MOScout Daily Update: Faleti for SOS - Walsh Promoted - Gross vs Dark Money - More on MNEA IPs - Blunt Touts "Joker Defense" and more....

Faleti Forms Committee for SOS

Yinka Faleti has taken the first formal step toward running for secretary of state, by forming a candidate committee.  Faleti, a Democrat, has long been rumored to be one of the Dems statewide candidates this cycle.  His deputy treasurer is Mike Pridmore, a Democratic fundraising consultant, serves in that capacity for a number of committees, including Galloway for Missouri, Vote 2020, and We Are Missouri.

About Faleti…

·         He’s an attorney.

·         A West Point graduate.

·         And the former executive director of Forward Through Ferguson.

And…

He’s an African American, and has never been elected to public office.  That fits in well with the slate that Dems are putting together.  It will be much more diverse than the Republicans all white, all male slate.  And the Dems will be relying on some fresh faces against the career politicians of the Republicans.

 

Walsh Promoted

On Twitter over the weekend the Insulators Union congratulated Sen. Gina Walsh “on being appointed to the highest position held by a woman in the history of our Union! We are proud to announce, during the @NABTU  Trades Women Build Nations Conference, that Sister Walsh is the new Labor Mgt and Coop Initiative Deputy Director.”

Walsh’s staffer Jansen Thomas circulated a statement from Walsh: “I’ll be transitioning from my current full-time job as president of the Missouri State Building Trades to this new full-time job with the Insulators next year and that this position allows me to reside in St. Louis enabling me to finish serving my final year in the State Senate.”

And Thomas added is folks are wondering if she is going to resign immediately to accept this new position. That’s not the plan at this point and she’ll likely make a decision next year.

 

Driving the Day: Gross’ Dark Money Appeal

Democratic Attorney General candidate Elad Gross writes, “On Monday, the Western District Court of Appeals will be hearing argument on Gross v. A New Missouri, Inc. The argument will be heard at the Sullivan County Courthouse in Milan at 1PM.  A New Missouri, Inc. purports to be a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that was used by former Governor Eric Greitens to funnel money into Missouri elections without revealing the identity of donors…. The case will likely determine whether corporations like A New Missouri, Inc., may organize as nonprofit organizations in Missouri, receive taxpayer benefits, and withhold information from the public if they purport to serve the public rather than specific individuals. The case will have significant implications on the public's power to shed light on dark money spending in Missouri elections…”

 

eMailbag: Oh Cindy O – A Few Corrections

One reader replies to Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin’s take-down of the MNEA IP proposals…

Yes, the MNEA is attempting to strengthen funding language in the Missouri Constitution to make our education system more fair for kids. There are huge funding disparities as it stands now.

Here are some neighboring districts where there are significant gaps in per pupil expenditures: Clayton ($24,724) vs. St. Louis ($12,060), New Madrid ($12,834) vs. Charleston ($7,813), Richland ($12,827) vs. Sikeston ($8,672), Pattonville ($16,085) vs. Ferguson-Florrisant ($10,964) and South Calloway ($13,575) vs. Jeff City ($9,940). It’s not a matter of if someone sues the state, but more a matter of when.

What Senator O’Laughlin doesn’t understand is that the language stating that no less that 25 percent of state general revenue should support free public schools has been in the Missouri Constitution since 1875.

State spending for K-12 is approximately $3.5B, and that represents about 34% of the state’s $10.2B in general revenue. If O’Laughlin thinks cutting education spending by a more than a billion dollars ($2.5B at 25 percent of general revenue) is okay, then we’ll let her figure out how to fill vacant jobs with poorly educated kids.

Perhaps she’s conflating the spending thresholds already embedded in the constitution with the proposed changes to tax law that the MNEA has woven into their education proposals.

While some MNEA proposals make the “equality of opportunity” standard only apply to early childhood programs that serve kids between ages 3 and 5, the language does not state that K-12 schools can set up daycare’s “at the cost of Missouri taxpayers”. The language appears to target charter schools by excluding their early childhood programs from stronger funding protections.

And finally, regarding a ban on funding “alternative schools” in Kansas City, the proposal actually prevents future tax credit scholarships for private schools anywhere in the state through mechanisms like ESAs.

Although there’s a lot not to like in each of the six proposals, Senator O’Laughlin’s claims miss the mark.

 

Blunt Employs “Joker Defense” for Trump

From Axios… The "joker" defense: Some Trump defenders (Sens. Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt, and Rep. Jim Jordan) are testing a new line: that the president was just joking when he said China should investigate Joe Biden and his son.

And

Also from Axios this morning, Recession Watch…  “[F]orecasters estimate just a 7% likelihood of a recession starting this year, a 24% likelihood by mid-2020 and 47% by the end of 2020.”

 

Bits

·         “The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to fill the associate circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the appointment of Judge Renee Hardin-Tammons to circuit judge. Those nominated by the commission are: Kenneth M. Brison, Heather R. Cunningham, and Amanda B McNelley… Brison received three votes, Cunningham received five votes, and McNelley received four votes….”

·         In-box: John Gaskin recently joined Flotron and McIntosh as an associate. Gaskin will be working alongside their team in Jeff City this coming session. Previously he served as the youngest head of the St. Louis County NAACP and a project manager at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.”

·         News Tribune reports that “Cole County Presiding Judge Pat Joyce has announced she will not run for another term as circuit judge and will retire after her current term. Joyce, currently the lone Democrat in county office in Cole County, said she will finish the remainder of her six-year term, which ends in December 2020.”

·         Springfield News-Leader reports that “Springfield personal-injury attorney and medical doctor Brad Bradshaw has been slapped with a federal tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service, 11 months after his unsuccessful campaign to convince Missouri voters to back medical marijuana Amendment 3. A lien for more than $701,000 was imposed on Bradshaw and his wife as of Sept. 19, according to IRS data collected by the Springfield Business Journal and posted Sept. 27…”

 

Help Wanted

Renew Missouri seeks Policy and Outreach Organizer.   “The Policy and Outreach Organizer will be responsible for ensuring that the organization’s mission is being met through coalition building, policy advocacy, education of decision-makers, and fundraising… Salary Range: $35,000-$42,000… Please email cover letter, resume and three references to apply@renewmo.org by November 8th, 2019.”

 

New Committees

Marlon Anderson formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Marlon Anderson) to run for House 76 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Democratic Rep. Chris Carter.

Yinka Faleti formed a candidate committee (Faleti For Missouri) to run for Secretary of State as a Democrat.

Access MO was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Victoria Singer.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added FanThreeSixty, and Curriculum Associates.

Richard McIntosh added Strategic Capitol Consulting LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Kenny Ross and Zach Wyatt-Gomez.