Monday, May 25, 2009

Week 19: Nixon's Grade


(Late West Coast edition)

As Governor Nixon readied his pen to determine which bills to sign and which to veto, last week the former Attorney General had to decide an issue of life or death. Nixon's rejection of a petition for clemency in the state's first execution in four years shows that on crime and punishment, this Governor is just as "throw the book" as any Republican. Is that a leading indicator for his ultimate decision on a motorcycle helmet repeal? Or did he really promise advocates for a repeal that he'd side with them? Seems odd that a law & order guy like Nixon would defy safety and law enforcement who plead that a repeal would endanger lives. But the issue has the potential of becoming a bit of lightning rod, no matter what Nixon ultimately decides. Nixon hasn't made any of his major calls yet, but he will soon enough. And you can be sure that any spending vetoes he makes will be scrutinized by a watchful GOP, looking for any place to point out political favorites. Finally, there's some light grumbling on the left about Nixon's commitment to healthcare and the fact that his chief economic initiative could've been crafted by Matt Blunt. By right now, that's no political problem. For the left in Missouri have few places to turn.

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