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Archive for Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Leaked memo details strategy

September 12, 2006

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— Atty. Gen. Phill Kline often talks about his Christian faith.

But a leaked memo shows how Kline has mixed religion and money as part of an aggressive strategy to raise campaign funds and win re-election.

"Get the pastor to invite 5 'money people,' whom he knows can help," Kline told his campaign staff in a detailed, four-page memo titled "church efforts."

The anonymously leaked e-mail memo provides a rare, behind-the-scenes look at political fundraising and the methods the incumbent Republican is using as he faces Democratic challenger Paul Morrison, the Johnson County district attorney.

Kline is a frequent visitor to Kansas churches, often appearing as guest preacher. But the memo makes clear Kline is out to spread more than the Christian message when he takes the pulpit. And he wants to hit as many churches as possible:

"The Goal and Objective numbers," Kline wrote to campaign workers Bill Roche and Sylvia Chapman in the Aug. 8 e-mail. "Please try to get me in front of the largest crowds as we move through the remainder of the campaign schedule. Also, please maximize my presence in a community. Where possible, get additional churches involved. Am able to preach at several churches where service times are different."

Kline office defends memo

The memo was mailed to news media anonymously with a return address of "Concerned Citizens, Everywhere, KS." The envelope was postmarked in Topeka. The mailing also included "event sheets" that provided details of Kline's visits to churches and later receptions on the campaign trail.

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On Nov. 7, Kansas voters will choose between Morrison and Kline, who is completing his first term after narrowly defeating Democratic challenger Chris Biggs in 2002.

Sherriene Jones, a spokeswoman for the Kline campaign, confirmed the memo was written by Kline and sent to Roche, his campaign manager, and campaign volunteer Chapman. Copied on the e-mail was Doug Henkle, who works both in the attorney general's office and the campaign.

"There isn't anything wrong with a candidate turning to his supporters," Jones said of the e-mail. "There isn't anything wrong or illegal with the attorney general thinking about his election campaign."

She said none of the fundraising occurred during actual church services, but at later receptions. Under federal tax laws, churches must maintain arm's length from political candidates or risk losing their tax-free status.

Jones said the memo detailed a campaign strategy common to other candidates, but also noted the memo was not meant for public consumption. She said she was concerned someone hacked into Kline's personal computer to get the information, but she made no accusations about who may have done that.

Mark Simpson, a spokesman for Morrison's campaign, said he had no knowledge of the mailing or its contents.

Outlined strategies

In the memo, Kline also provides detailed instructions to his staff on how to maximize his schedule and efforts to get more campaign funds.

"Goal is to walk away with contact information, money and volunteers and a committee in each church," Kline wrote.

After he has spoken at an event: "Get me out. Do not schedule me for social lunches. Only working lunches were (sic) we can obtain either media, money or crucial support," he wrote. "Work with Bob to try not to leave gaps in the schedule. If there is a gap, get me to a quite (sic) place so I can make phone calls or write; feed me slimfast. Do not need a sit down meal. Takes too much time."

Kline also wrote about specific pastors and abortion, which he opposes.

"Must rework Joe Wright and Terry Fox," Kline wrote, referring to two Wichita ministers who led the charge to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"Must get in their pulpits and have them personally host a reception to match Tiller's blood money," Kline writes, referring to Dr. George Tiller, who owns a Wichita clinic that provides late-term abortions.

"Perhaps we can get Dobson by phone. Joe, Terry and Pat must commit to get 5-10 people there who can drop $1,000 to $2,000. This will take a lot of work, contact, work, and contact. This should be early to mid-September. Get me in their pulpits," Kline wrote.

Comments

MyName 8 years, 3 months ago

This memo makes it sounds like Kline is on the ropes! I know he's a busy man, what with all his "duties" as AG, but still, he has to be going pretty hard if he doesn't have time to eat.

oldgoof 8 years, 3 months ago

...far from on the ropes....sounds like he is working his base hard, which should be expected....

Atreides 8 years, 3 months ago

Using the old strategy of the Religious Right, that's all: take people's minds off of pertinent issues and play these religious/social things to the hilt. Get Bible Beating preachers on board with their more wealthy parisioners, get money....paint the opponent as a baby killing atheist criminal lover in tune with the ACLU.

These Christocrats should wake up and realize how much they are being used by goons such as Kline. People like Kline really don't want abortion outlawed or the ACLU to go away, and they hope that not another prayer will be uttered in public schools. Why? Because they wouldn't have anything to run for elected office on.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

Abortion is a legal right, both nationally and in Kansas.

The duty of the state's chief law enforcement officer is to uphold the law - regardless of whether he agrees with the law or not.

If Kline is so rabidly opposed to abortion, he should resign and pursue his vendetta as a private citizen . . . which he shall be in another six or seven weeks.

