Those realities and other problems besetting the Brownback administration have turned what a year ago seemed like a glide path for re-election into a real possibility of the former senator's losing a GOP-heavy state to a Democrat from Lawrence.
Kansas City, Missouri, Councilman Russ Johnson took to Twitter earlier this week to thump his chest about his accomplishments ahead of Tuesday's election.
"I have a solid 11 year record building all modes of transportation," Johnson proclaimed on Monday.
Like many things Johnson says, that pronouncement was a lot of hot air. Johnson is on his way out as a Northland councilman. In eight years of public office, he seemed more interested in goings-on south of the Missouri River than in his mostly Platte County district.
And that solid record of his? Johnson pushed three significant fixed-rail transit proposals during his time in office, and two of the larger ones were thwarted by voters — one went down in 2008, and another lost at the polls on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama will make a stop in Kansas City next week.
The Kansas City Starreports that Obama will give a speech about the economy on Wednesday, July 30. But the president arrives in town a little early, getting here on Tuesday. So he'll be hanging out for a couple of days in KC.
Keep an eye out for Obama at Oklahoma Joe's because we all know that's the best place to spot famous people — and what better way to stimulate the local economy.
Lawrence Democrat Paul Davis last month told The Pitch to look out for a wave of what he called unprecedented Republican support for his bid to replace Sam Brownback as Kansas governor.
That prediction came true on Tuesday when more than 100 Republican officeholders, past and present, were part of a press conference in Topeka to announce their support for Davis and their opposition to another Brownback term.
The Kansas GOPers who lent their name to Davis' campaign endorsements run the gamut from school-board members to former U.S. attorneys to small-town mayors. Mostly, they're former Kansas House and Senate members, some of whom were driven from office by Brownback's political support groups.
How bad of a job can a Republican in Kansas do and still get re-elected? That's the subtext of the upcoming governor's race in the Sunflower State, which is all but certain to pit incumbent Republican Sam Brownback against Democrat challenger Paul Davis.
When Davis announced his candidacy last year, his odds looked grim. But given the ongoing avalanche of damning information about Brownback's "grand experiment" in the state, it's starting to look like Davis might actually be able to pull it off. And poll numbers released yesterday back that up.
Kansas City made videos, assembled a youth marching band, spruced up downtown, had Mayor Sly James dance on an airport tarmac, had Dick Cheney spend a night in town, covered up the Totally Nude sign, raised millions in private funds and spent public money, all to impress Republicans. But it wasn't enough to convince GOP leaders to pick Kansas City as the site of the 2016 Republican National Convention.
White House press secretary (and noted Guided by Voices superfan) Jay Carney resigned this afternoon, after three years in the position. Replacing him is Josh Earnest, who until today served as deputy press secretary.
Earnest hails from south Kansas City. His mother and father (a psychologist and a director of Pembroke Hill's athletic department, respectively) live in Red Bridge. Earnest attended the Barstow School and, later, Rice University, before embarking on a political career that has included stints on the campaigns of Mayor Lee Brown in Houston and Mike Bloomberg in New York. He joined Obama's team on his first presidential campaign, when he served as Iowa communications director.
Missouri state Rep. Nick Marshall didn't miss his opportunity to get his name in headlines this legislative session by moving to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon. Marshall was unhappy with Nixon's executive order earlier in the year to make the Missouri Department of Revenue accept joint tax returns from same-sex couples whose marriages are recognized in other states.
Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas in recent years have tried to push various abortion restriction measures that seem to operate under the premise that women who seek to terminate their pregnancies are like impulse shoppers.
Proposals like those that would require women to look at ultrasound photos of their unborn fetuses before an abortion have popped in and out of both statehouses over the years. Such ideas serve only to reduce women making a difficult, major life decision to the level of someone skipping on their way to the abortion clinic thinking, "Hey, you only live once!"