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Reforming Government Unions Would Provide Greater Worker Choice

Reforming Government Unions Would Provide Greater Worker Choice

 by 

http://www.missouriscorecard.org/reforming-government-unions-would-provide-greater-worker-choice/?utm_content=buffer74f41&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Government unions negotiate with taxpayer dollars, yet they are not held accountable to their own members or to Missouri taxpayers.  With the rate of government union membership five times that of union membership in the private sector, now is the time to enact government union reform on behalf of Missouri workers.

The reforms we believe are needed in Missouri would ensure government unions act in the best interest of their members and are held accountable to taxpayers. Senator Bob Onder and Representative John Wiemann have been leading the effort to implement common sense reforms in the Missouri legislature.

First, Missouri workers should have a voice in deciding who best represents their interests.  Most current government union members have never voted to choose their representation and certify their union.  Once a union is certified as the exclusive representative, there are limited options for changing representation.

Meaningful government union reform would require regular recertification elections, giving workers the option to renew current representation, choose new representation or vote to have no exclusive representation.

Wisconsin enacted legislation in 2011 to require annual recertification elections.  Government unions in Wisconsin must receive the support of 51 percent of all eligible voters.  In 2013, the first year the elections were held, 80 percent of unions were able to win recertification.  In 2014, 92 percent recertified.  Government unions in Missouri should not be concerned about decertification as long as they satisfactorily represent their members.  Unions that do a poor job representing their members should be held accountable.

Second, Missouri taxpayers should have the same right to access government union contract negotiations as they have to monitor legislative hearings.  Legal loopholes exempt government union negotiations from the state open records and open meetings laws.  Since government unions negotiate with tax dollars, we support reforms to classify meetings and records concerning government union labor agreements as public meetings and records subject to Missouri’s Sunshine Law.

Third, Missouri workers should know how their government union spends their dues.  Private sector unions are required to file financial disclosures with the Department of Labor for union members and the public to review.  Government unions should be held to at least the same transparency standards.  Government union reform should require annual reporting of financial assets and liabilities; itemized expenditures; union officer and members’ salaries and benefits; lobbying expenditures; and political contributions.

Fourth, our state government should not be bound indefinitely to unsustainable agreements with unions.  Evergreen clauses can bind parties to agreements many years beyond the original term, thereby allowing unions to keep favorable terms in effect even when the government cannot afford it.  Government union reform should prohibit any government union labor agreement from exceeding two years to prevent one party from keeping favorable terms in place beyond the original agreement’s end date.

Government union reform is needed in Missouri and we hope the next General Assembly takes action to make reform a reality.  The reform efforts we have laid out will empower workers over union bosses and will shine much needed light on the activities of government unions.

How the Insurance Market is Responding to Obamacare

http://dailysignal.com/2016/06/10/how-the-insurance-market-is-responding-to-obamacare/

How the Insurance Market Is Responding to Obamacare

I split my time pretty evenly between Washington, D.C., and my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. In D.C., if you want to get your fix of crony capitalism or government mandates, they’re only a step away at any time. But if you want to capture a perfect specimen of crony capitalism and government overreach in the wild, it’s a little more difficult out here in “Flyover Country.”

So you can imagine my fascination when an organization called the “Institute for Clinical and Economic Review” announced it was coming to town to give us just such a perfect example. Even the name is perfectly “Kafkaesque.”

In the wake of ridiculous Obamacare mandates, the insurance industry is under tremendous cost pressure to deny its customers access to expensive life-saving drugs. But those insurance companies don’t want to take the public relations hit for denial of these drugs that cost billions in research and development to get to market, hence the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

The institute helpfully steps into the breach and, with funding directly from the insurance industry and its allies, produces “research” that even liberals acknowledge vastly limits patients’ access to life-saving drugs.

Essentially, the insurance industry is passing on largely bogus research through a front group, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, that gives insurance companies leverage to deny coverage to expensive cures. It’s a perfect example of Washington, D.C.-style self-dealing and crony capitalism.

