Buying access – If middle-class Kansans are curious about how they can make their voices heard in Topeka, they should take a cue from Rodney Steven. For several years, Steven and his Genesis Health Clubs have pressed legislators to address what he viewed as inequity in a tax system that charged his for-profit clubs sales and property taxes, while allowing recreation centers and YMCAs to organize as tax-exempt nonprofits. This year, however, Steven put his money – about $45,000 – behind his request, and now this previously ignored bill has some senators’ ears, and some momentum. The GOP-dominated Senate voted to advance Senate Bill 72, which grants a property-tax exemption. Stevens and Genesis donated money to 24 of 40 of the Senate’s current members, including most of the members of the assessment and taxation committee, where the bill originated.