KS week in review: Lobbying, savings and missed votes

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — It’s Friday, folks, and we all know what that means: Moods are up, the workload is on its way down and all sights are set forward on the weekend. But while you decide how to spend your final working hours, let’s recap the week in headlines.

Lawmaker: Lobbyist spending fuels perception of ‘bought and paid for’ legislature

Republican Rep. Michael Houser said what most average folks are thinking — Lawmakers who load up on free goodies from lobbyists are creating an air of corruption around the Capitol. Whether that’s the case can at times be irrelevant; as the saying goes, “perception is reality.” But with so few legislators opting to pay their own way, it begs the question: Does minimal lobbyist attention signal scruples, or just a lack of influence? You decide.

Kansas Lawmakers boast savings, hope you have a short memory

After recent chest-pounding coming out of the Capitol, we have to wonder if state legislative leaders think the general public has the attention span of a goldfish. After wrapping up the shortest legislative session in decades, lawmakers were quick to tout big savings by getting out of town ahead of schedule. There’s just one tiny little problem: Legislators seem to have forgotten about the inflated tab they stuck taxpayers with last year. here.

Six Kansas representatives total more than half of all missed House votes

Bueller

I think we’re starting to see a trend here. Last year, a grand total of seven House lawmakers accounted for more than half of all missed roll call votes in the chamber. This year, the honor has been shrunk to a mere six elected officials. Shocked? Here’s something else to grab your interest: One lawmaker, who amassed nearly 25 percent of all missed votes, should also receive the least flack for the matter. See if your lawmaker is on the list.

Contact Travis Perry at travis@kansaswatchdog.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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