Patty Buchholz 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry to say but he is following typical Republican standards; use religion when it benefits you. He seems to be following the George Bush lead. I hope people wake up before November.

kansasmom 8 years, 3 months ago

Why is this news worthy? Every candidate has a plan. This does not do anything illegall or unethical. This is just one of the media's plots to give him some negative publicity. This paper is VERY slanted on their political views and it shows over and over again in their articles. It's smart for him to detail his strategy to his staff. Now, his memo has atleast been delivered quickly to all the ministers and church's and even to those he might not have been able to reach, so I guess it is a GREAT idea to put this in the paper. I'm sure Kline is saying thank you to the disloyal employee and to the Journal World!!!

SteelHorseRider 8 years, 3 months ago

KSMom I agree with you.

I don't see a problem.

His strategy for earning donations from his constituancy shows he is not a sleezebag, but rather a man who can formulate a plan to ensure he maximizes his valuable time.

Ralph Reed 8 years, 3 months ago

While I have little respect for the way Kline uses religion and his office to pursue a personal agenda, I admire his strategy and tactics. Put me in touch with as many money people as possible. --- and so on. I do not appreciate his using his office to teach groups how to circumvent the law - churches / politics / taxes. Nor do I trust his skirting the fringes of constitutional legality when pursuing select groups who are against his agenda. I trust him less than I trust most politicians. What ever happened to the days of Vern Miller? At least he was entertaining and I didn't feel like I had turned over a rock a was looking at something disgusting.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Nothing unique is revealed here. It should hardly be shocking. Sounds like political bid-ness as usual. And, this Money grubbing obsession, and the pursuit of Money at the expense of all else, is certainly nothing new and it is certainly not limited to Republicans. It is inherent in the nature of the political beast, in these times. And, the Money mind-set, and the love of Money and the ever present quest for more Money, has more value than family, friends, religious belief, moral or political principles, patriotism, and the welfare of each other. Its a form of idolatry and is the reality of these times. We, have made Money our God, or perhaps a ravenous monster which will turn on us and consume us all. Once a means to an end, Money has become an end in itself. This is what is at the heart of the all-pervasive corruption that has taken hold and taken over and destroyed the integrity of government. And it will ultimately destroy us all, for it is not limited to government. Nothing new here, its been this country's reality for quite some time. Perhaps, this is why holy-men of other religions of the World, see America and Americans as evil and as a threat.

prioress 8 years, 3 months ago

And, THIS is news? Just more of the same from the Amerikkkan Taliban. Bow down to the sky god and vote republican............

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, Unitarian and most other mainstream churches do not use their buildings and funds for political purposes, but right-wing "pseudo churches" have become political action committees, using their tax-exempt status to support political candidates.

That is grossly unfair, illegal and crooked as hell. Why should supporters of candidates who believe in following the Constitution and laws of our great nation be put at a disadvantage by crooks like Kline?

Those who support mainstream candidates have to pay taxes on their political contributions, while those who support theocratic socialists like Philll Kline or Jim Ryun can receive a tax-exemption.

It is outrageous that a criminal like Kline, who has shown a complete lack of morality and ethics and who has consistently violated the law, is our Attorney General.

Kline and his so-called "churches," are essentially funneling tax-exempt contributions to support his sleazy campaign. These pseudo churches are allowing Kline to use their facilities as a soap box and as a place to solicit tainted money.

That is a clear violation of law by a someone, who is supposed to be our State's top cop!

Kline has got to go. Further, after he loses the election, the IRS needs to make Kline pay taxes on all the illegal funds solicited through pseudo churches.

Further, from now on, these pseudo churches should have to start paying property taxes on their buildings just like any other organization that uses its building for political purposes.

Those contributing to pseudo churches should no longer be allowed to deduct their contributions because previous contributions were used for political purposes, a clear violation of Federal law.

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

I find little surprising here.

Kline's biggest supporters seek to substitute religious belief for political judgment (as opposed to using religious values to inform rational decisionmaking). Kline then uses his supporters' agenda to further his personal political ambitions.

For example, there must be someone out there who opposes stem cell research for non-religious reasons - and that person would be as rare as the Smoky Hills Jackalope.

strateup 8 years, 3 months ago

Your responses are typical Lawrence Liberal opinions. How shocked will you be when Kline wins the election? You don't have to get to far out of Lawrence to find people who are much more conservative. The majority of Kansans want morals based on religion. They want God in the classroom, in the court room, and most want to ban this type of abortion practice.

lunacydetector 8 years, 3 months ago

sounds like dirty tricks to me. since morrison is a democrat, this leaked memo won't do him much good. everyone knows that people of faith are shunned by the democratic party.

yes, yes, i know he 'claims' to be somehow religious, and he excommunicated himself from his own church (just like sebelius) - so where does he turn to for his money? oh, the rich abortion industry. almost sounds like he sold his soul to the devil so he can become attorney general.

Luxor 8 years, 3 months ago

It's way past time to take the tax-free status away from churches and this is exactly why.

KsTwister 8 years, 3 months ago

With the lousy do nothing Congress and President the people of this country have had to BEG for action in the last four years who cares!!! Religion and Abortion and Gay Marriage will not steer voters away from replacing them all. People just aren't that stupid, and most have an axe to grind at the polls. Hear the winds of change, all the polls point to it.

Luxor, I believe your right whereas, four years ago I would have disagreed.

