MOScout Daily Update: Goodbye Sunshine - Evans MRP ED - Meet BILL PAC - Video Lottery Hearing Today and more...

Goodbye Sunshine?

The House perfected Rep. Shamed Dogan’s bill to make CLEAN Missouri’s provisions applicable to local governments. However it also accepted an amendment from Rep. Nick Schroer which makes the Sunshine law irrelevant.  It exempts “any document or record, including electronic communications, received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body.”  Whaaaa?

Rep. Jon Carpenter rightly pointed out this is so broad that it applies to practically every email/text/letter a legislator would send. 

 

Evans New MRP ED

The Missouri Republican Party’s executive committee voted last night to name Rep. Jean Evans as their new executive director.  Evans will resign her legislative seat to take the post. The new job will take Evans all across the state.

With an all-male GOP 2020 statewide slate, Evans will be a welcome addition as Republicans try to connect with the college-educated white women alienated by President Donald Trump

Also, rural Missouri is locked down for Republicans.  It’s the suburban-type districts, which Evans represented, where some of the fiercest fighting will be in 2020.

And

Evans chairs the House’ Economic Development Committee.  That puts the gavel in hand sof Vice-Chair Rep. Derek Grier.

 

Follow-Up on Ashcroft 2020

I wrote yesterday about the possibility that Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft could potentially primary Governor Mike Parson in 2020.  Here’s are some additional bits from tipsters…

·         One MOScouter writes that Ashcroft was “also dissed in the US Senate jockeying. Despite near-universal name ID, the national party swooped in and almost immediately anointed Josh...”

·         And it’s worth noting is that Parson – even at his own fundraising events that are packed with Republican donors – will say “I’m not automatically gonna do the Republican policy, I'm always gonna do what I think is the best thing for the state...”  That’s exactly the sentiment I want from my governor, but it’s clear he’s a pragmatist, not an ideologue.  That means there’s “running room” for a base Republican.

·         One tipster saw Ashcroft personally walking into the Auditor’s office on the morning that he requested Nicole Galloway to join the investigation into Josh Hawley.  The implication is that in addition to the contents of the official letter, Ashcroft had a personal message to deliver.

·         Finally one Republican tells me that some St. Louis donors aren’t happy with Ashcroft’s play on the Hawley investigation and are pulling back because of it.

 

Driving the Day: Video Lottery/Gaming

I think the hottest committee today will be the Senate’s Progress and Development Committee, chaired by Democrat Gina Walsh. (1PM, SCR1).  That where Sen. Denny Hoskins’ SB 43 will get a hearing. This is the Missouri Video Lottery Control Act.  See it here. “This act allows the State Lottery Commission to implement a system of video lottery game terminals and to issue licenses to video lottery game manufacturers, distributors, operators, handlers, and retailers, as defined in the act…”

Proponents are hopeful that video lottery game terminals across the state will bring in lots of revenue.  But there’s an argument to be made that the new revenues will come largely at the expense of casino revenues.  Plus, will there be a social cost to putting mini-casinos (the bill says up to ten terminals at truck stops, five at other retailers) across Missouri?

In the hallway the battle looks to be between the incumbent casinos and those looking to enter the new market.  For example, Andy Blunt and Andy Arnold represent likely entrants into Missouri’s video operation business, B & B Amusement of Illinois, and J & J Ventures respectively.

 

Someone Didn’t Pay Their Lobbyist?

On Casenet, Viceroy Government Relations LLC and Wiles & Associates Inc. are suing John Beal Incorporated.

MEC’s lobbyist database shows that Viceroy’s Jeffrey Altmann represented John Beal Roofing from December 2017 until January 2019.

 

Watching Revenues

Rep. Kip Kendrick tweets about the revenue shortfall and his yard-posts to see if the withholding mess if the only culprit behind the downturn.  See it here.

MO revenue down 6.7% YTD. If "surprise tax bills" make up difference then we should expect this deficit to narrow by end of February to around -4% or less. If tax returns start rolling in & refund activity increases, then we know there's a significant problem.

 

Bill PAC

In the large contributions (below), The Believe In Life And Liberty – BILL PAC received a $75,000 check from World Wide Technology’s David Steward.  The “Bill” of BILL PAC refers to Sen. Bill Eigel.  It’s the latest in third-party PAC established to advance the agenda of an otherwise Sauer Amendment-constrained legislator.  A few thoughts of this…

·         $75K is real money.  It’s not the here’s-a-crumb $5K offering.

·         Look for more checks coming into the BILL PAC in the future.

·         The establishment of a well-funded 3rd party PAC might help the Senate’s Conservative Caucus members stay true to their principles and resist any go-along-get-along temptations to appease other donors.

 

Bits

·         The Senate Bowl charity event was last night (see Speaker Elijah Haahr’s team posing with the trophy here).  Compliance with CLEAN Missouri worked out fine.  They charged a $10 admission to cover the food.  There were no tabs at the bar.  And all the lobbyists’ donations went straight to the charity.

·         Minority Leader Crystal Quade appointed Reps. Cora Faith Walker and Martha Stevens to the Subcommittee on Medicaid Reform, and Reps. Gina Mitten and Mark Ellebracht to the Subcommittee on Litigation Reform.

·         The Missouri Ethics Commission says it received an opinion from the attorney general that “§ 105.957.1(6) authorizes the MEC to receive complaints of violations of Amendment 1 's waiting-period and gift-limitation provisions, and to issue advisory opinions regarding those provisions.” See it here.

·         Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman had a short video made about her first day.  See it here.

 

Help Wanted

Square seeks Eastern U.S. Government Relations Specialist.  “Square is seeking an experienced candidate with a background in state and local government relations to join our Government Relations and Policy team. You will: Assist with the many policy and regulatory issues that Square faces at the state and municipal level and with a focus on the eastern United States and Canada; Track key legislative and regulatory initiatives impacting Square and its community of sellers; Engage with elected and appointed stakeholders to deliver key messaging on issues of importance…”  See it here.

 

Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Collaborative (MOVE) seeks Deputy Director. “The Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director, together forming a close partnership as MOVE and MOVE Action build strong coordinated c3 and c4 voter engagement programs in Missouri.  This partnership will include working with members to set a strategic direction for the tables and building relationships with funders and other key stakeholders who support the work. Outreach to current and potential partners, relationship building in the broader political and policy landscape, and consistent professional development and landscape analysis will be vital to a successful Deputy Director’s role…”

 

New Committees

Eddy Justice (Friends of Justice) formed a candidate committee to run for Senate 25 as a Republican.

Robert Dillard formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Robert Dillard) to run for St. Louis City Alderperson, Ward 4, as a Democrat.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Believe in Life and Liberty - BILL PAC - $75,000 from David Steward.

MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from Daniel J Ludeman.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $10,000 from Penn National Gaming Inc.

KC Forward Progress - $48,155 from Progress KC.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Kara Corches and Ross Lien added Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Cydney Mayfield added Mayfield Law Office LLC.

Nikolas Nartowicz added Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Jonathan Robert Posey added Jonathan Posey.

Jason Zamkus added Technical Support LLC, and Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Karen Englert deleted American Heart Association.

Stacie Phan deleted Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Allen Andrews, Teresa Hensley, Steve Hobbs, and Tyler Hobbs.