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Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bad KBI data blamed for incorrect claims about murder rate

October 25, 2006

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A campaign mailing sent recently to registered voters in Topeka and Lawrence contains incorrect information about the state's murder rate. The mailing claims violent crimes have skyrocketed during Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's investigation of abortion records, but the 2002 statistics were incorrect. Kline, left, and opponent Paul Morrison met Tuesday in a debate in Mayetta. At center is Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty. Morrison's campaign manager said the Democrat and his staff didn't have prior knowledge of the mailing.

A campaign mailing sent recently to registered voters in Topeka and Lawrence contains incorrect information about the state's murder rate. The mailing claims violent crimes have skyrocketed during Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's investigation of abortion records, but the 2002 statistics were incorrect. Kline, left, and opponent Paul Morrison met Tuesday in a debate in Mayetta. At center is Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty. Morrison's campaign manager said the Democrat and his staff didn't have prior knowledge of the mailing.

— Incorrect statistics posted on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's Web site led a group to claim wrongly in a mailing that the state's murder rate has skyrocketed while Republican Phill Kline has been attorney general.

Kansans for Consumer Privacy Protection, of Wichita, sent the mailer this weekend to registered voters in Topeka and Lawrence. The organization isn't registered as a political action committee in Kansas.

Kline, seeking his second term, faces Democratic challenger Paul Morrison, the Johnson County district attorney.

The group criticized Kline about his pursuit of the records of 90 patients from two abortion clinics, labeling it a "personal crusade." Kline has said he needs the records as part of an investigation into sex crimes against children and potentially illegal late-term abortions.

In its mailing, the groups said that while Kline pursued the medical records, violent crime increased dramatically. The mailing claims that murders in Kansas increased 153 percent from 2002 to 2005, citing figures from the KBI, which operates under the attorney general's office.

"We elected Attorney General Phill Kline to protect us from dangerous criminals," the mailing said. "Snoop Dog Kline had other plans."

But the statistics the KBI posted for 2002 were incorrect, leaving out 60 homicides in Wichita and Kansas City, Kan., that would have put the number for the year at 106, close to the 107 homicides three years later.

"Our system has an error," Kirk Thompson, the KBI's associate director, told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "We hold the bag for that."

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 1 month ago

"Snoop Dog Kline had other plans."

I don't get this. Is this group claiming Kline is a rap singer? This doesn't make sense.

And why do they claim they're Kansans for CONSUMER privacy protection and then use their errant mailing to talk about abortion? Maybe they should be Kansans for Abortion-Services-Consumer Privacy Protection.

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