The Record Blog

Monday, January 28, 2013

The State of Missouri Democrats

[ Patrick Tuohey ]

As Gov. Jay Nixon delivers the State of the State speech tonight, it is worth considering the state of his Democratic Party. The Democrat's terrible, horrible, no good very bad week is a good place to start.

Starting with the governor himself, Nixon bought a new airplane. Republicans were upset at the expenditure, naturally, but even newspapers and some Democrats voiced their displeasure. Democratic Representative Chris Kelly chimed in, saying, "Does the governor abuse the airplane situation? Clearly, yes."

One of Kelly's Democratic colleagues, Rep. Penny Hubbard, was stripped of all her committee assignments by House Minority Leader Jake Hummel because she didn't tow the Party line on a vote. She has since been named to lead some committees by Speaker Jones, a Republican. According to the Post-Dispatch:

Hummel said Jones decision to set up new committees makes a “mockery of the House rules” because the minority leader is supposed to be able to select Democrats for committees. Meanwhile, the issue can be seen as a win-win for Jones, who got the Democratic vote he needed from Hubbard and managed to protect her from caucus retaliation.

And in the race to replace US Rep Jo Anne Emerson, Democrats have decided to eschew a transparent and public campaign by choosing their candidate at a private forum.

It's been said that university politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. This may be true of internal Democratic politics in Missouri where their power is ever shrinking. Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both houses of the General Assembly (holding 24 of 32 Senate seats) and the 8th District is surely to go for the Republican candidate, whoever it is.

Stories of lavish spending, palace intrigue and closed door meetings suggests that Democrats have given up on growing the party and are instead just interested in preserving their own (dwindling) power.

1/28/2013 8:31:12 AM

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