Archive for Friday, October 17, 2008

Dispute erupts over Morgan’s television ads targeting Francisco

October 17, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

The leading Democrat in the state Senate on Friday said a television campaign ad by Republican Scott Morgan against state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, was inaccurate and should be pulled off the air.

"These attacks have gone too far," Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said. "Scott Morgan needs to know that representing the people is serious business. His campaign is built on a series of attacks on Marci full of half-truths and outright lies," he said.

But Morgan said that his ad was accurate and that he has no plans to change it. "The ad will continue," he said.

Morgan's ad criticizes Francisco, saying she voted "present and passing" 50 times during her four years in the Senate. Bill numbers scroll by during the ad's narration.

But Hensley said on 15 of those bills Francisco voted for or against. He provided a list of the votes that he said Morgan got wrong.

As an example, Hensley cited House Bill 2066, which would have allowed construction of two coal-fired power plants. Francisco was a vocal opponent of the project and voted against the bill, but Morgan lists her as having voted "present and passing."

Hensley said, "This is patently absurd. On page 1,296 of the 2008 Senate Journal you can clearly see that I joined Marci on the explanation of her no vote," he said.

The Senate Journal is the official record of business of the state Senate. The bill was approved 33-7. Francisco voted against the bill, and entered a statement explaining her vote.

But Morgan said his ad refers to the time when Francisco voted "pass" on an amendment to the bill. On the ad it lists "HB 2066 Coal Plants." Also written on the ad, is "Details at" On his website, Morgan links to the votes he has criticized Francisco over.

"The whole complaint seems to be whether the measures shown in the ad are amendments, final passage, conference report or some other legislative detail. Her only defense is that my ad doesn't list the full technical name of the piece of legislation on which she passed," Morgan said.

Hensley also said Morgan's allegation that 50 "present and passing" votes was the most in the Senate was misleading. Francisco has been listed as "not voting" on three bills since 2006, while some senators missed more than 100 roll call votes, he said.

Francisco has said that a "pass" vote is essentially a "no" vote because it takes 21 "yes" votes in the 40-member Senate to approve a bill.

Francisco said she sometimes votes "pass" specifically to raise concerns from her district. A "pass" vote, she said, indicates to others that she may be willing to negotiate for something her constituents want.


somebodynew 9 years, 8 months ago

SWGlassPit - He brings nothing, unless you count an "attitude" as bringing something.

Tristan Moody 9 years, 8 months ago

I asked a question about this during his chat the other day. He chose not to answer it. The whole basis of his campaign is cheap politics. I want to know what HE brings to the table.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

Morgan is grasping for straws. If Morgan does in fact support the coal plants he is also supporting two of the most expensive sources of electricity which also receive tons in federal subsidy money that could be better spent elsewhere such as public schools or cleaner less expensive electricity that will provide millions of jobs around the nation.Has Scott Morgan received campaign money from the coal fired industry?Scott Morgan also worries me when it comes to TABOR which in effect does not keep enough revenue in the cookie jar to manage the states business. Morgan concerns me on another issue. State republicans are notorious for NOT supporting public education. Scott was also for closing neighborhood schools in his first term as a school board member so will he somehow try to facilitate this thinking once in Topeka,Kansas?Senator marci francisco has a reputation for actually reading legislation which is not as common as one would like.Considering the explanations provided, the above allegations seem to say that Scott Morgan does not understand the voting process as yet. If so his campaign is without substance.

Strontius 9 years, 8 months ago

I had an email conversation with Morgan, and he was very upfront with me about where he stood on major issues. For example, he said he is pro-choice, supports civil unions for gay couples, and believes in separating church from state. It would be nice to see those issues appearing on his website, however, which is rather sparse on the more controversial issues. But there's a reason for that. Morgan also told me that he doubted he would vote any differently than Francisco would on most issues. And yet, he runs ads accusing Francisco of not being able to make up her mind, or worse, not voting. At best this shows an ignorance of the voting process in the senate and at worst it's something worse. If they really are quite similar as Morgan claims, why should we want to replace an incumbent with infinitely more experience?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

The states records apparently show marci francisco 100% attendance over the past four years..... the only one.

Nonsense 9 years, 8 months ago

I am shocked that Morgan is on our school board. When he loses this election, he needs to lose the next.

