The Buzz

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

Missouri legislature passes $620 million tax cut, Nixon signals possible veto

The Missouri House gave final approval Wednesday to a $620 million tax cut bill, setting the stage for a showdown with Gov. Jay Nixon.

Nixon, a Democrat, is expected to veto the measure. But GOP legislative leaders are hopeful they’ll muster enough support for an override.

Republicans hold 108 seats in the Missouri House, only one shy of a veto-proof two-thirds majority. Democratic Rep. Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County joined the GOP in support of the bill Wednesday.

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By JASON HANCOCK. 4 minutes ago

NYT says Sebelius is considering taking on Roberts for Senate, but local Democrats doubtful

Kansas Democrats are downplaying a report in the New York Times suggesting Kathleen Sebelius may come back to Kansas to run for the Senate against Pat Roberts.

Political reporters are salivating, and so, apparently, are Kansas Republicans.

“We would pay her bus fare,” said Kelly Arnold, state GOP chairman, in a statement sent by the party.

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By DAVE HELLING. 3 hours ago

Schweich hauls in $257K

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has announced that he raised $257,521 in the year’s first quarter.

That’s not a bad haul, and the total put him within striking distance of the $308,000 that fellow Republican Catherine Hanaway raised in the year’s first three months.

Schweich is seeking re-election as auditor this year. But he’s also hinted that he’s running for governor in 2016. Hanaway has already announced her candidacy for the state’s highest office.

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By STEVE KRASKE. 11 hours ago

BuzzChatter Wednesday: It’s easy to complain about the tax code

The Tax Man cometh again.

• “It is time to cut tax rates for all Americans and to end the unnecessarily complex tax code, replacing it with a simplified, fairer tax code that will benefit all Americans. We send enough to Washington.” — Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler on Tax Day.

Every year, Washington politicians weigh in on April 15 with their frustrations about the tax code. Almost every American agrees a simplified, fairer tax code is the way to go, as Hartzler suggests. The tough part is how to do that. Drop the mortgage deduction? Cap charitable giving? Raise rates on well-to-do Americans? Rhetoric is easy. Actually reforming the code is a different job entirely.

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By STEVE KRASKE. 10 hours ago

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About the Blog

Kansas City's best-known political reporters sort through the rumors and spin to bring readers facts, inside analysis, and a healthy dose of perspective to the issues and personalities of the local and state political scene. Who's up? Who's down? What are the major players thinking — and why? What's the strategy? The likely outcomes? And what are voters thinking about all of this?

We'll break news on the site, but we'll also provide insight and background — with a dash of spark and wit as well.

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Dave Helling
Phone: 816-234-4656

Steve Kraske
Phone: 816-234-4312