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Archive for Monday, September 18, 2006

Kline’s ‘church effort’ continues

As outlined in leaked memo, audience invited to political reception afterward

September 18, 2006

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— Phill Kline's voice rises as he tells his story, then drops at crucial points to a hoarse whisper. He strides away from his podium frequently, reaching out to his audience, bending closer, gesturing, asking a few people's names.

The only time Kansas' attorney general comes anywhere close to touching upon politics is when he expresses a general frustration with what describes as the moral relativism marking American culture. He is telling his own story, of how he wandered away from God and how God pulled him back, citing Hosea in the Old Testament and moving through passages from Genesis to John's Gospel.

His audience Saturday morning was the men's group meeting in the basement of the Topeka Bible Church, where Kline and his family attend services. He's told the same story at other churches, but until this week, such activities didn't draw wider attention.

In running for re-election, Kline, a conservative Republican, formulated a "church effort" to take full advantage of his support among conservative Christians. He put it in writing in an internal memo to his staff on Aug. 8, and someone leaked it anonymously to reporters.

Church effort

While audience members are aware of the resulting flap and few even joked about it, Kline didn't bring it up during his remarks. Instead, he told how he was estranged from his father, then reconciled to him, and how faith in Jesus brings hope.

"And where there is not hope, is there love? No," Kline said, whispering the last word. "Love dies. You see, without the foundation of truth in which you can have faith that gives birth to hope, you cannot have love. Without love, WE die. The assault upon truth is the assault upon love itself."

Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline, right, talks about his personal experiences and the importance of God in his life during a men's group breakfast Saturday at the Topeka Bible Church. Kline has given the same talk at other churches, but his activities have drawn more attention lately because a leaked memo outlined his election strategy to court conservative Christians.

Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline, right, talks about his personal experiences and the importance of God in his life during a men's group breakfast Saturday at the Topeka Bible Church. Kline has given the same talk at other churches, but his activities have drawn more attention lately because a leaked memo outlined his election strategy to court conservative Christians.

After the 60 or so audience members had breakfasted on sweet-smelling French toast, soft hash browns and crispy bacon - and after Kline had spoken - came an invitation to a political reception for Kline at the offices of Capital City Oil. Owner Marvin Spees is a Kline supporter.

"I hope you guys appreciate that we have somebody who is like-minded as attorney general," Spees told the gathering. "If we're to get more people in elected office that are standing on solid ground, God's people are going to have to get involved."

Kline touched on such receptions in his internal memo, which included directions to staff on how to make them as effective as possible. Among the suggestions were seeing that pastors invited a handful of "money people" and that his staff feed him Slimfast so as not to waste time with sit-down meals.

Controversial plan

In one debate, Kline's Democratic challenger, Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, called the memo cynical. Other critics contend it's inappropriate for Kline to put churches so directly into the campaign.

Kline counters that he's careful to see that the two are kept separate, that political events occur after services or church gatherings and off site.

Spees and other supporters dismissed the flap as mere politics. Jeff Sorensen, a Colgate-Palmolive manager who attended the Saturday breakfast even gave Kline a can of Slimfast, though Kline prefers its solid candy-like bars.

"Every candidate has a chief constituency they're trying to reach out to," Sorensen said. "He recognizes we're of common mind."

Speaking with two group members afterward, Kline said of the controversy, "It's another attack on motives - and intimidation. They're trying to say my motives are not sincere."

Mark Simpson, Morrison's campaign manager, said the memo gives Kansans a window into how Kline views politics and churches.

"His words are there in his memo, and they can make of it what they want," he said. "The words speak for themselves."

And the Rev. Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who is executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, still questioned whether Kline's activities are legally acceptable or whether churches risk their tax-exempt status.

"When you use a church event to lure people to a political event, frankly that does cross the line," Lynn said.

As for Kline's assurances that the two realms are separated enough, Lynn said: "Their goal should not be, 'How close to the line can we come and get away with it?' That's not a question pastors normally ask."

Not a political event

Kline didn't see his church basement event as political but in the Christian tradition of someone sharing testimony about how God has worked in his life.

He began, "I am here this morning to profess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and to tell you that anything that is good that comes from me, comes from Him."

He spoke without notes, his only guide a Bible bound in black leather with well-marked pages. He cited Hosea 2:10 in which God tells the prophet about his adulterous wife, "No one will take her out of my hands."

It's both a warning of judgment to people who wander away from God and a promise of love to those who return, Kline explains, telling his family story.

Kline's father, abandoned by his mother as a child, battled demons, including alcohol problems, and left Kline's family. Kline told his audience he chased approval to demonstrate that his father shouldn't have abandoned him. Then, after Kline turned 20, his father came back into his life.

"There was a steadiness about him. There was something about him that attracted me to him, even though I did not want to let go of the anger," Kline said. "It was my earthly father, who was abandoned at the age of 5 by his mother, who abandoned me when I was 5, who brought me to the knowledge of the truth of God's love."

Comments

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Okay, I'll bite, that joke was awesome.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

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

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

the first woman president will be a republican.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

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

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

No, we do not need any more of "God's people" running Kansas. "Vote for me, and I'll see that your daughters remain virgins until they marry."

