The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon launches search for next state auditor


Here we go:

▪ “[We’re] going through a thorough but appropriately timed process here to make sure we get somebody that can do that job and do it well.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talking about finding a permanent replacement for former state Auditor Tom Schweich who died last month. (link via

Nixon’s former chief of staff, John Watson, is the interim. Possible appointees include state Treasurer Clint Zweifel; St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones; former state Rep. John Wright, D-Rocheport; former Office of Administration director Kelvin Simmons; and former Auditor Susan Montee.

▪ “Archaic.” — Missouri state Rep. Mike Kelley, a Lamar Republican, describing the practice of springing forward and falling back each year for daylight savings time.

Kelley is backing a constitutional amendment that would have voters decide whether the state should continue with daylight savings time. One big concern: If Missouri opted out, would its businesses be at a competitive disadvantage if they operated on a different time zone?

▪ “There’s going to be a discussion of it and a mandate for it.” — Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and a former presidential candidate, talking about the need for a simplified tax code Monday night at Kansas State University.

Forbes, who championed the flat tax during his two presidential runs in 1996 and 2000, said the time is fast approaching for his ideas. He noted that five Republican presidential candidates have indicated support for some type of flat tax. One problem Forbes has is Americans tune in to the idea of a simpler tax code around tax time each year, then forget about it.

▪ “We can think of no educational, constitutional or moral reason for this action.” — Mark Tallman of the Kansas Association of School Boards on a proposal to repeal the state’s school-finance formula and replace it with a block-grant system.

At a hearing this week, only three people spoke in favor of the idea. One was Mike O’Neal, the CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and a former House speaker. Repealing the complex formula is one of Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief goals for the year.