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The 100+ List – part six (of seven)

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

A few people from each category will be posted each day. Keep an eye out.

In case you missed it, here are the previous posts: Part one – Part two – Part three –Part four – Part five

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Governmental relations

Brian GraceGrace
Principal, Dentons
Twitter: @BrianJGrace

As one leading Missouri House member put it, “Brian Grace is one of the most talented up and coming lobbyist in the state.” Brian is a cancer survivor who lives in Columbia, Mo., and has wanted to be a lobbyist his entire professional life. He did work in the Blunt administration’s Department of Economic Development, and a large portion of his practice is in assisting business development.

Chuck SiminoSimino
President, Missouri Cable Television Association
Twitter: @missouricabletv

Simino is one of the most-liked lobbyists in Jefferson City and he has the list of legislative accomplishments to show for it. During this session, he played some skillful defenses against several interests looking to tack fees on to cable customers and advanced legislation of his own. He has also put together a talented team around him including Daryl Duwe, Owner of Prestige Powers. Outside of the Capitol, Simino also has one the best golf outings of any association in the state.

David JacksonJackson
Government relations, Pelopidas, LLC
Twitter: @MODavidMJackson

While Jackson is associated with Pelopidas, he has a varied client portfolio that even includes the St. Louis Blues. Jackson is also deeply involved with the various issues Pelopidas monitors — from education, local control and tax policy. David is one of the up-and-coming lobbyists in the St. Louis area. He also has a background in marketing and fundraising, including a stint working for a firm in South Africa.

Herb KuhnKuhn
President/CEO, Missouri Hospital Association

If Medicaid expansion is successful, it will be largely due to the tactical strategy of Kuhn. He is skillfully putting together a powerful coalition of corporate and rural hospital boards, along with several business groups, to pressure Republican legislators to expand Medicaid. No one in Jefferson City understands the legislation better than him.

John BardgettBardgett
Principal, John Bardgett & Associates

Bardgett has the biggest personality and the longest client list of anyone in Jefferson City. He started out working for the Speaker of the House and is now at the top of the ladder in Jefferson City. Many of the big issues that passed during last session had his help at one point or another. Moreover, there is no person on earth who can tell a story like the incomparable Bardgett.

Kyna ImanIman
Principal, Kyna Iman & Associates
Twitter: @kynaiman

She is simply one of the most connected of any St. Louis lobbyists who spent the first five months of the year in the Capitol. Little to nothing involving her clients slips past her, as she has friends in nearly every corner of the Capitol and even the state. Her client portfolio extends from corporations to St. Louis area interests and several state associations.

Larry PleusPleus
Governmental Relations Director, Laclede Gas
Twitter: @bigpigjc

Pleus carries a big responsibility representing Laclede Gas and has consistently produced results that other utility companies envy. This session, he worked quickly and moved a gas ISRS bill through the General Assembly. Larry is one person in the Capitol culture that spends very little time in waiting rooms as most legislators are eager to see him. (Photo from the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association)

Michael LouisLouis
Governmental Relations Director, AFL-CIO
Twitter: @mikelafl

A former County Chairman in St. Charles for the campaigns of former Gov. Bob Holden and founder of the St. Charles County Young Democrats, this lifetime union-advocate and member has been a labor man his whole life. The active and unrelenting Louis is capable and strongly opposed to anything with even a whiff of anti-union policies. Representatives from purple districts with strong union presence should be wary of getting on Louis’ bad side.

Michael GroteGRote
Principal, Grote & Associates
Twitter: @grotemd

Formerly with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, this Kansas City native has wasted no time in establishing himself as a top-tier lobbyist. Grote is also an attorney who has an extensive background in both federal and state Republican politics.

Randy ScherrScherr
Principal, RJ Scherr & Associates

Scherr’s practice includes several cities and as many state associations as any lobbyist in the Capitol. He is one of the most direct and effective advocates for his groups and does a good job of connecting legislators with members of his associations in their districts. (Photo from the Missouri Governor’s Mansion Board)

Ray McCartyMccarty
President, Associated Industries of Missouri
Twitter: @raymccarty

McCarty is an unwavering advocate of all things supporting employers and growing jobs in Missouri. He has led AIM to taking the lead on opposing Medicaid expansion and pushing for an override of the tax cut veto. There is no more consistently conservative advocate for Missouri industry than McCarty.

