Monday, February 18, 2008

Jill Quigley Vote on Coal-Plant Could Signal GOP Challenger

The trickle-down effect of legislation that was voted on today by the Kansas House (passed 73-45, not veto proof) will not fully be known until much later, but there is word that this issue could signal a GOP Challenger or two that would take on Jill Quigley in November.

Kenig Konnection sources are being told that given the strong business interest across the state in getting the coal-plant back on track (some are saying this is even more important than stem-cell research to large JOCO business interests), Quigley’s vote will likely be the most important and watched vote of the entire Johnson County delegation, especially as the newest member of the House from JoCo who has yet to be tested on a vote of significant consequence. Her possible vote against the state chamber of commerce and Johnson County business interests wishes will most likely earn her a competitive primary challenger.

Stay tuned to the Kenig Konnection for more information.


Anonymous said...

The Greater Kansas City Chamber does not have a position on the coal bill; they have told lawmakers they don't care which way they vote. Most Johnson County legislators have heard anti-coal messages from their districts in overwhelming numbers. Actually, a more likely scenario is that Republicans who voted yes are now more likely to get Dem opponents in the fall because the green issue resonates here.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, not KCCI.

Most people don't know the entire story--whether or not you support coal, the issue is whether KDHE overstepped their authority in denying the permit--and they clearly did.

Also, Sen. Vratil polled his Leawood district and 60 percent support the coal plant expansion, so opinions in Johnson County are mixed at best.

The green issue may resonate here in the KC 'burbs, but this plant would have been a very "green" and environmentally-friendly plant. The number one issue for most Americans is the economy right now--not the environment--and denying jobs to western Kansas at a time when the western part of the state is facing record flight and declining populations is not smart policy--it's bad politics.

The governor and her party are also late proponents of wind energy--they haven't exactly lobbied for more wind power plants or adequately supported the plants Kansas currently has.

The state faces many energy challenges, but until we have viable and sustainable "greener" solutions, it is bad policy to allow thousands of jobs and the construction of a coal plant to go to a state like Oklahoma. Considering that under the current governor's term, Kansas has ranked dead last among the states for private sector job growth, this latest instance only reinforces the perception that Kansas is unfriendly to business--the state might as well issue a formal caveat.

Stephanie Sharp said...

Brandon: I know that Jill conducted a survey with a mailing to every voting household in the district, driving them to an online survey. You might ask how those surveys are coming back on the Holcomb issue. What's a challenger going to run on - I promise NOT to represent your interests in Topeka?

Brandon said...

Hi Stephanie--
I was unaware that Jill had conducted a survey on the issue. If an overwhelming number of her constituents oppose the bill, that would definitely affect her vote--she would (and perhaps should) be more inclined to vote her district. But opinions have been mixed (for example, Vratil's Leawood district supports the amendment).

If you could let me know the survey results--or I can email Jill directly--I'd be happy to report on them. The info on a possible challenger was passed on to me from sources currently in the legislature--whether or not that transpires is another issue, but that rumor is currently swirling in Topeka.

This is probably going to be the most controversial issues of this legislative session, and whatever side you fall on, it can clearly be used as a rallying cry (I can see opponents challenging those who voted for the amendment and opponents challenging those who voted against the amendment).

How's Community America? I have a lot of friends looking for PR and HR jobs right now--tough time with the current economy.