It is absolutely crucial that this whack job be defeated in November; if not, he will continue to infect Kansas with his Christocrat agenda, of placing his personal beliefs and opinions above the law.

He is a cynical hypocrite - he knows how to play the game, con the suckers - and is beneath contempt.

Ragingbear 8 years, 3 months ago

What he is doing is ILLEGAL. This is a clear cut violation of campaigning rules. You cannot use a church or religion as a place to advertise your candidacy. To do so not only incurs penalties on him, but may very easily get the tax-exempt status pulled from the church in question.

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

They should be paying taxes; so should the Catholic church and all others.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 3 months ago

Jesse Jackson did the same type of campaiging. Any church that gets involved in politics should pay taxes. Jesus wanted no part of man's government; they wanted to make him a king but He said it was more important to focus on God's government than man's. Imagine how nice things might be if today's pseudo-christians like Kline and the others actually followed the teachings of Jesus. These guys are modern day Pharisees and it's a shame that people are giving him money.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

"And where there is not hope, is there love? No," Kline said, whispering the last word. "Love dies. You see, without the foundation of truth in which you can have faith that gives birth to hope, you cannot have love. Without love, WE die. The assault upon truth is the assault upon love itself."

Wow. A new high in double-speak. Not only has Phill mastered the Art of empty political rhetoric, but he can say nothing with many words while talking about religion as well. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Thankfully he whispered the word "no" or I would have been completely lost.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

Good job reaching out to your base, Mr. Kline. It's a smart move.

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

The TEACHER tossed the money changers out of the temple; Mr. Kline invites them in.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

An episcopal church in Pasadena, California is being investigated by the IRS. The pastor gave an anti-war sermon on the eve of the last presidential election, and the IRS is investigating whether or not the church should lose tax-exempt status for violating federal tax code.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/15537275.htm

Because of this recent Kline memo, any church at which Kline speaks should be investigated by the IRS for violation of federal tax code.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

An episcopal church in Pasadena, California is being investigated by the IRS. The pastor gave an anti-war sermon on the eve of the last presidential election, and the IRS is investigating whether or not the church should lose tax-exempt status for violating federal tax code.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/15537275.htm

Because of this recent Kline memo, any church at which Kline speaks should be investigated by the IRS for violation of federal tax code.

willie_wildcat 8 years, 3 months ago

Ugh its sickening to see that people are not only listening to this guy but actually believe what he is saying..... And what is worse they give him money.

Logic04- You hit the nail on the head with the attitude that these pseudo-christians have about others who do not share their same mindset. This is why I have a very huge problem with people like Kline. They want to restrict our rights and cram down our throats that it's their way or the highway. No thanks.

I think it is time to start taxing churches that play politics. Its been too long that they have gotten away with this.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 3 months ago

So what! The liberal-socialists in this country are rabid free speech "should be unabated" advocates when it concerns pornograhpy, smut, communist ideology, radical islam, child predators have rights to, etc, (or otherwise anything they agree with), but "Kill the SOB's" when it comes to speech dialogue that affirms religious ideology (or otherwise anything libs disagree with).

A religous person has as much right to infuse religous dialogue into the mainstream political debate as much as an atheist has a right to infuse their beliefs concerning the universe into said debate. Although the hypocrites want to overlook the fact that Congress begins each session with prayer, has a full-time chaplan, Supremes say "God save the Court" prior to starting, and for crying out loud, our currency, every coin in your jingling pockets say "In God we trust", etc, etc, etc. So this whole dialogue of PK crossing the line is a disingenous attempt to strain at a gnat, make a mountain out of an ant hill, or otherwise, ignore what other democrats having been doing themselves for decades, if not centuries, in a vicious attempt to distort the focus from issues.

If the socialist-liberals want to take back the House and Senate this election year, then stop whinnning and come up with substantive solutions. This PK memo illustrates how the ideology of democratic party only has enough horsepower to whine about the majority party rather than solve complex 21st Century problems.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

No one is saying that the Phill can't talk about being AG in church. The problem is that the churches have tax-exempt status provided they don't become a political organization. If the churches want to forego the tax-exempt status then there is no problem.

In addition to the unseemliness of using one's testimonial narrative to solicit funds, Phill is oddly cavalier about pushing these churches that he professes to care about onto shaky legal ground. These churches have a very real chance of incurring potentially crippling legal fees if the IRS decides to investigate this issue.

Now it is perfectly rational to think that Phill just doesn't understand the law enough to know that he was doing this. Absent a brief stint on the law journal while he was still in school, the law has never been Phill's strong suit. Since we are now on the first Monday since the memo leaked, hopefully someone on his staff explained this to him. On the other hand, maybe someone explained the law to him long before he started preachin' in the morning and politicin' in the afternoon. If that is the case, I hope he was very blunt with the congregations and their leadership about the potential consequences to their tax-exempt status.

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

If that is the case, I hope he was very blunt with the congregations and their leadership about the potential consequences to their tax-exempt status.

