Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Democratic governor picks former GOP leader as running mate

Sebelius names Mark Parkinson as lieutenant governor for her re-election bid

May 31, 2006, 9:17 a.m. Updated May 31, 2006, 11:10 a.m.


Mark Parkinson speaks to supporters after being named as running mate with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, left, during a stop today in Overland Park. Parkinson is the former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. Sebelius is a Democrat.

Mark Parkinson speaks to supporters after being named as running mate with Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, left, during a stop today in Overland Park. Parkinson is the former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. Sebelius is a Democrat.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, today picked former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mark Parkinson to be her lieutenant governor running mate.

The selection capped a stunning development in Kansas politics.

Republican Party officials expressed dismay at Parkinson's switch to the Democratic Party.

But Sebelius and Parkinson met the criticism head on.

Parkinson called Sebelius a new kind of leader who ignores party labels for the public good.

"She showed us a new way to lead," Parkinson said.

Sebelius praised Parkinson, of Olathe, as independent and having a strong character.

Sebelius made the announcement at a campaign event at the Kansas University Edwards campus.

Parkinson was accompanied by his wife, Stacy and their three children, Alex, 17, Sam, 14, and Kit, 11.

Parkinson is a former state legislator who served as state GOP chairman from 1999 to 2003.

Sebelius and Parkinson planned to visit Pittsburg, Wichita, Topeka, Dodge City, Hays and Salina during a tour of the state before officially filing to run on Thursday.

Reader poll
Some Republicans are lambasting former state GOP chairman Mark Parkinson because he switched parties to join Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as her running mate. Do you agree with Republicans who think he's a turncoat?

or See the results without voting


For more on this story, see the 6News reports at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband's Channel 6 and pick up a copy of Thursday's Journal-World.


Jamesaust 11 years ago

Shallenburger's quote today reminds us why he lost at the polls despite a lot of people, including Parkinson, carrying water for him.

There's only one GOP strategy that involves abandoning Johnson County: a losing strategy.

This also enhances Morrison's bid to unseat Kline for AG.

Thanks for driving the Party into the ground Speaker Mays! For a long time, a vote for a Democrat in Kansas was as wasted as one for the Patriot Party, the Libertarians, or the Socialist Workers Party - apparently, no more.

dlkrm 11 years ago

A vote for Parkinson has always been a vote for a democrat. He just made it official and admitted the truth. Just another Johnson County Blueblood.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

Jamesaust wrote: "For a long time, a vote for a Democrat in Kansas was as wasted as one for the Patriot Party, the Libertarians, or the Socialist Workers Party - apparently, no more."

I believe differently. The exercise of one's franchise is an expression of what one values in the people's government. No vote is ever wasted.

Godot 11 years ago

Wow, I guess Shallenberger thinks he owns the party. I know when I'm not wanted.

Actually, if the Republican party wants to exclude everyone but the religious right, and the Democrat party is willing to give moderate Republicans a voice, there is a chance that the Democrat party could undergo a sea change as a result of an influx of Republicans.

If Sebelius would speak out against the extreme left, and declare her independence from the likes of Dean, Soros, Pelosi, Kennedy, Schumer, and Gore, then I might consider going back to my old party.

rhd99 11 years ago

The Connie Morris & Susan Wagle WINGNUTS are boiling with rage today! Eat your hearts out, REPUBLICANS!

james bush 11 years ago

I'm beginning to understand what Frank was saying in "What's the matter with Kansas" or whatever the title is. We have met the enemy and they are us!

helix 11 years ago

This is refreshing news.

This change may mean we can get some real work done on issues like education, health care, jobs and the economy rather than playing political games with narrow social agendas.

Godot 11 years ago

The more I think about it, I could not join a party that elects people like the ones I named above, plus Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, William Jefferson, Murtha, Harry Reid, William Byrd, and has spokespeople like Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin...I could go on an on, but prefer not to ruin my day......

Baille 11 years ago

"I'm beginning to understand what Frank was saying..."