Atreides 8 years, 3 months ago

Amen, Luxor: if Churches truly believe that the 1st Ammendment exempts them from paying property taxes - the next time their buildings are on fire, the next time some homeless Lawrence bum breaks into their sancturary - don't call the Fire/Police Departments:-)

WilburM 8 years, 3 months ago

First, this is not surprising, but it certainly is news. And the LJW is absolutely right to make it a top-of-page story, given this is the hottest race in the state this fall, and a very meaningful one. Second, PK is hurting for funds, and Christian Right candidates are often outspent. Third, this is close to a church-state problem, but not apparently over the line. Still, we're heading toward theocracyland here. Fourth, Kline has honed his political style and message over the past 20 years -- this is a political pro at work, in his own particular context. Fifth, this article will propel Morrison's already substantial fund-raising.

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

I was going to say smarmy bmj, but skeevy is a great word too. The thing is, I'm not surprised at all. He's scum, they're all scum. Doesn't matter what side of the political debate they're on, they're scum. I'm not suprised by anything that comes out of either side, anymore.

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

"The majority of Kansans want morals based on religion. They want God in the classroom, in the court room, and most want to ban this type of abortion practice."

I love how conservatives consistently confuse their personal opinions with that of the majority. Obviously the majority wants god in the classroom, that's why they kicked that loser BOE to the curb, right? And if they wanted this abortion practice ended, why do they consitently elect officials who won't do it? Because the majority DOES speak.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

No surprise that Kline is exploiting churches for political goals.

This does call into question whether these churches that hold what amount to political rallies can remain tax-exempt.

Martin Luther King and many in the civil rights movement used churches in a similar way, and many (right-wingers) thought that those churches should have lost tax-exempt status. They were (are) correct.

It just highlights that the current right wing has taken on the previous tactics of the left-wing of 50 years ago. They are right-wing liberals.

If churches want to participate in the political process, they should lose their tax-exempt status and start paying their fair share.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

A politician who is going to his base to get money; big shock. This is newsworthy ....why? They all do it, all the time.

If we don't like how campaigns are funded, we can ask (again) that campaign funding laws be changed. If we don't like that campaigns need money to get their messages out, we can give candidates "Free" (the media outlets would pay for it, or the taxpayers) air time and access to print media. Kline's tactics aren't illegal or unusual. If you don't like him or his religious beliefs, do not vote for him.

However, what does this story say about the person who "leaked" the memo? Someone hacking into a computer or stealing personal papers = theft. A crime. That really speaks volumes about the type of person who opposes Kline's positions.

It's WaterGate all over again..

Atreides 8 years, 3 months ago

KS Twister: I respectfully beg to differ. The Democrats have been 'Rove'd' once again. They could clobber Bush on the economy/trade but instead they have sank into the trap of WOT/Iraq and are letting these bugbear social issues guide them. I guess it is fitting since Democrats have long ago abandoned their working-class New Deal consensus and have let the transplanted 68er New Left be their vanquard. If they had any common sense they'd purge this element from their ranks and reinvent the slogan that helped give Clinton the victory in 1992( with Ross Perot being spoiler)....

Look to FDR, not Michael Moore, Dems.

DaveS 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey GOP Conservative (that user name's a joke I know), Nancy Boyda had an event at at least one mainline church I have the invitation for, and several others I've heard of. They did not invite Jim Ryun. So, please check your facts before using them to cast aspersions on others. Moreover, have you ever watched during Presidential campaigns when black churches across America have Democratic candidates come in and give speeches but they don't invite Republican candidates.

While I think it goes on from both sides, threatening to take away the tax exempt status of churches is wrong. These churches and pastors have a right to invite anyone they want to come and speak. So long as the church is not passing a collection plate for political contributions or making public endorsements, leave them alone.

Atreides 8 years, 3 months ago

How about giving us single-family Douglas County property owners a break by making these churches cough up some money, Dave S.? You ever see the real estate churches occupy and set up shop around here? If churches want prayer in public schools and/or vouchers, they have to "render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser's". Show the money or shut up, ye Pharisees.

I'd be willing to compromise with them if they'd pay property taxes and I'm about as secular-minded as the mold is made.

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

there's a big difference between speaking at a church and holding fundraisers at a church. One is legal, the other is not. You can guess which is which.

speedykitty 8 years, 3 months ago

Kansas is an expensive state for campaigning, with the border TV stations, and newspapers tp deal with. It takes a lot of money, and thats one of the reasons it was hard for the gov. candidates to properly advertise before the primary. It think this just shows a cohesive plan to turn out one part of the Kline base, and raise the funds from supporters to run an effective campaign. After all, Christians can go to social events supporting a candidate, too.

ModerateOne 8 years, 3 months ago

Those of you who speak of the religious right with disdain are just as much a part of the problem as those in the religious right who disdain you.

Instead of accepting and respecting faith and religion, you seek to "prove" it is bad. In the process, you practice as much intolerance as those whom you disdain. You also push more people to the right instead of moving them to the center.

If you hate intolerance and lack of understanding, then you should tolerate and seek to understand.

