Thursday, August 30 2018 - Special Session Likely - House 102 Do-Over? - Considering Dem Senate Maps and more....

Special Session Likely

Word is circulating that the probability of a special session, called to run concurrent with veto session next month, is increasingly likely.

Missourinet asked Governor Mike Parson about it recently.  See it here.  Their question seemed to focus on the possibility of ethics reform as part of the special session.  I think ethics is a long shot.  The assumption is that Parson, and legislative leaders, would want to keep the special session tight, with nothing too complicated that would require additional time and money.

That means a special session agenda that would focus on tweaking bills from the most recent session that have broad support, but technical problems – funding for trauma centers, or the STEM bill for example.

We’ll see…


Dems Need Priorities This Cycle

I continue to be amazed at the number of Dems who express interest or curiosity in Senate 16 where Doc Brown is term limited.  I take this a testament to the hard-working Democratic nominee, Ryan Dillon.  Because there’s little reason to be optimistic about Senate 16 flipping blue. Doc’s son, Justin Brown, is the Republican nominee.  He’s a legitimate, credible candidate.  The district is overwhelmingly Republican; Hillary Clinton won 22% of the vote in 2016.  And these are not suburban women Republicans who may have soured on Trump.  His favorability among Republicans was at 87% when I polled it in June.

For Dems, a candidate like Dillon is great news because Republicans will keep at least one eye on the district.

But – they need to be thoughtful about expending resources.

Will they target Senate 22 in Jefferson County, where incumbent Republican Sen. Paul Wieland is polling well below 50%, but the Democrat Robert Butler hasn’t shown a lot of fundraising?   Will they help Martin Rucker II in Senate 34, where Jason Kander scored 49.5% of the vote in 2016 and Republicans are coming off a divisive primary?  Will they take a flier on Senate 30 where the universities of Springfield should be give Dems a base of support?

All three of those districts offer more fertile ground for Dems to pick up a seat this cycle than Senate 16.

And even so, they can probably only choose one race – maybe two – if they want to fully fund a credible challenge to the Republican dominance. 

See the Senate maps here (first couple slides).


House 102 Redo?

The losing Republican candidate in House 102 has filed a lawsuit for an Election Day do-over.  This is not unprecedented.  It’s how Rep. Bruce Franks eventually won.  

Bryan Cooper, who lost to Ron Hicks by 4 votes, is the plaintiff of the lawsuit.  Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has previously acknowledged that one polling place was locked for the first half-hour of operations.

From Casenet: “There will be an evidence hearing held on September 4, 2018 and the court anticipates ruling at the close of the hearing.  Any issues of a recount of the votes in the election are being conducted, by statute, by the secretary of state and are not part of this proceeding.  If a new election is held, it shall be conducted on September 18, 2018…”


Penn Receives MGC Appoval

From the press release: Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that at a meeting today, the Company received approval from the Missouri Gaming Commission in connection with its pending acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., subject to customary conditions. The completion of the proposed transaction is contingent on receipt of additional regulatory approvals, as well as certain other conditions.

Timothy J. Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, commented, “We appreciate the work of the Missouri Gaming Commission and their comprehensive review of the application and filings related to our pending transaction with Pinnacle Entertainment. Reflecting the progress we have made to date with securing regulatory approvals, and the timeline we have established for the remaining requisite approvals, we remain on schedule to complete the transaction early in the fourth quarter.”

Inclusive of the approval from the MGC, Penn National has received approvals from twelve gaming regulatory bodies in connection with its proposed acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment….


Changing Shape of News

Former pressman Scott Charton tweets out a lament about the closing of the Carthage Press (see it here) after 134 years of operation.

These local papers are the places where state representative’s weekly columns run, and press releases about new programs or workshops are publicized.

Who steps into the void?  Social media?


Today’s Events

Reception for Hillary Shields (Dem, Senate 8) with Special Guest Sen. Claire McCaskill at home of Scott Intagliata Residence, Saint Louis – 5:30PM.


New Committees

MSCEW PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Rudy Chavez.


$5K+ Contributions

HBS MO State PAC - $17,500 from Altria Client Services.

Fix MO HVAC-R - $6,000 from Hoffmann Brothers Heating Air Conditioning Plumbing.

House Victory Committee - $6,000 from Friends of Kip Kendrick.

House Victory Committee - $10,000 from Peter Merideth for MO Progress.

CLEAN Missouri - $150,000 from SEIU Missouri State Council PAC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $20,000 from MACFD.



Happy birthdays to Jason Hancock, Lou Hamilton, and Stephen Gregali.