MOScout Weekender: CAFO Freedom Signed - Humphreys Committee Formed - Senate 15 Poll - WWTW and Hallway Index and more...

Parson Signs CAFO Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Parson signed SB 391, the bill which prohibits local jurisdictions from regulating CAFOs.  Post-Dispatch reports: Over the objections of environmental groups and Democrats, Gov. Mike Parson quietly signed Friday a law stopping local governments from regulating big farms… Twenty counties, mostly in the northern half of the state, have sought to regulate large animal operations known as CAFOs through local health ordinances. But the new law says counties cannot enact rules more stringent than state standards. Proponents say the local ordinances create a “hodgepodge” of regulations that have stalled expansion of modern agriculture techniques in the state.  But opponents — flanked by a vocal statewide network of neighbors affected by the facilities — have said state regulations are lacking, allowing the big farms to run amok and endanger the environment…

How It Happened

It was one of the biggest victory for agriculture in recent year, as well a big win for the lobbyists leading the effort (Brent Hemphill, Nancy Giddens, Shannon Cooper).  Here are some keys to the successful effort.

·         Ahead of session some Democratic senators were given tours of CAFOs to understand the issues a bit better.  It didn’t necessarily get them to stand down on the issue, but may have softened their opposition.

·         Unlike the usual practice of filing companion bills on both the House and Senate sides to work parallel tracks, the lobbying team didn’t file a House bill.

·         They figured that the Senate was where the real battle would be, and an additional House bill would only stir up opposition prematurely.

·         Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Bernskoetter was unflappable on the floor.  He kept a mellow demeanor, sometimes offering little more than a shrug to inquiries.

·         Floor Leader Caleb Rowden gave the bill plenty of time.  He largely telegraphed a message to the chamber that he wasn’t cutting bait.  When the Senate stayed late, they stayed until an issue got done.

·         Motivating Republicans to stay on the bill for hours was a gut feeling from rural senators that they, not urban/suburban Dems, should be driving Ag policy for the state.

·         Dems, meanwhile in the super minority, had their hands full: anti-CLEAN was still in play, abortion, tort reform, and education reform, to name a few.  They had to consider which hill they should make their stand on.

·         After the Senate passed it, the bill was just powered through the House which obviously doesn’t require as much time to move a priority.

·         Of course there was luck involved.  It could have gotten caught in the GM logjam, but narrowly escaped that fate, passing out of the Senate ahead of that filibuster.

·         Speaker Elijah Haahr could have decided to use it as leverage for his eminent domain to get more floor time on the Senate. But he didn’t.


Humphreys Forms Committee

Committee To Protect The Rights Of Victims Of Rape & Incest was formed. This is the Humphreys’ committee to support a referendum on HB 126, the abortion bill.  Humphreys issued a statement: I support the Committee’s referendum petition to overturn HB126. Abortion is very personal subject with complicated moral issues for all involved. With no consideration given to victims of rape and incest, this legislation’s impact reflects bad public policy with negative consequences for Missourians. As such, I support the Committee’s effort to protect women in the case of rape or incest.  

I invite other like-minded people to join in the Committee’s efforts and with financial and personal support of its signature gathering and campaign.


MOScout Poll: Senate 15

This week I did an initial starter poll for Senate 15.  See the full results here.

Survey conducted May 29 through May 30, 2019. 648 likely 2020 General Election voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2020 General Election. Margin of Error is +/-3.8%. Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding.

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

Approve: 53%

Disapprove: 43%

Not sure: 4%

Q2: Possible candidates in the 2020 General Election for State Senate are the Republican Andrew Koenig and the Democrat Deb Lavender. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Andrew Koenig: 50%

Deb Lavender: 35%

Undecided: 15%

Q3: Possible candidates in the 2020 General Election for State Senate are the Republican Andrew Koenig and the Democrat Mark Osmack. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Andrew Koenig: 52%

Mark Osmack: 33%

Undecided: 15%

Q4: Do you consider yourself generally pro-life or generally pro-choice?

Pro-life: 54%

Pro-choice: 39%

Undecided: 7%

Q5: Do you support a ban on abortion in Missouri, with no exceptions for rape and incest?

Support a ban: 31%

Do not support a ban: 57%

Undecided: 12%

Q6: Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a political candidate if that candidate supported allowing abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy?

More likely: 20%

Less likely: 67%

No difference: 13%


MOScout’s Hallway Index: Senate District Most Likely to Flip

I asked the hallway pool which Senate district was most likely to flip in next year’s election. I asked the same question six months ago (January, 2019).  The results of that are in parenthesis. 27 replies…

1. Senate 1 (Sifton termed)… 25.9% (29.6%)

2. Senate 3 (Romine termed)… 0%  (0%)

3. Senate 15 (Koenig)… 48.1%  (25.9%)

4. Senate 17 (Arthur)… 3.7%  (14.8%)

5. Senate 19 (Rowden)… 22.2%   (29.6%)


Selected Comments

·         Senate 19 Rowden: Trump + abortion means como will fire up democrats

·         Senate 15 Koenig: I would actually vote none, but 15th is likely the most competitive, however if Deb Lavendar is the candidate in the general, I believe she is too left for that district, which decreases the chances it flips.

·         Senate 15 Koenig:  A Dem primary will help Koenig but if Trump is going to be toxic for anyone, it will be for Koenig in this district. I’d expect Planned Parenthood to come after him hard because of his role in the abortion debate.


Who Won the Week

Mike Parson – Seals off a primary challenge by signing a sweeping anti-abortion bill into law. 

David Humphreys – Makes a power move as he tries to guide the MOGOP agenda away from an outright ban on abortions.

Steven Roberts – Jumps into Senate 5 race.  He’ll probably have company.  But with the primary only about a year away, any head start matters.

Mike Bernskoetter – Freshman senator carried the controversial CAFO Freedom bill, gets it signed into law.

Find a downloadable version here.


Hawley Replies to WSJ

Senator Josh Hawley fired back at the Wall Street Journal in an op/ed in the National Review.  See it here.

The people of Missouri sent me to Washington to fight for their values. It is my solemn responsibility as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure the women and men to whom we give lifetime appointments will dispassionately follow the law and uphold the Constitution. That’s what I’ve done. And, once again, the Washington establishment is attacking me for it.  Michael Bogren is a nominee for a judicial seat in Michigan. He is currently defending the city of East Lansing, Mich., in a lawsuit brought by Steve and Bridget Tennes…. He compared their Christian beliefs about marriage to the racism of the Ku Klux Klan… Lawyers have a duty to their clients, as I well know. I’ve represented many myself. But a lawyer can give his clients a vigorous defense without stooping to personal attacks and vicious rhetoric…

I asked Mr. Bogren about these statements at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Shockingly, he stood by them as merely representation of his client… Michael Bogren’s answers are not acceptable for a judicial nominee. We can and must do better.


Lobbyist Registrations

Heath Clarkston, Doug Nelson and Kurt Schaefer added BKD.

Tony Dugger, Andrew Foley, James Foley, Mike Gibbons and Tricia Workman deleted Missouri Cattlemens Association.        

James Harris deleted Gibbs Pool and Turner on behalf of River City Construction, Bi State Development Agency, Delta South Properties LLC, and The Adam Smith Foundation.

Sydell Shayer deleted League of Women Voters of Missouri.



UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee (PAC) (MO) - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

American Property Casualty Insurance Association Political Account - $26,801 from American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

Committee for KC Jobs - $25,000 from Volunteer Political Fund.

LGBTQ Victory Fund Federal Committee – Missouri - $10,000 from LGBTQ Victory Fund Federal PAC.