Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Triple Hit on Hulshof

Why pick one poison, when you can mix three?
With 84 days until the general election, the three major arms of Jay Nixon's campaign for Governor are firing at Republican Kenny Hulshof.
The spokesperson for the Missouri Democratic Party barely finished breakfast Tuesday morning before challenging the 9th District Congressman to reject any campaign cash from Gov. Matt Blunt. Blunt has about $1.2 million in his campaign account, that could be transferred to the Republican Party to be put towards Hulshof's effort.
"It's bad enough that Congressman Kenny Hulshof wants to continue Gov. Blunt’s failed policies, but the last thing he should do is use Gov. Blunt’s campaign money to try and get elected,” said Jack Cardetti, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman. "Only a Washington politician like Kenny Hulshof would promote the current governor’s policies, take his money, and then try and distance himself from Gov. Blunt’s unpopularity. Having Congressman Hulshof or the political party that he now controls indebted to Gov. Blunt would be bad news for Missouri families."
The Hulshof campaign is calling this charge a "meaningless stunt."
"What would it change if we didn't accept the money? Nothing," said Hulshof spokesperson Scott Baker. "Jay Nixon has made it clear that he's running against Matt Blunt."
I also asked Baker what might be more politically damaging, the money Nixon receives from trial lawyers or money from Gov. Matt Blunt. "As to "what's worse?". Jay Nixon took money from Second Injury Fund lawyers, even though he promised not to accept those contributions. That kind of blatant dishonesty is worse," Baker replied.
To be clear, Hulshof has not received any money from Blunt yet. The Democrats are clearly looking for a pre-emptive strike on what's assumed will happen. "They refused to tell other reporters," Wright said. "They're not answering that question."

The party's new spokesperson, hired solely to focus on the Governor's race, continues to take aim at Hulshof for not yet having introduced a comprehensive healthcare plan. Zac Wright is now pointing to a statement Hulshof made at a G.O.P. picnic in Cape Girardeau this weekend.
"Well and that’s just it, the politics of the past vs. the direction of the future… When you’ve offered nothing new or no solutions to the challenges of our state, I mean Jay Nixon is the poster boy for the politician, the dated politician of the past. We want to take our state forward," Hulshof is reported to have said at the picnic.
"27 weeks that have passed since Congressman Hulshof promised to address the health care crisis in Missouri," Wright said. "During that time, Jay Nixon unveiled a detailed health care agenda. How can Congressman Hulshof say this with a straight face?," he added. "Simply unbelievable." "He said in February it would be a couple of weeks. Why promise that? I think he owes an explanation," Wright added.
Hulshof spokesperson Scott Baker tells the Notebook that we can expect to see Hulshof roll out his healthcare plan within "the next few weeks."
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Jared Craighead, the executive director of the Missouri Republican Party took aim at Nixon's healthcare plan, calling the candidate "untrustworthy." "Jay Nixon, after having three years to run for Governor, has a $265 million dollar mathematical error," Craighead said, noting a calculation mistake in Nixon's camp made in its roll-out. He also said the $265 million dollars in question is not a one-time price tag. "That $265 million dollars, you've got to fund it every year," Craighead said. Nixon has pledged to restore all the Medicaid cuts made in 2005. He is now arguing that the Medicaid cuts are having a ripple effect that is causing higher premiums for Missourians. Nixon has also said that Missouri has lost $1.5 billion dollars in federal matching funds when Gov. Blunt slashed the rolls. "And now 750,000 Missourians don’t have health insurance and everyone who has coverage is paying way too much for it. Are Congressman Hulshof and his allies seriously arguing that Blunt’s massive health care cuts were good for the state?," asked Nixon spokesperson Oren Shur. "What he's not telling you is in order for Missouri to get those funds would require a tax increase and if Nixon says otherwise, he's lying. Jay Nixon cannot be trusted on healthcare policy," Craighead said. "None of it can be taken seriously, based on a massive miscalculation . . . when he rolled it out," he added.
Meanwhile, Jay Nixon's campaign has started running a new television ad today, focusing on Hulshof's record "siding with oil companies in Washington." The 30-second spot is running in Kansas City, Jefferson City/Columbia, Springfield, Quincy and Ottumwa.
"While Congressman Hulshof has been part of the problem in Washington these past 12 years, Attorney General Nixon has stood up to the oil companies here in Missouri” said Oren Shur, Nixon’s campaign spokesman. “In Washington, Congressman Hulshof gave billions to the big oil companies, and what did Missouri families get in return? Skyrocketing gas prices. Needless to say, that’s not the kind of change we need."

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