Masterson – Truly just about anyone can get elected to the Kansas Legislature and even rise to a prestigious Senate committee chairmanship, as the 2013 Legislature proves. Case in point: The new chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee filed for bankruptcy in 2010 with nearly $885,000 in unsecured debts. Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, even tried to spin his bankruptcy experience into a good credential for the post. “Who better to lead out of the forest than somebody who has seen a lot of the pitfalls?” he said. That’s one way to look at it, but not how most folks would judge competency for the person put in charge of shaping the state’s budget in the Senate. With such appointments, Kansans have more reason to question the credibility of the Legislature and to have weakened faith in its overall aptitude.
KanCare – The goal of KanCare is to slow the growth of Medicaid spending without reducing benefits. That goal is worthy, but one that few in the field of social services seem to see as realistic. The public in Kansas should hold the Brownback administration hard to its promise that our state’s safety net will not be frayed by this reform.
Winfield Daily Courier
Redistricting – Incoming Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said she might reopen the great redistricting debate, which the Legislature flubbed so completely last session that a panel of federal judges had to draw the political lines. But why? Redistricting is a form of purgatory, involving hours of haggling over one plan or another. And it’s not as if the map drawn by the judges didn’t produce the sort of Legislature Wagle favors, one that is overwhelmingly Republican and conservative.
Kansas City Star
It’s unfortunate that legislators were unable to reach a redistricting agreement earlier this year, but the state has moved forward, accepted the new lines and elected its representatives. Why not just leave well enough alone? Whatever political agenda might be served by reopening this issue isn’t worth the potential upheaval and controversy it could cause.
Huelskamp – The unwillingness of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, to compromise a single thing has left him on the outs with his own party. Unfortunately, he’s compromised key sectors of the 1st District and the entire state by getting booted off the House agriculture and budget committees. Refusing to bargain might be acceptable to tea party types, but it’s not a good deal for the 1st District. We need a representative at the table, not relegated to the hallway.
Hays Daily News
Klein – Collin Klein wasn’t called upon to present an acceptance speech during the Heisman Trophy ceremony, but anyone who has followed the young man’s career at Kansas State University pretty much knows what he would have said. Klein would have been humble and grateful as he tried to deflect attention from himself and share credit for the honor with others. It would have been a great speech, and Klein would have been a very worthy, and responsible, recipient of college football’s highest individual award.