You know an editorial is going to be worth the read when it describes State Auditor Tom Schweich’s lawsuit against Governor Jay Nixon as “a typical attempt at blatant partisanship wrapped up in legal arguments weaker than a first-year law student's paper written after an all-night bender.”
The Post-Dispatch didn’t pull any punches in its assessment of Tom Schweich’s lawsuit against Jay Nixon. Schweich is arguing that the budget withholds, intended to aid Joplin’s tornado recovery, are damaging to his office’s own budget.
The editorial also notes that Schweich was the only statewide elected official to get increased funding for his office – a $300,000 increase to be specific.
State funding for disaster recovery has become much more important because of Republicans like Eric Cantor with stubborn stances on federal funds for recovery and the fact that FEMA is now really spread thin. This move by Schweich risks putting Joplin’s recovery efforts in the unstable hands of the United States Congress.
As we are seeing in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene's destructive path along the Eastern seaboard, that's not a bet worth taking. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is withholding some money for Joplin recovery because its resources are running out. Now the good people of Joplin might have to wait for Congress to act.
All of this makes for an incredibly dubious political maneuver. Does the ambitious Tom Schweich really want to be known as the guy who put up roadblocks for Missourians suffering after one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Missouri? Well, maybe so. The end of the editorial suggests that Schweich might run for Governor sooner than expected.
Missourians should be grateful that our constitution and our Legislature gave the governor the flexibility to respond to disasters. That same constitution gave Mr. Schweich a legitimate avenue to protest Mr. Nixon's decisions: He could run for governor.
Good luck getting votes in Joplin.