Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All three sales tax questions pass comfortably; Democrats win most races in county, nation

November 4, 2008, 7:06 p.m. Updated November 4, 2008, 10:12 p.m.

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10:05 p.m.With all Douglas County precincts reporting, Democrats were the big winners.

For County Commission, Nancy Thellman defeated David Brown. In the Kansas Senate, Marci Francisco defeated Scott Morgan.

Republicans had their races too, though. In the Kansas House, Tom Sloan defeated John Wilson. And in County Commission, Jim Flory defeated Ken Grotewiel.

For complete election results, visit

9:13 p.m.All precincts in Lawrence are reporting and all three sales taxes have won big.

* Question No.1: 72.98 percent for and against 27.02 against.

* Question No. 2: 70.29 percent for and 20.71 percent against.

* Question No. 3: 68.81 percent for and 31.19 percent against.

- Chad Lawhorn from the Courthouse

8:55 p.m. updateDemocrat Nancy Thellman's lead has shrunk slightly, but she still is carrying about 60 percent of the vote to lead Republican David L. Brown 4,724 votes to 3,195 with 17 of 22 precincts reporting in the 2nd District race.

In the 3rd District, Republican Jim Flory has opened up a margin to lead 6,394 votes to 3,922 over Democrat Ken Grotewiel, with 21 of 24 precincts counted.

- George Diepenbrock from the County Courthouse

More results and all three sales tax questions continue to have large leads. With 43 of 49 precincts reporting:

* Question No. 1 71.69 percent for and 28.31 percent against.

* Question No. 2: 69.05 percent for and 30.95 percent against

* Question No. 3. 67.39 percent for and 32.61 percent against.

Advance ballots, which could be about 16,000 votes countywide are still not included in the totals, but city leaders are now beginning to express confidence that all three ballot measures will win tonight.

- Chad Lawhorn from the Courthouse.

8:35 p.m.Nancy Thellman has opened up a wider lead in the 2nd District Douglas County Commission race. She's ahead 3,751 votes to 1,896 over Republican David L. Brown with 13 of 22 precincts reporting.

In the 3rd District race, Republican Jim Flory leads Democrat Ken Grotewiel 4,141 to 2,826 votes with 14 of 24 precincts in.

- George Diepenbrock from the County Courthouse

8:31 p.mThe current precincts that election workers have tallied do not include advance ballots. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said his office received 147 advance ballots that were dropped off at the courthouse at the last minute, so election workers have to audit all the advance ballot results until they can tally those votes.

The precincts that make up the partial results include a mix of northern and central Lawrence and areas of rural Lawrence, according to information from the Douglas County Clerk's Office released at 8:25 p.m.

- George Diepenbrock from the County Courthouse

8:22 p.m.Just in, advanced vote totals show all three sales tax questions have large leads based on nearly 24 percent turnout.

The advanced totals show that Question No. 1, the infrastructure sales tax, was up 71.63 percent to 28.37 percent. Question No. 2 for basic transit operations were up 70.46 percent to 29.54percent, and question No. 3 for transit operations was up 69.43 percnt to 30.57 percent. More details later.

- Chad Lawhorn from the Courthouse.

8:19 p.mWith four of 22 precincts reporting in the Second District Douglas County Commission race, Democrat Nancy Thellman leads Republican David L. Brown, 763 votes to 392.

In the 3rd District race, Jim Flory, a Republican, leads Democrat Ken Grotewiel 803 votes to 495 votes with four of 24 precincts reporting.

- George Diepenbrock from the County Courthouse

8:14 p.m.Republican Sen. Pat Roberts easily wins re-election, defeating Democratic challenger Jim Slattery.

The Associated Press declared Roberts the winner based on an analysis of information from voters interviewed as they left the polling places. The interviews were conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.

Roberts was seen as the favorite in the race because a Democrat hasn't won a Senate race in GOP-leaning Kansas since 1932.

The incumbent portrayed himself as someone who has delivered federal funds and favorable legislation for Kansas. He also raised 3 1/2 times as much campaign money as Slattery - more than $5.2 million by mid-October.

