Daily Archives: Jan. 21, 2013

Obama begins new term

President Obama stuck mostly to broad themes in his inauguration address today, calling on Americans to work together as one nation and one people to fulfill the promises of the Declaration of Independence. But he also listed several policy goals, including climate change, gay rights and immigration reform. Our editorial Sunday said that the president should make repairing the nation’s economy and the government’s finances his highest priority.

Is GOP moving away from Kobach on immigration?

Secretary of State Kris Kobach said President Obama’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform was out of touch with Congress and the American public. But the plan is strikingly similar to proposals being developed by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., which have been endorsed by former GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Rubio wants to allow illegal immigrants currently living in the United States to gain provisional legal status and eventually citizenship. “Ultimately it’s not good for our country to have people permanently trapped in that status where they can’t become citizens,” Rubio said. Last week anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told Kansas lawmakers in Topeka that Kobach’s hard-line approach to immigration was bad for the economy and bad politically for Republicans.

Advice to new lawmakers: When in doubt, vote ‘no’

Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, cautioned new state lawmakers that they won’t know the answers. “There is no way you can know all you need to know about every issue,” Donovan told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “When you look at 1,000 bills before you in a year – you can’t. They come at you fast, and you have to vote on it.” If lawmakers can’t decide how to handle an issue, they should make a “no” vote the default position, he said. “Pay attention to someone that you can trust,” Donovan said. “Otherwise, you’ll walk off into the swamp with the alligator.” Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said it was important for lawmakers to keep their word. “Your word is your bond,” he said. “You lose a lot of credibility by telling somebody one thing and then do something altogether different.”

Norquist’s play-by-play of State of the State

One of those tweeting from the Statehouse during Gov. Sam Brownback’s State of the State address was Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who was in Topeka to address legislators on immigration and other issues. His running commentary of tweets included:
“Liberal state Supreme Court entering … tepid applause.”
“This is just like the Golden Globe event…. Different dress code. No color commentary by Joan Rivers. Otherwise similar.”
“Hey, Sebelius…. Brownback called last decade a ‘lost decade.’ Now KS is creating jobs.”
“Standing ovation for Brownback’s call to abolish the state income tax. A few Democrat legislators remain seated.”
“Brownback letting state Supreme Court know that if they want to write budgets they will have to stand for election. Glum judges.”