The Buzz

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

Kansas Republicans can’t contain their glee over Sebelius Senate speculation

04/17/2014 7:00 AM

04/17/2014 9:01 AM

Good morning.

• “We will pay her bus fare.” — Kansas Republican Party Chair Kelly Arnold on the (highliy improbable) reports Wednesday that Kathleen Sebelius may return to Kansas to run for office.

Republicans were absolutely giddy at a story in The New York Times that the former Kansas governor might return home this year to run for the U.S. Senate. Let me state this clearly: NOT HAPPENING! With Obamacare wrapped around her neck, Sebelius wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance in a state where the health care law is as popular as droughts.

• “With a great deal of research.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill

on how she’s proceeding with

her campaign against sexual assault on campuses across the country. (link courtesy of

McCaskill, who just wrapped up a fight on military sexual assault, said she’s approaching the issue on college campuses the same way. She announced one big step on Tuesday: the mailing of an extensive survey to 350 college and university presidents. The senator wants to know how their campuses are currently dealing with the issue.

• “This isn't a vengeance candidacy.” — former Missouri state Rep. Gracia Backer, a New Bloomfield Democrat,

explaining her decision

this week to seek another term in the state House.

Backer, the first woman to serve as a party floor leader in the Missouri General Assembly, raised eyebrows with her decision to return to elective politics. She was a division director in the state Labor Department, but was fired after complaining to the governor’s office about a hostile work environment for women and older workers. Last year, Backer said the governor’s office “knew this was going on, and they chose to ignore it.” Backer’s complaint is still under review. But she told Rudi Keller of the Columbia Daily Tribune that her candidacy “isn’t about getting back at my governor.”

• “When they get through their primaries and they come to the general election, they’re going to have to be right on guns.” — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on NBC’s “Today” Wednesday

about his decision

to spend $50 million on a national grass-roots network to rally voters for gun control.

Bloomberg has fought for gun control for years and says his objective isn’t to take anybody’s gun away. “It’s just making sure that a handful of people who we all agree shouldn’t have guns, don’t get their hands on them.” Bloomberg versus the NRA is going to be quite the fight.


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