Oh, and Kline is a good politician but not a good attorney. The fact that he is the chief attorney in our state is a disgrace. Please vote for Morrison.

conservative 8 years, 3 months ago

And in other breaking news, the democratic candidate is setting up opportunities to meet with labor union representatives. He is also meeting personally with large contributors, and is planning to maximize his time so that he can raise as much money as possible.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

Kline is not a good attorney? This statement is based upon what facts?

For people who like facts -

General Kline graduated in the top of his 1987 law school class (he was on law review as an editor - only the top law students are chosen to do that).

He was then hired (right out of law school) by a major KC area law firm (again, only the top students get hired by such firms). While there, and in other legal jobs, he worked on several major national civil cases, appearing in courts of all types for years (and writing the briefs etc. needed in court).

Since becoming AG he's appeared in and argued before the US Supreme court and received lavish praise for the job he did from District Attorney Nola Fulston (a Democrat by the way) and the very well respected former Solicitor General for the United States (the top civil lawyer for the nation), Ted Olson. http://www.usdoj.gov/osg/aboutosg/t_olson_bio.htm He hasn't won every single case filed or defended by the Attorney General's office, but that is true of any AG (not to mention any practicing attorney).

All of these things point to a person who is a decent if not gifted lawyer.

So, where are the FACTS (not opinions) to show he is not a good lawyer?

rhd99 8 years, 3 months ago

nahnah nah nah nahnah nah nah, HEY HEY HEY, BYE KLINE! GET LOST you hypocrite!

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

"The majority of Kansans want morals based on religion. They want God in the classroom, in the court room, and most want to ban this type of abortion practice."

Does anyone seriously believe this baloney?

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

DaveS said:

"While I think it goes on from both sides, threatening to take away the tax exempt status of churches is wrong. These churches and pastors have a right to invite anyone they want to come and speak. So long as the church is not passing a collection plate for political contributions or making public endorsements, leave them alone."


Dah, I hate to break it to you, Dave. You completely misrepresented me. I wasn't talking about a political candidate speaking at a church. I was talking about the criminal behavior by Kline.

According to the article, Kline essential did "pass the collection plate," and you and I both agree that is wrong.

If you had read my post rather than just making stuff up, you would know that I'm not for taking the tax-exempt status away from most churches, just those that abuse it.

However, now that you mention it, I will admit that if churches paid taxes and people could no longer claim up to 30% of their income as tax exempt, everyone's tax rate could be cut significantly.

BTW, I have been a Conservative Republican all my life. Besides lower taxes, I also believe in free enterprise, privacy, keeping the government out of our personal lives, and all the other traditional conservative values that are the complete opposite of what frauds like Kline, Ryun, Shallenberger and other liberal theocratic socialists support.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

Jamesaust:

No, I don't believe that boloney. Hopefully the majority of voters don't either, or this crap is only going to get worse!

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

facts --

Kline's record is fairly poor to be an AG.

Associate editor of law review? (A) The guy's pushing like 50 - when do you stop living on past glory, (B) law review ain't bad - Associate Editor is the lowest of about a dozen titles for the 3rd year students to divvy up among themselves. There's almost 1,000 law students who have been on law review since Kline's years - are all qualified to be AG?

Hired right out of law school? When do you think the average lawyer is hired? A decade after?

Worked with big name clients? Who else would be corporate law firm clients? Please define "work with". Is this the same as "bill to"?

Fulson? You must mean Nola Foulston, the ex-Republican DA in Sedgwick Co. Yes, she has avoided any public attacks on Kline. so?

Ted Olson? The bigwig GOP attorney? Yes, he has provided a few nice blurbs about Kline. Next up "A riveting read. I couldn't put it down."

Facts you didn't seem to remember --

"The lost years" -- and what did Kline do after his "first job"?

Lack of interest -- how effectively did Kline maintain his bar membership? Wasn't sufficiently interested in practising law THREE different times!

Public dressingdown -- how many times now have we seen the courts take the AG to the woodshed? How often is any AG's courtroom testimony transcript the butt of public derision?

And all that's before you even review the poor quality of his legal judgment and his subjugatation of the rule of law to his political obsessions.

afred 8 years, 3 months ago

Not News? Maybe. Important? Damn straight. At least we're all talking about it. At least we are all engaging in the second-most benign form of governmental participation. (The most benign, of course, is just have an opinion to talk about).

Correct that it is not news. And it is correct that most politicians behave in more or less the same way. (Although the comparison between Martin Luther King Jr. and Phil Kline made my skin crawl a little bit - youworstnightmare, point taken, but c'mon)

But so what? So what if this is not news? So what if its just the same old stuff? Should it not frustrate the average Kansan/American just the same, if not moreso, with each and every example of deviation from the true democratic ideas on which this country (and subsequently this great state) were supposedly founded?

How much more of it to we have to see? How much more NON-NEWS stories of the same old stuff do we have to recieve before we're are actually moved to action?

What frustrates me most about the whole thing, is that nowhere in Mr. Kline's jam packed itenerary did he set aside time to ACTUALLY BE THE ATTOURNEY GENERAL and DO ATTOURNEY GENERAL STUFF. Unless you want to count the part where he says:

"... try not to leave gaps in the schedule. If there is a gap, get me to a quiet place so I can make phone calls or write."

