Archive for Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sad exit

A resignation was the best choice for Paul Morrison and the people of Kansas.

December 15, 2007


It's unfortunate, but the resignation of Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison may ultimately be viewed as the most important accomplishment of his brief tenure.

Less than a week after he acknowledged an extramarital affair with a former employee of his in the Johnson County District Attorney's office, Morrison announced Friday that he would step down and allow Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to name his replacement.

It seemed that Morrison had little choice. Regardless of what offenses eventually were proved, the allegations of sexual harassment and professional misconduct made by his former lover would have derailed the rest of Morrison's term. He was under attack from both Republicans and Democrats. The chairman of the Kansas Republican Party issued a statement on Morrison's resignation 15 minutes before the

3 p.m. press conference even started. Phill Kline who Morrison replaced as attorney general and who replaced Morrison as Johnson County district attorney, already had approval to hire a special prosecutor reportedly to look into the Morrison case.

The Democrats who adopted Morrison when he switched parties to run against Kline in 2005 were careful not to declare him guilty, but they didn't hesitate to say he should step down if any of the more serious charges against him were proven.

Morrison's resignation may take some of the heat off, but at least some of the investigations into his professional and personal conducts almost certainly will proceed. The good news for Morrison's family is that those investigations likely will continue in a somewhat dimmer spotlight than if he had continued in office. This tawdry situation had to take a terrible toll on Morrison's wife and children. Considering his admitted affair, he owed it to his family to try to mitigate their pain.

Morrison certainly isn't the first public figure to be taken down by personal indiscretions. It's hard to imagine how someone could exercise such poor judgment in his personal life while asking financial backers and Kansas voters to support his election as the state's top law enforcement officer. To think he could get away with such behavior reveals an arrogance that is hard to understand.

In his press conference Friday, Morrison said, "I have held others accountable for their actions, and now I must be held accountable for my mistakes. Many people feel betrayed by my actions, and they have every right to feel that way."

It's unfortunate Morrison didn't come to that conclusion two years ago before that betrayal of his family, his supporters and the people of Kansas took place.


Scott Tichenor 10 years, 4 months ago

Echoing the last line of this opinion, it's unfortunate the Journal Word chose to endorse Kline over Morrison in the last election. The overwhelming majority of Kansans--including Republicans who assisted in voting him out of office--realized Kline had no aspirations of representing them. He's unfit for the public offices he's held which is being echoed in his new position in Johnson County. Morrison turned out to be a disappointment, for sure. This newspaper continues to exercise its own exceptionally poor judgment when it comes to political views.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 4 months ago

Yada,Yada,yada and now back to our own corruption scandal which apparently is far from over.

yankeelady 10 years, 4 months ago

Even though it has turned out badly, we are still better off without Kline. If there is any justice in the world, he too will be forced off the political stage.

fairylight 10 years, 4 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says:

Yada,Yada,yada and now back to our own corruption scandal which apparently is far from over.

Well, this certainly has taken the focus off Klines ineptness!

I am concerned regarding the allegation of coercion or blackmail- and that is what they are at this time, simply allegations from a married woman still stinging over having the affair end. Why else would she wait all these months to file this complaint.

SO WHAT if Morrison asked her about Klines activities. I don't find that odd in the least. Pillow Talk.

Linda Carter is AS guilty of adultery as Morrison. She has no moral high ground to hide on.

Good luck to Morrison and his family. This should be a lesson learned to all politicians who think the rules of matrimony do not apply to them.

sailboat44 10 years, 4 months ago

Justice vs. vengeance...I'm betting Kline doesn't know the difference and will make the utmost of this political theater. Prediction for 2008 - When the truth comes out, Kline will be seen as an even bigger fool with his role in this drama.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 4 months ago

Thank you, Paul, for putting Kansas on the same level as New Jersey, Washington, Idaho, Florida and the rest of the 50.

Why should we be the only state without political caca?

Centerville 10 years, 4 months ago

It's not will just cause a six week backlog of phony "legal" opinions. There are plenty of people willing to tote that water.

EXks 10 years, 4 months ago

Ok P.M. is gone, next news story. But hey, at least Morrison didn't bilk the taxpayers for hauling his mistress ass around like Rudolph G. did.

Kontum1972 10 years, 4 months ago

Dems, Reps, Indeps..they are all crooks all this funnels back to the white house..... our city commissioners are no better.....

above the law.... they raise their hands on th Bible and take an Oath....

what a joke....

too bad we cannot have firing squads so we can get this scum off the planet

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 4 months ago

I still wonder why Carter decided to rat Morrison out now,.

camper 10 years, 4 months ago

It takes two to have an extramarital affair. But it is always the "cheating husband" double standard that comes out.

Godot 10 years, 4 months ago

"As far as I can tell, it seems like she had this in the works even AS the affair was going on?"

Will be interesting to learn who actually ended the relationship and when. Maybe that is what lead to the harrassment and blackmail charge.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 4 months ago

Paul, take yer cheesy mustache and exit stage left. He looks too much like Dr. Phil to be trusted.

Is Carter hot?

camper 10 years, 4 months ago

What do mean by hot? And what does that have to do with this? What does doctor Phil got to do with this?

pomegranate 10 years, 4 months ago

If only these poor fellows could think to leave their peckers in their pants! I guess that is what happens when your brains and peckers are one and the same.

camper 10 years, 4 months ago

Kneejerkreaction, I don't got any medicine. But I get your point. It's all good.

camper 10 years, 4 months ago

Do I need to visit a broker? What is the protocol?

Godot 10 years, 4 months ago

Harris News Service had answers to our questions in its release on Friday. Last I checked, their website was crashed.

Ann Gardner 10 years, 4 months ago

For the record, the Journal-World did not endorse a candidate in the AG's race in the last election. It endorsed Chris Biggs in 2002.

Al Deathe 10 years, 4 months ago

This whole situation is nothing more than normal politics today. Both of these guys can't stand on their own merits. One was an idiot from the beginning and now the other looks like an idiot in the end. They have to use negative BS to take pot shots at each other. They both end up looking like idiots! One of these days these people will learn that negative politics don't work in the end, the sad part is that society allows it!!!

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