Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Ryckman Will Be KS House Speaker--Probably

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ryckman Will Be KS House Speaker--Probably

Yesterday, I suggested that Rep. Russ Jenkins appeared to have a clear path to the become Speaker of the Kansas House. I read those tea leaves wrong! I was way too eager to get information out there. I should have double checked. Anyway, yesterday, I thought once-rumored front runner Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. wasn't going to seek the top House job. Ryckman will seek the Speaker's role, and it looks like he'll get it--despite a swing through Johnson County by Reps. Jennings of Lakin and Don Hineman of Dighton. The duo swung through JoCo last week for a "mod" breakfast Wednesday morning. 

Is it just me or are the so-called mods awfully clique-ish? Very few attended the Johnson County Republican Party Watch Party on Tuesday night. Rumor has it they had their own "mod" event.

This is where I attempt to keep my head from exploding. You know if conservatives said they were just going to take their ball and go play in someone else's sand box, the calls for unity would be unceasing. 

So, Jennings and Hineman made a visit to the city earlier this week. I'm guessing the visit was to shore up votes for leadership. Jennings wants to be Speaker of the Kansas House. So does Jene Vickrey of Louisburg and Ryckman of Olathe. 

Ryckman is the most conservative of the three, followed by Vickrey and then Jennings. Typically, I would favor the most conservative candidate for any position, and Ryckman is probably the best person for the job. That said, politically, it's a crazy move. If things go poorly this session--and I don't think there's much doubt about that--Ryckman will get the blame. If by some miracle things go well, someone like Rep. Melissa Rooker is likely to swoop in and take the credit aided by her leftist media allies. (See the fiasco following the special session in June.)

But, Ryckman appears to put the tough job ahead of political expedience. That's not a bad thing.

Right now, legislators and legislators-elect are wrangling votes for leadership positions and for committee slots. It is a dangerous time for taxpayers, because most of these meetings happen under the cover of darkness--see mod breakfast--and leadership votes are by secret ballot. Most people will never know which legislators sold their souls for cherry office space or the right committee assignment. So, it may be a good thing for taxpayers if the top House slot goes to someone who isn't all that concerned about political consequences.

If we're going to go full-steam ahead seeking transparency in government, as Senate President Susan Wagle's BETTER Kansas Plan suggests, can we make leadership votes public? Asking for a friend.

1 comment:

  1. I would never count Vickrey out, he is a tenacious campaigner and has lined up his votes behind the scene's to a tee, I have no doubts! It will be interesting how it goes.