Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Abortion opponents nervous about Sebelius picking AG

December 19, 2007


— Abortion opponents are watching the appointment of a new attorney general closely and don't trust Gov. Kathleen Sebelius because of her support for abortion rights.

They oppose one potential appointee, Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs, because of unsuccessful efforts by Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller to help elect Biggs to the office in 2002.

Attorney General Paul Morrison, a Democrat elected last year, plans to leave office Jan. 31 because of a sex scandal. Anti-abortion groups frequently criticized Morrison over his handling of abortion issues and remained angry about his successful campaign to oust Republican incumbent Phill Kline, an abortion opponent.

The state constitution gives Sebelius the power to appoint someone to fill the remaining three years of Morrison's term. The new attorney general will take over a prosecution of Tiller already derided by abortion opponents as not aggressive enough.

"I just don't think she'll pick anybody who will make Dr. Tiller unhappy," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.

Sebelius and her aides say such criticism is unfounded. While other Democrats have mentioned at least 11 people, including Biggs, as possible appointees, she's not yet narrowed the list or conducted interviews.

"Governor Sebelius will look at all possible talented candidates who will help restore the integrity and faith in this office and protect the people of Kansas," spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said Tuesday.

Morrison announced his resignation Friday, only five days after acknowledging an extramarital affair with Linda Carter, a woman who worked for him when he was Johnson County district attorney. Morrison held that job before being elected attorney general. He switched parties to challenge Kline, and Republicans later chose Kline to fill the vacant county job.

According to Carter, her affair with Morrison began in September 2005 and lasted two years - through the campaign and after Morrison became attorney general. She continued to work in the district attorney's office and, in a detailed statement about their affair, she also accused Morrison of professional misconduct.

Among other things, she said Morrison sought sensitive information about Kline's activities as district attorney, including abortion-related ones. He denies any professional misconduct.

Kline plans to appoint a special prosecutor, and the state board that reviews allegations of misconduct against attorneys has started its own investigation. Carter filed a civil rights claim in November with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Brian Russell, a Lawrence attorney representing Carter, said she did not make her statement public. The Topeka Capital-Journal obtained a copy of it and broke the story in its Dec. 9 editions.


Ragingbear 10 years, 5 months ago

I believe the metaphor here is "Shooting yourself in the foot.".

KU_cynic 10 years, 5 months ago

The KU NPR station reported this morning that Nancy Boyda's husband has expressed interest in the AG job. There didn't appear to be many details.

Appointing that careerist opportunist would be bad for Kansas and bad for Boyda's re-election chances.

nekansan 10 years, 5 months ago

Too bad they lost the election. Conservatives have done this to themselves by aggressively pushing their agenda that is contrary to the views of so many of the people of this state. Then they act surprised when there is a electoral backlash and more moderate candidates are chosen for office.

Ragingbear 10 years, 5 months ago

The current conservative push going on is due to a few current issues. The first being the upcoming presidential elections. But it is also due to them putting undue faith in the Bush Jr. Administration. With Georgie boy making a conservative heavy administration, spurred by 9-11, they started to relax, pushing through changes easily. Then, when it became obvious that not only had people grown tired of the shrub, but also his entire conservative/republican heavy support. Realizing that, they are trying to stake out their territory and dig in as best as possible as the tide rises on their rapidly shrinking islands.

In the end, we are going to see many liberals and democrats in the next administration. I don't think that anyone can truly deny that. What the worry is, is that the democratic and super liberal desire is also too extreme as well. Think about a government that starts regulating how you act in public (precedent already set in England and other European countries) and people getting in major trouble for offending anyone in the least. With gun control taking our constitutional right to bear arms away almost completely. Where welfare has gotten so bad that we are blowing more money on programs to give money away than we currently are on war. Resulting in higher levels of crime, and ultimately poverty and unemployment.

Checks and balances...too bad nobody has bothered to check the balances lately.

verity 10 years, 5 months ago

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave."

Or should I say, "Watch out what you wish for, you just might get it."

As has been stated elsewhere, the vote was not necessarily for Morrison, but against Kline. Morrison had a lot of baggage before this latest scandel. We will most likely come out with a better AG after the dust has all settled. And I doubt it will be one who satisfies the people who wanted so badly to take Morrison down.

MyName 10 years, 5 months ago

"I just don't think she'll pick anybody who will make Dr. Tiller unhappy," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.

I don't think that's part of the job description for AG, or any other office in Kansas. I mean I haven't looked at the State Constitution lately, but "making Dr. Tiller nervous" wasn't in there last time I checked.

