The Buzz

TheChat: Eric Greitens chortles over Gov. Jay Nixon’s ethics stance


Let’s go Chiefs!

▪ “What a joke.” — Missouri GOP gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens commenting on Gov. Jay Nixon’s call for ethics reform in Jefferson City this year.

Greitens said Nixon is pushing for “watered down” reform now that it’s politically convenient. But Nixon has called for reform for years and has pushed for a cap on donation limits. Nixon, though, has not followed through on his pledge to take ethics reform directly to the voters if the General Assembly failed to act. Although Greitens pledged to clean up “the mess” that is the state Capitol, he did not list which reforms he backs.

▪ “I don’t even think we need a federal Department of Education.” — GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio in Iowa this week where’s his rhetoric has turned darker and more Ted Cruz-like.

These days, The Washington Post points out, Rubio is sounding nothing like an establishment candidate as he tries to grab a greater portion of the social conservative vote. Observers think he’s fine-tuning his speeches to more reflect the GOP’s current mood.

▪ It does feel like it’s now Cruz’s to lose.” — Matthew Strawn, former chair of the Iowa Republican Party, on Cruz’s prospects in Iowa.

It’s appearing increasingly likely that Cruz will walk away with a win in the nation’s first-in-the-nation presidential test. One big question: Will Donald Trump decide to go after Cruz before then? That prospect has some Cruz backers nervous.

▪ “There is no rule or law that can make our imperfect process perfect. We can, and we must, work to improve the culture here in the people’s Capitol.” — Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson in his opening address to the House this week.

Ethics reform is all the talk in the state Capitol right now. But the tale of the tape will be what passes and gets sent to Nixon. House leaders are promising VERY fast action and predict House passage of ethics bills by the end of next week. That would be blinding speed for the General Assembly.