Archive for Monday, August 31, 2009

Statehouse Live: School funding advocate alleges racially-charged photo was used

August 31, 2009, 9:33 a.m. Updated August 31, 2009, 3:54 p.m.


3:44 p.m. Kathy Cook, who is executive director of Kansas Families for Education, says a state senator who owns a conservative website has published a racially charged photograph.

The photo and article are at, which is published by state Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee.

The photo shows a black man, whose face is partially hidden by money in his hands, as if he were holding playing cards. The caption on the photo reads: School districts threaten to sue. Is it a bluff?

“It’s hard to imagine that her choice of an African-American to illustrate this anti-public-education piece was coincidental,” said Kathy Cook.

Sen. Cook could not be immediately reached for comment. The Lawrence Journal-World left messages at her business and home.

Kathy Cook noted that the photo appeared just days after U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ “great white hope” comment.

“What is going on with Kansas Republicans? Are they trying to stoke, and benefit from, racial animosity toward the President?” Cook asked.

Jenkins, R-Topeka, used the phrase when discussing the search for upcoming Republican leaders, but later said she didn’t know it had racial connotations and said she was sorry if she offended anyone. She said it had nothing to do with President Barack Obama, who is the nation's first African-American president.

2:11 p.m. U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ “great white hope” saga continues.

At a recent town hall meeting in Hiawatha, Jenkins, R-Topeka, used the phrase when talking about the search for new Republican leaders.

When asked about it later by the Lawrence Journal-World, Jenkins said she didn’t know “great white hope” had a racial connotation, which dates back from when whites were looking for a fighter to defeat black boxer Jack Johnson. Jenkins said she was sorry if anyone was offended by her remark.

Jenkins, whose 2nd congressional district includes Lawrence, said she used the phrase to note there were Republican leaders coming up the ranks, and not as a challenge to President Barack Obama, the first African-American president.

But a story in Friday’s Ottawa Herald reports that last month, Jenkins supported a resolution in Congress to pardon Johnson, who was the victim of a racially motivated conviction in 1913.

The resolution read in part: “Whereas the victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ‘great white hope.’” One of the co-sponsors of the resolution was U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

Jenkins’ spokeswoman Mary Geiger told the Topeka Capitol-Journal today that Jenkins supported the resolution, which was approved in the House on a voice vote. But Geiger said Jenkins had not read the measure.

Related document

Climate Wizard ( .PDF )

10:52 a.m. Kansas will experience the greatest temperature change of any state by the end of the century because of carbon dioxide emissions affecting the climate, a new study says.

The analysis by The Nature Conservancy says that by 2100 Kansas will see an increase of 10.4 degrees in average annual temperature if CO2 emissions continue to increase at the current rate.

Other Midwestern states follow close behind with increases projected in Nebraska, 10.3 degrees; Iowa, 10.2 degrees; and South Dakota, 10 degrees.

“If current trends continue, the weather and landscapes of the future will be nearly unrecognizable compared to what we are used to,” said Jonathan Hoekstra, director of climate change for The Nature Conservancy.

The organization said such temperature changes will cause shifts in agriculture, depletion of water sources and increase outbreaks of insect pests.

The projections were based on data compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.The projections can be found at, which was developed by The Nature Conservancy, the University of Washington and University of Southern Mississippi.

9:33 a.m. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback’s march to Cedar Crest continues.

Brownback, a conservative Republican, has received the endorsement of Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, probably one of the most moderate Republican officeholders in the state.

At this point, Brownback faces no GOP opposition in his bid for governor in 2010, and no major Democratic candidate, although Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates is expected to make an announcement soon.

Praeger, a longtime Lawrence political figure, said of Brownback, “Sam will work diligently to promote job growth and high quality education, the cornerstones of a vibrant Kansas economy.”

Praeger added, “I've had the honor of working with Sam on both state and national issues. He is a dear friend, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy for Governor.”

Praeger has said she will seek her third four-year term as insurance commissioner in 2010.


lounger 8 years ago

This is a f*cking nightmare!!! Please all of you come to your senses!! This is like a small version Of G.W. Bush running the country. Oh God help us all......