This is the kind of shortsighted BS you get when you base your politics on a single issue.

pace 10 years, 5 months ago

The lack of consumer protections in kansas is part of that job. A greatly neglected part.. ID theft, consumer fraud, corporate chicanery will effect more Kansans because the AG office has become such a political tool. Theft from America is in the trillions , fueling gangsters on a global level. They prey on the elderly, the saving accounts, the equity of our homes and they want us to spend our defenses rather than save our homes.

preebo 10 years, 5 months ago

I know Chris Biggs, and while he is a Democrat he is a definite Blue-Dog. He is a respected attorney with years of public service experience. While he doesn't have the prosecutorial experience that Morrison has, he does have lot more than Kline had prior and including his tenure as AG. Biggs would make a good AG replacement and almost was in 2002.

storm 10 years, 5 months ago

Didn't think the AG office lost it's integrity, and I know the fine physicians of Kansas who successfully provide services are not quacks.

Ralph Reed 10 years, 5 months ago

The important thing is that the new AG is not in somebody's pocket. Politics in the judicial system from the top on down and from all sides provides justice for the monied or those on the correct end of the political teeter-totter, and not for everyone. That is why Lady Justice carries a scale to weigh the merits of a case and a double-edged sword that can cut both ways.

This short bit from wikipedia talks about Lady Justice better than I.

Here she is at the Menphis, TN courthouse.

/****/ Agnostick (Anonymous) writes :

"Of course the extremists are nervous. They're also nervous about democracy, individual rights, and personal responsibility."

I don't normally say things like this, but the above statement by Angostic is something of a non-sequitur given his/her previous anonymous posts, especially the part about personal responsibility. I say this because he/she apparently revels in anonymity and doesn't want to be accountable for his/her posts. (I fully expect him/her to flame me anonymously because of this statement.)

/***/ (I'm me. Who are you behind that hood of anonymity?)

janeyb 10 years, 5 months ago

Biggs would not only be a good AG, but also a good candidate to go up against Brownback for governor. He has a good personality vs the dullness one-note campaign of Brownback. Look at what Huckabee has done, compared to Brownback. Brownback thought supporting McCain would help knock the Huckleberry out.

The idea that Tiller has so much power over Sebelius is ridiculous. The right has Tiller elevated to God-like status in the dem party.

I was a litte put off at first by Boyda wanting the AG position. But why not? Nancy and he have had experience dealing with the crazy right. They are constantly under attack by the Ryan forces, and stiil want the opportunity. If he has the background to a good job, he should be considered.

yankeelady 10 years, 5 months ago

If there wasn't a Tiller they would have to invent him. Nothing like a boogey man to rally the troops. These one issue screamers have totally alienated moderates. We need to move on and deal with some of the other issues, like education, health care and energy among others.

cap10_insano 10 years, 5 months ago

Ralph Reed Excellent post in response to the 10:01 post. Agnostick's constant flailings about religious extremism, conservativism, theocracy and so forth show arrested psychological development. Where the capacity for logical and rational thought are absent, there's an emotional flailing that takes place, not unlike a drowning person flailing about in neck-deep water. All they have to do (metaphorically speaking) is calm down, stick their feet straight down, and the solid ground is right there to support them. But in a state of panic, they don't realize this, and they drown. As they go down, they grasp wildly for anything within reach; hence, the desperate tossing about of one sad label after another. This isn't done so much to save their own skin, as much as an attempt to try and take someone else down with them. Agnostick and other trolls ("Observer," holygrailale, logicsound04, etc. )should be pitied that their lives outside this forum are so lacking in meaning, that even after posting on every online community in Kansas and part of Missouri, they constantly have to spam the community with propoganda and rhetoric in their ongoing futile attempts to feel some sense of self-worth, some sense of value that they can't derive from a decent job, a spouse or partner, perhaps children.

Sadly, if their mental degradation isn't halted, even this medium becomes inadequate to fill their needs, and they turn to other forms of aggression: threatening emails, financial scams of all sorts, physical stalking and harassment of their perceived enemies, etc.

The LJWorld online staff would do good to eradicate such cancers to their community as early as possible, before they bring down the whole works, the way that certain users brought down the last incarnation of the LJWorld discussion pages ("Agnostick and Holygrailale" come to mind). Or CJ Online how it was destroyed by Agnostick.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 5 months ago

""I just don't think she'll pick anybody who will make Dr. Tiller unhappy," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life."

What a maroon. The conspiracy fantasies that occupy this woman's head and those of other "Kansans for Life" are astounding.

Hey, anti-abortioners, you have had in the white house for 19 of the last 23 years conservative, supposedly "pro-life" presidents, as well as a "pro-life" supreme court, and abortion is still the legal law of the land in this country.

Do you really think that it will change? Abortion is much too good an issue for republican politicians to demagogue on. If abortion were made illegal, how else would republicans get elected? Illegal immigration went down the tubes as a demagogue issue.

Wake up, conservative anti-abortion xtians, you have been played by the republican party for 25 years on abortion. And you still don't get it.

The best way to stop abortion is one person at a time: helping to end poverty and ignorance; helping poor pregnant women; preaching abstinence and birth control.

In other words, getting in the trenches, getting dirty, and actually doing some good.

It is easier to get into some philosophical struggle and to picket than it is to actually help, though.

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