Politically Speaking: Dempsey Explains His Decision to Leave the Missouri Senate

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey.

The St. Charles Republican provided some of his most in-depth comments about his departure from the Missouri Senate. He surprised many by resigning last month and taking a job at The Gate Way Group, a lobbying organization that’s based in St. Louis. Retired financier Rex Sinquefield is one of the Gate Way Group’s clients.

Dempsey says the closure of the banquet hall operated by his family and term limits played a role in his decision. Members of the Dempsey family have been restaurateurs in St. Charles for decades.

He said he had lengthy conversations with his wife about “the next phase”

Better Together Hosts Documentary Screening

Wednesday night in Vue 17, our client Better Together hosted a screening of the new one-hour documentary The Injustice System, which takes an unblinking look at some of the practices of our region’s municipal courts. Award-winning reporter Craig Cheatham made the documentary and joined Better Together to introduce and discuss the film, as well as participate in a panel discussion afterwards. Other panel members included Senator Eric Schmitt, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, Thomas Harvey from the Arch City Defenders, retired St. Louis City Police Chief Dan Isom, and retired St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch. Thanks to all who joined us for this important viewing and discussion.

The Tax-Cutting Boon Sweeping the States

While the prospects for tax reform in Washington are dim, as many as 20 Republican governors are moving forward with their own pro-growth tax-relief initiatives. This is on top of the 14 states, including Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, whose 2014 tax cuts will take effect this year.

Arizona’s new Gov. Doug Ducey says his goal is to eventually eliminate the state income tax—joining the nine states that already don’t tax their residents’ wages and salaries. Mr. Ducey has promised income-tax cuts “every year I’m in office.” He announced his first cuts, indexing tax brackets for inflation and expensing for business capital spending, this month. To offset phasing out the income tax, he wants to close some of the state’s hundreds of sales-tax exemptions.

In Arkansas, Republicans now control both houses of the state legislature and the governorship for the first time in more than 100 years. This will allow Asa Hutchinson, the state’s new governor, to push what he calls a “very ambitious” tax-reform agenda. Last week the state senate in Little Rock passed a one-percentage-point cut in the income-tax rate applying to middle-income earners ($21,000-$75,000).

In Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts—three blue states that elected Republican governors in November—tax rates are likely to fall to provide juice and jobs for local economies. In Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner vowed in his inaugural address to erase the income-tax-rate hikes of his Democratic predecessor, Pat Quinn. In Maryland, Larry Hogan won the governor’s race by pledging to overturn “as many as possible” of the 19 taxes and fees that were raised by his predecessor, Democrat Martin O’Malley. And in Massachusetts, Charlie Baker plans to eliminate the state tax on business inventory and cut the corporate income tax.

Neutrality Works For Finland, But Not Cyberspace

Travis H. Brown, Contributor
Via Forbes

With just one announcement in support of “net neutrality,”President Obama could upend the way in which the Internet functions in the United States. With just one ill-conceived decision, the President could thwart innovation and stifle investment. The White House’s recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission – that broadband providers be subjected to decades-old regulations that make no sense in the 21st century – could spell disaster for one of the United States’ most vital sectors.

The Internet, while of course utilized globally, is a uniquely American success story because of the freedom enjoyed by both providers and users. While other nations throttle bandwidth and restrict their citizens’ access to information, the United States fosters an Internet landscape that is friendly to commerce and creativity alike. By insisting on “net neutrality” (particularly the highly outdated Title II regulations, which were created for a 1930s Bell telephone monopoly that no longer exists), President Obama is threatening the Internet that American users know and value today.

Executive Edge: David Jackson of Gate Way Group

This week Mark Reardon spoke with David Jackson during the Washington University Olin Business School Executive Edge.

David is the managing partner of the Gate Way Group, the lobbying and association-management division of public-affairs and advocacy firm Pelopidas, LLC.

Through their use of technology and data, David and his team have helped define data driven lobbying tactics in a term-limited legislature where 25% of elected officials have been in office for less than two years.

Over the last seven years, David has managed relationships with over 500 local, state, and federal elected officials while representing a diverse client portfolio that includes corporations, small businesses, professional associations, and not-for-profit organizations.

In 2012, David launched the association management division of his firm. Today, he oversees 1,200 physicians/surgery centers and over $1 million in total assets as the Executive Director for three major health care associations.