Apparently it takes a lot less time to be the attourney general these days than it used to.

Our political system has become severly obese, a victim of irresponsibly and limitless consumption. A good portion of its energy is spent just supporting its own weight. And re-election time is like the holiday season (note the temporal proximity).

And just like the physical obesety in humans, if we are to drop the wieght, that is if we are ever to have a lean political system that runs efficiently and is truly OF THE PEOPLE, it is going to take a tremendous amount of effort, and support from everyone involved.

It short, we need some friggin campaign finance reform. We need better, more democratic, media outlets where the VOTERS frame the debates, not the NETWORKS nor the NEWSPAPERS, nor POLITICIANS, nor the CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS.

But it all starts with admonition and recognition of the problem, and at least in that sense, the second-most benign form of governmental participation may not be so benign after all. Bless you all for your opinions and reporting them here. Keep talking and maybe someone, somewhere, with some gumption, with some ambition for change, will be moved to action. Maybe it could even be you or me.

devilfish 8 years, 3 months ago

look at the poll question itself. Where is the fourth option, "I see nothing wrong with what he did?" There are only options with negative undertones. Another example of the direction of this newspaper.

jayheel 8 years, 3 months ago

Nothing wrong with soliciting your base...but there is something very wrong when you do it FROM A PULPIT.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

""Get the pastor to invite 5 'money people,' whom he knows can help," Kline told his campaign staff in a detailed, four-page memo titled "church efforts.""

This is evidence that the churches are being used specifically and objectively as fundraising events for Kline. The pastor is inviting "money people", donors.

If the pastor did so, this church and others like it should lose their tax-exempt status and register as politcal action committees.

afred 8 years, 3 months ago

devilfish

I agree to some extend. But reporting the news is hard. It really is. And framing it, spinning it, slanting it, is a near inevitability to some degree, especially in a capitalist society where media outlets exist within the world of business - and these businesses have clientele that must be satisfied in order for the business to survive.

The comments sections, I think, are a great idea. Even if these posts amount to nothing more than a hill of flatulence producing legumes, at least it gives people the opportunity to expound a bit, if not only in their own mind.

Those little "polls" that they provide, however, I think are rediculous. I imagine that their true purpose has undertones of sincere effort to increase reader participation (or maybe they are just another way to link to a page of advertisements), but the effect is pretty meaningless, especially when, as you said, the three answers from which they allow you to choose, sum up the readers' ideas about the issue about as well as solar powered calculator on the dark side of the moon.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Diverting attention to non-consequential, peripheral issues will work, as it has before, because these are where the average Joe's emotional reality, and consequently his world-view is founded. Where his perceptions originate. The Dems continually fall into the trap of trying to defend themselves on these issues, and appear weak in doing so. Yes, look to FDR. And, look further to Harry Hopkins. And have some Vision and show some leadership. If not, you will lose again and continue to lose.

DaveS 8 years, 3 months ago

GOP Conservative said, "Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, Unitarian and most other mainstream churches do not use their buildings and funds for political purposes,"

The fact is, Boyda is using them, and I've heard from someone personally that she used the occasion to ask people for money. Kline aside, you took a pot shot at Jim Ryun, do you have any evidence that he's using church events as fundraisers like Boyda is? The answer is no because he doesn't. I'd say I represented you just right.

Tammy Yergey 8 years, 3 months ago

Jayheel states: Nothing wrong with soliciting your base...but there is something very wrong when you do it FROM A PULPIT.

I totally agree! I'm a Christian, but also a moderate Democrat. I find any extreme view to be representative of the few, not the majority, and therefore, wrong. But the fact that someone would use the pulpit as a way to garner support, not to spread the Word of God, but to ignite a group of potential supporters to vote for Kline, and hopefully,at a later function, to be inticed to donate to his campaign to be totally wrong and against what the Church is about.

I also don't think politics should be a way to force people into believing my views. Just as I don't want to be forced to believing YOUR views. That's my right as an American: To believe what I want to believe. What's the difference between that and the Taliban rule, except we think our view is the RIGHT one?

If I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, as a Christian, I don't need laws to force people to follow Christian morals. Instead, my actions, my teachings, will lead others to WANT to follow Christ. Forcing people to follow Christian rules will not create Christians. We need to let the Government govern fairly, and then we can spread the Word of God, for those who chose to and to those who are interested. I don't want God in my schools. I want God in my kids' hearts.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

Horsegirl:

If only all Christians were like you!

nancy2 8 years, 3 months ago

Let's see. Preaches at a church. Receives donations at a private reception in someone's home later. Morrison has done the same thing in this campaign. Nothing out of the ordinary or illegal there. Argues before the US Supreme Court and wins. Wins water rights money for Kansas. Pushes to get Jessica's Law passed. Sounds to me like the armpit of Kansas trying to make something out of nothing. Lawrence truly doesn't realize how out of step they are with the rest of Kansas.

dirkleisure 8 years, 3 months ago

Why is this news? Because both Kline and the churches have 100% promised that no campaigning takes place during these visits. Turns out, that was a lie.

