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Archive for Sunday, October 20, 2002

Politics briefs

October 20, 2002

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Sebelius outlines agriculture proposals

Topeka Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Sebelius outlined an agriculture plan Friday.

"All the forces of state government should be brought to bear on promoting a prosperous, diverse and healthy rural Kansas economy," she said in a statement.

Sebelius promised to appoint a strong secretary of agriculture and have that person focus on promoting the agricultural industry and coordinate rural development efforts.

She also said she would create a nonpartisan Rural Life Task Force, bring together various parties to discuss water rights issues, explore renewable energy "source opportunities," such as wind farms, and promote "urban-rural partnerships" to improve water quality.

Police groups endorse opposite AG candidates

Topeka Two law enforcement groups made opposite endorsements in the attorney general's race.

The Kansas State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Democrat Chris Biggs, the Geary County attorney. The organization cited Biggs' work as a prosecutor.

The Friends of the Kansas State Troopers endorsed Republican Phill Kline, a former House member. It cited Kline's support for better pay for troopers and improved staffing for the Highway Patrol.

Shallenburger sets tour

Topeka Republican Tim Shallenburger is planning a four-day bus tour for his campaign for governor.

The tour is scheduled to begin Wednesday with a 9 a.m. stop in St. Marys and conclude at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Shallenburger's campaign office in Overland Park.

The complete schedule is available at www.timshallenburger.com.

Few Kansas politicians answering voter survey

Phillipsburg, Mont. A nonpartisan group that publishes a voter's guide says not enough Kansas candidates are answering its National Political Awareness Test.

The group is Project Vote Smart, based in Montana, and on its Internet site, it says its mission is to protect American voters "from the issueless nonsense of today's political campaigns."

But in Kansas, only eight of 15 congressional candidates responded to the group's survey. Among legislative candidates, 45 of 197 answered the survey.

Treasury candidate's loan receives criticism

Topeka Democrats are criticizing Republican Lynn Jenkins for loaning money to her campaign for state treasurer.

But a Jenkins spokesman said Friday the criticism was misplaced.

State Chairman Tom Sawyer criticized Jenkins for loaning herself $160,000. The Democratic nominee is Sally Finney.

"It unfortunately eerily reflects the kind of poor fiscal management that has our state in such dire economic straights," Sawyer said in a statement.

But Jenkins spokesman Ryan Wright said Democrats were wrong, starting with the amount of personal money Jenkins has available for her campaign. It's actually $80,000, he said.

He said Jenkins put the money into her campaign early, believing she'd need startup money. But donations came in quickly and she put the money in an interest-earning account.

Later, he said, just before the Aug. 6 primary, Jenkins thought she might need the money again and put it back into her campaign account, only to remove it again later.

"It's a cash flow thing," he said.

Sebelius touting plug from primary election

Topeka The Kansas State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police isn't taking sides in the governor's race.

But voters wouldn't know that from Democrat Kathleen Sebelius' campaign which issued a news release headlined "Fraternal Order of Police Endorses Sebelius for Governor."

Later, the FOP issued a release, noting it had endorsed Republican Tim Shallenburger in the GOP primary race and Sebelius at the same time. It said no further endorsement was needed.

Why didn't Sebelius mention it was a joint endorsement?

"I would never put something from the other campaign in my press release," said spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran-Basso.

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