What this denial of service leads to is exactly the kind of drug rationing that free market conservatives have been warning about for years, usually to vocal derision from the left.

That’s not the only terrifying thing about the institute’s process, however. At the St. Louis event—which was held to determine if new drugs for a deadly blood cancer are worth their cost (despite their ability to extend life)—one of its paid staff helpfully told us that 70 percent of the organization’s funding came from nonprofits.

As if that kind of opacity is supposed to make us feel any better. Shoot, the Center for American Progress is a nonprofit too, but I wouldn’t let those guys change my tire, let alone decide what lifesaving drugs my child can access. That’s one thing you’ll find about the institute: A consistent lack of transparency. Despite its claims that it’s pristinely funded by nonprofits, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the institute is actually mostly funded by the insurance industry.

But have no fear, we were told by the organization’s representatives in St. Louis! What could possibly go wrong with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s procedures? Well, for starters, how about the fact that its processes have been likened to the British socialized health care system.

Sure to upset my fellow pro-lifers are the implications of quality-adjusted life years—the key to the institute’s methodology to determine the “value” of drugs. Quality-adjusted life years, which are used in Britain to ration drugs, expressly say that the sick and elderly’s lives are worth less than younger, healthier people’s lives.

Opponents will say that the institute’s reach only impacts the private market. And yet, there are troubling signs that its rationing will soon start to infect the public market as well.

And it’s likely that the institute is coming to a town near you. The group’s regional bodies will hold public meetings, like the one in St. Louis, across the country in the coming months, including Los Angeles this month and Portland, Maine, in July. That’s bad news for patients and good news for the insurance companies that benefit from the institute’s manipulation of the media. The institute has effectively sold the press that it’s a “trusted” and “independent” nonprofit.

Not so. Rather, it means price controls. Drug rationing. The tip of the death panel spear. Crony capitalism. Self-dealing. Lack of transparency. Links to European-style socialized medicine. Ties to the Obama administration. And a direct threat to our pro-life beliefs. There is truly something in the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review for every conservative to hate.

What We Should Learn After Religious Liberty Fight in Missouri

What We Should Learn After Religious Liberty Fight in Missouri

By Gregg Keller

http://dailysignal.com/2016/05/13/what-we-should-learn-after-religious-liberty-fight-in-missouri/

By now you’ve likely read or heard of the knock-down, drag-out fight that we had at the Missouri legislature on Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 39. If passed by simple legislative majorities, SJR 39 would have placed a ballot question on either the August or November ballot pertaining to religious liberty.

Missouri voters would then decide if government should be prevented from punishing (through adverse tax treatment, revocation of licensing, court fines and other means) clergy and small business owners connected to the wedding industry (wedding planners, bakers, etc.) who refused to take part in gay weddings as a result of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

After a 40-hour filibuster by Democrats in the Missouri Senate, the measure moved to the relevant House committee, where it continued to be a source of tremendous attention and controversy.

I was among the most frequent and vociferous supporters of SJR39 on social networks and learned several lessons that might prove useful to fellow conservatives who take up such a fight in the future.

1) Yes, the culture wars have moved this far, this fast. Get over it.

I’m old enough to have worked on George W. Bush’s campaign in Missouri in 2004 when we also had on the ballot a pro-traditional marriage initiative. It passed 71-29. I was as incredulous as most people in Missouri when I realized our House might balk at SJR 39. This fight is coming to a state legislature near you, if it hasn’t already. Get your incredulity out of the way now.

2) Both sides are 100 percent committed to the idea of their own righteousness.

I’ve never worked on a public policy issue where both sides were so entrenched about the righteousness of their position. I’ve always found that liberals take politics far more personally than conservative—they take this issue especially personally. If you engage on this issue and have liberal friends, be prepared to lose some of them.

3) Your friends in business aren’t committed.

