Archive for Friday, November 19, 2010

Governor-elect Sam Brownback names Kansas jobs team

November 19, 2010


Precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the 2010 race for Kansas Governor

View our interactive map that provides a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of how Lawrence voted in the 2010 election.

— Eight Kansas business leaders have been named to a key element of Gov.-elect Sam Brownback's transition to governor in January.

Transition chairman Kenny Wilk said Friday that the group is working with state agencies to learn more about their functions before the arrival of the new administration. Brownback said during the campaign that he would focus on reducing state spending and eliminating unnecessary programs that Kansas can no longer afford.

The Economy and Jobs Agency Outreach Team is led by Wichita oil and gas executive David Murfin and includes Wichita City Councilwoman Sue Schlapp, who also is a member of the transition team.

Wilk says the team will be looking for ways to help agencies meet goals and put more Kansans to work. The Kansas unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in September, the latest figure available. The next Kansas jobless report will be released Nov. 23.

"The top priorities of a Brownback Administration will be to grow the state's economy, get the more than 100,000 unemployed Kansans back to work and balance a state budget that faces a budget deficit upward to $500 million," Wilk said.

The members were meeting this week with the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Revenue and Labor, as well as economic agencies KTEC and the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

Other members of the team and their areas of expertise are Jeff Melcher, Johnson County, technology; Delbert Selectman, Wyandotte County, general contracting; Dale Rodman, Toronto, agriculture; Jim Spigarelli, Johnson County, research and development; Janie Welsh, Sublette, real estate; and Denise Walsh, Topeka, finance.

Friday is the final day to apply for several openings in the new administration.

Brownback, a retiring U.S. senator, replaces Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson in January. He will be filling members of his Cabinet, as well as positions within various agencies and commissions.

Wilk says there has been a lot of interest in the openings, which should translate to a diverse new administration.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Shocked Shocked To Find Socialism in Ameirca "Republicans apparently don't know that it was their beloved President Theodore Roosevelt who in 1912 proposed national health insurance for all."

East Otis, Mass. - The less some Americans know, the more strident and voluble they become. Take socialism. The wailing about it over healthcare reform proves my proposition.

Shrill critics menacingly brandish "socialism" to terrify the unthinking, forgetting – or willfully ignoring – that while the United States is capitalist, it's also hip deep in various modes of socialism.

Republicans apparently don't know that it was their beloved President Theodore Roosevelt who in 1912 proposed national health insurance for all.

Some American critics of socialized medicine cite nightmarish accounts of bungled medical treatment abroad, boasting that America has the best medical system in the world.

As a foreign correspondent, I lived in Britain, Germany, Israel, and the Soviet Union and did not discover any sapping of a nation's vital essences because the public enjoyed publicly funded national health insurance.

As a US citizen who lived more than two decades abroad, I found socialized national health insurance programs are often more compassionate and charitable than what I have seen with profit-driven, private insurance companies in the United States.

Some years ago my former wife took my sons on a driving tour of Britain and became involved in an accident. My elder son had a badly broken leg and was taken to a hospital for six weeks until his leg healed. Although I didn't live in Britain at the time, the British National Insurance system paid all his hospital and doctor bills. When I offered to reimburse the hospital, the British charitably declined and only charged me $35 for a crutch my son used to hobble aboard a plane home to America.

A decade ago, a federal report shocked the nation by suggesting that our modern medical system was one of the leading causes of death in America. It called for cutting the rates of medical mistakes in half within five years. But it's only gotten worse. Today, preventable medical injuries kill some 200,000 Americans each year.

Earlier this year, a friend entered a suburban Chicago hospital to have a gall bladder removed. The surgeon was scheduled to go on vacation immediately after finishing the operation. In the process of making a large incision, the doctor unknowingly nicked the lower intestine and punctured the aorta. My friend nearly bled to death before the surgeon discovered his error.

Where is the statistical evidence that private healthcare outperforms national health insurance programs? The United States ranks 37th on health outcomes, according to the World Health Organization, and it has one of the highest infant mortality rates among developed countries, suggesting that socialized medicine may afford better patient care in some situations.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

con't ...

Opponents of the White House healthcare plans deliberately distort the extent of government involvement in such programs, when the only thing to be "socialized" was the so-called public option health insurance plan – and that may be dropped. Doctors and hospitals would remain private. Critics appear to have deliberately polarized public opinion to scuttle President Obama's initiatives.

Meanwhile, members of Congress enjoy "cradle to grave" socialist medical and retirement benefits that outstrip those of the old Soviet Central Committee members.

Many thousands of the poorest Americans and illegal aliens already have access to taxpayer-funded socialized medicine and hospitals through existing Medicaid benefits. One physician tells me that Medicaid recipients get free hospital care plus stipends at taxpayers' expense. Yet tens of millions of working Americans whose taxes subsidize Medicaid have no access to any health insurance of their own.

Particularly lame are the complaints of healthcare critics in the southeastern US who benefit from the regional socialism of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government-owned-and-operated supplier of electricity for tens of millions.

America's Social Security program is Bismarckian socialism. Medicare, especially with its prescription drug benefit program is socialistic. Government aid to parochial schools is sleight-of-hand socialism.

