Ashcroft Rejects 3rd Referendum
Post Dispatch reports that “Missouri’s top election chief Tuesday rejected a third proposal to allow voters to weigh in on the state’s tough new abortion law. Citing a similar argument to one he made when rejecting two previous referendum requests last week, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said the fact that one part of the abortion law is already in effect bars the law from being put before voters in 2020. The decision came just minutes after an appeal hearing on the two other requests ended without a ruling on whether Ashcroft’s decision should be overruled. Circuit Judge Daniel Green of Cole County wants opponents of the law to submit a new request for relief after he found technical problems with their argument. The next hearing on the matter is set for Monday…”
What It Means
· Ashcroft has taken a leading role in the abortion war. He could have simply said that the petitions were properly formatted, and left the constitutionality suits to opponents of the referendums. Instead he took an active role to insert himself into the middle of the question and is grabbing the headlines.
· His actions have cast Attorney General Eric Schmitt into a supporting role of defending Ashcroft’s declarations. And it leaves Governor Mike Parson to wrestle with whether to bureaucratically shutter the Planned Parenthood clinic.
· Meanwhile the two GOP statewide who are most vulnerable to a primary challenge – Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe and Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick – haven’t found lines in the script yet to enter the drama.
Webber to CA
Former Dem State Party Chair Stephen Webber announced on Twitter that he was no longer in the state… This spring I moved to Sacramento to be the Legislative Affairs Manager for California @AFSCME. It’s strange not being in Missouri, but it’s exciting to work w/ a great team & partners (below) to pass pro-people, pro-labor legislation!
What It Means
Webber was once considered a rising star of the Dem Party, and a possible statewide candidate at some point.
Webber – who lost to Sen. Caleb Rowden in 2016 – was one of several names bandied about as a possible challenger to Rowden. Rep. Kip Kendrick, former Rep. Chris Kelly... None have panned out… The Columbia seat is always a very expensive race, and the sooner Dems can find and settle on a candidate the better chance they have at making it competitive.
MO Healthcare: 43 out of 51
Springfield News-Leader reports that “Missouri's health system is the eighth-worst among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a New York-based policy foundation said in a report released early Wednesday. The No. 43 ranking means Missouri fell two spots on the list since last year's state-by-state health care scorecard published by the Commonwealth Fund… Topics included access and affordability; prevention and treatment; avoidable hospital use and costs; and healthy lives. Missouri got worse on 11 of the indicators. It improved on 19 indicators — including its rankings for uninsured children and adults — and stayed about the same on 15 others.” See the study here.
One MOScouter thinks healthcare will be on the governor’s 2020 agenda. “Keep an eye out for proposals to curb Medicaid costs. Parson said (in the 2019 state of the state): ‘…we need to curb Medicaid costs.’”
State Seeks Independent Scorer on MMJ Apps
As the state continues toward implementation of medical marijuana, its seeking “the services of an independent contracting firm to blindly review and score Medical Marijuana Facility Applications for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program.” See the RFP here.
The contractor and subcontractors should have experience working with Medical Marijuana Programs in other states within the last three (3) years. The contractor should have completed three (3) projects within the past five (5) years that involve providing one or more of the following on a similar scope and scale with other organizations of a similar size…During the term of the contract, the contractor shall not have a conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest in relation to the services required herein. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, any of the following actions by the contractor or its officers, contractor’s personnel, consultants, subcontractors, suppliers, or agents…
Who Is Mark Milton?
In the new committees (below) a new “leadership PAC” has popped up. This one appears to be aligned with Rep. John Wiemann. Its treasurer is Mark Milton. Who is Mark Milton? He’s one of the folks who’s become a go-to guy in setting up political committees on the Republican side. Here’s his website which focuses on his tax law business. Committees for which Milton is treasurer…
· JW Leadership Fund
· Pro-Life Pioneer PAC
· Freedom's Promise PAC
· Next Gen GOP PAC
· CL PAC
· Growth and Investment for Missouri PAC
· Franklin County Leadership PAC
Rep. Rocky Miller has a fundraiser tonight (6PM, Casablanca Pub and Grill). His leadership PAC, Ozark Mountain Leadership PAC, will be accepting checks.
Long for House 157
In the new committees (below), Wally Long has formed a candidate committee to run for House 157. He writes on Facebook… As some of you may know, I attempted to receive the nomination for this office in 2013 during a special election. My good friend, Mike Moon, received the nomination and went on to win the election. I fully supported his election, and in fact went on to work for him as his legislative assistant in the 2014 session. As it turns out the time was not right for me to serve. Our family was still in the middle of rebuilding our lives and finding a new normal following a terrible family tragedy.
With the experience gained and the connections made while working in Jefferson City for Mike, I believe the time is now right for me to serve.
It is still very early, and by this time next year there will be several good people running in the Republican primary. I believe, with the support of my many friends in Lawrence County, we are in a good position to win this race.
On the interwebs… this 2014 GoFundMe campaign for Long: I have the blessed opportunity to compete as a semi-finalist for the World Championship of Public Speaking in August. The International Toastmasters Convention is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Toastmasters will pay for my flight but that's it. To win this competition has been a dream and goal of mine for years but it is also a vessel through which to accomplish my purpose in life, that is to share hope and inspiration with people….
· KCStar endorsed Quinton Lucas for mayor. See it here.
· Heather Hall endorsed Jolie Justus. “Hall is a popular Northland councilperson running unopposed… the only Republican on the council, and has strong support from KCPD so this is significant.”
· And National Association of Realtors Fund pumps nearly $20K into digital ads for Councilwoman Stacy Johnson-Cosby. See it here.
Wally Long formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Wally Long) to run for house 157 as a Republican. The current incumbent, Rep. Mike Moon, is termed.
JW Leadership Fund was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is Mark Milton.
Taxpayers Unlimited, Inc. - $40,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.
Taxpayers Unlimited, Inc. - $10,000 from KCFOP Political Action Committee.
MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from JML CG LLC.
Committee for KC Jobs - $25,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101.
Committee for KC Jobs - $15,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.
Committee for KC Jobs - $10,000 from Kansas City Southern Railway Co.
Committee for KC Jobs - $7,500 from Lathrop Gage LLP.
Nexus PAC - $20,000 from Paric Corporation.
City of Fountains Committee - $10,000 from Jason Holmes.
Charles Pierce deleted Missouri Workforce Housing Association.
Happy birthday to Scott Charton.