Remember those generous business people who fund the Republican campaigns you’ve spent so much time around? Well, they think you’re a troglodyte on this issue and they’d prefer you just go back to the phone bank room now, thank you.

4) The other side’s public officials want this fight more than ours.

Missouri’s elected Democrats were in absolute lockstep in opposing SJR39. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we’ve beat them so badly over the years in House and Senate races that there’s only a handful of them left and they’re confined to the city centers.

Their people not only were in total agreement on the matter but desperately wanted to take this fight on. We had some committed Republicans on our side, particularly in the Senate. But among House Republicans some were for it, some were against it. But the most common refrain among House Republicans was that they’d vote for if they had to but they really didn’t want to have to go against the donor and business communities.

5) We can’t allow our surrogates and supporters to become the story.

I remember well the exact moment that I realized we were going to lose the battle over SJR39. I had been texting with a House Republican who matter-of-factly referred to the head of a statewide conservative organization by a nasty nickname. It was immediately apparent to me that, after attacking him incessantly on social networks for days, our opposition had succeeded in making this leader the issue. They had turned him into the face of our effort, and a caricature at that. Remember that every post you do to social networks could become fodder for the other side; choose your words carefully.

6) Social networks matter. A lot. And the other side is using them much better than we are.

Many of our House and Senate Republicans were glued to #SJR39 on Twitter during the debate and it was a critical platform to changing hearts and minds. I can’t tell you how many people mentioned tweets of mine to me after the fact. So engaging in this way is critical. But generally speaking, pro-SJR39 voices were swamped by the opposition on social networks. Particularly when hearings were being conducted. The population as a whole agrees, but they’re not making it known where and when it matters most.

7) Don’t wait for the cavalry, it isn’t coming.

On the day that SJR was to be decided I spent most of the day driving to and from appointments, listening to Rush Limbaugh on KMOX in St. Louis. If he mentioned a word about this critical cultural vote going on in his home state that very day, I managed to miss it. That was my experience with national conservative and religious leadership as a whole—they just didn’t show up. So when this battle comes to your state, don’t incorporate outside support into your plans – plan for them to be absent.

8) You have to try to find a way to be winsome if you’re going to win hearts and minds.

In the days following this battle I found myself exhausted by it all and not a little bit glad the fight was over for the time being, even if we did lose. As a committed, emotionally involved activist, you must constantly try to keep your cool in this battle when all others around you are losing theirs.

You can’t win hearts and minds with vinegar—only with honey. In the month-long battle I failed myself on this a couple of times and it’s among my greatest regrets about the whole episode.

Gregg Keller is the principal of Atlas Strategy Group and a former National Executive Director of the American Conservative Union and the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

Millennials are risk-averse. And that’s risky.

Millennials are risk-averse. And that’s risky.

When I was 24 years old I was living and working in Boston. I had a great job in finance that paid decently and allowed me to use my then-fluency in Spanish, doing Latin American equity research for a Fortune 500 Company. I loved the city and had a large and growing cohort of friends and colleagues. Shortly thereafter I would leave the city, my job and my friends and move to a city where I had no immediate employment prospects.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years. It’s 2003 and I’m living in St. Louis, Missouri with the good fortune of having just worked as the Travel Assistant (Body Man) in the most highly targeted U.S. Senate campaign in the nation. The campaign helped return the Senate to Republican hands and my candidate, whom I had gone grown close to over the course of the campaign, is now a promising freshman Senator. I’d quickly leave a steady job in that Senator’s office to take a short-term job on another campaign.

Now jump ahead to 2014. I’ve spent the last six years of my life running two of America’s largest center-right public policy organizations. I’ve traveled the country, spoken in front of thousands of people and built tremendous relationships with many of the top professionals in my field. I’m well compensated and have thoroughly enjoyed my work. Clearly, it was time to leave those endeavors and start something completely unproven and risky: my own business.

