The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Topeka Democrat running for attorney general

A.J. Kotich, a Topeka attorney who worked for years in state government, filed paperwork Thursday to run for state attorney general. He is a Democrat.

If he wins his party’s nomination, he’ll likely face incumbent Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Kotich worked as legal counsel and administrator in various state agencies and was a special assistant attorney general under several former Kansas attorneys general.

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4 minutes ago

Census: After uptick, voting among young people dips

A fresh report from the U.S. Census Bureau concludes that a 21st century trend of increasing turnout among young voters has kicked into reverse.

Voting, it seems, remains the domain of geezers.

Voting rates did climb for 18- to 24-year-olds in 2004 and again in 2008. But the Census report released Thursday found the rate dipping back down to 38 percent from 44.3 percent four years earlier.

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35 minutes ago

BuzzChatter Thursday: Koster defends execution

Good morning.

• “He showed his true character by ordering his 16-year-old son to kill Mrs. Lewis, all so they could steal two cows, soda, a VCR, and some jewelry.” — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in a statement explaining why the execution of William Rousan was justified for the 1993 murders of Graces and Charles Lewis. (link courtesy of

Rousan’s execution made little news as sanctioned killings have become routine again. In a statement to the media, the son of the Lewises said the more than 20-year span from the murders to the execution was too long. He’s right. If we’re going to continue with capital punishment, and if the phrase “eye for an eye” means anything, then the wheels of justice need to spin more quickly.

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By STEVE KRASKE. 5 hours ago

Missouri lawmakers debate impeaching Gov. Jay Nixon

Lawmakers began debate Wednesday on whether Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon should be impeached for allowing married same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns.

Rep. Nick Marshall, a Parkville Republican, told the House Judiciary Committee that an executive order issued by Nixon violates a voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Because of that, he contends, Nixon should be impeached.

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By JASON HANCOCK. 19 hours ago

Here’s one explanation for why Sebelius is still sticking around

If you’ve wondered why former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is still on the job as Health and Human Services secretary even after announcing her resignation, here’s one possible explanation.


The Daily Caller reports that Sebelius is eligible for a $10,000 annual pension once she completes five years of continuous service to the federal government.

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By STEVE KRASKE. yesterday

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About the Blog

Kansas City's best-known political reporters sort through the rumors and spin to bring readers facts, inside analysis, and a healthy dose of perspective to the issues and personalities of the local and state political scene. Who's up? Who's down? What are the major players thinking — and why? What's the strategy? The likely outcomes? And what are voters thinking about all of this?

We'll break news on the site, but we'll also provide insight and background — with a dash of spark and wit as well.

Contact Us

Dave Helling
Phone: 816-234-4656

Steve Kraske
Phone: 816-234-4312