Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Sly Says It’s About Public Safety
January 25, 2016

Kansas City Mayor Sly James kicked off the city campaign to renew the earnings tax with a warning, its end could harm the city’s public safety.

“Over the next 10 years, if we have to abandon this tax by a vote, we wlil have to start shaving people very quickly,” the Mayor predicted.

He estimated 800 police officers could be laid off during the 10 year phase out of the earnings tax.

He added about 500 firefighters and emergency medical technicians would be let go as well.

James repeated the often heard figures that the earnings tax makes generates more than $230 million dollars each year for Kansas City. That is 40% of the city’s main operating budget.

Much of that main operating budget, says the mayor, goes to support the police and fire departments.

“I don’t think this mayor or city council would vote to cut public safety spending. I think if you put the question to them, clearly they would day ‘ no ‘,” countered Patrick Tuohey of the Show Me Institute, a critic of the earnings tax.

This Missouri legislature changed the states earnings tax law six years ago.

The change requires Kansas City and St. Louis to ask voters to renew the earnings tax every five years.

78% of the 2011 Kansas City voters supported the earnings tax at that election.

Mayor James says forces in Jefferson City are trying to eliminate the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis for their own political gain.

State Senator Kurt Schaefer has proposed a bill that would abolish the earnings tax immediately. He does not think the tax could stand up in court after a recent US Supreme Court ruling involving a Maryland earnings tax.

Schaefer’s bill, however, is not directly tied to the earning tax renewal vote.

The election is April 5.

Hotel Challengers Win Right to Stay in Fight
January 22, 2016

A Jackson County judge has refused the City hall’s plea to throw a challenge to it downtown convention hotel out of court.

Judge Jennifer Phillips ruled against the city’s motion to dismiss the case.

The Citizens for Responsible Government wants a city-wide vote on the $311 million convention hotel project.

The group says its entitled to the vote because it submitted enough valid signatures, as the Kansas City charter requires.

The city says the vote can’t proceed because it violates Missouri state law.

The city says the voter would interfere with tax increment finance agreements already in place.

The city is planning to put about $40 million dollars into the convention hotel up front.

It is also committing another $42 in various tax breaks.

Judge Phillips, however did agree to let the hotel development team, KC Hotel Developers LLC join the case to fight against the public vote.

A hearing is set for February 2.

Dole Rips Cruz in NYT
January 21, 2016

NY Times:
Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has never been fond of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. But in an interview Wednesday, Mr. Dole said that the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz were the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.

“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”

“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”

But Mr. Dole, 92, said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”

The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.

“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” said Mr. Dole, who served in the House and Senate for 35 years and won the Iowa caucuses twice. He described Mr. Cruz as having falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”

The only person who could stop Mr. Cruz from capturing the nomination? “I think it’s Trump,” Mr. Dole said, adding that Mr. Trump was “gaining a little.”

He said he had met Mr. Trump only once, 30 years ago. “But he has toned down his rhetoric,” he added. As for Mr. Cruz, he said: “There’ll be wholesale losses if he’s the nominee. Our party is not that far right.”

Mr. Dole repeatedly said he was strongly supporting Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, although he acknowledged that Mr. Bush has had trouble gaining traction.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/20/bob-dole-warns-of-cataclysmic-losses-with-ted-cruz-and-says-donald-trump-would-do-better/?_r=0

Hillary Clinton Sends Kansas Lawmakers a Message
January 11, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is calling on Kansas to expand its Medicaid program to provide health coverage for thousands of additional families.

Clinton issued a statement Monday, hours before the Republican-dominated Legislature opened its annual session.

The federal health overhaul championed by Democratic President Barack Obama encourages states to expand their Medicaid programs and promises the federal government will pay almost all of the cost.

Clinton said expanding Medicaid also would help small rural hospitals.

She said, “Health care for Kansas families should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few.”

Top Kansas Republicans have been skeptical that the federal government will keep its funding promises.

Told of Clinton’s statement, Kansas House Speaker and Stilwell Republican Ray Merrick dismissed it.

He responded, “Hillary who?”

Line Up for the Sunday Talkers
January 8, 2016

Here’s the lib-up for the network and cable Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” – Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.

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NBC’s “Meet the Press” – McDonough; Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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CBS’ “Face the Nation” – House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

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CNN’s “State of the Union” – McDonough; Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

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“Fox News Sunday” – Trump, McDonough.

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