Opinion Columns & Blogs

Senate GOP rank and file like ‘Animal House’ band

In a podcast with Kansas City’s KCUR Radio, former Kansas state Sens. John Vratil, Tim Owens and Kelly Kultala had some harsh words for the current legislative leadership, but also for the lawmakers who are being manipulated and marginalized. Vratil, a moderate Republican and former Senate vice president, expressed amazement that House and Senate leaders operate “behind closed doors, limit debate on bills, bring them to the floor in a conference committee report so that there can be no amendments. And they get away with it with the rank and file in their caucus.” Former Democratic Sen. Kelly Kultala likened the Senate conservatives to the marching band in “Animal House” that is led off the parade route, down an alley and into a wall. “They could be offering their own motions to bring things up, to pull things out of committee,” Kultala said. “And they don’t. They just follow along blindly.” – Rhonda Holman