The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas Republicans blame `international recession’ for Kansas economic woes

Let’s do this:

▪ “We are in this situation not because of what we’ve done here in Kansas. We’re in this situation because we are in an international recession.” — Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, speaking to Senate Republicans.

Wagle doesn’t expect things to change in 2016 either. Kansas, she said, is facing a stagnant economy. Critics of Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies don’t buy Wagle’s thinking. They point to major tax cuts in 2012 as the reason for budget shortfalls.

▪ “It might even shatter the record.” — Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, on the possibility of an “absolute avalanche” of GOP caucus-goers turning out on Feb. 1.

The record turnout is 121,501 set in 2012. Donald Trump’s campaign is expecting to turn out 48,000 itself. If that happens, Kaufmann said, records will fall.

▪ “Your bill doesn’t address some of the glaring issues, in that we are still allowed to have million-dollar campaign contributions from single donors.” — Missouri state Rep. Gina Mitten, a St. Louis Democrat, on the lack of campaign contribution limits in ethics bills that a House committee approved this week.

Committee chair Jay Barnes, a Jefferson City Republican, said limits would be considered later in the session. His goal is to address less contentious issues first. Donation limits are regarded as perhaps the most controversial single issue among the range of ideas floating around to clean up the political culture in the state Capitol. (link via

▪ “One hundred and eighty-eight people lost their lives to senseless and destructive violence the city of St. Louis in the past year. Overall crime was up 2 percent over the previous year. None of these deaths were warranted, and neither of those numbers are acceptable.” — St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay on 2015 crime stats.

Slay this week announced members of a reconstituted Crime Commission similar to the one that Kansas City Mayor Sliy James has established. Violent crime in Missouri’s two big cities is spiking. Again.