7:49 p.m.Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew is still predicting voter turnout to be in the high 70 percent range, with about 60,000 voters in Douglas County casting ballots.

The first batch of ballots from polling sites arrived at 7:30 p.m., earlier than Shew anticipated. The first ballots in came from Precinct No. 28, which votes at Cornerstone Southern Baptist Church, 802 W. 22nd St. Terrace.

Workers have begun running ballots through the counting machines.

- Chad Lawhorn from the County Courthouse.

7:44 p.m.The Associated Press reports:

Barack Obama opened a lead in his bid to become the first black president Tuesday night, moving ahead of Republican John McCain in a nation clamoring for change. Fellow Democrats picked up a Virginia Senate seat and elected a Missouri governor.

Obama swept to victories in traditionally Democratic states in the East and Midwest and jumped ahead in fragmentary returns from Pennsylvania, a state where his rival invested heavily in hopes of winning in traditionally inhospitable territory.

McCain countered in the safest of Republican states.

That left the battlegrounds to settle the race: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, as well as Pennsylvania and more. Most were customarily Republican, but Obama spent millions hoping to peel away enough to make him the 44th president.

"May God bless whoever wins tonight," President Bush told dinner guests at the White House, according to spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Interviews with voters suggested that almost six in 10 women were backing Obama, and men leaned his way by a narrow margin. Just over half of whites supported McCain, giving him a slim advantage in a group that President Bush carried overwhelmingly in 2004.

7:18 p.m.As we watch election returns this evening, here's a couple pieces of history to keep in mind:

The last time the community voted on a sales tax issue was in 1994, when a 1 percent countywide sales tax for parks, a county jail, a health facility and property tax relief was approved. Voters approved that tax by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin. The totals in that election were 15,714 voters for, and 11,061 against.

It will be interesting to see how many more people vote in this sales tax election.

- Chad Lawhorn from the County Courthouse.

7:10 p.m.Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew has said we should expect our first results of the evening between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

Shew said that his staff has counted the vast majority of ballots that were cast in advance. Those results are expected to be the first ones released this evening. The results of those advanced ballots could end up being a strong predictor of what the night holds for area races. With about 22 percent of registered voters casting advanced ballots, the numbers could be a good representation of the overall mood of voters.

- Chad Lawhorn from the Courthouse.


ridinghood 9 years, 4 months ago

Nice job, Chad. Good to have reporters there getting the info out to us.Oh yeah, and GO OBAMA!

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

"coneflower (Anonymous) says:You've pointed out why the influx of commuters hasn't helped this community."Property taxes, perhaps?

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

Watch closely....the scared, racist white boys are freaking out. Ha!

Bob Forer 9 years, 4 months ago

Marion, I am not as nice. I wouldn't have granted you a vote as urinal cleaner. Npw as urinal, thats another story..... Since your psycho super-right wing agenda has been completely repudiated this evening, I have a question, nay, a hope: We won't have Marion to kick around any longer.

ridinghood 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, nothing like quoting decades old wisdom and applying it to today's reality. it's definition, nothing but rhetoric.

justaverage 9 years, 4 months ago

Obama is going to spread the wealth. Warren Buffett and Oprah can be in the 90% tax bracket along with all of the other billionaires in this country in order to support the huge government he will create to take care of everyone, especially his Chicago cronies. The payback is a beatch!

jumpin_catfish 9 years, 4 months ago

Hope everyone is happy with your vote in a year or two. I doubt thing will change that much for the better but I would be glad to eat my words. When it comes to politicians I believe its best to keep your expectations low so as to avoid a big disappointment.

vega 9 years, 4 months ago

Bravo Lawrence for keeping "T"!!:)

ridinghood 9 years, 4 months ago

Bearded..Come on. This story has been debunked already.Stop spreading that crap. It's over. Try again in four years.

dozer 9 years, 4 months ago

I want to go on the record by stating that I made a write-in vote for Marion Lynn for County Clerk. Go MARION!!

