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TheChat: Nixon defends deployment decisions in Ferguson

Good morning.

▪ “The fact that we made it through the entirety of that, and we’re here six days later talking about property damage is one heck of a lot better than six days later talking about how many people were shot, killed or critically injured.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon defending his decision not to deploy National Guard troops along Ferguson-area business corridors following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson.

In an interview with the Post-Dispatch, Nixon acknowledged that the amount of gunfire surprised officials. But he said officers working that first night showed great discipline.

▪ “They failed to arrive.” — Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones on the National Guard, which did not protect businesses in his town, which adjoins Ferguson.

Jones is criticizing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and demanding answers in the wake of destruction in his town, which hasn’t gotten near the attention that Ferguson has. House Speaker Tim Jones tweeted Saturday night that the mayor would get answers.

▪ “If you have a couple of million bucks you’d like to invest in a campaign, give me a buzz.” — former Missouri Gov. Roger Wilson joking about his availability for another political race. (link courtesy of johncombest.com).

Wilson, a Democrat, ran into some legal issues a couple of years ago, but remains a popular figure in his hometown of Columbia. A terrific golfer, Wilson now is involved in Habit for Humanity.

▪ “It was devastating. I think I was in shock.” — Kimberly Shinn-Brown, director of the Ozarks regional Head Start and Early Head Start programs on the news that state funding is drying up, which will lead to closed centers, staffing cuts and fewer children served.

Making matters worse, the loss of funding wasn’t known until late October. Officials are still searching for explanations.

▪  “To kick the press corps down into some grungy office in the basement at the last moment and without a complete explanation to the press corps is a significant change in the relationship the media had with the Missouri Senate.” — Phil Brooks, dean of the Missouri press corps, on the upcoming move of the Statehouse press corps from their long-time offices on the first floor to a basement office.

The move caught veteran reporters off-guard and amounts to a slap in the face from the GOP-led Senate. But those of us who toil in the field are well aware that the public probably won’t be too sympathetic.

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