Opinion Columns & Blogs

Why governors should not cozy up to lobbyists

Kensinger AP

So just weeks after being e-mailed Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget draft, lobbyist and former chief of staff David Kensinger started working against part of the proposal – a tobacco tax increase. Kensinger wouldn’t tell The Eagle’s Bryan Lowry whether his early knowledge of the tax proposal played a role in his ability to secure the lobbying contract with Reynolds American. But the sequence of events looks bad. It’s one thing to consult “with a number of individuals” on budget discussions, as the governor’s spokeswoman put it. It’s another to see the governor so cozy with certain lobbyists that they could influence budget or other government decisions, and then potentially use that access to their financial benefit. – Rhonda Holman