MOScout Daily Update: Smith Scuttles Gov's Bonding Plan - Charter Showdown in the House - STL City Election Results - Auditor's Fiscal Note on Merger and more...

Bonding Plan Dead?

House Budget Chair Cody Smith signaled that the House won’t be incorporating Governor Mike Parson’s bonding plan in their budget for next year.  Smith instead proposed using $100 million from general revenue to kick-start the program of bridge repairs.  With an eye toward making similar payments in future years, Smith’s variation would save the state approximately $100 million in interest payments compared to Parson’s plan.

The talk around the halls is that the governor isn’t happy about Smith’s power play but….

·         This is Smith’s first real test.  By bucking the governor of his own party rather than the easy “go along” approach, it establishes beyond a doubt Smith’s credentials as a fiscal conservative.

·         One House source thinks that there’s almost zero chance that the House “flips” its position now that Smith has publicly committed to a path.

·         Smith’s plan is not identical, but bears similarities to the plan floated by the Senate’s Conservative Caucus.

·         The significance of Smith’s decision reverberated immediately as the Senate shelved its plan to debate the bonding plan.


Driving the Day

It could be education day in the legislature.  The Senate has a couple of school choice bills teed up, and the House is abuzz with an epic showdown scheduled on charter expansion.

The House will debate and vote to perfect Rep. Rebecca Roeber’s HB 581. This is a priority for Speaker Elijah Haahr and there’s lots of talk of arm-twisting.  But like speakers before him, this is a very heavy lift, and the outcome is far from certain.

·         Critics are circulating DESE APR numbers showing that those at the bottom of the list are mostly charter schools.

·         On social media Republicans are whipping up resistance, telling folks to flood the capitol with phone calls.

·         House Republicans are getting support from Senate Republicans for the fight, with Sen. Doug Libla writing on social media: “Charter Schools have a very dismal record of success in urban school districts and I see no value in the expansion of this failed ‘pilot program’.”

Supporters are working to corral 82 votes, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll get it.


STL City Elections

Lewis Reed won re-election as president of the board of alderman in a squeaking three-way race.  He finished with 35.6% of the vote, while Sen. Jamilah Nasheed won 31.6% and Alderwoman Megan Green took 31.2%. 


MOScout’s Weekly Poll (Remington Research) hit the race pretty well. Two weeks out it showed Reed with 34%, Nasheed at 21% and Green at 19%.  In looks like over the final stretch, the undecideds basically split between the two non-incumbent candidates.

Other Races of Interest

Shameem Hubbard, wife of lobbyist Rodney Hubbard, won her aldermanic race (Ward 26).  And Debra Carnahan, wife of former Congressman Russ Carnahan, lost her aldermanic race (Ward 6 to incumbent Chryssi Ingrassia).


Auditor’s Note on STL City-County Merger

The Auditor’s Office released their fiscal note for the initiative petition to merge St. Louis’ City and County.  “Individual St. Louis County municipalities expect decreased revenues to exceed savings with a total unknown impact. The overall savings for the new metropolitan city is unknown but estimated to be as much as $1 billion annually by 2032. State revenue is estimated to increase between $2.5 million to $7 million annually by 2032.”

Plan proponents Better Together hailed the note: "The State Auditors fiscal note confirmed what our studies have already proven.  The St. Louis region is massively overspending on duplicative Government services and the Better Together consolidation plan will save taxpayers billions.  We look forward to educating taxpayers on this issue over the next 20 months."


Kingdom Principles

The KCStar’s new reporter Edward McKinley dropped a humdinger yesterday.  See it here.

A dark money group started by a longtime Jefferson City lobbyist and at least partially funded by a St. Louis billionaire is leading the fight to transform the way Missouri universities handle sexual assault cases and grant more power to the accused. The group, called Kingdom Principles, was founded by Richard McIntosh, a former state senator and longtime lobbyist of Flotron & McIntosh.  David Steward, co-founder and chairman of the information technology provider World Wide Technology — one of St. Louis’ largest private companies — is among Kingdom Principles’ donors. He’s also a former member of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators…

McIntosh has been a lobbyist for World Wide Technology since 2000. He registered to lobby for Kingdom Principles, the group he created, last week. Because it’s a 501(c)4 nonprofit, Kingdom Principles is not required to disclose its donors. Kingdom Principles is bankrolling “The Missouri Campus Due Process Coalition,” which is buying ads on social media and conducting polling to measure support of the House and Senate bills that would alter Title IX proceedings in the state.

