Daily Archives: May 26, 2013

Governor needs to usher lawmakers to the exits

Instead of ending in 80 days, as promised by the Legislature’s new conservative GOP leaders, the legislative session has spun out of control. On the 91st day, which was Friday, the House unceremoniously rejected the Senate’s tax plan on a 5-109 vote and adjourned until Tuesday. That was despite a closed-door appeal to House freshmen that morning by Gov. Sam Brownback. Such rancor among conservatives reflects badly on the leadership of the governor, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, and the resulting overtime days are wasting tax dollars. Senate negotiators took a big step Friday afternoon in blessing House negotiators’ preferred 6 percent sales-tax rate, but will the rank and file fall in line? Brownback needs to usher lawmakers to the exits.

Did president ever say ‘corporate fat cat jet owners’?

Politico highlighted the Light Aircraft Revitalization Act, the legislation recently introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (in photo), R-Wichita, to boost general aviation by streamlining the certification process and lowering costs. He said its passage would help the “very, very troubled” aircraft-manufacturing industry in Wichita. “You cannot have a tax and regulatory structure that puts American manufacturing at a decided global disadvantage. And that’s what I think we have today,” Pompeo said. Politico questioned Pompeo’s claim that President Obama has made “dozens and dozens of speeches in which he says ‘corporate fat cat jet owners.’ You can talk to the folks at these businesses; they will all tell you: ‘The president gives that speech; it spooks the market.’” According to Politico, “a LexisNexis search didn’t turn up any references of Obama using the phrase, and the White House had no record of it.” Perhaps, but the president’s policy proposals and rhetoric regarding corporate jets and their owners speak for themselves.

So they said

- “Speedos are not required.” – Wichita Festivals president and CEO Mary Beth Jarvis, pre-empting Mayor Carl Brewer’s question about the new Riverfest Beach Party-

- “I’m a big fan of the turkey leg myself.” – Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Jim Skelton, during a discussion of Riverfest’s highlights

- “It’s easy. Three words: ‘I was responsible.’” – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., goading former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman during a Senate hearing on IRS targeting of conservative groups

- “I want to be the hush in the room.” – House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, noting House chatter increases during comments by legislators who frequently go to the microphone and diminishes for those who rarely speak

- “This is about circling the wagons and shooting inward.” – Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, as the House and Senate’s GOP leaders battled over taxes Thursday

- “This is the Washington model for gaining stature in your own community – bringing home the bacon.” – Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, on a state budget proposal’s $85,000 for golf tournaments in Wichita and Newton (the latter home to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades)