Archive for Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Phelps donation to Kline campaign brings criticism

August 15, 2006, 12:00 a.m. Updated August 15, 2006, 11:24 a.m.

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— Paul Morrison's campaign for attorney general criticized Atty. Gen. Phill Kline on Monday for taking a campaign contribution from a member of the Fred Phelps family.

"The fact that Phill Kline would take money from a person who protests the funerals of our servicemen and women is disturbing," Morrison's campaign manager Mark Simpson said.

"Someone with such terrible judgment and skewed priorities has no business being attorney general," Simpson said.

Kline's campaign said they didn't know for sure if the contribution in question was from a member of the Phelps family, which has gained worldwide attention for picketing soldiers' funerals.

Just hours after being contacted by the Journal-World about the contribution, Kline's campaign said it donated the amount of the contribution -- $500 -- to the Kansas Patriot Guard, which is a group of volunteer motorcyclists who shield military family members from the sight of the Phelps' pickets.

The Phelps family contends the deaths of U.S. soldiers are God's vengeance for the U.S. tolerating homosexuals.

Kline campaign spokeswoman Sherriene Jones said Kline has been a vocal critic of the Phelpses and that Morrison was "throwing mud" instead of debating the issues.

Kline, a Republican, faces Morrison, a Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general election.

Morrison's campaign criticized Kline for taking the contribution from Benjamin C. Phelps, the grandson of Fred Phelps Sr. on Oct. 17, 2002.

At the time, Kline was involved in a tough campaign against Democrat Chris Biggs. Kline won by 4,287 votes out of 821,107 ballots.

Contacted by the Journal-World, Benjamin Phelps said he donated money to Kline because of the tightness of the race.

"He was the lesser of two evils," Phelps said of Kline. "But he (Kline) has proven to be the greater of two evils," he said.

Phelps said he doesn't support Kline anymore because Kline has aligned himself with the Patriot Guard.

Benjamin Phelps participates in the funeral protests, and in the mid-1990s was convicted of misdemeanor battery for spitting on a man during an anti-homosexual picket outside a restaurant in Topeka.

Jones, the spokeswoman for Kline, said Kline abhors what the Phelpses do.

On Saturday, Kline denounced the Phelpses during a talk to the Patriot Guard in Mulvane.

But Simpson said Kline used Benjamin Phelps' money to win his race in 2002.

Comments

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

Your supposed Morrison/Soros link has been discredited. Morrison served as a consultant for a group dedicated to criminal justice reform. Soros happens to be a financial contributer to the group, which, by the way, has an excellent reputation.

I'll provide you with the same analogy I used before: If you happened to contribute to Habitat for Humanity and I happened to be a builder or engineer who provided them with consulting advice, based on YOUR definition of "political ties", you and I would be "linked" politically. Surely, you recognize the absurdity of that logic.

In contrast, Kline took a direct contribution from Phelps, not to mention a sizable chunk from Abramoff's pet Club for Growth PAC.

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

What is the difference between Morrison doing peer consulting work for Vera and an engineer doing consulting work for Habitat for Humanity? Would the engineer suddenly have political ties to everyone who donated to Habitat for Humanity?

"The purpose of that grant was to discredit law enforcement."

Do you have proof of that allegation? This is the stated mission of the Vera Institute of Justice:

'The Vera Institute of Justice works closely with leaders in government and civil society to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice. Vera develops innovative, affordable programs that often grow into self-sustaining organizations, studies social problems and current responses, and provides practical advice and assistance to government officials in New York and around the world.

Today, Vera's staff are leading more than two dozen separate projects that each aim to reveal more about the meaning of justice even as they make a difference in the lives of individuals. Those projects include efforts to serve troubled and delinquent kids at home instead of in juvenile institutions, reduce violence against women, help state leaders develop affordable and humane sentencing policies, strengthen police-community relations, and more.'

Your insults aren't making your ridiculous spin any more believable. Try again.

moderation 8 years, 8 months ago

Are you freakin' kidding me???? This is news according to Morrison. PATHETIC!

Hey Paul, try focusing on some issues. If this is all you've got, just throw in the towel now.

It's nice to see that the Phelps clan considers Phill Kline one of their worst enemies.

Glad to see Kline and the Patriot Guard working together. Where has Paul been?

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

"If you had bothered to read the piece on Morrison and Vera, you would have seen that the proof, offered by OSI itself, has already been presented."

I did read it and I didn't see proof of your allegation, other than a bunch of inflammatory spin written by a right-wing blogger.

You said: "The purpose of that grant was to discredit law enforcement."

This is how OSI defines their mission:

"The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses."

That is most certainly inconsistent with your assessment.

Back to the Vera Institute, though. If you would bother to read their mission, that institute also has nothing to do with discrediting law enforcement and everything to do with criminal justice reform, for the sake of building successful relationships between communities and law enforcement.

Try again.

acg 8 years, 8 months ago

Not for much longer, if the kevins of the world have anything to do with it.

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm not a huge fan of Kline... But, I must say his donation of Phelps' money to The Patriot Guard made me laugh!

--Danny Speicher

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

I did read it and I skimmed through the OSI website. This is their mission, as I posted above:

"The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses."

Where does it state, either in their mission, or elsewhere on their site that their purpose is to discredit law enforcement, as you have alleged?

BrianR 8 years, 8 months ago

The Kline campaign should donate the $500.00 to PFLAG.

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Please post the quote. I don't believe you.

staff04 8 years, 8 months ago

In 2002 Ben Phelps was the adminstrator of the Phelps family's god hates fags website. Yes, the connection should have been made.

drewdun 8 years, 8 months ago

"Arminius is in a bad mood for several reasons.

