We have compiled our 2015 list of the 100+ people in the Missouri public policy process you need to know. A few changes have been made this year – media and legislative staff are not included, unless they were engaged as a campaign consultant as well.
By no means is this the complete list, and the names are in no particular order, but it would be a good start for someone beginning their career in Missouri politics of the people to get to know.
Also this year, instead of a website, we included each person’s twitter handle.
Lastly, thanks to our readers who helped us compile this year’s list – enjoy and please don’t hesitate to tell us who we missed at @MissouriTimes.
Andy Blunt | Partner, Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt
If this list was the 5+, Andy Blunt would still be on it. He is one of the top lobbyists in the state today and his stature is set to grow in coming sessions. His client list is a “who’s who” of top Missouri corporations and associations, and anyone coming to Missouri with an issue that needs work makes a stop at his office. Also, every six years he makes time to run campaigns for his father, Senator Roy Blunt.
Anne Schweitzer | Senior Associate, Public Eye
Anne is one of the up and coming communications specialists out of the St. Louis Public Eye firm of famed publicist Richard Callow, as well as a Democratic operative. She is relentlessly on message from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and, partly through her frequent appearances on This Week in Missouri Politics, is becoming an influential voice from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
Brian Grace | Principal, Dentons
Maybe the lobbyist with the most obvious upward trajectory on this list, Grace is becoming a force in the Capitol with top notch relationships. He is one lobbyist who never leaves the Capitol while the legislature is in session, a daily fixture of the building. Dentons has an impressive list of clients and they are well served by the energetic Grace, whose position is the most likely of anyone on this list to move up in the coming years.
Dave Cook | President, UFCW Local 655
Cook is one of the most forward thinking and aggressive labor leaders in the state, and is becoming one of the best people in labor at working with Republican legislators. Cook and UFCW are becoming a vital part of labor’s messaging, and that is likely good news for their allies, because Cook has his ear to the ground in Jefferson City better than almost anyone in labor
Dave Plemmons | Chairman, Missouri Right to Life PAC
Right-to-Life has been a dominant force in state politics for several years, but seemed to be getting bogged down into some internal fights. Plemmons has helped focus MRL and has been a key in building relationships with new legislators, and today may be on the verge of the biggest win pro-life advocates have seen in decades if they are able work with Sen. Schaeffer to close the abortion clinic in Columbia.
Gary Burton | Partner, Burton & Liese
A former legislator hailing from Southwest Missouri, Burton has seemed to be on the front lines of the changes in the governmental relations field his entire career. He was receiving awards from ALEC before it was such an overwhelmingly popular organization for legislators to join, and more popular for their opponents to snipe. He was on the ground floor of joplin.com before cities having websites were seen as commonplace. Burton is the name partner at one of the biggest firms in the state.
Jon Dalton | Partner, Armstrong Teasdale
Dalton is one of the gentlemen of Missouri’s lobbying core. He is also a leading attorney in St. Louis, and in what is rare for most lobbyists, is just as successful in practicing law as he is in the lobbying field. Dalton is also one of the leading attorneys who presents to the certificate of need committee. If you are going anywhere in Missouri politics, Jon Dalton is someone you must know.
At the heart of both the legislative and political strategies McCarroll is one of the biggest forces in labor and Democratic politics. He has brought outside the box strategies that have changed the game on several issue fronts. He has experience working in both the House and Senate, and that experience has never been more valuable than in the current legislative battles.
Mark Dalton | Political Director, Carpenters Union
Ask anyone in the heat of the battle in Missouri politics who the most progressive and effective union is, and they will tell you the Carpenters. Mark Dalton is their political director and is poised to be one of the most influential labor leaders in the state over the next decade.
Mike Gibbons | Principal, Gibbons Workman LLC
Since entering the lobbying field from the state senate, Gibbons has had success that include making the jump from a law firm to his own firm with Tricia Workman, and has just completed renovating a downtown building in Jefferson City for their office space. Gibbons has fashioned a reputation for crafting legislation and using the process to his client’s advantage. With every firm is either growing or diminishing, Gibbons Workman is at the top of growing firms.
Pat White | President, St. Louis Labor Council
He has taken over from his predecessor Bob Soutier and had to hit the ground running helping formulate the campaign against Right-to-Work. His job hasn’t been this important in two generations as he helps coordinate labor’s efforts in St. Louis. White is also one of the labor leaders who can impact Jefferson City, and does routinely make time to be in the Capitol.
Sara Schuett | Executive Director, Missouri Trial Attorneys Association
No one in the Missouri Capitol is more effective and no one in the Capitol shuns the spotlight more than Schuett. She is one of the most prolific secret keepers in the Capitol, and without her leadership both during session and in the interim, the trial attorneys could have been eviscerated in Missouri.
Scott Dieckhaus | Executive Director, HRCC
Dieckhaus has led HRCC through the most successful period in its history. The organization was founded in the 1990’s by the current speaker’s father – and in no way would he have imagined 20 years later it would garner an uber-supermajority of Republicans in the House. The caucus’ dominance has been put in place under Dieckhaus’ leadership, and his ability to recruit young staffers to Republican campaigns has created a whole new generation of under-30 Republican staffers and operatives who may one day find themselves on this list.