Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stephan questions Kline fundraising

Former AG says church contribution strategy ‘bothers me’

October 18, 2006

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— Nearly three weeks ago, former Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan resigned as a special assistant to Atty. Gen. Phill Kline. At the time, Stephan wouldn't say what caused him to leave, citing only "personal matters."

Now he's talking.

Stephan said Tuesday he resigned because he was upset by Kline's strategy of using churches to raise campaign funds.

And he's particularly upset about an instance where a church made donations to a business owned by Kline's wife, Deborah.

"When you use your faith to shuttle money into your for-profit corporation, that bothers me. Especially when you are there, certainly giving voice to your faith, but with the credential of being the attorney general," Stephan said in an interview with the Journal-World.

Kline's campaign said there was nothing wrong with Kline raising campaign contributions through his church contacts, nor was there anything wrong with a church contributing to SWT Communications Inc., which is owned by Kline's wife.

"SWT did receive what they call 'love offerings' from the churches," Kline spokeswoman Sherriene Jones said. She said it is a common way for churches to provide an honorarium.

Stephan assists Kline

Kline, a Republican, is locked in a fierce election campaign against Democrat Paul Morrison, the Johnson County district attorney.

Stephan has been a longtime figure in Republican politics in Kansas.

He served as attorney general from 1979 to 1995. He threw his support behind moderate Republican David Adkins in the GOP's 2002 attorney general's primary race.

But after Kline, considered a conservative Republican, defeated Adkins and then won the general election, Stephan provided legal work for Kline on several issues.

His assistance to Kline was seen as a way for both sides of the GOP to reach out to one another.

"I was a good Republican," Stephan said.

Church memo

But Stephan said he was upset to learn in September that Kline was using churches as part of a strategy to raise campaign funds.

In a memo Kline wrote to his campaign staff that was leaked then to the Journal-World, he told staff that after he spoke at a church, they needed to have church leaders line up contributors and organize volunteers.

The memo brought a round of condemnation from some organizations that said Kline was jeopardizing the churches' tax-free status under Internal Revenue Service rules.

But Stephan said he was told by someone that after Kline spoke this summer at Light of the World Christian Center in Topeka, the minister asked congregants to write checks to the church, and then the church would write a check to SWT Communications, which produces radio spots about historical events that are sold across the state.

"That bothers me because the public doesn't know who is giving money to Phill Kline," Stephan said.

Stephan said he spoke with Kline's deputy chief Eric Rucker and former communications director Whitney Watson.

Stephan said they told him there was nothing wrong with the practice and they weren't going to change it, but that they wouldn't put their statements in writing, like he had asked.

At that point, "I said, 'Forget it, I'm off the train,'" Stephan said.

SWT donations

Jones, the spokeswoman for Kline, said it's legal for the church to donate money to SWT Communications. She said the "love offerings" that day from Light of the World to SWT totaled $1,339.

Carol Williams, executive director of the Kansas Government Ethics Commission, said the state can't tell churches who they can give money to as long as "they're giving to the company, and that's where it stays," she said.

But, she said, it would be illegal for the church to give money to SWT Communications and for the company to then convert that to a donation to Kline's campaign.

"You cannot give in the name of another," she said.

Jones said that wasn't happening.

During the year, the Kline campaign has paid $3,600 to SWT Communications to store campaign materials.

Jones said the money was paid to SWT to store campaign papers and office furniture in a metal building behind the Kline family home in Topeka.

In June, SWT made a donation of $1,181 to the Kline campaign.

"She wanted to contribute to her husband's campaign," Jones said.

Deborah Kline declined comment, referring questions about the payments to SWT to her husband. But he was on the campaign trail and did not return a message left on his cell phone.

Kline's chief deputy Rucker didn't return a phone call for comment. Rev. Greg Varney, the pastor of Light of the World Christian Center, also did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Stephan said he decided to publicly state his unease with Kline's campaign fundraising after praying about what he should do.

"I've hesitated, frankly, because Republicans have helped me all my political career," he said. "But there are some things you decide are important.

"This speaks to the candidate. I've just decided to take whatever is coming."

Comments

Baille 8 years, 9 months ago

So Phill gets him little radio vignettes played all over the state - and let's be honest, they are perpetual campaign ads meant to keep him in the spotlight - by soliciting "love offerings" from area churches?

I grew to dislike Phill upon hearing him speak at several events during his first election campaign. His ability to answer questions about his positions are various legal issues was shockingly poor. Once it became clear that he was abusing his position and in the process flaunting lawful orders made by the courts, my dislike grew into opposition.

Now it has become increasingly clear that Kline's inadequacies aren't limited to intellectual rigor and self-control. He also lacks integrity and character. It is time for Kansas to elect a new AG.

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

Just out of curiosity, I wonder how those who have defended Kline on this forum are responding to this?

I remember reading how he was a good and decent man, how he upheld the law, stood up for righteousness and God-fearing people, and against the murder of innocent babies.

