The Buzz

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

Fourteen questions for 2014

01/02/2014 3:48 PM

01/03/2014 7:29 AM

I’m not a fan of predictions. I have a hard enough time getting the past straight. The future, sadly, is not mine to see.

On the other hand, it’s important to at least understand what questions the public might face in a given year, even if their likely responses aren’t clear.

So here are 14 questions for ’14. We’ll know the answers by ’15.

• Will Republicans pick Kansas City for their 2016 convention? The city is working hard on a bid, but presidential politics and behind-the-scenes infighting may damage the effort.

• Will Boeing will build a new aircraft in Missouri — or Kansas? Both states have made offers, but it’s still an even bet the company will keep its assembly plant in Washington.

• Will Kansas City Mayor Sly James face a serious re-election challenger?

Hard to believe, but city elections are a little more than a year away.

• Will voters will be asked to approve a single-terminal airport? If the vote doesn’t come this year, it probably won’t be on the ballot until 2016.

• Will Hillary Clinton run for president?

• Will Kathleen Sebelius continue to run the Department of Health and Human Services?

• Will Kansas or Missouri expand Medicaid? If not, expansion in both states may be dead for some time, since the feds only promised to pick up the full cost of the added patients for three years and two of those years will be down the drain.

• Will Missouri cut taxes? The mistakes and drafting errors that doomed the 2013 tax cut won’t be repeated, and Gov. Jay Nixon may not be able to win a veto battle two years in a row.

• Have the Kansas tax cuts worked? Gov. Sam Brownback promised more jobs and more residents if the legislature slashed tax rates. A year later, the results are mixed, to say the least. A year from now the verdict will be in — on the tax policy, and on Brownback.

• Will the Kansas Supreme Court provoke a showdown with the legislature over school funding?

• Does Jay Nixon have a political future, and if so, what might it be?

• Will Pat Roberts run out of conservatives to whom he can pander?

• Can Kansas Democrats still be considered a major political party? They have a candidate for governor but have struggled to find well-qualified candidates for other important races.

• Can the Royals make the playoffs? Can the Chiefs win a playoff game?

Sports reporters will bring you the answers to those last questions, of course. I’ll try to keep an eye on the other stuff.


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