MOScout Update: Medicaid Expansion Launches - DCCC Recruiting Gunn in CD-2? - New Renewable IP Filed - Eigel to Play in Senate 31? and more...

Medicaid Expansion Campaign Launches Today

Today the campaign to expand Medicaid will formally launch.  See the website here.

Progressives have been buoyed by recent success with economic issues at the ballot box.  They won an increase in the minimum wage and also trounced right to work.  Nationally, other states have expanded Medicaid by initiative petition as well.

What To Watch For

We’ll see today which version of Medicaid expansion organizers have opted for and the details, but it looks like

·         The proposal would raise eligibility to adults with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

·         They are attempting a constitutional change, rather than a statutory change.  A constitutional amendment requires more signatures, and is therefore more expensive to pursue.  But it prevents future meddling from the state legislature.

Who Will Fight It

Fiscal hawks and conservatives have expressed their opposition to the proposals because they see it blowing the budget apart with additional costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  But there’s no clear constituency to oppose the measure.

·         I’m told that consultants have sent feelers to the major donors (Rex Sinquefeld, David Humphreys) and there’s no commitment from the them to step in and fund an opposition campaign.

·         Also they’ve reached out to education establishment with the pitch that any budget shortfall would threaten their budget lines.

·         And I’m told that some consultants with national ties (Gregg Keller, or James Harris, for example) could seek national organizations to come in and fund an opposition campaign.

What It Means

Not as much as one might initially think.

·         The main driver behind this election cycle will still be the cultural war as personified by President Donald Trump.

·         But candidates – statewide candidates as well as others – will be expected to have a position on the issue.

·         The one wildcard: rural Missouri.  There’s been article after article about the dire financial situation of rural hospitals.  This could be a lifeline to them, and might bring support for the proposal in places otherwise considered “too red.”

 

DCCC Recruiting Gunn in CD-2?

Well this rumor would make for an interesting 2020…  A well-placed Dem tells me that “DCCC is recruiting Amy Gunn heavily in the Congressional 2nd.  No idea if it will ultimately be successful, but it would be a homerun.”

Gunn is an attorney (see bio here) who serves on MATA’s board.  Her husband, Kevin Gunn, is the other half of the power couple.  He’s a former Public Service Commission Chairman, and treasurer for Nicole Galloway’s IE PAC, Keep Government Accountable.

Gunn checks all the boxes that DCCC was said to be looking for….

·         Demographic match-up with Wagner (woman, mother, wife).

·         No voting record to get torn apart.

·         Yet, politically savvy.

·         Well-networked for fundraising capacity.

We’ll see…

 

Eigel A Player in Senate 31?

Following up on the potential showdown between Rep. Jack Bondon and former Rep. Rick Brattin, one MOScouter sees a “wildcard” in Sen. Bill Eigel

As I wrote yesterday, Brattin is expected to be out-gunned in fundraising by Bondon.  But they see Eigel – who has been raising money and shown an interest in Senate primaries – as a potential source of funds for Brattin.

In fact, yesterday Republican donor David Steward contributed $100K to CL PAC which has ties to Eigel and the Senate Conservative Caucus.

 

Next Week’s Big Fundy

There will be a lot of fundraisers next week as legislators and lobbyists descend on the capitol for Veto Session.  But the biggest may be Tuesday at Bar Vino hosted by Elijah Haahr, Cody Smith, and Dan Houx next Tuesday at Bar Vino.

“Anytime you have the Speaker, Budget Chair, and Fiscal Review Chair doing a joint fundraiser it is a must go to event. Expect a big crowd to show up to the event.”

 

Renewable Energy IPs Filed

James Owen filed four version of a new initiative petition (see one here) which would increase the amount of renewable energy used in Missouri.  This comes after a filing last week of a campaign committee, Missourians For Affordable and Clean Energy, to support the ballot initiative.

 

Riley for House 134

From the in-box: Alex Riley will announce his family is moving across town in Springfield to better accommodate work and family obligations.  Riley currently lives in the 130th District and had planned on seeking the Republican nomination for State Representative there.  His new home will lie within the 134th District where Speaker Elijah Haahr currently serves (and Riley's law firm and parents are also located).  Riley will also announce the endorsements of Speaker Haahr along with Representatives [Curtis] Trent and [Sonya] Murray-Anderson at that time.

 

Happening This Morning

On the Missouri Supreme Court docket for oral argument is SC97653, City of Crestwood, et al. v. Affton Fire Protection District, et al., an appeal from Cole County involving a challenge to the constitutional validity of statutes governing annexation and the relationship with a fire protection district in St. Louis County.

It’s the latest in a challenge to a law, claiming it’s a “special law” targeting one geographic location.

 

New Committees

Michela Skelton formed a candidate committee (Skelton For Missouri) to run for Senate 19 as a Democrat.

 

$5K+ Contributions

HealthPAC - $7,300 from Committee For Quality Healthcare.

CL PAC -$100,000 from David Steward.

Nexus PAC - $10,000 from McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Jeff Glenn added Missourians for Transportation Investment, and Mercury Alliance.

George Oestreich added CPESN USA, LLC.

James Harris added 4Tellus, LLC.

Kevin McHenry added College Board.

Gamble & Schlemeier deleted Code.org.

Brad Galbraith deleted Excellence In Education National, Inc., DBA Excellence In Education In Action.

Marjorie Lewis deleted Brown Willbrand PC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Jane Cunningham and Emily van Schenkhof.