Daily Archives: May 13, 2013

Obama joins criticism of IRS

President Obama joined the criticism of IRS officials who targeted tea party groups for special scrutiny, saying it was “outrageous” and “contrary to our traditions and people have to be held accountable.” Obama added: “I have got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it, and we’ve got to find out what happened with it.” An inspector general’s report on the matter has yet to be released.

Kansas among deadliest states for workers

A new report from the AFL-CIO ranks Kansas as the 10th deadliest state for workers in 2011. Kansas had 78 workplace deaths in 2011 (7 fewer than in 2010). That’s a rate of 5.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers, compared with the nationwide rate of 3.5. Kansas also had 34,400 injuries or incidents of job-related illness. The study blames the poor record in part on a lack of safety regulations and inspectors. It said that Kansas had only 14 federal job safety inspectors and no state inspectors, and that those federal inspectors inspected only 786 of the state’s 87,223 work establishments in fiscal year 2012. But job accidents are also associated with certain types of work. States with significant mining, oil and gas extraction and agriculture sectors have higher job-fatality rates.

How to get re-elected

Freshman Kansas House Republicans got advice last week on how to get re-elected, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey, R-Louisburg, told them to get busy raising money, because it will discourage potential challengers (and discourage lobbyists from giving money to challengers). Karl Hansen of the direct mail firm Singularis Group, which produced many campaign hit pieces last election, encouraged lawmakers to take advantage of their taxpayer-paid franking privileges and to host telephone town hall meetings. “It essentially works like talk radio. You’re the Rush Limbaugh,” he said. Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff David Kensinger said the lawmakers would benefit because Brownback and Sen Pat Roberts, R-Kan., will also be on the ballot in 2014. “We’re interested in helping you succeed,” he said. Whatever happened to getting re-elected because you did a good job?