MOScout Weekender: Ethics' Temp Member - Columbia City Poll - Hallway on City-County Merger - Who Won the Week and more...

House Ethics’ Temporary Member

Yesterday I wrote that “Minority Leader Crystal Quade appointed Rep. Richard Brown ‘as a temporary member of the Committee on Ethics for the sole purpose of considering Case Number 19-001.’”  It’s an intriguing item that has created questions and speculation.  Here’s some additional information to suss out what’s going on…

·         First, the Ethics Committee is considering a complaint against a member of the House.  According to House Rules (Rule 24, subsection 14), “The Committee on Ethics may consider and report upon complaints referred to it relating to a member of the House involving the commission of a crime, misconduct, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, or other complaints relating to the ethical conduct of a member…”

·         Second, one can speculate given the Case Number, “19-001,” that this is the first case they’ve considered this year.

·         Third, one member of the current Ethics Committee is thought to be unable to be unbiased in considering the complaint.  And that committee member is a Democrat.  This can be surmised by looking at the Ethics Committee’s rules as perfected in HR 137. F. Any party may make an objection to the participation of any member of the Committee in an examination of the complaint on the grounds that the member cannot render an impartial and unbiased decision in the case. The majority of the members present shall rule on the objection to the participation of any member of the Committee. A temporary replacement shall be made to serve on the Committee on Ethics for all actions concerning a particular complaint for any member of the Committee who is prevented from acting on a complaint under these rules. Any temporary replacement made shall be of the same party as the replaced member and shall be chosen by the Speaker for the replacement of a member of the majority party or chosen by the Minority Floor Leader for the replacement of a member of the minority party…

The Democrats on the Ethics Committee are: Gina Mitten, Mark Ellebracht, Kip Kendrick, Tommie Pierson Jr., and Martha Stevens.


MOScout Poll: Columbia City Poll

The Weekly Poll looks at the City of Columbia where a former state rep, Chris Kelly, is running against a lobbyist, incumbent Mayor Brian Treece.  Also, interesting to see that Sen. Caleb Rowden has an OK job approval in what should be the toughest part of the district for him.  See the full results here.

Survey conducted February 6 through February 8, 2019. 484 likely Municipal Election voters participated in the survey. Margin of Error is +/-4.4%. Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding.

Q1: Do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump’s job performance as President?

Approve: 35%

Disapprove: 58%

Not sure: 7%

Q2: Do you approve or disapprove of Caleb Rowden’s job performance as State Senator?

Approve: 38%

Disapprove: 27%

Not sure: 35%

Q3: The candidates in the April election for Mayor of Columbia are Brian Treece and Chris Kelly. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Brian Treece: 33%

Chris Kelly: 41%

Undecided: 26%

Q4:  There have been discussions for the Columbia Public Schools to utilize City of Columbia buses to transport students. Do you think this a good idea or a bad idea?

 Good idea: 44%

Bad idea: 31%

Not sure: 25%

Q5: Of the following, what should be the top priority for the City of Columbia?

Reducing crime: 43%

Improving education: 12%

Increasing economic development: 9%

Expanding public transportation: 7%

Something else: 10%

Not sure: 18%


MOScout’s Hallway Index: STL City-County Merger

I asked the hallway walkers their opinion of the proposed St. Louis City St. Louis County merger.  From what you know, do you think the plan to merge St. Louis City and St. Louis County would be good for the state of Missouri? 24 replies…


1. Yes, very positive impact… 66.7%

2. Yes, but not a big impact… 8.3%

3. It makes no difference at the state level… 12.5%

4. No, it would be a slight negative for the state… 4.2%

5.No, it would be very bad for the state… 8.3%

Sample of Comments

·         No one is talking to legislators, particularly rural legislators, on why this would be good for the state. If there are talkers on this issue, no one has seen them. It is like it is happening in Illinois and not here.

·         This is a generational change that will be truly transformative for that region, one of the state’s top economic engines.

·         The argument that adding to the denominator because you can’t fix the numerator should make everyone pretty nervous.

·         Absolutely yes. St. Louis is a wonderful city, but it has a National perception problem and this will help address that. Crime statistics will decrease and we will stop wasting money on redundant government services. Cities will stop abusing TIFs to grab sales tax revenues from cities across the street.

·         Think the rough patches would outweigh the positives. That being said there should be some consolidation between municipalities in St. Louis County.

·         The merger will be really beneficial for growth and economic development long-term, but the change in trajectory (and measurement in tangible metrics) will be slow.


Who Won the Week?

Holly Rehder – Powers through hours of debate on her signature issue to win first-round approval for PDMP.

Conservative Caucus – While PDMP will still make it to the Senate floor this session, an early victory in committee shows that the opposition in the Senate has grown considerably from the days when it was simply a Schaaf stand-alone.

Jean Evans – Appointed as the Missouri Republican Party’s executive director, Evans is now one of the leading Republican women voices in the state.

Derek Grier – With Evans’ appointment, Grier takes the gavel of the important House Economic Development Committee.

Shamed Dogan – Passes his CLEANer ethics reform bill out of the House.

Dave Schatz – The pro tem is carrying the governor’s debt proposal. Under his care, it skated through the Senate Rules Committee.

Billy Long – Adds a tie to his collection of autographed Donald Trump items.  Surely, we’ll be seeing these things up for auction someday….

Find a downloadable version here.


eMailbag: The Big Picture

One view point that might matter on the platooning of trucks. Over the next 50 years a big debate in public policy will be if humans truly matter. What I mean by this, is at what point do we stop automating ourselves out of jobs?

You tell me how many good paying jobs are left to males with only a high school degree? Trucking is one of the few remaining. Think of the societal problems that arise from people not having a purpose in life. Studies have shown that having a job, and the sense of purpose a job brings, are a key to keeping people happy and society functioning.

So if the education lobby continues to fight against any changes to reform our education system for the better, so people can get an education that allows for them to get a job in the information economy, we ought to think long and hard about automating every job in site.



By order of the President of the United States, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 9, 2019 as a mark of respect for the memory of former Representative John David Dingell, Jr.


$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Mercy.


Lobbyist Registrations

Jacqueline Bardgett, John Bardgett, Erika Leonard, and Chris Roepe added Mikel Whittier, Home Service Oil Company, Valencia Group LLC, and Advantage Homecare.

Travis Brown, Tom Dempsey, Tracy King, Deanna Hemphill, and Dave Berry added Flint Hill Resources, Georgia-Pacific LLC, and Koch Industries Inc.

Amy Blunt and Andy Blunt added Credit Acceptance Corporation.

Mark Boyle added Gas Workers 11-6; and delete Mark Boyle.

Bryant Macklin McClain added Civic Council of Greater Kansas City.

Cliff DeGroot added Burton-Liese LLC.

Lindsey Merridath Douglas deleted Union Pacific Railroad.          

Stephen Nittler added Hahn O'Daniel LLC, Missouri A/C and Mechanical Contractors, Gateway Air Conditioning Contractors, Ranger Power LLC, Missouri Optometric Association, Missouri Restaurant Association, and Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons.

Jason Zamkus added Dish Network LLC.