Local Columnists

Steve Kraske: You won’t believe what politicians said in 2014

The Kansas Capitol building in Topeka.
The Kansas Capitol building in Topeka. The Kansas City Star

Believe it or not, Missouri and Kansas pols really said this in 2014:

▪ “I’d be willing to bet you that it’s easier to get a gun in this city than it is to register to vote.” — Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

▪ “I don’t want to say that he’s getting bought off, but that’s sure what it looks like.” — Missouri Sen. Brad Lager, a Savannah Republican, on why GOP senators were blocking the appointment of former legislator Dennis Fowler to the state parole board. Fowler was one of 15 Republicans who broke ranks and supported Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax cut in 2013.

▪ “As had been foretold and promised to us: God is in heaven, the Legislature is back and the crane is gone!” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in his State of the State message in January about the end of a decade of statehouse renovation work.

▪ “It’s easy to say you have a balanced budget when you just make up the number you’re balancing to.” — Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, grousing about Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget.

▪ “I’m disappointed in Pat.” — former U.S. senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker of Kansas on her successor, Sen. Pat Roberts, referring to several of his votes.

▪ “Keep the crazy coming, boys.” — Missouri House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, reacting to conservative Republicans filing articles of impeachment against Nixon.

▪ “A hiccup.” — Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick describing passage of the Religious Freedom Act, which would have provided legal immunity for police and other government workers who refused service to same-sex couples. It died in the Senate but might return in 2015.

▪ “They’re just pissed that we stole it.” — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster pointing out that the Affordable Care Act, known more commonly as Obamacare, started years earlier as a Republican idea.

▪ “Game on, governor.” — Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis announcing his challenge to Brownback. Davis lost in the closest Kansas race for governor since 1986.

▪ “Claire, you talk too much, you are too bossy, you come on too strong. Young men will never be interested in you. And besides, it’s not ladylike.” — Sen. Claire McCaskill recalling a comment an eighth-grade teacher once said to her that she said really stung.

▪ “We will pay her bus fare.” — Kansas GOP chair Kelly Arnold on speculation that Kathleen Sebelius, former health and human services secretary and one-time Kansas governor, was considering returning to the state to run for statewide office.

▪ “Kansas is a lighthouse in a nation that has lost its way.” — Brownback.

▪ “This little streetcar plan isn’t going to do doodly-squat for this city, and everybody knows that.” — transit activist Clay Chastain.

▪ “To say there’s a split in the Republican Party is to give the banana split a bad name.” — former Kansas senator Wint Winter, a Lawrence Republican.

▪ “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time.” — President Barack Obama in his July speech in Kansas City criticizing Congress.

▪ “Thunderstruck.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon describing his reaction to all the military vehicles rolling down the streets of Ferguson in an attempt to control protesters.

▪ “I was there a lot earlier than some people said I was, and I was involved there a lot earlier than some people continue to say I was.” — Nixon defending his much-criticized response to the crisis.

▪ “He only understands two relationships: slave and enemy. I would have been happy to be a partner.” — retiring Missouri lawmaker Chris Kelly of Columbia on working with Nixon, a fellow Democrat.

▪ “He’s a Democrat. He walks like a duck and he quacks like a duck and he is a duck.” — Sen. John McCain of Arizona in Overland Park in September talking about independent Senate candidate Greg Orman.

▪ “The question Missourians really need to ask is this: Do they really want a government completely owned by one St. Louis billionaire?” — McCaskill, a Democrat, bemoaning yet another sizable contribution from GOP megadonor Rex Sinquefield.

To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to skraske@kcstar.com.

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