• “Absolute hooey.” — Fred Logan, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, on Kansas Senate Democratic leader Anthony Hensley contention that Gov. Sam Brownback is trying to pressure KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to resign.
According to Hensley, the governor is upset with Gray-Little, but Logan, the Prairie Village lawyer, calls that talk total bunk. Logan insisted that the governor, and the regents for that matter who hired the chancellor, hold her in high regard. Gray-Little is 68, and has served as chancellor since 2009. Some are starting to wonder how long she’ll stay.
• “The most important thing is for us – the United States – to make sure that we don’t go off without the European community. We have to work with them.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explaining his view that the U.S. should delay punishing Russia until the European community is on board with a response to the growing crisis in Ukraine.
Reid’s suggestion is to ease up on the gas pedal on a response, which may make sense, even in the era of the 24-7 news cycle when citizens want fast answers on everything. The U.S. struggled to build an enduring coalition for its war against Iraq under President George W. Bush and paid a price for that.
• “The approval and construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and promote North American energy independence.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging approval of the controversial pipeline.
Nixon’s backing gives President Obama increasing political cover to approve the long-delayed project. Nixon’s letter seemed to come out of nowhere Monday. His backing suggests a growing number of Democrats can live with the project.
• “Fifteen to 20 minutes debating the state fossil. No time for a debate on Medicaid expansion, but 20 minutes for the state fossil.” — Kansas state Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, on Twitter last week.
The Legislature has hit the halfway point of its 2014 session, and Ward is frustrated. Meanwhile last week, the American Cancer Society released a poll that showed that 72 percent of the state’s registered voters think lawmakers should expand Medicaid.
• “It doesn’t look right, it’s not right and it needs to be fixed.” — Missouri state Sen. John Lamping, a Ladue Republican, on the state’s$140 million low-income tax credit program
that ranks as one of best-funded programs in the country.
Virginia Young of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that only 43 cents of every dollar spent on the program goes for construction. And yet, the program endures year after year mainly because of the industry’s political clout.