Driving the Weekend
On Facebook, former LG Peter Kinder reminds folks that this weekend they should “get out and enjoy the annual Sales Tax Holiday that I passed into law in 2003. #Missouri #backtoschool #taxbreak”
The House Republican Campaign Committee’s summer caucus is going on. Perhaps we’ll see some big checks hit as they start building their war-chest for 2020….
Shippy to Campaign
Team Parson announced that Steele Shippy was moving from the government side to the campaign side. Shippy has been serving as communications director in the governor’s office. He’s now taking the helm as campaign manager for Governor Mike Parson’s re-election effort.
What It Means
· The first of likely several moves we’ll see in the next couple of months as Parson moves toward a war-footing ahead of next year’s campaign.
· Look for similar moves from Team Galloway, probably soon after or in conjunction with a mid-August official entry announcement.
Special Elections for Dem Vacancies
The press release: Governor Mike Parson called for a special election to fill four House of Representative vacancies due to the resignation of Representatives Brandon Ellington, DaRon McGee, Cora Faith Walker, and Bruce Franks Jr… The special election for the Missouri House of Representatives 22nd District (parts of Jackson County and Kansas City), 36th District (Kansas City), 74th District (St. Louis County), and 78th District (St. Louis City) will take place on November 5, 2019.
What It Means
· Obviously, it’s a good government move to ensure that the citizens of these districts have representation over the next year, but…
· With Dems in the super-minority, it makes little difference to the House Republican majority if they’re filled or not. So there’s no political downside to doing this. And…
· It does mean that the Democratic nominees will be chosen by the party apparatus. And next year there will be incumbents in these districts, decreasing the likelihood of hard-fought, contested primaries.
· No big shakes, unless you’re in the gov’s office, looking at the chessboard and thinking there may be some constitutional amendments on the ballot you want to move to August, away from the November ballot. And if you want to beat those ballot questions (like Medicaid expansion), why not minimize Dem turnout where you can?
Revenues Start Strong
State tax receipts for July got the new fiscal year off to a nice start, up 8.23% compared to July 2018. Sales and use tax lead the way up 8.57%. Individual income tax receipts showed more tepid growth, only +2.65%.
Rumorville on Senate 33
One Republican tells me that they think the field in Senate 33 might be expanding. Right now, it’s Rep. Robert Ross and former Rep. Van Kelly. However, the rumor is that termed Sen. Mike Cunningham is seeking another candidate. Stay tuned…
Schmitt Contra MSU Ticket Police
The press release: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office launched an investigation into the Missouri State University, Office of University Safety, for allegedly enforcing a parking ticket quota and violating Senate Bill 5 and other related legislation. The Attorney General’s Office learned through whistleblowers that officials in Missouri State University’s Office of University Safety allegedly encouraged officers to write an increasing amount of parking tickets, satisfying quotas of parking tickets, in order to increase funding for the department and University… “The safety of students at the University must be the number one priority for the Office of University Safety, not the number of tickets that are written.”
What It Means
· Not since the dawn of the no-call list has an AG found a populist crusade for their office.
· Yes, the Medicaid frauds involve millions of dollars and these tickets are only dinging people for a few Andrew Jacksons, but “no taxation by citation” resonates with average folk.
· Situations like this – and City of Diamond – make people shake their head that government isn’t on their side, but is looking for ways to nickel and dime them.
Axiom Takes Whitaker
Bloomberg reports (see it here) that “Former acting Attorney General and Donald Trump loyalist Matt Whitaker will join a political consulting firm organized by allies of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Whitaker, 49, will be managing director of Clout Public Affairs, a division of Axiom Strategies… He will assist with public affairs, business development, and strategic vision… Whitaker won’t be a registered lobbyist…”
Politico: Wagner to Retire?
Politico, oddly, puts Congresswoman Ann Wagner on the “retirement watch” list. See it here.
Among those on the retirement watch list include older members, like Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Don Young of Alaska; moderates, like Fred Upton of Michigan and Greg Walden of Oregon; lawmakers facing tougher races, like Texans Michael McCaul and Kenny Marchant, and Ann Wagner of Missouri; and the two members under indictment, Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York.
One Last Thing
Pretty interesting set of graphics about the importance of branding in the nascent cannabis industry. See it here.
Dave Gragg formed a candidate committee (Dave Gragg For Missouri) to run for House 130 as a Democrat. The current incumbent, Republican Rep. Jeffrey Messenger, is term limited.
George Oestreich added MM Enterprises USA LLC.
Zach Brunnert and Richard McIntosh added Pure Storage.
Phil Murray added Missouri National Education Association.
Irl Scissors added National Strategies OBO American Infrastructure Partners.
Steven Tilley, Thomas Robbins, and Jake Silverman added Cash Depot LLC.
A Better Missouri Political Action Committee - $44,300 from Anheuser-Busch Cos.
Happy birthdays to Mike Talboy, Dawn Nicklas, Kimberly Gardner, Zac Sweets, Tom Todd, Jim Viebrock, and Starsky Wilson.
Saturday: Bev Randles, Dan Engemann, and Larry Wilson.
Sunday: Robin Carnahan, Don Soph, and Dick Wiles.