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I read this on a Chad Livengood’s (Springfield News-Leader) Twitter post and thought, “Huh?”:

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says there’s “rumors” that @JayNixon is forcing universities into Caring for Missourians, though he has no proof. about 15 hours ago from web

Surely, he really didn’t say that?:

Kinder says universities pressued [sic]

Nixon’s office denies MSU, others forced into health pledges.

Chad Livengood • News-Leader • June 9, 2009

…But Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder asserted Monday that Nixon pressured university leaders into signing the identical form letters, which MSU officials denied was the case.

Kinder, a Republican, admitted his information was based on “rumors” and “third hand reports.”

“I have no proof of that or firsthand knowledge,” Kinder said. “What I’m seeking is to heighten the profile of this issue and discussion, so that we can have an honest discussion with all the cards on the table…”

Yes, apparently he did say that. Honest discussion? Yeah, right.

As if, given their budgets, any higher education institution in the State of Missouri will turn down money whatever strings are attached?:

Chris Koster in Independence, MO [March 25, 2008]

…We are in a budget situation in the state of Missouri that, I’m just going on so long, I really apologize, but I’m gonna make one more point…In 2001 general revenue to higher education in the state of Missouri was nine hundred and sixty million dollars. 2001. In 2008. We’re now in the 2008 budget cycle, general revenue to higher education in the state of Missouri is nine hundred and thirty six million dollars. A reduction of twenty four million dollars despite the fact that we’ve gone forward by seven years. We fell back in nominal terms, nominal dollar terms by twenty four million dollars. In real dollar terms, which mean you put, you pump a higher ed inflator through there which is about, I dunno, say eight percent, um, we are seven hundred and twenty five million dollars behind where we were in 2001 in higher education.

The reality is, I mean, we can pretend it’s otherwise, but Missouri is the 46th lowest taxing state in the country. We are never going to catch up to the high water mark that Bob Holden hit in 2001. It’s just never gonna happen. We can try. And we should try. But it’s never gonna happen. I mean, it’s, once you fall behind by a billion dollars in a twenty billion dollar budget, we can all pretend it can happen, but it can’t happen.

Let me give you one other statistic. Because this is so fascinating, hardly anybody really recognizes this about the state budget. We take in two hundred seventy million dollars more each year then we did the last year. So, know you start to understand the consequences of falling a billion dollars behind. We only take in two hundred seventy million dollars more this year then we did last year. Of that two hundred and seventy million dollars, two hundred and forty million is immediately taken up by mandates. That means inflation in pharmaceuticals, inflation in Medicaid, the heating costs that it keeps, that it takes to warm the Capitol during the winter. Two hundred and forty of the two hundred and seventy is immediately gone. That means in any given year we’ve got about thirty million dollars in discretionary money to change the course of history with. Now you understand the consequences of falling a billion dollars behind in just the higher education budget, much less the k-12 budget. When you’ve only got thirty million dollars how can we ever catch up in higher education? Of the thirty million dollars we only, this year in tax credits to wealthy corporations we will give away something like sixty million dollars. So every single penny that did not go to inflation went to big business. Every single penny of it…

[emphasis added]

We covered the Caring for Missouri[ans] press conference with Governor Jay Nixon at the University of Missouri-Kansas City:

Governor Jay Nixon (D): “Caring for Missourians” at the School of Nursing, UMKC

Governor Jay Nixon (D): “Caring for Missourians” press conference in Kansas City – May 28, 2009

The folks at the university were quite happy to get those resources.

As for those commitment letters from the universities to the Governor promising that the funds would be used as intended? Peter Kinder has a problem with that?