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Missouri politics, where everyone is your friend and everything is all sweetness and light.

Governor Jay Nixon (D), in Warrensburg on the campus of the University of Central Missouri – July 11, 2013.

Yesterday morning in Warrensburg, on the campus of the University of Central Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed SB 381 into law. The bill “officially defines in state statute an Innovation Campus as an educational partnership comprised of one or more Missouri public community colleges…one or more Missouri public or private four-year institution of higher education, one or more Missouri high schools or K-12 school districts, and at least one Missouri-based business.” In the scheme of things everyone involved in supporting the bill is patting themselves on the back that this is a good thing for education in the state. The amount of good varies with who you ask.

Governor Nixon (D) signing SB 381 into law – July 11, 2013.

These kinds of public self-congratulatory exercises are a magnet for state legislators in or near the districts where the bill signing takes place. The bill handlers from the Senate and the House tend to show up, too. Senator Will Kraus (r) and Representative Gary Cross (r) were in attendance and took the opportunity to heap praise. Senator David Pearce (r) and Representatives Denny Hoskins (r) and Dean Dohrman (r), who represent the districts most closely connected to the University of Central Missouri, were also in attendance. They, too, praised the bill and the institution.

An excerpt from Representative Dean Dohrman’s (r) brief remarks:

Ah, political science. That’s really interesting, considering that whole nullification thing was settled one hundred fifty years ago.

Representative Gary Cross (r) – July 11, 2013.

Representatives Dean Dohrman (r) (left) and Denny Hoskins (r) (right) – July 11, 2013.

Here’s the all too familiar Kabuki element in Missouri politics: on one hand they’ll show up for the photo op and glory in the credit for one bill which supports an institution in their district, all the while, voting for a more far reaching bill which seriously screws that same institution. They can get away with it because most of their constituents usually aren’t paying attention when the screwing actually happens. And that occurred with HB 253.  

What would HB 253 do to the University of Central Missouri, along with a whole bunch of other institutions and essential programs across the state?:

New Missouri Rule: if the governor governs right of center you can’t call him a “liberal” (July 1, 2013)


Governor Jay Nixon (D): With a price tag of at least eight hundred million dollars annually House Bill 253 would undermine our fiscal foundation now and for years to come. It’s the equivalent of cutting all support for higher education, all of it, closing all of our prisons, or shutting down the entire Department of mental Health. House Bill 253 is a dangerous experiment we simply cannot afford. These costs are real and immediate if my veto is not sustained.


“…These costs are real and immediate if my veto is not sustained…”

And how did those Representatives vote? The vote on HB 253, from the Journal of the House (2339) [pdf]:


On motion of Representative Berry, SS HB 253, as amended, was truly agreed to and finally

passed by the following vote:

AYES: 103

Allen Anderson Austin Bahr Barnes

Bernskoetter Berry Brattin Brown Burlison

Cierpiot Conway 104 Cookson Cornejo Cox

Crawford Cross Curtman Davis Diehl

Dohrman Dugger Elmer Engler Fitzpatrick

Fitzwater Flanigan Fraker Franklin Frederick

Gatschenberger Guernsey Haahr Haefner Hansen

Hicks Higdon Hinson Hodges Hoskins

Hough Houghton Hurst Johnson Jones 50

Justus Keeney Kelley 127 Koenig Kolkmeyer

Korman Lair Lant Lauer Leara

Love Lynch Marshall McCaherty McGaugh

Messenger Miller Molendorp Moon Morris

Muntzel Neely Neth Parkinson Pfautsch

Pike Pogue Redmon Rehder Reiboldt

Remole Rhoads Richardson Riddle Roorda

Ross Rowden Rowland Scharnhorst Schatz

Schieber Schieffer Shull Shumake Solon

Sommer Spencer Stream Swan Thomson

Torpey Walker White Wieland Wilson

Wood Zerr Mr Speaker

NOES: 051

Anders Black Burns Butler Carpenter

Colona Conway 10 Curtis Dunn Ellinger

Ellington English Englund Fowler Frame

Gannon Gardner Hampton Harris Hubbard

Hummel Kirkton Kratky LaFaver May

Mayfield McCann Beatty McDonald McKenna McManus

McNeil Meredith Mims Montecillo Morgan

Newman Nichols Norr Otto Pace

Peters Pierson Rizzo Runions Schupp

Smith 85 Swearingen Walton Gray Webb Webber




Entlicher Funderburk Gosen Grisamore Kelly 45

Lichtenegger Mitten Phillips Smith 120

Representative Frederick declared the bill passed.[….]

[emphasis added]

Senator Will Kraus (r) – July 11, 2013.

And the vote [pdf], from the Journal of the Senate (1512):


Senator Schmitt moved that SS for HB 253, as amended, be called from the Informal Calendar and taken up for 3rd reading and final passage, which motion prevailed.

SS for HB 253, as amended, was read the 3rd time and passed by the following vote:


Brown Cunningham Dempsey Dixon Emery Kehoe Kraus Lager

Lamping Libla McKenna Munzlinger Nieves Parson Richard Romine

Rupp Sater Schaaf Schaefer Schmitt Silvey Wallingford Wasson-24


Chappelle-Nadal Curls Justus Keaveny LeVota Nasheed Pearce Sifton Walsh-9


Absent with leave-Senator Holsman-1


The President declared the bill passed.

[emphasis added]

Do you think they won’t vote to overturn the governor’s veto? Somebody’s spending big bucks to make sure they do overturn it.

They’re republicans, the outlook isn’t good for the rest of us.