Archive for the ‘kansas city’ Category

Brownback Defends Tax Cuts to Missouri Legislators
March 4, 2015

(AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is touting to Missouri lawmakers what he says is right with his state because of new tax policies.

Brownback on Wednesday spoke with some Republican lawmakers during a private luncheon at a Jefferson City hotel.

The event was sponsored by business groups and the conservative group Grow Missouri, which is backed primarily by wealthy political donor Rex Sinquefield.

Brownback’s statements come as Kansas faces a projected budget shortfall of nearly $600 million after the Republican governor successfully pushed lawmakers to slash personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013.

Brownback says despite the shortfall, he’s starting to see “the seeds of growth” in Kansas. He also says he will balance the budget as required by the state’s constitution.

Kansas Lawmakers To Concentrate on Budget in Session’s 2nd Half
March 2, 2015

(AP) – Kansas legislators are shifting their focus to building the next state budget now that their annual session has cleared its midpoint.

The Republican-dominated Legislature began March needing to erase a projected shortfall of nearly $600 million in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

They also must decide whether they’ll backtrack on personal income tax cuts enacted in 2012 and 2013 at GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging to stimulate the economy. They could pursue other revenue-raising ideas.

House and Senate committees already have been reviewing Brownback’s budget proposals.

But March is when a full spending blueprint for the next fiscal year and another for the fiscal year beginning in July 2016 are supposed to come together.

Legislators hit the 45th day of their 90-day session last week.

Nixon Appoints Close Advisor to Auditor’s Office for Now
February 27, 2015

(AP) – Missouri’s Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday appointed one of his senior advisers to temporarily serve as state auditor following the death of Republican Auditor Tom Schweich, who police say died of an apparent suicide.

John Watson will serve as auditor until a permanent replacement is found, at which point he will resign, according to a release from Nixon’s office.

“I have tremendous respect for the state auditor’s office, and I will carry out these duties in service to the people of Missouri,” Watson said in the statement. “I continue to keep Tom Schweich’s family and friends in my thoughts and prayers, and join them in mourning this loss.”

Missouri law requires the governor to immediately appoint a replacement if there’s a vacancy in the office, which Nixon in a statement said provides “a critical public service.”

Nixon’s final appointee will serve the remainder of Schweich’s term until a new auditor is elected. Schweich was sworn in for a second, four-year term in late January.

For years, Watson was only person to have served as chief of staff for Nixon throughout his time in state government.

Watson had been Nixon’s chief of staff since he became governor in 2009 and held the same role since 1997 when Nixon was attorney general. He stepped down to act as one of the governor’s senior advisers in December.

The governor said Watson will act with the “professionalism, integrity and independence the citizens of Missouri expect and deserve” during his time as auditor.

The office, which under Schweich cranked out about 570 audits, continued working Friday and released an annual report bearing Schweich’s name about property seizures by law enforcement agencies.

Auditor’s spokesman Spence Jackson said the office also plans to go ahead with a scheduled release of an audit about the Joplin School District next week.

Hill Says Akin is Considering A Blunt Challenger in 2016
February 25, 2015

The Hill:
The Hill:

Todd Akin is considering a primary challenge to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) in 2016.

“I have not ruled anything out,” the former congressman and 2012 GOP Senate nominee told The Hill in a phone interview on Wednesday.

“I think there is a high level of dissatisfaction among conservatives, that they have to some degree been pushed out of the Republican Party,” he continued. “The sentiment is there. The Tea Party is skeptical and wants some fresh blood, not just the same establishment guys.”
Akin’s reemergence is sure to be an unwelcome development for national Republicans.

Now, the GOP pariah says if he did run, it’d be to try to move his party away from a singular focus on economic issues, which he says has come at the expense of social issues, like abortion.

And Blunt, he argues, will have problems with the state’s conservative base.

“I think [Blunt’s] support among conservatives is weak,” Akin said. “His biggest liability is a third party conservative getting into the race. If I were in Roy’s shoes, that’s what I’d be worried about.”

Blunt is serving his first term in the Senate after having spent more than a decade in the House. He’s viewed as a centrist and will be a formidable incumbent with more than $2.2 million in cash on hand already. He has said publicly he intends to run for reelection but has not yet officially announced.

With Akin in the race, stakes could become even higher for Republicans in defending the seat, worried about the damage to Blunt or even unlikely upset he could pull.

Democrats have landed their top recruit for the race, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who launched his Senate bid last week.

Akin wouldn’t say how seriously he’s considering a Senate bid. He said he’s also is considering other professional options, like political writing and speaking. He said he’s working on an invention, which he described as a “simple household device that might help people.”

He maintains that a potential challenge to Blunt isn’t personal, although he says that Blunt and the Republican establishment didn’t just abandon him in 2012, they “aggressively attacked” him.

Following Akin’s controversially remarks in 2012, Blunt publicly urged Akin to leave the race and only returned to offer him a tepid endorsement once the deadline to drop out passed.

More: thehill.com

Kraske: Sanders Says No Statewide Run in 2016
February 25, 2015

KC Star:
Star

Mike Sanders, the three-term Jackson County executive, said today he will not seek statewide office next year.

Sanders, 48, was seen as one of the Democratic Party’s best prospects to run for one of four statewide offices that Democrats are vacating.

“I have no interest in seeking statewide office in 2016,” Sanders told The Buzz. “I’m clearly not saying `no’ forever. It’s `no’ for right now. It’s a very personal decision and driven by family considerations.”

Sanders and his wife have two boys, 11 and 8.

“They’re not going to be 11 and 8 forever,” he said. “These days go fast. For now, I’m aware of the fact that they still want Dad around. Dad’s still cool. The most fun I have professionally and privately is hanging out with my kids.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article11154374.html#storylink=cpy

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