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Archive for Sunday, December 25, 2011

Former AG Phill Kline files ethics response, quotes Bible

December 25, 2011

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— A former Kansas attorney general who is accused of violating state ethics rules while investigating abortion providers has filed a 175-page response in which he quotes from the Bible and denies any wrongdoing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Phill Kline, a Republican who gained national attention for his investigations, filed his response Thursday to a disciplinary panel's report Oct. 13 that he repeatedly misled other officials or allowed subordinates to mislead others, including a grand jury, to further investigate abortion providers.

In its finding, the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys had recommended that Kline's law license be suspended indefinitely, an issue that will be decided by the Kansas Supreme Court. He has already allowed his Kansas law license to lapse.

Kline, who is now a visiting professor of law at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., denies breaking ethics rules during his investigations of clinics in Overland Park and Wichita while he was attorney general, and later as Johnson County district attorney. He has said the complaint was politically motivated.

On the title page of his response, Kline quoted Psalms 70, in which King David asks God, "May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace." (New International Version).

Kline went on in his response to deny misconduct, violating rules dealing with trial publicity, prosecutorial responsibilities, mishandling of evidence during the investigation, conflict of interest, lack of candor toward a court and lack of truthfulness in statements to others. He also denied misleading the Johnson County grand jury about provisions of a law regulating abortions.

The grand jury had investigated Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, a Johnson County abortion clinic, in late December 2007 and early 2008.

As district attorney, Kline filed 107 criminal charges against the Planned Parenthood clinic in 2007, accusing it of performing illegal abortions and falsifying records. The clinic says the allegations are baseless.

The criminal charges came from Kline's investigations of the late Dr. George Tiller, who was one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers, and a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. Tiller eventually was acquitted, though dozens of counts in the Planned Parenthood case are pending.

Last month, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said he had no choice but to ask that 49 of 107 charges against Planned Parenthood's Overland Park clinic be dismissed because both the state health department and attorney general's office destroyed reports on individual abortions filed with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in 2003.

The judge dismissed 23 felony counts of falsifying such reports, as well as 26 misdemeanor charges that the clinic had failed to maintain its own copies, as required by law. But 58 misdemeanor charges remain, accusing the clinic of performing illegal abortions and failing to follow a state law restricting late-term abortions.

Kline said in his response that there was no violation when an investigator for the attorney general's office did not disclose details of the investigation to another Kansas agency.

The panel had said Kline violated rules of professional conduct by appearing on Fox television's "The O'Reilly Factor" just before the November 2006 election to discuss his investigation of Tiller.

Kline said his statements to the "O'Reilly Factor" weren't a violation and that he cooperated with the disciplinary investigation.

Comments

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

His appearance on the O'Reilly show (and what he discussed there) was a highly public thing. It's probably on youtube. He can't exactly deny doing it. The fact that he thinks it wasn't an ethical violation means diddly squat. Apparently Stan Hazlett and the disciplinary committee thought it was and, frankly, that's all that matters.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Oh and does he even address the fact that he lied by omission to a judge?

jhawkinsf 3 years ago

Depends what the meaning of the word "is" is?

mightyquin 3 years ago

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Phil Minkin 3 years ago

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek. [1596 Shakespeare Merchant of Venice i. iii. 93]

deec 3 years ago

Yeah, it is pretty funny that the leftist heathens understand the Bible and the supposed Christians have such a hard time understanding the simple words of the Master.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

I just love how judgmental you are about "the disbelievers". Let me quote to you something I got on Christmas Day: "To all those "Christians" who like to carry signs saying "NO to Obamacare!" and "Keep your Gov't hands off my Medicare!": Today, many are celebrating a poor, homeless single mother giving birth in a stable; to a baby who grew up to be a world famous activist for peace, love and anti-capitalist values; who preferred the company of honest prostitutes, the poor and the disabled than that of the religious or financial elite; who partook in radical direct action against the banking system and who, at the conclusion of his life, was executed publicly as an enemy of the state. Jesus Christ was a revolutionary. Merry Christmas." BAA you are one of the best CINOs I have ever seen.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Oh yeah, this just has to be ALL politically motivated. (- (That's my "tongue in cheek" symbol.)

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Actually, Sebelius didn't "destroty" squat. KDHE and the AG's office destroyed documentation per state law, so bring it on, big boy.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

*destroy (I hate that I can't edit my posts.)