No, you're not. Read the book.

bernard 11 years ago

Hooray for Kansas. This is a great team that will make decisions in the interest of all Kansans.

james bush 11 years ago

Baile, wasn't Frank saying that we rank and file republicans keep shooting ourselves in the foot? I skipped through the book last year.

Godot 11 years ago

"This is a great team that will make decisions in the interest of all Kansans."

The current team has avoided making decisions. Why should we expect any change?

james bush 11 years ago

Baille, sorta like our leaders are judas sheep and we blindly follow to our demise.

fletch 11 years ago

I liked the Republican response where they vaguely suggest that he's gay. Real classy stuff right there.

james bush 11 years ago

OTOH, living in Kansas sure beats living in East Timor

DaREEKKU 11 years ago

Kudos to Sebelius!! By the way, in regards to Shallenburger.....the man is an IDIOT (with politics aside). His speaches pretty much said that. Republicans should even be ashamed of him. I think Democrats should be proud that somebody is actually trying to bridge party lines rather than divide them (such as Jim Barnett is already doing) and the Republicans on the national level are doing. She doesn't just have my vote, she's earned it.

dacs23 11 years ago


I read it as an implication that he has been in denial of his true colors...whatever colors they may be. That doesn't imply that the colors are a rainbow. So no, I don't think they suggested he is gay. I think at worst they called him a democrat.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 years ago

More and more moderate Republicans are giving up trying to take back their party. The reason the religious zealots keep getting elected to the Ed board is people don't pay attention to that election. They vote Republican, because they have always voted Republican and their parents voted Republican. Most Kansas Republicans relate more to what the Republican party used to be, that of Lincoln and Eisenhower - or even Reagan. They aren't aware of what has happened until they read about the changes that are going on in our schools, then they ask why are children aren't being taught all the facts about sex. No contraception? You're not suppose to have sex until you're married (which isn't a bad idea), then you're only suppose to have sex to have children, so you don't need contraception. They want to live in "Leave it to Beaver" land. It didn't work in the past; it won't work now. When my mother found out I lost my virginity at 17, she said she thought she taught me better. Never mind that she quit school and got married when she was 16. I was a virgin longer than she was.
Moderate Republicans are going to have to realize that it's not the old party anymore. Instead of tax and spend, it stands for cut taxes to the rich and spend on the rich (corporate welfare). It used to stand for less government, now it stands for more interference and, worse secrecy. Instead of innocent until proven guilty, we are all potential terrorists until our phone records prove us innocent. There will be a lot more Republicans jumping ship. I don't know if the Democrats are the answer,but noone has offered anything better, including the Libertarians.

craigers 11 years ago

dacs, they said he might be coming out of the closet. I think that is a pretty good suggestion.

Really classy of the republicans. Nice mudslinging guys. Sometimes i am really embarassed of my party reps.

lori 11 years ago

Did he actually officially switch parties? Or did the republicans kick him out? I think it'd be cool if he maintained his republican ties while running with a democrat.

beatrice 11 years ago

Godot -- think the Dems are bad? I have two words for you to describe the likes of too many Reps these days -- Pat Robertson.

jiminc: Franks major claim that I took from his book is that people buy into Republican claims, despite the actual results. It is that the Reps talk Christian, but walk corporate. In this senario, the filthy rich are the only ones who really win. Tax cuts for the wealthy during a time of war and during a time of record deficits is a perfect example. But hey, the Reps will keep the gays from marrying, so who cares about anything else. Right?

Godot 11 years ago

Beatrice, I'm not defending Republicans, but at least Robertson doesn't hold public office. He is a self-appointed leader of who knows what.

The Dems I mentioned have been elected and re-elected and are ensconced in the party.

Godot 11 years ago

And, Beatrice, even with the "tax cuts for the rich," tax revenues are at an all time high. How did that happen?