I'm interested in how, if at all, his defenders react to this latest episode in the "Trials of Phill."

cutny 8 years, 9 months ago

Geez, if morally bankrupt Bob Stephan is bolting the campaign, thinks must be smelling rotten. I love it when the morally "superior" Grand Old Party finds themselves in the thick of an odious stench.

james dick 8 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like corruption all the way. Maybe technically legal, (maybe not?) but very questionable. Good for you Bob Stephan. Is the national Republican corruption atmosphere filtering down? What about Jim Ryan? I understand he was a buddy of Foley's, part of that Foley progressive dinner, drink fest, fundraiser deal they had going. Did he know about this pedophile?

Not to mention the house Ryan bought in DC from some Christian organization at a financial loss the to Christian group.

christie 8 years, 9 months ago

LOL even the church won't respond. Even the Church runs and hides.

Love Offerings?????? Prostitution?????

These people make me wanna puke.

WilburM 8 years, 9 months ago

The hits just keep on coming!

This time, PK may have tip-toed up to the edge of illegality and jumped right over. And the curches. What were they thinking? Well, we know, and they got the very best legal advice.

oldgoof 8 years, 9 months ago

Come on Eric Rucker......you are an attorney.... the former Chief Election Officer for the State of Kansas...and then also a criminal-prosecuting County Attorney in Kansas.....

You can not claim lack of knowledge about federal or state election laws, or IRS election laws, on any level, in any fashion. By definition you know the state and federal election laws perhaps better than anyone in the state....

So, you won't document your campaign's practices by reducing to writing? At the request of a very respected former attorney general?
. That told him everything.
. That also should us all everything.

Ken Miller 8 years, 9 months ago

The wheels are coming off, Phill, THE WHEELS ARE COMING OFF.

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

"Love offering"? Is that what it's called now?

I hope the citizens of our fair state give Phill Kline a "love offering" in a few weeks.

I hope that, soon after, the IRS visits Phill and contributes another "love offering."

An AG who routinely skirts the law at his whim may need a little time in jail to get his head right.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 9 months ago

Man that's a lot of posts. I just saw-about halfway back now that I think about it-some folks referring to Phill Kline as PK. I think that has a good ring to it. If they have time to make new ads, I say they use this as his new political moniker. Like: PK4KSAG. "Yo, PK here...". Etc...

They could secure the urban crowd as well as the coveted 'personalized license plate' vote.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 9 months ago

Some christians because of their belief system like PK. B/c these christians like PK, they want PK to win. B/c they want PK to win, they donate money to PK. PK knows his audience like any other politician and seeks contributions from those who support him. Thus, PK targeted his supportive base.

What's wrong with that? If its illegal, then charges will be brought against PK. Why has PK not been charged already? Surely, Bobby Stephan's expose of his boss must have salacious, incriminating evidence supporting that PK's "questionable actions" constitutes criminal conduct. The fact is, if PK's conduct is so questionable, so on the line of criminal conduct, so in the grey area of legal, so ethically questionable that Bob Stephan can pray to the Almighty on the Mount and have a burning bush tell him to expose PK and the Kansas Republican party, then criminal charges would be brought against PK. And what better time to do that than a few weeks before a heated election. Hasn't happened b/c nobody wants the embarrassment of charging PK with criminal charges that simply don't exist. So all this talk about corruption, questionable conduct, ethics is nothing more than election season strategy.

The real question is how much was Benedict Stephan promised in return for "clearing his conscience"?

Paul Morrison is a whimp when it comes to violent criminals. He talks a big game at election time, but the reality is his track record shows that he is soft on child sexual predators, and is soft on other violent offenders. Even the language in his TV adds admits that he is tough only on "the most violent sexual predators". Kansas families also needs aggressive protection from the other sexual predators in the state, not just the "most violent".

Take your pick between a zealous attorney general, or a guy that only talks tough at election time.

PK has done a good job of aggressively prosecuting criminals. That's the job of the attorney general.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

Just think about it - you have a former republican running as a democrat (in all honesty, he's still a moderate republican), who has a 16-year background in prosecution. Experienced, practical, little to no ideological axe to grind.

Versus a light-weight ideologue with a penchant for muck-raking, spinning the truth, and political posturing, whose behavior has become so aborrent that members of his own party are dropping him. An incumbent whose time in office brings more recollections of scandals and public wrist slaps than major triumphs of law.

In any rational world, Morrison would win by at least 80%. Given that the only criteria for some of our electorate is "He says he luvs Jay-sus!", I'll settle for 60%. [Note: a person's religious faith can and should play a role in their voting. I just wish more people would pay attention to the teachings of Jesus Christ, rather than those of Christianity(TM); as well as looking at a politician's behavior instead of his rhetoric.]

Before I started following this election, I admit I didn't have a hgh opinion of Kline based on his behavior in office, but I have been continuously amazed by the further ways he finds to bring more dishonor and deceit to the campaign. (16-year-old, REFUTED allegations?!?! WTF?).