Those are just a few examples of the kinds of calculated risks I’ve taken throughout my 15 years in grassroots politics. Some of the risks paid off. And a few didn’t. But today I find myself the owner of a successful small business that makes me feel fulfilled, both personally and professionally. And I’d never be here today if I had stayed on my original career path at that Fortune 500 company.

Recently a political colleague and friend approached me about a Congressional candidate who was looking for a young operative to be his Campaign Manager. My friend wanted to know if I knew anyone aggressive and philosophically conservative who might be a good fit and, if so, would I pass along some resumes. Now this is exactly the kind of opportunity that I would’ve jumped at in my 20s as an aspiring young pol and I immediately reached out to five friends who I thought should be interested. They’re all Millennials with decent jobs and one by one each of them professed no interest. I was disappointed. But I can’t say that I was surprised.

It struck me that this wasn’t the first instance I’d seen of Millennials being overly cautious professionally. So I mentioned it to some friends and looked around online. It turns out that risk aversion is one of the defining characteristics of the Millennial generation. The Congressional Institute wrote about this phenomenon, explaining:

“Millennials were highly protected in childhood by a fortress of youth safety initiatives, which they took as evidence that they were truly valuable. This protection has translated into risk aversion in their young-adult lives.”

The risks of being risk averse are, to my mind, at least threefold for Millennials. On a personal level, we know that entrepreneurs are both more likely to be risk takers and more likely to economically outperform those who have more orthodox forms of employment. Millennials stand the risk of missing out on both the personal and financial benefits that entrepreneurism brings and that risk-taking makes possible.

The larger corporate risk, however, is to the American economy. If Millennials continue their risk-avoiding ways, it’s natural to conclude they’d have a smaller proportion of entrepreneurs among them. That could be disastrous for America if it came true.

So at the operational level, the obvious question that arises is, exactly what risky career propositions should young people be willing to take? How does one differentiate between a calculated risk while avoiding foolhardy ones? Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along in my career:

  • Only take career risks that you’re confident will expand your skill set. If you’re disrupting your career without an eye towards making yourself a more valuable employee/team member, you’re already off on the wrong foot.
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships. Many of Washington’s most successful operatives and strategists return to public service taking lower paid government jobs every 5-10 years. Why? Because relationships drive success. Each of us is only as successful as the contacts and friends we have. This is true in every industry, from carpentry to investment banking.
  • Don’t obsess over compensation. Bill Walsh, one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, has a great book called “The Score Takes Care of Itself.” The premise is that, if you take minute care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. So mind the little things, like the above bullet items. You do those and you’ll end up doing just fine financially.

If all of this talk of risk and reward makes you nervous or congenitally uneasy, there’s a very real chance that career-related risk taking isn’t for you. In fact, you’re probably part of the majority of people who can feel personally and professionally fulfilled without putting yourself through those ups and downs. If so, God bless you. I’m certainly not advocating taking risks for the sake of taking risks. But for those of us who literally can’t sleep at night if we don’t believe we’re attempting to maximize our professional outcomes, I hope my perspective is helpful in some small way.

Professional fulfillment for me has come because I trusted myself to assess my abilities and the professional landscape and take calculated risks based upon those assessments. Taking those risks has enriched my life in ways I never could haveforeseen. And it’s made all the difference in the world. The lesson I’ve taken from my experiences in calculated risk taking and that I’d hope the Millennial generation comes to learn soon is this: the real risk in life lies in taking no risks at all.

St. Louis Character: Gregg Keller

kellergreg0522015Via St. Louis Business Journal

Gregg Keller’s first foray into politics entailed taking out the trash and answering phones for a $19,500 salary. He was hooked.