Godot 11 years ago

bobberboy, nice to see you have made your informed deciision before you even know who the opponents will be.

fletch 11 years ago

"And, Beatrice, even with the "tax cuts for the rich," tax revenues are at an all time high. How did that happen?"

beatrice 11 years ago

Godot - a little reminder: Pat Robertson ran for President as a Republican back in 2000. Though he did not receive the party's nomination, he did receive a substantial number of votes. So while he may not have been elected, I feel that he does represent a large portion of the Republican mindset. Further, I would gladly put Al Sharpton's values that seek equality for all people up against Pat Robertson's values of hate anyday. (By the way, Al Sharpton has never held public office, either.)

Nice observation, fletch. Inflation is the key to Godot's question. People will say anything in order to ignore the runaway deficit and war profitering associated with this administration and their closest friends, all due to the tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest 1%. I simply don't understand why so many middle and working class folks ignore this basic truth.

happyone 11 years ago

It's not that they (middle and working class) ignore the basic truth it's that most of them are too busy working their butts off to make it in this Republican ran administration.

topekahawk 11 years ago

How many registered Democrats in the State of Kansas? Around 440,000, or so? Pretty pathetic that Democrats couldn't find one person for AG and one person for LG. Instead they had to get two of the 770,000 registered Republicans to run for these high profile seats. The Democratic Party talent pool is worse than the Kansas City Royals.

Bob Forer 11 years ago

Interesting statement recently posted in the comment threads of a GOP Blog:

"Our GOP is led by a bank teller and a homeschooler. Three-fourths* of a our candidates on gov ballot didn't even graduate from college. The only respectable lawmakers have either been defeated in primaries or defected to Democrats. Our Congressional delegation is associated with corruption and goofy religious cults. The state has been become a running punchline over evolution, abortion, etc. They write books about our sheer stupidity.

"This is the worst that it's ever been for KS Republicans. I'm ashamed to be associated with this bunch.

MyName 11 years ago

Observer: He didn't "quote" from anything. He posted a link to the article on inflation. Just as I'd post a link to the 700 club if I wanted to show an example of Republican values in action.

And, at least with regards to it's science articles, Wikipedia is as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, and more up to date:

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 years ago

The only trickle down I have seen from tax cuts is the investment of out-sourcing to other countries. We are sending so many businesses out of our country, we would be in deep trouble if a crisis prevented shipments from those countries. Look what happened with the flu vaccine. It's like our country can't do anything anymore. Why spend money on education if all they can be is a chauffer for a business man. I say give tax breaks only to companies that create jobs here in the US.

Godot 11 years ago

Beatrice, Al Sharpton did, however, receive votes toward the presidential nomination, as well. Some would say that Sharpton also preaches hate. Remember the Brawley debacle?

Shardwurm 11 years ago

I don't care who she picks to run with her.

She's still the hottest Governor in the US.

MyName 11 years ago


I'm not high on some of the people you mentioned either, but I don't see how the Governor has to distance herself from anybody. I mean, do you really think Al Sharpton or Pelosi gives two cents about what happens in Kansas? No matter what the Republican party in Kansas says, the Democratic party in Kansas is not the same party as it is in New York or California. For better or worse, there really are no true liberals in office in Kansas.

The Democratic party was always a big tent party. Certainly much more inclusive than the Republican party is today. It may not have been that way recently, but there's no reason to think it couldn't reclaim that position.

Godot 11 years ago

HGA wrote, "Godot:

And what makes you think bobberboy doesn't know???


Why is it that conservatives often think they are the best informed when, in reality, they are often the least informed."

I have no idea where you are going with this one, unless you are suggesting that bobberboy has devined the outcome of the primary election. Wow. A clairvoyant is in our midst! I am so thrilled.

So, tell me, bobberboy, or HGA, whoever holds the cystal ball, what numbers should I pick for the next lottery?

Godot 11 years ago

HGA, is this a competition? I thought this was an exchange of ideas.

james bush 11 years ago

I think the dems arrived at a new stategy years ago that is now becoming evident............moles in the republican party. It's not only sad but also depressing. Dems are depressors.

xenophonschild 11 years ago

Way to go, Kathleen! Co-opt the enemy, and relish their chagrin. Re-elected by a landslide.

