The Buzz

TheChat: Sam Brownback won’t be rushed when it comes to revealing budget cuts

Good morning.

▪ “I don’t want to put time frames on it. We are working aggressively. We hope to have something out pretty soon.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on when he’ll announce plans to close a $279 million budget gap.

With the legislative session starting next month, Brownback is feeling the pinch to come up with answers. He apparently doesn’t want to be rushed.

▪ “The question Missourians really need to ask is this: Do they really want a government completely owned by one St. Louis billionaire?” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, bemoaning yet another sizable contribution from GOP mega-donor Rex Sinquefield.

Sinquefield forked over $1 million to Republican Bev Randles, a new candidate for lieutenant governor in 2016. That came on the heels of a $750,000 donation from Sinquefield to Catherine Hanaway, a candidate for governor. McCaskill is pushing for a return of donation limits to Missouri.

▪ “16” — the age that Democratic Rep. Karla May of St. Louis wants as Missouri’s voting age.

The current voting age is 18. May has filed a joint resolution to amend the state constitution. If it’s passed by both the House and Senate, the proposition would go to a public vote. The read here: A move to 17 might have a shot, but 16 is just too big a jump. (link courtesy of

▪ “I don’t think the president can fix the problems. I don’t think the Congress can fix the problems. The problems have to be fixed in the community.” — Carol Swain, a professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, Tenn., on whether President Barack Obama should visit Ferguson.

Swain is a “no” vote on this matter. So is Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican. Fellow Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, said the president may visit after the Justice Department has completed its investigation. He would use Ferguson as a platform for pushing reforms, she said.

▪ “I'm going to stay on this.” — Obama on Monday talking about his determination to remain focused on race relations in the wake of Ferguson and New York.

The president has been reluctant to focus on race relations, but that appears to be changing. “Not only am I going to stay on it ... but hopefully the entire society says, 'Let's finally try to make some real progress on this,'” he said.

▪ “The Koch operations are the most important non-party political players in the U.S. today, and no one else is even close.” — a top GOP strategist who’s has been involved in the last eight presidential campaigns.

Politico reports that the Kochs have pumped tens of millions into a data company that’s developing profiles of 250 million Americans. Beyond that, the Kochs have developed new expertise in polling, message-testing, advertising, media buying and donors maintenance. Bottom line: Who needs political parties when you have these guys around?