The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Thursday: Breyer rips his court colleagues on campaign-finance ruling

04/03/2014 7:36 AM

04/03/2014 4:14 PM

Happy Thursday to you — and you and you and you:

• “Taken together with

Citizens United...

today’s decision eviscerates our nation’s campaign-finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinion on the court’s campaign-finance ruling Wednesday.

Breyer, who was joined by the three women justices, wrote a scathing dissent in which he said — point-blank — that the legal analysis of the majority was faulty. The justice is probably right when it comes to the impact the ruling will have on existing campaign laws. The ruling once again opens wide the money faucet in politics and leaves the existing set of laws on extremely shaky ground. Money in American politics still rules!

• “In my opinion, we are not doing ‘Medicaid expansion.’ I call it an alternative to solve the problems created by the ACA.” — Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican.

Silvey, a former House Budget Committee chair who understands state finances, wants to use the federal dollars that would flow to the state under Medicaid expansion to provide coverage for poor adults. The senator contends Missouri can set aside some of the money to cover costs in future years when federal funding drops. The feds would have to approve such an arrangement. The chances of Silvey’s idea passing the General Assembly this year remain small. But the fact that a budget hawk is out front on the issue should give the cause a boost.

• “A joke.” — former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on the budget plan trotted out by her “successor” veep nominee, Paul Ryan.

Palin said the Ryan budget, which he introduced this week, doesn’t do enough to rein in wasteful spending. Instead, she said, it delays hard choices for later. “This is the definition of insanity,” she wrote. Ryan dismissed the jab, pointing out that his proposal cuts more than any of his previous budget plans and that Palin has backed his budgets previously.

• “Since January 1st, Missouri taxpayers have spent more than $500 million and counting to provide health care in other states. And where our tax dollars have gone, jobs have followed.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talking about the need to expand Medicaid in the state during a visit Wednesday to a West Plains medical center.

Nixon’s push on Medicaid expansion hasn’t been as aggressive as last year, perhaps because the General Assembly hasn’t shown much inclination to go along with expansion. The governor is using the same technique as almost every politician in America these days by linking policy to increased jobs. In fact, Nixon cited a Missouri Chamber of Commerce report that showed that the failure to expand Medicaid already has cost the state 3,000 jobs in the last six months.

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