Archive for Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sebelius denies having ‘lavish’ party for Tiller

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius answers questions about an event last year at Cedar Crest that included Dr. George Tiller as a guest. Sebelius answered the questions following an appearance at Wal-Mart, 3300 Iowa St.

May 29, 2008

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Gov. questioned on abortion doctor's presence at party

After helping accept the Wal-Mart gift, Governor Sebelius faced questions about a party she hosted last year at the Governor's mansion. Enlarge video

Kathleen Sebelius: Two decades in politics

Kathleen Sebelius is the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama's Cabinet. She has served as Kansas' governor since 2002 and before that was insurance commissioner and a state representative.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius confirmed Wednesday that Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider from Wichita, indeed had paid to get a seat at a dinner last year with her at Cedar Crest, the governor's mansion in Topeka.

But Sebelius is dismissing an anti-abortion group's assertions that Tiller had been an honored guest, and that the April 9, 2007, reception had been a "lavish secret party" for Tiller, his staffers and other doctors who perform abortions.

Instead, Sebelius said Wednesday, Tiller simply had purchased the dinner reception that had been offered as a prize during an auction fundraiser conducted as part of the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus' own Torch Dinner. The governor, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, addressed the issue during an appearance Wednesday afternoon in Lawrence

No special connection. No personal invitation.

No big deal.

"I have offered, at the Torch Dinner in previous years, auction items to come to Cedar Crest," said Sebelius. "This was one of those years, and Dr. Tiller happened to be the bidder on this event.

"And it is not something that I invite the bidder to bid. It's not something that I choose the guests. It's been a tradition ... for a variety of groups whose causes I support: We offer an opportunity to come to lunch at Cedar Crest, come to dinner at Cedar Crest. The expenses are reimbursed, and this just happened to be one of them."

But political opponents aren't buying the explanation for the event, which came at a time Tiller was under investigation by the state attorney general's office regarding accusations that his clinic in Wichita had conducted illegal late-term abortions.

The attorney general's office later filed misdemeanor charges, and Tiller has denied breaking the law. The case is pending in Sedgwick County.

Wednesday's focus, however, remained on Sebelius' dinner reception, and Tiller's attendance.

"Her use of a taxpayer-funded facility to honor an individual whose money has fueled her campaigns and personal agenda is appalling," said Kris Kobach, chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. "She has abused her stewardship over the people's house. : Using it to host a notorious late-term abortionist is disgraceful."

News of the dinner with Tiller comes as Sebelius' stature on the national political scene picks up, especially as Sen. Barack Obama moves closer to securing the Democratic nomination for president.

Sebelius, an early backer of Obama, delivered the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union speech in January and increasingly has shown up on speculation lists of potential running mates for Obama. She is considered a political moderate, a Democrat elected in a Republican state.

Sebelius has vetoed legislation backed by abortion opponents, and earlier this month a Roman Catholic archbishop said that Sebelius should refrain from taking Communion - until and unless she takes "necessary steps for amendment of her life," such as publicly repudiating her support for abortion rights.

On Wednesday, Sebelius faced questions about the 2007 dinner after Operation Rescue - a Wichita-based organization that opposes abortion rights - posted photos from the event on the organization's web site.

Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said that it was "laughable" for Sebelius to say she had no control over who would be at the party. Newman said the party was an indication of a broader relationship between Sebelius and the "abortion industry."

Sebelius, for her part, also dismissed criticism that the dinner reception had not been listed on her public schedule for the day involved. Virtually all receptions conducted at the governor's mansion, she said, never make it on the list.

"That isn't something that we do," Sebelius said. "A lot of what we do at Cedar Crest is private."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

allateup 7 years, 1 month ago

and while I'm at it.........ACG while we don't disagree with everything, just most things....you made a total a$$ of yourself with you're earlier comment.

jmadison 7 years, 1 month ago

No special connection. No personal invitation.No big deal.So relates the reporter. If this was a quote from the governor shouldn't there be quotation marks around these words?If its the reporter's opinion, shouldn't this be on the editorial page?

Scott Tichenor 7 years, 1 month ago

When Kris Kobach's gums are flapping, it's a guarantee a bunch of cr** is coming out of his mouth. As long as he's the point dog for the other Republican party, it's advantage moderate Republicans and Democrats.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

bondmen 7 years, 1 month ago

Abortion is the cornerstone of the Democrat party and the governor should tough it up and support it wholeheartedly! Excercise the right to kill your own flesh and blood is the mantra of the culture of death. To hell with responsibility! Why shy away now that you're so close to grabbing the coveted golden ring of vice president on the Barack Hussein ticket?

grimpeur 7 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence Journal-World editors deny membership in Al-Qaeda child-porn racket.Headline writers call denial "laughable" and vow to keep pressure on anyway.

trinity 7 years, 1 month ago

nothing to see here. move along. find another dead horse to beat.

jasonc_22 7 years, 1 month ago

this is a total non-story, and there isn't a regular kansan in the whole state who think this is anything other than exactly what Sebelius said.non-story to anyone but the rabid right.

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

Davidsmom does not understand the reason the author refers to "abortion rights" is because she and her ilk do not understand these are in fact rights granted by a Supreme Court decision. I'm sure if Mom's religious "rights" were challenged to the same extent she could fully understand the need to empahsize the use of "rights". The 2nd Ammendment folks use the "right to bear arms" all the time with no ranting from the right (wrong) wingers. That Kris Kobach, Sam Brownback, Klein and the rest of the "holyier than thou crowd" is offended by what appears to be a legimate "auction" just points out that they view their "rights" in higher esteem than anyone who is opposition to their viewpoint.

1029 7 years, 1 month ago

seems like republicans should have more important things to do than focusing most of their attention on furthering christian idiotologyoh yeah, and kris kobach is a jackass

bd 7 years, 1 month ago

Dang, what if Fred Phelps bid and got the tickets!!!!!

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't know Tiller, so I can't say that I like him, but I do appreciate the work he does to protect the Supreme Court given rights of women.In fact, I appreciate everyone who works to protect the gawd-given, Supreme Court-given, or Constitutional rights of both women and men.On the other hand, I have little respect for those who wish to infringe on those rights.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 1 month ago

Sullenger is not running for Governor, nor is she a likely candidate to be on the Demoocratic Party's presidential ticket, Sebelius is. We need to work to get the Sebelius faction out of power in the Democratic Party. No more phony Republicrats like Parkinson and Guinn. Run people who have been dedicated Democrats and if these others want to become Democrats and support our candidates until they've proven themselves to be honest and trustworthy, then give them a shot. We don't need to embrace the trash from someone else's garbage dump like we did with Morrison (and Parkinson and ....)

acg 7 years, 1 month ago

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purplesage 7 years, 1 month ago

Wonder why Dr. Tiller wanted to attend a dinner at Cedar Crest? Regardless of how he got the tickets, remember he has been a substantial supporter of politicians like Gov. Sebelius and the short-termed AG Morrison. Having them in office makes his life easier. I didn't notice whether the Archbishop was on the guest list? Probably not.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 7 years, 1 month ago

"Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said Wednesday the reception had been offered as a prize at an earlier auction for the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus. Corcoran said Tiller attended a fundraising dinner for the caucus where he bought the reception donated by the governor's office."The above is from the Topeka Capitol Journal.Ok I'm up to speed. Does this information change anything one sintilla? Look who's coming to dinner. A doctor and his staff. So what? Does she need to check the seating arrangement with Rep. Kinzer? Maybe Sen. Huelscamp could suggest a proper wine.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org"It is our practice to donate the item to a worthy organization, and we do not control who purchases it at their auction event," Corcoran said.

Bossa_Nova 7 years, 1 month ago

Sebelius is definitely a babe for her age. She's better lookin than Hillary and waaaaaaay better lookin than Condi! ew! hey, do you think her party for Tiller was a botox party? do they even have botox in topeka?

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe next year the pro-lifers can bid on the dinner and invite the Archbishop.

fu7il3 7 years, 1 month ago

I doubt this will make any big splash nationally. If it does, then it is just stupid.

Phillbert 7 years, 1 month ago

I look forward to reading all of the front page stories about how Operation Rescue employs a convicted terrorist, Cheryl Sullenger. But instead the media will probably just continue to quote her and use her as a source, rather than talking about how she went to prison for trying to fire bomb a health clinic.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years, 1 month ago

"bd (Anonymous) says:Dang, what if Fred Phelps bid and got the tickets!!!!!"She said she has no control over who wins the party, but do you really think for one second she would let Fred in her house??There is nothing political about this at all. Kathy is as pure as the driven snow.

madam_hillarys_pantsuits 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm just trying to decide who looks better/sharper/sexier and more "powerful" dressed in a pantsuit.......Hillary or Kathy?Oh, gosh! I guess they both do! Okay, it's a tie!lol

dirkleisure 7 years, 1 month ago

Uhlrick, basically you're advocating building the Democratic party in the same manner the GOP has "built" theirs.Hugely successful business model.As for Cedar Crest, it is considered the residence of the Governor. Every Governor since it became the residence as treated it as such, including hosting private functions.It is not the equivalent of the White House.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

"Abortion is the cornerstone of the Democrat party..."Replace "Democrat(ic)" with "Republic(an)" and you've hit the nail on the head! It's all you conservatives have left to run on.

dirkleisure 7 years, 1 month ago

george and Godot, show up at any number of events and you are free to bid on one as well. Don't limit yourselves to political events, because the Governor does not.If you had shown up at similar political or charitable events during the Graves, Finney, Hayden, Carlin, etc. administrations, you could have done the same.It isn't about Tiller and it isn't about Sebelius. If you don't care for a Governor's ability to open his or her home to guests, then make that argument.

Centerville 7 years, 1 month ago

Go look at those pictures. This is very, very creepy business. Some of you can try to pretend that she was just too stupid to know that Tiller and his staff and all the other people at her party were abortionists. And, true, she was stupid to throw that little party (even if it wasn't "lavish"). So much for her help as Obama's Catholic outreach poster girl. Even worse than her job campaigning for him in Ohio. Makes her pathetic SOTU speech almost seem just incompetent.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 1 month ago

yeah, and the "war on terror", but i love how retardlicans look the other way for American born (pun-intended) terrorist attacks, such as bombing clinics.

situveux1 7 years, 1 month ago

Tisk tisk, our Sebelius lovers have really outdone themselves with their ranting and raving. Too bad they can't defend this without calling names, putting others down, etc...Pictures don't lie. Kathy looked pretty cozy next to Tiller.If you like Tiller and appreciate his work, then just say so. Why would you go to the trouble of trying to berate somebody else? Just say you like the guy, you support abortion full out and get over yourself. Why try and explain this away? Just be like, whatever, nothing proven, he's a stand up guy, done a lot of abortions which I support and that's that.Jeez...when you make such a big deal out of it, it looks like you've got something to hide...

Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

"Event with Tiller may prompt legislationThe Associated PressPublished Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 12:47 p.m. CDTA reception involving abortion provider Dr. George Tiller at the governor's residence may prompt a legislative response. Two anti-abortion lawmakers say they are concerned about how Cedar Crest is being used. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' office has confirmed that Tiller attended a reception there in April 2007. It said Tiller bought the right to attend the reception at a political group's fundraising auction. Rep. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, said he may pursue a bill restricting the use of the residence for political purposes. Sen. Tim Huelskamp, a Fowler Republican, said he would consider legislation if Sebelius won't release a full list of who has attended receptions."http://cjonline.com/stories/052908/bre_tiller.shtml

clyde_never_barks 7 years, 1 month ago

I shudder to think that I am going to agree with Uhlrick on anything...but he is right on this. And, why is it that those who don't like this story call it non-news, and suggest we move along. This is news, it is unfortunate that we have a state leader who lacks character - and is only interested in doing what it takes to get to the "next level."

madam_hillarys_pantsuits 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, I'll say this much, gayokay......Hillary looks real good in the color pink!When she's dressed in a pink coat/black trouser combo.....oooooh!, watch out!Pink is definitely Hillary's color!

