Daily Archives: Dec. 9, 2012

Kochs, Sebelius among Forbes’ ‘most powerful’

How did Kansas fare on Forbes’ latest list of the “world’s 71 most powerful people”? Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch (in photo) shared 41st place, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius placed 68th. “The former governor of Kansas is the person in charge of implementing Obamacare,” Forbes wrote. “Sebelius’ decisions will shape American lives – and the insurance, medical and pharmaceutical industries – for decades.” Charles Koch also appears on the cover of the latest Forbes, for an article titled “Inside the Koch Empire: How the Brothers Plan to Reshape America.” Calling the presidential election results “bitterly disappointing,” David Koch told the magazine: “We raised a lot of money and mobilized an awful lot of people, and we lost, plain and simple. We’re going to study what worked, what didn’t work, and improve our efforts in the future. We’re not going to roll over and play dead.” Charles Koch said the goal is “ “true democracy,” where people “can run their own lives and choose what they want to buy, choose how to spend their money.” Forbes’ five most powerful people? President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Pope Benedict XVI.

So they said

“Where I come from in Kansas, if you want to stab a guy, you look him in the eye and say, ‘Hey.’ Don’t go behind closed doors and send out your aides to say, ‘This is what happened.’” – Rep. Tim Huelskamp (in photo), R-Fowler, fuming to Politico about how he was dumped from the House budget and agriculture committees

“Given the times … he might want to have a reception — not some big whoop-de-do.” – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., in the New York Post, about President Obama’s second inauguration

“We are the dog that caught the car.” – new Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, on conservatives’ takeover of the chamber

“Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know.” – Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Tim Norton, endorsing the partnerships and strategic initiatives of Visioneering and the county’s $40,000 for it

“He was in the Republican mainstream, and then … either the stream dried up or he chose another canoe.” – Roberts again, telling the Omaha World-Herald he likes former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel but is reserving judgment on any Cabinet nomination

Kamen was in the thick of it

Businessman Sheldon Kamen’s work on the USD 259 school board and Wichita City Council, including as mayor in 1988-89, made him a Wichitan of uncommon influence for two decades, and found him often in the thick of tough issues. Kamen, who died Wednesday at age 80, especially will be remembered for his roles in the ‘90s city-county trash wars, the early days of downtown revitalization and in transportation decisions, including the Kellogg freeway. His many letters to the editor over the years included a tongue-in-cheek acceptance of a “Dragger of the Foot” award from The Eagle editorial board, with Kamen writing: “I particularly want to thank my parents, who instilled in me a sense of responsibility to be used when spending other people’s money.” In a response to another editorial criticism, he wrote: “Evangelists might get visions from thunderbolts, but political leaders need to define and study those visions that will affect an entire city.” The editorial board had good words for him, too, over the years, noting in a 1995 endorsement that “he requests in his unfailingly polite manner for dollars-and-cents justification on behalf of the taxpayers.”