As you can see, I have a blog today. That means I was not picked for the jury yesterday. Jury selection took ALL day. We didn’t get finished until nearly 5PM.
The trial promises to be a particularly nasty one. I’m glad, in a way, I wasn’t picked. I think I was excluded due to my answer to the first question yesterday morning.
The court officials were introduced, the Judge, the prosecuting and defending attorneys, and the court recorder. The first question was, “Do any of you [the potential jurors] know any of these officials?” I raised my hand. “Who do you know?” I was asked. “Judge Collins. We are acquaintances.” I noticed later that everyone who knew Judge Collins was not picked for the Jury. Oh, well.
It appears the Nixon impeachment is stalled in committee.
IMPEACHMENT EFFORT NIXED — ‘Missouri House committee will not vote on attempt to impeach Governor Nixon,’ MissouriNet: “Efforts to impeach Governor Jay Nixon (D) will not be brought up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee, its chairman told Missourinet Monday afternoon. Representative Stanley Cox’s (R-Sedalia) committee held two hearings in the last two weeks on three resolutions seeking to impeach Nixon on three different lines of reasoning. After a hearing last week he went to the members of that committee and asked them whether they wanted to vote on the resolutions. … Cox says he agrees with the decision of the committee members. … Cox says he believes there is strong circumstantial evidence that Nixon violated the laws of the state, but says he and the other Judiciary Committee members did not think the evidence and arguments met the standard for impeachment. … The articles of impeachment filed against Nixon accused him of violating the state’s Constitution in three areas.” — PolitcMO Newsletter, May 6, 2014.
Other bills, such as the Paper ballot initiative, are also hung in committee. On the other hand, Nixon’s veto of the Tax Cut bill could be overridden before this legislative term is over.
TAX CUT OVERRIDE IN SIGHT — Republicans believe they have the votes to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 509: ‘Mo. House plans Tuesday vote to override Nixon’s veto of tax cut,’ PoliticMo: “The Missouri House of Representatives is expected to vote on Tuesday to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a $620 million tax cut. By a party line vote on Monday, the Missouri Senate sent the tax cut bill back to the House on Monday afternoon, but Republicans opted to wait until Tuesday when all their members would be present to take a vote, House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl said after the House adjourned. Republicans need the support of all 108 House Republicans and at least one Democrat to override Nixon’s veto. The bill would reduce the maximum tax rate on personal income from 6 to 5.5 percent beginning in 2017 and allow a 25 percent deduction of business income on personal tax returns. Both provisions would be contingent on state revenues being $150 million higher than the highest of the three previous years.
“Democratic Reps. Keith English, D-Florissant, and Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, (the lone Democrat to support the bill initially) are considering siding with the Republican majority to override Nixon’s veto. “Do you believe you have the votes,” a reporter asked Diehl. “I believe I do.” Nixon has opposed the bill citing the potential negative impact of reduced revenue on education funding, as well as a potential “fatal flaw” that he had said could eliminate the entire income tax code above $9,000.”
— The bill has been the subject of a compressed campaign-like effort from both sides of the issue. Nixon has made more than a dozens of trips to cities and towns across Missouri urging residents to call their lawmakers and tell them to oppose the bill. Nixon, speaking in Springfield on Monday, pointed to the recent downgrade of the credit rating for the state of Kansas, which recently cut taxes on a similar scale. Nixon’s tour schedule since April 16: Jefferson City, Mo., Ozark, Mo., St. Louis County, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., Springfield, Mo., Jefferson City, Mo., Columbia, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Savannah, Mo., Springfield, Mo., De Soto, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., Jefferson City, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., and Springfield, Mo.
— Agriculture and business groups have lined up in favor of SB 509 in a way many tried to avoid during the HB 253 fight last year. The groups include the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Associated Industries of Missouri, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Missouri Association of CPAs, Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Realtors Association, Missouri Poultry Association, Missouri Pork Association, Missouri Grocers Association, Missouri Dairy Association, and the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.
HOW THEY SEE US — A12 of the New York edition of the New York Times today, Julie Bosman from Jefferson City, ‘In Missouri, Republicans Prevail on Tax Bill’: “In a showdown over tax policy, the Republican-controlled State Senate on Monday overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a major tax-cut bill, setting the stage for sharp reductions in state personal income taxes. The Senate debated the bill for less than 30 minutes before overriding the veto on a 23-to-8 vote. The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on the override on Tuesday. Myron Neth, a Republican member of the House, delivered an impassioned speech on the floor in favor of the bill Monday night, arguing that the state needed to give businesses tax breaks in order to stay competitive. …
“The vote was a rebuke of Mr. Nixon, who last September lobbied so vigorously against a different tax-cut bill championed by Republican legislators that the lawmakers failed to override his veto of that measure. The governor, who had described the new tax-cut bill as ‘ill-conceived,’ said in an interview Monday night that he was prepared for it to now become law. … Democratic senators who spoke against the bill said they worried it would threaten Missouri’s excellent credit rating and reduce state funds for education. … After the legislature failed to override the governor’s veto last year, the Republicans came back this spring with a shorter bill, only five pages long. They rallied more support in the business community and argued that the tax cut would boost small businesses. In the halls of the Capitol, they posted black-and-white placards outside their offices, displaying the number of businesses in their districts that they said would benefit. And perhaps most crucially, after the governor vetoed the most recent bill last Thursday, they moved quickly to schedule an override session, hastily gathering members on Monday.” — PoliticMO Newsletter, May 6, 2014.
