Ashcroft Contra MPA
During his testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft made two things clear: first, he loves libraries; and second, he’s not happy with the some of the state’s newspapers.
Ashcroft sees the libraries as the state’s already built infrastructure, a network which stretches into every community, offering high-speed internet, and communities services. Over and over he asked for increased funding.
But when it came to placing ads in newspapers to alert Missourians about upcoming ballot issues, Ashcroft shook an angry fist as what he saw as price gouging from newspapers. He’s constitutionally required to place the ads, and felt like newspapers artificially raised their prices aware of his $6 million budget.
In an October letter to the Missouri Press Association (see it here), Ashcroft detailed how some newspapers’ prices to place the ads rose – many by 20% or more. Others were extraordinary. According to the letter, for example, the Sikeston Standard Democrat first quoted a price of $11,220. But less than two weeks later, it was revised up to $90,255.
Sifton for Gov
Last weekend the Post-Dispatch ran an article looking at Sen. Scott Sifton’s gubernatorial ambitions. See it here. Sifton, later, linked to the article in a fundraising email to supporters. So far, Sifton is the only Democrat actively pounding the pavement to run for governor. As result the clock is ticking for other Dems to decide. There’s probably a four to five-month window, from here until early summer, for the other Dem names – most notably Auditor Nicole Galloway - to decide whether to enter the race. At some point – say by July 4 – if no one else has stepped up, Sifton will be the presumptive Dem nominee.
The knock on Sifton is that it’s hard for a state senator to raise the kind of money to close the money gap that incumbent Governor Mike Parson is building.
· Parson raised $783K last quarter, and now has $935K on-hand.
· Sifton raised $70K, and now has $317K cash on-hand.
· The pro-Parson PAC, Uniting Missouri, is probably around $2 million COH.
· The pro-Sifton PAC, Show-Me Leadership, was established in November had $100 COH, with no large contributions reported.
Parson Not Invulnerable
There’s a lot of love for Governor Mike Parson. He’s still haloed in the honeymoon glow. As noted above, while Dems twiddle, he’s raising money. But Dems think there will be some chinks in his armor.
· He supported “the largest tax hike in Missouri history.” And he’s pushing a plan to add more debt. It could be the basis for attacking his credibility as a fiscal conservative.
· Dems think Galloway could be an outstanding image match-up with Parson. A relative new face versus a status-quo face.
· And Dems can’t image that Trump will win Missouri by 19 point again… (We’ll see….) They think you’ll see huge urban turnout to beat Trump in 2020.
Speaker Elijah Haahr appointed himself to the Joint Committee on Capitol Security; and appointed Reps. David Gregory and Ken Wilson to the Joint Committee on the Justice System; and Reps. Cody Smith and Mike Stephens to the Joint Committee on Public Assistance.
Kauffman Foundation seeks Program Officer – Policy. “The Program Officer will manage a portfolio of grants and programmatic activities designed to improve public policy for entrepreneurs. This position will also provide in-house policy support and guidance to members of the Entrepreneurship Department. Specific Responsibilities include: Manage all aspects of grant making related to entrepreneur advocacy and policy… Design and execute initiatives to advance Kauffman Foundation policy objectives; Produce written content to advance Public Policy Strategy… Assist with policymaker education and advocacy initiatives; Monitor and track legislative and policy developments to inform Entrepreneurship team of opportunities and challenges… Convene multiple stakeholders and interests in alignment with Kauffman Foundation policy objectives… Build and maintain relationships with key policymakers and other stakeholders… Represent the Foundation in meetings with policymakers and at conferences and other events, including taking relevant speaking engagements…”
Missouri First - $30,000 from Republic Services.
Progress KC - $10,000 from Hallmark Cards Inc.
Progress KC - $25,000 from The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City.
Casey Allen Wasser added Missouri Amusement Machine Operators Association c/o The Swain Group.
Sydell Shayer deleted Jean Dugan.
Happy birthday to former Sen. Robin Wright-Jones.