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years ago

OMG. I USED to vote for her b/c I used to think she was relatively moderate. BUT, I was wrong - OR she's changed. He's an ULTRA-Radical, right wing WHACKO!! Read what he thinks about evolution. Scary, scary, scary. And, then, of course there's the source of his political funding. A whole 'nother story.

(Total aside: What happens to the capitalization and punctuation that I use? No matter what I do, this interface reformats it. So, I am NOT responsible for that element of this post.)

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 8 years ago

Right on !! I support Brownback as well. Thank you, Lynn

think_about_it 8 years ago

Right on Sam!

After reading the comments about how much the United Way wastes on bureaucracy I'm sending my $500 to Sam instead. Seeing how he makes the Lawrence libs froth at the mouth I think I will also send in more money to him in my wife and kids' names.

Keith 8 years ago

I imagine the conversation went something like, I hear you want to run for a 3rd term, sure wouldn't want any primary opposition would you Sandy?

Ralph Reed 8 years ago

@Tom. Re: your 1121 rant. You wrote, "...loud-mouthed far-left contingent around these here parts."

The only loud-mouthed contingent I find around these parts is made up of the the far-right Rush/O'Reilly/Beck/Coulter/Palin parrots. (Some of whom don't even live in Douglas County, let alone Lawrence.)

Your posts make sense when they're not a rant. But this rant cries to be ignored.

gphawk89 8 years ago

What a crock. Well, actually Kansas will get hotter and hotter. It does every spring.

TopJayhawk 8 years ago

You mean it might start getting into the '90's this time a yr. Lord amighty what will we do. I don't even have my shorty pants on today. Brownback is an empty suit, a rubber stamp. Can't we conservatives find someone else? I don't think he is scary so much as boring.

Phillbert 8 years ago

There's another report on the threats of global warming that's making the rounds:

Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security

Of course it is by that notoriously liberal group, the U.S. Department of Defense, so I expect the naysayers to pounce on it too.

ksdivakat 8 years ago

I wouldnt fuss about warmer winters and no snow or ice!

salad 8 years ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says…

"Ralph, I respect your disrespectful opinions of me, but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, well…….."

....if it ASPIRES to be something I'd scrape off the bottom of my shoe, it must be Tom Shewmon. You, sir, are as poisonous a malcontent as they come.

63BC 8 years ago

Praeger and Brownback. Two good eggs.

Like most Kansans, I've voted for both of them before and will again.

tbaker 8 years ago

Man-made global warming is probably the single largest hoax ever pulled on the human race, but we'll never know because the those like Al Gore who claim to know this is happening and are trying to sell this idea won't publicly debate the science, or should I say the lack of it. Global Warming is nothing but another excuse to further expand government and take more of our money cleverly disguised as saving the planet.

jimmyjms 8 years ago

"Like most Kansans..."

You lost me already.

uncleandyt 8 years ago

Science is real. Pollution is happening. The Earth is being paved with concrete and asphalt. Money has taken us over. Brownback and Jenkins are not part of the solution. We ( including most of you ) are stupid. Shall we celebrate our ignorance? Should we pass our nonsense around like some great gift? I am very, very, very, very tired of our dim-witted state.

RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

"But a story in Friday’s Ottawa Herald reports that last month, Jenkins supported a resolution in Congress to pardon Johnson, who was the victim of a racially motivated conviction in 1913."

Oddly enough, the boxer who finally defeated Johnson in 1915 was Jess Willard ("The Pottawatomie Giant"), who was from Ottawa, KS.

That said, I do think that language is more powerful than some might imagine. Jenkins' statement, to me, is very telling. It is as if she feels that some great adversary to liberals is waiting out there somewhere to spread the truth and righteousness of conservatism in these unworthy political times.

dlkrm 8 years ago

Kathy Cook, please dry up and go away, along with your bogus Kansas Families for Education. Those of us who support freedom from tyranny will win the day, even if you try to smear us with lies. You can't win on the issues, so you disparage your opponents. Shame on you and your ilk.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years ago

I don't see anything remotely racist with the picture. Looks like a good looking young man to me. I like his hair cut.

dlkrm 8 years ago


Your post proves how successful Gore and Gorbachev have been. Make that, HAD been. We have seen through the lies and propaganda. Please catch up and choose LIBERTY.

