Speaker: Kansas Governor Wooed Lawmakers With Basketball

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ House Speaker Melvin Neufeld says Gov. Kathleen Sebelius used NCAA basketball games to influence votes on coal-fired power plants.

A Sebelius aide and some of the legislators say the allegation is unfounded.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that five senators and six House members flew in March and April on the governor's state plane.

Those flights were to tournament games featuring the eventual national champions, the University of Kansas.

Sebelius vetoed legislation to allow two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas, and lawmakers have so far sustained her. Neufeld, an Ingalls Republican, is a strong supporter of those plants.

Nine of the 11 lawmakers who flew on the governor's plane have opposed the legislation.

The governor's office issued a statement today saying:
"The speaker is trying to make something out of nothing. It's just not there. If anyone does the math 120 house members and 40 senators, this really makes no sense at all."


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