This week's Monday focus for the Associated Press takes a look at the strained relationship between Gov. Jay Nixon and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
AP scribe David Lieb writes that Kinder didn't even know that the governor was in Texas during this month's fake hostage crisis at the Governor Office Building. He also wrote that Kinder has been relieved of many duties that he performed during Gov. Matt Blunt's term in office.
In a sense, the friction between the two statewide officials is part of a historical trend. I wrote an article for Missouri Lawyers Weekly earlier this year about the past squabbles between governors and lieutenant governors of different political parties.
One notable moment recounted by Western Illinois University political science professor Rick Hardy involved then-Gov. Joe Teasdale and then-Lt. Gov. Bill Phelps. The two men had an acrimonious relationship, even fighting over office supplies and furniture. By contrast, then-Gov. Kit Bond and then-Lt. Gov. Kenneth Rothman had a more cordial relationship, with the Republican chief executive turning over power to the Democratic statewide official multiple times.
Of course, pairing the offices doesn't always equate to a lack of turbulence. Then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn - who were twice elected in Illinois in a ticket - despised each other. Quinn remarked before he assumed the governorship that the two officials rarely talked.