Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson came out on top in the Statehouse's most challenging budget session in memory. Kansas City Star political columnist Steve Kraske counted himself among those who thought getting a 1 percent sales-tax hike through the GOP-led Legislature in a bad economy "was as likely as pigs flying. But Parkinson got it done," Kraske wrote. "Whether you like the tax hike or not, Parkinson's actions fall into the category of pretty fine leadership." Parkinson, unelected to his job and not running in November, acknowledged that "there were a lot of skeptics at the time, and rightly so. The Legislature proved me right."