Kline makes plans for new job but not next election
Topeka ? Just hours after his political revival, Attorney General Phill Kline on Tuesday named one of his newborn pups “Snoop Dog,” bashed the media and planned changes in the Johnson County district attorney’s office.
On Monday, Kline was elected Johnson County district attorney by Republican officials, a little more than one month after his landslide defeat for attorney general at the hands of current Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison.
GOP officials selected Morrison’s replacement because Morrison was elected to that office as a Republican and later switched to the Democratic Party to take on Kline in the attorney general’s race, which Morrison won 58 percent to 41 percent.
Kline’s return to elected office completes a political job switcheroo unprecedented in Kansas history.
In a Tuesday interview with a conservative talk radio show, Kline, an anti-abortion stalwart, accused the media of misrepresenting his work during the attorney general’s race, especially in his investigation into medical records from abortion clinics.
He also said he hasn’t decided whether he will seek re-election as Johnson County district attorney when the term expires in two years.
“I haven’t even approached that decision,” he told WIBW radio. “If you were to ask me where is my heart’s desire, it would be to be involved in the debate of the issues of the day through writing, teaching and speaking, and not necessarily elective politics.”
He said just hours after he was elected district attorney, his daughter’s English springer spaniel had puppies, and he named one “Snoop Dog,” after the anti-Kline mailouts during the general election campaign by a group affiliated with Wichita abortionist George Tiller.
Kline joked that some have suggested that the dog become a mascot for the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.
When he takes office next month, Kline said he plans to beef up cyber crime enforcement, get assistant district attorneys trained to pursue cases in federal court and change procedures so that prosecutors work cases from beginning to end instead of handing them off at different phases of prosecution.
Kline’s new job stunned his critics but delighted his supporters, who said they hoped Kline would use his position to continue his investigation into what he has said are sex offenses and illegal late-term abortions. Kline did not address this issue.
“And now the chess game begins,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group. “It will be interesting to see how the abortion investigation plays out. But one thing is for sure: Tiller and his cronies celebrated a little too early on election night. This matter is far from over.”
But Kline’s opponents said the GOP’s selection would come back to haunt the party.
“The single-issue members of the Johnson County Republican Party Central Committee stuck a finger in the eye of Johnson County voters by electing Kline to office over other highly qualified individuals,” said Andy Wollen, chairman of the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority.