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Archive for Saturday, December 6, 2008

Harsh judgment

A Kansas Supreme Court order issued Friday should be the final nail in Phill Kline’s political coffin

December 6, 2008

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It’s unclear what Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline plans to do after he leaves his current post next month, but an opinion released Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court should prevent him from ever again serving in an elected or appointed public office.

The court’s scathing opinion pulled no punches in its disdain for Kline’s handling of client patient records he seized from Planned Parenthood of Kansas while he was Kansas attorney general. Kline not only removed the records from the AG’s office when he became Johnson County attorney, but court affidavits indicate that he also allowed them to be reviewed by television host Bill O’Reilly and a Baltimore psychiatrist in an apparent attempt to gain publicity for his abortion-related investigation.

Although Kline’s campaign against abortion providers in the state is well known, the topic of his investigation was not the focus of the Supreme Court, which was more interested in Kline’s deplorable handling of the records and the case.

Among the Supreme Court findings was that “Kline and/or his subordinates seriously interfered with the performance of his successors as Attorney General and seriously interfered with this Court’s effort to determine the facts underlying this action and the legal merits of the parties’ position.”

The ruling enumerated many instances of Kline mishandling the records as evidence of “an obvious and sorry pattern … His attitude and behavior are inexcusable, particularly for someone who purports to be a professional prosecutor.”

The court ordered Kline to hand-deliver the files to the Kansas attorney general by next Friday. The opinion noted that no financial sanctions would be imposed, but only because those sanctions would have to be paid by Johnson County rather than Kline personally. “We are unwilling to make those taxpayers foot any further bill for the conduct of a district attorney they did not elect in the first place and have now shown the door,” wrote Justice Carol A. Beier.

Kline was elected by the Johnson County Republican Committee to fill Paul Morrison’s spot in the DA’s office but lost a primary race in August to an assistant DA whom he dismissed from that staff when he took office. Kline term ends next month.

The court’s action is likely to make this Kline’s final exit from the state’s political scene. The ethically challenged former lawmaker, attorney general and district attorney has been a continuing embarrassment for Kansas. Although many Kansans may have concerns about some of the late-term abortions being performed in the state, any action to curtail such procedures must follow proper legal process, which Friday’s ruling clearly confirms Kline’s actions did not.

Comments

lazydazyjlea 5 years, 4 months ago

Kline's "exit" may turn out to be Kansas women's loss in the sense that he was willing to buck the political pressure, the media bias AND the those who should have been upholding the rule of law to ensure that women who choose abortion are not exploited by abortionists who have a real conflict of interest when it comes to giving women informed consent not only about risks but about the real age of the child inside before they abort. The law states that a minor who has been sexually abused should be protected...I think pregnancy would be adequate proof of sexual abuse..statutory rape..instead abortion clinics routinely cover for the abuser. Kaching! goes the cash register. Abortion is the one industry that really does not have to follow the laws enacted to protect women and to uphold what the public wants...guess it should be called "back-alley" abortion. Jlea

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Wicklow 5 years, 4 months ago

“In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them. Not that he is in danger of an auto-da-fé*, but he is exposed to continued obloquy and persecution. His political career is closed forever, since he has offended the only authority that is able to open it. Every sort of compensation, even that of celebrity, is refused to him. Before making public his opinions he thought he had sympathizers; now it seems to him that he has none any more since he has revealed himself to everyone; then those who blame him criticize loudly and those who think as he does keep quiet and move away without courage. He yields at length, overcome by the daily effort which he has to make, and subsides into silence, as if he felt remorse for having spoken the truth.”Tocqueville had the J-W's number 170 years ago.

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Wicklow 5 years, 4 months ago

Tocqueville in "Democracy in America" noted that the closer a society gets to pure democracy (which he characterized as a "democratic tyranny"), the more people will be punished for speaking the unpopular truth. He noted that the speaker would be lambasted by the media that supports the tyranny, abandoned by erstwhile supporters, and forced to leave the scene. Kline is the most recent example of that phenomenon. If his supporters are not cowards (as opposed to the unsigned author of this editorial), they'll stick with him so he does not leave the political scene.

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 4 months ago

Logic, really, I'm not a anti-abortion zealot. With me, it sort of drifts along the line of the corrupt liberal media, inasmuch as it is the arrogance and self-righteous attitude of the left, and the epicenter is right here, with the Tiller Donation Club and the whole stinky mess.

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Grump 5 years, 4 months ago

Shame on Caleb Stegall for getting up at Kline's press conference and declaring the Court's opinion a win for Kline. Both Kline and Stegall look ridiculous. http://videos.kansas.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=2475629

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logicsound04 5 years, 4 months ago

Has it occurred to the anti-abortion zealots (BigotPrune, Tommy Boy, Bernhardt, Wicklow) that YOU too should be displeased with Phill Kline?He has, in his pursuit of an issue that you all seem to care about deeply, made a mockery of the legal system and brought an exceedingly unfavorable light upon the anti-abortion movement because of his conduct.Abstaining from commenting on abortion at all, I would think both sides could agree that Kline was an unethical and corrupt person, undeserving of public office or anyone's trust, for that matter.Or is this a classic case of the ends justifying the means? Kline is a hero because of what he fought for, in spite of having no shame in how he went about it? That would be pretty sad.

