MOScout Daily Update: Tremors from Humphreys News

Humphreys News Sends Tremors

I wrote yesterday of a rumor that Republican mega-donor David Humphreys is opposed to HB 126, the abortion bill.  He is even considering a referendum to overturn it if Governor Mike Parson signs it into law.

The news sent tremors through the political world as the KC Star, Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio all wrote stories and Humphreys issued a statement.

A few thoughts…

·         For years Republicans in Jefferson City have reflectively approved pro-life and pro-gun measures with near unanimity and without internal dissension that they might be going too far.  This could be the beginning of a push-back against that herd mentality.

·         It’s been a long time coming.  One lobbyist told me: “When Bev Ehlens has more clout than the entire business community, something is wrong.”

·         Humphreys has unimpeachable standing as a Republican. Post-Dispatch writes: “During the 2016 election cycle, Humphreys and his family contributed more than $14 million to Republicans.” He can’t be dismissed as a RINO.

·         This validates Rep. Shamed Dogan, the only Republican to vote against the bill.  He did so because it didn’t have exemptions for rape and incest.

·         This could intensify GOP problems in the suburbs. One Republican politico thinks the possibility of a referendum on this issue could be turnout problem for Congresswoman Ann Wagner“This should worry Wagner. A pro-life ballot measure would help any Democrat candidate in St. Louis County…”


Humphreys Statement

I am personally opposed to HB 126 and believe it was poorly thought out and passed without appropriate public debate. A bill this restrictive, without the opportunity for exceptions for rape and incest, is bad public policy and bad for Missourians.

I have never entered the public debate over abortion. Nor have I wanted to. Nor do I really want to now.

It is a very difficult subject. And a very personal one with complicated moral issues for all involved. While I am personally opposed to abortion, I do support a women’s right to choose particularly in the case of rape or incest. And I have to believe that the politicians in Jeff City that voted for this bill would themselves support their wives or daughters’ right to choose if their loved ones were raped.

I hope that Governor Parson will consider the bill’s harmful impact on women and veto this legislation.


Meanwhile in GA

Wall Street Journal reports that “Georgia’s swelling film and television industry, known locally as Y’allywood, faces growing pressure from a boycott launched by some actors and producers over a new state law restricting abortion… The standoff differs from Hollywood’s past objections to Georgia policies. While a growing list of actors and producers say they will avoid working in the state until the law is overturned, most major studios—which receive generous tax incentives from the state—haven’t announced any change in their plans.

In contrast, in 2016, many studios threatened to leave and successfully persuaded the former governor to veto a religious-exemptions bill that gay-rights groups believed would allow discrimination.

The abortion law prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It is scheduled to take effect in 2020, but opponents say they will challenge it in court.”


Today’s Rumor

One source says that the governor may sign the abortion bill as early as today.  If so, this would be a surprise. Normally there’d be a lot of fanfare on a bill like this.  Quickly signing it today would amount to a “Friday news dump.” 


STL Approves

In the large contributions (below) there’s $75K going to STL Approves.  That’s a campaign committee (treasurer: Matt Vianello; deputy treasurer: Mike Pridmore) supporting Prop D in St. Louis City to “establish an open, non-partisan system for municipal elections.”  It would make St. Louis like Kansas City with a non-partisan primary and a general election between the top two candidates.


Lobbyists Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Kate Casas, Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons added Motacann Holdings LLC.  Motacann is a St. Louis based company “applying for multiple cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary licenses with the intent of operating a vertically-integrated cannabis company.”

Lisa Christie deleted National Eating Disorders Association.

Jeff Rainford deleted STL Aviation Group LLC.

Noel Torpey added Accenture LLP.


$5K+ Contributions

STL Approves - $75,000 from The Center for Election Science.

American Property Casualty Insurance Association Political Account - $8,585 from American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

Midwest Region Laborers' Political League Education Fund - $6,865 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

Committee for KC Jobs - $10,000 from Polsinelli.



Happy birthdays to Jake Hummel, Sam Page, Byron DeLear, Gregg Christian, and Heather Navarro.

Saturday: Sen. Ed Emery, Tim Jones, Rebecca Roeber, Jason Hall, Amy Blouin, and Gus Wagner.

Sunday: Eric Wilson.


MOScout News

Look for a quick Weekend edition tomorrow, but then I’m taking Monday (Memorial Day) off.