PoliticMo scoop — John Brunner on the record — ‘Brunner “ready” to jump in Senate race’: “With the deal almost sealed for a political announcement, St. Louis businessman John Brunner made his way to Springfield Saturday night to the Greene County GOP’s annual barbecue. ‘Here’s the real key — this is going to be one of the biggest, toughest campaigns in Missouri history. Claire is a brilliant politician, she has great staff and resources,’ Brunner told PoliticMo in one of his first public interviews. ‘This is something that is going to require great organization, a great team, a lot of dedicated people, and that’s what we’ve been doing here for the last 90 days is putting together the very best team, the best resources, best organization we can find.’
"Brunner said the organizational part is almost finished, and a launch plan is being developed for an announcement ‘soon. … People have said, ‘you can’t change the U.S. Senate.’ You can’t. But you can change the Senators. That’s my plan: If we’re going to get the job done, we change the Senators to get people in there that can get the job done.’" http://bit.ly/qiq0l1
— The timeline: ‘Soon’ as in weeks. Brunner gained even more confidence after both of his opponents Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin raised significantly less than Sen. Claire McCaskill — combined.
— Dems and R’s re worried simply because the guy does not have a public record. Before Akin arrived, MDP’s tracker was all over Rep. Akin. When Brunner arrived, the field researcher’s focus completely shifted to the unknown candidate (until the park ranger asked him to stop filming so close.)
— At the BBQ, Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin made a point to shake Brunner’s hand. Brunner, meanwhile, was busy trying to shake everyone else’s hand.
FIRST LOOK — PoliticMo Q & A w/ Rep. Akin:
"Q. Boehner backed out of the ‘deal’ that he and the President had been working on - what do you make of that? Do you think we’ll get something to raise the debt ceiling, do you think it is necessary?
A. Here’s the situation. You’ve got to understand: Obama [was] the most liberal of the Democrat Senators. I mean — he is a flaming socialist. The Republicans in the Republican Conference are pretty conservative. I mean, I’m almost one of the most conservative, and these people are almost the threat. These people understand basic principles of government. So, Boehner can negotiate with Obama, but his problem is he’s got the whole Republican conference he has to deal with.
…Q. Back to what you said about Obama being a ‘socialist’ Senator — do you think he has gone away from that as he’s become President?
A. Oh, no. His conversation with ‘Joe the Plummer’ gave you a window of insight into the way the thinks. He believes it is really the government’s job to increase wealth, hence all the bailouts —
Q. Some of the bailouts were supported by Republicans —
A. Yeah, but not me. None of the conservatives supported that trash.
Q. Senator Blunt supported the bailout —
A. He supported the Wall Street one. We voted differently. But we go back and forth and argue about it. But it was similar [to now] because they said the whole economic system is going to collapse, and that’s what we’re hearing from Wall Street and the Washington establishment — that August 2, every thing is gonna. I just don’t believe it.”
GOOD MONDAY MORNING, and welcome to this edition of PoliticMo rundown. Send your tips, comments, and scoops to email@example.com.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY weekend to Sen. Claire McCaskill, State Sen. Jim Lembke. Happy birthday today to Joplin newstalk KZRG’s Josh Marsh.
NICK MADDUX, political director for Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, had his last day in the MO-7 office Friday, as he is headed to law school next month. The office hosted a lunch for him. Pic: http://on.fb.me/qxfGr2
HEALTH CARE REFORM — ‘Enrollment lags in new health care plan,’ AP Analysis by David Lieb: “One of the first prongs of President Barack Obama’s health care law has been in effect now for a year, and the result in Missouri is that about 500 additional people with chronic health problems now have insurance. It is, by most accounts, an underwhelming result. Missouri’s experience is pretty typical of the national norm, which is causing even some supporters of the federal health care law to question how it is being implemented. One of the less-publicized provisions of the 2010 law required a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in each state. Backed by $5 billion of federal subsidies, the health plans are intended to provide insurance at lower prices than typically available to people with health problems who have been uninsured for at least six months.
"The new health insurance plans provide a bridge to 2014, when a new requirement kicks in prohibiting insurers from charging higher premiums to people based on their health status. When Missouri began taking applications in July 2010 for its federally mandated Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, officials expected to cover about 3,000 people." http://bit.ly/oqO3nD
PDK Tweets: “MT @FredBarnes: Trillion$ #deficit , rapidly growing nat’l #debt r effects. Cause= #spending levels never before seen n peacetime #tcot #pdk”
— Dem reax, from Democratic Governors Association’s Lis Smith: “A few thousand MO military fams wld disagree… Day after tornado, @peterkinder tweets about hot moms. While brave Missourians risking lives overseas, tweets cavalierly abt ‘peacetime.’”
