Daily Archives: April 11, 2013

Big surprise: Senators blast Obama’s budget

Kansas Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts were quick to blast the budget blueprint that President Obama released Wednesday. Though Moran acknowledged that Obama proposed some entitlement reforms (a move that has upset many Democrats), he complained that the blueprint “is far from the serious, reform-oriented budget our country so desperately needs.” And after applauding the proposed funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Roberts said he was “very disappointed that the budget once again includes a misguided proposal to increase taxes on the business aviation industry” and that the blueprint “is not the right formula to grow jobs and create stability in the economy.” Roberts’ statement came a few hours before he joined 11 other GOP senators and Obama at the White House for a nearly three-hour dinner of steak, salad, sauteed vegetables and coconut sorbet.

Brownback unpopular but may not be vulnerable

According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight political numbers blog, Gov. Sam Brownback is among 10 governors up for re-election next year whose job-approval numbers are “underwater” – with more constituents disapproving than approving of their job performance. For Brownback, the numbers are 36 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval. At least Brownback’s net negative job approval number (minus 16) is lower than those of Rhode Island’s independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee (minus 40), Illinois’ Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn (minus 24) and Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott (minus 20). And as the blog noted, “being unpopular does not necessarily make an incumbent vulnerable to defeat.”

After sale, Lincoln Elementary still will serve kids

It looks like something great for the community will come from the Wichita school district’s decision last year to close Lincoln Elementary School, thanks to the school board’s vote Monday paving the way to sell the school to the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County for $260,000 later this month. Staffed by law enforcement officers and others who investigate and fight child abuse, the nonprofit center has been doing its crucial and sensitive work in the awkward setting of the State Office Building downtown. At the former school, it can fulfill its goal of being a one-stop, child-focused crisis center for victims of physical and sexual abuse, human trafficking and Internet crimes. Would taxpayers rather the sale were at a price closer to the appraised value for the property and land of $939,000? Of course. But the community has sorely needed such a center for years now, and as superintendent John Allison said Monday: “This is truly the definition of a win-win.”