Sunday, July 05, 2009

Week 25: Nixon's Grade


He decided to do it without flair, on the Thursday before a holiday weekend. But Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the motorcycle helmet repeal could not escape the fervent feelings of the freedom-first, libertarian crowd who believe government shouldn't be able to force them to make what most would consider a logical decision. Nixon sided with statistics and science. It's likely that this issue will resurface at some point during Nixon's term, and while the Governor undoubtedly upset a core group of cyclists, the crass political calculus is that many of them probably weren't voting for him anyway. On his other big signing of the week, what Nixon dubbed license office reform, Republicans called a sly way to reward campaign donors. But while the GOP has gone lengths to outline the contributors who have won offices, they haven't yet pointed to the specific problems with Nixon's point system designed to allocate the offices in a more fair manner. Does anyone dare to say that contributors shouldn't be allowed to participate at all? (Doubtful) Is it possible that the operator who doled out a few bucks also could be the best person to do the job? (Very possible). In the face of skeptics, Nixon may do himself a favor if he were to articulate those points more clearly. Above all, came the news that at the midway mark of his first year, Gov. Nixon holds a plum 55% approval rating, propped up by 61% support in the Ozarks. Of the 13 Governors SurveyUSA polled at the end of the June, Nixon held the second highest rating. Only Alabama's Bob Riley polled higher (59%).

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