HB 126 Referendum
As I wrote yesterday, the appeals court ruled that Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wasn’t able to strike the HB 126 referendum petitions. However, Ashcroft’s action did inflict significant damage on the referendum effort. It devoured critical time.
I spoke to one capitol veteran yesterday who’s been keeping a close eye on the situation and thinks that chessboard looks tough for HB 126 opponents.
· Gathering the signatures under a time crunch becomes much more expensive than a normal signature gathering campaign. One estimate is that the signature collection could cost close to $3 million in order to be completed in a four or five-week window.
· Even if the signature collection and campaign (more $$$) were successful, pro-life legislators are unlikely to jettison their anti-abortion legislative agenda. You’d be right back on defense again in 2021.
There is an alternative strategy which opponents could embrace: drop the HB 126 referendum, and pursue a constitutional amendment for 2020. The benefits of this would be…
· The campaign would no longer be under ticking clock to gather signatures by the end of summer.
· The ballot language could be crafted to maximize the odds of success.
· The constitutional protection would prevent future legislative attacks.
Silverman Joins Strategic Capitol Consulting
From the press release: Today, government affairs and business development firm Strategic Capitol Consulting, LLC, announced that political consultant Jake Silverman is the newest addition to its team. Silverman joins the firm as a lobbyist and political strategist…
Silverman is a graduate of the Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina and the owner of Olympus Political Consulting LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on statewide, local and ballot initiative campaigns. Jake received his Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts degree in 2011 from the University of Kansas. He lives in Wildwood, Missouri and is active in hockey, golf, and traveling.
See Strategic Capitol Consulting’s website here.
Ghost of Greitens
There are still folks hearing bumps in the dark… rumblings of a political comeback by Eric Greitens. It’s hard to assess the probability that this is a real possibility. While there’s tidbits that he’s talking to people, there’s little evidence he’s actually preparing for a race in 2020.
Folks are seeing the emerging “witch hunt” narrative…
· St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner is under fire for irregularities in her handling of the Greitens case. And accordingly there’s gossip about what might still come out as a result of the charges against her investigator William Tisby.
· Judge Jon Beetem ruled this week that the widespread use of the record destroying app Confide did not violate the state’s sunshine laws.
· There’s lingering frustration among some in Jefferson City that the $100,000 of cash Scott Faughn paid to Al Watkins hasn’t been traced to its original source.
Criminal Justice Reform
KCStar’s Crystal Thomas reports on Governor Mike Parson signing criminal justice reform bills yesterday. Read it here.
After being a leader in prison population, Missouri is moving away from locking up non-violent offenders to serve long sentences. Backed by a bipartisan group of legislators and activists, Gov. Mike Parson signed a series of bills Tuesday including measures to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent offenses and to prohibit added prison time as punishment for people who can’t pay jail board bills….
Why It Matters
According to The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG), over half of Missouri inmates are in jail because of parole violations. See it here.
Probation and parole are alternatives to incarceration that are designed to help lower the prison population and allow people to more easily integrate back into their communities. But perfectly following the rules of parole and probation can prove difficult, and many violators end up back in prison… "What it becomes after a certain period of time is a bunch of trip wires for people to fall over," reform advocate and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner…
Governor Mike Parson made appointments yesterday…
· Henry Carner, of Independence, was appointed to the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners.
· Aimee Gromowsky, of Kansas City, was appointed to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners.
· Bruce Kerr, of Platte City, was appointed to the Platte County Election Board.
· Sally Miller, of Kansas City, was appointed to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners.
· Jessica Stevens, of Fredericktown, was appointed as the Madison County Treasurer.
· Dennis Vinson, of Cape Girardeau, was appointed to the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents.
No Bans On Choice was formed. It’s a campaign committee to support the collect of signatures on the HB 126 referendum. Its treasurer is Robin Utz. Read her story here. Its deputy treasurer is Kathryn Jayne Drennen.
Samuel Snider formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Samuel Snider) to run for House 130 as a Republican. The current incumbent Rep. Jeff Messenger is termed.
Mark Francis Brady added Polsinelli PC, and Tower International.
Andrew Charles Dziedzic deleted Missouri Attorney General's Office.
Jordan Wheeler deleted MOSERS.
CenturyLink Missouri Federal Employees Political Action Committee - $10,610 from CenturyLink Inc. Employees Political Action Committee.
A Better Missouri Political Action Committee - $42,500 from Anheuser-Busch Cos.
Living Well PAC - $24,500 from MARF.
MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from Brad Bedell.
Happy birthdays to Russ Carnahan, Cole McNary, and Eli Yokley.