Keith 9 years, 8 months ago

Ho Hum, another lying Republican. This is news?

dandelion 9 years, 8 months ago

Morgan is behind spending more money on athletic fields instead of on education. Pretty shallow if you ask me. So is this stupid ad of his. Attack, attack, attack, lose. Where are your stands on the issues, Morgan? Or has your puppet masters not told you what to think yet?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 8 months ago

Morgan is desperate, and in true Republican form, resorts to meaningless distraction.

yankeelady 9 years, 8 months ago

I have been less than impressed with Morgan's performance on the school board. His priorities have been more about bottom line than a quality educational experience for our children.

Catalano 9 years, 8 months ago

Maybe Scott could at least change some of the the bill references in his ad. NO Senators voted for HB 2066. The bill in the Senate was the senate substitute for HB 2066, S Sub HB 2066.Really, there is a huge difference between passing on an amendment and passing on a bill.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 8 months ago

Volunteer- Maybe Scott knows this or not, maybe it is a budget issue. To give teachers 30 minutes duty free lunch, we would have to hire people to watch the kids.To me this is a problem with the LEA as much as the school board.If I could vote in this race ( I live the other district), I would have to weigh if I want Morgan in the State Senate or the school board. That is the question to me. Voting for the lesser of two evils.

GovJunkie 9 years, 8 months ago

Sen. Francisco is well respected at the statehouse ~ she reads the fine print on legislation and knows how to identify unintendended consequences. Her colleagues, both Republican and Democrat, rely on Marci and she has deveoped considerable clout.

volunteer 9 years, 8 months ago

If Mr. Morgan can't figure out that elementary teachers need thirty minutes of duty-free lunch, he probably does not deserve a "promotion."

Rich Minder 9 years, 8 months ago

Commuter writes: "I do not how well Morgan can influence the 6 other members of the school board, so if I was able to vote for him for the state senate, I would. I would rather have him in Topeka than on the school board."In Scot Morgan's online chat, he indicates his intention to remain on the Board of Education, If he is elected to the Senate. This proposed dual role is confusing and difficult to understand. It seems like a bad idea to replace Senator Marci Francisco who has proven record of hard work and careful attention to Senate business with Mr. Morgan who doesn't seem to regard his role as a member of the Board of Education highly enough to give it his full attention.

BigPrune 9 years, 8 months ago

Marci Francisco is just another typical Lawrencian. She paved the way for our past Progressive City Commissioners whose legacy, incidentally, continues to ruin our city.

Rex Russell 9 years, 8 months ago

I was a little taken aback by the ad Scott Morgan ran suggesting Sen. Francisco somehow was for a bill that supported Rev. Phelps when she accually wrote and sponsored the bill against picketing funerals. The vote was against some language that was added to it. There were 3-4 votes she voted to progress the bill by her before that. Why anyone would give this creep (Phelps)any more press is terrible. Scott Morgan knew he was misleading people when he wrote the ad. This kind of crap might fly in washington and national campaigns but don't bring it here. This kind of stuff is why I switched from Republican to UNAFILLIATED last week. Don't agree with Nancy francisco 100% of the time but she has always seemed very honest and hard working. I have met her before and she walked the neighboorhood last weekend ringing doorbells and talking to people. Voted for Morgan in the past for the school board. Won't vote for him for anything again.

Paula Kissinger 9 years, 8 months ago

I am no fan of Marci Francisco by any means...but...her opponent, Mr. Morgan, as a member of the school board, cannot even do what is right for our children. I certainly doubt he would do what is best for the rest of us if elected. I was shocked when the citizens of Lawrence re-elected him to the school board. I figured that perhaps enough time had passed and there were enough new people in town that did not know him and this is how he got back on the school board. Either that or people have a very short memory as to when he served before. Not to go into details about how I am acquainted with him, but, over the years I have witnessed a change in his attitude and behavior that I do not care for. I do not believe he is fit for any political office...JMO.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 8 months ago

First of all, I am not in the district that Morgan & Francisco are representing, like Merrill. I personally have never talked to Francisco but I have had a conversation with Morgan.I do not how well Morgan can influence the 6 other members of the school board, so if I was able to vote for him for the state senate, I would. I would rather have him in Topeka than on the school board.Just my two cents. To me you have to look at the overall picture- not just the office in Topeka.

GovJunkie 9 years, 8 months ago

Marci is a terrific Senator ~ the other Senators look to Marci for her anaylsis on lots of major bills because she has established herself as a credible, thoughtful member of the Senate.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 8 months ago

Morgan is an example of what is happening all over the country.The Right has imploded, they did not choose the GOP candidate, they have lost most of their local school boards across the country, they are loosing their clout and many of the Senators and Congressmen and women are about to loose their jobs.Desperate times call for desperate measures, and what to Christian Supremciests do in desperate times? Well, generally they lie.

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