News Articles

August 4, 2014

When it comes to campaign funds, Gov. Sam Brownback's wingman has come in handy.

Twice, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has produced a sizable loan to improve the appearance of Brownback's campaign finance status and related support.

On Dec. 31, 2013, Colyer loaned the governor's campaign $500,000 just before a campaign finance filing deadline. Brownback and Colyer called the loan a commitment to a better future for Kansas children, and a way to help the governor take his message to voters.

May 14, 2014

One can fault Kansas regulators for giving U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins permission to continue to identify herself in her congressional and campaign literature as a certified public accountant, even though she ceased being one when her certification expired in 2012.

It has the look of a favor, the sort of favor regulators ought to know better than to grant. That’s true even though Rep. Jenkins agreed not to perform the duties of a CPA.

May 2, 2014

You learn something new every day.

Last week, I learned the Lawrence Arts Center has a back door.

Who knew?  Well, apparently Gov. Sam Brownback, when he came to talk to this year’s Leadership Kansas class.

This was a mundane presentation, without any news value. What did make news was the governor’s tactical entrance and exit, via an alley and the Art Center’s back door. 

April 29, 2014

In a post Friday on the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog, writer Glenn Kessler called out Rep. Tim Huelskamp for spreading false and misleading information about health care coverage in Kansas.

“There are more folks uninsured today in our district, we believe, than were uninsured before Obamacare kicked in,” Huelskamp had stated at the April 17 Town Hall meeting in Hays. Huelskamp has made this claim at other town hall meetings.

Kessler criticized Huelskamp for making statements that were not supported by any facts.

April 23, 2014

Movement toward the middle — rather than the radical ends of the political spectrum — is a likely outcome this election year at both the state and national level, following years of relative impasse on issues of importance to Kansans and Americans.

April 12, 2014

Because the Kansas Supreme Court did not instruct legislators last month precisely how much additional funding it would take to ensure adequate public education -- opting instead to let a lower court figure it out -- lawmakers are ignoring that part of the ruling.

April 10, 2014

Seriously ... what’s the matter with Kansas?

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill with bi-partisan support Friday that addressed inequities in school funding as needed to satisfy a March 7 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. The 91-31 vote was focused on solving the funding problem and was praised by both Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, which is a feat. State Rep. Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, helped bridge the gap with votes for the bi-partisan bill, however, what happened next is where things went awry with parliamentary games and procedural shenanigans.

January 15, 2014

The first real test of the political winds of 2014 will have a Democratic woman, Alex Sink, running in a special election for a House seat in Florida. From there, some of 2014’s most pivotal races will have women at the center, from Alison Lundergan Grimes aiming at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Michelle Nunn fueling Democratic optimism in red Georgia, to two women running against each other for an open West Virginia Senate seat. Two of the most vulnerable incumbents in the same chamber, Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan, are also women.

January 9, 2014

KANSAS, like every state, explicitly guarantees a free public education in its Constitution, affirming America’s founding belief that only an educated citizenry can preserve democracy and safeguard individual liberty and freedom.

And yet in recent years Kansas has become the epicenter of a new battle over the states’ obligation to adequately fund public education. Even though the state Constitution requires that it make “suitable provision” for financing public education, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature have made draconian cuts in school spending, leading to a lawsuit that now sits before the state Supreme Court.

December 6, 2013
The Kansas City Star

 — Delving into the case of a former journalist turned disability activist, a presidential panel pressed state officials Thursday to explain why some Kansans with disabilities no longer qualify for the services they got before the state privatized the health-care system.

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