ksdaughter 9 years, 4 months ago

Wise Words to ConsiderDuring this political season let's be reminded of these wise words...You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

bearded does not care about the actual facts, he is a known liar.

coneflower 9 years, 4 months ago

Blame the city commission for putting the survival of the T and the repair of are streets to a sales tax increase. Their priorities are the problem. Vote NO to the commissioners running for reelection next spring. They no longer have an excuse to shut down the T but they are not committed to it and so they will never run it right.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

Obama wants to start a "civilian national security force." this has already surfaced: Armed black panthers were "guarding" polling places in Phil-PA. youtube video very big.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 4 months ago

OldEnuf2BeYurDad noted that "If the T were so vital, it would be able to pay it's own way."Apparently, more than 2/3 of the citizens of Lawrence disagree....

News_to_me 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure a few additions are in order since Lincoln was President.You cannot protect the middle class when the unscrupulous, rich and powerful are protected by the government.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

"Agnostick (Anonymous) says: gl0ckowningcoward: troll of hate: Here's a little immorality tale for you:"This is the best you have? Tiresome. Really, I could care less about your name calling and sad, sad bitterness.There is no factual data that supports the continuation of the T. The only reason one can support the T is through pure uninformed emotion. No doubt with a newspaper running totally biased stories, a "grass roots" effort to flood the media with letters and an electorate tilted significantly toward pseudo-progressivism this year, the effort to bring factually relevant data to the discussion was seriously hampered.I will say it now: within two to five years, the city will be looking for more money to fund this failed system and there will be no significant ridership increase during this same period.It's fine with me. In some ways it is better. We are in for significant economic difficulty and Lawrence has yet to feel a serious pinch. Increasing tax rates right now for failed systems is exactly the wrong thing to do and will help Lawrence down the spiral until people can't fool themselves any longer. Lawrence is in trouble and has been in trouble for a while and this will simply hurt it more in the short run. Enjoy.

Tammie Bryant 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, I guess now that the economy sucks and I have less money I can spend more on taxes to support empty gas hogging buses.

chzypoof1 9 years, 4 months ago

The black panther part was true...I don't know about a security force. And as usual, the Obamacons resist the lessons learned from our founding fathers/early presidents. The constitution is a "living document" right? we should definitely disperse the wealth more. Dang rich people.Obama will win, good for him. Let the reign of the SSA begin (figure it out)poofps: not all CHANGE is good

mom_of_three 9 years, 4 months ago

ksdaughter,Those are not Lincoln quotes.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 4 months ago

How long before we have a 10% sales tax in Lawrence?We are killing ourselves with taxes. I like the idea that we have transit, but we'll never know how much this has hurt us because it will hurt us just a little, EVERYWHERE we spend money.If the T were so vital, it would be able to pay it's own way.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

The people have spoken, President Elect Obama

coneflower 9 years, 4 months ago

fl0ck0wn3r:There are those people who prefer to spend in their own community, so as to support our schools, our infrastructure, our roads. You've pointed out why the influx of commuters hasn't helped this community.

mom_of_three 9 years, 4 months ago

Those quotes are actually from Reverend William John Henry Boetcker. See for further information.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 4 months ago

Based on the increase in sales tax, i will start spending more money in Topeka, Kansas City and other surrounding towns. Sorry.

coneflower 9 years, 4 months ago

Who made the loony comment about spending more money in Topeka because of another penny in sales tax?How much do you think it will cost in gasoline to drive over to Topeka? I recommend the remedial math class at the alternative high school.

davisnin 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I think I'll be getting my national election news elsewhere. Just tell me bout the local stuff LJW.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 4 months ago

I guess "Informed" didnt.. VOTE OFTEN enough to stop the tax increases for the T.

skinny 9 years, 4 months ago

Whelp, looks like I will be buying all my stuff on the internet so I don't have to pay Lawrence's .10 cents on the dollar sales tax or I'll be shopping in Kansas city or Topeka! Screw Lawrence!!