Godot: We don't want you. Ingest biolsolids and expire.

jimincountry: Republicans have been exposed as the charlatans they have always been. Ingest biosolids and expire.

topekahawk: Patience. The Democratic Party in Kansas is rising. Republicans have the option I must offer to you: ingest biosolids and expire.

Kansas will become a "blue state" in the middle of a red desert - at least until the others catch up with us. Liberal Democrats will claim Kansas soon, the entire nation in the '08 election.

xenophonschild 11 years ago


How could I forget you in the euphoria of the moment? Kathleen took office with a budget disaster staring the state in the face . . . and turned it around so that now our beloved Kansas is fiscally solvent.

You and your kind are as outdated as buggy-whip makers when Henry Ford began cranking out the Model T. Get used to being irrelevant.

james bush 11 years ago

Actually I think the Gov is a class act. I wish the repubs had her.

james bush 11 years ago

As I recall, she got along with Wittig pretty well before he got caught.

MyName 11 years ago

Observer, anyone who reads the Wikipedia can check it for validity. That's why the science articles stay current and accurate. Some of the political stuff can get a little weird though.

MyName 11 years ago

I think the dems arrived at a new stategy years ago that is now becoming evident............moles in the republican party.

Oh sure Jim---Dems couldn't be winning over moderate Republicans because they do a better job of appealing to them on the issues. It has to be spies, lies and trickery. You know losing can sometimes make you paranoid.

beatrice 11 years ago

Godot: "The Dems I mentioned have been elected and re-elected ..." This is why I mentioned Al Sharpton to you, to point out specific inaccuracies in your statements. You are correct about the Tawny Brawly case -- absolutely a bad call on his part, but he chose to stick with his decision. (Kind of like Bush saying we are doing the right thing in Iraq despite no WMDs. Sad when the politically minded won't consider changing their stand on something when new evidence is presented.) Also, the Sharpton incident what how long ago? Wasn't it like last week that Robertson said something stupid -- again? Take Sharpton out of your list of Dems you don't and it is simply that, a list, without any backing support or evidence as to why you don't like them.

jiminc: any relationship Sebelius had with Wittig is nothing compared to Bush and Enron's Kenneth Lay -- remember Bush calling his number 1 largest contributor "Kenny Boy"? If you want to play the Dems suck up to the rich game, trust me, the Republicans will come up the losers.

As far as Sebelius's choice, she obviously feels he has good qualities. Otherwise, why throw the Reps what could even remotely be considered a bone?

tophawk87 11 years ago

This pick works to strengthen the Ken Canfield campaign. The current Gov. is showing she really needs Republicans to try and win and does not have enough confidence in her own party, its ideals and platforms, to stick with a solid, long-term Dem. The Dem loyalists should be dissapointed that one of their faithful was not rewarded, and the loyal Repubs will not cotton to being placated by the tepid choice of a left-leaning, moderate. Parkinson switched the day before the announcement? When does he switch back??

dizzy_from_your_spin 11 years ago

Once again Kathleen goes trolling on the dark side of town for a running mate.

What a slap in the face to rank and file Democrats!

Apparently she doesn't think there are any viable candidates within the Kansas Democrat party.

topekahawk 11 years ago

Sebelius had to recruit TWO Republicans to run for higher office! Oh, and her first LG was a Democrat too! What an insult to Democrats across the state. Why not Rep. Dennis McKinney? Janis Lee (Democratic senator in a majority Republican district)? No Democratic icons to pick from in Kansas?

pelliott 11 years ago

Why would I think Dizzy's a republican. not a slap, except a slap on the back for holding to values. Maybe a few of us understand leadership and character. The republican party has lacked the drive necessary to address the phelps contingent taking over their party. Lazy and complacent as a party. It is time to get to work, education, services, logic.

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