Socialism's most vocal critics are often beneficiaries of corporate welfare with all its perks: expense account meals, free NFL box seats, free corporate cellphone use. One firm for which I worked held foreign correspondent meetings in Rome, enabling the executives to visit tailors and shop for Christmas presents in Italy. Exploiting US tax codes, corporate America has long enjoyed its own brand of socialism subsidized by taxpayers.

Like most Americans, I am not overly keen on socialism. History shows that it can curb important personal freedoms and stultify entire economies. But it is not inherently evil. And by the way, if you enjoy your 40-hour workweek, with weekends off, you owe those to an earlier generation of socialist-leaning labor leaders who championed that and so much more that Americans now take for granted.

Walter Rodgers is a former senior international correspondent for CNN. He writes a biweekly column for the Monitor's weekly print edition.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?

By Joel A. Harrison Paying through the Taxman

"The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein. " (We're talking $1.2 trillion health care tax dollars being laundered through the medical insurance industry somehow...)

Ahhhhh yes Brownback the great protector of a medical insurance industry that provides the most expensive insurance in the world. YET does not provide health care so why the middle man? Why are our health care dollars being funneled through an industry with big time expenses beyond belief? Such as high dollar reckless spending on: corp jets • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee. • sales commissions • Shareholders CERTAINLY increases the cost of insurance • Special interest campaign dollars

*Golden parachutes
CIGNA CEO Receives $73 million retirement bonus

ralphralph 7 years, 5 months ago

My goodness, merrill, a summary and a link would suffice. Some good points, though ...

Centerville 7 years, 5 months ago

Funny. I didn't see anyone from the SEIU on the list. I guess Brownback is serious about letting our economy grow rather than having state government invent more of those "crappy" jobs,.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

The only reasons unions ever came into existence is because of crappy jobs.

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

... and crappy pay, crappy & dangerous work conditions, no benes, six to seven day work week, short life spans (work 'til you drop or get killed on the job). Unions did serve their purpose well for years, then they decided they wanted more and more and more, then consumers didn't want to pay more and more, the factory owners didn't want to pay more and more for benes, environmental clean ups and OSHA regs. Now most of those previous union jobs are in China, with no benes, creating environmental havoc, dangerous work conditions, providing cheap goods to us and keeping the factory owners in the U.S., and especially China, happy.

Travis Shinkle 7 years, 5 months ago

The "crappy" jobs in the private sector pay for those union-backed government jobs that some of you think are the greatest things out there.

"... Employers will try to get as much out of an employee for little money..." And there we have it: the reason why government employees are 99% the worse workers out there...

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

"And there we have it: the reason why government employees are 99% the worse workers out there..."

Citation please.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

"The Economy and Jobs Agency Outreach Team is led by Wichita oil and gas executive David Murfin and includes Wichita City Councilwoman Sue Schlapp, who also is a member of the transition team."

Well, you can kiss any alternate energy entrepreneurs goodbye, so there go the jobs of the future. If you don't toe the oil producers line, you won't be in Kansas, no matter how many jobs you have or how well paid those jobs will be. By the way, I'm confused by this move. I thought we had a Chamber of Commerce to do this job. I guess this is just more hypocrisy from the conservatives who don't like to expand government. They immediately start expanding government. What a joke, if it wasn't so disgusting. So are all of you conservative posters now all for expanding government? Just like when you said you were against nation building, until Bush invaded Iraq? He just hired 8 more people, and I'll bet they aren't getting small salaries either. And of course they will be hiring support staff. They all have to have their personal secretaries. Not to mention they will make sure that only the businesses that they promote will be the ones in which they are heavily invested.

Hmmm, "eliminate programs we can no longer afford" by creating new programs that could be done by existing programs. How are the Republicans different than the Democrats? Except the Republican programs are for the rich, and Democrats are for the poor? Who is really waging a class war here? Poor oil executives need a government job, so they can increase their investments and get KPERS too? But good little conservatives will just follow along as Brownback expands government programs for the rich, and say it's not government expansion. What kind of Newspeak are you going to create to redefine this government expansion? Please consult your pundits soon. This should be good.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is not viable option. This is no longer in their purview.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is a PAC for the Koch brothers,Brownback and other right wing thinkers. The Chamber does not support cleaner less expensive energy sources.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

And this new government agency isn't going to be more of the same? An oil executive from Wichita isn't going to be a part of this little gang? This new expansion of government will make sure we never have newer, cleaner energy. They might go broke.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh come on conservatives. How is this not expanding government. You must have some kind of spin.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

The GOP now has complete power in Kansas. It is all in their hands.

Good luck. What service will you cut first? What tax will you raise first?

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Where are all the Brownback supporters who believe that he will make a smaller government. He isn't even governor yet, and he's expanding the government. How much of our tax dollars are going to this oil executive and his crew?

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Man, the silence from the conservatives on this government expansion and it's obvious rewarding of the oil industry is crazy. Haven't your party leaders and pundits given you the spin on this yet? Call Brownback's office. Surely someone can give you some kind of Newspeak to defend it. I personally will be watching this group very carefully. I'll bet they don't bring in enough jobs to pay for their own salaries.

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