I seriously doubt that.

verity 8 years, 3 months ago

Phill Kline has the right to speak anywhere he wishes. Any church has the right to invite him to speak. However, what he is doing in terms of pushing his political agenda is possibly illegal and certainly very cynical and ethically questionable. Baille nailed it exactly with "Phill is oddly cavalier about pushing these churches that he professes to care about onto shaky legal ground". We need an attorney general who respects the law---and the spirit of the law. I believe that Mr. Kline has made it very clear by his actions that he does neither.

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm with you all on this one... Churches should not promote any candidate. Promotion of one candidate can take on many different forms... Be it preaching it from the pulpit, allowing a politician to speak about their campaign or any other means. Politics and church should never mix... And, if they do, I do not disagree that they should, indeed, pay taxes.

The only exception I can think of is that if Kline (or others who are in politics) do not speak AT ALL about their campaign or their politics. If they are preaching the word of God only... Than I have no problem with that. But, the moment they mention their politics is the moment that the church of God becomes the churcch of George (or church of Hilary). Neither of which are what the pulpit should be used for. Pastors need to be very clear with anyone who will fill their pulpit or teach a class.

--Danny Speicher

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

I can't believe the posts on here today! Talk about wanting to stifle free speech.

If you don't like that Kline is speaking at churches, don't go hear him speak.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

How does protecting a church's tax-exempt status stifle free speech?

You know the regulation exists for a reason, but even assuming such a thing would withstand constitutional muster, would we want to change the restriction?

Maybe so. Personally I think the prohibition makes sense for both the state and the Church. But in any event, regardless of a change in the law or even the dtermination of whether such is needed, it would be nice to have an AG who knew enough about the law to recognize the danger signs, understood the spirit of the law and did not try to skate along the periphery of prohibited conduct, and cared enough about his constituency to warn them of the dangers.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

We are?

You have any basis for that? Know anyone or spoken with anyone who has espoused such a position?

And Rush doesn't count. Just 'cause he says it, don't make it true.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

"The same folks who don't want to hear Kline are giddy with excitement that Ahmadinejad is on US soil speaking and rooting for him over our own president..."

Rightthinker, you are entirely clueless.

regularjohn 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by SettingTheRecordStraight (anonymous) on September 18, 2006 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't believe the posts on here today! Talk about wanting to stifle free speech.

If you don't like that Kline is speaking at churches, don't go hear him speak.


Sounds like you really understand the issue at hand...


LOL!!!!!

Rationalanimal 8 years, 3 months ago

Toni, toni, tone:

Individuals like myself just don't understand the concepts of "flip-flop" and "cut and run" so easily embraced by the liberal-socialsits in this country. Its the liberals/socialists presuming the American people understand these concepts that illustrate precisely why the dems are going to lose big this election despite the unfounded wishful giddiness of Tim Russert, Matt Lawer, Chris Matthews, Larry King, Katie Couric, etc, etc, etc.

Please point out (beyond wishful hypothetical specualtion) where PK's actions are illegal, please point out how liberals like Bill Clinton haven't done the same thing, and please point how prohibiting christians from injecting their beliefs into the political debate is not protected free speech any less protectable than an atheist injectioning its beliefs into the political dialogue.

Nice drive-by attempt.

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

I am baffled how anyone could claim that those opposed to Phill Kline are "liberal-socialists." Clearly, Kline is the one who believes in big-government socialism, not those who oppose his totalitarian views.

However, I doubt that even the biggest socialists among his supporters will be happy with the result of Kline using their "church" as a political action committee.

It's not just these pseudo socialist churches who will be losing their tax exempt status, all the "money people" that Kline has been fishing for in these organizations will lose their tax deductions.

For example, if one of the "money people" contributes 10% on a $200,000 annual income to the "church," that individual will lose the tax exemption for the past three tax returns.

This individual will receive a tax bill that, including interest and penalties, could be $25,000 or more to pay to Feds and about $10,000 or more for the State.

I wonder if these "money people" have considered the result of allowing the repressive-socialist Kline to use their pseudo church as a political action committee.

Every church that Kline has visited or will visit will lose its tax-exempt status. The IRS has no choice now that the memos have been made public. Besides, the IRS would be foolish not to follow up on this.

If you multiply the above example by several hundred pseudo churches in Kansas that have been illegally supporting this liberal-socialist liar, it could result in millions of dollars in additional taxes for both the Fed and State.

That's good news for the rest of us who have been playing by the rules because it ultimately could result in our taxes being reduced.

Even the contributors who put in only $1,000 per year will have to pay several thousand dollars in taxes, interest and penalties for the three years that will be included in the IRS determination.

The word needs to be sent to these ignorant people, especially in Western Kansas, who still support this idiot.

Even though Kline has turned a blind eye to child rape of young girls in their churches, who quietly went full term or faced a "shotgun" wedding, is Kline's failure to prosecute child rape of their parishioners really worth it?

Even though most of Kline's supporters are socialists, the bottom line is the bottom line. Some of these folks, who belong to these socialist churches, are struggling as it is. Large tax assessments from the Federal and State governments will hit them hard.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 3 months ago

Toni, toni, tone,

I'll let you (since you seem to be an expert, perhaps we could include the ghost of Neville Chamberlain in the discussion) enlighten us all on the concept of "cut and run" for a later day.

The fact is, political dialogue goes on in churches, and has since before the founding of this country. Why, because, there is an unavoidable overlap of religous dialogue and political dialogue. So, if the govt adopts the proposed liberal-socialist hardline against religous organizations because of this overlap, the pendulum will swing into suppressing of not only free speech in a traditional public forum, but freedom of religion. Again, the attempt to make this an issue about "conflict of interest" contrives a conflict that unilaterally exists in the minds of folks that loathe religous institutions because of the influence ethics, and politics. Instead of trying to outmaneuver religous organizations on legal technicalities, you might try substantive ideology. This strategy, which is the current strategy of the democrat party, is why libs are losing and will continue to lose.

Again, Toni, you are the master of drive-by attempts lacking substance.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

My goodness! Rational and right have really gotten all y'all stirred up today!

I see a lot of posts about "sounds illegal, probably illegal, should be illegal." With all the whoopin and hollerin that has been going on since the "anonymous leak" I have expected the legal hammer to fall on Kline. Yet, it has not. Are you all sooooo sure that what he has done is illegal? If so, why haven't we seen any legal repercussions?

Are the churches doing anything more than providing the venue? I have not read about money passing "through" the churches' coffers to Kline, just from church members to Kline. It may be that Kline's tactics for reaching his base are more irritating than illegal.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Political dialogue goes on in my church as well. Between members, we talk politics. On occassion, we invite speakers to talk about social issues some of which touch on politics. Our pastors comment on our society including from time to time subjects that are also a part of political discsussion. Politics is part of our community, and so it can not be ignored.

But we do not invite politicians in to campaign for money. That is an impermissible practice and a violation of our agreement with the government. We agree to not endorse political candidates or solicit funds for them and the government agrees not to tax us.

Now Kline has bifurcated the process. He preaches in the morning and solicits in the afternoon. He plays to the technicalities of the law and yet wallows in the creepy unseemliness of one who is willing to go to any lengths to remain AG. I suppose he finds his current job preferable to the practice of law (although I have no idea as to how he would be qualified to make such a comparison), but the depths to which he is willing to sink to stay on as AG is telling. If he has not truly endangered the tax-status of the churches in which he has preached/politic'ed, he has certainly put them at great risk of having to defend themselves against an IRS inquiry.

Political discussion is fine, but actively playing in the body politic will require one's church to pay taxes. Hopefully, it will also cost Phill his job.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

"Yet, it has not. "

It has only been a week. The wheels of justice turn slowly. The wheels of administrative justice more slowly yet. One could have compared the judicial process to the movement of glaciers, but that was back before the glaciers started to kick it into high gear.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

explain to us all again how this is different than what and how the Rev. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton do buisness????

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 3 months ago

Yo, irrational. Katie Couric is Republican. Do your research.

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

explain to us all again how this is different than what and how the Rev. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton do buisness????

Well, if they are doing the same, the churches they've corrupted with politics deserve the same treatment. Pray on Sundays; vote on Tuesdays...........Honor our laws and Constitution.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

Baille, it is true that the wheels of justice turn slowly. But when a true illegality is "leaked" the political wheels are usually fast to begin spinning out explanations and apologies.

I hope we get more information about whether or not it was legal before election day.

Rationalanimal 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice bow out Toni, is that cut and running (I'll ask Neville Chamberlain next time I'm at the palm readers place down on Mass)?

How about responding to some of my points regarding Bill Clinton shaking down every chuch in Harlem for the last 2 decades, etc, rather than parroting the shallow battle cry "foul play," or "separation of church and state"

Secondly, there are a litany of liberal-socialist organizations that engage in the political arena and enjoy tax exempt status, e.g. Sierra Club, PETA, etc. All are organizations democrat politicians pump for money every year based on political rhetoric. Isn't it a bit disenginous to want to pull tax-exempt status from christians based on participating in political dialogue when the other organizations get a free pass? The question of tax-exempt status for these organizations is not participating in the political dialogue, but whether they are "for-profit" organizations.

Again, I would advise liberal-socialists to confront christians on the ideological playing field instead of trying flank them with IRS technicalities.

Ceallach 8 years, 3 months ago

If you absolutely do not want to laugh about anything today, please skip this post and continue discussing PK.


After a man had been married 25 years, he took a look at his wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25-year old blonde. Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50 year old woman with hot flashes. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

His wife, being a very reasonable woman, told him to go out and find a hot 25 year-old blonde and she would make sure that he would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car and sleeping on a sofa bed!


Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

If Phill had gone in and preached the evils of abortion or just shared his gut-busting, I mean -wrenching, history of paternal abandonment, all would be fine. Politicians can be preachers. The problem is that he is following his truth-hope-love-fest with direct solicitations for money and votes.

Will he slide by on the bifurcated process those who think for him have devised? Maybe. It is still sleazy.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah Bailli, that IS a problem.... wht kind of narrow minded idiot would contribute for truth-hope-love...... It's much better to solictit money by spreadding lies-doom-hate.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

We need to shine the light on all not-for-profit entities, religious and secular, and their political activities.

