Tuesday, August 28, 2018: McDowell Might Escape Challenge - Paycheck Challenged - Why Trump May Prevent a Dem Wave in MO and more...

McDowell Might Escape Challenge

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft certified the primary election yesterday.   According to Missouri law, the opponents of Republican Auditor nominee Saundra McDowell now have five days to challenge her qualifications.

I think there’s a very real possibility that she escapes that fate.  It seems to me – talking to Dems – that they’re inclined to prefer McDowell to a hand-picked, party-vetted candidate.  In particular McDowell’s history of financial troubles gives them a good line of attack, and folks think there will be more embarrassments in her full opposition research folder.

It is possible one of the minor party candidates – the Green candidate or the Constitution candidate – could sue.

I also spoke to a few Republicans who indicated that envoys have tried – and may still be trying – to work a deal where McDowell would drop off the ballot.  So we’ll see….

And

One insider mentioned another name to put on the short list of possible replacements if McDowell dropped… Columbia attorney Jennifer Bukowsky.  Others previously mentioned: Reps. Holly Rehder and Marsha Haefner.

Meanwhile

The Post editorial rips McDowell (see it here): “GOP primary voters inexplicably chose a train wreck of a challenger... can’t seem to balance her household checkbook, much less stand guard over billions of dollars in state expenditures. After she and her husband stopped paying rent on their home, their Springfield landlord had to sue to recover $32,658 owed by the couple. As of February, McDowell’s outstanding legal judgments totaled more than $55,000, including $1,235 for an unpaid utility bill and $1,239.70 from Jackson County for breach of contract, according to the Columbia Tribune… Husband Jonathan McDowell’s law license has been suspended indefinitely by the Missouri Supreme Court…”

 

Follow-Up on 2010 and 2018 Analogy

One MOScouter texted me yesterday to point out an important difference between the 2010 and 2018 cycle.  While it’s true that President Donald Trump has become an energizing force for Democratic turnout, he’s still popular (“strong as garlic”) in many parts of Missouri.  Especially in rural Missouri.  The question, then, is whether Trump remains popular enough in places like Jefferson County, for example, to contain any Democratic “wave” to the suburbs of the Democratic strongholds – St. Louis, KC and Columbia.

 

Driving the Day

Bills become law today….

Governor Mike Parson and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe co-authored an op/ed extolling the benefits of the change in merit pay – one of the many landmark pieces of legislation passed last year.  See it here.

“Aug. 28 will be an important day for our great state and the state employees who serve Missourians every day — the merit reform law passed by the General Assembly during this year's legislative session will go into effect… The merit reform goal is simple to give state government the common sense flexibility it needs to deliver for our citizens… The vast majority of state workers will come to work on Aug. 28, and do their jobs just as they did the day before. Just as we do today, if state employees are committed public servants who do their jobs and get better, then the State of Missouri is committed to them. That doesn't change. We shouldn't, though, lose sight of merit reform's long-term impact. It is an important part of something bigger — our commitment to improve state government's performance so we are an even greater organization…”

But

The landmark “paycheck protection” legislation is now being litigated.  Kansas City Star reports that “Seven unions representing teachers, maintenance workers, patient care professionals and some public safety employees filed suit in St. Louis County circuit court to challenge Missouri’s new “paycheck protection” law passed this year by the General Assembly and signed by then-Gov. Eric Greitens. The bill imposes new requirements for unions to get certified to represent workers, withhold dues and fees and negotiate contracts. It also prohibits union members from picketing. Under the law, unions would be required to get permission every year before collecting dues and other fees from members’ checks to use for political purposes. The union would have to be re-certified every three years, a hurdle the unions say is too high…”

 

Looking Ahead: Keeping Your Freedoms While High

Rep. Nick Schroer on Twitter says that “I’ve already announced my intent to preemptively protect legitimate medicinal marijuana users’ #2A rights next year. Govt overreach in other states proves it is a necessary piece of legislation w MO likely to pass medicinal on ballot in Nov #moleg”

 

Meanwhile In Other Smoking News

Post-Dispatch reports that “St. Louis County election officials on Monday said they will certify for the Nov. 6 ballot a strong countywide indoor smoking ban sought by a coalition of health groups. Eric Fey, Democratic director of the County Election Board, said the board verified that the petition committee — Show Me Smoke Free — gathered enough signatures of registered voters to trigger the public vote… Fey said the board would announce later this week whether a rival petition measure continuing exemptions for casinos also will go before voters in November.

The proposal would bar smoking from 50 percent of casino gaming floors but allow people to continue to light up in the remaining half. That petition drive was financed by Penn National Gaming, which owns Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights and is buying River City Casino in Lemay. A St. Louis County ordinance says if two ballot measures with conflicting provisions both are approved by voters, the one getting the most votes prevails…”

 

Soybeaners Get $$$

Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration said it would make $4.7 billion in payments to U.S. farmers to offset losses from trade battles rippling across the globe. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday the funds constitute an initial payment to farmers hit by tariffs from major U.S. trading partners, which have left producers of commodities from soybeans to pork to apples vulnerable during a steep downturn in the agricultural economy… Soybean farmers are slated to get roughly three-fourths of the direct payments, or $3.6 billion, followed by producers of pork, cotton, sorghum, dairy and wheat…”

 

Today’s Events

Mark Matthiesen Fundrasier at Creve Coeur Airport with special guest Rob Vescovo – 5PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Kimberly Preston deleted Excellence In Education National Inc DBA Excellence In Education In Action.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $50,000 from Romine for Senate.

CLEAN Missouri - $50,000 from Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes.

SaferMo.Com - $10,000 from APAC - Central, Inc.

Citizens To Elect Waller - $5,750 from MO Majority PAC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Shamed Dogan (the big 4-0), John Diehl, and civil rights great Percy Green II.

 

Congratulations

To Shawn and Melissa Furey on the birth of their fourth child. Grant Kemper Furey (7lbs, 9 oz.) is the younger brother of Reagan (5), Will (3) and Ella (2).  Observers believe Grant is probably about a year or two away from being just another middle child…