On Friday, days after an historic veto session and in the midst of the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Kansas City, the the KC Star's Steve Kraske published an article with the headline "Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is campaigning more than leading."
That's what I would call a "shot across the bow."
Kraske's assertion rests on the fact that on Thursday Speaker Jones went on KMOX and confirmed the worst kept secrets of the past 10 months: his intention to run for Attorney General.
In the midst of criticizing Jones for being a "rock-ribbed conservative" and for threatening fellow GOP house members with demotions - two very mild criticisms in the grand scheme of things if you ask me - Kraske somehow finds a way to blast Jones for sticking to his guns (i.e. standing up for fiscal conservatism), confirming a non-secret, and for being a "sellout" by keeping "the rich guy (Rex Sinquefield) happy more than he did his own colleagues."
Aside from the fact that the article lacks much of a point, other than Kraske venting his frustration with Jones for being a Republican, Kraske's attempt to criticize Jones for trying to "tack as far to the right as you can" doesn't sound all that much like criticism. Seriously, if that's the worst thing you can come up with to criticize a politician on, you're either missing something or not criticizing the right person.
The article closes by severely downplaying the failures of Nixon's administration, and overplaying Jones' person ambition:
Yes, the speaker managed 10 overrides of Nixon bills, making the governor the most overridden chief executive in state history. But that was really about countering the loss of the tax bill with an alternative storyline.
Here’s another storyline for you: Jones bails on his own caucus.
Just another frustrated journalist taking it out on a high-profile Republican. Kudos to Speaker Tim Jones for sticking to his principles.
Of course, Jones will have a tough time in a crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Attorney General nomination, which looks like it will include State Senator Kurt Schaefer, and Missouri's first female Speaker of the House, Catherine Hanaway. But campaigning for another position while in office is nothing new, and definitely not a crime.
Take cover. 2016 is going to be fun.