55 as a Democrat.

Rik Combs filed to run for House 59 as a Republican.

Patti Longworth filed to run in House 67 as a Republican.

Eileen Grant McGeoghegan filed to run for House 72 as a Democrat.

Chris Carter filed to run in House 76 as a Democrat.

Reign Harris and Maxine Johnson filed to run in House 79 as a Democrat.

Bobby Shields filed to run for House 86 as a Democrat.

Marvin Fricke filed to run for House 115 as a Republican.

Bill Kraemer filed to run House 116 as a Democrat.

Steve Dakopolos filed to run in House 124 as a Democrat.

George Randall Heim filed to run for House 127 as a Republican.

Laurel Youmans, Seth Semple, and Michael Phillips filed to run in House 132 as Republicans.

Daniel Romine filed to run in House 134 as a Republican.

J.T. (Jerry) Howard filed to run for House 151 as a Democrat.

And

E.G. Shields Jr. (Democrat) withdrew from House 86.

 

New Committees

Robert Butler formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Robert Butler) to run for Senate 22 as a Democrat.

Joni Perry formed a candidate committee (Elect Joni Perry For Missouri) to run for House 3 as a Democrat.

Ryana Parks-Shaw formed a candidate committee (Friends For Ryana Parks-Shaw) to run for House 30 as a Democrat.

Kimberly-Ann Collins candidate committee (Families For Kimberly-Ann Collins) to run for House 77 as a Democrat.

Mike Walter formed a candidate committee (Mike Walter For Mo 95Th) to run for House 95 as a Democrat.

Tony Laforest formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Tony Laforest) to run for House 146 as a Republican.

Brice Stewart formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Brice Stewart) to run for Jackson County Legislature District 3 as a Republican.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Jenny Dodson added National Institute For Reproductive Health.

 

$5K+ Contributions

A Better Missouri Political Action Committee - $20,000 from Anheuser-Busch Cos.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Regional Progress PAC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from SAK.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from STL Citizens for Responsible Government.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Joe Fallert, Scott Lipke, and Marty Oetting.