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jackbinkelman 5 years, 4 months ago

What IS it about Phill Kline's face?!!

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Wicklow 5 years, 4 months ago

The airhead who wrote this piece of garbage obviously didn't even read the court's opinion.And the charge that Kline is ethically-challenged is the ultimate in the pot calling the kettle black. The management of the World Company gave up on ethics long ago.

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BrianR 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, I'll try to use one syllable words. The story is, AG sees something he dislikes, he breaks rules, laws and pisses on his code of ethics to pursue his personal agenda. Capiche?

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 4 months ago

This is not about Tiller? OK, whatever.

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shutnmdown 5 years, 4 months ago

Everything done in the dark eventually comes into the light...karma is so awesome..

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BABBOY 5 years, 4 months ago

Nancy Boy you are flipping idiot. Tom or whatever the flip your name the issue here is not abortion. I know you wake up thinking about that issue or religion or whatever, but the issue is that Kline is unethical and has no business being in a public office because he abuses his power.Of course, you religous abortion fanics do not care about things like right and wrong -- you just want to impose your will on to others and you can't and that is why you flipping morons are so pissed off..

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes it looks like he did, jonas. But Kline had incredible odds against him going up the circle of Tiller freinds, donors and co-conspirators.

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BrianR 5 years, 4 months ago

This isn't about Tiller, try to stay focused.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

R-T: Just a theory, glad you're flattered. You talk about abuse of power, but there's nothing in there about Kline at all? Do you not think that he in any way abused his authority?

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Tom Shewmon 5 years, 4 months ago

Jonas, not me. I post as TS only. You seem to think about me alot and I am flattered. The whole thing with Tiller stinks to high heaven. What goes around, comes around. Tiller, Sebelius, Julie Burkhart, Judge Clarkson, Nola "No File" Foulston and the whole bunch will pay in the end. I don't say this necessarily because I am rabidly against abortion, but because their arrogance and hubris and power grab sickens me.

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Newell_Post 5 years, 4 months ago

... no financial sanctions.... OK. Fine. Indict him. Criminal charges. Jail time. I doubt even that would get through to Kline, The Narcissist. Like a lot of delusional fundamentalists, he believes he above any and all law.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Which makes me wonder if it's a right-thinker alter ego. Uses a lot of the same terminology. Not that, with the conservative media outlets, that means much.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"And a Centrist is one who is one who votes with the leftists as do the so-called moderates."From Bernhardt. Apparently, we're all righteous religious conservatives or evil liberals. It's good, though, to have such a short profile that so clearly says that it's a waste of time.

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Bernhardt 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Big Prune that Tiller owns this state. I disagree with what the naive not_so_greek says. The Supreme Court said shat Tiller and Planned Parenthood wanted them to say.

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Cait McKnelly 5 years, 4 months ago

"...court affidavits indicate that he also allowed them to be reviewed by television host Bill O’Reilly and a Baltimore psychiatrist in an apparent attempt to gain publicity for his abortion-related investigation."_______If this can be proven then Phill the Clown faces a lot more than just losing his law license. He violated state and federal privacy laws and at the very least is open to civil lawsuit.

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not_so_greek 5 years, 4 months ago

The Supreme Court finally had an opportunity to say what all of us have already known for a considerable time.

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Larry_The_Moocher 5 years, 4 months ago

I dont see a whole lot of difference in what has happened to Kline than what happened to Joe the Plummer in Ohio. No matter what side of the fence you are, using your position for things like this is not acceptable. Another reason to vote all of them out, from top to bottom, this time around.

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BigPrune 5 years, 4 months ago

George Tiller owns this state. It is far more embarrassing for Kansas to have such a dishonorable reputation as being the state to go to when a woman wants a late term abortion.

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KEITHMILES05 5 years, 4 months ago

Hopefully there will be official proceedings to have Klines license revoked. He's done a great disservice to the public and courts.

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 4 months ago

Let's not forget Morrison's role of having his mistress spy on Kline. Tiller got the last laugh on both of them.

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Donnuts 5 years, 4 months ago

Why don't you read my blog about "Liars always Prosper"?

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Donnuts 5 years, 4 months ago

Such seems to be the practice of individuals that work in the fields of medicine these days. It seems that the discretion of individuals that have privy to such means and ability to access such information will do it at any particular way possible.I think there was a woman that collected information from Bert Nash on an individual the same way. They even had it in so far as the person taking the information took down information that was incorrect based on what the person collecting the info from the state office wanted it to say.

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