Corey Williams 7 years, 1 month ago

"But, again, we will not know because Sebelius considers anything that goes on in the governor's mansion Kansans pay for to be private, personal business, even partisan, political, fundraising events."Sort of like the Bush/Cheney houses. No more access to secret service records to see who visited the White house. No way of knowing who was invited by Cheney to set up the energy plan. The last I heard, American citizens paid for the bills on both of their houses.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 1 month ago

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

Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

Okay, so the auction was held at a private club for women in Kansas City, Missouri. The purpose of the auction was to raise money to support anti-anti-abortion candidates, in general; being that the organization consists of members from "greater Kansas City," it is possible the funds raised might ostensibly be distributed to "worthy organizations" in both Missouri and Kansas.How was it that a man from Wichita happened to attend this women's political caucus? Was he a guest? Or was he the honored guest, whose defense against the anti-abortionists in Kansas was the raison d'etre of the fundraising event?So, Tiller shows up and bids for a reception at Cedar Crest, offered up by Gov. Sebelius. He bid a whole lot of money to be sure to win, and to funnel funds to an organization that has as it purpose to defend him, so that he can bring his entire staff and, not doubt, others important to the success of his organization. Sebelius holds this reception for Tiller at a time that Tiller is under investigation by the Attorney General (however unwillingly by the AG). Sebelius refuses to reveal the names of the guest of the people's mansion. AG Morrison had not yet resigned at that time, but records show that he was in full obsessive-compulsive stalking mode with regard to his Wonder Woman who was in the employ of his nemesis, DA Kline. It would be interesting to know if Morrison was one of Tiller's guests. After all, Tiller won the auction, he could invite anyone he wanted. What a convenient sheild for Sebelius, by the way. But, again, we will not know because Sebelius considers anything that goes on in the governor's mansion Kansans pay for to be private, personal business, even partisan, political, fundraising events.See, this is why so much money is spent to win an office that, in the world in which these people play, pays a mere pittance of recompense. What they vie for, what they position themselves to attain, is the position where people will pay to have access to them. And, apparently, Tiller has paid plenty to this governer. Wouldn't you do the same thing if you knew that your income and lifestyle depended on the veto power possessed by this one woman?

BrianR 7 years, 1 month ago

Christ, godot, do this bed wetting right wingers want to pick the f-ing china patterns for the residence too while they're at it? I hope the voters are smart enough to deal with how the idiots Kinzer and Huelskamp are using their offices and send them packing.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years, 1 month ago

"gayokay (Anonymous) says: This was not a party for Dr. Tiller. This was a fund raiser for a women's political group out of KC. Dr. Tiller like many guests there purchased a ticket that entitled him to be there."This was a party that tiller purchased for political influance. The only people present were the abortion specialists.Get up to speed or get off!!

BrianR 7 years, 1 month ago

Only when I'm by myself or with someone.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 1 month ago

This is not about abortion. Rhonda Holman at The Eagle had it right when she said the Sebelius opened up the governor's mansion to the highest bidder. She added insult to injury when she allowed a man under criminal investigation to dine there, never mind the crime.This is just more of the same behavior as when she sold out KU Hospital to her pals in Missouri and agreed to the coal plants before turning them down, not because they were wrong, but to fuel her national ambitions. Roundheels and her Republicrats have been a disgrace to the Democratic Party from the day she set foot in the Insurance Commissioner's office and became a stooge for that industry.We have many honest, intelligent Democratic politicians in this state and what do we elect, some bimbo who hits her back every time some special interest group gets their wallet out.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years, 1 month ago

