Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 27: Midway Report Card


(Midterm grade calculated by averaging first 26 weeks of scores)

The most basic yet vivid example of a government failing its people came to light this week in the form of murky water. The Kansas City Star's revelation that the Nixon administration's Department of Natural Resources withheld a Memorial Day report about high E.coli levels is damaging on several fronts. It's triggered an investigation into whether the Sunshine Law was broken. It's fueled public cynicism about government secrecy and theories about what else state bureaucrats aren't sharing. And it's reminded us how dirty parts of the Lake of the Ozarks can get at a time when tourism is already paddling harder to stay afloat. It's not fair to directly fault the Governor on this, but this is his administration and Harry Truman's famous saying comes to mind. In addition, it's a story that people can easily identify with. On this alone, by no fault of his own, Nixon lost the week. But as expected, the Governor also blinked in his stand-off with Lieutenant Gov. Peter Kinder over the Tour of Missouri. Still, by the end of the week Nixon dissed his rival again by not notifying the top Republican in state government about his overseas trip until hours before he told the press. If Nixon isn't engaging Kinder this early in his term, it's not likely their relations will improve as we inch closer to 2012. Most people don't expect the two to be drinking buddies, but you'd think a confidential heads-up about traveling into a war zone would be a courtesy granted.

Since this is the midpoint of Nixon's first year as Governor -- here's a quick summary of his grades for the first 26 weeks:

BREAKDOWN: He's gotten 6 A's, 12 B's, 7 C's, 1 D

HIGH POINTS: Inauguration Speech, New Jobs in Republic (3/1), 60% Approval Rating (4/12), Jobs Bill Passes (5/17), Bipartisan Praise for Healthcare Training at Colleges; Kinder Bungles Criticism (5/31), Dodging Criticism for Budget Ax (6/28)

LOW POINTS: Misses Deadline to Pass Jobs Bill By Spring Break (3/15), Backtracks & Scraps MIAC Report Amid Controversy (3/29), Tourism Money Not Released As Promised; STL Rep. Accuses Gov. of "Ignoring the Plight of Blacks" (5/3), Threatens to Cut '09 Tour of Missouri (7/12)

(If the election was held today)

--- To read all of Nixon's Grades CLICK HERE ---

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