The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Friday: Davis offers far different vision of Kansas

01/16/2014 4:39 PM

01/16/2014 4:39 PM

Today’s quotes...and our take on ‘em:

• “Our schools are suffering, jobs remain scarce and property taxes are skyrocketing.” — Democrat Paul Davis, who is challenging Gov. Sam Brownback in this year’s election, in his response Wednesday night to the governor’s State of the State speech.

Davis’ rebuttal was given at the Lawrence public school that he attended as a child and where his mother taught for nearly 20 years. It was an effective response, at least from a rhetorical standpoint, and outlined in broad terms the direction his campaign will take this year.

• “Mister President, I simply ask that you be forthright with the American people. Help us get beyond this tragedy. Help us restore confidence and faith for our personnel serving overseas and in harm’s way that the sacred bond of always having their back is not gone.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, speaking on the Senate floor Thursday on Benghazi.

On Thursday, Roberts spoke out about Benghazi. On Wednesday, it was Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, also a Republican. For sure, questions remain. But the political component of this is clear: Republicans plan to pound on this issue the same way they did Obamacare as a way to embarrass the president and undermine Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential run. Clinton was secretary of state when the attack occurred.

• “This has to be a year of action.” — President Barack Obama speaking Wednesday at North Carolina State University.

Obama is trying to cajole Congress into picking up the pace this year because the perception has emerged that time has passed by the second-term president re-elected just 14 months ago. So many of his goals have vanished, including a successful launch of Obamacare and a new set of immigration laws.

• “(The Missouri Housing Development Commission’s) swift funding approval will ensure these projects are commenced, loan commitments are fulfilled, our laborers and contractors are working, and ultimately our poorest citizens find decent, affordable housing.” — Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, seeking to get the commission to approve a series of low-income housing projects that the panel recently delayed.

The projects were delayed apparently at the request of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon as part of a deal with GOP state senators. The senators wanted to slow down spending on low-income housing in exchange for not getting in the way of Nixon’s push for a big tax-incentive package for Boeing. Now that Boeing has decided not to build a new plane in Missouri, Kinder is seeking approval to release funds for the low-income projects. He’s asking Democrats Chris Koster, the attorney general, and Clint Zweifel, the state treasurer, to support his call for a special meeting to move on the projects.

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