Daily Archives: Jan. 30, 2012

KBA doesn’t need wholesale changes

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, is correct that there doesn’t appear to be a need for wholesale changes to the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Though a forensic audit released last week found significant problems related to former KBA president Tom Thornton (in photo), including that he destroyed personal information from his business computer, the audit raised no major issues related to the KBA’s investments. “The problems seem to be with the head guy, who’s now gone,” O’Neal said. “It didn’t really identify, in my view, a lot of structural or systemic problems that would affect the board.” KBA’s board of directors did a poor job of supervising Thornton and needs to make sure it has adequate oversight. But O’Neal noted that membership on the board has changed, and he thinks the process now in place for appointments will help to correct problems at the authority.

Brownback’s aggressive agenda in spotlight

An article on Stateline.org highlights Gov. Sam Brownback’s aggressive wish list on taxes, school finance, Medicaid, state employee pensions and more, suggesting it “may be the boldest agenda of any governor this year” and quoting Brownback as saying of the proposed reforms: “They all lean up against each other. I’m not sure which of those pieces you can pull out.” The article also observes that his success is likely to hinge on moderate Republicans in the Senate, at least nine of whom will face conservative primary challengers in August. “Brownback insists he will not get involved in the GOP primary process,” Stateline.org reported, but organizations that support him such as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce are expected to assist the challengers. “They want to purge the party of anyone that’s considered reasonable,” said Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, whose primary opponent is state Rep. Larry Powell, R-Garden City.

Obama addressed Americans as if they were eighth-graders

When put to the Flesch-Kincaid readability test gauging the number of words and syllables, President Obama’s State of the Union address came in at a grade level of 8.4, compared with 8.8 last year and the 10.7 average grade level of the 70 State of the Union addresses delivered orally since 1934. President Kennedy aimed highest in his State of the Union speeches: 12th grade. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ GOP response to Obama calculated at a 14th-grade level.