The Buzz

TheChat: Former Overland Park state senator says Gov. Sam Brownback pressured him on judges


Good morning.

▪ “Governor Brownback pointed his finger at me and said, ‘Tim, why can’t you go along with us on this judicial selection issue and let us change the way we select judges so we can get judges who will vote the way we want them to?’ ” — former Kansas state Sen. Tim Owens, an Overland Park Republican.

Brownback has long wanted to change the process for selecting the way judges are picked for the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court. Owens refused to go along with the governor and said he was appalled the governor would make such a request.

▪ “Over 27,000 of you have spoken in only 9 days by signing my `Recall Sam Brownback’ petition.” — Tony Piazza, a Kansas citizen who’s pushing an online recall petition.

In an e-mail blast, Piazza points out that this is not an “official recall” because those are hard to pull off in Kansas. Rather, his effort appears to be about making a statement. The effort comes just three months after Brownback’s re-election.

▪ “All of this adds up to a tremendous opportunity to boost demand for the products we raise, grow and make here in the heartland through expanded trade with Cuba.” — an op-ed column from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and farm leaders.

Yes, it’s a tremendous opportunity. The question remains: Can Cuba pay for the goods it needs?

▪ “It’s not a signal. It’s a clarion call — it’s over.” — Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign on what he and others believe was a signal Monday from Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia that the court will soon make same-sex marriage rights the law of the land.

The two appeared to signal the intentions of the Supreme Court in a dissent they filed in an Alabama gay marriage case.

▪ “I don’t think it’s anybody’s business what I do with my life” after leaving the Senate. — Missouri state Sen. Mike Parson, a Bolivar Republican opposing an ethics bill that would bar lawmakers from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office.

Critics of the practice say lawmakers might be tempted to vote in ways that appeal to special interests who might hire them to lobby. The state Senate on Monday voted 32-2 to send a bill to the House that would require future lawmakers to wait two years before becoming lobbyists. The bill exempts all current lawmakers from the new rule.