Based on his behavior, I can only surmise someone has reversed the labels on Kline's "moral compass".

staff04 8 years, 9 months ago

RA- For having a name like Rationalanimal, you sure seem to have trouble connecting the dots to realize that he has done something unethical and illegal here.

Your pathetic attempt to parse the language in his television ad is exactly that: pathetic.

Bob Stephan was KSAG for 16 years. Phill Kline was KSAG for 4. He may have done a good job of aggressively prosecuting criminals, but he also did a good job of alienating what now appears to be the majority of Kansans. It also appears that he did a good job of breaking the law by laundering money from a church to his campaign through his wife's company.

Bob Stephan was the most highly regarded AG of my time in KS. Phill Kline is probably the most lowly regarded of my lifetime and my parents' lifetimes.

Peace.

DaREEKKU 8 years, 9 months ago

I find it insulting that politicians use religion, something that should be kept close and personal, to gain votes. I find it even more insulting that people buy into the whole ordeal. Yet another example of why religion should be kept close and personal and not exploited or brought into government.

ReturnedKansan 8 years, 9 months ago

Bob Stephan screaming about Kline's morals???? That's rich! what about Bob's sexual harassment issue when he was ag?...

Sounds to me like Bobby-boy is settng himself up for his next gravey train - Paul Morrison (if he's wins)... Someone should ask Bob just how much money he has made from the state during the Kline Administration.... my guess, hundreds of thousands of dollars...Kline loses, how does he keep that going with Morrison?...

...reporters need to get beyond this mud slinging and find out what his true motivation is...

Porter 8 years, 9 months ago

I think the church should be investigated simply for the use of the term "love gift".

In a whiny voice "If he broke the law, why hasn't he been invesitgated yet??"

There has to be some sort of checks and balances, though. Who would initiate an investigation into wrongdoings by the AG? I'm genuinely curious. If anyone has any info, please post.

jhawk0097 8 years, 9 months ago

Plaid. A LOT of plaid. And, yes, I'm ashamed.

Laura 8 years, 9 months ago

Animal: "PK has done a good job of aggressively prosecuting criminals. That's the job of the attorney general."

No, animal...he hasn't done a good job. And that's the main thing.

Scott Tichenor 8 years, 9 months ago

"Love offering"

Stop the presses! No need to run funnies when you have this kind of information to chuckle at.

Kline = Klown

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

@ Rational Animal:

"Paul Morrison is a whimp when it comes to violent criminals. He talks a big game at election time, but the reality is his track record shows that he is soft on child sexual predators, and is soft on other violent offenders."

Aah, the smell of negative campaigning in the autumn.. . . there's nothing quite like it. You know, I heard that Paul Morrison once gave away a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card while playing Monopoly! Do we really want someone with this little respect for law and order as our AG?!?!?!

Mmmhmm, soft on crime, sure he is. That's why he's been the DA for Johnson County for over a decade. Those Johnson County folks just love DAs who are soft on crime and child predators, so much that they elect them for 16 years running.

Look, the whole "soft n crime" talking point is just kind of silly, no matter who says it. No one runs for office with the slogan "let's free all the rapists!" The question is, of the candidates, which is better qualified to aggressively and judiciously enforce the laws of the state of Kansas. I think that Morrison's behavior and background shows a dedicated, impartial public attorney for 16+ years. Kline, by contrast, has let his law license lapse several times over the years, and has treated the office of AG as a political springboard and partisan soapbox, which time and again have resulted in taxpayer-funded distractions from his primary duties.

Plus, since Morrison was a Republican during his time in office in JoCo, you're basically saying that Republicans have repeatedly supported a candidate who was by your own admission soft on sex criminals and violent offenders. If what you say is true - why should we believe your party has it right this time when it nominated someone you consider a failure to 4 terms as DA? (Note, I don't buy this, but you've kinda painted yourself into a corner on this one.)

In summary: you're very, very wrong.

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

Sophistry is alive and well on this site. Marion, who does not hesitate to excoriate liberals and Democrats regardless of circumstance, inexplicably offers a voice of reason and rationalization for the unusual peccadilloes of the miscreant Kline.

Some of us are curious at support for a chief law enforcement officer of the state deliberately defying a gag order of a Kansas district court . . . a defiance based on what he perceived as unflattering media reports inre his work and office.

Kline lacks judgement, and exudes a peculiar odor of hypocrisy that escapes "religious people."

BOE 8 years, 9 months ago

Posted by holygrailale (anonymous) on October 18, 2006 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

BOE

Astute observation!!! I had not noticed that.

===

lol, I didn't either... until it was brought up.

Luxor 8 years, 9 months ago

Tax exempt status for churches MUST be repealed!

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

@RationalAnimal:

"Some Christians because of their belief system like PK. B/c these Christians like PK, they want PK to win. B/c they want PK to win, they donate money to PK. PK knows his audience like any other politician and seeks contributions from those who support him. Thus, PK targeted his supportive base."

