February 7, 2016

Proposition E passes and what it could mean for Missouri (AUDIO)

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay now that President Obama is re-elected, and while health exchanges are key components required for each state under the law, what are the implications for Missouri now that Proposition E has passed?

The federal law has given all states the choice to set up their own health exchange or have the federal government set up the exchange. However, the deadline for the state to submit a health insurance proposal under Proposition E is Friday. Because Missouri didn’t pass the right legislation and the state stopped working on it, they won’t be able to meet the deadline.

The deadline has now been extended to mid-December. Governor Nixon’s blueprint for the state exchange will be a federal one, at least for the first year.

Missouri Foundation for Health policy analyst Thomas McAuliffe says December 13th is prior to the meeting of the state legislature and the state legislature does not convene until January. “So I believe that Governor Nixon’s administration is going to tell the federal government that we cannot set up an exchange and we want it to be fully federal based,” he says.

McAuliffe says every year the state will have an opportunity to take over the exchange from the federal government, but the state has to show the federal government what they have done to make it possible for them to run it on their own.

“The state has thought about and even done some strategic planning for what a state-based exchange might look like, and the federal government doesn’t want to run 50 state-based exchanges,” he says.


AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (:59)

Missouri House leader assesses the 2012 general election, Akin effect

The election last week left the leaders of the House and the Senate effectively the most powerful Republicans in the state. Their party lost all the statewide races except the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, but gained enough seats in the House that in both chambers the GOP could overturn a governor’s veto without a single Democrat vote.

House Speaker TIm Jones (R-Eureka)

House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) considers what his party must do it if wants to succeed in future elections. He says first, it must look closely at where it did and didn’t fare well in the 2012 cycle.

“I don’t think either party can say they’ve got control everywhere or their agenda is everywhere. The nation is truly a 50/50 nation and whoever has the best message on the margins is where they pick up. That being said, Republicans need to look at the places where they’ve had success and they need to incorporate that into a national message.”

Jones says when one looks at the election on a county-by-county basis, much of the nation broke down as it did in Missouri.

“There’s a supermajority swath of Republican voters throughout the middle … and most of the state, actually … and then you have in the inner urban core is where your blue areas are, and it’s very similar to the country as a whole.”

He points out, more races at the state government level went to the GOP.

“Republicans … have a majority of the governorships … in addition, more state legislatures than ever before are Republican. So it’s interesting to note that in the elections that are closest to the people: the legislatures, the governors, Republicans have the edge.”

Jones says the impact of Todd Akin on the Missouri electorate in the recently completed election cycle can not be understated. 

“We saw it in our polling … Missouri went overwhelmingly for Governor Romney, but then you saw a 10 point positive … over a 10 point positive for Governor Romney and then in many areas you saw a 10 point or more negative for Todd Akin. That is a 20 point plus swing. That is dramatic. You can not honestly look at that and say, ‘Oh, that’s just an accident,’ or ‘Oh, that doesn’t mean anything.’ It meant a great deal.”

He says of Akin’s comments that a woman’s body can shut down a pregnancy when she is raped, “If the comments hadn’t been made, if that had not been the focus of the election … which it really was, from beginning to end. You just kept hearing those comments being replayed both in campaign literature, driven heavily by the media … I think we would have had a very different election night here in Missouri. I think there would have been longer coattails and more of (the GOP’s) statewide contenders would have been successful.”


Campaign Watch: What now? Where to? (AUDIO)

This is the final edition of Campaign Watch for the 2012 election cycle.  News Director Bob Priddy asks our commentators, Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon (stlbeacon.org) and Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star (kcstar.com)  to look at the red and blue spots on the Missouri maps and tell us what those colors tell us about Missouri’s political leanings.  We also ask them to read their tea leaves and project where we’ll be in November 2016. 

We have archived all of our discussions since beginning them in July as part the historical record of this campaign year.  Check the Campaign Watch archives for our discussions of the ebbs and flows of  the campaigns in Missouri.

AUDIO: Campaign Watch 24:00

Gov. Nixon’s campaign manager talks focal points of the next four years (AUDIO)

  Missouri reelects Governor Nixon to four more years in office and his campaign manager says the state will be seeing a commitment to working together and tackling challenges facing the state.

Since defeating opponent Dave Spence for a second term Tuesday night, Governor Nixon and his campaign staff are now looking towards the next four years that he remains in office.

Nixon’s campaign manager Oren Shurr says the Governor’s focus is on job creation and finding ways to make government more efficient to save the taxpayers money. “He’s looking to make it easier for businesses to grow and expand; both big and small businesses. But the economy is still number one on everybody’s mind and I know it’s number one on the Governor’s and that will be his focus on day one,” he says.

Shurr says he is confident reelecting Governor Nixon for a second term is not only Nixon’s win; it is also a win for the people of Missouri. “They just reelected a governor who is committed to doing politics differently, to working across the aisle, bringing Democrats and Republicans together to balance the budget, get this economy moving, job creation and really to do things differently,” he says.

 Shurr thinks voters and Missourians are tired of the partisanship they see in Washington and they’re happy that the state does things differently and that’s what they will get with Governor Nixon. Shurr says it’s all about getting the state to move forward. “It’s all about getting Missourians back to work, to get the state’s continued fiscal responsibility that the state’s been running under, and to make college more affordable for families,” he says.

Shurr says under Governor Nixon, Missouri is moving in the right direction when it comes to the continuing decline in the unemployment rate throughout the state. “The unemployment rate is at a four year low.

It’s been under the national average now for over three years running so clearly we’re moving in the right direction under Governor Nixon’s plans of recruiting big businesses to the state, getting big corporations like Ford and GM to expand and create jobs and then also working with small businesses. In the last three years Missouri has gone from 49th in the nation in small business growth to 6th in the nation for small business growth,” he says.

Shurr says Nixon plans on to comtinue to find ways to grow on the state’s economic strengths by working with small businesses and creating new jobs for Missourians.


AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:04)

Gov. Nixon wins reelection, Spence hopes leadership improves in the state (AUDIO)

It’s a two time win for Governor Nixon as he’s been elected to serve another term in Missouri, defeating his opponent Dave Spence.

 This makes Nixon the first two-term governor in the state since Mel Carnahan. Nixon’s message to supporters? He says “We must keep going.” Nixon says that all parties must come together and work collectively. In his victory speech last night he says, “I believe in a different kind of politics. One that focuses on the values we share as Missourians.”

During his concession speech last night, Spence says he hopes that leadership in the state will take charge in the next four years. “I still believe that it’s foul that we’re still 50th in job creation and 55,000 kids in unaccredited schools and 16 percent of our population living in poverty. I think it’s wrong and I’m hoping that leadership in this state thinks it’s wrong as well,” he says.

Listen to both Governor Nixon’s victory speech and Dave Spence’s concession speech here.

AUDIO: Nixon Victory Speech (7:55)

AUDIO: Spence Concession Speech (4:06)