The Buzz

TheChat: Kris Kobach rails against the Kansas Supreme Court

Good morning.

▪ “The Kansas Supreme Court has gone off the rails.” — Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaking to Republicans at last weekend’s state GOP convention.

As evidence, Kobach pointed to the court’s recent school-finance decision, which mandates the Legislature to quickly come up with a new formula. Kobach urged Republicans to reject four of the five judges up for retention in November. (He excluded Caleb Stegall who Gov. Sam Brownback recently appointed).

▪ “This one-sentence bill would...require members to find time in their schedules to serve on juries alongside their constituents.” — the staff of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill explaining the senator’s bill that would remove an exemption that allows members of Congress to skip serving on juries.

McCaskill just served on one and thinks her colleagues shouldn’t be able to so easily shirk their civic responsibilities. (link courtesy of

▪ “The challenges associated with keeping America safe, or participating in that effort after 9/11, make (U.S. attorney general) the most memorable of my jobs.” — John Ashcroft, the former Missouri governor, U.S. senator, state and U.S. attorney general and state auditor, reflecting on his long career.

But he called his two terms as governor from 1985-1993 his most satisfying job in public service.

▪ “Inmates are running the asylum.” — MU Vice Chancellor of University Advancement Tom Hiles reciting one complaint the advancement office has received in recent months following turmoil at the Columbia campus.

New pledges and donations to the University of Missouri fell $6 million in December compared to the year before. Hiles said his staff is fielding all manner of complaints —more than 2,000 in total —from potential donors. One is a general lack of leadership. Another: “Who’s in charge?” Hiles said.