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Why do you think that BB hasn't opened an investigation, especially as anti-abortion as he is? He KNOWS they didn't do anything wrong and the people he would be harassing in such an investigation would have every right to sue this state in open court. Believe me, he does not want that can of worms opened.

jafs 3 years ago

From what I've read, your view is incorrect.

First, they provided Kline's office with documents before they were destroyed. Second, they were destroyed in accordance with existing law/policies. Third, Kline filed his suit 2 years after that point.

jafs 3 years ago

We'll see - I seriously doubt that you could convict them of obstruction of justice.

So, by your logic, even though they'd provided the records, and no case had been filed, they're somehow guilty of obstructing justice by destroying records in accordance with existing laws/regulations.

Because, somehow, they should have known that his office would request them 2 years later.

Good luck with that case!

Kline, if he knew he would be filing charges later, should have put them on hold, as cait mentions numerous times, to prevent their destruction.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

"No, I am correct."

Or. alternatively, you are not. Now all the options are on the table.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

And the case wasn't even filed until 2006. There were no investigative or prosecutorial holds placed on any of the destroyed documents. If there was a criminal investigation ongoing, why were no holds placed on the documents? The truth is, you want to blame the people who were running the government at the time rather than place the blame where it belongs; square on the shoulders of Phill Kline, for being an incompetent attorney.

brewmaster 3 years ago

He is a lawyer, so his behavior should not surpirse anyone. Unethical conduct is an innate characteristic of the legal profession.

verity 3 years ago

"Unethical conduct is an innate characteristic of the legal profession."

Like all blanket generalizations, this comment is not true. While I detest Phill Kline, blanket generalizations about anyone or anything do not further the conversation.

No, I am not a lawyer or in any way connected with the legal profession. I am well acquainted with a number of lawyers and only one of that group I would unethical.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

I agree with Verity. My husband is a paralegal and pre-law student. He takes his ethical responsibilities quite seriously. He has taken no less than three classes on legal ethics to date and will take at least two more when he reaches law school. He associates with many attorneys that he considers quite ethical and respects greatly. The problem is that, like doctors, only the unethical ones get the press or the profession's image is distorted by shows like "The Good Wife".

brewmaster 3 years ago

Perhaps, a review of events of the past forty years is in order. Recall Watergate, Iran-contra, the congressional post office scandal, the house banking scandal, the savings & loan crisis, Lorillard, Philip Morris, HCA, Tyco, Enron, Bank of America, Country-Wide, Merril Lynch, Anderson, Ernst & Young, FHLMC, FNMA, etc., etc., etc.

The leaders, CEO's and congress members that instigated, participated in and then attempted to hide the fraud and corruption in those organizations were law school graduates and/or licensed attorneys...that also completed no less than three classes on legal ethics. Of course, also recall that there are the defense law firms that are dedicated to defending fraudulent and corrupt practices.

So then, to objectively restate and summarize without a crass blanket generalization: unethical conduct is an innate charateristic of the legal profession.

verity 3 years ago

I'll say it again---All blanket generalizations are wrong.

And your "proof" means absolutely nothing. I could just as well point out the things that preachers, doctors, Christians or advocates of most any religion have done. Doesn't mean they are all like that or even a majority of them.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Actually, if it's any of your business, yes I did. But age is relative and he's not nearly as "young" as you think he is.

rtwngr 3 years ago

If Tiller or Planned Parenthood had witnessed one boy being groped by a pedophile, and failed to report it, there would have been an uproar in the media like you never have heard before. But Tiller and Planned Parenthood have only witnessed young women who were victims of statutory rape. So in the name of the almighty dollar and abortion rights, the perpetrators of these crimes go heroically unpunished.

You see if it is a young boy being brutalized, it's a crime. If it is a young girl, and she's pregnant, then too bad. Exposure would endanger the future of the clinics.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

You have absolutely no proof that perps ever went unpunished or unreported. What if the girl was 16 years old and the "perp" 18? Do you have any idea at all how many teenage girls deliberately get pregnant? Admittedly, this was 20 years ago, but when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter there were no less than three girls in my childbirth prep class (of six women) that were in high school. One was pregnant with her second child. And how do you know what percentage of Tiller's practice was underage? "But Tiller and Planned Parenthood have only witnessed young women who were victims of statutory rape." That statement is outright laughable. Geez, but you anti-abortion types are from another planet.