That's not what happened here. Church-goers are free to contribute money to PK, and if they support him, I would encourage them to do so. Churches themselves, however, are legally barred from donating money to a candidate. If the allegations are correct, a church made exactly the kind of back-door contribution which is prohibited by law. It doesn't look good for the official who is in charge of enforcing laws for Kansas to be implicated in breaking them.

You're intentionally obscuring the issue. Stop it.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

@RationalAnimal:

"Why has PK not been charged already?" ... "Hasn't happened b/c nobody wants the embarrassment of charging PK with criminal charges that simply don't exist."

Well, it only came out yesterday. The sequence goes 1) Allegations, 2) Investigation, 3) Charges filed (if applicable). See, so now, we need an investigation. I'd expect to see one take shape in the next few weeks.

And in terms of political strategy, you're wrong. Even if his name was eventually cleared, you can stink up an investigation to high heaven if you really want to (think Clinton & Whitewater or Reagan & Iran-Contra). The fact that charges haven't been filed reflects upon the novelty of the allegations, not their strength or weakness.

Believe it or not, the real world of Law & Order isn't exactly like the TV show, and sometimes takes more than 1 hour. But this keen legal insight may explain why you feel that PK has been great for KS.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

@ Rational Animal:

"And what better time to do that than a few weeks before a heated election." ... "The real question is how much was Benedict Stephan promised in return for "clearing his conscience"?"

Actually, if you were to try and time the release of this information with an eye to politics, there are 2 better times to do it than today. One would be several months earlier (late august early September), so you have several months of headlines about an ongoing scandal to lodge in the minds of voters (this would be ideal). The second, if the allegations are weaker or the timing isn't right, would be in the last week of the campaign, so that it's one of the last pieces of news voters hear and it covers up your opponent's efforts in the final stretch.

Plus, it says a great deal when you start eating your own, like you are with "Benedict" Stephen. (That's terribly precious, btw. Did you come up with that all by yourself?) The idea that Stephen was actually upset about Kline's behavior doesn't enter into your partisan little brain, does it?

But in fact, it's not betrayal, it is just a failure to be a yes-man. The fact that you have a problem with a person refusing to be a yes-man speaks volumes about the type of "leadership" we can expect from Kline, et al.

christie 8 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

KS 8 years, 9 months ago

I don't think any of you guys are going to be happy until you take all the politicians that have an "R" behind their name out back behind the barn and give them a couple of hundred lashes. Talk about negative campaigning? Thank God, most of you are not running for office. I really, really would hate to see what you all have in your closets!

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

KS -

If Kline had conducted himself more like Sandy Praeger than Connie Morris (both R), ie, focused on using his office to the best interests of the state, rather than partisan stunts, he just might have had my vote.

I can't speak for the other posters, but while I have a number of facts that reflect poorly on Kline as compared to Morrison, they are all relevant to the official duties of AG. "Negative campaigning" is usually along the lines of trying to trump up 16-year-old sexual harrassment allegations that were twice examined and twice refuted.

And doing it in front of the Topeka Zoo in order to compare his opponent to a weasel, that was a classy and high-brow move. Truely statesman-like. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall at genius strategy session that came up with that particular gem of an idear. . .

BOE 8 years, 9 months ago

"" Stephan said he spoke with Kline's deputy chief Eric Rucker and former communications director Whitney Watson.

Stephan said they told him there was nothing wrong with the practice and they weren't going to change it, but that they wouldn't put their statements in writing, like he had asked.

At that point, "I said, 'Forget it, I'm off the train,'" Stephan said. ""

===

Everyone should be getting off of this train wreck of a campaign.

Just as oldgoof stated above, it tells you everything you need to know.

"Nothing wrong with it, ain't gonna change it, ", but refuse to put it in writing.

They knew it was a problem.

The perennial end result when there's a lack of respect for separation of church and state.

naturalist 8 years, 9 months ago

Hey Kline's just doing his laundering, got a problem with that?

lunacydetector 8 years, 9 months ago

hmmm.........i have to wonder who leaked the memo to Mister 'i editorialize every article i write with a flaming liberal slant' Rothschild of all people. it hurts the article's credibiility - greatly. was this recent interview an "exclusive?"

frankly, i was surprised mr. stephan started working for kline in the first place. everyone knows stephan is a RINO (republican in name only) just like sandy praeger and former governor graves. it's the disingenuous way most politicians get elected in this state.

i expect stephan is looking to work with morrisson, should he win.

Kodiac 8 years, 9 months ago

"The amount of intolerance by the liberals who work for and read this newspaper is unbelievable."

kpitrl,

It is interesting that you are trying to preach respect and tolerance and at the same time show examples of your own ignorance, hatred and intolerance. Instead of making stereotypical generalizations about groups of people, maybe you should consider directing your comments at specific persons. Plus I am sure I read something there in the good book about loving your neighbor as thyself and/or turning the other cheek and all kinds of other wonderful warm fuzzy feelings.

