Archive for Thursday, May 14, 2009

Parkinson chooses former Lawrence legislator Troy Findley as lieutenant governor

Findley says he won’t run for governor in 2010

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson smiles as his chief of staff and newly appointed lieutenant governor Troy Findley talks with media members Thursday in Gov. Parkinson's ceremonial office at the Kansas Statehouse.

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson smiles as his chief of staff and newly appointed lieutenant governor Troy Findley talks with media members Thursday in Gov. Parkinson's ceremonial office at the Kansas Statehouse.

May 14, 2009, 1:26 p.m. Updated May 14, 2009, 4:46 p.m.


Parkinson picks former Lawrence lawmaker for lieutenant governor

A Lawrence native is the state's newest lieutenant governor. Gov. Mark Parkinson announced that Troy Findley would fill his old job. Enlarge video

— Gov. Mark Parkinson on Thursday picked his chief of staff, Troy Findley, a former Lawrence legislator, to be lieutenant governor. Findley immediately put the Kansas political world on notice that he won’t run for office in 2010.

The decision may put Democrats further in the hole for the next election cycle. Parkinson, who became governor a little more than two weeks ago when former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also has rejected calls to run for governor in 2010.

But state Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said strong Democratic contenders for governor will emerge and one of the main Republican candidates -- U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback -- would have trouble winning a general election because his politics are too far to the right.

“This state has never elected somebody of the political ilk of Sam Brownback. All the Republican governors that we’ve had have been moderates, ” Davis said.

Focus on economy

In a news conference introducing Findley as lieutenant governor, Parkinson said the fact that neither he nor Findley would seek elective office would give them more time to focus on the state’s economic problems, which many have said are the worst since the Great Depression.

“We don’t need somebody that’s out there campaigning,” Parkinson said. “The reality of statewide politics now is that if we were running for re-election we would have to leave this press conference and go out and have to start making fund-raising calls for folks, raising money for the next year and a half, as opposed to the work that we will do, which is to move the state forward,” he said.

Findley bipartisan

Findley, 44, served in the Kansas House from 1995 through 2002 when he was hired by then-newly elected Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be her legislative liaison.

In July 2005, Findley was promoted to chief of staff after the retirement of Joyce Allegrucci.

Sebelius left office April 28 when she became secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Parkinson, her lieutenant governor, stepped up to the governor’s job.

Findley has been viewed as a low-key negotiator who gets along well with Republicans and Democrats.

“It takes everyone from every part of the state and every political background to get the work in this building done,” he said.

Born and raised in Lawrence, Findley is a 1990 graduate of Kansas University and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1982. Prior to entering public service, Findley worked in the grocery and retail industry and for UMB Bank in Lawrence. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a 2-year-old son, Zachary, and now live in Topeka.

“He is a very well-known quantity,” said Davis, who replaced Findley in the House.

“I think people will regard it as a solid selection. He is someone who can clearly step right into the job, who knows the players, knows the agencies,” Davis said.

Findley said he decided not to seek election when the current term ends in January 2011 because he didn’t believe it would be good for his family to engage in a statewide campaign.

Selection a “home run”

Parkinson said he selected Findley because he knew he could work with him and he could take over as governor if needed.

“The decision made itself,” Parkinson said, describing Findley as “an absolute home run. He has been involved in every key decision of this administration for the last seven years.”

Findley will continue as chief of staff, maintain a seat on partner advisory board of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, which is working on National Cancer Institute designation for Kansas University, and take over the role that Parkinson had in leading the state effort in drawing down federal stimulus dollars. A swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Friday.

Findley earns $100,000 annually as chief of staff and will decline the $31,313 additional salary for lieutenant governor. Parkinson said Findley is leading by example through tough budget times since many state employees are being forced to work harder for the same pay.

House Republican leaders issued a statement congratulating Findley, saying they looked forward to working with him “as we take further steps next legislative session in dealing with the budgetary shortfalls and government growth.”


Steve Jacob 9 years, 1 month ago

So I guess we democrats are just going to hand Brownback the governorship in 2010? I was hoping it would be someone known, and could at least make the election interesting. Guess not.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 1 month ago

Who cares, as long as we get the coal plants....

avoice 9 years, 1 month ago

Brownback only wants to be governor because he thinks it will give him more of a leg-up to run for president than being a senator has. We'd be fools to help him along with his quest at the expense of state stewardship. Think: Sarah Palin. What has she done for Alaska lately?

