A $50,000 contribution to Nixon with curious timing raises questions

For the first time since 1985, Democrat Jay Nixon – Missouri’s term-limited governor who previously served 16 years as the state’s attorney general after serving six years in the state senate – is not seeking reelection.

Despite the fact that the 59-year-old has essentially ruled out a run for statewide office next year, his campaign committee, named ‘A Better Missouri With Jay Nixon,’ is still active – as proven by his acceptance of a $50,000 check from the United Auto Workers last week, just days after he stood in their Kansas City hall to veto ‘right-to-work,’ a bill that aimed to weaken the union’s strength.

When asked about any conflict-of-interest policy on the books in the governor’s official office, two spokespeople for Nixon’s official office, nor for his campaign, responded to requests for comment.

Nixon has never been one to share from his campaign war-chest, which, in addition to no future political plans, is part of why the UAW’s contribution raised so many eyebrows.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican who supports “right-to-work,” on Tuesday called on Nixon to return the UAW’s contribution.

“It smells of more ‘pay to play’ politics by this administration,” Kinder said in a statement. “The governor likes to give lip service to putting limits on campaign spending while he rakes in millions of dollar from lawyers, lobbyists and labor. He needs to return the money, and lawmakers need to override his veto in September.”

After receiving a $10,000 contribution from a Kansas City law firm in April, Nixon reported more than $212,000 in his account – a relatively small figure among his statewide peers, many of whom boast totals four times that size.

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