Tim Skubick: John Nixon leaves his mark on Michigan - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Tim Skubick: John Nixon leaves his mark on Michigan

Posted: Updated:
  • Tim SkubickMore>>

  • Why the independent voters may decide the new governor

    Why the independent voters may decide the new governor

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-08-28 17:02:09 GMT
    The I's have it. Here we go with the popular wisdom schtick again. It says that independent voters hold the key to the outcome in the race for governor.
    The I's have it. Here we go with the popular wisdom schtick again. It says that independent voters hold the key to the outcome in the race for governor.
  • Back to school battle brewing in Lansing

    Back to school battle brewing in Lansing

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:47:57 GMT
    About 75% of the school children across the country are already in school but not in Michigan, where the tourism industry has convinced lawmakers to delay the opening of school until after Labor Day.
    About 75% of the school children across the country are already in school but not in Michigan, where the tourism industry has convinced lawmakers to delay the opening of school until after Labor Day.
  • House speaker candidates: Quit counting your chicks before they hatch

    House speaker candidates: Quit counting your chicks before they hatch

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:07:20 GMT
    There is a frantic game of "my list is bigger than your list" going on in this town as the two main combatants to become the next speaker of the Michigan House are trying to one-up each other.
    There is a frantic game of "my list is bigger than your list" going on in this town as the two main combatants to become the next speaker of the Michigan House are trying to one-up each other.
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

You knew from the get-go this guy would be a hoot to cover.

Over the years Michigan governor's have been blessed with a host of well-qualified budget directors.  Gov. Bill Milliken had his Jerry Miller.  Gov. John Engler had Doug Roberts. Gov.Jennifer Granholm had Bobby Emerson and Governor Rick Snyder had, about to be past tense, Big John Nixon.

Mr. Nixon was recruited from Utah and was in on the ground floor of the Snyder-reinvention agenda which included getting the ship of state out of choppy deficit waters and on a more even keel.  Even Democrats have to concede the ship is not as tipsy as it was four years ago.

But Mr. Nixon is leaving.

He'll return to his beloved Utah with the university as it's main money man and from there who knows.  University president? Candidate for Governor. Or national budget director if some GOP candidate can finally get to the White House.

Mr. Nixon's first day on the job was noteworthy for its humor.

If you cover this state government stuff, it's mandatory you have some sort of a working relationship with the chief bean counter. And Mr. Nixon was a totally unknown quanity being from a state so far from Michigan that it was almost another country.

Gov. Snyder's communications director ushered a certain reporter into one of the back rooms in the governor's executive sutie.

There stood this mountain of a man, sans hair, looking like he should have a football tackles number on his jersey with a broad smile.

The reporter reached out, "Welcome to Michigan.  You should know that everything they have told you about me, is not true."

The gamer Mr. Nixon shoot back, "Well then it must not be true that you are the best political reporter in the state."

The two were going to get along just fine and a four year journey begin.

There were bumps.  He took a hit for his jefty $250,000 salary running not one but two state departments and earning more than the governor.

The first budget was filled with controversial stuff as the reinvention agenda took shape.

The governor and budget guy were both CPA's which meant the state budget was on their nightstand at home instead of some juicy political novel.  The relationship worked for them but now it's over. You have to assume the governor made a pitch to keep his transplant planted here but the lure of going back home to Utah was too much of a siren song as the money package, the chance to be around his parents, and a shot at a "normal" life was just too much.

So off he goes having left a mark he can be proud of and looking forward to what might be down the road.

God's speed Nix.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • PoliticalMore>>

  • US military targets extremists in Somalia

    US military targets extremists in Somalia

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:53 AM EDT2014-09-02 06:53:31 GMT
    The Pentagon says U.S. military forces have targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabaab network in an operation in Somalia.
    U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation Monday in Somalia, the Pentagon said.
  • Syrian rebels, government clash in Golan Heights

    Syrian rebels, government clash in Golan Heights

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:01:05 GMT
    Activists say Syrian rebels are clashing with government troops in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week.
    Syrian rebels clashed with government troops on Monday in the Golan Heights, where al-Qaida-linked insurgents abducted U.N. peacekeepers last week, activists said.
  • Obama: 'Revving' economy calls for higher wages

    Obama: 'Revving' economy calls for higher wages

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:03:45 GMT
    President Barack Obama is sounding more bullish these days about the nation's recovery from the Great Recession. And the White House is encouraging Democrats to show similar optimism as they head into the...
    President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for...
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices