Wednesday, September 5, 2018: Gov's EcoDevo Conference Starts Today - Schrimpf Joins Tightline - MO Educated Women Down on Trump and more...

The Eco Devo Big Picture

I’m headed to Kansas City today to look for news at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development. 

Politicians love cutting ribbons and announcing new deals.  But unless you believe that outbidding competitor states with tax breaks and incentives is smart policy, the state’s role in economic development is really a long game.

What can state government do? 

·         Make sure the infrastructure is in good shape.  There’s plenty of research that infrastructure facilitates economic activity.  Infrastructure is more than just moving goods to market, and workers to jobs.  It’s also moving information.

·         Adopt a forward-looking regulatory environment that embraces the changing economy. The MO Legislature can point to plenty of efforts to do this – Uber/Lyft, platooning trucks, fantasy sports gaming.   It’s always hard fought.  Even when disruptive technology grows the pie, there are still folks on the losing end. They are usually the economic incumbents – with relationships to the governing powers.  And they resist the newcomers.  For example, the Wall Street Journal reports self-driving trucks will eliminate about 300,000 trucking jobs.  Ouch.  But imagine how self-driving trucks and then self-driving cars will cut costs, lower consumer prices and reshape industries. 

·         Education is more important than ever.  In the present environment, labor shortages are greater constraint on growth than other traditional impediments like lack of capital.  And in the longer term, education is the key to taking advantage of the crushing pace of technological change.  While the specific skills demanded by the changing economy will continue to change, the ability to learn – the skill that is mastered through the process of education – will remain critical.


Anti-CLEAN Efforts

Judging from social media, Missouri Republicans’ #2 target this cycle is defeating CLEAN Missouri.  (Beating Claire McCaskill is #1). 

Advance Missouri (see the website here) has raised money for the legal challenge to CLEAN.  It’s being run by Axiom/Graves. 

Assuming CLEAN remains on the ballot, Missouri First is prepping the campaign. That campaign is being run by Palm Strategies.  The chairman of Missouri First is Jim Talent.   He issued his opening salvo against CLEAN calling it “the Gerrymandering Initiative.”

It’s a new line of attack, demonstrating that Republicans – so far – haven’t coalesced behind a single message about CLEAN.  Many have seemed fixated on how CLEAN is raising its money – or who CLEAN’s supporters are.  This especially after a Post-Dispatch article showed that they are taking significant amounts of dark money.

Talent appears to have decided to focus on the substance of the redistricting process in the proposal, though I’m not sure a state demographer will seems like such a bogeyman to regular Missourians.  We’ll see….


MO Poll: Educated White Women Down on Trump

This poll was being passed around the internets yesterday.  I found the Trump approval numbers interesting.  They show a pattern emerging here in Missouri which mirrors national findings.

The Washington Post wrote about this a month ago.  See it here.  And see the stunning chart that accompanies it here

It shows how white men without college degrees fled the Democratic Party in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama.  They haven’t returned.  And now white women with college degrees are exiting the Republican Party with the election of Donald Trump.

This poll finds a similar demographic split in Missouri.

Trump’s approval among white men without college degrees is net +26 (56% approve, 30% disapprove); and his approval among white women with college degrees is nearly opposite: -16 (38% approve, 54% disapprove).

What It Means

This is why folks think this cycle’s battleground will be in the suburbs where soccer moms may power Democratic gains.


Claycomb to SBOE

Remember when Greitens was governor and every other nomination to the State Board of Education was rescinded, disqualified or otherwise bungled?  Team Parson’s latest addition to the board, Don Claycomb, barely received notice.

One education wonk… “Should be a great board member. With all the conversation coming out of the governor’s office about workforce development, a former community college president makes a lot of sense. Could help bridge the ever-present divide between K-12 and higher education.”


The Parson honeymoon continues… in large part because of Parson.  One MOScouter at the special session announcement yesterday noted how different the event script was from the Greitens days: Parson got “standing ovation… [bipartisan crowd including] Richardson, Libla, Franks and Plocher… [they let Dem leaders] Walsh and Mitten talk about the drug court bill. Parsons said ‘special session in not about what I want, it's about what we want…’”


Schrimpf Joins Tightline

The press release:  Tightline Public Affairs announced today that Erin Schrimpf has joined the firm as a Principal.  Erin joins Tightline on the heels of contributing to a historic win serving as the spokeswoman for We Are Missouri, the campaign committee that worked to defeat Proposition A and repeal Missouri’s so-called “right-to-work” legislation… As a Principal at Tightline, Erin’s first duties will be to serve as Communications Director for New Approach Missouri, the campaign committee that has placed Amendment 2 on the November ballot….

In 2016, Erin graduated with her Master of Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Upon graduation, Erin was selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), the federal government’s prestigious, two-year leadership development program… Prior to her fellowship in Washington, from 2011 to 2014, Erin was the Special Assistant for Public Affairs for Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James in Kansas City, Missouri. In the Mayor’s office, she handled speechwriting and communications, aided in event planning from Cabinet Secretary visits to local classroom visits, and was instrumental in helping craft the communications strategy for the Mayor’s education initiative, Turn the Page KC…


eMailbag on Unions November Surge?

Regarding the follow-up to Prop A by labor, there is lots of social media sharing and talk at meetings by rank-and-file of lists of legislators up this time who voted for RTW.  People feel emboldened to go after those legislators, so your analysis is pretty good.


eMailbag on Senate 8

Anyone who says Hillary Shields is more of a Bernie Sanders type has:

A. Not met her

B. Not listened to her

C. Not read her website or campaign literature

D. Is underestimating her and not taking her seriously

She is much closer to the model of a Claire McCaskill, very grounded, very middle class in background and sensibility.


Meanwhile in Moniteau…

ThisBREAKING NEWS: Moniteau County prosecuting attorney Shayne Healea pleads guilty 3 count of misdemeanor assault, one misdemeanor DWI. Healea will sign a resignation letter this afternoon and have his name removed from the re-election ballot.


Lobbyists Registrations

Mike Gibbons and Trish Workman deleted Rockwood Asset Management.


New Committees

Tony Lovasco formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Lovasco) to run for House 64 as a Republican.  This is Robert Cornejo’s district.  This is Lovasco’s website.

Andrea Bough formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Andrea Bough) to run for Kansas City Council Person District 6.

Casey Leslie formed a candidate committee (Leslie For Governor) to run for governor as an Independent.

Corruption Free SFC was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Vicky Winick.

Nexus PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Matthew McBride.

Dade County Democratic Support Group was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Robert Glenn.

NRA Political Victory Fund was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Caitlin Benecke.

Missouri Priorities PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Stephanie Bell.

Centurylink Missouri Federal Employees Political Action Committee was formed.  Its treasurer is Claudia Sands.


$5K+ Contributions

Professional Firefighters of North St Louis County PAC - $8,898 from Pattonville Community Affairs Fund.

Committee To Elect Andy Wood For Circuit Judge - Division III - $20,000 from Andrew Wood.



Happy birthdays to Jack Danforth, Jenee Lowe, Rachel Storch, Kate Casas, Brett Berri and Fred Wessels.