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.
Founder, Gamble and Schlemeier
Gamble is an old-school lobbyist if there ever was one. With a career that stretches back to the 70s when he worked in the Missouri House. Gamble has one of the longest client rosters in the Capitol. His clients’ interests range anywhere from gaming and energy to healthcare and include many state associations. Gamble and his partner, Jorgen Schlemeier, have one of the largest firms in Jefferson City. Gamble is well known for his sense of humor and the passion with which he represents his clients.
Chairman of Governmental Affairs, The Missouri chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association
Don’t tell the Missouri chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association that nothing got accomplished during this session — they passed a landmark piece of legislation that brought physical therapy into normal insurance coverage in terms of copays. Marsh also does a great deal of charity with Special Olympics, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Arthritis Foundation.
President, Missouri Chamber of Commerce
The best way to describe Mehan may be that he is a true professional. He has steered the state Chamber to some of its highest levels of credibility and stature in the General Assembly. He has also exhibited the ability to take tough stances, such as supporting a long-shot bid to expand Medicaid last session. Furthermore, Mehan is well known for his ability to form diverse alliances. Those skills may have come from his time working on the staff of former Senator Kit Bond.
Principal, Burton & Liese Government Relations
Burton, a 14-year veteran of the Missouri legislature, is the former State Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC made him the recipient of the “Thomas Jefferson Award,” distinguishing him as one of the top five legislators in the country. A former budget, utilities and appropriations committee member, and a former participant in the ALEC Telecommunications and Information Technology Taskforce, Burton’s wealth of knowledge, experience and loose ties with ALEC make him a formidable opponent for a number of conservative issues.
Perhaps no voice has stood as strongly against “Right to Work” legislation and other “anti-union” measures as McVey’s. This charismatic Missouri labor leader has strong family ties to the unions and he was one of the loudest, clearest and most recognizable voices in the Capitol when “paycheck protection” and prevailing wage bills moved through the building last spring. Even those on the other side of the debate praise McVey for his openness, honesty and no-nonsense tone when it comes to labor issues of all kinds. With House Speaker Tim Jones promising a “Right to Work” bill next session, look to McVey and his colleagues to once again lead the opposition.
Principal, Advantage Capital
If you ever wanted to know something about tax credits, ask Craver about them and within the hour you will likely know everything. You never know where he will be when you give him a call, though he considers Columbia to be his home. He was vital to the progression of the New Markets legislation last session and will be again if the bill is picked up in 2014.
Legislative Director, AFSCME Council 72
AFSCME has a reputation for relentless representation of its interests and McCarroll is a perfect example of that principle. He is vocal on Twitter and has a large network of Democratic and Republican connections that keep him in the loop of most goings-on in the Capitol.
Principal, Harness & Associates
Her practice has several associations and corporations, many of which she has represented for several years. She is experienced and is often credited with having the foresight to best adapt to the changing political landscape of the last decade. Because of that, she has made many friends and allies to better assist her clients.
Legislative Director, Missouri State Council of Firefighters
Some people wonder why the firefighters are the most successful union lobby in Jefferson City, others know Habbas and the relationships that he has worked to cultivate. There are more legislators who are friends of the firefighters than any other group in the Capitol, outside of the gun lobby. His work is the example many others are looking to emulate in the future.
Partner, Stinson, Morrison, Hecker
Gibbons is a former Senate President Pro Tem who is skilled in every aspect of the General Assembly and state government. He is also a longtime lawyer and represents a wide array of clients, from cities to corporations. Additionally, has one of the most pleasant demeanors in the Capitol.
In-House Lobbyist, Missouri Council of School Administrators
Lodewegen is top education lobbyist who rose through the Republican ranks working for Tom Schweich and Kevin Engler. He has established a stellar practice representing the interests of educators and will be a key player as the debate of the future of education unfolds.
Executive Director, Missouri Trial Attorneys Association
Simply put, Schuett is one of the most powerful people in Jefferson City. Don’t let the small frame fool you — with her at MATA remains one of the handful of associations that drive the agenda. Many felt that MATA’s influence would fall off as Republican majorities mounted, but under her shrewd leadership, they have maintained a leading role in the Capitol.
Lobbyist, The Giddens Group
Cooper is a former Republican legislator who served as the first Chairman of the Rules Committee. He is also known as one of the best witnesses before committee in the Capitol. He has a growing list of clients that are now touching nearly every issue sector in Missouri. He is a high-energy personality that can impact any issue he wades into.
President, John Hancock & Associates
His career has taken him to national prominence as one of the leading opposition researchers in the county. Hancock served in the state legislature and has ran the Missouri Republican Party during one of its most successful times. He is also co-host of the Hancock & Kelley show on KMOX.
Michael Sean Kelley
Principal, The Kelley Group
Kelley, or “MSK,” is known for being a committed union Democrat who is from the legendary Gephardt group of operatives. He is also the son of legendary union leader Bob Kelley. His company, The Kelley Group, is one of the fastest growing and most successful in the public policy arena. You can also catch him alongside John Hancock on KMOX’s “Hancock & Kelley.”
Radio Host, KMOX
Reardon has brought his young, conservative voice to KMOX listeners for years, providing the opportunity for some dialogue between Missouri leaders through his Reardon Roundtable every Friday. Reardon’s roundtable discussion includes St. Louis and legislative leaders, both Democrat and Republican, to discuss the top issues of the week, which often results in some really interesting contrast. Regulars on Reardon’s show include lobbyist Jane Dueker, Assistant to Mayor Francis Slay, Stephen Gregali and many more.
Radio Host, 550-am-KTRS & St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A growing must-hear show is Milhaven and the Post-Dispatch’s new “The Board Room,” a weekly roundtable discussion that includes the same panelists every week: Lobbyist and former Chief of Staff to Gov. Bob Holden, Jane Dueker, Majority Floor Leader John Diehl and Post-Dispatch editorial page editor, Tony Messenger. Milhaven is a social media must-follow, and as they tee off the second month of their Board Room discussions, those videos are not to be missed.
Chief of Staff, Sen. Gary Romine
Green is a rising star in the Republican party. He can go as far as he wishes in staff work unless the party comes to him to ask him to run for office. He is one staff member whose work is 100 percent solid and may be someone with no enemies. His job isn’t easy working for a Senator who was once a Chief of Staff himself, but there is no issue that Green doesn’t grasp. The only real question is will he be a successful staff member of member himself?
Chief of Staff, Sen. Dan Brown
Brown is a longtime campaign and Capitol staff veteran who has experience and connections at every level from government staff to consultants to lobbyists. He is likely more effective because of his judgment and the fact that you know that his word is good. The exact type of person other staffers and lobbyist want to work on big issues with.
Communications Director, Majority Senate Caucus
Hieger, a broadcast journalist-turned Senate staffer, is responsible for most of the written material coming out of the Majority caucus. As a ghostwriter for regular legislative columns from a number of Republican senators as well as the operator of all the caucus social media in the upper chamber, 30-year-old Hieger crafts the public face of the body. Her close relationship with the staff of Senate President Pro Tem Dempsey and her background in media have made her a formidable Communications Director and a potential campaign staffer.
Chief of Staff, Sen. Ed Emery
Foster started young, originally volunteering with his family for a John Ashcroft campaign at four-years-old, Foster hasn’t ever really left the political arena. As a former employee at state licensing offices, Foster took a particular interest in the DOR document scanning controversy. It was Foster’s boss, Emery, who filed a Senate Remonstrance against Gov. Jay Nixon over his Department of Revenue’s handling of the issue. Foster hasn’t ruled out a future as a candidate and the recent graduate still has plenty of time.
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.