The Buzz

December 23, 2013

New group of former GOP office-holders working against Brownback

But current Republican leaders insist they aren’t worried about what they call the has-been caucus

The Buzz

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

The holiday week opens with some killer quotes:

• “The governor's poll numbers show that Kansans are not happy with what he is doing.” — Rochelle Chronister, a spokeswoman for Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, a group of former Kansas Republican lawmakers, many of whom are working against Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election in 2014.

“They are a sour grapes caucus.” — Clay Barker, executive director of the state Republican Party, defining the group.

Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, which includes former Senate President Dick Bond of Overland Park, is planning to campaign against Brownback. The hope is that their considerable numbers will send a message to voters. But as Barker’s quote suggests, conservative Brownback backers say they aren’t too worried.

• “It is looking to be a juggernaut in 2014, mainly because Obamacare, I think, is not fixable, [and] continues to get worse.” — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, talking about deep frustrations with Obamacare that could turn the GOP into a mid-term-election powerhouse next year.

The GOP’s goal is to pick up the six seats needed to retake control of the Senate in 2015. The House is expected to remain in Republican hands Paul thinks Obamacare is the gift that will allow that to happen. He very well could be right.

• “Jesus was a healer. The health care law can be improved, but I think in its present form it does more good than harm to Latinos around the country.” — Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

Hispanic churches are embracing Obamacare, and the support could prove significant. Will that be enough to mitigate what Rand Paul is talking about? The guess here is no.

• “I was patted on the head as the great man’s son.” — John Eisenhower, the son of former President Dwight Eisenhower, on life as the general’s son.

John Eisenhower, an historian, died this weekend at 91. He had been the former president’s oldest surviving child. To say that he faced challenges following in his dad’s footsteps is a vast understatement. He came to believe that sons of a president or vice president should not serve in combat so that the father doesn’t face the burden of “worries about an individual soldier, especially a child.”

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