Archive for Friday, July 15, 2011

Statehouse Live: SRS announces appointment of new communications director

July 15, 2011


— The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which has been under fire for its recent announcement to shut down nine offices, including the one in Lawrence, has hired a new director of communications, it was announced Friday.

Angela de Rocha will replace Bill Miskell, who worked briefly at SRS before going to the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. De Rocha will work closely with Rachel Whitten, public information officer at SRS since June 1.

"Angela will be working to strengthen the way SRS communicates both inside and outside the department, and with other agencies in state government," said SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. "In particular, she will be focusing on improving the way we provide timely, useful information to our clients and stakeholder groups."

De Rocha grew up in western Kansas, has a background in journalism and worked most recently for U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., according to a news release from SRS. A request for more detailed information on De Rocha, including her salary, was not answered immediately by SRS.

SRS prompted a public outcry when it announced July 1 that it was closing offices as a cost-cutting move. The largest planned closure is the Lawrence office. Legislators said they were caught off-guard by the decision, getting information about it only hours before it was publicly released just prior to the July 4 holiday weekend.


Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 11 months ago

So, SRS needs two spokespersons. A Communications Director and a Public Information Officer. Perhaps they should also hire a Press Attache.

Government efficiency at its finest.

What a joke this administration is, nothing but a blatant excuse to lavish high salaries on political cronies like former "reporters" from right-wing media websites.

getreal 6 years, 11 months ago

According to Legistorm she hasn't been on the payroll for Allard since 2006. Begs the question- Where has she been the last five years?

northtowngrl 6 years, 11 months ago

This is just ridiculous! Crap like this is going to make it really hard to prove "fiscal necessity" when trying to get out of that lease agreement.

Brownbackistan... where stupidity in motion and giving Christianity a bad name go hand in hand!

Ceee 6 years, 11 months ago

Governor Brownback and the SRS are now trying to put lipstick on a pig. The problem with closing the Lawrence office doesn't lie in the cosmetics of announcing the decision; the problem is the decision itself.

getreal 6 years, 11 months ago

Angela de Rocha, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman. That's where she has been for the last five years. Brownback is out of control. He thinks 2 communications people can cover up a decision that was strictly political. He could care less about Kansans.

snitty 6 years, 11 months ago

On April 2011, some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. met behind closed doors in Cincinnati about their wish lists for changing state laws. This exchange was part of a series of corporate meetings nurtured and fueled by the Koch Industries family fortune and other corporate funding. Corporate executives from the tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, State Farm Insurance, and other corporations were joined by their "task force" co-chairs -- all Republican state legislators -- to approve “model” legislation. They jointly head task forces of what is called the “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC). There, as the Center for Media and Democracy has learned, these corporate-politician committees secretly voted on bills to rewrite numerous state laws. According to the documents we have posted to ALEC Exposed, corporations vote as equals with elected politicians on these bills. These task forces target legal rules that reach into almost every area of American life: worker and consumer rights, education, the rights of Americans injured or killed by corporations, taxes, health care, immigration, and the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. The Center obtained copies of more than 800 model bills approved by companies through ALEC meetings, after one of the thousands of people with access shared them, and a whistleblower provided a copy to the Center. Those bills, which the Center has analyzed and marked-up, are now available at ALEC Exposed. In New Orleans, Koch Industries -- through its chief lobbyist -- and lobbyists of other global companies are slated for a “joint board meeting” with a rookery of Republican legislators who are on ALEC's public board. (ALEC says only the legislators have a final say on all model bills. ALEC has previously said that "The policies are debated and voted on by all members. Public and private members vote separately on policy.") Before the bills are publicly introduced in state legislatures by ALEC politicians or alumni in the governor’s offices, they will be cleansed of any reference to the secret corporate voting or who really wrote them. Many of the bills have obvious financial benefits for corporations but little or no direct benefit to the constituents that a particular legislator was elected to represent. Still, it may be tempting to dismiss ALEC as merely institutionalizing business as usual for lobbyists, except that ALEC’s tax-free donations are linked to it not spending a substantial amount of time on lobbying to change the law. ALEC has publicly claimed its “unparalleled” success in terms of the number of model bills introduced and enacted. But seeing the text of the bills helps reveal the actual language of legal changes ALEC corporations desire, beyond what can be known by the PR in their titles. ALEC says it has created a “unique” partnership between corporations and politicians. And it has. ----Center For Media And Democracy