Fast forward a few years and Keller found himself working on multimillion-dollar presidential campaigns, including for George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Jim Talent and most recently, for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Where you can find Gregg Keller

  • Weightlifting – 32 sets of circuit-style lifting with free weights in 30 minutes – at 6 a.m. at the Center of Clayton
  • Sipping green tea at Starbucks in Ladue
  • Flying out of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to Washington, D.C.
  • Walking along Ladue Road, smoking a cigar, while on a conference call
  • Watching his three kids play soccer on the weekends
  • Enjoying a weekly date night with his wife, Lorie, at Truffles

The public affairs professional said he moved quickly through the political management ranks by virtue of the field itself — each two-year election cycle brought another opportunity to work on a higher profile campaign. But his success also can be attributed to his self-proclaimed Type A personality. “When it comes to a task, I either don’t do anything at all, or I do it in a way that is ruthlessly Type A and efficient,” Keller, 38, said.

After directing a national coalitions program — managing 21 groups in 20 states — for a presidential campaign, managing a U.S. Senate campaign and leading two national public policy organizations, Keller launched his own strategic services firm, putting his expertise in coalition-building, strategic consulting, fundraising and communications to work for Fortune 500 companies and political campaigns. Dubbed Atlas Strategy Group, Keller has run the company out of his home office in Ladue since January of 2014.

Keller has gone from one success to another, said former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent. “He brings something no one else brings to the table – his drive, energy and organizational ability. I don’t think he’s ever had a job where he hasn’t exceeded all expectations.” Though Keller has spent much of his career commuting to Washington, D.C., and Boston — as many as 200 flights a year — St. Louis has remained his home base. “My wife, Lorie, and I are high school sweethearts. We met sophomore year at Clayton High School, and we always knew we wanted to raise our family in St. Louis,” said Keller, who has three kids: Bobby, 10; Eleanor, 8; and Elizabeth, 4.

How did you begin working in politics? My father told me former CongressmanJim Talent was thinking of running for Senate, and said, ‘Why don’t you go see if you can volunteer for him?’ So I started volunteering on Talent’s Senate exploratory committee in September 2001; and within a week, they offered me a position. First, I started taking out the trash and answering phones. Eventually, they put me on the road to travel with Sen. Talent as his body man — the person who travels with the candidate at all times and serves as his personal assistant. I had a fantastic crash course in Missouri politics. Sen. Talent visited all 114 of Missouri’s counties. We did 78 trips to Springfield for campaign appearances alone. We went to every corner of the state, clocking 18-hour days, for what turned out to be a top-targeted, winning U.S. Senate campaign, which, to this day, is one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

What was the next step in your career? I really had the campaign bug in me, and I was asked to join the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 — back when Missouri was the swing of swing states. I was their coalitions director … and then the communications director. We were able to push the John Kerry campaign out of Missouri by September 2004. Then they sent me to New Hampshire, where I headed up the Election Day operations and oversaw their legal team.

Tell us more about your work with former Missouri Sen. Talent. Sen. Talentasked me to come back to his staff in 2005 as his state director. Then he was up for re-election in 2006, and he asked me to be campaign manager. Sen. Talentran what political analyst Stuart Rothenberg (founding editor and publisher of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report — a non-partisan political newsletter) called the best-run incumbent campaign of the cycle that year. Yet because it was such a horrible year, he lost anyway by a small margin. Although I was the manager of a losing campaign, because it was widely respected, it didn’t hurt my career at all. In some ways, losing was the best thing that ever happened in my career, oddly enough. Even after losing the campaign, I received multiple job offers to run senatorial and presidential campaigns, and decided to accept the offer to be the national coalitions director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Describe your role with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.(After Sen. Talent’s 2006 campaign,) I ended up getting an offer from Mitt Romney. He asked me to be his national coalitions director in Boston, so I commuted there from St. Louis. I was responsible for his campaign’s outreach to everything from conservatives, social conservatives and free-market conservatives to the Hispanic and small-business communities. We organized 20 coalition groups in 21 states. Next, I was senior adviser on John McCain’s 2008 Missouri campaign. Then, I started getting into this niche where so much of what I did on Gov. Romney’s campaign was outreach to the conservative community. I’ve always been a conservative. I remember being in grade school and always being glad when Newsweek would arrive at our house so I could immediately flip to the back to read George Will’s column. I was 10 years old, and I didn’t even know what a conservative was — I just knew I was one. I did my senior thesis in English on Ayn Rand because by the time I was 15 I had read every book she’d ever written. So I’ve always intellectually been a conservative, but it wasn’t until the Romney campaign that I had a job where I focused primarily on outreach to the conservative community. The majority of what I did for Romney was turn him into what he eventually became in the 2008 cycle — the conservative alternative to John McCain.

