“Two bills introduced in the Kansas House on Wednesday generate funding for human trafficking programs by requiring all new internet-capable telephones or computers sold in the state to feature anti-pornography software and by mandating adult entertainment businesses charge a special admissions tax,” the Topeka Capital Journal reports.
Kansas state Sen. Dinah Sykes and Rep. Stephanie Clayton served notice “of a decision to politically re-brand themselves by leaving the Republican Party,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
The announcement followed by less than one week the decision by Sen. Barbara Bollier to also join the Democratic caucus.
Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier told the Shawnee Mission Post that she no longer believes in the Republican party’s values.
Said Bollier: “Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides. I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K-12 schools.”
A Kansas county commissioner referred to the “master race” as he addressed a black city planner presenting a land use analysis to county officials at a board meeting, the Kansas City Times reports.
Said Commissioner Louis Klemp: “I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you, because, we’re part of the master race.”
As he brought his fingers to his own teeth, he added: “You know you got a gap in your teeth, you’re the masters, don’t ever forget that.”
Wichita Eagle: “Access to the ballot box in November will be more difficult for some people in Dodge City, where Hispanics now make up 60 percent of its population and have remade an iconic Wild West town that once was the destination of cowboys and buffalo hunters who frequented the Long Branch Saloon.”
“At a time when many rural towns are slowly dying, the arrival of two massive meatpacking plants boosted Dodge City’s economy and transformed its demographics as immigrants from Mexico and other countries flooded in to fill those jobs. But the city located 160 miles west of Wichita has only one polling site for its 27,000 residents. Since 2002, the lone site was at the civic center just blocks from the local country club — in the wealthy, white part of town. For this November’s election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, citing road construction that blocked the previous site.”
“The sedate race for Kansas attorney general took a turn toward the bizarre Thursday with an announcement by political performance artist Vermin Supreme of plans to launch a campaign to become the state’s No. 1 prosecutor,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
“Supreme, who appears in public dressed as a twisted wizard, has campaigned in the past on a platform that included mandatory dental hygiene and government distribution of free ponies. On the stump, he has worn a boot as a hat and carried a large toothbrush.”
A federal judge ruled that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state’s voter registration law, the Topeka Capital Journal reports.
“Robinson ordered Kobach to pay for attorney fees for litigating the contempt motion, with additional remedies to be determined later.”
The Kansas Republican Party has voted to “oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity,” the Wichita Eagle reports.
“The committee approved a resolution on human sexuality after a debate where some questioned the state party’s priorities. The lead proponent of the resolution said he was motivated by love.”
“Interns in the Kansas Statehouse are required to sign a sweeping confidentiality agreement that employment law attorneys warn could have a chilling effect on their willingness to report harassment or illegal activity,” the Kansas City Star reports.
“Anything that takes place or is said in a lawmaker’s office stays there, the document says, under threat of immediate termination.”
Kansas state Rep. Jim Alford (R) used racist logic to explain why he believes marijuana should remain illegal, the Garden City Telegram reports.
Said Alford: “Marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs. What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas, across the United States. What was the reason why they did that?… I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”
The Kansas City Star called on
The job you’ve been waiting on might or might not materialize now, we know, and you do, too.
That’s because those in your own Republican Party didn’t put a vote for your confirmation as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom on the Senate calendar by the end of the year.
They did not simply run out of time, either. After all, you were nominated by President Donald Trump in July, and dozens of other long-deferred votes on appointments were cleared in a flash before senators left town for the holidays.
Was it something you said, at that confirmation hearing for which you appeared so ill-prepared?
“Kansas runs one of the most secretive state governments in the nation, and its secrecy permeates nearly every aspect of service, the Kansas City Star found in a months-long investigation.”
“From the governor’s office to state agencies, from police departments to business relationships to health care, on the floors of the House and Senate, a veil has descended over the years and through administrations on both sides of the political aisle.”
“I cannot point to a law that sets any qualifications to run for governor. So a dog has never tried to file — I don’t know what would happen if one tried to.”
— Kansas elections director Bryan Caskey, quoted by the Kansas City Star, on three teenagers filing to run for governor in 2018.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), “whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured.”
“Still, Mr. Brownback views his signature idea—eliminating the 4.6% state individual income tax for partnerships, limited liability corporations and similar businesses—as a national model.”
A new Zogby poll in Kansas finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in the presidential race, 43% to 36%, with 21% undecided.
“If those trends hold through November, it would mark a historic shift in Kansas politics, where no Democratic presidential candidate has won Kansas since 1964, when Lyndon Johnson carried it over Barry Goldwater, 54-45 percent.”
“The Kansas Democratic Party will field candidates in every State Senate district this year, for the first time in 30 years,” KAKE-TV reports.
“The Democrats announced Wednesday they also will have candidates in about three out of four state House districts. But the filing deadline apparently passed with no Democrat running for Tim Huelskamp’s seat in Congress.”
A new Trafalgar Group poll in Kansas finds Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential field with 35%, followed by Ted Cruz at 29%, Marco Rubio at 17% and John Kasich at 13%.
A new Fort Hayes Statue University poll in Kansas finds Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential race with 26%, followed by Ted Cruz at 14%, Marco Rubio at 13%, John Kasich at 3% and Ben Carson at 3%.
The Kansas Republican caucuses are on March 5.