An intolerant liberal

kpitrl 8 years, 9 months ago

It ammuses me that most of you hate christians so much that you think that we should not have a voice in politics.

It seems to me that when a group of non christians gather to contribute to a political campaign, you call it networking. When a christian seeks money from persons who share a common interest to live in a moral society, you hate him.

I encourage all of you to respect the opinions of all individuals. Yes, that includes persons of the christian faith. The amount of intolerance by the liberals who work for and read this newspaper is unbelievable.

BOE 8 years, 9 months ago

by kpitrl October 18, 2006 at 12:28 p.m.

It ammuses me that most of you hate christians so much that you think that we should not have a voice in politics.

===

Both candidates for AG are Christian.

The far, far majority of registered Kansas voters are Christian.

ksmoderate 8 years, 9 months ago

kpitrl,

Christians, being in the majority in this country, are only being checked that their churches are not breaking tax laws by endorsing a specific candidate.

Christians have every right to have a voice in politics, but (my gosh) they need to obey the laws just like everyone else.

Get informed before you go screaming persecution and hate....that's not very christian of you now, is it?

93jayarch 8 years, 9 months ago

I personnaly don't have a problem with individuals expressing themself through campain contributions (whatever thats worth) - BUT I DO have a problem with my tax dollars subsidizing a (tax exempt) organization who in turn is financially supporting a candidate who I find a threat to my pesonal freedom.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

kpitrl:

Wow. Persecution complex much? Reading through this story and comments, I can't find a single derrogatory comment about Christians or christianity as a whole. Specific practices at specific churches have been mentioned, but that is not an attack on you or your religion, and certainly not saying you "should not have a voice in politics".

In my comments above, I explicitly encouraged those individuals who support Phil Kline's candidacy for AG to donate money if they so desire. That's not what this story is about. Individuals can and should donate to politicians they support.

However, churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations are breaking the law if they donate money to a political campaign. Stephan is alleging this is exactly what Kline has done.

So if you and a bunch of Christian friends want to get together and give money to Kline, because you think he'll bring about a "moral society", you have every right to do so. All this story is informing you of is that Kline's version of a "moral society" is one where "the ends justify the means" and it's okay for the Attorney General to break the law.

BOE 8 years, 9 months ago

" lunacydetector on October 18, 2006 at 12:45 p.m.

hmmm.........i have to wonder who leaked the memo to Mister 'i editorialize every article i write with a flaming liberal slant' Rothschild of all people. "

===

Since it's every article he writes, maybe you could show some examples of his "editorializing" from this one.

He quoted the executive director of the Kansas Government Ethics Commission, all the other quotes are from Kline's side, and others involved were given a chance and either declined comment or didn't return a call requesting comment.

He also posted no comments from Morrison's campaign or from Democrats.

staff04 8 years, 9 months ago

Not every Republican who is NOT neo-conservative is a RINO, fool. I am a RINO. I am registered as a Republican so I can vote in closed primaries, but in general elections I vote Democratic most of the time. I sincerely doubt that Bob Stephan does this.

Just because another Republican doesn't share your opinion that leaders should be permitted to freely break the law doesn't make them a RINO.

It is no wonder the Republican party in KS is in shambles. I say go ahead, keep alienating half of your party. You DO know that neo-conservatives only make up a slight majority of the KS GOP, right? Guess what that means? Keep this up and you will be the minority party in KS. By a lot.

juliopac 8 years, 9 months ago

My gosh. When churches get better access to the political process that I do, as a taxpayer...they need to start paying taxes like everyone else. Churches have NO BUSINESS making donations to political campaigns, unless of course, they pay taxes like the rest of us.

Hey BOE, you have a voice...YOUR OWN! Vote your conscience, no problem there. Individuals, NOT institutions have the right to vote and affect politics.

Yes, Christians in this country are so oppressed. That's why they're the ones running the show. It's never ceased to amaze me how Christians have mastered the language of the oppressed, even though they hold all the power.

emtid4u 8 years, 9 months ago

Phill Kline should and will be prosecuted for embezzlement, official misconduct, and conspiacy to commit official misconduct.

He is committing those crimes in Shawnee County. Mr. Hecht you have the responsibility. Do your job and have Kline arrested, or we will have you prosecuted as well.

Bob Stephen doesn't need work he just wants to enjoy his retirement.

napoleon969 8 years, 9 months ago

My, my, my. The revelations that come to light as a tight race edges to its conclusion! Personally, I think "Little Phill" is running for the wrong office given the almost daily revelations coming out of Washington, D.C. Seems to me he'd fit in quite nice with his GOP cronies. Maybe he ought to be running for Ryan's seat!

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

lunacydetector-

Since I guess you'd consider me a "liberal" or gasp a "RINO", I feel it is incubent upon me to point out that we posters have no voice in whether or not someone is banned.

The webmasters do it for violations of the TOS agreement.

From what I've seen they're actually pretty tolerant, as long as you're not being intentionally libellious, defamatory, or obscene.

