Galloway Says She’s In
Breaking this morning…. Auditor Nicole Galloway has posted a snappy 2-minute video announcing that she is running for governor. See it here.
From the video: “Dark money flows from corporations to lobbyists. The governor takes their money, and does their bidding… it’s a broken system, the old way of doing politics.”
It looks like Galloway is hoping to frame the race as new and fresh versus business as usual.
· The move had been expected. But it solidifies the gubernatorial match-up next year. An announcement from incumbent Governor Mike Parson is expected early next month.
· Look for more intense fundraising efforts from Team Galloway, including the courting of national third-party money to narrow the advantage that Parson now enjoys.
· Democrats who have been eying statewide bids now must start jockeying for the other slots. First among those will be Sen. Scott Sifton.
Greitens Pops Up At Rodeo, Folks Freak
Several folks sent me photos of former Governor Eric Greitens making an appearance at a Sikeston rodeo. He hasn’t changed his wardrobe, by the way. It’s still blue shirt with blue jeans. See it here.
He’s pictured with former DPS Director Drew Juden. Greitens of course resigned amid multiple scandals, and Juden’s tenure was recently torched in an audit, but they “have each other’s backs.”
What It Means
· The prospect of a resurrected Greitens’ political life unnerves a lot of Republicans who remember the turmoil of his year-and-a-half as governor.
· I have one Republican source who thinks Greitens is getting back in it, and sarcastically wrote “just a picture of Greitens at the Sikeston rodeo because that’s the type of thing you go to when you’re not running for governor and live in St. Louis.” He thinks Parson’s people aren’t taking the possibility seriously enough.
· But the consensus of most observers is that Greitens isn’t running for anything in 2020. At most, these moves are designed to unnerve or needle the governor’s inner circle.
Sedey Sues Ashcroft
Springfield News-Leader reports… In a lawsuit filed Friday in Cole County Circuit Court, attorneys for Mary Anne Sedey accused [Jay] Ashcroft of writing "biased and inflammatory" summaries of petitions that could harm their chances with voters if they qualify for the 2020 ballot. The initiatives propose a number of changes to the Missouri Constitution, including requirements for six weeks of early and mail-in voting and automatic registration of eligible voters when they come into contact with government agencies…
But the lawsuit says Ashcroft, a Republican, paints a more sinister and unfair picture in his summary… Attorneys for Sedey… allege Ashcroft used “argumentative” language…
Friday’s filing is also not the first time Ashcroft has faced scrutiny over his ballot language. In 2017, a judge rewrote his summary of a referendum petition seeking to block an anti-union “right-to-work” law after finding parts of it misleading. He's not the first Missouri secretary of state to face scrutiny on ballot language, though. Democrat Robin Carnahan, who held the office from 2005 to 2013, had multiple summaries rewritten by courts to meet a neutral standard….
What It Means
· As the article notes, both political parties have been accused of using this office to tilt initiative petitions to their side. In other words, partisans like to have the SOS office occupied by someone sympathetic to their view.
· One Dem thinks that Ashcroft’s efforts to derail the HB 126 referendum could make him vulnerable if that issue ignites turnout among women. That viewpoint probably includes a healthy dose of progressive hopefulness.
Dems Not Selling Slots
The House Dems summer caucus is coming up later this month. In a break from past years, they’re not “selling” slots for lobbyists to address the caucus.
One lobbyist I spoke to was in disbelief that the super-minority would forgo well-established fundraising opportunities. Dems are in desperate need of money to compete with the GOP.
But one Dem explains a queasy feeling that they blatant selling of access sends the wrong ethical message.
According to the schedule, some non-profits with progressive values – Arch City Defenders, Empower Missouri, MO Budget Project – will be addressing the caucus.
Follow-Up on Local Taxes to Support Rural Services
Following up on my blurb about the hospital in Nevada, MO seeking taxpayer subsidies. One reader reminds that “voters in a portion of Macon County voted to double their property tax for their local nursing home. There are more than 30 nursing homes in Missouri that have a small portion of their budget funded by property taxes.” See it here. Interestingly, “the tax increase was supported by Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, whose mother was a resident at the facility.”
Justus CC Fees Were Actually Fees
Kurt Erickson’s Post-Dispatch story last week used Jolie Justus’ latest campaign filing to highlight politicians who use vague “credit card expenses” on their reports without saying what they actually bought.
Erickson’s tweeted that Justus “spent $30,655 on ‘credit card processing fees,’ but did not explain what the money actually paid for.” Justus replied to tweet by noting that it was actually just that, “credit card processing fees.”
The story was then updated: “Following a review, this story was updated to remove references to candidate Jolie Justus' credit card payments.”
Ethics Emergency Rules
On the Missouri Ethics website (see it here), there are two amendments to Commission rules clarifying the circumstances that require federal political action committees register and file reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
eMailbag on House Leadership Race
I would have said this is [Dean] Plocher’s hands down, but over the last few weeks it’s become apparent how hard Curtis Trent is working. Don’t forget tort reform as a major issue that could be a factor in this race, on top of the fact that the likely Speaker-Elect and Speaker Pro-Tem are already from STL, which could open the door for an outstate candidate like Trent.
The Crazy Casas Life
It should be a realty show… the life of lobbyist Kate Casas… Check out this Facebook post from her husband Martin Casas, who runs Apotheosis Comics & Lounge in St. Louis
Last weekend my personal storage unit was broken into (our house is being remodeled) and my entire collection of 3,000+ comics was stolen. I was devastated. A lot of my comics were not high in value but mostly were collected for sentimental purposes (trips I’ve taken, the month my daughter was born, gifts, etc) and some I’ve had for over 30 years. I filed a police report…
[T]his past Thursday someone brought in a box of comics to sell us - happens all the time. I immediately recognized MY box of Captain America books… I called the officers in charge of the investigation… They did some investigation… Anyway, I called the woman back and arranged a time to meet with her at the store to pay her for her (my) comics (not really). And because she’s a lousy thief she and her boyfriend were late. When they got to the store I talked with her for a bit, and gave a signal to the police that this was the person they were looking for and they appeared from the basement and arrested her…
It was a surreal scene in the shop for sure - cops with their guns drawn, people in handcuffs being questioned. However I, mostly I felt sorry for the two being arrested and the things that happened in their life to lead them to this moment. The days ahead are going to be hard on them and their family and I hope they find a way to turn their lives around. Honestly…
Big thanks to the SLMPD Burglary Division for their professionalism and ability to bring a swift resolution to this case. You’re always welcome in our shop!
Todd Antonio Gilyard added The Gilyard Group LLC.
Sheldon Lineback deleted Missouri Police Chiefs Association.
Happy birthdays to Reps. Barbara Washington, and Mike Haffner, Sharon Jones, and Vicki Schneider.