Lies by politicians are news. Period. This isn't just about "appealing to his base." This is about lying when asked about appearing before congregations, and this is about bending if not breaking the tax-exempt laws enforced by the IRS.

Above all else, Phill Kline should be ashamed of himself for putting Kansas churches in the position of losing their tax exempt status.

Rather than appealing to his base or helping his base in some way, Phill Kline's irresponsible campaign strategy will do incredible harm to churches all across this state. That is news.

http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/irs031206.html

http://www.49abcnews.com/news/2006/mar/18/attorney_general_speaks_freely_faith/

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

conservativeman displays his ignorance once again. If anyone has questions about the legal obligations of organizations with regards to political activity, I would encourage you to read the attached document, produced by the Congressional Research Service.

I know conservativeman, you already know all there is to know about the world...

http://www.ombwatch.org/npadv/PDF/CRSReportonTaxexemptorganizationsRestrictions.pdf

rhd99 8 years, 3 months ago

Let's see if I got this straight: 1. Kline WHILE AG of KS had problems with his legal license. 2. He WRONGLY invaded people's privacy (whether or not you agree with abortion rights) 3. He uses a pulpit at a CHURCH to bolster his campaign.

THREE STRIKES, KLINE! YOOOOOOUUUUURRRRRR outta there, CHUMP!

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

conservativeman-

Unlike you I don't pretend to be a higher judge than god himself, but I can't imagine he smiles upon your ilk.

Don't you ever proselytize to me you zero.

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow. I let the guy get to me. I am usually more composed than that. Not again.


The point of posting the link to the document was to answer what could be presented by someone who doesn't understand the legal difference between a church and a labor union.

When a poster claims that a labor union is tax exempt, he tells an out-and-out lie. Not only is every portion of a member's dues that is used for lobbying functions taxable, so are any activities in which they participate under the IRC 527 exemption (namely political activity).

Churches are under a 501 (c) 3 classification, which are completely tax exempt. The point is that labor unions DO pay taxes and churches don't. Churches don't want to be reclassified as 501 (c) 5 organizations because they want to continue to participate in political activities and maintain their 100% tax exempt status.

For me, as soon as churches are willing to pay their fair share of taxes (or other political organizations are granted the same tax exempt status as churches) I don't care where Phill Kline raises money. Until then, it is against the law.

The hypocrisy is not coming from my side of the argument, it is coming from the side that believes that churches should be allowed to lobby and participate in political activities under a different set of rules than anyone else.

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty certain I never said I was outraged.

I should rephrase this sentence, which you pathetically attempted to bastardize:

For me, as soon as churches are willing to pay their fair share of taxes (or other political organizations are granted the same tax exempt status as churches) I don't care where Phill Kline raises money. Until then, it is against the law.

Just replace "churches" with "churches acting as political organizations."

And trust me, you calling me liberal doesn't hurt my feelings one bit. On the other hand, I think you being exposed as the totalitarian socialist that you are by GOPConservative might have your panties in a bit of a knot.

With pity for your miserable being, staff04

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry pal. You lost again. I referenced the law, even gave you a resource to examine it. Did you bother to read it, "clown?" Clearly I am not the one with the reading comprehension problem.

I believe a poster from quite some time ago used the phrase "willful ignorance." You are the poster child.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

C-man.

Since you brought up the heinous term "tax and spend liberal," should we revisit just how much spending has gone on since the repubs took control? I would classify that type of spending as liberal, as would most others.

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

conservativeman: "The hypocrisy is the lack of outrage for the entire process. You clowns condemn churches and they've done nothing wrong. Kline has done nothing wrong. Yet yyou are "outraged"?


I'm not sure if you consider me to be one of those "clowns" who irritate your troubled soul, but I agree with all the other posters above who spoke to this issue.

I am fed up with this whole socialist idea that the some corporations and organizations should receive welfare from the government, while other taxpayers are not allowed the same advantage.

When a church uses tax-exempt contributions to push a political agenda and to support political candidates, it is unfair to the citizens who play by the rules and who do not deduct their political contributions.

It is no coincidence that the citizens who are hurt by this flagrant disregard of the law are the people who oppose the liberal, big-government, socialist ideas being promoted by these tax-exempt pseudo churches.

Either governments need to end this socialist program of tax-exemptions for churches or the IRS needs to enforce the code. Quite frankly, since even the mainstream churches have now had to become more politically active to combat the lies and ignorance being propagated by these political action "churches," the entire socialist concept may need to be removed from the tax codes.

That would increase government revenue by hundreds of billions each year. From the point of view of a true conservative, I'm all for eliminating any one of the pigs sucking the mother government's milk of tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid contracts and the like.

If only we could wean the tax-sucking monopolies, we could significantly lower taxes, start paying down the National Debt and return to conservative values of fiscal responsibility.

We first need to vote out the liberal theocratic socialists like Kline, Ryun, etc. These guys have proved themselves to be big-government socialists and fiscal liberals. Their use of these pseudo churches as tax-exempt political action committees has become so blatant that they are completely unabashed in conducting this illegal practice. Their disregard for the law is sickening.

