Political Fracas: Jay Nixon, party crasher
The Kansas City Star
Just in time for the GOP primary, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has released a television ad.
Oh, did I say the Republican primary? That’s a slip. Nixon is the Democratic incumbent, facing a couple of unknowns in the Democratic primary. It’s just that his TV commercial comes across as so…Republican.
The ad starts out with a folksy-looking Nixon talking about growing up in De Soto in Jefferson County. He mentions that his mom taught special-needs kids and he and his dad were into hunting and fishing.
“When times get tough everybody pitched in. When things picked up, you put a little more in the collection plate on Sunday,” Nixon says. “Something to help the next guy.”
Having established his churchgoing background, Nixon seeks to burnish his anti-Washington credentials.
“These guys in Washington just don’t get it,” he says. “All that fighting and nothing gets done.” That’s a line that will resonate in Missouri. But it’s not like Nixon hasn’t benefited from “those guys” in Washington.
He plugged gaping holes in the state budget in the depths of the recession with $4 billion in federal stimulus funding. He was happy to accept $300 million in federal disaster relief funds to help Joplin recover from the 2011 tornado, and more federal money to deal with last year’s flooding.
Just this week he’s been touring the state, assuring drought-stricken farmers they’ll be eligible for low-interest loans and other federal aid.
You’d think he could show just a shred of gratitude.
Nixon goes on to say that, here in Missourah, we’re “doing things differently.” From those guys in Washington, presumably.
Some of those things will be news to people who follow Missouri politics. Like, “Democrats and Republicans getting things done together.” Sorry, but what would those things be? The gridlock in the Missouri capitol resembles Washington writ small.
“Every year we balanced our budget without a single tax increase,” Nixon says, which is true, although the governor and Republican legislators accuse each other of not writing balanced budgets.
“We cut the red tape, and we eliminated the franchise tax,” Nixon says.
That’s it? The one specific piece of legislation he mentions in this 60-second ad is elimination of the franchise tax, which, when fully phased in, will cost cash-strapped Missouri about $85 million a year?
Nixon is truly a rare political bird — a Democrat with a double-digit lead in the polls who sounds for all the world like a Republican.