The timing suggests that Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle thought she would get something very specific and very valuable — glamorous, really — in return for her 2018 “yes” vote for racetrack casinos, after years of strongly opposing expanded gaming in the state.
Ten days after that vote, this happened: Wagle listed President Donald Trump’s close friend and business partner Phil Ruffin, the Wichita-born billionaire casino owner who changed Wagle’s mind when he met with her on the issue, and who stood to directly benefit from such an expansion, as a reference in her pursuit of an ambassadorship from Trump. Preferably to Belgium or Ireland.
These are prize postings that typically go to major donors. Trump’s ambassador to Belgium, Chicago businessman (and credibly accused slumlord) Ron Gidwitz, was Trump’s campaign finance chair in Illinois. His ambassador to Ireland, Cleveland billionaire Ed Crawford, was Trump’s Ohio finance chair.