Driving the Day: Senate 17
Today is the special election in Senate 17 to replace Ryan Silvey. MOScout polling a few weeks ago showed Democratic Rep. Lauren Arthur with a lead over Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew. However Republicans have said the race has tightened and they have thrown late money at the race in an effort to squeak it out.
Turnout is paramount in a special election.
If Corlew loses there will be competing narratives of Greitens’ scandals dragging him down – or of his repudiation of Greitens as hurting him with his base.
But don’t let the spin put a spell on you: so far this year the Democrats – stewing about Trump in the White House – have demonstrated a more motivated base. That’s a big factor we shouldn’t forget.
Team Parson confirmed yesterday’s rumors that Aaron Willard will be chief of staff and Justin Alferman will be legislative director. They also announced that Ashcroft staffer Steele Shippy will be the communications director. And Parson said he doesn’t anticipate any changes in the department heads hired by Greitens.
Fresh Rumors: Other Names in the Mix
Here are some more names that are mentioned as being in the mix for administration jobs. These folks have been interviewed or have been approached to work in a Parson Administration.
Leslie Korte – currently chief of staff to House Floor Leader Rob Vescovo, and worked before that as the Missouri Supreme Court’s legislative liaison.
Alex Curchin – currently works in Speaker’s office, served as legal counsel under Steve Tilley when he was speaker.
Robert Knodell – Universally respected, he currently serves as executive director of the House Republican Campaign Committee.
Plus – one source says that Todd Scott, Greitens deputy general counsel and former Senate staffer, may end up as a legislative liaison for one for the departments.
Handicapping the Budget Line of Succession
With the resignation of Justin Alferman, the hottest appointment will be House Budget Vice-Chair as it puts that person in line to become Budget Chair after Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick completes his fourth term.
One intriguing possibility… Rep. Cody Smith. He’s won a fair number of accolades from his colleagues; it would give him a potential four-year reign as Chair (like Fitzy) which is good for continuity; and it would be popular with other ambitious legislators who don’t want to run against him for a leadership spot in the future.
Governor Mike Parson confirmed to reporters that he’s looking at that possibility of calling a special session (presumably to run concurrent with veto session) to enact legislation dealing how to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office.
I find it an odd issue to spend honeymoon political capital on. The truth is: Missouri will be fine without a lieutenant governor for a few years.
The case for tackling it now is that the statutory hole now has people's attention. And easing the way for a Republican to be appointed to a statewide office should be popular with his party.
If Parson wanted to go after a different issue… Auditor Nicole Galloway sent a letter to the General Assembly asking them to “continue efforts to root out and combat the influence of dark money and secret donors on state government. Auditor Galloway encouraged the legislature to move forward with its investigation into coordination between dark-money organizations and state entities. She also urged passage of legislation to effectively put an end to secret donations to 501(c)(4) political nonprofits.” See it here.
KC Star reports on the legal fight to make Greitens’ resignation plea public. Of course it’s in the public interest to know the terms of the governor’s relinquishing his office. See it here.
Pull Quote: “Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is resisting an effort to make public a pair of secret provisions in an agreement he reached with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner to drop a felony computer-tampering charge against him, according to Gardner's office. The agreement resulted in Greitens' resignation, effective last Friday… Gardner requested a legal opinion from Hawley's office Monday afternoon after receiving Missouri Sunshine Law requests from several media outlets, including The Star, demanding to see the full agreement without redactions…”
Senate 34: Roberts Gets BizPAC
Tipster: KC Chamber BizPAC votes today to support Harry Roberts senate candidacy. Several members of their board had previously been early supporters of Tony Luetkemeyer, husband to Lucinda Luetkemeyer, general counsel to now resigned Eric Greitens. Tony’s close relation to Greitens, once considered an asset, is now a glaring liability…
Dunn to Higher Ed
Becky Dunn tweets she’s joining the Department of Higher Education as Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Communications and Outreach.
Dunn Nephew Missing
Former Rep. Randy Dunn posts on Facebook: To all of my Facebook family and friends, my family is asking for your help in finding my nephew. He has not been seen or heard from since Friday. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts please either contact myself or the phone number listed on the flyer. Your prayers for a safe return of Timothy are greatly appreciated. — with Tim Dunn.
Softballing for Regional Unity
The St. Louis Regional Chamber will host the first annual Missouri vs. Illinois Bi-State Softball Showdown on Thursday, June 14 at Busch Stadium. “Illinois and Missouri legislators, statewide elected officials and members of Congress will play ball and celebrate the bipartisan and bi-state cooperation that makes the St. Louis region strong.” Buy tickets here.
Playing for Missouri: Treasurer Eric Schmitt, Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr (Captain), Sens. Caleb Rowden, Denny Hoskins, and Dave Schatz, Reps. Jason Chipman, Jean Evans, Scott Fitzpatrick, Travis Fitzwater, Bruce Franks, David Gregory, Tracy McCreery, Dean Plocher, Robert Ross, Cody Smith, Nate Tate, and Cora Faith Walker.
Spotted last weekend at the Cardinals game… Steve Tilley chatting with Greitens’ former defense attorney, Scott Rosenblum. The two maintain a social friendship…
Aimee Worthley formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Aimee Worthley) to run for Morgan County Clerk as a Republican.
Robert Constantz formed a candidate committee (Robert Constantz Citizens For Citizens For Cob Constantz) to run for Jefferson County Council District 1 as a Democrat.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Pipenology LLC.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Cindy Shaw.
Teamsters Local Union No 688 Political Action Committee - $10,263 from DRIVE Committee.
Local 41 Political Action Fund - $16,442 from DRIVE Committee.
John Sondag deleted AT&T and affiliates.
Jennae Neustadt and Todd Scott deleted Office of the Governor.
James Bennett and Edward Dowd deleted Eric Greitens C/o Dowd Bennett.
Happy birthday to Colleen Coble.