His utterly unsuccessful campaign AS A DEMOCRAT for the KS House in 1996 was revealed"

Are you f'ing kidding me? Tell me this is true

bunnyhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Why would anyone be surprised that the guy who claims the way to protect Kansas youth from sexual predators is to harrass the state's few remaining abortion providers rather than DEMAND that District Attorneys prosecute sex abuse cases, regardless of whether the perpetrator can afford private counsel or not!!!

drewdun 8 years, 8 months ago

So Kevin wanted to legalize hemp.

Damn dirty hippie.

moderation 8 years, 8 months ago

Kline gave the contribution to the Patriot Guard. That is awesome!!!

Phelps is now putting gas in the tanks of the nobel men and women who stand up against Phelps' own group of sickos. That has to drive him crazy...er crazier.

Nicely done Phill Kline!

http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/breaking_news/15279447.htm

staff04 8 years, 8 months ago

You're right moderation, that is awesome that four years after he accepted a $500 donation from the webmaster over at godhastesfags.com, he gives the money away.

Seriously though, I thought that it was common knowledge in 2002 that Ben Phelps was running that website.

As much as I believe that Phelps' speech is protected, I think the Patriot Guard is a noble group of people for standing up to his hatred.

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

Still nothing backing up your assertion that OSI was established for the purpose of discrediting law enforcement.

Do you just make things up as you go along, hoping it will go unnoticed?

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

You must be referring to the small sum that was awarded to Vera back in 2000. The purpose of that grant:

'Project support for a workshop on how defenders can use "spotlight justice moments" (e.g., policing scandals and death penalty exonerations) to initiate discussion of criminal justice reforms in their own jurisdictions.'

Nowhere in there does it state that the purpose of the workshop was to discredit law enforcement. Instead, it looks like the purpose was to identify areas where criminal justice reforms are needed. That isn't a BAD thing.

8 years, 8 months ago

I guess tainted money is only good when you can keep it a secret who it came from. Time's up for Phill (his real name is actually Phil). So if Morrison's campaign can find out this information, why couldn't Kline's? Never mind, I think we all know the answer to that.

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

"That description of the grant has much more to do with discrediting law enforcement than Powell's statement had to do with saying Iraq was not a threat. Let me guess: You didn't major in English."

I would post the Powell quotes here so others could judge for themselves, however I don't wish to railroad this thread. Your insults are growing as old and predictable as your arguments.

External audits aren't conducted to "discredit" anyone- in fact, many companies actually PAY financial companies for this service. Similarly, the reviews conducted by the grant committee you mentioned aren't designed to "discredit" anyone. Instead, they are being conducted to learn from past mistakes and to work towards repairing systemic failures where they exist.

"As the article I linked to above showed, OSI's projects, such as The Exonerated, have actually mischaracterized "policing scandals" in an effort to discredit law enforcement..."

Vera's work was not mentioned in the article, nor was there mention of this particular grant being used to "discredit" law enforcement. Instead, it was a piece about a documentary that in some instances, might be somewhat misleading to viewers. After reading the article, I came to the conclusion the plea agreements should receive more careful review. That still doesn't support your claim.

Also, OSI gave the Vera Institute well over $1 million in 2001 and 2002. That's a large investment.

Those funds did not in any way support a grant "aimed at discrediting law enforcement", as you would lead people to believe. I'm pleased to read about the monetary contributions, though, as it sounds like the Vera Institute is working hard to deal with some difficult issues that have been ignored for far too long. This is just a portion of their mission:

"The Vera Institute of Justice works closely with leaders in government and civil society to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice. Vera develops innovative, affordable programs that often grow into self-sustaining organizations, studies social problems and current responses, and provides practical advice and assistance to government officials in New York and around the world.

Today, Vera's staff are leading more than two dozen separate projects that each aim to reveal more about the meaning of justice even as they make a difference in the lives of individuals. Those projects include efforts to serve troubled and delinquent kids at home instead of in juvenile institutions, reduce violence against women, help state leaders develop affordable and humane sentencing policies, strengthen police-community relations, and more."

I truly don't understand why you have a problem with that, or with Morrison consulting with people who take interest in these objectives. Oh, that's right- he's now a democrat. You hate democrats more than you hate Abramoff's tainted money going to your candidate. At least you have your priorities straight, I guess.

kg52 8 years, 8 months ago

Wow! I live in Topeka. I vote for sending the Phelps to Lawrence where they can be dealt with - Topeka has failed so far, let's give Lawrence a try!

meggers 8 years, 8 months ago

Arminius,

Kansas Liberal Watch is ONE BLOGGER. It isn't a site, it isn't anything but one person (or group hiding in anonymity- Club for Growth?) that posted ONE page on an open-access universal blog site WITH NO PROFILE. And you find that more credible than an institute that provides public access to information about members, fundraising, objectives, projects, etc.??

Perhaps for your next stunt, you should head to a campaign rally armed with a microphone, so that later you can impress others with your research skills.

Unbelievable.

Kat Christian 8 years, 8 months ago

Fred Phelps is just pure evil and anyone who associats with this parasit is just as bad.

Kodiac 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey All,

The statement regarding the "discrediting of law enforcement" actually comes from an article written by Joshua Marquis, a prosecutor. Marquis is a known liar and has been shown to make stuff up. Here check out what these websites have on Marquis...

http://davidfeige.blogspot.com/2005_01_01_davidfeige_archive.html

(Have to scroll down to January 3, 2005 for the article with a title ending in [sorry Immy])

http://talkleft.com/new_archives/013830.html

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009798228&er=deny

...and check out what one website had to say about Cook, one of the exonerated individuals that Marquis is complaining about....

http://davidfeige.blogspot.com/2005/02/noa-strikes-again.html

I don't know Arminius. I think J Maquis might not be a reliable souce of information....

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