Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Politics: February 2012


kansas-state-capitol-1.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - Conservatives in the Kansas legislature are once again up to their old tricks of trying to turn the Capitol into a religious body. A new proposal was announced this week that would provide Kansas state lawmakers with a very special privilege; an "All-faiths" chapel inside the Capitol building. There are many legal concerns as well as practical arguments against the All-faiths chapel. However, the important question to raise is why such a proposal has suddenly appeared?

The whole effort is nothing more than religious mischief concocted by the religious right. If the proposal goes nowhere in this session, the idea still gets out in front of the public to build momentum and support down the road for a chapel. Make no mistake that behind this audacious proposal, the All-faiths chapel is a very calculated and concrete challenge to elevate religion in Kansas government and devalue secularism. This proposal essentially demands that Kansas government accommodate and provide for religion to establish a real presence within the Statehouse and serve as a visible reminder that faith is paramount in governing when in fact, governing should be neutral when it comes to religious promotion. Establishing a chapel in the Capitol building is hardly a neutral act.

PACing 'em in Congress

SALINA, Kan. - A college friend of mine, a conservative Republican from Chicago, is a proponent of publicly funded federal elections. When pressed a couple years ago he succinctly explained his reasoning. Under such a system members of Congress would arrive in Washington beholden to the citizens who elected them instead of the special interests that currently elect our congressmen.

This conversation came back to me last November as my civic club listened to our congressman speak over lunch. By coincidence, that same day the congressional Super-committee in Washington announced that they had been unable to reach agreement on a plan to cut the nation's deficit. As we filed out that afternoon another individual remarked to me, "What you heard here today was a demonstration of the problem."

Kansans Ask, 'Where is Kris Kobach?'

TOPEKA, Kan. - On February 15, Kansans presented hundreds of Freedom of Information requests to Secretary of State Kris Kobach asking where has he been since taking office in January 2011.

Kobach has made many trips outside the state to promote his extreme, anti-immigrant agenda. He continues to "moonlight" as an attorney for city and states where his anti-immigrant legislation is undergoing court challenges.

It's Not Your Water, Mr. Irrigator

BOGUE, Kan. - Fellow Kansas Free Press contributor and an Ogallala irrigator and I have had an interesting exchange over whether reducing appropriated water "rights" would constitute a "taking" as per the U.S. Constitution 4th Amendment.

As I believe I have reported, then KS Attorney General Carla Stovall was asked about that as one part of a question carried on my behalf by then KS Sen. Stan Clark. In essence, Stovall declined to answer plainly, but said it would depend on the circumstances. In the Cheyenne Bottoms case, both junior and senior water rights were reduced by the DWR without awarding a taking to senior right holders. To summarize, it was a voluntary settlement that avoided the courts. That could--but almost assuredly won't--happen on the scale necessary to end the mining of the Ogallala. What then, can be done?

In March of 2003, John C. Peck, highly respected law professor at KU School of Law, presented a paper in Kyoto, Japan, to the 3rd World Water Forum entitled: Property Rights in Groundwater--Some Lessons from the Kansas Experience.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Politics: January 2012. The next archive is Politics: March 2012.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents. The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.


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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Politics: February 2012 section.

The previous archive is Politics: January 2012. The next archive is Politics: March 2012.

The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.

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