The Buzz

September 10, 2013

NYT story throws last-minute wrinkle into tax cut override politics

Jay Nixon’s appearance on the front page of the New York Times could raise the stakes for Missouri Republicans pondering a major tax cut bill Wednesday.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

The New York Times — on its front page — takes note of Gov. Jay Nixon’s border-to-border campaign against HB 253

, which may go before the General Assembly tomorrow.

Will the 11th hour story have an impact on the override debate?

Nixon’s summer campaign against the tax cut measure has been successful, in part, on the

merits

— that is, he’s at least argued to a stalemate with tax cut supporters over the actual wisdom of the bill. As has been the case for much of his time in office, Nixon has been able to avoid framing the dispute as a Republican-vs.-Democrat political issue.

But a front-page NYT story can send a message, which is this: Here’s a Democrat who’s figured out a way to win in a red state. It’s the kind of story Democrats in other parts of the nation might take into consideration as the 2016 presidential contest approaches.

A Nixon victory on the tax cut bill, in short, may help make him more of a national figure in his party.

Missouri Republicans will be upset if they lose the override vote. But national Republicans will be

quite

upset if a Nixon tax cut victory elevates him in the 2016 discussion.

So the NYT story, on the eve of the override, could raise the stakes for the GOP. That, in turn, could increase pressure on recalcitrant Missouri Republican legislators to deny Nixon what could now be seen as a national victory.

The House GOP probably lacks the votes for an override (and

Speaker Tim Jones’ problems won’t help), but if you asked Nixon privately he might tell you it would have been better for the NYT story to run the day after

the veto session, not the day before.

We’ll see.

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