Armored_One 3 years ago

I bet if there was a law banning masturbation by males, the stink that would be raised would choke aliens on the far side of the galaxy.

Instead, we are regulating what women can and cannot do with their body, their sexual habits and most intrusive of all, we're making it an open air debate and forcing them to discuss what they do out in the open.

The United States of America is not a theocracy, nor should it ever evolve into one. The day it does, nut cases like Pat Robertson gain more control over your lives than you have individually. If you think I am joking, look at some of the other theocracies around the world.

Freedom doesn't come from religion. Freedom comes when religion is left where it should be, with the individual, and society as a whole is governed by fair and equitable laws that lend no credence to faith, belief or any other little nugget of discrimination or supposed superiority.

verity 3 years ago

"Freedom doesn't come from religion. Freedom comes when religion is left where it should be, with the individual, and society as a whole is governed by fair and equitable laws that lend no credence to faith, belief or any other little nugget of discrimination or supposed superiority."

Well said.

Armored_One 3 years ago

Key word.

Unborn.

If it's a viable life, cut the umbilical cord. I already know what the end result will be, mainly because I gasp paid attention in 9th grade science class.

Can you throw up a few more completely brain dead examples, or are you done? I'd hate to beat you over the head with a dictionary, glossary of legal terms and a reality check if you aren't done.

It would be terribly rude to interrupt someone that is in the process of making an even bigger fool of themselves than they have already achieved.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Pity party? Interesting that you would describe it that way on an article about the religious right's golden boy getting smacked upside the head.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

Kline is a known theocrat, his participation at Falwell University is plain proof of that. His attempts to impose his religious drivel on all citizens should be a huge red flag to all people, this guy is out to conquer the world and establish Sharia style law in the United States. He should be conxigned to the dust bin of history.

Armored_One 3 years ago

So, by that argument, we should dismiss your opinion as it was found online?

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Wow. I read the first post and thought "It's a miracle! He didn't say anything about Obama!" Then you had to go and spoil it.

DillonBarnes 3 years ago

Maybe, just maybe, it's because this article is about a former Kansas AG.

verity 3 years ago

Phill Kline is comparing himself to King David? Really? And asking God to wreak vengeance on those who are investigating him?

That kind of arrogance truly is scary.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

I am glad someone noticed and commented on this. Indeed!!!!! The guy is delirious with self-importance. We should all be thankful that Kline has effectively been run out of the state and probably will never return.

deec 3 years ago

Once again we see how the right's only defense for their transgressions boils down to "Well, he did it tooooooo!" Kline ignored ethical standards and may well have broken the law. He lied to a judge to further his witch hunt against a legal medical procedure. . He has been suspended from practicing law as a result. Kline did wrong and is now using his religion to justify his behavior. That is the topic of the article, which is being conveniently overlooked by right wing posters. Instead they focus on the alleged malfeasance of the former administration in following established procedures.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

I think they would be more likely to stroke out at what the right has dome with their revisionist history.

pace 3 years ago

So now you are claiming Kline is left, a liberal because he is caught in a ethic violations and also not fit to have a law license?

Joe Hyde 3 years ago

Isn't Liberty University the fundamentalist Christian school that just a few weeks ago hired Turner Gill to be its new head football coach? You know, where the program's goal is (quoting Coach Gill) to "...win championships through Jesus"?

Well, Phill Kline is a visiting law professor there. Maybe he's got a year or two of college eligibility left and can help out with that?

verity 3 years ago

Ding---I think we have another resurrected poster. Or can I say that?

daddax98 3 years ago

You are supposed to call them Anti-choice when they call you Pro-abortion

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

There's a HUGE difference between "pro-abortion" and "pro-choice". I call them anti-abortion because they sure as he!! aren't "pro-life".

Armored_One 3 years ago

its, if you can't find the horror in the concept of The Religious States of America, then I should probably be more afraid of you than I am of the impending theocracy.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

Folks, enjoy it while you can, because in a short while, Kansans won't have Phill Kline to kick around anymore. He has been shamed and effectively banished from the realm. His license to practice law will be indefinitely suspended shortly, which effectively precludes him from practicing law in any other state as long as his license in Kansas remains suspended. While a law license is not necessary to teach law, i doubt he will be in demand outside of Liberty University.

He's gone. He's history. His memory will be relegated to a mere footnote in Kansas history.

Let the celebration begin!!!

Armored_One 3 years ago

Here we sit, denouncing the religious governments in the Middle East, and how oppressive they are towards factions of their populace, but when the progress can be directly viewed in this nation towards becoming a religious government, it's brushed aside.

If the Founding Fathers, may they never see what has been done to their idea, had wanted this to be a religious nation, then that key passage in the Bill of Rights would never have been written.

Point all the fingers you want. Both 'sides' are facilitating the progress, but it's easier to blame others than blame yourself...

pace 3 years ago

President Obama certainly has steered this country better than Bush. He can't fix all the mess left him, by himself, especially with the far right actively fighting efforts or any cooperative solutions. I see no one in the proposed GOP lineup that can do the job half as well as President Obama has shown he can do. I assume that some of the hate for Obama is part of the long, strong and shameful stain of racism that has hurt this county for centuries.

Armored_One 3 years ago

Hmmm...

Let me check...

Nope, didn't vote for Obama. Now jerk your foot out of your mouth and try again. I can only hope you can formulate a better discussion than one involving insults that have no practical use.

I'd use layman's terms, but someone would whine and cry and the message would get deleted.

Stop being the northbound end of a south facing mule, stop trying to do a visual proctology exam and use that lump on your shoulders for something other than a hat rack.

Thank you. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a pleasant tomarrow as well.

pace 3 years ago

Kline was not into "law" he was into using law to push ideology. He wasn't good at either.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Armored_One 3 years ago

Is it impossible to have an actual discussion on here that doesn't resort to the 35 year old version of third graders screaming at each other about who's dad can beat up the other?

Good Goddess, you sit here and blast away at each other, accusing all sorts of nasty little things and yet you stand in shocked awe of the fact that manners are fast becoming a recessive trait in this society.

Have some manners, use grown up words, stop quote political pundits who's existence demands your repeated reference of their catch phrases, and at least make a vague attempt at discussing something.

At least my dogs have a reason to act like you folks.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

To quote something I saw a good ten years ago: "Don't you know that the internet has all of the civility of a Viking raiding party?" If you think this is uncivil, you should have been around during the days of Usenet! Believe me, this is mild in comparison and the trolls on this board are rank amateurs to some that I've seen.

Armored_One 3 years ago

I used to run a couple of old fashioned BBS chat stations back in the late 80s and early 90s. At least there is moderation on here. The words and phrases I saw back then was enough to make me disgusted.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

It depends, by and large, over who you try and engage in conversation with. There's quite a few around who are worth it, and a small percentage who are not. Trouble is that small percentage all puts out somewhere in the area of 9-10 posts a day on average, pretty much all saying the same thoughtless, trolltastic crap, and so you have to wade through it all to get to stuff that is actually good content. (since the ljworld Has Yet to make an Ignore feature, which would improve the board drastically)

You can get a good feel for the ones to avoid on pages like this, where a polarizing political figure is having a tough run, or getting some punishment for transgressions. Just look for the ones that change the subject to somebody else (Bush, Obama), excuse it due to ideology (oh, it doesn't matter as long as they're fighting abortion), or don't touch the topic at all. (man, conservatives/liberals just whine All the Time!)

And agreed with cait48, the trolls here are rank amateurs to those found elsewhere. Probably because elsewhere a few of them actually have an intelligent, simply vindictive, streak to their personality. Whereas here, it's only the vindictive side.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

"his political leanings are unknown since he has never committed them to print."

Untrue. You're welcome to go look through my admittedly massive decade-long posting history. However, since you'd just come to the conclusion (given that I don't say exactly the same thing as you all of the time) that I was just a liberal, you might as well just continue to believe that. No real skin off of my back, either way.

"However, it seems that all trolls, according to jonas, are conservatives."

Untrue. None of the trolls are conservative. A few of them identify as such, but all of those are just kneejerk right-wingers, not conservatives. Nor are the trolls limited to them.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

I have my preferred targets at this point, sure. But it's about five Individual people, all of whom have been on here under many different names, all of whom behave abusively under all of their different names, and all of whom are knee-jerk right-wing trolls.

I've specifically and frequently delineated between those posters (including youself), and other actual conservatives that I don't wish to disparage in my condemnation of your behavior. That last happened, I do believe, about three weeks back, to you.

I freely admit to leaning more left than right, I'd be in denial otherwise. But to believe that lean encompasses any more than a few degrees, and to believe that I dogmatically follow any doctrine, is pretty disprovable, if you actually cared.

But we both know that you don't, don't we?

jonas_opines 3 years ago

"May those who seek my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace."

Christ would be ashamed of your arrogance and presumptions, Mr. Kline. You have nothing of his humility and selflessness to you at all. You should stop pretending that you're in it for his glory, and admit that it's all for yourself.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

Some might. But as you point out, his words are numerous.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Matthew 6: 5)

"Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." ( Matthew 18:4)

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7: 22-23)

I pass no judgment on his faith. I don't think a person's faith has much of anything to do with their actions or their personality, other than shaping the surface way that they express themselves.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

I do believe, then, that we are using differing definitions of faith.

Yes, I question his faith. He has behaved unethically, and displayed arrogance publicly in his righteousness. Therefore, his faith is suspect.

The faith that he professes to hold, however, I have nothing against. Just a tool like any other, used for good or ill.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Oh I don't disagree that it's a purely political issue. The sad thing is that the lives of women, girls and, yes, babies, are being sacrificed on the altar of politics.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

Anything to do with this subject ever, past the level of individual decision, is purely politics.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

What is most scary about right wing radical Christians is their dismissal of Jesus' teachings. Jesus would have been rejected by these people for his radical beliefs that went against what was that era's 1%, the ruling elite. Yet they try to throw up Jesus as their savior and hero, while defending the very people Jesus would be against. Why not try reading the Bible on your own, and not in some study group that "interprets" it for you.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Who or what gives you the right to question anyone's religious beliefs, BAA? You claim to be a Christian, (I wouldn't normally say that but you have proclaimed it quite publicly.) yet don't seem to know or understand it's most basic tenets as put forth in the Bible; feed the poor, comfort the sick and love one another. And biggest of all, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Why not try digging that plank out of your own eye?

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Tacking on "Inquiring minds want to know" is a sign of sarcasm and disbelief, BAA. Had you put it in more respectful terms perhaps I wouldn't have jumped to (obvious) conclusions. Nice attempt to skate but you fell on your ash.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Because there isn't a single solitary question (theory) of science proven by replicable experimentation that has ever been found later to be wrong. Understand I said proven theory (which involves replicable experimentation with the same result without variance). Thus we have scientific questions asked as long ago as 3,000 years by the Greeks that are still proven to be correct today. The biggest difference is that science involves unwavering and unvarying fact whereas religion involves belief which shifts with the winds. (And if you say that science also is based on belief, I will tell you to stop believing in gravity. You'll still stick to the ground.)

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Evolution is a theory that has not been proven. It can't be and never will be by scientific method because it cannot have replicable experimentation with controlled variables. "Understand I said proven theory (which involves replicable experimentation with the same result without variance). " That doesn't mean that I'm going to immediately flip to Creationism, though. There is such as thing as proof by observation and observation pretty much shows me that, although evolution will never be "provable", as such, the evidence is there. Nice try, cowboy.

Bob Forer 3 years ago

No fair. That's too tough a question for the religious right to answer.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

Well, not popular culture, but have you read some of the punishments meted out in the Bible? We don't do that sort of thing anymore. And Jesus was an evolution and a change from the Old Testament, so why wouldn't he assume we would continue to evolve and follow his teachings. His teachings, not that of ancient governments, not the teachings of the Old Testament, and certainly not his death. For some Christians that's the only important thing about Jesus - his death. They apparently think that they can do anything they want, and as long as they are "saved" before they die, they will be forgiven. I think Jesus was teaching good deeds and how to live your life, not giving you a "get out of hell free" card.

Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

"I think Jesus was teaching good deeds and how to live your life, not giving you a "get out of hell free" card." Well said.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

BAA, I have read the Bible more than once. Did I memorize every verse? No. I read it for understanding, and I didn't need a preacher to tell me how to think about it. Actually, I was amazed at some of the things that were left out of Sunday school lessons. Which leads me to tell people to read the Bible on their own. Besides, the whole Protestant thing at one time was to have a direct relationship with God, not to go through a priest or a Pope. Now many of these same churches are telling their people who and what to think, instead of letting them "find Jesus on their own" (Thanks, to John Prine). What is your religion BAA? And how many times have you read the Bible?

verity 3 years ago

"Some folks hate the Whites Who hate the Blacks who hate the Klan Most of us hate anything that We don't understand

. . . Reckon we'd just nail him up If he came down again"

---Kris Kristofferson

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