I am in favor of completely eliminating the tax-exempt status of all not-for-profits.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

I want an AG that abides by the law... not one that slithers from one loophole to the next.

Agnostick

LoL that would be nice ag... where do you buy one of those????

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Missing the point, liveandbreathe, the problem isn't the message, it is the request for money and votes in contravention of the IRS regulations that allow the forum to be tax-exempt. Focus.

urthlvr 8 years, 3 months ago

organizations like the Sierra Club have two types of donations. those that are tax deductable are used for education purposes. those donations that are not marked for tax deduction are used for lobbying.

granted it was over 10 yrs ago when i worked for a similar organization, but that is what we did.

GOPConservative 8 years, 3 months ago

RationAnimal,

You apparently don't understand the tax code. Most environmental organizations separate themselves into two organizations, one for political action and the other for educational purposes.

The IRS would have no problem if these political-action-groups-that-call-themselves-churches would do the same. They can organize political action committees, but donations have to be kept separate, and the church property cannot be used for any political purposes.

Although others have come close to crossing the line between tax-exempt and non tax-exempt, Kline has gone way beyond any reasonable bounds.

Like all other totalitarian socialists before him, Kline flaunts the law and dares the government to challenge him. The IRS will do just that. Even if an IRS official is a member of one of these so-called "churches," s/he must follow the law.

To ask an IRS official not enforce the tax code when there are such blatant violations is like asking a fire fighter not to fight fires or a policeman not to stop burglaries.

Any IRS official who fails to go after these socialist "churches" and their contributors will ultimately be prosecuted for conflict of interest and failure to enforce the law.

If you have been contributing to one of these groups, you better start saving some money to cover the tax bill when it comes.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Yep, Kline has gone wayyyy further than Al Gore did with the Buddhists, and Clinton did with his church appearances. Wayyyyyy further.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

And, Hillary, too, come to think of it. She even had protestors (who were silent) removed from one church event where she was campaigning.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Liberal does not equal socialist.

Knock off the generalizations.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

"explain to us all again how this is different than what and how the Rev. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton do buisness????"

The difference is that Jackson & Sharpton rose up in the church and worked their way into politics.

Kline rose up in politics and is trying to work his way into the church.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

The more I think about it, the more I believe the leaked memo could be an intentional thing on Kline's part. If so, it is a BRILLIANT way to bring his candidacy further into a positive light.

Think about it. Kline, once again, is getting coverage in the newspapers and on tv-- TONS OF COVERAGE. He's getting more and more people taking a look at his issues, his office, his message, etc. Paul Morrison could only wish for such media airtime.

And just look at this story; Kline hasn't shied away from speaking at churches, even after a supposedly damaging memo about his strategy is leaked. What we have is a story and pictures from the Associated Press about Kline speaking to a church AFTER the memo was leaked. Kline isn't running from his church strategy; he's EMBRACING it. He hasn't stopped speaking at churches; he'll probably speak at MORE. He hasn't apologized for the memo; he's STOOD BY it.

And coverage like this, in Kansas, is good. Very good. Except for the few bloggers who hate Kline's guts and always will, at the end of the day who's going to fault a fellow for speaking at a church??? C'mon. When Joe and Jane Anybody sit down and think about Kline's plan to speak to congregations, they will understand that Phill is simply a Christian elected official reaching out to other Christians in a campaign year.

Oh, and Kline's comment about Tiller's "blood money?" Another brilliant move. Most people don't know George Tiller performs third trimester abortions right here in Kansas, but they will now. And most don't know that in 2002 George Tiller spent HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars to beat Phill Kline in his race for AG. But they will now.

The more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Phill Kline is one incredibly smart guy.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by Bone777 (anonymous) on September 18, 2006 at 4:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"explain to us all again how this is different than what and how the Rev. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton do buisness????"

The difference is that Jackson & Sharpton rose up in the church and worked their way into politics.

Well it must work cuz they sure do dress nice for guys that have never held a job....

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

did a quick search.
You are are right about Al, he started preaching at age 4 and got his licsence @18, but according to Essence .com Jessie began his theological studies right out of hight school at the Chicago Theological Seminary, but deferred his studies when he began working full-time in the Civil Rights Movement.(politics!!) Reverend Jackson received his earned Master of Divinity Degree in 2000.

He ran for office in 1984 and 1988, Years BEFORE he got around to getting his bones...

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

"Phill Kline is one incredibly smart guy."

Even if he weren't often the dumbest lawyer in the room, he is still unethical as hell. Not only do we have the latest endanger-your-church fiasco, Kline has also recently been spouting off about a an investigation and litigation that has been sealed by the Court. Maybe the next time we read about him, Pedro I. will be hauling his runaway mouth back before the Supreme Court. You would think Phill would have learned the first time. For an incredibly smart guy, he sure is slow.

"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......

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Great. More commentary from the peanut gallery.

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

Conservativeman, when you came back onto these boards, you said that you wouldn't cross the line anymore. You have, repeatedly, several times a day crossed that line.

We told you what was acceptable to us, and what isn't, and you agreed to abide by them.

You haven't. Thus, the censorship that plagues you.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

Why, hello Lunatic Fringe. So nice to see you!

