Government & Politics

TheChat: Obama to go it alone on immigration

Good morning.

▪ “Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long.” — President Barack Obama in a video he released on Wednesday previewing a speech he will give Thursday night on actions he will take to improve the nation’s immigration system.

The president will spend Thursday and Friday promoting his new policies, which are going to trigger a critical firestorm from Republicans on Capitol Hill. They will accuse the president of refusing to work with the new Congress and going it alone. What’s also true is that two other Republicans presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, acted unilaterally on immigration, and there was no partisan explosion at the time.

▪ “Now, 15 days after the election, hearts still broken, most of us have moved from the comatose to the zombie stage, slowly putting one foot in front of the other as we begin taking stock of where we are and where we need to go.” — an e-mail to supporters from a bipartisan group called Women for Kansas that opposed Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election.

The e-mail suggests that the group will model themselves after the suffragists who fought for 136 years to win the right to vote. “Through tenacity and courage, they prevailed, and so shall we.”

▪ “Endorsements, while not everything on a campaign, are especially important in the early stages of building this team.” — Nick Maddux, a spokesperson for Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway of Missouri.

The push is on from the Hanaway camp to round up as many endorsements from lawmakers as possible in the months to come. That state Auditor Tom Schweich is expected to announce his candidacy shortly may be one big reason for Hanaway’s rush. (link courtesy of

▪ Panel members were “intent on making a statement that the Legislature, as well as the governor, was worth more than (they were) getting.” — former Missouri state Rep. Charles Schlottach, a Republican from Owensville, on a commission recommendation Tuesday that called for pay raises for statewide elected officials and lawmakers.

The Citizens' Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials recommended 8 percent raises for most statewide elected officials — including the governor, attorney general, treasurer, auditor and secretary of state — in fiscal year 2016 and again in 2017. The commission also recommended a $4,000 raise over two years for lawmakers. The raises go into effect unless two-thirds of the Legislature rejects them.