The Buzz

TheChat: Planned Parenthood exec takes on Sam Brownback

Good morning.

▪ “Governor Brownback’s claim that restricting abortions will improve the Kansas economy is a reminder of how incredibly out of touch and offensive his policies are to Kansas women. Not only is his claim wrong; it’s insulting and marginalizing to more than half of his voter base.” — Laura McQuade, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

In an interview this weekend with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Brownback claimed a connection between socially conservative policies and economic growth. “They really support each other,” Brownback said. “Frankly, one of the problems we have in the country is we’re not forming enough families.”

▪ “Anyone wondering what Washington insider Roy Blunt is all about needs to look no further than his decision to hire a lobbyist as his campaign manager.” — Sadie Weiner, press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

That lobbyist is Andy Blunt, the senator’s son. The upside is that Andy Blunt is regarded as one of the best political minds in the state. He steered his father’s successful Senate campaign in 2010 that, by a lot of metrics, Roy Blunt had no business winning. The downside? The hire brings into focus the senator’s close ties to lobbyists. His wife and two sons all work in the influence-peddling business.

▪ “From expanding access to services for Missourians with developmental disabilities to helping law enforcement officers respond to individuals with mental challenges, so much of the progress we have made over the last six years is a direct result of his vision and leadership.” — Gov. Jay Nixon on the retirement of long-time mental health advocate Dr. Keith Schafer.

Schafer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, announced his retirement Wednesday effective June 26. Schafer twice served as department director — from 1986-1994 and from 2007-2015.

▪ “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Do we have a moral obligation as a legislative body to make sure we’re not investing in someone who publicly announces, ‘We do not want Israel to exist and we’ll use all of our resources to eliminate Israel,’ and those resources may be coming from us?” — Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican.

Schwab urged the Legislature on Wednesday to back a bill that encourages the state employee retirement fund to dump its investments in Iran’s oil industry. A commitee vote on the measure could come Friday.