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Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2002

Politics Briefs

September 8, 2002

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Magazine adds Sebelius to 'most powerful' list

Topeka Modern Healthcare, a national weekly magazine, has declared Democratic gubernatorial nominee Kathleen Sebelius one of the 100 most powerful people in the nation in the industry.

Sebelius is insurance commissioner. The magazine cited Sebelius for what it said was her "aggressive campaigns to force insurers to promptly pay claims."

The list is topped by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor.

Republican nominee Tim Shallenburger said he didn't have a response to the magazine's designation for Sebelius.

Biggs campaign touts his prosecutor status

Junction City Democrat Chris Biggs' campaign doesn't want anyone to forget that he prosecutes cases in Geary County even as he runs for attorney general.

The campaign sent a statement Friday to news organizations noting that Biggs was in court for the trial of a teenager charged with kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder. The charges were in connection with the April abduction of a Salina man found hacked with a machete and run over with his own vehicle.

Biggs has been Geary County attorney and did not turn over the case to another prosecutor because of its seriousness, said spokeswoman Marci Gentry.

"You don't always have a candidate on the campaign trail because he's doing his job," she said.

Republican nominee Phill Kline isn't a prosecutor, something the Biggs statement was designed to highlight. Kline, from Shawnee, served eight years in the Kansas House before running unsuccessfully for the 3rd Congressional District seat in 2000.

But Kline spokesman Whitney Watson wasn't impressed by the Biggs statement.

"I guess he should receive kudos he's doing his job," Watson said sarcastically. "That's great."

Watson also noted that Kline, an attorney, was not campaigning Friday so that he could handle an estate case.

Graves to take stage at theater fund-raiser

Topeka Gov. Bill Graves plans to return to the legitimate stage Friday for an annual, $100-a-ticket fund-raiser for the Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy.

For that one night, he will portray a telephone repairman in "Barefoot in the Park," a comedy about the travails of a young married couple living in a cramped New York City apartment.

Last year, Graves stepped into the role of Vinnie, a poker player, in "The Odd Couple," for the fund-raiser. Both plays were written by Neil Simon.

Two years ago, Graves recorded the narrator's part for the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," used throughout the play's run in Topeka. Graves had been in the musical in a production in his hometown of Salina during the 1970s.

Graves began rehearsing for his latest role with the rest of the cast in late August.

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