One conclusion you might reach is that a nwspaper with the (moderate) right-wing editorial slant like the LJW is actually conspiring to silence the voices of truth.

Another is that it is impossible for conservative posters to engage in respectful debate like adults.

But I don't think either of those is true. I do think kpitrl has some persecution complex you can borrow if yours runs out.

BTW- still waiting on examples of bias in this article.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

lunacydetector:

The memo was leaked months ago. I'm sorry you don't like the reporter, but it certainly seemed newsworthy to me. I also fail to detect much bias in today's story - could you please point out where and how this story editorializes?. It's a simple recounting of a prominent Republican's story. If it seems one-sided, it's because the other parties named wouldn't return phone calls.

Also when people like you say RINO, it translates as "moderate republican". It's what the Republican party in this state used to be, and what you might call the default setting for the majority of the state. What's happened is that the radical right-wingers had a few good years, gained some power, and now they're redefining "Republican".

Trouble is, your new definition excludes most of the traditional temperate salt-of-the-earth west Kansas Republicans in favor of fire-breathing cultural conservatives. And sure, that's a motivated base for traditionally lackluster primary campaigns. But what is really happening is you're booting everyone who doesn't march in lockstep with your cause-du-jour.

And every year, you're alienating more and more of the "RINOs" (who have traditionally been the strength of the KS Republican party) into thinking "hey, these guys are pretty out there. That (D) guy is starting to look pretty good by comparison."

If and when the Kansas GOP starts offering moderate candidates again, people will vote for them in droves. In the meantime the KS Democratic party should be down on its knees thanking the current extreme-right GOP leaders for doing more for their recruiting efforts than they ever could.

A practical bit of political advice - much like a sales job, "the voter is always right." It's not a "disingenuous way of getting elected" - it's just giving the voters exactly what they want- a moderate rational voice who will look after the best interests of Kansas as a whole.

lunacydetector 8 years, 9 months ago

someone wanted to know where all the conservative posters were hiding....

most conservatives who write on here got banned.

it's how so-called free speech loving liberals censor conservatives.

Kodiac 8 years, 9 months ago

Hey Lunacydetector,

Some conservatives who write on HERE threaten people and/or try to find out who everyone is and then threaten them before they get banned. Free speech my *ss. Its the violent nature of those conservatives that get themselves banned...

Reread LJW's forum policy.

Loving liberals indeed....

juliopac 8 years, 9 months ago

I get so tired of hearing conservatives (lunacydetector and others) whining about how the system i.e. the media are out to get them. Talk about paranoia!

The liberal media are everywhere censoring you left and right. I guess that's how we've managed to get a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, a REPUBLICAN dominated CONGRESS and conservative majority on the SUPREME COURT.

And those left wing media folks were really effective at drumming up resistance to the war in Iraq back in 2002 and 2003. I guess that's why we didn't go to war, huh?

When will you be satisfied? When we all just shut the hell up and let you have it your way? Sorry, these aren't the United States of Burger King!

Lunacy, here's my solution. Don't like it--LEAVE!!!! Sound familiar?

Porter 8 years, 9 months ago

Maybe publishing the comments of Phill Kline and his staff is considered "liberal bias" because the comments are so idiotic.

Maybe Lunacy is right. To be fair to Phill, the media should never again allow him to open his unethical pie-hole.

nbnozzy 8 years, 9 months ago

Phil Kline is the reason I am voting for Paul Morrison. I don't know enough about Mr. Morrison to give an opinion on his character, but I do indeed know enough about facist Phil to vote for whoever runs against him. And I am a registered Republican. It's a shame my party is leaving the ideals we once held with such Kansas Republicans like Nancy Kassebaum, Bob Dole, Bill Graves, Dwight Eisenhower, etc.....

The sad truth is that the opposing party is putting up better candidates in this election. Boyda, Sebelius, Moore, and Morrison all have more sound rational than their GOP counterparts.

First and foremost, you aren't hearing the democrat challengers preaching from the pulpit on their campaigns. That's a plus for them. I don't care who your higher power may be, I do not need you to try to interject it into my life. I believe Jim Ryun to be a decent man, but he needs to be representing me in Congress, not his God. I have my own God, thank you very much.

Kansans are about level headed thinkers and compassionate people. The bullying right wing of the Republican Party needs to be knocked down the ladder. I hope everyone reading this will vote for "moderates" in your elections. Give the state what it needs, fair minded representation.

Laura 8 years, 9 months ago

Christians? That's the whole point...why do we even known Phill is a Christian? No offense, but I'm really so sick of hearing about people's "Christian" ideology.

BOE 8 years, 9 months ago

" " by KS Oct 18, 2006 at 11:41 a.m

Thank God, most of you are not running for office. I really, really would hate to see what you all have in your closets! " "

==

" by jhawk0097 Oct18, 2006 at 11:57 a.m.

