GOP state legislators oppose curator appointment

Feb 1, 2012

Columbia attorney Craig Van Matre faces obstacles of time and partisan politics in his bid for a permanent seat on the UM System Board of Curators.

Craig Van Matre’s time is running out as a UM curator. He’s held the position since Governor Jay Nixon appointed him last June, but Missouri’s constitution requires a vote on his confirmation by Thursday. Some aren’t keen on making Van Matre a permanent board member.

One of the cornerstones of the opposition is Van Matre’s Columbia Daily Tribune editorials and other writings that disapproved of Republicans’ attempts to overhaul judicial selections. Van Matre said he knows the challenge that awaits him on the Missouri Senate floor.

“There are some people that are lined up to filibuster in the Senate, which will prevent that from happening,” Van Matre said.

State Senator Kevin Engler (R - Farmington) said Tuesday he still plans to filibuster when the vote comes to the floor. “Nothing has changed,” he says. Van Matre says he’s noticed an ever-growing gap between Democrats and Republicans in the past two years.

The vote on Van Matre’s confirmation must happen before legislators adjourn on Thursday.