July 26, 2018 - 5G Rural Divide

Here Come the Self-Funders

Every cycle we see it, folks wonder if just a little more money will push them over the finish-line.

Yesterday Mark Mantovani, running in the Democratic primary for St. Louis County Exectuive, sent another $250K to his campaign.  That brings his total investment to $1.5 million.

And Pat Rowe Kerr running in House 60 Republican primary, deposited another $40K into her campaign account.  She’s in a tight three-way race to replace Rep. Jay Barnes.

Money that folks put up at the start of a campaign is sometimes a bluff designed to scare off would-be challengers.  This money is no bluff.  These folks are using this money in a frantic last push…


5G Rural Divide

Yesterday Axios had an interesting article about digital divide between rural and urban areas.  It’s been a persistent problem.  But it may be getting worse in the near future.  With the coming roll-out of 5G technology, the population hubs will once again leap farther ahead in this critical area: speedy access to information.  And in an economy in which information technology is interwoven into every industry – agriculture is no exception – this should concern all Missourians.

See the article here.

Pull Quote: New 5G networks are expected to supercharge wireless speeds and trigger an explosion of new services — but they also may exacerbate the stubborn digital divide and leave out wide swaths of rural Americans…. Despite the hype around 5G, there's still little financial incentive for the major telecom firms to spend the billions of dollars necessary to serve rural communities, experts say.

Big wireless providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are promising that 5G (or fifth-generation wireless networks) will deliver gigabit speeds — up to 100 times faster than current 4G LTE wireless service — that will power smart cities, instant video delivery, virtual reality and a host of other applications that need constant, robust connections.

The catch: The high-frequency airwaves capable of delivering those fast speeds can't travel very far — only a few hundred feet with a clear line of sight. So networks will need hundreds of thousands more cell antennas to carry the signals. That may be feasible for a metropolitan downtown, but it's too expensive in many rural areas...  5G can be a viable rural option where houses are clustered together and close enough to fiber infrastructure, said Steven Steele, CEO of Peoples Telecom, which serves 3,000 wireless subscribers in East Texas. "The nice thing about 5G is everyone's doing it, so equipment will get cheaper," he said.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told Axios in an interview last month that there is a strong business case for rural 5G networks, such as precision agriculture: "I'm confident that if we get the infrastructure out there in rural America, if we create a business case for doing that, there's going to be incredible benefits."


Billionaires for a Missouri Demographer?

CLEAN Missouri, the November ballot initiative which would institute ethics and campaign finance reform as well as reconfigure the redistricting process in Missouri by creating an official demographer position, received two huge checks yesterday.

One was for $250K from Django Bonderman.  The other was for $300K from Action Now Initiative which is was founded by billionaires John and Laura Arnold.

Dems think (correctly) that a new process for drawing legislative lines will benefit them. 


Merideth: J’Accuse!

On Facebook, Rep. Peter Merideth unloads on the process that ended with McKinsey getting a fat consultancy contract with the state.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The way I see this, Greitens’ people are still in power even with him gone, and his donors appear set to continue to get what they paid for. New Governor, same corruption.


Senate Primary Watch

In Senate 16, Justin Brown is up with a new radio spot which is a parody of Rep. Diane Franklin’s TV commercial.  It hits her and Rep. Keith Frederick as a career politicians, calls her “high-life livin’, state representin.’”  Justin Brown’s new tagline: Swamp-Drainer, as he differentiates himself from the two state representatives.


In Senate 34, term-limited Sen. Rob Schaaf – all in for Harry Roberts to replace him – isn’t exactly taking the high road as he exits public service.  Or maybe it’s the Trump effect, giving nicknames is now accepted political discourse. See it here.


RTW Feedback

A Republican on why the legislature could re-pass right to work even after it’s defeated statewide: “[What’s the] consequence for Republicans?” 

A Democrat on why the August ballot move was smart for GOP: “The anti-RTW has drained so much resources that [it] has helped Rs.”


Uniting the Candidate and PAC?

Jack Suntrup’s article on the new pro-Mike Parson PAC, Uniting Missouri, contains this line:

“All of our expenditures will be disclosed. ... That was done expressly at Gov. Parson’s desire not to have any dark money involved in his political world.”  See it here.

While it’s admirable that the new regime is trying to more transparent, should a PAC which can’t coordinate with the candidate be acting according to the expressed desires of the candidate?


New Committees

Mariah Vandiver, running in house 80 as a Democrat, filed an exemption committee.


Today’s Events

St. Louis Regional Chamber Annual Event at Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis.

Ryan Dillon (Dem, Senate 16) at home of Alison and Richard Martin, Kansas City – 5:30PM

Brad Bakker, J.P. Johnson & Travis Estes (Dems in House 84, 81, and 79) at 4 Hands Brewing Company, St. Louis – 5:30PM.


$5K+ Contributions

CLEAN Missouri - $250,000 from Django Bonderman.

CLEAN Missouri - $300,000 from Action Now Initiative (Houston TX).

We Are Missouri - $100,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC.

Mantovani For STL - $10,000 from Joe Koenig.

Committee to Elect Linda Klingerman for Judge - $39,500 from Linda Klingerman.

Senate Conservative Fund - $25,000 from Jeffrey Roe.

Rob O’Brian for State Senate Committee - $25,000 from Rob O’Brian.

Missouri Senate Conservative Fund - $100,000 from Missouri Alliance for Freedom – Grace River PAC.

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund - $25,000 from Missouri Republican Leadership PAC.

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund - $50,000 from American Democracy Alliance – Ridgely PAC.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $25,000 from RightChoice Managed Care Inc.

Carpenter for Recorder Committee - $6,000 from Sharon Carpenter.

Committee To Elect Steven Privette Circuit Judge - $55,000 from Steven Privette.

Mantovani for STL - $10,000 from Chase and Co LLC.

Mantovani for STL - $250,000 from Mark Mantovani.

Mantovani for STL - $7,500 from Stephen Smith.

Friends to Elect Pat Rowe Kerr - $40,000 from Pat Rowe Kerr.

Freedom Incorporated - $7,500 from KC Regional Association of Realtors.


Lobbyist Registrations

Craig Stevenson added Kids Win Missouri.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, and Mike McMillan.