Questions about the group were directed by McIntosh to Joe Lakin, co-founder of the political consulting firm Victory Enterprises. Lakin said he was brought on this week to identify and rally like-minded individuals to show legislators there is support for change…


Minority Leader Crystal Quade on social media pushed back with talking points against the bills.

From Know Your IX:

Missouri Senate Bill 259 and its companion House Bill 573 tip the scales in favor of Title IX respondents at the expense of survivors, all under the guise of “due process.” Are you a Missouri resident? Take action to stop these bad bills!...

These bills would:

Require schools to discriminate against survivors and adopt a “clear and convincing” standard only for SV cases.

Allow respondents to sue complaints for making a “false report,” which is undefined and could be interpreted to mean an uncorroborated report.

Permit mediation in cases of sexual assault and dating violence–creating an unregulated process that jeopardizes the safety and due process of both parties.

Require the option of live direct cross-examination of the complainant and all witnesses

Allow parties to submit sexual or mental health history as evidence. Leading to intimidation, harassment, or embarrassment of a complainant or witness.


Fair Missouri

In the lobbyist registrations (below) Steven Tilley added Fair MO.  That’s the effort to revise the redistricting process that was approved last year as part of the CLEAN ballot initiative.

The expectation is that the Republican supermajority will pass a resolution to put a new redistricting plan before voters in 2020.



·         Jailed former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders was disbarred by the Missouri Supreme Court.  See the order here.

·         Sen. Paul Wieland’s SB 268 failed to pass out of committee yesterday, getting hammered 5-2 after fellow Republican Bill White spoke against it.  This would have eliminated the requirement that legal notices are published “in a newspaper of general circulation within a particular area.”

·         I wrote about Rep. Brad Hudson as a possible Senate 29 contender yesterday.  One reader told me two more data points concerning Hudson: he uses Axiom as his consultant, and he preaches in “the Scott Fitzpatrick district,” meaning he lives in the biggest population district and preaches in the second biggest one…

·         Post-Dispatch’s political editor, Christopher Ave, wrote on Facebook last night that he’ll be leaving the paper. “My career has been rich with memories. I've interviewed a former president and a serial wife-murderer. I've been stopped by a young Soviet guard casually carrying an Uzi… I made lots of stupid mistakes… I have decided to leave the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where I have directed political and government coverage for 11 years. (Do forgive me for burying the lead). It's been a painful but necessary decision. I wish the paper only the best, and I feel bad for colleagues I'm leaving behind to fight the good fight. But for me, the time is right. I'll post on my new plans soon…”


Help Wanted

WEPOWER seeks Coordinator, Public Education Policy–AmeriCorps VISTA.  “Reporting to the Director of Policy & Systems Change, the Coordinator of Public Education Policy–AmeriCorps VISTA Member (CPP) is a service-based position. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions. The CPP will work with the Director of Policy & Systems Change to facilitate our inaugural Tomorrow Builders Fellowship, which involves supporting Black, Brown, and other community members harmed by racism, prejudice, and poverty with reimagining and redesigning the early childhood education system across the St. Louis region.”  See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jeffrey Altmann added Steven Carroll & Associates, Missouri Grape and Wine Alliance, and Xcaliber International, Ltd., LLC.

Aaron Baker and Hannah Beers added Cassville Chamber of Commerce.

Andy Blunt added Autoreturn.

Steven Carroll added Universal Gaming Group.

Scott Dieckhaus added Show-Me Gaming, LLC.

Charles Pierce added Missouri Workforce Housing Association.

Tom Raffety added Thomas Raffety.

Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added TBPKM, LLC and Concordance Academy of Leadership.

Steven Tilley added Fair MO.


$5K+ Contributions

Progress KC - $25,000 from The DeBruce Foundation.

Progress KC - $10,000 from Kansas City Live LLC.



Happy birthdays to Kit Bond, Christine Page and Todd Patterson.