MOScout Daily Update: MMJ FOIA Fight - STL County Assessments Fight - Osmack Drops Senate Bid and more...

Catching up from the weekend….


MMJ Info Subject to FOIA?

Post-Dispatch wins a round in its attempt to wrest medical marijuana applications from state government’s cone of silence.  See it here.

A Cole County judge on Friday sided with the Post-Dispatch in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ability to keep secret the identities of those seeking to sell medical marijuana in Missouri. Circuit Judge Daniel R. Green overruled the state’s motion to dismiss the Post-Dispatch’s lawsuit. He granted the newspaper’s motion for summary judgment to force the state to release the records…

The state does not have to immediately produce the records because Green delayed the effective date of his order so the state could decide whether to appeal.

Why It’s Important

One reason this information is important for public policy discussions is that there’s concern that “people of color — who have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs — do not have equitable access to the burgeoning cannabis industry.”  And this appears to be a well-founded concern based on other states’ experience – like Michigan.


Springfield News-Leader reports on why you don’t/won’t see marijuana ads on TV.  See it here.

Tobacco had the Marlboro Man, but absent major changes to federal law, it's unlikely marijuana will ever have a TV advertising mascot…..

That's because holders of broadcast licenses depend on the good graces of the federal government to keep them. Since 1934, the Federal Communications Commission has been in charge of regulating the public airwaves.

Even today, with medical or full adult-use cannabis legal in 33 states, and boosters predicting Missouri's medical cannabis market could be worth $500 million, TV and radio stations try not to flout Uncle Sam's rules. That's according to Mark Gordon, president and CEO of the Missouri Broadcasters Association in Jefferson City. "I can’t imagine any broadcaster taking any medical marijuana advertising," Gordon told the News-Leader last week. "Our licenses are worth more than that."


STL County Residents Shake Fists

Post Dispatch reports on a mini-revolt in St. Louis County as property assessments jump.  See it here.

Real estate is on fire. Home prices are on the rise. But when those values are used to determine tax bills, homeowners get skeptical when the government says their home is worth more than they think it is… For many people, reassessment is their only connection to local government. It can bring out strong feelings… Deluged by questions from constituents, St. Louis County Council members scheduled a series of town hall meetings around the county for residents to quiz [Jake] Zimmerman. The first meeting, on Thursday in Lemay, brought out 150 people. The meeting started with Zimmerman trying to explain his role in the county’s system of taxation, and at times devolved into shouting and accusations of unfairness or corruption. Many people said it seemed the government was trying to take more of their money… Zimmerman emphasized that he was an independently elected authority not working on behalf of taxing entities like schools or fire districts. “It’s not my job to care about how many tax dollars they collect,” he said. “At the end of the day, my only job and the only job of the appraisers who work in my office is to value your property based on what it could sell for.”

Why It Matters

St. Louis Assessor Jake Zimmerman has been mentioned as a possible St. Louis County Executive candidate.  Whether that’s a real prospect of just a product of the rumor-mill after the turmoil of Stenger’s downfall is unclear.  Other names mentioned: Mark Mantovani and Sen. Jill Schupp.


Osmack Makes It Official

Mark Osmack posted on Facebook that he was dropping out of Senate 15.  This was expected after Rep. Deb Lavender entered and he postponed his kick-off.  This clears the primary for Lavender who will take on Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig.

I am suspending the campaign for the 15th State Senate District. Suspending is of course, a political word for quitting. I hate quitting. And I’ve never known it like this. This hurts.

I’m stepping aside for several reasons. Yes, someone, something changed. I was caught utterly by surprise…

I didn’t have a choice in what transpired, but I do have an active choice in how I respond. I do have a choice in my reactions. Bitterness, resentment, disdain, fury, a general “Well, it can all go to hell then”; they are all options. And honestly, they are all tempting. Maybe even justified. But, none of them are good. They are intoxicating. They are incredibly corrosive. They rot a person’s soul. So, I choose otherwise…

Caitlin and I are going to focus on each other. We’re getting married. We will be turning a house into a home in the 15th District and starting a family. As Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” That’s my promise…and one I will keep.


Clay for Impeachment

Congressman Lacy Clay: “Today, I have acted to assert the constitutionally mandated authority of the U.S. House to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his repeated acts of attempted obstruction of justice and his reckless contempt for the Constitution which he took an oath to preserve, protect and defend. First, I have joined with Congressman Brad Sherman (D) California and Congressman Al Green (D) Texas, to cosponsor H. Res. 13: Impeaching Donald Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors… Donald John Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States…. I have also joined with Congresswoman Rashida Talib (D) Michigan and Congressman Al Green (D) Texas to cosponsor H. Res 257: Inquiring whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America. It has been referred to the House Rules Committee… Impeachment is the only constitutionally available remedy that would directly address President Trump’s blatant and repeated attempts to obstruct justice and repeatedly lied to Congress, and most importantly lied to the American people….”


eMailbag on G-LG Tickets

From time to time, there is musing (but little more) in Missouri about having candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a ticket. Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s SB143 and SJR8 to require joint tickets for the two top jobs in Missouri were assigned to committees this year but never got hearings. Well, Kentucky has had such a setup since 1995. They’re fighting.  See it here.


Help Wanted

ACLU of Missouri seeks Executive Director. “The new Executive Director will be a servant leader firmly committed to advancing the mission and values of the ACLU and will possess the conviction to put organizational principles before personal politics. They will be a creative results-oriented self-starter with a strong work-ethic. They will be organized, comfortable under pressure, and able to effectively multi-task… Above all, with growing threats to the civil liberties of Missourians, ACLU-MO’s new leader will anticipate and judiciously act on events, and strategically leverage the resources and expertise of the ACLU to protect the constitutional rights of the residents of Missouri…” See it here.


The Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District seeks “qualified political and public relations talent to provide consulting in connection with the strategic planning for the future of the CID and consideration of available options related to the impending expiration, and potential renewal or reorganization of the CID.”

See it here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Stephen Gorny deleted Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.



Happy birthdays Kevin Austin, Shelley Kenney, Dani Moore, Jim Krieder, Eileen Evans, and Alex Curchin.