Seven weeks left in session….
The stories of subpoenas engulfing the administration of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger have people talking… about who could be Stenger’s replacement if he goes down. As I wrote previously the County Council would appoint the next Executive. It’s a seven-person lobbying effort.
Names being mentioned as possibilities… St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman, and Sen. Scott Sifton…
The news reports continue to make it appear that St. Louis City Prosecutor Kim Gardner is potentially in hot wa-wa. See it here. A special prosecutor running a probe into claims a hired investigator perjured himself during the criminal case last year against former Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday accused the Circuit Attorney’s Office of obstructing the investigation…While Gardner’s office has complied with a February search warrant for emails, it continues to fight in court to stop another, much broader search warrant for electronic data from the office’s servers…. Gardner, along with at least three private attorneys she hired at taxpayer expense to defend her, have said they have tried to cooperate with the grand jury investigation but have also condemned the search warrant as an “unconstitutionally broad” attempt to undermine Gardner’s authority…
And As Long As We’re Talking…
One MOScouter read news that Linda McMahon was resigning from Trump’s cabinet and remarked… “Don't be surprised if Congresswoman Ann Wagner makes a play for SBA…”
MOScout’s Hallway Index: House Floor Leader Race
Last week, I asked my building denizens who they thought had the lead in the House race to become the next floor leader. It’s a vote that won’t take place until November 2020, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation. 26 responses…
Dean Plocher…. 34.%
David Gregory… 26.9%
Curtis Trent…… 26.9%
J Eggleston……. 7.7%
Someone else….. 3.8%
Sample of Comments
· I think Trent is the current front runner for three reasons:
1. He has very close allies in his class, including Cody Smith.
2. Plocher and Gregory are from the same place and have very similar profiles.
3. Eggleston just ran for the job he has. I don’t think he’ll be able to start asking for peoples’ votes soon enough to get enough support.
· Dean has broke out an early lead, but very early in the process.
· I can’t imagine it will be a four-way race by election day, so the departure of one of these candidates will create a huge swing in odds.
· Plocher and Gregory might split the St. Louis vote, Trent will lock up the SWMO base, Eggleston has done a steady job and has a good relationship with Vescovo.
· This is obviously a race between Gregory and Plocher and the one that can make the best connection with this freshman class will pull it out. The hesitancy of a large portion of this freshman class to consider education reform could play a factor if one of the candidates can tap into that it could bring a large block of votes.
· This early [Gregory] the favorite, similar to the way Haahr was at this point. If he can appeal to the conservatives he will win. Also what will make this unique is the incoming class, which will be decent size, can have a decent impact. Whoever can appeal to them can win.
A few other races to watch in tomorrow’s municipal elections – in addition to the Columbia and Kansas City mayoral races…
· School Board in St. Louis. STLPublic Radio reports: For more than a decade, the St. Louis Board of Education met every month in a school library, gym or cafeteria across the city with only the most diehard public-education watchers in attendance. Despite keeping up appearances, actual control of the city’s public-school system had been forcibly handed over to another body more than a decade ago… After 12 years of oversight, the Missouri State Board of Education is getting ready to return power of St. Louis Public Schools to a local, elected school board… The state school board is expected to gather in St. Louis in late April to vote to end its control of St. Louis Public Schools. The SAB will then cede back to the elected school board on July 1.
· Former Rep. John Bowman is running for Mayor of Northwoods, a small St. Louis County municipality (population 4,127).
Hancock on IPs
The first-rate Jason Hancock writes about legislation moving to change the initiative petition process. See it here.
The state’s chief elections officer, Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, believes the entire [initiative petition] process has gotten out of hand. He insists he doesn’t want to deter Missourians from taking issues directly to the ballot. But he contends that it is too easy to amend the state’s constitution, and the number of initiative petitions submitted to his office has skyrocketed from 55 in 2008 to 371 last year… He’s gotten behind a spate of Republican-backed bills in the Missouri House intended to cut down on initiative petitions and make it harder for them to win approval at the ballot box…
Democrats denounced each of the GOP proposals as an attack on Missourians’ constitutional rights… Joining Democrats in opposing changes to the initiative petition process is an unusual coalition made up of labor unions and groups with ties to GOP mega donor Rex Sinquefield. Sinquefield has spent millions over the years in support of ballot measures seeking to make drastic changes to public education and eliminate the income tax. Labor unions successfully used the referendum process last year to repeal a GOP-backed law forbidding contracts requiring workers to pay union dues…
One reader points to recent news in Utah to offer that “the [Medicaid] expansion petition folks may not want to spend the money on an IP if the MO Legislature can just undo it like they did in Utah…”
KFVS reports that “Marvin E. Proffer, a former state representative from Cape Girardeau County, has passed away. Proffer died at his home in Oakville. He was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As a legislator, Proffer had been the Chairman of the Budget Committee for 8 years. He served in Jefferson City for 26 years… He helped the development of ports throughout the State of Missouri. Proffer was also a lobbyist for Southeast Missouri State University.”
According to his obituary: A celebration of life service will be on Wednesday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul United Church of Christ, 5508 Telegraph Road, St. Louis, MO, 63129 (Oakville), followed by a graveside service at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marvin Proffer Memorial Garden at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Oakville or Kindred Hospice.
· St. Louis Business Journal reports that Dem supporter Jerry Schlichter who “has won more than $350 million challenging retirement plans, added to that total this week with a $55 million settlement in the 2006 case that was the first 401(k) excessive fee challenge… Since 2006, the Schlichter firm has filed more than 30 excessive fee 401(k) and 403(b) cases and won 16 settlements...” See it here.
· The Southeast Correctional Center received the 2019 Business of the Year from Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce. See it here.
· Gregg Keller tweets that Rep. Raychel Proudie was soliciting campaign contributions on Twitter from the House floor. See it here.
First on the to-do list for person hired as Executive Director for MOCAN [Missouri College Access Network]: rebrand with new acronym, I think MOCAN TRADE (cannabis) has won that battle!
Missourians for a Responsible Budget - $10,000 from MO Majority PAC.
House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc - $25,000 from Patterson for Missouri.
Midwest Region Laborers' Political League Education Fund - $5,227 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.
BHA PAC - $5,001 from Brent Hemphill and Associates.
YesCapeSchools - $9,314 from National Association of Realtors.
MO Opportunity PAC - $25,000 from KBA Investments LLC.
Freedom Incorporated - $60,000 from Heavy Constructors Association Industry.
Aaron Baker, Hannah Beers, and Andy Arnold added Invenergy.
Shannon Cooper added Independent Colleges & Universities of Missouri.
Andy Arnold added Missouri Licensed Beverage Retailers Association.
Jacqueline Clark deleted Ash Grove Cement Company.
Jorgen Schlemeier added Autism Speaks.
Tracey Hannah deleted CommunityAmerica Credit Union
John William Payne added Missouri Medical Marijuana Collective.
Sam Licklider added Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.
Happy birthday to Mike Wolff.