August 17, 2018 - RTW Talk - GOP 2019 Priorities - 3rd Party Spending in Senate Races and more...

What Mehan Will Say

I wrote yesterday about the rumor that MOChamber’s Dan Mehan and businessman Greg Hoberock were slated to address the House Republicans this weekend for a “presentation on right to work.”

They will not pitch the legislators to re-pass right to work in the upcoming session.  Rather the focus of the message will be to put the campaign in context, explain why the vote was lopsided, and reiterate the economic evidence they see to support the policy – even if this isn’t the right time politically.

They will note the confluence of factors causing a “perfect storm” for RTW’s defeat:

·         Eric Greitens had been expected to raise millions of dollars to defend right to work. 

·         Instead he was besieged by scandals, and his troubles put preparations for the RTW battle on the back-burner.

·         The failure to gather enough signatures to place a pro-RTW constitutional amendment on the ballot was an unexpected blow to their strategy.

·         The signature gathering fiasco also turned off donors.

·         Meanwhile, organized labor ran a superb campaign, with impressive fundraising.

In short, the campaign was a slow-motion disaster and the results reflect that.


Although I doubt there will be an immediate push on RTW, Mehan and Hoberck will remain adamant about the benefits it would bring to Missouri.  They feel the facts are on their side – even if the voters aren’t right now.


Other House GOP Summer Caucus Talk

One of the purposes of this summer gathering is to start coalescing around legislative priorities for the coming year.

As has been noted before, while the Greitens drama was unfolding week by week, the legislature, under the direction of Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard, had a banner year.  So what’s next?...

Two big topics folks will be talking about: reworking the sales tax collection to include taxing internet purchases; and tort reform. 

·         A recent Supreme Court decision clarified the ability of states to collect tax on internet sales.  However hammering out the legislative details will take work.  And there will be a scramble between various forces, each with designs on how to spend the millions of dollars it would generate.

·         Some folks think that despite the huge legislative achievements, tort reform was the area where they came up short last year.  They’ll be looking to revisit that area.


More Leadership Race Talk

Meanwhile on the Senate Pro Tem race, here’s the analysis from one hallway source: Mike Cunningham has the clear path: A coalition of... Richard/Kehoe supporters; Senators with aspirations for leadership that would rather have a pro-tem for just two years; and the leftover Schatz supporters [if] he is eliminated on the first or second ballot…


Auditor Residency Bits

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said yesterday that the primary election will be certified on August 27.  That means – according to a statute I cited earlier this week – someone has until September 1 (five days later) to challenge Saundra McDowell’s qualifications to be on the general election ballot.

But – one reader wondered if David Wasinger shouldn’t rush in and sue now before the election is certified.  Wasinger placed second in the Republican primary.  They asked, couldn’t he sue to try to invalidate her win?  Seems very late in the game to make that case, but who knows….


The Return of PACs

My recent column in the Business Journal draws on a topic I wrote about in MOScout just after the primary election: the use of PACs and third party expenditures to augment the traditional campaign.  This is the result of the Amendment 2 limitations on campaign contributions.

Here’s a look at the three Senate races in which Axiom had candidates, and the amount of 3rd party money spent.  In italics are the three committees with Axiom connections (James Thomas III was the treasurer of all three, and they paid money to Axiom for work).


For Brown, O’Laughlin, Luetkemeyer and/or Against their opponents

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund: $451,134

Club for Growth: $154,354

Missouri Federation for Children $120,905

Team Justin: $63,198

CL PAC $52,969

HealthPAC: $15,000

Missouri Chamber against Nate Walker $5,000

Taxpayer Unlimited: $94

MRL PAC: $42

Total: $862,696


For Axiom Opponents or Against Axiom Candidates

Missouri’s Future PAC $180,889

C-Red PAC $61,275

CL PAC $52,969

Gunzlingers PAC $50,000

Voters for Good Government $37,947

Conservative Leadership for NEMO $7,500

Friends of Munzlinger $7,000

MSTA $857


Total: $398,508


Cleaning Out the In-Box

Missouri Farm Bureau endorsed Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Sen. Sandy Crawford for re-election.


Rumor #1: Polling on the transportation tax from last month showed it passing with 56% in favor.  Tipster says “not a lot of movement after hearing messages.”  Still this person seems to think the key for the campaign is freezing would-be opponents from actively mobilizing.  They can hold their winning majority as long as there’s not a coordinated (and well-funded) counter-campaign.

Rumor #2:  Feebees on the hunt in STL County?? One person noted after yesterday’s “Help Wanted” posting for the general counsel position for the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership that their previous GC was former Nixon staffer Dustin Allison.  And then this humdinger which obviously can’t be confirmed: “[The Partnership staffs] the port authority.  You have not previously discussed the worst kept secret in St. Louis.  The feds are investigating the EDP and port authority…  Is Dustin cooperating?...” 


Lobbyists Registrations

Gregory Porter, David Willis, Daniel Pfeifer, Rebecca Lohmann, and Alex Eaton added Holcim (US) Inc, Lafarge North America Inc., and Aggregate Industries Management Inc.

Salvatore Panettiere added Utility Associates Inc.

Zach Brunnert, David McCracken, Richard McIntosh, and Frank Plescia deleted The Doe Run Company.

Robert Kellman deleted Uber Technologies Inc.

Katherine Casas, Rodney Boyd, and Brian Grace deleted Excellence in Education In Action.


$5K+ Contributions

CLEAN Missouri - $50,000 from Advocates, The Political Arm of PPSLR.

Midwest Region Laborers' Political League Education Fund - $7,483 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

SaferMO.Com - $10,000 from WSP USA Inc. (New York)

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $84,624 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

TheLOUpac - $100,000 from St Louis Zoo Association.

Raise Up Missouri - $9,589 from UFCW Local 655.



Happy birthdays to David Berry and Vernon Scoville.

Saturday: Pat Thomas and Connie Cunningham.

Sunday: Tim O’Connell, Rep. Donna Pfautsch, and Mark Siettmann.


MOScout Reminder

As part of the website overhaul, The MOScout Weekly Summary will now be opt-in for MOScout subscribers.  If you would like to continue to receive this, let me know by sending me an email ( 

Also note: MOScout’s “Who Won the Week” is moving to the weekend.