Our new governor is obviously a very talented politician and a seemingly very complex guy. Missourians knew they were electing someone with no experience in governing and likely expected him to try some new things. Some seem to be working quite well. Others are head scratchers.
I’ll just tell you, I went to the rally in New Madrid held by the Governor. There were more than 500 people there and I’m telling you 90 percent or more of that crowd had never been to a political event in their life. The cheering and passion was real – it might have been the most impressive political event I’ve ever attended.
On the other hand, it is a unique approach having a governor calling the General Assembly back and asking them to consider passing legislation while he publicly insults them. In the lead up to the special session, the governor called the legislature “third graders” and mocked them about forcing them to cancel their vacations.
I’m sure those phrases poll-tested well, but let me tell you a story about what I saw the Tuesday night of the special session: a legislator standing outside a restaurant on High Street about 8:00 at night was Facetiming with his wife so he could watch his son bat in a little league game.
This legislator wasn’t missing a week in Maui on the beach, he was missing a week with his family who lives four hours from the Capitol, and was missing that special little league game to serve his state for an amount of money that, if you broke it down hourly, would be under the minimum wage even outside St. Louis.
There is no question the Governor deserves credit for going all-in to recruit jobs to the state, and if he accomplishes his mission, then he deserves great credit and praise, but on the flip side, the rallies against Sen. Doug Libla were bizarre.
Maybe he hadn’t flipped on upgrading the state’s wildly dilapidated grid by Saturday’s rallies, but by Tuesday, it was bizarre.
While he was sticking notes on Sen. Libla’s door on the second floor, his staff was twisting arms of House Utility Committee members in the basement to drop grid modernization and take the legislation exactly as Libla wanted all along…maybe they really did stop coordinating.
I disagreed with Libla turning down the smelter legislation during session over some PSC enabling language, and without the Governor, the opportunity would have been lost. High stakes poker by the senator, I’m very glad for the part of the state that I’m from that he drew an ace on the river card.
Bizarre semantics aside, the plain fact is that there is no factory without the Governor stepping up and delivering.
Every time you quiz one of the Governor’s supporters about this type of behavior they nearly always tell you, “It doesn’t matter because the voters don’t care.” Even if that is true, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do things right.
- The state will miss having a professional like Jim Robertson not at the helm of the Columbia Tribune. He was the type of fair-minded person that is an example to others.
- Boy, Tony Messenger is on fire right now in his column breaking news… Standing Bear, #jealous.
- Speaking of the chief, the dark money debate is one with several sides. I think most people’s instincts are that transparency is best. However, leading conservatives like Carl Bearden and Gregg Keller make compelling arguments for secrecy. Maybe the pragmatic approach is to strengthen the laws against coordination between the politicians and the groups trying to influence them.
- Lastly, there were many touching statements offered in remembered of D-Day. Perhaps none more so than the quote Gov. Greitens shared from Lt. Colonel Robert Wolverton on his Facebook page.
- I once met a man who served at D-Day. His name was John Britton, he made his living after the war as a lobbyist.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.