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Shallenburger has other fine qualities

Tim Shallenburger was called a lot of things during his time as a Kansas House speaker and state treasurer — including strong, fair, pragmatic, blunt and funny. But "bipartisan"? Yet the statement announcing Gov.-elect Sam Brownback's selection of Shallenburger to be legislative liaison said he was "known for his ability to work in a collegial and bipartisan fashion." While praising Shallenburger, Topeka Capital-Journal columnist Ric Anderson challenged the word choice: "His reputation for hard-line conservatism scared droves of moderates into the waiting arms of Kathleen Sebelius when he ran against her in 2002. Shallenburger drew 45 percent of the vote to Sebelius' 52.8 percent, and it took eight years for the GOP to retake the governor's chair. This is a guy who once said: 'A lot of people try to play it too safe and try to say things that are politically correct and try to make sure that nobody gets offended. I'm not that way.' Yeah, a real kumbaya guy, that Tim Shallenburger. And Sarah Palin's known for her reluctance to self-promote."