By Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield.
Last week, I witnessed the failed attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of Right to Work. It was a disappointing end to a long legislative process and effort to give Missouri workers, families, and businesses the Freedom to Work. More disappointing than the failed override vote was learning of Lt. Governor Peter Kinder’s wild accusations, threats and mischaracterizations directed at fellow Republicans.
Have we not witnessed enough bullying in Missouri politics? It was just more of the same last week when in the rush to gain the spotlight, Kinder seized on the setback to score quick political points by attacking and dividing Missouri Republicans on an issue of significant importance to Missouri workers and families.
Let me be clear, I am the only candidate for governor who has ever cast a public vote in support of Right to Work. I also called for a free and fair debate of the subject… both the right things to do.
Kinder launched a full-bore negative attack on nearly two-dozen House Republicans who voted their district and their conscience. The attack was wrapped in raw, red meat like that which one would feed to rabid dogs. It included a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, a truly great man, as if to imply that passage of the legislation is somehow akin to winning World War II.
Only four years ago, during his bid for governor that he later abandoned, Kinder was quoted in the press as saying he had not yet formulated a position on Right to Work and was rumored to be cutting deals with the union lobby.
If you were to walk up and down the Main Streets of Missouri and ask Republicans, Democrats and Independents at random to offer their opinion of what is wrong with Missouri politics, the two biggest complaints would be: the inability to work with others, and the politics of expediency and self-preservation.
For the last seven years, we have experienced the effects of a governor who has valued political opportunity over principle, and the divisive pivot that follows when he fails. So for a statewide Republican official seeking the GOP nomination for governor to throw nearly two dozen House Republicans under the bus for his own political gain is not much different than Governor Nixon calling for the “vigorous prosecution” of Darren Wilson in an attempt to salvage his national political ambitions. They both resorted to divisive politics in the hope of coming out on top. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I have had enough. I believe Missourians have had enough. They want leaders rather than manipulators and dividers. They want statesmen who will live by the golden rule and put others first and the interests of the people ahead of temporary political gain.
Missourians want leaders to focus on what is good for Missouri, her communities, and the families that call her home. They want to Renew Missouri’s Spirit by working together to Rediscover her Destiny, Revive her Communities, Revitalize her Health, Re-cultivate her Markets, Reform her Laws, Restore her Prosperity and Prepare her Students.
I am running for the Republican nomination for governor because I heard a clear call from my fellow citizens who believe we need to Bring Missourians Together and Renew Missouri’s Spirit. I’ll be a governor who unites Missourians and puts our great state on a path of growth, prosperity, and renewal; and I will do it by working with all Republicans, many Independents and yes, even some Democrats.