Daily Archives: March 4, 2013

Farming not a big issue for Obama

In an article headlined “Agriculture has slipped from D.C.’s radar screen,” Politico noted that only nine days after the Chrysler ad on the Super Bowl had Americans feeling warm and fuzzy about farming, President Obama “skipped over farmers entirely in his State of the Union address, never mentioning the yearlong farm bill stalemate in Congress nor even including ‘agriculture’ among the thousands of words spoken that night.” Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said, “The president and his people I don’t think even get it.” The office of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded: “The president has repeatedly called on Congress to pass the long-term farm bill rural America deserves, and the administration continues to urge action this year.”

Lawmakers not willing to weaken energy standard

It was a bit of a surprise last week when neither the Kansas House nor Senate approved a measure that would weaken the state’s renewable-energy standard. Good for both chambers. Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist had lobbied lawmakers to make the change, and Koch Industries worked behind the scenes for the bill. But some lawmakers were concerned that changing the rules would create “regulatory uncertainty.” And an official with Westar Energy said the renewable standard was good public policy that had only a “relatively small” influence on the energy costs paid by consumers, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Delegation backs Brownback on state income taxes

The four members of the Kansas congressional delegation who previously served in the Legislature are supportive of Gov. Sam Brownback’s push to cut state income taxes and reduce government, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said that Kansas needed to be more like Texas. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, said that Kansas also has to compete with low-cost countries. Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, contrasted Brownback’s approach to President Obama’s call for higher taxes. “Kansas has a better pathway,” Yoder said.

Kansans like coaches more than state’s politicians

In addition to asking political questions, a new Public Policy Polling survey asked Kansans about some of their college coaches. University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self (in photo) had the highest favorability rating, with 62 percent of those surveyed having a favorable opinion of him. He was closely followed by Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder (58 percent favorable), then KSU basketball coach Bruce Weber (34 percent) and KU football coach Charlie Weis (28 percent). Former KU basketball coach Roy Williams still had a 48 percent favorability rating. As the survey noted, Williams was more well-liked than the state’s politicians (though not former Sen. Bob Dole, who had a 69 percent favorability rating).