Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

Helling Profiles Milton Wolfe in Politico
March 31, 2014

Politico:
OVERLAND PARK –In a small office in this Kansas City suburb, Milton Wolf–doctor, columnist, distant cousin of Barack Obama–tells two dozen supporters he would make a better U.S. senator than the incumbent, Pat Roberts.

“He’s our senator, and he deserves our respect,” he says, to polite applause. “I hope that we can convince the senator that this should be a campaign about issues, instead of about personal destruction.”

Then: “I’d ask you to stand up for our Constitution. And I would ask you to stand up for the American idea itself, that American idea of individual liberty, of limited government and free market values.

“If you’ll stand for those things, we’ll be standing together, and we’ll be fighting, and we will win.”

Heads nod all around. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Milton, what with those strange Facebook posts, but maybe his Tea Party crusade is getting back on track. Maybe the lamestream media is moving on. Maybe the government can still be saved.

Or, maybe not. It’s possible Kansas is too conservative for Milton Wolf. Too conservative, in fact, for the Tea Party.

***

Kansas seemed primed for a Tea Party insurgency six months ago, when Wolf, who turns 43 on April 8, announced a primary challenge to Roberts, a fixture of the state’s Republican politics since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural.

By almost any measure, the state was, and is, deeply red, perhaps the most conservative place in America. Every statewide elected official is a Republican, led by Gov. Sam Brownback, a tax-slashing social conservative and one-time presidential candidate. Secretary of State Kris Kobach is nationally known for his work to restrict immigration and voter registration. Koch Industries is headquartered in Wichita. All four of the state’s House members regularly top the lists of the most conservative Republicans in Congress. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, of the sprawling 1st District, fought with his House leadership over spending and the debt limitso publicly he was kicked off the Agriculture Committee – bothering some constituents, but making him a hero to the Sean Hannity crowd.
More: politico.com

Ks. House Appropriations Chairman Resigns Over School Bill
March 31, 2014

(AP) – The House Appropriations Committee’s chairman has resigned from the committee because he says he can’t support a school funding plan drafted by the chamber’s Republican leaders.

Newton Republican Marc Rhoades resigned Monday, just before the start of his committee’s hearings on the plan.

The proposal seeks to address two flaws in funding for poor school districts identified by the Kansas Supreme Court in a March 7 ruling in a school funding lawsuit. The court said the state must boost aid to poor districts.

The fix is estimated to cost $129 million, but the House plan would fund part of that increase by adjusting transportation aid to school districts.

Rhoades said even with the offset, the new spending isn’t sustainable. He said his resignation allows the bill to move forward.

White House Responds to AB’s Call to Make Baseball’s Opening Day a Holiday
March 29, 2014

Post. Dispatch:
Sorry baseball fans, the White House says it lacks the authority to make Major League Baseball’s Opening Day a national holiday, an effort that was pursued by Anheuser-Busch and supported by the league.

The White House responded Friday evening to a petition by A-B to make Opening Day a holiday a week after a petition backed by the brewer reached 100,000 signatures, the minimum number necessary for the government to respond. In its response, the White House said it’s up to Congress to decide federal holidays, and President Barack Obama’s administration didn’t say it supported A-B’s effort.

Since it debuted in 2011, more than 10 million users had signed nearly 300,000 petitions on the White House’s “We the People” citizen petition website as of mid-November, according to the White House. Of those petitions, the White House responded to more than 200.

Budweiser, the official beer of Major League Baseball for more than three decades, paired with former Cardinals player and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith in late February to back a petition to get national recognition for America’s pastime. The effort on WhiteHouse.gov needed a minimum of 100,000 signatures by March 26 to garner a response from President Barack Obama’s administration.

Friday night, Josh Earnest, the White House’s principal deputy press secretary and “lifelong Kansas City Royals fan” according to a statement, said it’s up to Congress to establish federal holidays, not the White House.

“While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it’s a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress,” Earnest’s statement reads. “So, it’s up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch.”

Kansas & The Lesser Prairie Chicken
March 28, 2014

(AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is criticizing the federal government’s decision to place the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species.

Brownback on Thursday called the decision an overreach. He said in a statement that he’s concerned that the decision will hurt the Kansas economy.

Brownback said his administration is looking at possible responses. Spokeswoman Sara Belfry said a lawsuit is among the options under consideration.

The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.

The Kansas Senate last month approved a bill declaring that Kansas has sole control over managing the state’s prairie chicken population and its habitat. The measure is pending in the House.

Brownback Blasts Lesser Prairie Chicken Designation
March 27, 2014

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says the designation of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as an endangered species is an ” overreach”.
Brownback made that statement after today’s designation by the US Fish and Wildlife Services put the animal on its endangered species list.
The animal can be found in parts of Kansas.
“This is an overreach on the part if the federal government,” Brownback said in statement.
He says he’s conceded about the impact the designation could have on the state.
“We are looking at possible responses to the issue,” the Governor said.

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