The Buzz

National Journal labels Brownback-Davis race as one to watch

We made it to Friday. At least I did:

• “By all rights, Kansas should be safe Republican territory, but it features the sleeper race of the cycle.” — The non-partisan

National Journal analyzing

this year’s governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Sam Brownback and Democrat Paul Davis.

The word is trickling out that Brownback just might be in trouble. The National Journal listed the Brownback-Davis race on a list of 15 governor’s races “most likely to flip” from control by one party to the other. In a bright-red state, Brownback remains the favorite. But lots of people around the country are going to be watching this race.

• “It's too bad that they're trying to buy America, and it's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Koch brothers.

Reid was upset at a series of TV ads that he says the Koch brothers are sponsoring that criticize Democratic congressional candidates. Reid is trying to spur his base with red-meat rhetoric. The Koch brothers may be a lot of things, but “un-American” is not one of them. They are merely taking advantage of laws and court rulings that enable them to do what they do.

• “I am taken aback by the attitude of some elected officials who seem to think that public service shouldn't require any sacrifice and whatever sacrifice we make is too onerous a burden.” — Missouri state Rep. Stephen Webber, a Columbia Democrat.

In a hearing this week on ethics legislation, Webber said he was astonished by comments from some of his colleagues who objected to proposed rules that ban lawmakers from working as lobbyists for a year or two after leaving office. Some Republicans said the ban would infringe on a former lawmaker’s ability to make a living. But what Webber and others are trying to do is tamp down on influence peddling whereby lawmakers might vote a certain way to curry favor with a company that might employ them someday as a lobbyist. At a minimum, Webber is trying to eliminate that temptation. That’s called good government.

• “Splits? There are no splits in our party.” — House Speaker John Boehner

cracking wise

with reporters during a news conference Thursday.

The speaker appeared to be having fun at a pair of news conferences Wednesday and Thursday, joking once about the pronunciation of his last name (``Boner,” the speaker quipped) and joshing reporters about the color of their shirts. Keeping a sense of humor is important for a guy like John Boehner.