The Buzz

TheChat: Washington University hosts debates to give students a unique experience

Good morning.

▪ “They tell us at reunions how meaningful and, in some cases, life-changing that experience was.” — Steve Givens, chair of the presidential debate steering committee at Washington University in St. Louis, speaking about students as the main reason the university continues to host presidential debates.

The university, which will be home to the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, has hosted more debates that any institution in history. That comes at a price. The cost this year is estimated to run as much as $5 million. Givens acknowledged that the school does not make money on the event and hasn’t experienced a bump in applications. Rather, the school does it for the unique experience the debates give students, he said. (link via

▪ “We’re going to have to legislate those changes ourselves.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on a bill she’s sponsoring with two other Democratic senators that would expand protections for employees who raise concerns about health, safety, fraud and waste at America’s nuclear weapons facilities.

A recent audit found the Department of Energy had repeatedly failed to protect whistleblowers from intimidation and retaliation by its contractors at nuclear sites. So McCaskill and her colleagues are attempting to fill the void with legislation.

▪ “What’s very clear are the results that we’ve seen from The Mission Continues.” — Eric Greitens, Missouri’s GOP candidate for governor, responding to attack ads from rival Chris Koster, the Democratic candidate, that point out that Greitens was paid six figures some years for leading the organization he founded.

A review by the Associated Press founded that the pay was a little higher than the typical pay for an executive leading a midsize charity in the Midwest.

▪ “Similar to the 19 other states projected to have budget gaps in fiscal year 2017, we will have to make adjustments to our approved budget.” — Kansas budget director Shawn Sullivan in an email to agency directors.

With 10 months remaining in the fiscal year, Kansas already is in a $20 million hole.