Daily Archives: Sept. 21, 2009

Democrats say Brownback tries to take credit for stimulus project

Democratic leaders in the state Legislature are accusing U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback of hypocrisy over federal economic-stimulus spending for a Hutchinson rail spur, claiming he is trying to take credit for something he opposed.

At issue is a news release issued by Brownback’s office last week titled “Brownback applauds infrastructure development in Hutchinson, Kansas,” celebrating a $1.78 million federal grant to help build a rail spur to serve the Salt City Business Park.

On Monday, Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, issued a joint commentary titled “Brownback deserves no credit for Hutchinson grant.”

“If Sam Brownback had had his way, Hutchinson would have never received that grant,” Hensley said. “Certainly what this is is hypocrisy.”

The funding for the rail spur was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill passed in Februrary and backed mainly by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Brownback voted against the bill and spoke in opposition to it in the Senate.

His office declined to comment on the state legislators’ statement.

Audio and written records indicate Brownback has had a mixed relationship with the stimulus bill.

Read More »

McCain backs Moran for Senate

Republican Rep. Jerry Moran collected another endorsement from the GOP establishment for his run for the Senate in Kansas next year. This time it was a big name: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who lost the presidential race last year.

McCain framed his support around one of his signature issues: Moran, he said, “is not afraid to oppose wasteful earmarks that cheat the American taxpayer.”

Moran is running against fellow Kansas Republican, Rep. Todd Tiahrt, for the GOP nomination.

City, county meet on arena parking

ParkingMeetings are going on this morning with the owners of private lots near Intrust Bank Arena. A letter from the city to owners says that “During these meetings, you will have the opportunity to talk with city staff responsible for the parking plan to learn more about the opportunities and how we can best utilize private lots for arena events.” The city said it would provide information about how leases would be structured. A second round of meetings will take place Sept. 24. City and county leaders are meeting Tuesday to hear a presentation of the draft report of the “Downtown Parking and Mobility Study.” Carl Walker Consultants prepared the study. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. in the City Council’s chambers on the first floor of City Hall, 455 N. Main.