'McCaskill: Obama in Mo. “would be great,”' Dave Catanese: “Early bets that President Obama will return to Missouri in 2012 to campaign? Asked about the prospect this morning on MSNBC's Daily Rundown, Sen. Claire McCaskill attempted to put the best face on what would appear to be an unlikely scenario. 'He laughs about it because he says, 'Believe me, if I came to Missouri I'd tell them all how stubborn you are and how about half the time you won't do what I ask you to do,' she said. 'So as long as Missourians have a sense that I've been willing to swim upstream when necessary, against my party's leadership, including the president, I think it'll be great.'
"… Hard to imagine the image of McCaskill on stage with Obama at a rally in a state where his numbers are under water. His biggest asset to his old Senate colleague will be fundraising and that can be done without the stage and photos. McCaskill’s going to be tied to the president no matter what she does — but any day Missourians are reminded about her loyalty to him on the health care law and stimulus spending is a bad day for McCaskill." http://politi.co/nmJEzR
LOCAL INTRIGUE — ‘St. Louis County hires four more tied to Dems,’ Post-Dispatch: “Despite a hiring freeze on most of St. Louis County government, four more people with backgrounds in Democratic politics have recently gotten jobs there. Three were hired by the new county assessor, Jake Zimmerman, a Democrat. The fourth, hired by the St. Louis County Economic Council, had been a field director in Zimmerman’s campaign last spring… The assessor’s office and the Economic Council are exempt from the hiring freeze, enacted three years ago by Dooley. However, Zimmerman and an Economic Council official say they believe in the freeze and abide by it, except in cases where hires are essential.” http://bit.ly/nvPsNy
— ‘Auditor advising Joplin officials,’ AP: “Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich (schwyk) has some advice for Joplin officials as they handle large amounts of money in the recovery from the May tornado. Schweich was scheduled to present several recommendations Monday at a meeting with officials in Joplin. His office says the presentation will outline ways to avoid problems while accepting and using large amounts of recovery money.” http://bit.ly/roSA3Q
BRINING UK HOME — ‘Missouri attorney general to convene summit on phone hacking laws,’ AP: Following a phone- hacking scandal in Great Britain, the Missouri attorney general is planning to convene a summit on security and privacy in electronic communications. Attorney General Chris Koster says he requested an analysis of Missouri’s current laws because of the controversy generated by media companies overseas that eavesdropped on voice mails. He says his initial analysis revealed a need to update state laws to keep pace with technology. The Missouri summit will be held in October.” http://bit.ly/r6S4VN
SUPER-SESSION — ‘Nixon: Ameren bill not ready,’ Rudi Keller: “A bill to help Ameren Missouri move ahead with plans for a new nuclear power plant will be left out of a special legislative session unless there is ‘a really solid agreement,’ Gov. Jay Nixon said [Saturday].
"Nixon announced last week that he would call lawmakers to Jefferson City in September to consider a jobs bill and write a spending bill to pay for the natural disasters that have struck the state this year. On Friday, Nixon said he also wanted lawmakers to change the date of next year’s presidential primary, which must be done so the state has full representation at national political conventions. But neither Nixon nor the legislative leaders are ready to add the bill to allow Ameren to charge customers up to $45 million as it pursues an early site permit for a new reactor. The permit is the first step toward construction of a second reactor at the Callaway County nuclear plant site." http://bit.ly/q3kG6W
'After Floods, Debate Over Missouri River Rolls On,' NY Times in Kansas City: “The record flooding this summer along the Missouri River has overwhelmed dams and levees, swamped small communities and forced large cities into emergency measures to hold the water back. And so the pressing matter of how to manage flooding on the Missouri has added a new urgency to the contentious question that has long nagged this region: What precisely is this river for? In a normal year, the water that is used to keep the river level high enough for barges comes from releases from the dam system built to control river flow. But the states north of the dams, including North and South Dakota, have argued that the river is no longer needed for navigation and that more water should be kept in the reservoirs for recreation, to help the region’s economy.
"Earlier this year, the Missouri Congressional delegation succeeded in stripping financing, after more than $7 million had been spent, from a study of the priorities for river management that was supported by upriver states, arguing that it was redundant and amounted to an attack on navigation.
"…Once wide, shallow and unusually winding, the Missouri River has been drastically reshaped over the last century, at a cost of more than $650 million, to create a channel friendly to modern vessels, according to federal estimates. The result is a narrower, deeper, straighter river, which the government spends about $7 million a year to maintain." http://nyti.ms/pDTfNJ
'Governor faces off with Missouri athletes,' KRCG: “Some basketball players had a special fan in the crowd watching them during the Show-Me State Games Saturday. Governor Jay Nixon and the First Lady met young athletes playing at the Hearnes Center in Columbia. The governor even faced off with an 11-year-old in a shoot out and lost. The Show-Me State Games are an Olympic-style sports festival with more than 40 sports for all ages and ability levels. The games are the largest state games in the nation and brought more than 60,000 people to Columbia this weekend.” http://bit.ly/qtKxY6