The Missouri Times sat down with Travis H. Brown to discuss Rex Sinquefield’s recent meeting.
Q: As Rex Sinquefield’s political and legislative advisor, you met recently with New Jersey Governor Christie in Saint Louis. What was the purpose of the meeting?
A: Both Rex Sinquefield and myself have supported governors like Chris Christie since 2008-2009 through the Republican Governors Association (RGA). The main purpose of this meeting was to review their 30+ state successes and to discuss continued support into this year’s election cycle. Many governors supported by organizations like RGA are cutting state income taxes, creating jobs, and controlling wasteful state spending. We don’t want to see Missouri left behind while other border states (Kansas & Oklahoma) are improving.
A: In addition to the importance of states helping lower tax burdens, we also discussed the best ways to promote more effective teachers in our classrooms. New Jersey, like many states, have updated their merit pay and teacher tenure laws to help ensure that good teachers can invest more in their classrooms. The Kansas State Legislature just passed a teacher tenure reform law this month. We are expecting ballot certification of a similar measure for Missouri this year after more than 200,000 Missourians ask for this vote on their ballot.
Q: What border state races are important to the proposed agenda of RGA?
A: This November, Governor Sam Brownback is up for re-election in Kansas. New races exist in Arkansas, Illinois, and Nebraska that will be exciting to monitor. Since Illinois has raised a penalty on work (with higher income tax rates in 2011), they have seen less of it.
Q: Both Rex Sinquefield and you have a new book out called “Wealth of States.” Did you give Governor Christie a copy?
A: We didn’t have copies available at the time of our meeting. However, we intend to share one with him, as New Jersey was one of eleven states to impose an income tax. In eleven of eleven cases, states that raised an income tax declined as part of our national economy within a decade
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.