In alphabetical order, The Missouri Times collected a list of more than 100 people in the world of politics and political media that you need to know if you don’t already. The list doesn’t include legislators, but rather their staff and the governmental relations personnel and consultants that affect the outcomes of the legislator’s actions. Follow them on Twitter, familiarize yourself with their work and keep an eye out, because these people are not going anywhere. This list appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of The Missouri Times. If you have any questions or comments about the list, email Scott Faughn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few people from each category will be posted each day. Keep an eye out.
In case you missed it, here is:
Strategist, Lobbyist and Founder, Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt
Blunt has a reputation for delivering results in a quiet, professional manner for his business clients in the energy, telecommunications and healthcare sectors. Today, however, his client roster extends throughout every business sector. Of course, Blunt is the son of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and brother of former Gov. Matt Blunt. Ask any Missouri legislator which Blunt they would like to have dinner with and they likely will answer “Andy.”
Director of Legislative Affairs, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Cossette knows the Senate inside and out after being the Chief of Staff to Senate President Pro Tems Charlie Shields and Mike Gibbons. He has an extensive background in healthcare policy. Furthermore, he is an attorney with campaign experience working on the staff of former U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. Look for Cossette to be deeply involved with any effort the Chamber of Commerce participates in to reform and expand Medicaid.
Owner, Richard Wiles & Associates
Wiles is a longtime, successful lobbyist in Jefferson City who has built a very active client roster of business interests. In the industry, he is well known for finding success for corporate clients and building long-term relationships.
Director, Partnership for Children
Brower made a splash early during the session by bringing together some unlikely allies to children’s causes. She will be front and center for the tax cut debate during the coming weeks, advocating for protecting education funding. Brower has a knack for rebutting some conservatives without alienating them.
Principal, Gateway Governmental Solutions
If you think you are intelligent, a conversation with Scissors regarding almost any topic might knock you down a few pegs. He has a portfolio of clients, but spends the bulk of his time focusing on energy issues where is just as knowledgeable as anyone in Jefferson City.
Partner, Stinson Morrison Hecker
If you were in a foxhole and could pick one person to be in there fighting with you, you should consider choosing Dueker. She is a tenacious former Chief of Staff for Bob Holden who seems to always find herself in contentious situations. Moreover, if you don’t follow her on Twitter, you are missing some world-class Twitter wars (“twars”) with anyone who is unfortunate enough to enter her crosshairs.
Partner, Lewis, Rice, Fingersh
Dalton is one of the most professional lobbyists in Jefferson City. Alongside his talented associate Shanon Hawk, they make a formidable and highly sought after duo, especially for issues involving skilled professionals or complicated economic issues. His direct professional delivery makes him one of the best presenters before committees in the Capitol.
State Director, Americans for Prosperity
Yes, there are a growing number of think tanks that typically take predictable issue positions. However, under Werner’s direction, AFP has really rolled up its sleeves and got into the heat of several legislative battles, such as the fights over energy issues and tax cuts. It also provides some interesting legislative record grading that is increasingly becoming must-read info.
Director of Governmental Relations, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys
She is at the tip of the spear for MATA’s fights in Jefferson City. Her job is not an easy one, but there doesn’t ever seem to be anything that sneaks up on MATA and a lot of that credit is due to Jones.
Principal, Cozad Company Government Relations
Cozad is a legend in Republican politics who is now at the forefront of nearly every issue involving the conservative cause, especially the tax cut veto override fight. He is also becoming more of an out-front spokesman for Republican causes.
Governmental Consultant, Flotron & McIntosh
Brunnert’s career is running at lightning speed after joining one of Jefferson City’s leading lobby firms while still in college. When you get to know Brunnert, you will feel his passion for the public policy process and he shows it by being seemingly everywhere in the Capitol.
Principal, Tightline Strategies
A veteran of the Holden and Nixon administrations, Cardetti likely has the widest net of connections in the state Democratic party. He now works with private interests as well as political candidates with a stellar track record. If Cardetti is working on a candidate or issue, you know the effort will be expertly organized and likely very successful. (Photo from VOX Magazine)
Principal, Axiom Strategies
Roe has grown from walking door-to-door for then-state representative Sam Graves to one of the leading Republican consultants in the United States. His toughness and willingness to fight for his clients is legendary in Missouri and there is no one who can compete with his direct mail.
Martin is a consultant who also does fundraising and is one of the leading political professionals who is working to elect more House Democrats. She works closely with minority leader Rep. Hummel, D-St. Louis, and is seen in the Capitol frequently.
Political Reporter, St. Louis Beacon
Many legislators miss Rosenbaum being in Jefferson City full time, but with his post at the Beacon, he is still easy for most of his Jefferson City fans to find. He is well known for finding angles on stories that no one else in the state finds and is someone who public policy makers seek out to deliver scoops to.
Political Reporter, St. Louis Beacon
She is the dean of the Missouri press corps and has broken more stories than most of us could ever know. Her sources are everywhere and she has a way of breaking down an issue in story form that is still unrivaled in the state.
Chief of Staff, Sen. Mike Kehoe
Gresham is Kehoe’s most trusted staffer. An avid hunter who keeps a Bible on his desk at all times, Gresham likes to call himself a “redneck at heart.” His role in Kehoe’s office cannot be understated, as he helped carry the load on ISRS legislation, as well as the continuing battle on a sales tax increase for highway funding.
Chief of Staff, Majority Leader John Diehl
Likely the most popular person on staff in the entire Missouri General Assembly, Lakin has helped lead one of the steadiest House floors in recent memory. Lakin is also a veteran of several campaigns from legislative to statewide races. Furthermore, he has, hands down, the best hair in the Capitol.
Chief of Staff, Sen. Will Kraus
Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, has a reputation as a man willing to come to the table. Pushing for both a tax cut as well as a revamping of the states TANF funds, Kraus sat in any office that would have him to talk about his legislation. And while Kraus was working the tile with his fellow lawmakers, Siettmann was carefully crafting changes and revisions to the complex bills dealing with Missouri’s tax code. Siettmann has an in-depth understanding of some of the more complex legislative issues his boss has handled, and it shows.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.