The Buzz

Brownback crosses swords with Davis on taxes

Today: tennis balls and defensiveness, closed doors and disagreement.

“It’s law. It’s going to happen.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday saying he opposes the idea of halting state income tax cuts that are scheduled to go into effect the next few years.

Brownback disagrees with the approach his Democratic opponent, Paul Davis, is taking, which is to slow down the tax cuts to give the state budget a chance to stockpile more reserves in the wake of sweeping GOP income tax cuts.

“My experience with the Capitol was going at night and throwing tennis balls off the rotunda.” — Missouri lobbyist Andy Blunt recalling his high school days in Jefferson City after his father, Roy Blunt, became secretary of state. (link courtesy of

Andy Blunt has come a long way since those days. He ranks as one of the leading lobbyists in the state and is much admired for his political acumen, which he’s used to manage the campaigns of both his father, now a U.S. senator, and brother, former Gov. Matt Blunt.

“We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature.” — Christi Parsons, the new president of the White House Correspondents Association, on two recent fundraisers that President Obama attended that excluded the traveling press corps.

Here’s the key lines from a Politico story on this: Despite constant complaints from the press corps and promises from White House officials, access to the president continues to be limited in ways not seen in previous administrations. The constantly repeated line that they’re running the “most transparent administration in history” tends to prompt snickers. Halfway through Obama’s West Coast swing, it’s tipping toward outrage.

“I don’t know, you don’t know and the other people don’t know, but just the tone of the question is trying to create dissension. It’s insulting to America.” — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticizing CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for the “tone” of his questions during an interview Wednesday from Jerusalem.

Bloomberg was out of line as he attached motives to the consistently professional Blitzer who was simply doing his job. Bloomberg’s defensiveness only detracted from a dialogue that needs to continue as Mideast tensions escalate.