BigDog 9 years, 1 month ago

Interesting choice .... Wasn't even being discussed as a possibility ... even in the inner circles or within the Capitol.

mcontrary 9 years, 1 month ago

What has Palin done for Alaska? She freed the Christmas turkey while another one was sent to the dinner table. She fired her prospective son-in-law after there was no longer a campaign to trot him around in. She has enjoyed having Alsaka being the recipient of more earmarked federal funds than most other states. She "speaks in tongues". She is an anti-science, self-proclaimed intellectual who believies that being close to Russia qualifies as foreign policy experience. She has enamored all the great unwashed of a conservative persuasion in spite of these myriad accomplishments. I am happy for Findley, but see no way he can successfully run for governor in the next election. Instead, one of Palin's ardent supporters is likely to become our next governor. Parkinson got us coal plants, now he brings us closer to Brownback.

madameX 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought Sebelius wouldn't have had the option of running again in 2010 anyway; term limits or some such thing? Is that true?

jumpin_catfish 9 years, 1 month ago

It isn't always what a governor can for us but what they do to us.

biasedmedia 9 years, 1 month ago

How hypocritical. The Dems were just pounding the Republican staff for their pre-negotiated salaries in this paper, and not even a peep here that Findley will be the first Chief who not only got a sweet political appointment but also gets to keep his PAID full-time Chief Of Staff job to the Gov. Freakin' hypocrites - dems and their subsidiary LJWorld!

madameX 9 years, 1 month ago

And you're getting this information from where? Perhaps you could link to it.

biasedmedia 9 years, 1 month ago

other online news sources are a bit more thorough:

looks like it even got updated w/ salary info

madameX 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, if he's doing both jobs why shouldn't he get paid for them both? (Although I don't know what the Lieutenant Governor actually does...) Or are you saying there's a conflict of interest?

I was under the impression that the kerfuffle over the republican bonuses was precisely because they were not within the negotiated salaries; rather, they were listed as adjustments, which implies that a salary was negotiated and then changed. Also, the folks adjusting their staff salaries were the same ones proposing that all other state employees should take pay cuts to make up the budget shortfall. Not that I think the bonuses added up to enough to make a real difference in the budget, but it doesn't look good.

jasonc_22 9 years, 1 month ago

During the press conference, Parkinson said Findley would continue to receive the salary he has been receiving as Chief of Staff and that he would forgo the salary that is associated with the Lt. Governorship.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

One day democrats are going to need to get on board with new names and faces instead of only bringing back the same old faces and names.

People like Brownback bring lots and lot of special interest money with them so will do nothing to improve or clean up politics.

New people want to run for office yet if they are not a famous name and/or former politician with lots of special interest money = not enough excitement = too bad for good new candidates.

The party and voters need to wake up and support new faces in a big way. Same way with local elections as well... the big spenders win = support for corrupt politics.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 1 month ago

"Think: Sarah Palin. What has she done for Alaska lately?"

She had to deal with a volcano and record floods! I don't like her, but she seems to be a good governor for that state, so leave her alone.

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 1 month ago

Let's cut out the baseless attacks on Troy. He is a great guy and you all could take some lessons from him in regards to being respectful. Give him a chance.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Hey Kansas democratic party how about Lee Jones for Governor

Lee Jones Certified as Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate

Lee Jones has resumed his campaign after being declared the official Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Jones, 53, is a Lenexa locomotive engineer and has served over a decade advocating family issues for his railroad union in Washington D.C.

His campaign is focused on restoring a sense of moderation, tolerance and true compassion to our federal government. "I think my positions are more in line with what the average Kansan cares about," Jones said. Jones has taken a leave of absence to focus full time on his campaign.

Jones was defeated by former Rep. Jim Slattery who brought with him plenty of baggage such as being a former politician and lobbyist. Pat Roberts also brought plenty of baggage including tons of special interest money....even more than Slattery could raise.

In the end a famous name and the biggest spender won. Why is the question? This does not serve well for voters/taxpayers.

Jill Docking threw her support behind Jones.

Lee Jones for Governor

sourpuss 9 years, 1 month ago

I lived in Findlay's district in Lawrence. When he first started campaigning for the seat, he would, all by himself, go door-to-door through my dumpy little neighborhood, and he took the time to meet and listen to his constituents. In the 30 years I was in Lawrence, he is the only representative that took the time to knock on my door.

Findley is a good guy and he takes politics and the role of a public servant seriously. If you dislike someone just because of their boss, that is narrow-minded. I mean, I hated George Bush, but not all of his appointments were bad

I also don't blame Findlay for not wanting to run, especially against someone like Brownback. I foresee a ghastly, ugly campaign because the KS governorship is a ripe fruit for the Republicans when they really need to gain some seats. They are going to fight tooth and nail for it.

salad 9 years, 1 month ago

Here's what the pictures caption should be: "I, rich white guy, appoint you, fat rich white guy, to important position where you can become even more rich and powerful and help other rich white peoples."

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 1 month ago

salad (Anonymous) says…

Here's what the pictures caption should be: “I, rich white guy, appoint you, fat rich white guy, to important position where you can become even more rich and powerful and help other rich white peoples.” ================================= I worked with Troy at Food Barn in Lawrence when he and I were both in college. He was a staunch supporter of the union and is a very decent man. I will guarantee you that he is not the rich white guy that you have blatantly and grotesquely mischaracterized him as being.

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