Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Amid Criticism, Nixon Signs License Office Reform

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation in Springfield Wednesday that requires lucrative license fee offices to be bid out competitively with non-profit organizations getting priority selection status.

For practical purposes Nixon's signing of the legislation won't change much immediately -- his administration has been bidding out the state's 183 offices competitively since the beginning of the year. The legislation ensures the process will remain after Nixon's gone.

Nixon signed the bill at the South Fremont license office in Springfield, which was awarded to Alternative Opportunities Inc., a non-profit that provides services to individuals with disabilities. Campaign finance reports show that the group donated $5,800 to Nixon's campaign in October and August of 2008.

But the Nixon administration points out that a variety of factors are taken into account when awarding bids, including hours of operation, experience in running an operation, location, and customer service. Non-profits and those who agree to return some proceeds to the state also receive extra points.

The South Fremont office was also seen as a symbolic location for Nixon's signing. The office had previously been run by a longtime political ally of the Blunt family, Leslie Carter. Carter was the contract agent for two Springfield offices and one Ozark office. She's also the wife of Tom Carter, who is a contributor and fundraiser for Congressman Roy Blunt.

The South Fremont office was one of the first six offices Nixon's administration put up for bid. WATCH that KY3 NEWS January report HERE.

Nixon noted that the legislation he signed was passed on overwhelming bi-partisan votes in both chambers: "I applaud the bi-partisan work undertaken by the legislature to get these bills to my desk today. Legislators from both parties recognized that license office reform was sorely necessary and worked diligently to pass legislation that puts the needs of Missouri's license office customers first."

1 comment:

TLW Family Home said...

I would like to suggest a service that I would like to have as it pertains reporting (and I willing to pay for it). I am an average middle of the road citizen that desires for a news organization to serve as a check and balance with those in power in our government, in business and education. When you, and individual reporter writes, "Nixon noted that the legislation he signed was passed on overwhelming bi-partisan votes in both chamber", why do you not provided a measure to supports or disputes one's claims. The fact that Gov. Nixon communicated this piece was bi-partisan is great, but I can get that from many sources. What I am asking for in this case, is the actual vote count. Ned Reynolds does not just report that the St. Cardinals are "overwhelming defeating the most recent opponents". He always includes the score. That measure confirms and supports the story that he has reported. Ron Hearst does not report that it was the hottest day on record, without presenting the measure that best relates to or is clearly accepted with his profession.
You are a good reporter, but I can get the points that individuals want to communicate in several places. In fact with this piece, the press release is available on line just Google it, the Governor's Office sent a 'tweet' 5 hours before the event took place, 2 full days before you posted your piece. You can be great, but good is in your way.
If the score is important in sports and if the measure of the temperature is used in weather reports, why should an issue this important be left to a biased press release. Why would you, a member of the press, not report the score?