Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 31: Nixon's Grade


Gov. Jay Nixon's pursuit of stimulus funds that could wire thousands of miles of rural Missouri with broadband internet is truly a longterm visionary project that could transform the state's economy and culture. If his team is successful in landing the money (we'll know by year's end), "broadband for all" will be a key accomplishment the Governor will be able to point when he's looking to shore up support in the more conservative areas of the state. The message: That this Democratic Governor is tapped into rural Missouri. Sometimes good policy and smart politics do go hand in hand. Despite a basketball injury that benched him for a day, the Governor is probably resting a bit easier than previous weeks. The Attorney General's report that showed no Sunshine Laws were broken in E.Coli-gate won't dissuade critics from continuing to raise "who knew what questions, but the headline could've been much worse. Meanwhile, July's SurveyUSA polling showed the Governor still riding high, with a 60% approval rating. The poll was taken between July 17th and 19th. Thursday, July 16th was the day the Kansas City Star broke the E.Coli-gate story. That means we can assume some of those polled could've been aware of the controversy, but August numbers will be the real test to see if Nixon's image took any political hit.

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