The Buzz

TheChat: Jason Kander knocks Roy Blunt as creature of D.C.

Let’s do this again:

▪ “Senator Blunt has been in Washington so long it has become his home, and lobbyists and his political party have become his constituents.” — Democrat Jason Kander, who announced last week that he’s running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri against Republican incumbent Roy Blunt, at a chilli supper this week in Columbia where he formally kicked off his campaign.

Kander didn’t waste any time challenging Blunt on his long Washington career. Republicans have already responded that Kander would be another “puppet” for President Barack Obama.

▪ “After promising Missouri that he’d run for re-election, Democrat Jason Kander broke his word after he was courted by the liberal Washington establishment to run for Senate.” — Jahan Wilcox, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Republicans are reaching on this one. They’re accusing Kander of flip-flopping for having said in 2013 that he’d seek another term as secretary of state in 2016. Instead, Kander, 33, announced last week that he’s shooting for the U.S. Senate. What is clear is that both sides are already engaged in this race, and it’s barely a week old.

▪ “Just because you cannot reach the highest bar does not mean the Legislature shouldn’t pass a bill that moves the law in the right direction.” — Missouri state Rep. Jay Barnes, a Jefferson City Republican, arguing for passage of a less-than-perfect ethics bill.

A measure already has passed the state Senate, and now the House is dealing with it. The bill does not change Missouri’s standing as the only state in the country that allows unlimited campaign donations and unlimited lobbyist gifts. But it does crack down on lawmakers turning into lobbyists overnight and increases transparency. (link courtesy of

▪ “I see absolutely no reason. No other secretary of state in the country has this power.” — Kansas Senate Democratic leader Anthony Hensley on a bill that received first-round approval Tuesday in the state Senate that grants Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute voter fraud cases.

Kobach, a Republican, has long sought the authority. He’s said he’s unhappy with how county prosecutors have handled this issue. The legislation the Senate approved also would turn voting offenses into felonies.