Discuss your work leading national conservative organizations. I became recognized as someone who could build a conservative coalition. In 2009, I started getting invited to run these national conservative organizations. Someone who I had gotten to know over the years was Ralph Reed of Christian Coalition fame. He was launching the Faith & Freedom Coalition headquartered in Atlanta and asked me to help. So I commuted to Atlanta and did the 2010 election cycle as its national executive director. We participated in 111 races across the country and made nearly 60 million voter contacts. Then I was asked to be the executive director of the American Conservative Union, the national conservative movement’s umbrella group, which puts on the Conservative Political Action Conference. So I commuted to Washington, D.C., for that job from 2011 to 2013.

Tell us about your firm, Atlas Strategy Group. I had been commuting almost non-stop since 2007, and wanted to spend more time with my family at home in St. Louis. So I started my firm, Atlas Strategy Group. And I’ve really continued doing what I had done for about 10 years at the highest levels of American politics, which is what’s called center-right coalition-building. For example, let’s say you are AT&T, and there’s a bill moving through the U.S. Senate judiciary committee that you believe is bad public policy and that is going to adversely affect your company. Traditionally, what companies and trade associations have done in the past to affect the kind of legislative end that they want to reach is three things: hire lobbyists, join a trade association, and form a political action committee to support the candidates who believe what they believe. These days, doing those three things is really only enough to keep even with the herd. What I do at Atlas is additive to that. I get hired by trade associations and Fortune 500 companies to convince the third-party center-right public policy organizations in Washington, D.C., that this bill moving through the U.S. Senate judiciary committee is antithetical with free-market ideology. This is a growing part of American public policy relations. What I’ve built my business around is strategic partnerships, so I have a strategic partnership with a firm that works exclusively with social conservative organizations, a partner in Washington, D.C., that focuses on fiscally free-marketing conservative organizations, and even a partner out of Texas that does center-left outreach. I’m keeping my firm small and working through strategic partnerships with other small firms so that I don’t have to charge my clients the big-firm rates. The other part of my business is political, so I have worked on four presidential campaigns in the center-right conservative space: Bush-Cheney, 2004; Romney, 2007; McCain, 2008; and I was senior adviser to Scott Walker’s presidential campaign that recently wrapped up.

What is your most memorable career experience? There are so many pinch-me moments — standing in the same room as the president of the United States, talking to the president, the president asking you a question. I’ve met presidentsGeorge W. Bush and George H.W. Bush. With the exception of the entertainment industry, politics allows you to accumulate these pinch-me moments much faster than other professions. They say politics is Hollywood for ugly people. Just today, a governor called me to ask for advice. No matter how long you do this — or at how high a level — it’s still a thrill.

Keller chairing new anti-“Obamacare” group

Keller chairing new anti-“Obamacare” group

The Missouri Times

January 22, 2015 / by Rachael Herndon

http://themissouritimes.com/16053/keller-chairing-new-anti-obamacare-group/

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Century Foundation’s creation was announced this week by Gregg Keller, principal at Atlas Strategies. The group is a Missouri-based 501c4 public policy organization — political nonprofit group — that will be dedicated to advancing free-market initiatives in state government to help ensure the health of our state’s economy throughout the 21st century.

