Kinder Calls Nixon’s Medicaid Expansion Plan Too Expensive
January 22, 2013
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The man who has led the Missouri Republican opposition to the federal health care law believes there is no way the state could move forward on expanding the state’s Medicaid rolls.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder believes that despite President Obama and Gov. Jay Nixon’s reelection performances, there is no mandate to expand the low-income assistance program any further.
“He did not seek a mandate on Obamacare, he didn’t even talk about it during the campaign,” Kinder said. “There can’t be a mandate if you did not lay a program before the people and say I want to be reelected on the basis of this program.”
Nixon — pointing to numbers from the Missouri Hospital Association — claims more than 300,000 Missourians would be added to the state’s Medicaid rolls if the state were to move forward with expansion. Furthermore, Nixon and the group have claimed it would add more than 24,000 jobs to the state’s economy — leading Nixon to repeatedly say it is a good thing to do, and the “right thing to do.”
Nixon is expected to lay out his case for expansion on Jan. 28, during his first state of the state address of his second term.
Republicans have consistently touted their opposition to expansion, and Kinder believes there is no compromise opportunity at this time.
“The Medicaid expansion is unaffordable, it is unworkable, it would break the state’s bank fiscally, and we are not going to do it,” he said.
What Happens if Missouri’s Lt. Gov.Resigns? They’re Not Sure
January 13, 2013
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — To appoint, or to elect? The question is reverberating around the Missouri Capitol, where puzzling out how a midterm opening in the lieutenant governor’s office should be filled has taken on new urgency as the current officeholder prepares to start his third term while also seeking a seat in Congress.
Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Missouri’s other statewide officeholders start new terms Monday. In addition, Kinder is seeking the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who is resigning from Congress. Should Kinder get the GOP’s nod and win the southeastern Missouri congressional seat, there would be a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office and some ambiguity about how to replace him.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon says he has authority to appoint a replacement and claims history is on his side. Nixon served four terms as attorney general before becoming governor. The Democratic leader in the state House said he also believes Nixon could appoint a successor to Kinder and questioned whether there would be a dispute if Nixon were a Republican.
Republican legislative leaders contend the governor cannot appoint the lieutenant governor. House Speaker Tim Jones, who is a lawyer, said the vacancy should be filled through an election. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said it does not seem the governor can appoint a replacement lieutenant governor, but that “there is not a clear process in statute today to allow for that vacancy to be filled.” Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said his preference is a special election.
Another possibility, if Kinder were to leave, is that the vacancy simply would not be filled. In that case, Missouri would make do without a lieutenant governor until after the 2016 election. State records seem to indicate that after Lt. Gov. Wilson Brown died in August 1855 partway through his term, the office remained vacant until after the 1856 election.
Uncertainty about how Kinder would be succeeded has arisen because – unlike other statewide offices – the legal directions seem less specific. The Missouri Constitution spells out how to replace the governor with an order of succession that goes lieutenant governor, Senate president pro tem, House speaker, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and attorney general. Laws state the governor can pick a replacement if the attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer or a U.S. senator leaves office early.
Meanwhile, the state constitution gives the governor authority to “fill all vacancies in public offices unless otherwise provided by law.” But a law states that when there is a vacancy in an elected office “other than in the offices of lieutenant governor, state senator or representative, sheriff or recorder of deeds in the city of St. Louis, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor.”
In all, the legal blueprint appears somewhat muddled.
The lieutenant governor presides over the 34-member state Senate while breaking tie votes, advocates for seniors and military veterans, serves on several state commissions and takes over if the governor must be replaced.
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman are now part of the inside race for Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s southeast Missouri seat to Congress.
Veteran Congresswoman Emerson is retiring soon to take a lobbying job.
PoliticMo reports Kinder is contacting members of the 8th District GOP Committee looking for their support.
“I have always been a team player. Numerous times, I have put our party above personal ambition. I spent countless years taking and building a Republican Majority in both the Senate and the House. I have bowed out of races when I felt it would divide the Party or undermine our chances to win,” Kinder wrote in a letter obtained by PoliticMo”.
A set of bad publicity forced Kinder to back down from running for Governor in 2012. He was elected to a third term as Lt. Governor in November.
The Southeast Missourian newspaper reports Steelman, as expected, is also competing for the seat.
The report says Steelman also sent a e-mail to Congressional District Committee members.
“I have a record as a true fiscal and social conservative and as someone who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what was right even if my party or the “powers that be” were against me,” Steelman wrote of her time in the state senate and as state treasurer, according to the newspaper.
Steelman lost a tough 3-way Republican primary for the US senate nomination in 2012 to Rep. Todd Akin. He was defeated by Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” made national headlines and lead to his loss.
The GOP Committee is a key group in the race to replace Emerson. The Mo-8th is a heavily Republican district. The Congressional Committee will name the GOP nominee for the seat, as opposed to a primary.
Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon will set a date for a special election. That date will be determined after Emerson announces the actual date of her retirement.
Missouri GOP Executive Director Lloyd Smith, Emerson’s former Chief of Staff, is also considering seeking the seat.
Several other Republicans and some Democrats from southeast Missouri are also considering vying for the House seat.
Picking Emerson’s Replacement Will Be An Insider’s Game
December 10, 2012
(AP) — There will be no Todd Akin scenario for Missouri Republican Party officials when they meet next year to select a replacement candidate for retiring U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.
Akin, who was never the first choice of the party’s top brass, emerged the victor in a contentious multi-way primary last August and two weeks later essentially doomed his campaign when he remarked that women’s bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” National Republican Party leaders winced, unsuccessfully pressured Akin to quit and then watched as he got trounced by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
This time, Republican Party leaders will get their man – or woman – of choice to succeed Emerson, who is leaving Feb.8.
That’s because there will be no primary election – no chance for rank-and-file Republicans, Democrats and independents to vote on who should represent the parties in a subsequent special election.
The Republican nominee will be selected by a committee of 82 GOP officials from southeastern Missouri. The Democratic nominee and any third-party candidates will be selected in a similar way under Missouri’s rules for replacing federal lawmakers who quit before their terms are over.
“Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock (who unseated an incumbent GOP senator in an Indiana primary but then lost the general election after a remark about pregnancy and rape), they’re all fresh in everyone’s minds,” said Jeremy Walling, an associate political science professor at Southeast Missouri State University.
In his course on political parties and elections, Walling said he cited the Akin and Mourdock races as examples of how primaries had weakened political parties. But the process for picking Emerson’s replacement is like a return to the old system.
“This definitely triggers a mechanism to give the party more power over the decision,” Walling said.
The internal party selection process will have several significant effects.
First, because there is no need to appeal to thousands of people, there is no need for candidates to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a massive advertising campaign aimed at winning their parties’ nomination.
Because the financial risk is low, far more people are likely to express an interest in the race. The day after Emerson announced her impending retirement, the Southeast Missourian newspaper published a photo profile of a dozen potential Republican candidates. The list included politicians with plenty of statewide name identification, such as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, as well as a smattering of past and present state lawmakers, local officials and the man who unsuccessfully challenged Emerson in the 2010 and 2012 primaries.
Emerson Joins Her Biggest Contributor
December 4, 2012
Southeast Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson will leave Congress to join a very familiar group.
The Southeast Missourian reports the 16 year Congressional veteran is leaving to head the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of rural electric cooperatives and public power districts.
Emerson had a conference call from Washington, D.C., with reporters Monday during which she said the decision to leave Congress was one made quickly, and that she did not seek out the position. The electric cooperative association is among Emerson’s campaign contributors. The website opensecrets.org, which compiles data on money in elections and the political process, lists the association as Emerson’s all-time top campaign contributor, having given her $79,803.
Emerson said her pending departure wasn’t a long-planned move.
“This has all been very short and very quick,” she said. “You can’t always have control over the timing.”
Emerson said she has met with the board of the organization twice since the last election, and the board finalized a decision to hire her Monday morning.
Emerson comes from a family of Republicans involved in politics. Growing up in Bethesda, Md., her father once served as executive director the Republican National Committee. Before winning election to Congress, Emerson held various jobs with industry lobbying groups, including the National Restaurant Association and had worked in Republican politics.
On Monday she likened the NRECA and customers served by its members to her constituents.
“I just feel like its an extension of the job I am doing now,” she said of her new position.
The area she represents has nine electric co-ops that are members of the association.
Past challengers and Republicans in offices small and large floated their names as replacements for Emerson on Monday. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Cape Girardeau native, expressed interest, as did Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, whose last bid for office was an attempt at a U.S. Senate seat earlier this year.
State representatives Jason Smith, of Salem, Mo., along with Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Kevin Engler of Farmington, Mo., also floated their names.
Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy was mentioned as a candidate. Cape Girardeau County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Lipke said he’s going to consider putting his name up for nomination, but that he’s not ready to make that decision yet. He’ll need time to pray and consult with family, he said. Late Monday, current state Rep. Wayne Wallingford, who was elected in the August primary to succeed state Sen. Jason Crowell, said he is considering seeking the nomination.
Crowell is being talked about as a potential candidate, but he hasn’t committed to an effort, citing the need to discuss the decision with his family.
“At this time I have no idea about my future plans, but I am humbled and honored by the confidence so many have shown me,” Crowell said in a statement sent Monday after receiving numerous inquiries about his interest.
Crowell’s term in the Missouri Senate ends in January.
A special election will be needed to select a replacement representative. The district covers 30 counties in southern and eastern Missouri. Political party committees in the 8th District will nominate candidates to run in the special election, the date of which will be set by Gov. Jay Nixon.