Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): The Skinny on KSRA & Its One Time Lobbyist (Also featuring Ray Merrick and Ralph Ostmeyer)

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Skinny on KSRA & Its One Time Lobbyist (Also featuring Ray Merrick and Ralph Ostmeyer)

Let's backtrack, shall we?

At the close of the regular session, circa March -- yeah, that's last month -- a few legislators drafted legislation that would expand gun rights in Kansas. The proposed pieces of legislation would have:

  • Lowered the age for conceal carry licenses from 21 to 18;
  • Required that buildings that receive public funding or financing allow those with conceal carry to carry in the buildings or provide adequate security -- so be treated as public buildings;
  • Required that public housing allow renters to have guns.
When legislators suggested these pieces of legislation to a lobbyist for the Kansas State Rifle Association -- Mike Murray -- he was not impressed.

Following a brief snit with these legislators, the lobbyist reportedly yelled that the legislation would mean some Republicans would not get re-elected if asked to take a stand on those pieces of legislation. Now, I'm no policy expert, BUT I am fairly certain that outside of certain circles like Lawrence and KCK -- where Republicans don't really have much of a toe-hold and where we certainly don't have any state legislators -- no one has ever been thrown out of office in Kansas for support of the Second Amendment.

But I digress: So Mike had a bit of a snit with some legislators over legislation he opposed personally. And he took that fight right to the top -- Speaker Ray Merrick, who ensured the bills wouldn't see the light of day in the House -- and Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, who is doing his best to ensure that gun legislation dies in the Senate today.

Back in late March, when KSRA officials heard that their own lobbyist was working against their interests, members of the KSRA board called Murray onto the carpet. Rumor has it that at this particular meeting, Murray said something along the lines of (and note to Murray's attorneys, I'm paraphrasing) And that's why I don't work well with women. KSRA's president appears to have 'XX' chromosomes. I don't want to offend anyone by calling her a women on the off chance she "identifies" as something else.

Anyway, Murray was canned as a KSRA lobbyist, but he's waiving papers around Topeka complaining that he was wronged. Meanwhile, gun legislation is at a stand still because some lobbyist dude and friend of Ray and Ralph has his Fruit of the Looms twisted.

From where I'm standing this looks like a pissing contest in which a handful of old school legislators and a lobbyist from yesteryear are trying to show their prowess by shooting long streams. Unfortunately, it looks like the people of Kansas are getting caught in the cross stream.

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