Zachary Stoltenberg 8 years ago

I agree with Irish, Looks like a nice photograph of a young professional. No doubt it was a professionally taken photo and the dude is probably a model. Looks to me like a prime example of racial equality, a young black man with a promising career in print advertising. If a democrat had been behind the photo you wouldn't have heard a peep about it.

Kryptenx 8 years ago

Kathy Cook is an idiot. It's a photo, 99% of news stories use them. If the guy was white, would there be a problem? How ridiculous, and I lean pretty far left. Race baiting by any side is stupid, but it's not limited to or representative of any single party. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of dems on LJW will agree - not racist, and Kathy Cook is an idiot for making such accusations.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

TopJayhawk (Anonymous) says…

"You mean it might start getting into the '90's this time a yr. Lord amighty what will we do"

Seeing that we are in the midst of a weak El Nino that is predicted the strengthen through the fall and winter, your climate change analysis obviously doesn't incorporate this fact. It's really funny when climate change doubters base their skepticism on today's weather. By the time your sarcasm fades away and you (might) come to understand that the effects are real, it will probably be too late. Care to take a stab at predicting what a change like the one predicted would produce as a result?

getreal 8 years ago

Perhaps they used that photo because a great deal of school funding received in the lawsuit was targeted towards urban school districts with high minority populations. There have been studies that show exactly why they use these kinds of photographs. It reminded of an article I read some time ago.

kugrad 8 years ago

I think the objection to the photo comes down to this:

If you were going to pick a face to represent school district administrators, the people actually behind the lawsuit for adequate school funding, why on earth would you pick THAT photo? The guy looks too young, is dressed informally, and so on. There is plenty to dislike about the accompanying article, not the least of which is that it suggests the NEA is behind the suit, which it is not. Is it racist? I can't tell the intentions of the selection of the picture. There is no race angle that really makes much sense to me.

So, my personal reaction is that it is a very odd photo choice, but that's about it.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years ago

Just looked at the photo.

Apparently at Kansas Liberty they believe it's All About the Benjamins.

Kathy Theis-Getto 8 years ago

You are so right, kugrad -plenty to dislike about the article. It causes me great sadness knowing there are so many, our legislature at the top of the list, who refuse to invest in our children.

Interesting article getreal.

Boston_Corbett 8 years ago

I'm not sure why Kathy Cook wants to give Mary Pilcher Cook free publicity.

Kathy Theis-Getto 8 years ago

So true, Boston, especially since it is making her look like a fool in the process.

alm77 8 years ago

logic, I think a bigger issue is whether or not Bow-Wow consented to having his photo used in this ad.

I don't see the racial connotation, but that doesn't mean anything.

Brian Laird 8 years ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says…

"Man-made global warming is probably the single largest hoax ever pulled on the human race, but we'll never know because the those like Al Gore who claim to know this is happening and are trying to sell this idea won't publicly debate the science, or should I say the lack of it. Global Warming is nothing but another excuse to further expand government and take more of our money cleverly disguised as saving the planet."

So somehow the vast majority of the world's climate scientists and most scientific organizations all somehow secretly met with Al Gore and "his like" to come up with this "hoax" and fake all of that scientific data. You might have a disagreement with the details and interpretation of the science - that would be legitimate, as long as you could back it up. However, calling it a "hoax" is ignorant, at best, and disingenuous, at worst.

situveux1 8 years ago

Your link is wrong to Kansas Liberty. you left off the "y".

svenway_park 8 years ago

Agnostic: Move-on can, and so can Liberty. It's called fair-use.

situveux1 8 years ago

How dare someone make me look at a picture of a black man. Aren't there laws against that?

situveux1 8 years ago

Why don't you just sue them Ag and be done with it?

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