Archive for Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Campaign briefing: Sebelius wants control of school board

October 11, 2006

Here are today's headlines from the 2006 election race:


(Topeka Capital-Journal) Sebelius attacks school board: Calling the Kansas State Board of Education one of the state's worst public relations tools, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday said she would push in a second term for a constitutional amendment to shift the board's powers to the governor's office. "I think we have a real institutional, structural problem in the state," Sebelius told The Topeka Capital-Journal editorial board. "The elected school board that we have in place doesn't function in this day and age. There's very little accountability." ... But her Republican opponent said Kansas hasn't been the only state interested in changing evolution standards. And Kansas voters ultimately do have a final say about who is on the state board. "The accountability is found at the ballot box," said Emporia Sen. Jim Barnett.

( Barnett: School finance plan will run state into debt: As a practicing physican, Barnett cares deeply about health care. And, as a former Emporia Board of Education member and past president, the Kansas school system is near and dear to his heart. However, he voted against the school finance bill the governor signed because "it outspends revenues $800 million over three years and drives our state to unconstitutional debt," he said. "I don't run my business that way and I won't run the state that way." He said money appropriated to schools in year two and three of the school finance plan will take funding away from the Regents institutions and government programs that help the elderly.

(Wichita Eagle) Wagle offers view to cut college cost: Changing the faces on the Kansas Supreme Court, cutting taxes and bringing corporate-style downsizing to government would be the keys to stopping the spiraling growth in the cost of a state university education, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Susan Wagle told a college audience Tuesday. Wagle, a state senator from Wichita, is the running mate of GOP gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Jim Barnett of Emporia. The pair are challenging the Democratic ticket of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and former Republican Party chairman Mark Parkinson. Speaking to students in Melvin Kahn's political science class at Wichita State University, Wagle said state college tuition has risen by about 45 percent in the last three years and reversing that trend is "an absolute priority."

Attorney General

(Wichita Eagle) Morrison, Kline argue over victims: Attorney General Phill Kline and Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison traded shots Tuesday night over who could do the best job of prosecuting domestic violence and taking care of the victims. Morrison repeatedly attempted to portray Kline as incompetent and inexperienced as a prosecutor, while Kline blasted Morrison for supporting a state law that reduced probation supervision and got some offenders out of prison early.
See KAKE-TV video of the debate.

(KC Star) Candidates clash on 2000 legislation: The scenario sounds horrific: Hundreds of violent inmates rushing out of Kansas prisons to rape and kill innocent Kansans. And all because of legislation passed six years ago. That's the image Attorney General Phill Kline wants to plant in the minds of voters. And he links his Democratic opponent, Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, to the legislation that Kline says made the early release of prisoners possible. Morrison was one of 18 members of the Kansas Sentencing Commission that recommended Senate Bill 323 to the Legislature.

( KPA attorney disputes Kline claim: A news media attorney said Tuesday that Atty. Gen. Phill Kline intentionally violated the state open meetings law and misrepresented his opinion about the matter during an Internet chat with the Lawrence Journal-World. "My view was, and is, that the serial meetings conducted by the Board of Education members with Mr. Kline were intentional violations of the Open Meetings Act," said Mike Merriam, who represents the Kansas Press Assn. "Mr. Kline has no basis to cite me in support of his actions." Kline, through a spokeswoman, promptly offered a public apology. "The attorney general apologizes to Mr. Merriam, if in fact he did misquote him," said Sherriene Jones, a Kline spokeswoman.
Read Monday's chat with A.G. Phill Kline

2nd District Congress

( Boyda poll shows dead heat with Ryun: U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun's television ads and help from Vice President Dick Cheney will backfire, Democratic challenger Nancy Boyda predicted Tuesday. But Jeff Black, a spokesman for Ryun, said Boyda's campaign was showing signs of faltering. Ryun, a Republican from Lawrence, is seeking a sixth two-year term in a rematch against Boyda, whom he defeated in 2004.

3rd District Congress

(KC Star) Challenger put on defensive: Chuck Ahner, Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, has never held political office, so you can't really blame him for trouble in Iraq or the Mark Foley scandal. Yet at a debate Tuesday at Johnson County Community College, the candidate had to defend himself like an incumbent against the charges that now threaten to topple his party's control in Washington. He said that if elected, he would do things differently. "Most Americans are a little disenchanted with Congress today," said Ahner, a commercial loan executive and West Point graduate from Overland Park. Moore, a Democrat from Lenexa who is seeking a fifth term in Congress, got the biggest applause of the debate answering the question of whether reform measures are needed to correct Washington's system of checks and balances.

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