The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Wednesday: Brownback is eager to talk about schools, but with whom?

11/20/2013 5:00 AM

11/19/2013 3:57 PM

• “Nobody talks to anybody. It’s all handled in litigation.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on his interest in breaking a 40-year tradition of Kansas school districts going to court over funding when their efforts stall in the Statehouse.

“I don’t know if it’s productive if he doesn’t invite people who may disagree with him.” — John Robb, an attorney representing school districts who filed a lawsuit in 2010 challenging state education funding. Robb, the suing districts and Democrats were not invited to a meeting next Monday at the governor’s residence between Republican legislative leaders and school superintendents.

Brownback stubbed his toe on this one. On the one hand, he talks about the need for communication on education. On the other, he decides not to invite key education players to what appears to be an important meeting just weeks before the opening of the 2014 session. OUCH!

• “It’s not that it’s not working. It’s still being developed and tested.” — Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Deputy Chief Information Officer Henry Chao to a congressional subcommittee Tuesday on the state of the Obamacare website.

Chao’s key revelation: Up to 40 percent of IT systems supporting the new health-care exchange have yet to be built. Translation: If you think all the kinks will be out of the system by Nov. 30, you’re as nutty as a box of cashews.

• “I am temperate in my tone I hope.” — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in New York where he was promoting a new book.

Bush expressed mock outrage when told that he was a moderate. He insisted that he was a “practicing” conservative who would put his record up against anyone now serving in Congress. He also said he hasn’t talked to his family about a possible 2016 presidential run.

• “It is a privilege to practice again, and we want to take on cases that, through litigation, change social inequalities in favor of the greater good.” — former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on the opening of his new law firm with his daughter, Cate.

Edwards is seeking to carefully step back onto the public stage after years in the doghouse. Edwards practically disappeared in mid-2012 when he was acquitted of misusing campaign donations to hide an affair. Edwards’ daughter said her father is not planning a political comeback.

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