Sorry but before today I did not know operation rescue exhisted. The is no amount of money that could provide me the enjoymet I get from jerking your chain.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 7 years, 1 month ago

This was not a party for Dr. Tiller. This was a fund raiser for a women's political group out of KC. Dr. Tiller like many guests there purchased a ticket that entitled him to be there. Botox? Hardly, our lovely governor needs no such thing. Have you all seen her pictures in Vogue? Lovely, just lovely.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

coldandhot 7 years, 1 month ago

I am tired of all the media fawning over Kathleen. She is not a good governor. She is a great marketer. She is running our state into the ground just like Granholm is doing in Michigan. The decisions of her administration will hurt us for many years to come. As for the Tiller and other abortionists party...its about time some "stuff" hit the fan. She is like the rest of the politicos. She just does a great job of hiding things. This story will ruin her VP chances.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

"There is nothing political about this at all."Hear, hear! George is finally correct about something!!!You're exactly right it isn't political! When the Supreme Court ruled on abortion, it ceased being political and started being judicial!

Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

gayokay, you have your facts mixed up about the dinner.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 7 years, 1 month ago

madam_hillarys_pantsuits (Anonymous) says: I'm just trying to decide who looks better/sharper/sexier and more "powerful" dressed in a pantsuit::.Hillary or Kathy?I disagree, in my opinion our governor is by far more attractive and a better dresser. I attended her birthday party this month (also a fundraiser) and she wore a delightful silk pajama number with butterflys. The governor is also a gratious hostess and a very good dancer.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

justthefacts 7 years, 1 month ago

As for Kathy being Catholic...not much any more. In the last issue of the paper published by the Archdiocese for this region, the Archbishop explained in great detail why he has asked the Governor to henceforth refrain from receiving the sacraments until/unless she gives up her support of abortion. The LJW may want to obtain a copy of that article and reprint it. No one who might vote for someone b/c they are a Catholic (is there such a person?) will want to vote for Kathy S for that reason. Her public support of abortions has cost her any chance of claiming to truly be Catholic.

Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

"It is our practice to donate the item to a worthy organization, and we do not control who purchases it at their auction event," Corcoran said. http://www.cjonline.com/stories/052908/sta_284033344.shtmlWorthy cause? Try political fundraiser.What the JW left out of this report is that the auction was not for a charity; it was to raise money for the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus, a group that pushes for pro-abortion candidates.Sebelius had to know that Tiller would be at the function, and that there was a very high likelihood that he would use that opportunity to funnel as much money as possible into the organization.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

What VP chances? She has nothing to add to the ticket. She alone won't deliver a red state, she ain't that popular, and what if she does. Whatta we got?...Seven electorial votes? Puulleeze.

SpeedRacer 7 years, 1 month ago

I am sure that Cedarcrest has seen its share of lowlifes over the years. Tiller had to pay for his meal; I am sure Kline has been there more than once as an INVITED guest.

davidsmom 7 years, 1 month ago

Notice how reporters keep using the term "abortion rights." Let's just call it what it is - abortion. We don't say "rights" in conjunction with everything else we have the "legal right" to do. This is just a way to try to make something abhorrent sound better than it is.

situveux1 7 years, 1 month ago

Ahhhh, Supreme Court given??? I thought we obtained all of our rights from the Constitution??? Or, are you saying that the Court invented a right??? Just curious.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

Shall I assume that you don't know enough about the Constitution, or simply have no respect for the document that very clearly dictates that any Constitutional questions be decided by the Supreme Court?Every right that isn't clearly dictated by it, is therefore granted by the Supreme Court either through a direct ruling, or a refusal to hear a challenge. Understand now?

SpeedRacer 7 years, 1 month ago

I held my nose and went to the Operation Rescue site to look at their "evidence" myself. The invoice is specifically notated "Women's Torch Dinner". Also, someone's definition of lavish is alot different from mine....$25 a person doesn't sound lavish to me. If allegations from some organization's web site is front page news, I expect to see outrageous Phelps claims being reported as "news " any day now.

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