Plaid. A LOT of plaid. And, yes, I'm ashamed. "

==

rotfl...best posts

Porter 8 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I just re-read my post. Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to Phill Kline's unethical pie-hole.

KS 8 years, 9 months ago

Helogicsound04 - says "... just was so disgusted by Kline's lack of ability as the AG, that he was forced to change his party to run against him". If he was so disgusted then why didn't he do it as a Republican and beat him in the primary? Could have kept his party affiliation! I don't have a problem with Morrison running against Kline. Will no doubt beat him, but why change parties? Was Morrison afraid he would not get any Republican money? Since the left is so opposed to Kline, no doubt they would put up some money for a "R" just to get the ultra conservative out. Ever heard that politics make strange bedfellows? Surely the issue is NOT MONEY or is it?

sailboat44 8 years, 9 months ago

To paraphase Woody Allen: Morrison wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have Phill Kline as a member!

Rationalanimal 8 years, 9 months ago

OK, so after all the dairy air by the rabid liberal/socialists dominating this column, you still haven't answered one very basic question: If Kline's actions are so unethical, so across the boundary of ethics, so criminal, why haven't charges been brought, why no formal investigations, why no official inquiries?

Answer, because there isn't any substance to this other than allowing a chimerical platform for people that would love to exclude people of christian faith from the political process in Kansas.

So, werekoala or staff04, please cite to me and everybody else specific criminal provisions, either state or federal that Kline violated.

As for this feeble and disingenuous (cloaked in the syntax of typical liberal condescension) explanation by werekoala that this isn't coming at a political expedient time is beyond the realms of reality. You really mean to say that good ole Bobby Stephan's revelation from the Mount to clear his conscience before the people of Kansas does not in any way correlate to the fact that BS's current boss is behind having a potential impact of putting him out of a lucrative job and his revelation puts him in the good graces of the man that stands poised to take over the AG's office? Hmm, what was all that high minded idealism you formely quoted about partisanism, political bias, etc. Your foaming at the mouth attacks manifest your rabid infection of liberal/socialist hatred towards christian conservatives in the state of Kansas. I personally love the liberal mantra of diversity, diversity, diversity, except anyone that disagrees with me.

Lastly, PM's own campaign adds admits he's only tough on the most violent sexual predators. I take the man at his words. The man's an attorney learned in the craft of words and nip-picky grammar. If he meant something else he would said something else. Or, he's a subpar attorney and therefore not qualifed to be in the office of the AG. That may explain why he's only tough on the most violent sexual predators; they are the easiest to convict whereas the non-violent fall into the cracks of shades of grey, oversight and doubt.

Porter 8 years, 9 months ago

Condi Rice was a Democrat??

Thanks for the link Agnostick.

bretherite 8 years, 9 months ago

do a search on Phill Kline and a company called Biocore from the mid 90's. There is some interesting reading there.

opinion 8 years, 9 months ago

Rationalanimal,

You posed some fair questions. Even Stephan's said (in another papers coverage of the same story) that he didn't necessarily think it was illegal.

However, Phil is bringing this on himself. If you invoke the name of Christ to position yourself favorable among Christain voters, you should not "see how close you can get to the line". You should position yourself as far away from the line as you can! Scripture talks about being above reproach, not just innocent in a court of law.

That said, I will still vote Republican.

Kodiac 8 years, 9 months ago

Rationalanimal,

It is possible to be unethical and not being doing anything illegal. Ethics of course are in the eyes of the beholder. As far as there being no official investigations, as was pointed out earlier, time and effort is needed to bring about any official inquiry on the recent matter. I say give it some time before you conclude that "there isn't any substance to this other than allowing a chimerical platform for people that would love to exclude people of christian faith from the political process in Kansas." This statement of course makes absolutely no sense in view of the fact that Kansas has many persons "of christian faith" in all areas of the government and invariably in all areas of the political process. Were you referring to a specific christian faith or ideology? I don't know. I find it curious that you are making a statement that has no basis in the history of Kansas or even the United States. As someone pointed out earlier, can you name a US president in the last 100 years who wasn't a Christian? Also Kline has been investigated several times in the past and while he has been never accused of doing anything ILLEGAL, he has been scolded for his UNETHICAL behavior.

I do agree with you that Kline is on his way out and that Morrison stands poised to take the AG position.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

Rationalanimal: "If Kline's actions are so unethical, so across the boundary of ethics, so criminal, why haven't charges been brought, why no formal investigations, why no official inquiries?"

I did answer that with my second post - these allegations were just released, and the wheels of justice grind slowly. If in 6 months there's no investigation, you might have a point. But the day after? Someone needs new talking points.

From the IRS website regarding requirements for churches:

"Contributions to political campaign funds . . . clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity"

(www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf - page 7)

Is it a criminal offense? Possibly on the part of the church, his wife may be an accessory, I'm not sure if his campaign is liable or not. But when you ask about what he did that was unethical, I would submit that it's unethical for the person who wants to be the top law enforcer in Kansas to take illegal contributions through shady back-channel deals.