RT: "They are not in this for debate or to gain personal information or for simple entertainment for that matter..."

Yikes. People in glass houses...

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Do you two actually read what I write? There's a line between being funny and all-out offensive. You don't pay attention when you OFFEND other people on these boards. You're told numerous times when you cross the line and yet you continue to be inflammatory--usually even more so.

All of us on these boards have a sense of humor, that's why we're still here. But there are limits and you two refuse to respect those.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Good lord it's like talking to freakin' children with you two.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Cman don't you dare lecture me on namecalling and telling me to "grow up."

Read your own posts.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Valid point, R_T. My bad on that one.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

I DO read my own posts. When did I say that I was better than you for not calling names? Obviously I have. Holy crap I admit it! Jeez, what am I going to do with myself now?

See, there's that b.s. that all your posts reek of. Political jokes are fine, those aren't jokes. They're all-out insults designed (and apparently succeeding) in getting a negative reaction from whoever they target.

It's out of control, offensive, insulting, and trolling.

ksmoderate 8 years, 3 months ago

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

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by Tychoman (anonymous) on September 18, 2006 at 8:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Conservativeman, when you came back onto these boards, you said that you wouldn't cross the line anymore. You have, repeatedly, several times a day crossed that line.

We told you what was acceptable to us, and what isn't, and you agreed to abide by them.


1984 called they want the chief of the thought police back....

Watch out conman... someone will drop a house on youl

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Breathe, is there something not clear in the Terms of Use section of this Website?

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

I think so... I had a post removed I guess because I said the word wopjollied..... It means kitty cornered or crooked. not a term for a happy italian or what ever they thought it meant....

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Or now that I think of it.... Maybe it was my reference to the fact that southerners said THANGY instead of THINGY....

ethicsfirst 8 years, 3 months ago

right_thinker:

With all due respect, I have do disagree with your comment that if a person is conservative/Christian they like Kline. That is not the truth! I am both conservative and Christian and I DO NOT like Kline at all. I think, or at least I would like to think, that the citizens of Kansas, especially Chirstians, see Kline for what he is: a fraud.

I do not know much about Morrison and I am currently trying to learn more about him so that I can be a well informed voter, but at this point I would say that anything is better for this state than Phill Kline.

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

as_I_live_and_breathe

Thanks for the info on Sharpton and Jesse. I never followed them close enough to get the facts straight. I was making an uninformed editorial comment.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

What Kline is doing is illegal, and churches who do his bidding should be advised to check with their attorneys.

Federal tax law is not complicated in this area: it bars nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing a politician's bid for public office. Nonprofits are free to run even-handed voter-registration drives or hold fair candidates forums or speak out on public policy issues, but they cannot use their resources to endorse candidates. If they do, they risk their tax privileges or fines by the Internal Revenue Service.

To register a complaint against Phill Kline with the Internal Revenue Service, call the IRS office in Mission - (816) 966-2840 (5799 Broadmoor, Mission KS 66202) or Topeka (785) 235-3053.

You might also register a complaint with Americans United for Separation of Church and State - 518 C Street NE, Washington DC 20032, 202-466-3234.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 3 months ago

xenophonschild. im not about to stick up for phil kline but it seems to me that all the churches have to do to make theyre invitation to kline legal is to also invite his counterpart on the other major ticket, which im guessing they have done and im guessing has been turned down which im sure they knew was going to be. i doubt very much that what kline has done is illegal however i think it is morally wrong and a sin. those are enough justifications for me to decide that i will NOT be voting for him.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 3 months ago

conservativeman: everything that i believe is a sin i also believe is morally wrong. so there is the morally wrong aspect of it (to me)... as far as the sinning goes, why was he there? oh i know he spoke only about his religious beliefs and quoted the bible, im talking about his intentions for doing those very things. do you really believe he was not at all there to garner political support for himself. under the auspicious of showing people he was a deeply religious man? of course he was... to use a "house of god" a place of worship to our lord and savior to drum up political support in this way would clearly (to me) be considered a sinful act. we arent supposed to shout at the top of our lungs that we are religious to be seen and heard by the many as such... it is a personal belief meant to be kept that way. i hope that answers your question

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

Morrison should be required to return money to the Republican party for previous campaign donations and assistance.

St. Ronald switched? Is is only OK when one switches from D to R?

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

There is, and has been, no comment from anyone inre the churches involved also "inviting" Morrison to their pulpits.

Again, anyone inclined to file a complaint against Kline should call the Internal Revenue Service at either (816) 966-2840, or (785) 235-3053, and request to speak to the Compliance & Enforcement officer.

You might also call Americans United for Separation of Church and State at (202) 466-3234.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 3 months ago

"call the Internal Revenue Service".... an even scarier quote...HAHA

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

It is the responsibility of liberal Democrats to point out ethical lapses of sleazy political oportunists who scurry to feed off the credulity of fundamentalist Christian conservative Republicans determined to turn back the clock to the Eisenhower era.

Nothing "scary" about that.

