The Buzz

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

BuzzChatter Friday: Ryan tries to dig out from “offensive” remarks

03/14/2014 5:00 AM

03/13/2014 5:14 PM

Lots of stuff going on this weekend in KC. Here’s the right way to begin it:

• “Inarticulate.” — Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, a Republican,

describing remarks he made this week

about the culture of “inner cities.”

In those remarks, Ryan talked about “generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” California Rep. Barbara Lee, a co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, called those remarks “offensive” and a “thinly veiled racial attack.”

• “I don’t appreciate it. I understand why people do that, but Bob Dole is a great American. You can disagree with him on policy, but he’s the iconic figure of the World War II generation. He’s a wonderful man.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Fox defending former Sen. Bob Dole in the wake of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s comments in which he lumped Dole in with losing GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Cruz was making the point that it’s essential for Republicans to — in the senator’s words — “stand for something” to win elections. When the party doesn’t, it loses, Cruz said. Some commentators have suggested that Cruz violated Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment that admonished Republicans not to criticize each other. Brownback, meantime, was merely standing up for the home-state hero.

• “I don’t think there are Kansans that have the sense that Sen. Roberts isn’t a Kansan or has lost touch with our state.” — Sen. Jerry Moran on his Kansas colleague, Pat Roberts, who faces a tea party challenger in the August primary.

Moran was defending Roberts against charges from his tea party opponent that Roberts shouldn’t be re-elected because he no longer is a genuine Kansan. Moran, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also said there’s “no doubt” that Roberts will be the GOP nominee.

• “Investors in Missouri and elsewhere want to know how – and to what degree – their money is being spent for political purposes.” — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander in a letter Thursday to the Securities and Exchange Commission urging them to require publicly held companies to disclose spending on political activities to shareholders.

Kander wrote his letter in support of a rule-making petition submitted in 2011 by a group of law professors that outlined the current lack of transparency in corporate political spending. Kander said polls show that shareholders overwhelmingly believe there is a lack of transparency when it comes to corporate political activity.


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