The Buzz

July 31, 2014

Quotations from Chairman Nixon: On taxes, the death penalty, and a possible presidential campaign

The Missouri governor takes questions from reporters and opinion writers at The Kansas City Star.

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon met with The Star’s Editorial Board for more than an hour Thursday. Here are some of the things he said:

On the chances for the transportation sales tax Aug. 5: “When I’m in West Plains, people are saying ‘man, we need to have that streetcar in Kansas City. I’m glad my sales tax increase is going to go for that.’” Q: Really? That’s interesting. Nixon: “It’s also not true. I thought you’d pick that up. …

“We need to get a long-term solution on transportation, I understand and agree with that. … I just don’t think that shifting away from some sort of user fee is the way to do that.”

On the tax cut debate in the legislature: “I don’t think they’ve been, how should we say — overly consistent. … I do not think the problems of Missouri are going to be solved by getting into a tax cut competition, especially ones that aren’t especially well thought out.”

On criticism that he doesn’t communicate with lawmakers: “If you’re the guv, then people are going to say stuff about you. They’re going to disagree with you. …I’ve not engaged. When they say inconsistent or silly things or they don’t use good logic when they’re being critical, I don’t spend that much time thinking about it.”

On Missouri’s death penalty protocols, and the problems in Arizona: “Certainly when we see things happen in other states in which the outcomes are not crisp, that causes us to spend a lot of time — not me, but I mean our team — making sure that that doesn’t happen in Missouri. …

“A lot of the people that look at this are using … this sort of stuff to carry on (a campaign against the death penalty).”

On a possible presidential campaign in 2016: “I think Secretary Clinton is going to be a great candidate. I think she’s in a zone of making a decision to run. I think she can carry Missouri. …

“If she doesn’t (run), then it a lot of folks start looking at it.”

Q: Including you? Nixon: “I’m not spending a lot of time doing that today, in that vein. But it’s nice that people mention your name.”

He also discussed efforts to improve mental health treatment in Missouri.

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