“I was having dinner with two of my great friends and two of Missouri and the country’s top free market political professionals: Rich Chrismer and Jim Gwinner,” Keller said. “We were commenting, specifically, on how it’s simply beyond belief that a state as conservative as Missouri would even consider expanding a program like Obamacare in our state. It’s a horrible program that’s kicked millions of Americans off their health care and the financial implications of expanding Obamacare have been dire in other states. Yet Obamacare expansion came dangerously close to becoming a reality last cycle and now our opponents are taking another run at it. We thought that we could add a common sense, free market voice to the conversation and that’s what we’re doing.”

Mike Hafner and Holly Gogel will be joining Keller at the Missouri Century Foundation.
“One of our team members who we’re most excited about is our head of Government Relations, Mike Hafner, who’s been a fixture in Missouri public policy for years,” Keller said. “Mike will be at the Capitol advocating with policy makers and their staff on the issues we care most about in 2015: stopping Obamacare expansion, protecting Missourians’ rights to assemble and associate and reforming public sector unions.”

“In addition to Board members Rich Chrismer and Jim Gwinner and head of GR Mike Hafner, we’re joined at MCF by our Policy Analyst, Holly Gogel,” Keller continued. “Holly is a former legislative director in the Capitol and a Mizzou law grad. Holly will be working with our team to ensure that our research materials and background papers are an accurate reflection of how dangerous, for example, expanding Obamacare will be to our state. She’s a rising star and one of the sharpest young lawyers conservatives have in this state and we’re lucky to have her.”

Keller told The Missouri Times that MCF is already fielding requests from groups in other states and nationally to weigh in on various issues.

“We’re telling those folks that we are focused like a laser in 2015 on advocating on issues in the Missouri legislature like Obamacare expansion,” Keller said. “While it’s flattering that our opinions are being sought on other issues, we’re going to be very disciplined about what we decide to engage on.”

Keller’s background is in campaigns and political consulting, and he says the organization will not allow him to lose focus at Atlas Strategies.

“The level of staff talent at MCF is as high as any statewide campaign, and I’ve worked on a few of those,” Keller said. “So I’ll spend a lot of time on MCF but still have time to work on other projects, political and corporate. Atlas Strategy’s first year was extremely successful, crafting winning strategies for our corporate and political clients. I’m looking forward to the company continuing to grow.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, announcing that he will file a bill to expand healthcare for veterans in Missouri. Silvey is the most outspoken Republican proponent of expanding Medicaid in the Senate.

Keller has formerly served as the Executive Director of the American Conservative Union, National Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, National Coalitions Director on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, campaign manager on the U.S. Senate campaign of Sen. Jim Talent.

Gregg Keller launches Missouri Century Foundation

The Washington Examiner is out with a national story on a new c4 public policy organization started by Gregg Keller of Atlas Strategy Group. Keller will serve as Chairman of the Missouri Century Foundation, a Missouri-specific c4 that will busy itself with, among other priorities, stopping Obamacare expansion in the Show-Me State. You can read the full article below.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/obamacare-medicaid-hike-hits-gop/article/2558939

Gregg Keller Appears on “This Week in Missouri Politics”

Atlas Strategy Group’s Principal, Gregg Keller, appeared as part of a panel discussion on “This Week in Missouri Politics.” The link to the video is below.

http://thisweekinmissouripolitics.com/2015/01/11/opinion-maker-panel-january-11-2014/

Gregg Keller Appears on Stay Tuned StL

Atlas Strategy Group Principal Gregg Keller appeared on “Stay Tuned StL” last night as part of an election wrap-up. The link is below and Keller’s portion begins at around the 30 minute mark.

http://staytuned.ninenet.org/episodes/election-wrap-up/

Gregg Keller interview on St. Louis NPR

I was interviewed this week on St. Louis’ NPR station as part of their Politically Speaking series. The link is after the jump; hope you enjoy it.

RGK

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/politically-speaking-gop-consultant-keller-assesses-election-landscape

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