Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another poll shows Sam Brownback trails Paul Davis

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Paul Davis continues to surge in polls
  • Paul Davis continues to surge in polls
It's difficult to imagine a more troubling campaign year for Gov. Sam Brownback.

State finances look more grim with each passing month, two credit rating agencies have downgraded the Kansas bond ratings on the account of the eroding state balance sheet, an FBI probe has targeted one of Brownback's closest associates, and roughly 100 current and former Republican officeholders annoyed with the governor have thrown their support behind Democratic challenger Paul Davis.

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.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Streetcar loses on Tuesday, and other election news

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Russ Johnson didn't get his way on Tuesday
  • Russ Johnson didn't get his way on Tuesday
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.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

President Obama is coming to Kansas City next week

Posted By on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM


President Barack Obama will make a stop in Kansas City next week.

The Kansas City Star reports 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. 

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A raft of Kansas Republicans announce their endorsement of Democrat Paul Davis for governor

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Republicans like Paul Davis, too.
  • Republicans like Paul Davis, too.
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.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sam Brownback trailing Democrat Paul Davis in new governor's race poll

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Davis chances looking up.
  • Davis' chances looking up.
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.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kansas City won't get the Republican National Convention in 2016

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

All the hoopla is over.

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.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Olathe Rep. Scott Schwab thinks Koch Industries cost him a Kansas Chamber endorsement

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 3:34 PM

In 2012, Olathe House Republican Scott Schwab got an election endorsement from the Kansas Chamber Political Action Committee, a powerful lobbying group in the Kansas statehouse.

Schwab won't get their endorsement this year as he heads into a August Republican primary against an underfunded opponent in John Wilson.

Schwab thinks a run-in he had with Koch Industries officials last year over legislation concerning Kansas' renewable energy standards led to his losing favor with the Kansas Chamber.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

The new White House press secretary is from Kansas City

Posted By on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Earnest with the prez.
  • Twitter
  • Earnest with the prez.
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.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Jay Nixon's impeachment hearing is Nick Marshall's crowning achievement in the Missouri Legislature

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Missouri state Rep. Nick Marshall
  • Missouri state Rep. Nick Marshall
A good rule of thumb when following state government holds that if some piece of legislative action from a low-profile lawmaker seems like a publicity stunt, it probably is.

That hypothesis has proven out a number of times this year, starting with Kansas state Rep. Charles Macheers' truncated effort at passing pro-discrimination legislation in Kansas to Missouri state Sen. Wayne Wallingford's attempt to do largely the same on his side of the state line.

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.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Missouri House representative thinks getting an abortion is like kicking the tires on a new car

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

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!"

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