Politicians talk, and we lap it up:
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “It’s easy to say you have a balanced budget when you just make up the number you’re balancing to.” — Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, in a tweet criticizing Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget proposals.
Silvey’s remarks get at a key issue in this year’s legislative session, which is how quickly state revenue is growing. Nixon is counting on robust 5.2 percent growth for the fiscal year beginning in July while Silvey and other Republicans project the number at 4.2 percent. Silvey, a long-time thorn in Nixon’s side, is skilled at jabbing the governor.
• “It’s a bill that elevates the importance of open government to a new level.” — Doug Anstaett, executive director of the Kansas Press Association endoring a bill that would create a special two-person unit within the attorney general’s office to investigate Kansas Open Meetings Act and Kansas Open Records Act complaints.
A House committee reviewed the measure this week. House Bill 2346 also has the backing of the Kansas Association of Counties. Anstaett said he would provide more examples of violations of the open records law. One problem, he added, is that agencies continue making the same mistakes over and over when it comes to navigating the law.
• “Bloated and inaccurate voter registration lists — the source of many downstream election administration problems — arise in the absence of a national list of voters that is updated when voters move, die or change their names.” — from a report by a commission President Barack Obama created to address problems at the polls.
The panel proposed more early voting in states like Missouri, which still doesn’t have it, online registration and interstate comparison of voting rolls. The commission said no voter should have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot and said the nation’s voting problems are solvable. In 2012, some voters were forced to wait up to six hours to express their preferences.
• “Based on the reaction to the film, we’re probably seeing a disparity between who the general public thought Mitt Romney was and who he really is.” — filmmaker Greg Whiteley whose film “Mitt” debuts on Friday. Some who have seen it are wondering why Romney’s personal side was not on more display during the 2012 campaign.
The Romneys should have looked back at recent history. The Bob Dole campaign of 1996 asked itself the same question after Dole appeared on late-night talk shows after he lost that November and displayed a warm, funny side of himself that was rarely seen during the campaign.