▪ “I don’t expect to be treated even-handedly in the newspaper.” — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Speaking on KCUR, the controversial official bemoaned the coverage of the Fourth Estate. Let’s set that debate aside for another day and say this: Editorial boards across the state have been merciless on Kobach, a Republican. And yet, he is almost always good about taking reporters’ calls for comment on various stories. And we appreciate that.
▪ “Would it solve our transportation problems? No. Would it help our problems? Absolutely.” — Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, on his group’s proposal to raise cigarette taxes to 40 cents a pack, up from the current 17 cents.
The proposal shocked if only because the association has fought previous proposals to increase cigarette taxes. Maybe the group is seeing the writing on the wall in that voters are growing more comfortable with the idea of raising the tax. The 40-cents-a-pack charge would still be one of the nation’s lowest.
▪ “It really is the power differential that I am trying to address, the power dynamic.” — Missouri state Rep. Kip Kendrick, a Columbia Democrat, on his proposal to govern the work of interns in the Statehouse.
Kendrick would ban all sexual interaction — consensual or not — between lawmakers and staff, including interns. Thirty years ago, such a move would’ve reshaped the culture of the Capitol.
▪ “Someone who’s going to be fair.” — Kansas Labor Secretary Lana Gordon explaining what she’d like to see in an administrative law judge after rejecting a Johnson County attorney to serve in the position.
Gordon didn’t provide any explanation for why she dismissed Julie Sample as a judge overseeing workers’ comp disputes. Sample, who has 20 years experience in the field, becomes the first nominee to be derailed by a labor secretary under the modified selection system that Gov. Sam Brownback implemented.