Again, anyone interested in filing a complaint against Phill Kline can call the Internal Revenue Service at (816) 966-2840, or (785) 235 - 3053, and request to speak to the Compliance and Enforcement officer. You can also file a complaint with Americans United for Separation of Church and State at 202-466-3234.

middleoftheroader 8 years, 3 months ago

good point xeno, the eisenhower era was nothing to write home about... but i just hope we dont turn back the clock to the Roosevelt era... that really would be scary

middleoftheroader 8 years, 3 months ago

excellent point agnostick though i think someone earlier already made the very point you just did... :)

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

An interesting counterpoint to this discussion:

Pasadena Church May Fight IRS Summons All Saints' rector seeks legal and lay opinion on response to probe over an antiwar sermon. By Scott Glover and Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writers September 18, 2006

A liberal Pasadena church facing an IRS investigation over alleged politicking sounded a defiant note Sunday, with its leaders and many congregants saying the probe amounted to an assault on their constitutional rights and that they were inclined to defy the agency's request for documents.

"These people are offended," said the Rev. Ed Bacon, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, after delivering an impassioned sermon about the investigation to a standing-room-only crowd of about 900. "Freedom of speech and freedom of religion have been assaulted by this act of the IRS, and I think my people want to be heard in court."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-allsaints18sep18,0,4386590,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2823/

This further supports my claim that the Republican Party is not drifting toward the Christian Conservative, the Christian Conservative is driving the Republican Party in their direction. See link.

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

People, left or right, should keep their campaigning separate from houses of worship.

Folks should be able to seek their spiritual guidance and community without the secular world of politics interfering. 'Separation of Church and State' isn't just important for keeping religion out of politics. It's important for allowing people to participate in their spiritual communities without having political maneuvering interfere.

Kline wasn't doing these meetings before he was running, was he? If he'd been doing them all along, then I'd say that, well, he's just a deeply religious man who holds office. But he seems to have started during his campaign, and I bet he doesn't continue for very long after the election, and so I can't see that there's any respect for the church in what he's doing. It's being used as a political tool.

All questions of legality aside, people's sacred community space should be honored and respected, not co-opted as a political tool. What he's doing is ethically slimy.

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

c-man -

Thank you. Knowing that is a good bit of burden off my mind.

I'll be lighting a candle tonight for the continued health and increased happiness of the good folks at the Nevada attorney general's office.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Great points, Sacerdotal.

Again, I don't have a problem with Kline preaching. Obviously, he is preaching a lot more now that his election is drawing near, but there is a gray area where I think it is dangerous to allow the state to meddle. Kind of like it is dangerous to allow the state to meddle in the discretionary function of mandated reporters.

(Which by the way Phill champions. He wants mandated reporters to report incidents of consensual "sexual activity" everytime they become aware of it. No matter that he will not prosecute. You are still turning over the state names of teenagers who engage in "sexual acitivity.")

However, finagling an inivitation to preach in the morning while turning right around and asking the congregation to meet you for Slimfast, campaign planning, and check writing seems awfully darn close to campaigning for a candidate. Once again, and as noted by the articles to which you linked, churches campaigning for candidates violates federal law.

Hopefully, some sort of regulatory or law enforcement agency will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter and provide the public with the a comprehensive report.

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

c-man -

Those activities are no longer outlawed, and the churches (for good or for ill) are no longer necessarily a town's social center. Most towns have a number of churches and a number of people who don't attend any of them. Heck, at the time of the Founding Fathers, my own faith was still outlawed in some places (before the History Police strike, let me remind that I'm a pagan, not a Wiccan).

The Founding Fathers spoke on matters of the day to their own congregations, their fellows and community. They were active already in the spiritual communities they were addressing (see my note regarding, "If Kline had already been doing this..."). They weren't making the rounds of local churches to garner political support; they were leading their spiritual communites from within on what they felt were matters of conscience. There is a distinction there between John Adams' addresses of his own congregation regarding British rule and the ideals of freedom, and Kline using the captive audience of a church where he's never worshipped to garner support for his own personal political campaign, followed up by a fundraising event.

Christians (and all people) should be active in political matters. But politics must be a matter of personal choice, of individual conscience, and though a minsiter's position is to guide on matters of conscience, ultimately the choices a man or woman makes in the ballot box are between him and his God, not the ones his minister says he should make. I disagree politically with several of the leaders of my spiritual community, and would feel incredibly uncomfortable if a ritual were interrupted to discuss why, exactly, we should support this candidate or that ballot initiative.

So, let ministers speak on the evils of abortion or homosexuality, or on the importance of conservation as a manifestation of 'stewardship of the earth', but let them stop short of calling in candidates who will pimp out their own spirituality so congregation members can feel comfortable electing 'one of their own' to office, and let them stop short of the endorsement of specific initiatives, candidates, or amendments, because the space where one interprets whether a candidate or ballot initiative reflects one's spirituality is one that belongs to each individual alone.

trinity 8 years, 3 months ago

this is all quite simple, in my opinion. i think paul morrison is hands down a MUCH better person than phill for the AG job.

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

I have met with Phill Kline. Heard him speak. Asked him questions. Enjoyed his struggle to formulate empty but coherent answers.

I have analyzed his position on such things as mandated reporting, the application of the Romeo and Juliette law, and the confidentialty of medical records.

