The Buzz

TheChat: Mike Parson again laments Missouri’s political culture

Good morning.

▪ “We’re absolutely doing things to destroy people now. That’s not who we are.” — Missouri state Sen. Mike Parson decrying negative campaigning in Missouri in the wake of former state Auditor Tom Schweich’s death.

Parson, a Republican and a potential candidate for governor, offers an old-fashioned idea: Run for public office based on who you are as a person and not on a campaign based on innuendo and half-truths. (link via

▪ “Not in compliance with cost recovery requirements.” — a Missouri audit that examined the state Medicaid program’s efforts to recover funds from the estates of deceased patients.

That audit calculated that the state could have picked up as much as $27 million from these estates, but didn’t act quickly enough. The Department of Social Services questioned the $27 million figure.

▪ “They have to show the public that there is no connection between an investigation, or not doing an investigation, and a corresponding contribution.” — deputy Missouri state Auditor Harry Otto pointing out that the office of Attorney General Chris Koster had not yet adopted a proposed conflict of interest policy.

Koster’s office strongly disagreed with Otto’s finding, saying the policy had been implemented. A New York Times article last year criticized Koster for responding to pressure from lobbyists and corporations on how investigations were carried out. Koster, the Democratic frontrunner for governor, disputed that report.

▪ “George will be as helpful as he can possibly be and will do everything he can. But he also doesn’t want to be a distraction. So they’ll talk about it and see what makes sense.” — Jim Francis, a longtime George W. Bush confidante, on how Jeb Bush is navigating his relationship with his brother, the 43rd president, as he begins his own campaign for the 2016 GOP nomination.

Jeb Bush knows his ties to his brother carry a considerable downside. So he’s taking advantage of any upside potential. That will be obvious on Wednesday when Jeb Bush flies to Dallas for his first fundraiser of the year with the former president.