And for a parting shot, here’s an editorial how Tea Partiers are terrorizing the GOP Establishment.
By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times, Monday, May 5, 2014
This might be the year of the state senator. That’s not necessarily a good thing. It’s how Barack Obama got his start. Several ambitious state senators are challenging incumbent Republican senators, and the prospect of surprises from the heartland terrifies the Republican establishment.
Some incumbents apparently no longer actually live in the states they represent, having outgrown their bucolic origins and aspire to the undisturbed life in Hollywood on the Potomac, bathed in the twinkle and tinsel of an ersatz Hollywood.
The patricians of the Republican establishment — party moguls from yesteryear, aspiring kingmakers, PAC artists and corporate patriots — are trying to kill the Tea Party graveyard dead, so the patricians can retreat to the gentle Capitol Hill life of going along to get along. Tea Party zealots, who think passion and zealotry in the cause of reform is what the market is waiting for, are out to teach the party establishment to treat them with a little respect. No more Rodney Dangerfield.
Establishment Republicans, with their green-eyeshade DNA, are always afraid of controversy, and learn to deal with it reluctantly, and usually not very well. This puts them at disadvantage, often fatal, with Democrats, who love hubbub, chaos and brawling. “Democrats are like alley cats,” a wise old party elder in the South once observed. “Democrats fight, and alley cats fight, and the result is more Democrats and more cats.”
Tea Party Republicans usually come equipped with more fire and zeal than smarts and moxie, but they’re learning. In the recent past they had to learn the hard way with little help from the experienced party establishment. The Republicans might have taken the Senate four years ago if several of the party regulars who could have helped inept nominees had not jeered from the sidelines after their candidates lost in the primary.
Several Democratic senators were begging to be picked off, but incompetent nominees, including two who said dumb things about rape and abortion, saved the Democratic majority. They were left twisting slowly, slowly in the wind. Two years ago, the establishment got the candidates it wanted in North Dakota, Ohio and Montana, and lost just like the Tea Party upstarts.
The Tea Party, says Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who managed the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2010 and 2012, says the Tea Party movement “was the wind at our backs in 2010,” but when fissures opened the party produced “candidates who could get nominated but who couldn’t get elected, and that’s obviously not the goal.”
Two upstarts this year are state senators, Joni Ernst in Iowa and Chris McDaniel in Mississippi. Mrs. Ernst looks like a fashionable Junior League matron, rides a Harley hog, commands the largest battalion in the Iowa National Guard as an Army lieutenant colonel (her husband is a retired sergeant major), and talks like an earthy Democrat. She boasts that as an Iowa farm girl she learned to castrate hogs and that will make her effective in cutting pork in Washington. Some Iowans thought this was in bad taste, but her polls number jumped at once. She emerged from also-ran to contender almost overnight.
Mr. McDaniel has mounted the most brazen challenge of all, as Republicans define brazen. He’s challenging Sen. Thad Cochran, who is running for his seventh term, and he has the endorsement of every Republican who ever sat on a veranda at the country club, sipping pink gin or a Pimm’s No. 1 cup.
Mr. McDaniel, like any well -brought-up Southerner, shows the senator, 76, respect and due deference, but argues that he’s not conservative enough and that six terms is enough for anyone. The Republican establishment, led in Mississippi by Haley Barbour, the former governor, likes the senator for the reason that Mr. McDaniel doesn’t. He’s the king of pork and the emperor of earmarks, just the sort Joni Ernst wants to confront with her pig shears.
The senator has a shrinking lead in the polls, but has little organization — until this year he never needed one — and he lent credence to the charge that he’s out of touch with Mississippi when it was discovered that he lists a rented Capitol Hill basement apartment as his “primary residence.” This is only a little more persuasive than the “rented room with bath” in Dodge City that Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas lists as his Kansas residence. Mr. Roberts is hotly pursued by Milton Wolf, locally infamous as the second cousin, once removed, of Barack Obama. Suddenly, the Republicans are getting to be fun.