July 30, 2018 - Low Stakes Primary

Rumorville: RTW Checkers Match

As I’ve written about before, next week’s right to work vote isn’t likely the final battle in this war.  While the consensus is clear that Missourians will reject the measure, it’s the margin that matters to both sides.

One politico says to look out for “a MAJOR contribution” from a national right to work organization.  They think the issue is tightening and are considering a surge to see if they can’t close the gap and “leave it to the legislature” to re-pass in a future session.


About Next Week: Low Stakes Primary Elections

Shhhh.  Don’t tell the candidates who are sprinting for the finish, fiercely fighting to reach their voters a few more times before next Tuesday’s primary election, but…. there seems to be an abnormally little amount at stake.

Unlike previous cycles in Missouri, it’s hard to find races where the primary outcome will have a meaningful impact on the general election.

Perhaps you could make that case that the Republican primary in House 97 matter – that the GOP would do well to put the fresh (and female) face of Mary Elizabeth Coleman against Rep. Mike Revis instead of the candidate who lost to him earlier this year.

Maybe (as in maybe) Republican Tom Lovell winning the primary in House 35 helps Republicans more in their quest to keep that seat from flipping.

And I suppose a come from behind win by Rob O’Brian in Senate 32 would solidify the vote count for Caleb Rowden to become Senate floor leader.

But really these impacts are on the edge, and in some cases are entirely arm-chair speculation.


About Next Week: Surprising No One

In hindsight I suppose we all knew it would happen, but we’ve certainly seen it now with our own eyes – the Amendment 2 contribution limits has catalyzed the rise of 3rd party independent expenditures.

Everywhere the talk in the senate primaries this week is about these third-party groups… Is the pro-Harry Roberts CL PAC retreating from Senate 34?  Have you heard about the next big hit coming on Cindy O’Laughlin in Senate 18?  Are the negative attacks on Bill White coming too late to be effective?

Transparency is sometimes a problem, but in most cases you can still see who’s behind the IEs.


Looking Around the Corner:  McCaskill’s Advantage?

Jeff Roe has been at the leading edge of one of the biggest changes in running campaigns over the last few decades.  Politicians used to try to navigate a primary staying as close to the center as possible the Independent voters, assuming their base was locked down.  Politics used to be fight over those “undecided” voters.

The prevailing strategy now is different: energize your base.  Turn-out of your supporters will power your vote count, not pandering to the middle.

Senator Claire McCaskill is old school in this regard.  She has fashioned herself like an ideal pol from 25 years ago.  She seems to have calibrated her votes in the Senate to remain somewhere right around 50th whenever senators are ranked on the partisan spectrum.  Her rhetoric is straight-forward, common-sense, folksy, and yet often Clinton-esque in a third-way triangulating kind of way.

Still – I believe that President Donald Trump is energizing the Democratic base to such an extent this year that this advantage will accrue to McCaskill despite herself. 

The case to the contrary: Axios had a piece over the weekend arguing that the Trump effect energizes both Republicans and Democrats.



ACLU is spending nearly $100K opposing the re-election of Bob McCullough as St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney.  See it here.


The honeymoon continues amid cheers of Governor Mike Parson’s granddaddy bod in a Cards uniform (see it here), throwing a strike for the opening pitch, and relief that, as one lobbyist texted me, “we don’t have to worry about him repelling down into an event.”


Something Nice

Pat Thomas reports that “Secrets can be kept in Jefferson City. Several friends and colleagues from the building helped my husband with a surprise birthday party for me a few weeks shy of 50th--so secrets can be kept…”


Lobbyists Registrations

Nancy Giddens and Shannon Cooper added Missouri Employers Mutual.

Emily Kalmer added American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $50,000 from IUPAT Political Action Together Political Committee.

Brush Fires PAC - $45,000 from American Federation for Children.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $25,000 from AT&T.

MBA River Heritage Region PAC - $7,119 from Sterling Bank.

Citizens to Protect Tax Revenue and Jobs - $200,000 from Penn National Gaming Inc.

MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from GJ Grewe Inc.

High Street PAC - $20,000 from MO Optometric PAC.

Friends of Jessica Kruse - $18,600 Jessica Kruse.

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund - $200,000 from US Term Limits Inc.

Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund - $27,500 from American Federation for Children.

CL PAC - $27,500 from American Federation for Children.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $30,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $30,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Monsanto Company.

Regional Progress  PAC - $6,250 from Robert Blitz.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $25,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Missouri Federation for Children PAC - $27,000 from Missouri Senate Conservatives Fund.

Friends for Locke Thompson - $48,000 from Locke Thompson.

MACFPD Campaign Committee - $200,000 from Great St. Louis Inc.

Friends of EMS - $16,000 from St. Charles County Paramedic Association.

Freedom Incorporated - $60,000 from Missouri AFL-CIO.

CLEAN Missouri - $6,000 from Action Now Initiative.

Missouri Senate Leadership PAC - $10,000 from Health PAC.

Missouri Senate Leadership PAC - $10,000 from MHA PAC for Health.



Happy birthdays to Bruce Darrough