Thursday June 1st 2010, the Missouri Senate tabled a $150 million tax incentive plan designed to save the state's Last Viable Auto Plant a Ford truck plant down to one assembly line in Claycomo, a suburb of Kansas City. The Republican dominated state legislature was called back for a special session to address the conservative Democrat Governor Jay Nixon's plan to save what is left of the disappearing manufacturing jobs and their above living wages and benefits. The missing jobs have left Missouri like other states bankrupt from the perspective of a state representative or state senator attempting to save crucial programs and what is left of the social safety net in a time when Missourians need it most.
This is the second year of major legislative set backs for Missouri's First Term Conserva-Dem Jay Nixon. In Nixon's first term, the Republican legislature voted down restoring 90,000 Missourians to Medicaid coverage that were cut by the previous conservative Republican Governor Matt Blunt, son of US Congressional Republican Whip Roy Blunt who is in a neck and neck opinion polling race for the state's open Senate Seat with Progressive Democrat State treasurer Robin Carnahan. Roy Blunt's primary challenger is Republican Missouri State Senator Chuck Purgason opposing the Ford auto plant tax incentive plan as "Insane".
Like the state's junior US Senator, Blue Dog minded Democrat Claire McCaskill, Governor Nixon has taken positions on issues that would seem to fit well with the red state's current Republican majority. Both Nixon and McCaskill are old hands and adverse to risk once installed in elective office.
This Republican simpatico Conserva-Dem strategy however is failing Governor Nixon. Despite even retiring social uber-conservative US Senator Kit Bond button holing Republican legislators seeking they support Governor Nixon's tax incentives for Ford and add tax incentives for underground data storage centers, the state Republicans proposed to fund the tax breaks for Ford Motor Co. by reducing salaries and benefits for Missouri's state employees. Already, the lowest paid state workers in the nation.
By 3pm Thursday when State Sen. Chuck Purgason, who is chairman of the Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee, tabled the senate version of the bill, nearly killing Missouri's chances of competing for Ford's remaining jobs and likely forcing the special session into two more weeks, it was clear that Jay Nixon, first as the state's attorney general and now as governor has been failing to show the leadership and ideological meaning behind being a Democrat that Republicans would fear in November.
The jobs were lost when healthcare costs of cars built in American plants like Claycomo became uncompetitive with those of Toyota and Honda. Even General Motors had made great strides in quality and efficiency that made their products competitive against all comers and could have survived if it were not for double digit increases in a monopolized hospital supply market.
While Attorney General of Missouri, Jay Nixon never came to my aid while I fought the hospital supply monopoly's clear-cut violations of our antitrust laws and the corruption of courts the monopolists depended on. Governor Jay Nixon welcomed a Moderate Republican state representative Chris Koster into the Missouri Democratic Party and a fresh Robert Kennedyesque Appearing Koster won the election for Attorney General, promising to prosecute the big corporations that looted Missouri's healthcare system. But AG Koster never followed through on stopping the Medicaid fraud cost over runs that caused the Missouri legislature to have to discontinue benefits to many of its poorest citizens and today Koster cowers in his office, Avoiding Campaign Finance Violations and being Exposed Allowing His Office To Be Used to further the hospital supply monopoly.
Maybe during this double overtime legislative playoff Jay Nixon can spend a few locker room moments with the young Democratic Missouri State Representative candidates out walking door to door this hot summer trying to take Republican seats and listen to them make their case to voters on why Democrats should be elected to Jefferson City.