Steve Tilleytilley
Principal, Strategic Capitol Consulting
Twitter: @teamtilley

He left the Speaker’s office and has been busy opening a new practice with so many A-list clients at the end of session. He also passed several of the major bills he worked on and was on the very inner circle of new Congressman Jason Smith’s advisors.

Tim Greengreen
Director of Governmental Affairs, IBEW
Twitter: @IBEWLocal1

Green is a former legislator from St. Louis County who knows every issue from every angle. He was a member of the IBEW before entering the legislature and no union has anyone with more practical knowledge of the public policy process. He simply knows how to make friends and, more importantly, be a friend.

Tony Reinhartreinhart
Regional Director of Government Relations, Ford Motor Company

Has been in a fixture in the Capitol culture since 1984, and is now a go-to person on industrial issues. He is a former chairman of AIM, so he not only knows the words but the music as well. Reinhart is extremely active not only on state matters — being on the board of the state Chamber of Commerce and FERAF — but is very active in the Kansas City area economic development ventures as well.

Tracy Kingking
Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Missouri Chamber of Commerce
Twitter: @tking1620

King had one of the most eventful jobs in the Capitol this year between tax cuts, second injury fund reform and Medicaid expansion — there never seemed to be a dull moment for her. She has a long track record in government service and lobbying which has most certainly come in handy.

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Robert Knodellknodell
Principal, Barklage and Knodell
Twitter: @robertknodell

To put it simply, Knodell wins races. He has an unmatched record in Republican Senate primaries and has won several tough general elections. He spent some time running HRCC and is now one of the most sought after consultants for new candidates in Missouri. More than anything else, he is respected for his honesty and the ability of other people in the Capitol to trust his word.

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Elizabeth Crispcrisp
Political Reporter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Twitter: @elizabethcrisp

Crisp has burst onto the scene and quickly become one of the most-read reporters from the state’s most well-known newspaper. She is an Arkansas native who studied in Mississippi and has brought a fresh perspective to the Capitol, being well respected amongst legislators and a fun person to be around.

Tony Messengermessenger

Editorial Page Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Twitter: @tonymess

A Missouri transfer from Colorado, Messenger is undoubtedly a need-to-know media person. Messenger is the editorial page editor for the Post-Dispatch, a job that includes a lot of phone calls, research and the occasional Boardwalk Empire reference. Messenger worked in the Jefferson City bureau of the Post-Dispatch until a few years ago when he made his way to the main office in St. Louis. Even when people disagree with him, Messenger still engages, listens and discusses the issues — and he always backs his argument up.

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Legislative Staff

Todd Scottscott
Chief of Staff, Sen. Tom Dempsey
Twitter: @toddscott2

Scott is recognized as one of the most professional and knowledgeable people in state government. His background in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia and practicing with the Graves firm give him another level of understanding of the practical impact of the policies.

Tom Smithsmith
Chief of Staff, House Speaker Tim Jones

Smith made a mark early on during this session. He helped Jones navigate some rules changes for the 97th General Assembly that gave the House Republicans more power in conference committees and making it impossible for Democrats to offer surprise amendments on the floor — a common minority party-stalling tactic. Coupled with his consulting background, Smith’s sage advice has been invaluable to Jones, who has had to navigate politically-tricky Medicaid expansion, a tax cut bill and subsequent veto and major pushes for education reform and fixes to the once-bankrupt Second Injury Fund. With Jones openly weighing running for higher office, Smith’s role as his chief confidant cannot be overstated.

Yancy Williamswilliams
Chief of Staff, Sen. Kurt Schaefer
Twitter: @whywilliams

Serving as Chief of Staff to the Senate Budget Chairman can be a thankless task, but everyone in the Capitol recognizes the countless hours of work he puts into the process. He also has a long background in electoral politics working for several current and former legislators.