Sen. Peter Kinder knows how to save a buck. He also knows how to make a headline. He aimed for both this week when he urged Gov. Bob Holden to delay plans for a $1 million renovation to the bathrooms in the Capitol. And of course, given the economic struggle we face in Missouri, Kinder is right. He's right from a financial standpoint but more importantly, he's right from a public relations standpoint. That's a point sorely missed by the current Governor.
Jefferson City is the political heartbeat of Missouri. Battles are fought there daily that never make headlines. But they set the tone and the approach to state government. Kinder was just making a point this week when he questioned the statement by Gov. Bob Holden that all available cuts have been made in the state budget. Holden wants to raise more revenue to offset the budget crisis while Kinder and the Republicans want to examine more cuts in state spending. What better way to illustrate this difference than the question of bathroom renovation?
The games played in Jefferson City all have a purpose. And they are played on both sides of the aisle. Some of these daily battle of words are to influence public opinion - others to sway politicians in one direction or another.
The bathroom battle will not go down as the major legislative concern this session. Yet it's the latest example of the small in-fighting that goes on there daily in a fight that defines both political parties.
I get tickled when over-the-hill Democrats try to paint Republicans as long on promise but short on ideas. Yet those same wannabes are strangely silent when suggestions are made for cuts and then ignored by the Governor.
The bathroom issue will flush itself out in the end. But the larger battle over philosophical differences on government will remain long after this brouhaha is forgotten.