The Rs in the governor’s office got caught illegally deleting e-mails about state business. In classic Republican fashion, they went into distraction mode (Look over here! Look over here!), screeching about Nixon using his state car to travel to political events. First of all, how do you even decide what is and what isn’t a “political” event? We already went through that squabble in reference to Nixon’s Arrow Rock speech last Saturday. True, but sometimes you can draw clear distinctions, like fundraisers, for example. Yawn. Wake me when you’ve got a legitimate complaint, will ya? Political Eye has the best line about the relative importance of the e-mail scandal and Nixon’s travel arrangements:
It’s like your brother killed somebody and confessed to the murder, so you jump up and down screaming that somebody else pulled your sister’s pigtails – and didn’t even say he was sorry!
But you know those rat terriers in the GOP. They’ve got their teeth into this one. Here’s how important they claim it is: they’re likening Nixon’s crimes to those of Bill Webster, the Republican who preceded Jay as Attorney General–you know, the Bill Webster who got two years in prison for letting his campaign contributors rummage through the worker’s compensation fund, helping themselves. Republican spokeshole, John Hancock says that Nixon’s use of the car to attend fundraisers “is exactly analogous to what his predecessor went to prison for two years for.”
Then what about Peter Kinder, Republican Lt. Governor, who uses his car for state events but reimburses the state? Tim Hoover of the KC Star asked Hancock about that and the upshot of the conversation is beautiful, baby:
“I would say his problem is less clear” than Nixon’s, Hancock said.
So, would it be OK if Nixon just repaid the state for use of his vehicle?
“At this point, that would be like a bank robber returning the money after the crime,” Hancock said.
Well, how would that be that different than what Kinder has been doing?
That’s not the same, Hancock said, because Kinder “has a policy” of reimbursing the state.
So, a bank robber’s on safe ground as long as he “has a policy” of returning the money?
Hancock paused a moment.
“I’d have a lot less problem if Jay Nixon reimbursed the state,” he said.