Not surprisingly, House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, is trying to backtrack from his clueless remarks that “government employees produce nothing,” as he has been bombarded with calls and e-mails from upset state employees. He issued a statement Tuesday saying that “state employees provide valuable services and contribute to the Kansas economy every day.” Merrick said that his original comments to Eagle reporter Bryan Lowry were “poorly phrased and poorly contextualized,” suggesting he didn’t really mean what he said. Merrick’s rhetoric may have gotten away from him, but his contempt came through loud and clear. – Phillip Brownlee
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