NIXON'S WEEK 39 GRADE: C -
The E.Coli-gate story continued to drip last week, but fortunately for the Nixon administration the drops made a smaller splash. The suspended Department of Natural Resources director said delaying the release of the E.Coli report for a month was not dangerous because the bacteria dies off within a few days. But like other bad things, E.Coli rolls downhill: On Thursday we learned a vacationing employee may be to blame for it all. But in many ways, a new, more pressing threat highlighted the challenge to Gov. Nixon's legislative agenda. State revenues are down 10 percent over the fiscal year. The Arch City Chronicle called it "Nixon's greatest political problem." More cuts are coming. A national group said 65,000 Missourians have already lost health insurance in 2009 -- with three months to go. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch scolded Nixon for his silence on an issue that propped up his entire candidacy going back to 2005. "The people who elected him expect more than warmed-over Matt Blunt," wrote the left-leaning editorial board. On Wednesday, DNR director Mark Templeton's suspension will be up. Nixon has likely already weighed the risk of cutting Templeton loose -- ("If they make him walk, he could talk," offers a GOPer) -- but the Governor knows every day he has to spend doing damage control on E.Coli, is a day lost on his economic and healthcare initiatives.