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

It would appear that the people of Lawrence decided that the bus system was, as some said, an essential service. I somehow doubt that more people will actually support it by using it, however. Just as most people support continued funding of Amtrak while only a miniscule percentage of the public uses it for their traveling, the voters likely figured buses are nice to have, but they won't ride them. If you think this represents some monumental shift in favor of mass transit over cars, take a look at the results for light rail in Kansas City. (I like how the headline, at the time I posted this, said it was "losing" behind 56-44% with 99% of the vote counted.)

davisnin 9 years, 4 months ago

regardless of who said the quotes, econ 101 will tell you those same things. But I am excited that insurance companies are going to be forced to take people with pre-existing conditions. I'm going to drop my coverage tomorrow and save my money until I have some horrible disease that costs a boatload. Once it looks like I'm going to have a 100,000 hospital bill then I'll pay, but not until then. Surely no one else will have this same idea.

budwhysir 9 years, 4 months ago

I am greatfull to be in such great company. I hope to see everyone out riding the busses this year. I for one am going to sell my car in hopes that this functional company will make a profit from stealing my hard earned tax money.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations for pushing the sales taxes through to the very end, Chad. It will be fascinating to watch Lawrence spiral faster downhill. Enjoy.

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

coneflower (Anonymous) says: "There are those people who prefer to spend in their own community..."And from now on I will. See, conehead, regardless of the Lawrence-is-the-center-of-the-universe beliefs held by you and others like you, some people actually live elsewhere. Instead of driving into Lawrence, as you suggest I can save on gas and shop locally. Or, since I live pretty much equidistant from Lawrence and two other places I can do my shopping, those options have become equally as attractive as Larryville.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

Why thank you Poof!indeed, the video is real. and the "civilian national security force" comes from Obama's own words, so just who's not telling the truth? Gallina, you might want to change your information sources from MSNBC/NPR for example. I am happy the transit and infrastructure questions passed, and passed very strongly. and I am not satisfied with the ridership we have now on the fixed-route, nor with the current per ride cost for para. I will be working to change things. it is much cheaper and more sensible to fix what's here than to kill the patient to heal a problem!

Mangino_saurus 9 years, 4 months ago

the T is a waste of money and loosing battle. I will look to spend my money elsewhere, i.e. internet, Topeka, KC just in spite of.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

"coneflower (Anonymous) says: Who made the loony comment about spending more money in Topeka because of another penny in sales tax?"Here's an idea... Since Lawrence has chased so many middle class jobs out of town, many people sleep in Lawrence but work elsewhere. Thus, if one has to make that drive daily, it does not cost one any more in gasoline to make purchases outside of Lawrence. Further, most companies now offer free shipping on online purchasing. For example, why would anyone purchase a new TV in Lawrence when one could go look at it locally and then purchase it - tax free - online?

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

glock,The fact is as a nation, we are more in debt, earning less and the tax burdon has increased in the middle class due to raising cost of essentials.The fact that you only cry foul when the president is black and not white is what gives you away.

Mangino_saurus 9 years, 4 months ago

ladoggie -question #2 and #3 where based on sales tax - not property taxes. For evey $100 of a students money, $.25 is going to the T. I do hope you looked into, and researched the current issue and past history of the T? I would assume not though, as you probably also voted for Obama and failed to find out what he is really all about also.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 4 months ago

"Confrontation (Anonymous) says: Watch closely:.the scared, racist white boys are freaking out. Ha!"Fascinating... So if one is against paying more in taxes, one is both racist and white? It would seem that you are the racist by suggesting the two are related. Racist.

ladoggie 9 years, 4 months ago

would you little spoil brats quit crying you don't pay any taxes anyway most of you live off your parent and student loans if you quit going out and spending all your pay on beer trying to get layed a little tax for a better looking town would'nt hurt you.does'nt hurt you to run up to johnson county and blow your money there.does it?

cds 9 years, 4 months ago

Anonymous userMultidisciplinary (Anonymous) says:I've been looking (took me a while to even find this)..Do we know about Paula Martin yet?____Interested to know this as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

"Do we know about Paula Martin yet?"Both Malone and Martin won their "elections."

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