I have watched as he pursued confidential medical records of those not accused of wrongdoing in a manner that did not protect their confidentiality even though such a course was open to him.

I have read and shared the very blunt and thorough criticism of his actions in an opinion handed down by the Kansas supreme court wherein the Court points out his ethical lapses in that case.

Phill deserves to lose this election because he is simply not the right person for the job.

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

If the TEACHER ever returns, the first people he will dope slap in the name of the FATHER will be preachers. Churches who hoard money and built temples to their vainglory are the modern Pharisees. For example: "This prestige naturally engendered arrogance and conceit, and led to a perversion in many respects of the conservative ideals of which they had been such staunch supporters. In many passages of the Gospels, Christ is quoted as warning the multitude against them in scathing terms. "The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten in the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues. And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi"" (Matthew 23:1-8).

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

sigh

So, hga, leaving aside the burning Kirk/Picard matter, who do you think would win a three-way cage death match between Riker, Spock, and Checoteh (sp?)? I think that Riker'd probably punk out of the fight once the babes stopped watching, but Spock'll shock ya. I'd put my money on him.

Now, of course, there's the whole McCoy/Crusher/Doctor question. I find myself partial to the Doctor, though there's a lot to be said for Julian Bashere too. Mostly, my dislike for Crusher has a lot to do with the fact that where she goes, goes Wesley.

Get my drift?

Baille 8 years, 3 months ago

Rational thought and discourse on the merits of an argument can indeed be a fascinating and challenging experience for some of the regular posters.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Cman we'll ALL know THAT you have A COMMAND of your CAPS LOCK key.THankS FOR making ouR DAY.

Kline's out of here.

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

You're reading selectively, right_thinker. There's a lot more available on this forum than 24/7 Bush bashing, if you'd actually care to engage some of the people who say things you can't use for cheap point-scoring.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

To upgrade information for those who wish to file a complaint to the IRS inre Kline's illegal activities with churches, please go to:

www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf

and fill out the form. Explain in the appropriate box why you feel Kline is a sleazy reprobate. Then simply print off the completed form and mail it to:

Internal Revenue Campus Location Internal Revenue Service Fresno, CA 93888

badger 8 years, 3 months ago

Actually, no, not really, right_thinker.

You maintain that the only people talking here are 24/7 Bush bashers, but in reality that's just the only people you respond to. I see that Baille actually puts up a fair bit of reasoned argument, to which you never respond. When JamesAust isn't agreeing with you, you ignore him. I'm interested in reasonable conversation, and the only posts of mine you respond to seem to be either flippant ones, conversations like this one, or ones you can tear down and dismiss as 'typical liberal BS'. I didn't attack anyone in my post in this thread, didn't even mention Bush, but somehow I've been lumped into your '24/7 Bush-bashers' just because hga sets himself up like a pinata for you? Pfui. There's a lot of stuff here you just gloss over because it doesn't give you rant-fodder, and then you complain that no one is interested in rational conversation.

I call BS on your "All that's here is Bush-hating libtards" stance.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

It probably never occurs to you of the troglodyte persuasion that you aren't exactly remarkable as Americans.

For you, being here at this point in time is mere chance, a minor coincidence. You could very well have been born in Hitler's Germany . . . where you would have proudly worn the brown shirts and saluted your Fuhrer with somewhat the same vehemence you now defend the Present Occupant in the Oval Office.

Perhaps part of the fault that there are so many of you, and that you lack . . . acumen . . . might be ascribed to our child-rearing practices, in that children aren't weaned from their mommie's apron strings - or only too late - to understand and grasp human realities in their proper scope and relevance.

For example, it is jejune to villify William Jefferson Clinton for his amorous miscues, and not reserve the ballast of your animus for the Present Occupant for his stupid arrogance in ruining American foreign policy, encouraging Iran, North Korea and China, and getting 2800 innocent American servicemen and women killed in Iraq.

Liberal Democrats have a responsibility to lay out the truth for all to see; unfortunately, while you can lead a horse to water, you can't make it drink. Some of you are beyond hope of redemption, both as Americans and thinking human beings.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

I filed a complaint with Americans United for Separation of Church and State today against Phill Kline; they led me through the byzantine mess of filing a complaint with the IRS (see my 4:55 post) and got that off and in the mail.

Marjorie at AUSCS assured me that, as a result of reports and complaints, Kline will be "examined" by the IRS. Your boy Phill may soon have more than Morrison to worry about.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

Demand away, Dale. And good luck with that.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone else see William the Great on "The Daily Show" last night?

He was awesome. His global initiative - fighting poverty, religious hatred, AIDS - is a model of statemanship and world citizenry.

Bush encountered William the Great in the hallways of the UN; Bush did everything but fawn on the Democratic great, much as his father does.

Hillary in '08; William the Great as UN Secretary General in '10.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

We'll say "bye-bye" to Kline first, and good riddance. Populist demagogues have no place in Kansas; Missouri maybe, Texas certainly, but not Kansas.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

It's almost unbearable and agonizing at how much crap you two are full of, and yet you're also full of yourselves at the same time. I wonder how that balances out...

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