Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: State: July 2011

Kenny Johnston

"Gov. Brownback and his extreme Republican allies have told us time and time again that fiscal responsibility has been missing from Topeka. They've said state spending has run amok and their devastating cuts to schools, senior services and the vulnerable are necessary.

"Now, because they've been focusing on extreme social issues like illegally defunding Planned Parenthood, the state is facing a lawsuit. Guess what a lawsuit means?"

COLBY, Kan. - Governor Brownback is a real politician with no limits to what and where he goes with his conservative right wing lunacy.

For KFP readers who aren't on the Kansas Democrats mailing list, I'm posting the following letter recently sent by Kenny Johnston, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party ...

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Earlier this week, over 600 Lawrence residents convened in a local church to voice their concerns about the pending closure of the local Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) office.

A sense of anger and anxiety filled the room as people wondered what would happen to their families, students, clients, or neighbors. All of the frustration and rage that resonated in the overflowing sanctuary seemed to stem from a community's deep compassion for its citizens.

Those in attendance claimed that among individuals directly affected by the closure of the SRS offices are employees who cannot afford to relocate, children, the disabled, law enforcement, battered women, the impoverished, and the elderly.

One woman in Lawrence said that she read comments from Brownback-appointed SRS Secretary, Robert Siedlecki. He had compared the difficult decision to close 9 SRS offices to deciding which child a family should sacrifice.

That woman, Kathleen McGee, faulted the Brownback-administration's analogy ...

brownback.jpgWICHITA, Kan. - Governor Sam Brownback has already used his administration to make Kansas one of the most social conservative in the nation. Kansas has become the first state to end public funding of the arts and has narrowly missed being the first state to do end abortions.

Now, Brownback is developing a plan to promote marriage. To head up this effort, Brownback has hired Robert Siedlecki. Ironically, Siedlicki is divorced, but he is an advocate of "faith-based" solutions and an opponent of gay marriage. And, he's from Florida, as if Kansas has a shortage of religious right activists.

Tim Carpenter reported recently some juicy details about a secret April meeting to design Brownback's marriage agenda. The Topeka Capital-Journal uncovered some through a Kansas Open Records request.

The Kansas government spent $13,000 to bring together 20 mostly far-right marriage "experts" for the closed door meeting.

WICHITA, Kan. - A couple of weeks ago asked to speak at The Kansas Equality Coalition's (KEC) Gay Pride Rally in Wichita. To quote my friend Thomas Witt, "There are too many LGBTQ Kansans who are against a woman's right to choose." Lt. Dan Choi was in attendance, as was Dr. Mila Means. These two profiles in courage stood side by side in open support of each others causes.

Kansas NOW and KEC have worked together on many issues involving equal rights. While I understand that every person has their own unique mixture of beliefs, regardless of gender or their sexual identity, I personally struggle for acceptance for the anti-choice gay viewpoint. We are fighting the same political demons, after all.

There may be a few legislators who "split their votes" between these causes, voting in support of gay rights, but not in support of women's reproductive rights. For the most part, however, both groups are thrown into the same pot of evil stew by the radical wing of the GOP. They are boiling us up, adding some salt and a little pepper and will chew us up with in the same bite, if given the opportunity.

Here is the text of my speech from the Wichita Pride Rally. Enjoy it with some crackers or a nice loaf of bread...

mike-pompeo.jpgEMPORIA, Kan. - Wichita Congressional Representative, Mike Pompeo, today proposed cutting 45 million dollars for alternative energy vehicle research (essentially rolling back spending to 2007 or 2008 budget levels depending on who's counting).

Mr. Pompeo believes the funds are part of President Obama's "liberal agenda" to have bureaucrats in Washington dictate the free market through the improper application of funding and tax credits.

Hmm, wonder what Mr. Pompeo would say about subsidies to the oil industry which most Republicans have refused to cut despite record profits amid very high costs to the consumer for gasoline...

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Governor Sam Brownback sure seems to like Fridays. Whereas research shows that most Americans do the least amount of work on Fridays, Sam absolutely revels in them.

Some Kansans suspect that there's a pattern here; that the administration is making surprise cuts on late Friday afternoons to catch folks off guard before the weekend. Others maintain that's just conspiracy theory. Let's take a brief look at Sam's apparent affinity for the (ahem) "F-word."

Friday, January 21 - Announces a proposal to close the Kansas Neurological Institute, a facility that is home to approximately 157 developmentally disabled Kansans, by the year 2014, in order for the state to "save money". Opponents of this idea question how servicing disabled Kansans in their homes rather than at a centralized facility will indeed be cost-effective, not to mention that the four hundred and fifty employees at the KNI will lose their jobs.

Friday, March 11 - Announces that $50 million will be cut from public schools.

Friday, April 8 - Demands investigation of Kansas Bioscience Authority which ultimately leads to Thomas Thornton, president and CEO of the KBA, abruptly resigning on Friday, April 15.

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 State: June 2011. The next archive is State: August 2011.

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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 State: July 2011 section.

The previous archive is State: June 2011. The next archive is State: August 2011.

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

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