Kansas Chamber video showcases close political ties

A promotional video for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce includes endorsements by top political leaders in the state. “I don’t know where we would be without the chamber,” Gov. Sam Brownback (in photo) says in the video. Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, notes that the chamber “was involved in the elections for both House and Senate members” and that it “helped change the environment in the Capitol.” The chamber’s political action committee spent more than $1 million during the 2012 legislative election, much of it directed at defeating moderate Republicans. One of those purged lawmakers, former Sen. Ruth Teichman of Stafford, wondered if the chamber is now trying to convince Kansas that “getting rid of us” was a good thing, the Hutchinson News reported. Also of note in the video is Neeli Bendapudi, the dean of the University of Kansas School of Business. She says that “the Kansas Chamber and the University of Kansas are united for business.” When contacted by the Hutchinson News, Bendapudi said she did not intend to speak for the entire university. “I honestly did not think it through,” she said.