Texts from the Trail: Once upon a time in Missouri

  

this week texts from the trail Missouri Republicans devolved into open warfare against each other. A pro Right-to-Work group funded by Republicans fired the latest shot in the civil war with the launch of a website and paid media campaign against republican caucus members who didn’t support the bill.

Reading the website boughtandpaidfor.net made me think of another Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 2.11.21 PMsuch story. Once upon a time, long, long ago (the 90s) in a far away land (Missourah) existed a political party (the Democrats) who had vast majorities that passed nearly all of their party’s priorities and had an iron grip on this enchanted legislative body (the Missouri General Assembly).

 

However, it was during that time that they decided that it wasn’t good enough for members of their party to agree with the majority 95% of the time, complete and blind loyalty was demanded by all.

 

So, they sent new recruits and grizzled veterans to camps (Camp Carnahan) to learn that you are only a Democrat if you are for increasing spending on schools, boosting social safety nets, etc., but also that you also have to be pro-choice and pro-gun control as well. Only sycophants needed apply.

 

They funded candidates that adhered strictly to the party line at the expense of candidates who better fit the district, and even attacked those in the party who weren’t blindly loyal. They were fat and happy and never dreamed of a world where they weren’t in charge.

 

However, one day a brilliant young House member from the crown jewel of Southeast Missouri and a brilliant young consultant from the land of Limbaugh formed a concerted effort to win those seats in lands like St. Charles, SEMO, Jefferson and Clay Counties.

 

They were all too happy to eat away at the Democrats majorities and win seats for this new-fangled political party in the state (Republicans), who had previously only known leadership in executive offices. They won with candidates who fit the district and agreed with the party line only a mere 95 percent of the time.

 

Their efforts grew and grew until early in the next decade (2002), they did the unthinkable and took the majority with their longtime Senate leader who grew to be the Dean of the Party by winning votes in the city of St. Louis in tough years, a modern day Thatcher and a Marine who also happened to be from SEMO.

 

As time went by, their majorities grew and all were happy – they even won the Governor’s Mansion again, but with a candidate who towed the party line only a mere 95 percent of the time (Governor Matt Blunt).

 

Then, a President was elected who happened to be a socialist (Barack Hussein Obama, shout out to Brian Nieves) and their majorities swelled past what the Democrats had even achieved.

 

They ignored the wild unpopularity of socialism and thought they deserved all the credit for being political masterminds. They were fat and happy and never dreamed of a world where they were not in charge.

 

Then, those who didn’t remember those days long ago (the 90s) decided instead of cutting taxes, and cutting government, that it wasn’t good enough to have members of the party who were 95 percent loyal. Complete and total blind loyalty was demanded by all…

 

Things always change in politics, and somewhere there is a Democrat sitting on a city council, or working in the Attorney General’s Office, or on a school board that will become Speaker one day.

 

Whether that prospective Democratic Speaker realizes it or not, they can likely thank the poor historians of 2015 for their good fortune. Just as Speaker Catherine Hanaway could thank the shortsightedness of the 90s for her success the following decade.

 

Smart conservatives land on both sides of the right-to-work issue, but there is typically only one winner in inner-party feuds – the opposing party.

This week, the legislature announced that in 2016, it will lose one of the good guys. Rep. Ron Hicks (R-St. Peters) announced that he won’t be running for re-election, instead throwing his name in the hat for a bid for mayor of St. Peters.

Thinking about the new campaign against him made me remember thetim and shelia first time I met him in the fall of 2012 in Dexter. He bounced off a tour bus and a House leader told me that he was a personal friend who he had encouraged to run and had comfortably won the primary. That House leader told me he would make an outstanding legislator, and he was spot on. That House leader was then Speaker Tim Jones.

Some in the media spent the week repeating talking points about what family members of Senator Roy Blunt do for a living. If it’s fair game to criticize anyone who works for a company that could be influenced by a public official they are related to, then under that incredibly liberal standard look for January to be a month where there is no one left unscathed.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 7.37.08 PM
www.zerrwars.com launched to attack Rep. Anne Zerr

The most eventful state Senate race so far is the Republican primary to replace party legend Tom Dempsey. Bill Eigel released a website attacking one of his opponents, Rep. Anne Zerr – www.zerrwars.com. The site is excellently designed and has a clever theme that taps into the pop culture of what could be the biggest movie of all time.

That Eigel, who has no political record, would blast Zerr and any other elected republican seems a good move, but it’s odd that one of the other Republicans he is slamming would help him perpetuate the attack.

On the website, among some other claims, Eigel says that “Zerr sides with President Obama and votes to implement his dangerous Obamacare scheme in Missouri.”

HB 609 in 2011 is cited as evidence.

It’s true that Zerr did vote for HB 609 in 2011, and if you believe that that vote means that she is for Obamacare, well, I don’t share that opinion, but Eigel is an intelligent man whose opinion matters.

hb 609
The House Jounal for HB 609

However, that also means that other Missouri Republicans are siding with Obama as well, including House Speaker Todd Richardson, Majority Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot, Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins, Rep. Jay Barnes, Rep. Kurt Bahr, Rep. Paul Curtman, Rep. Andrew Koenig, Rep. Caleb Jones, and Rep. Lincoln Hough, along with Congressman Jason Smith, and a few of his would be colleagues Senator Dave Schatz, Senator Paul Wieland, Senator David Sater, Senator Wayne Wallingford, Senator Jeannie Riddle, and Senator Ryan Silvey. The list of Obamacare advocates would also include former Speakers Steve Tilley, John Diehl and Tim Jones.

Rep. Parkinson promoting a website that attacks his vote as pro-Obamacare.
Rep. Parkinson promoting a website that attacks his vote as pro-Obamacare.

It would have been interesting to have been in the room when Eigel explained to former Speaker Jones that he supported Obamacare. However, the oddest Obama advocate was Rep. Mark Parkinson, because he took to twitter to promote the attack against him. Odd move.

Koster and Greitens continued their domination of the money chase of big contributions this week. Greitens’ most important contribution of his recent over quarter-million dollar haul may have been from the Dairy Farmers, as it shows not only state support what could be the start of some state political groups recognizing his fundraising prowess and signing on. He also took to social media to tout his fundraising advantage over his rivals.

 

Here are the other reportable contributions from the week:

GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Paola Luptak Boca Raton FL  12/14/2015 $25,000
ELECT BILL WHITE Freeman Physicians Joplin MO 12/14/2015 $10,000
RIZZO FOR MISSOURI CHIPP St Louis MO  12/14/2015 $5,001
CITIZENS FOR JOE RUNIONS CHIPP St Louis MO 12/14/2015 $5,000
FRIENDS OF JUDY MORGAN CHIPP St Louis MO  12/14/2015 $5,001
MISSOURIANS FOR JOHN BRUNNER John G Brunner St Louis MO  12/15/2015 $18,180
EIGEL FOR MISSOURI August Busch St Peters MO  12/15/2015 $10,000
KOSTER FOR MISSOURI IAFF Washington DC  12/15/2015 $50,000
KOSTER FOR MISSOURI Firefighters for MO Gov Florissant MO  12/15/2015 $15,000
CITIZENS FOR BONNAYE MIMS CHIPP St Louis MO 12/15/2015 $5,001
FRIENDS OF JEREMY LAFAVER CHIPP St Louis MO  12/14/2015 $5,001
COMMITTEE TO ELECT GAIL MCCANN BEATTY CHIPP St Louis MO 12/14/2015 $5,001
HOLSMAN FOR MISSOURI CHIPP St Louis MO 12/15/2015 $10,000
HOLSMAN FOR MISSOURI Safer Families for Missouri Jefferson City MO  12/15/2015 $16,000
COMMITTEE TO ELECT TOM MCDONALD DISTRICT 28 CHIPP St Louis MO 10/15/2015 $5,001
PEOPLE FOR SOLON CHIPP St Louis MO 12/15/2015 $5,001
FRIENDS OF NICK KING CHIPP St Louis MO 12/15/2015 $5,001
KOSTER FOR MISSOURI Stephen Smith Ladue MO 12/16/2015 $10,000
FRIENDS TO ELECT BRANDON ELLINGTON CHIPP St Louis MO 10/15/2015 $5,001
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI William J French Springfield MO  12/15/2015 $5,001
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Matthew OReilly Springfield MO  12/15/2015 $5,500
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Kenneth A Schwab Springfield MO  12/15/2015 $5,001
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Jo and Wayne Scheer Springfield MO  12/15/2015 $10,000
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Richard Scrivener    Springfield MO 12/15/2015 $10,000
CONWAY FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE  CHIPP, St Louis MO 12/16/2015 $5,001
MISSOURI SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Rivertown Enterprises Inc.  Washington MO  12/14/2015 $25,000
FRIENDS TO ELECT RANDY D DUNN CHIPP, St Louis MO 12/14/2015 $5,001
KURT SCHEMER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL Supporters of Health Research and Treatments St Louis MO  12/14/2015 $20,000
HAWLEY FOR MISSOURI Boyden Gray  Washington DC  12/15/2015 $10,000
FRIENDS OF WAYNE WALLINGFORD MO OPTOMETRIC PAC  JEFFERSON CITY MO 12/15/2015 $6,000
MISSOURIANS FOR PETER KINDER Pfizer Inc. Memphis TN 12/15/2015 $5,001
CITIZENS FOR KEVIN CORLEW CHIPP, St Louis MO 12/16/2015 $5,001
COMMITTEE TO ELECT SHALONN `KIKI` CURLS CHIPP, St Louis MO 12/14/2015 $10,000
COMMITTEE TO ELECT LAUREN ARTHUR CHIPP, St Louis MO 12/16/2015 $5,001
EASTERN MO LABORERS EDUCATION & BENEVOLENT FUND L.I.U.N.A Local 110 St Louis MO   12/17/2015 $198,579
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Sally Coleman  St Louis MO  12/17/2015 $5,001
COMMITTEE TO ELECT RON RICHARD GROW MO, JEFFERSON CITY MO  12/17/2015 $20,000