MOScout Daily Update: Hyperloop Haahr - Vescovo Formally Announces for Speaker - Ave Starts PR Firm - Sunshine Week and more...

Driving the Day

House Speaker Elijah Haahr will hold a press conference in the House Lounge at 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, March 12 to announce the formation of a blue ribbon panel to explore strategies that could accelerate construction of a proposed Kansas City-Columbia-St. Louis Hyperloop route. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, who will chair the panel, will also be in attendance.

KCStar reporter Jason Hancock tweets “If the route were built as planned and the technology works as promised, a hyperloop route connecting St. Louis and Kansas City would only take about 31 minutes.”

What Haahr Sees

Haahr is hunting the “game-changer.”  For all the hoopla about “largest tax cut in the history of Missouri” and others legislative achievements, the sober-eyed observer realizes that it’s all incrementalism.  The slow micro-slicing of the state’s income tax rate over years doesn’t make any real difference to economic decisions being made.  There’s no big-splash impact to give the state’s economy a jolt, and make national players sit up and reconsider Missouri.  That’s what Haahr sees in Hyperloop.


Vescovo: Promises Kept

Having cleared the field, Floor Leader Rob Vescovo announces his speaker’s bid in an email to the House GOP Caucus…

It has truly been an honor to serve you as Majority Floor Leader, and I am so thankful for the trust and support that you have offered me in this position… The one thing that has not changed is my desire to serve our caucus and help everyone of you achieve your individual goals. For that reason, I have decided to run to be our next Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives…

Just a few short days ago, I joined a few colleagues for dinner and good conversation; during that dinner, our esteemed Speaker Pro Tem, John Wiemann, let me know that he would support my candidacy for Speaker as so many of you have. I am beyond humbled. John has served our caucus admirably as Pro Tem, and I know he is every bit as committed as I am to passing good conservative policies and defending our members in the coming 2020 election cycle. I am pleased to know that John plans to run again to serve as our Pro Tem and I’m happy to support him as a critical part of our current and future House Leadership team.

Two years ago, I committed to serving our caucus by promoting our members’ unique strengths, making floor activity more predictable, working to further the agenda of the Missouri House of Representatives, fundraising and fighting for our members during the election cycle, and being available to the members to hear their concerns. I hope that you agree I have and continue to fulfill my promises to our caucus and see fit to promote me to serve as our Speaker and I humbly ask for your support….


The floor leader’s race continues to attract attention and speculation.  One more possibility floated… a freshman.  It’s a big class due to the tides of term limits, and if they coalesced they could install.  I see that as a very long-shot, but it’s being talked about.


DSCC Sues AG’s Office

Kansas City Star reports

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Missouri attorney general’s office, alleging that under U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley it violated the state’s open records laws.

The lawsuit seeks an order from Cole County Circuit Court declaring that attorney general’s office under Hawley violated the Sunshine Law when it withheld emails between Hawley’s official staff and his political consultants during the 2018 Senate campaign.

The suit also asks the court to impose civil penalties against the attorney general’s office for “knowingly and purposely” violating the Sunshine Law. And the DSCC wants the office to pay its attorney’s costs.

A spokeswoman for Hawley did not immediately respond to request for comment. The Missouri Attorney General’s office, now led by Republican Eric Schmitt, declined to comment…


Press release: As Missouri celebrates Sunshine Week, Attorney General Schmitt announced today a redesigned and more user-friendly Sunshine Law Book. One of the changes is an addition of a “Top 10 Things to Know” regarding the Missouri Sunshine Law, open records or meetings, and more. The new book can be found on the Missouri Attorney General’s website at


Three Weeks Left… Columbia Mayoral Race

You can see the all the way over in St. Louis… One MOScouter: Statehouse lobbyist Brian Treece is running for a second term as Columbia mayor. Columbia has robust local web penetration with two daily newspapers, student publications at Mizzou, three network TV stations and two radio clusters.  Treece’s ad is showing up on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website this morning. For the Columbia mayor’s race.


See Treece’s TV ad here. It hits Chris Kelly for cashing in as a “lobbyist for a monopoly.”


Ave Starts PR Firm

Christopher Ave, Post-Dispatch’s political editor for the last decade, announced on Twitter“I'm thrilled to announce my new communications consulting business. More than three decades as a journalist have prepared me to help you tell the world your story. I'm focusing on content creation, strategic + crisis communications, media relations and social media management.”


eMailbag: Banging on Keller

Democrat:  Rs are hiring Gregg Keller to run the PACs and the Coordinated campaign...the one guy who has actually been fined by the FEC for hiding the source of donors.


New Committees

National Health Corporation Missouri Federal Committee was formed.  Its treasurer is Mel Rector.


$5K+ Contributions

Progress KC - $10,000 from Loews Hotels Holding Corporation.

Citizens for Sheriff Harrell - $10,000 from Richard Harrell.

UAW Region 5 Midwest State Political Action Committee - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.


Lobbyists Registrations

Alex Eaton, Rebecca Lohmann, Danny Pfeifer, Greg Porter, and David Willis added Green Clinics.

Cruz Giovanni Garibay added First American Title Insurance Company, a Nebraska Corporation.

Molly Gill added Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Carol Hudspeth deleted Kansas City Regional Home Care Association, and Missouri Adult Day Services Association.

Williams Marrs added NHC Reliant LLC.

Dawn Nicklas added Robbins Consulting LLC.

Nathan Nickolaus added City of Peculiar.



Happy birthday to Kack Haslag.