With the Kansas Chamber of Commerce having pursued a more political agenda in recent years, the job as its president and CEO should be a good fit for longtime Rep. Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, who is retiring after four years as House speaker. It also makes sense as a “thank you” to O’Neal, given how aggressively the chamber helped Gov. Sam Brownback push for the Legislature to slash income taxes. In fact, the cuts only became law this year because of O’Neal’s gambit to ram through a deeply flawed bill and pre-empt a Senate attempt to kill any chance of tax cuts. After that showdown, the governor’s budget director was heard telling O’Neal, “We really appreciate that. We’ll always remember it.”
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