Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Legislative Progress

Rumor has it that tomorrow the Legislature will begin consideration of a bill that will increase funding for education $500 million dollars.

It is good to see that after dealing with the pressing issues of where breast feeding is legal and how high a child's booster seat needs to be, the Legislature found time to debate education. This is a definite improvement over the past two sessions where the Legislature dealt with education (the biggest item in the state budget) after the end of the regular legislative session.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Moore's Unfounded Arts Claim

Dennis Moore, who has had problems with the truth during recent campaigns, recently wrote a column alleging an insanely high return on government investment in the arts:

"The numbers are impressive. For every $1,000 spent annually by a non-profit art business, the community reaps three full-time jobs with $90,554 in annual household income, an additional $2,623 in annual revenue for local governments and $3,479 for state governments. Specifically, a 2004 study to assess the effect of the non-profit arts industry on the five-county Kansas City metropolitan area found that the industry generated $297 million annually, created 4,516 full-time jobs, and drew $3 million in revenue for local governments. These numbers reflect only the direct economic benefits."

In the article Moore references an unnamed study from an unnamed source as the source for his claim.

Local Radio talk show host Jerry Agar reported that he called Moore's office and asked for a copy of the unnamed study Moore refers to in the article. Despite being told by Moore's staff that they would produce the unnamed study, 24 hours later Agar had not received the unnamed study.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Odds on 2006 Elections

According to current quotes on Tradesports.com:

Republican win in KS Governor '06: 18%
Republican win in Presidential '08: 50.3%
Republican Congress '06: 88% Senate 73% House
Top 4 Republican nominees: Allen, McCain, Giuliani, Romney
Top 4 Democrat nominees: Clinton, Warner, Edwards, Gore

Discuss amongst yourselves, but we need to get to work to change that Governor number.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pickell "Republican for Moore"

In what may be a crippling blow for his fledgling candidacy for Governor, Tim Pickell has been identified as a "Republican for Moore" and contributed money to the Democrat Congressman's campaign.

Pickell, who did not host a reception, passed out information at Kansas Day indicating his support for Republican unity, an unusual move for someone who had been part of the most divisive group in recent Kansas Republican politics, and a group that was instrumental in the defeat of Republican candidates from all parts of the Republican ideological spectrum.

The guys at Fire Kansas Democrats deserve credit for the research.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sebelius "working" on Education Plan

After two years without proposing an education budget or a plan for improving education in Kansas, Governor Sebelius has finally started working on a plan.

Previously Sebelius had proposed raising taxes on the middle clas by $300 million per year to support education.

From the Kansas City Star:

"Jennison said Sebelius isn't showing any leadership on the biggest issue facing her and legislators: the need to find more money for public schools because of rulings by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Many fellow Republicans are saying the same thing, because Sebelius hasn't outlined a school finance plan since her ill-fated proposal in 2004 to phase in a $300 million tax increase over three years ago.

"This race, in our opinion, is about one thing: It's leadership," Jennison said. "I really don't think the governor fulfilled her role as governor."

Sebelius and her aides have said the governor is working with legislators who are drafting school finance legislation this year. Spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran noted that Sebelius recently said she is pleased with the cooperation she has seen from Republican legislative leaders."

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Solid Performance from Barnett

I had a chance to see State Senator Jim Barnett (running for Governor) speak earlier this week.

All in all Barnett put in a solid performance for a candidate early in the election cycle. Barnett focused primarily on economic issues, discussing the policy research he has done regarding the sub par economic growth in Kansas. Barnett stressed the importance of balancing the budget, attracting business and innovation to Kansas, and improving education.

During the Q&A session Barnett showed a thoughtful grasp of issues, even when questioned by two Democrat party activist who tried to challenge him.

While Barnett didn't blow e away, it was a very solid performance that demonstrated that he has solid credentials and has put some serious thought into the key issues facing Kansas.

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