Nixon takes heat for labor check


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is joining some Republicans in demanding Gov. Jay Nixon return the $50K check from the United Auto Workers that Nixon received less than a week after vetoing Right-to-Work legislation, calling it “pay to play.”

Nixon vetoed the measure just weeks ago, kicking off a summer of wrangling between labor supporters and RTW proponents over whether or not Missouri should become the 26th state to prohibit unions from collecting dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Just days later, Nixon took a check for $50,000 from the UAW straight to the bank, a surprisingly high donation, given Nixon’s public declarations that he won’t continue to seek office after 2016. Kinder has joined a small chorus of RTW proponents in chiding Nixon for accepting the check.

“The governor likes to give lip service to putting limits on campaign spending while he rakes in millions of dollar from lawyers, lobbyists and labor,” Kinder said in a statement. “He needs to return the money, and lawmakers need to override his veto in September. Right to Work is a critical reform that will spur economic development in our state, and the Legislature has the opportunity to stop Gov. Nixon’s obstruction.”

Former House Speaker Tim Jones, a vocal RTW supporter and prolific social media user, tweeted that he was “still awaiting left wing editorial board” outrage over Nixon’s donations. Jones and Kinder both implied that accepting the check was especially problematic for Nixon, whose party frequently supports strict campaign contribution limits.

The donation to Nixon is particularly odd given that the Democrat has largely ruled out further runs for office, and isn’t known for being particularly charitable with his war chest.

Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email or via Twitter at @CMReischman