But again, I think we'll all be finding out in the next few months who is liable for what. It's a serious charge, and the IRS has come down hard on churches in the past for doing much less.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

"cloaked in the syntax of typical liberal condescension"

First, I'm not really a liberal, I'm more of a militant moderate. Second, there are many conservatives I respect - take George Will, or Bill Kristol, or PJ O'Rourke. I sometimes agree with them, sometimes don't but I can always tell they have an interesting and intelligent perspective on the subject at hand.

So it's not condescension because you're "conservative" and I'm "liberal", it's condescension because your arguements are weak and meritless. I feel the same way about many of the extreme leftist commentators.

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

Rationalanimal:

"It's a CONSPIRACY!, etc, and rambling about Mountains"

No it's not. BS is a respected Republican statesman, and he's not hurting for money. Notice he hasn't even changed his party affiliation (given the welcome he's received, he might want to though).

Yes, it hurts Kline, but it would have hurt Kline at any time to have this released, and worse if it had been much earlier or closer to Nov. 7th. This actually gives him time to clear his name, if he so chooses (note: not returning phone calls seeking comment is a bad way to go about this).

Plus, this goes against your first point - if you're seriously contending that PK obviously did nothing wrong (otherwise we'd have had him investigated, tried, convicted, and executed by dawn the next day!) - then what, exactly, is there to "hurt" Kline?

You're saying he didn't do anything to be ashamed of, but that having people know about the thing that he did that he doesn't have any reason to be ashamed of will hurt him. Cognitive dissonance much?

You know - and everyone should pay attention to this - if the letter behind a person's name influences your reaction to a scandal involving them, then you really are part of the problem. Few on the right would be as dismissive if the allegations involved Morrison and a Buddhist shrine, and few on the left would be as angry. If that describes you, then you're a partisan hack, willing to weaken a great nation so that the football team you're cheering "wins".

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The revelations indicate that ther Kline campaign was using churches as de facto political fundraising organizations. This should be good enough reason for the IRS to begin investigation of churches where Kline has spoken during his term as AG.

Maybe what the Kline campaign did was not illegal, I do not know. But the IRS would be mighty interested in the activities of those churches...

werekoala 8 years, 9 months ago

"Your foaming at the mouth attacks manifest your rabid infection of liberal/socialist hatred towards christian conservatives in the state of Kansas. I personally love the liberal mantra of diversity, diversity, diversity, except anyone that disagrees with me."

Okay, this is when you start sounding crazy. I'm not a Marxist, I don't want to make you an atheist or turn your children gay, and I don't hate christian conservatives. I do often strongly disagree with them in my opinion of the proper role of government in our personal and public lives.

But as I said earlier, I value the insight of many conservatives, and many christians. Sometimes I agree, and sometimes I don't. But I have repeatedly encouraged anyone who agrees with Kline to donate money to his campaign. Just do it as a private individual, not as a church, because if you do, it's against the law.

Are there some liberals who are "do as I say, not as I do" - absolutely, and some conservatives are like that too. (let he whose mouth is without foam cast the first stone, for example). People's private actions are often far different from their public statements, just ask Mark Foley.

But I'm not one of them. And as much as you want to stick your fingers in your ears and sing, your boy is on the wrong side of this one. And it's good for Kansas that this is out in the open. And I'd feel the same if the situations were reversed and I was talking to a Morrison supporter.

oldgoof 8 years, 9 months ago

Rationalanimal: "If Kline's actions are so unethical, so across the boundary of ethics, so criminal, why haven't charges been brought, why no formal investigations, why no official inquiries?"

Me: 1) you just read the facts in the newspaper this morning to begin with.... and Stephan did not allege illegality. 2) this isn't about crimes. Heck, Foley probably didn't commit a crime either. This is about sleezey conduct.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 9 months ago

I chuckle at all the republicans here who have stated that what Kline has done isn't illegal...though it's unethical.

So, unethical behavior is okay, as long as you happen to be a good ol' boy that belongs to the GOP?

emtid4u 8 years, 9 months ago

I called the AG's office and asked who Prosecutes the AG or member of thier office when they commit a crime. I was told by Kline's office they won't be prosecuted. No one has the authority to prosecute them.

Bizzar isn't it?

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm really, really happy now that I filed a complaint with the IRS against Kline, and left a voice-mail with a contact at the Committee for the Separation of Church & State in Washington, DC this morning outlining Kline's latest folly.

Nip this guy in the bud before he really gets a chance to hurt us.

Katara 8 years, 9 months ago

Silver eucalypitus (sp?) leaves, silly. Or put a big @ on its back & people will think it is a target. Note: In no way shape or form (haha - "were") do I advocate violence against koalas.

"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us." Titus 2:7 NIV

deedee5555 8 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting question emtid4u: who has the authority to bring charges against the attorney general- the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction? the speaker of the house in impeachment? the governor?

prioress 8 years, 9 months ago

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