It will take time to completely eliminate this socialist system. In the meantime we all need to insist that the IRS and State revenue agencies enforce their codes and start shaking down these pseudo churches and their contributors.

These pseudo churches are nothing more than highly-organized political action committees set up by Christian Coalition through its blood-thirsty leader, Pat Robertson, and his now-disgraced henchman, Ralph Reed.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

I know you are a Phann of Phill, justthefacts, but your phaithh is misplaced.

Back in the day, I worked with plenty of people who were on Law Journal and who were still legal and common-sensical dipsticks. Kline seems to fit squarely in that category.

His position in Limon was ridiculous. Luckily, his staff did not make the arguments he championed.

His position on the mandated reporting law was ridiculous. U.S. District Court Judge Marten treated Kline's AG opinion on mandated reporting like the worthless piece of fluff that it was.

It cost the taxpayers what? $60,000 to teach Kline how to argue before the Supreme Court? That was worth it. Please.

Kline is a legal guppy, but what's worse is his blatant disregard for the ethical code that applies to all lawyers. The Kansas Supreme Court had the following to say about Phill's lack of respect for ethical considerations:

"Kline's initial responses were troubling. He admitted that he attached sealed court records to a brief he knew would be unsealed; that he did so knowingly because, in his sole estimation, he believed it to be necessary to further his arguments; that he held a press conference on this criminal matter merely because he determined that petitioners had painted his previous actions in an unflattering light; and that he later permitted his staff to provide electronic copies of the sealed transcript to anyone who requested them. In essence, Kline has told this court that he did what he did simply because he believed that he knew best how he should behave, regardless of what this court had ordered, and that his priorities should trump whatever priorities this court had set. Furthermore, although there is conflict between the parties on exactly what was said in the press conference, i.e. whether the actual content of the sealed documents was discussed, Kline's stated reason for holding the conference -- to combat what he saw as unflattering earlier press coverage -- does not appear to be among the permissible reasons for an attorney in his position to engage in extrajudicial statements under Kansas Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6 (2005 Kan. Ct. R. Annot. 473). This too is troubling."

Alpha Medical Clinic et al v. Richard Anderson et al

http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/supct/20...

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

C-man.

I can see your line of thought on the "war" spending, but......don't wars get declared in this country by an Act of War? All the politicians in power use this term, but the fact remains that Congress has never declared war, and thus have a thin line to tread with their spending.

Besides that, there has been much money flying out of the nation's coffers for other things, like insanely expanding the government beurocracy in the name of national security.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

I clarify:

On declaring war, I'm talking about the current occupation of Iraq and nation building elsewhere (Afghanistan).

I also misspelled a word. Sorry!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

Like most right-wing liberals these days, Kline is pushing the envelope on what is acceptable behavior within the limits of moderation and decorum.

Yes, churches are and always have been involved in politics, but this new crop of right-wing liberals seeks to see how far they can push it and "use" churches to their political advantage.

Yes, AGs have always been influenced by their own political beliefs, but Kline has gone to an extreme and based many of his actions and investigations on his ideology rather than on the law and on pressing concerns of public safety and well-being.

This extremist behavior needs to be nipped in the bud.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

C-man.

Spelling is always important. It is a sign of intelligence and respect for our written language. Point taken, though.

Of course no decent person is willing to short-change the soldiers that are out getting shot at. Congress is stuck in that regard. If they vote not to spend money to make sure soldiers have armor/ammo/whatever they will be run out of town on a rail for being "unamerican," whatever that means. It's a sad state, and something needs to change.

The U.S. needs a fundamental paradigm shift as to this so-called war. The three main factions/ethnic/religious groups in Iraq need to be given their own countries, carved out of the land Iraq once was. Then we need to get out ASAFP. We're not helping them now, and we won't stop creating more terrorists until we get out.

Sorry, everyone, for going off-topic. I'm done for the day.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Please take a step back and try to take in and understand the dynamics of what has been transpiring here. c-man is doing the same thing to you all that the GOP and its minions have done and are still doing to the Democrats. That is, distracting your attention from critical issues, diminishing discourse and lowering it to a level of personal attacks and defensiveness, and diverting your energy to be spent on unimportant and non-productive sniping and misspent emotion, rather than on your own agenda and on some valuable goals, which are never achieved because they are never articulated. You are too busy and to occupied in rolling around in the mud with your perceived attacker and adversary. Rise above it, if you seek to accomplish anything worthwhile. Or, you can continue to play games and remain superfluous.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

"King was not running for office. He was using what was virtually the only form of institutional power available to people of his race to fight for their rights as American citizens. Comparing the black church's role in the civil rights movement to the white church's role in Kline's political career is asinine and insulting."

True enough, but many of the black politicians of the 70s, 80's, and 90's arose in King era. King was not running for election, but many of his acolytes were and are. But you are correct. It is not a fair comparison but illustrative enough about the role of churches in politics.

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 3 months ago

conservativeman suggested that "Your thoughts are articulated and thats what matters, not how you spelled it."

wch s a gud pnt.

