Topeka 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 www.kansasliberty.com, 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.
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 www.climatewizard.org, 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.