TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Democrats are pushing a petition calling for the ouster of the Republican House speaker for saying government employees produce nothing, but they acknowledge the effort is mainly to draw attention to the Stilwell representative's remarks. Ray Merrick told The Wichita Eagle last weekend that government workers are net consumers whose employment amounts to a Democratic jobs plan that doesn't stimulate the economy. Merrick later issued a statement praising state employees. Teachers, law enforcement officers, social service workers and court officials all are government workers. Overland Park Republican House member Stephanie Clayton told The Topeka Capital-Journal that she had heard from some constituents who are upset by the speaker's comment. Assistant House minority leader Tom Burroughs of Kansas City acknowledges that Democrats don't have any influence on the choice of House speaker.
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