MyName 8 years, 3 months ago

As for war, of course it should have been declared. Spending on military action, whether declared or not, must not short change the soldier risking his/her life on the field.

Oh c'mon you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. If this was a real war, then why haven't we raised taxes to pay for it? If it's not a real war, then why are we spending so much of our children's and grandchildren's money on it? Not only that, but who decided it was neccessary to go to war in Iraq? That is the biggest military expense, and it was always a war of choice, not the mark of a true conservative for my money.

Wealth transfer has to stop! Unless of course it's the transfer of wealth from our children and grandchildren to ourselves in the name of a bogus war.

emtid4u 8 years, 3 months ago

Kline, did you error again? This is Constitutional Law 101. You should have learned this in high school. I tell you what, you and conservativeman can go back for some well needed remeadiation.

Resign your position now, you owe that to the Kansas voters. When the FBI visits you remeber you do have the right to remain silent. Yes they are looking your way and the USAG will have to prosecute you. You will be tried by your peers. Except they may not have let their License to practice laps and actually know the Law.

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

Conman wrote: GOPConservative would have you believe it is GOP, apparently the memo didn't reach everyone. Wealth transfer has to stop. That means all welfare, corporate and individual. What is your position GOPConservative? If a person cannot take care of him/herself should they be abandoned?


I got the memo, but you obviously didn't. Otherwise, you wouldn't be supporting Jim Ryun and the other socialists who are taking the hard-earned tax dollars from the middle class to dole out to the monopolies and other special interests, who got them elected.

I have no problem with programs that give back to the taxpayers services that they pay for with their taxes, but I resent having my taxes going into the pockets of the special interests and communists.

Thanks to Jim Ryun and others from the now discredited and clearly evil Christian Coalition, we have a Congress of the monopolies, for the monopolies and by the monopolies. Besides all the money going to these tax-sucking monopolies, about 25% of our tax dollars now goes just to pay the interest on the National Debt, and most of that goes to China.

Jim Ryun and the other CC Socialists don't serve the Godly people of America but instead serve their Godless commie buddies in China, who have taken over American jobs and are quite rapidly siphoning off the wealth of the middle class through the largest trade deficit in history.

But say what you will about Ryun's commie buddies, at least they are loaning back some of their ill-gotten gains to cover the fiscal liberalism of the "Christian" Coalition socialists.

Unfortunately, America will now be beholden to and under the control of the Godless commies from now until doomsday unless we quit electing fiscally-liberal socialists like Jim Ryun to Congress.

ethicsfirst 8 years, 3 months ago

I did a little research on this...I am pretty sure this has been Kline's method since 1997. He cannot be re-elected if the people of Kansas know what is good for them! To me this just proves that all of the are and concern for Kansas Christians is a hoax...if Kline cared about churches he would not allow them to risk their tax exempt status for his sake!

BTW: is conservativeman Phill Kline himself???

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Why are we having a policy discussion about the top law-enforcement agent in the state? If Kline wants to make policy then he should run for governor. While he is AG he should focus on - I don't know - the law.

For instance, it is admirable that he wants to focus on childhood sexual abuse. Great! We have a very liberal SOL on childhood sexual abuse - let's start encouraging some civil lawsuits against the perpetrators and ramp up the law enforcement. Of course, a shotgun approach to the rlease of medical records isn't necessary for this. Kline could have gotten the same information from Tiller's clinic without forcing into the semi-open any protected, personally identifiable information until AFTER probable cause was established. But this would have made sense. It wouldn't have caused a splash. It wouldn't have furthered his CAUSE.

Phill is a phonyy and it is time for him to go. Morrison will bring credibility and integrity back to the office of the AG.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

"Pro-Death." Give me a break! That is one of the most incorrect labels EVER.

How many self-massaging "pro-lifers" also believe in the death penalty? You know, the people who have been shouting for the last couple of years that "every life is sacred?" Many also are pro-war and pro-death penalty. Hypocrisy at its most morbid.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Ethics, I wouldn't be surprised.

Both are certainly evil and maniacal enough to be the same.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

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

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

In your opinion America wants a conservative, closeminded, backwater leadership? You've had it for nearly two terms now and it's not working.

Janae 8 years, 2 months ago

This article is very persuassive. Yes it is just campaigning... but he doesn't need to say get me out of social events. Most canidates should know that the best way to get yourself out there is to be in a social event setting... having small debates on issues with regular people... the best way to get any information arround is through word of mouth. And don't you think that people are going to talk about the lunch that they had with our AG?!?!

~Newly 18 and unsatisfied with Kline!!!

GeneGarman 8 years, 2 months ago

The proper understanding of the constitutional relationship between religion and government is separation: "Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history" (James Madison, "Detached Memoranda," William and Mary Quarterly, 3:555). Read James Madison's "Detached Memoranda," on the internet. In it he objects to exemption of churches from taxation.

As long as the distortion of the constitutional principle of separation between religion and government continues, confusion will continue. My website America's Real Religion may be of value to readers.

Gene Garman, M.Div. americasrealreligion.org Pittsburg, KS

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