Alceste 6 years, 11 months ago is the website to Center For Media And Democracy

while is the website to ALEC.

It's funny, really, how people don't take the time or "trouble" to know about these kinds of outfits until....well....until it's too late.

Now I have a Trilateral Commission meeting I need to be off to. I'll be checking in thanks to the reality that all of "us" had a chance to get in with Aircell with ATG-4 and Ka-band stuffs, however, but Joey insisted I show up. I think he has a message he wants me to hand carry to Samuel.

riverdrifter 6 years, 11 months ago

Just another tin horn -and we all know what comes out of those.

myopinion 6 years, 11 months ago

The people of Douglas County should be livid. He is spending outrageous amounts of money while saying the budget has to be cut for the poor, the elderly and the disabled. The State of Kansas will continue to take our taxes, and then refuse to provide one of the most basic services locally to people who live in Douglas County. Those tax dollars will now be sent to other counties.

Alceste 6 years, 11 months ago

Yet another card carrying Republican Party Professional, it does appear that Angela de Rocha has/had been busily keeping the USA safe for Democracy as a talking head for Customs and Border Patrol:

She kinda sorta falls off the radar screen after 2008, so just must have been in need of a job and being the ever so benevolent fellow he is, Brownback has awarded yet another political patronage job to one of his/ their own. All is right with the world......SRS will be a much more better run outfit with this appointment, clearly. Well, maybe not quite so clearly....but this being the best of all possible worlds, what possibly could there be not to like?

appleaday 6 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering what this week's Friday announcement would be.

chootspa 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh good. What SRS needs now is fewer offices, fewer social workers, and more PR reps! Next week they'll announce an entire marketing department for the new crap sandwich they'd like Kansas to eat.

Those other governors were just silly with their thought that an SRS that actually helps Kansans doesn't need to make so many carefully crafted press releases.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, the real problem with announcing that you're cutting the throats of the needy lies in how skillfully you communicate that.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

So does this mean that they will actually let our elected representatives know the decision, before they make the decision. Our reps were notified by email of the decision. They weren't asked for input or solutions; just a dictatorial edict. These people need to be reminded who they work for. They are living off taxpayers money; they work for us.

verity 6 years, 11 months ago

"So does this mean that they will actually let our elected representatives know the decision, before they make the decision."

Probably not. This is all about perception. They just haven't done a good enough job of making us poor slumps understand.

Oh, and political payout.

verity 6 years, 11 months ago

Gov. Brownback - (785) 296-3232 or AG Schmidt - (785) 296-2215 or

Paul R Getto 6 years, 11 months ago

Welcome to the AmeriKKKan Taliban, Kansas Chapter, Muscular Sam the Head Priest, foot washer and generic liar for his Muscular Jesus. We'll get through this, if the 800,000+ who didn't even bother to vote the last time show up at the next election. This is strangely reminiscent of the Mark Twain quote: "Talking louder to a deaf person won't help." In Brownbeckistan, yelling is all we will get as they shut down government one program at a time.

Ceee 6 years, 11 months ago

If the Governor would cut an SRS office because its in an area that won't vote for him, then the man is not just a slick politician, but a morally corrupt one. We're not talking fringe benefits, new construction, or preferential access; we are talking about basic services that all citizens deserve. Lawrence pays taxes too.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 11 months ago

Is Angela de Rocha from Kansas, or are we creating a job for out-of-state candidates again?

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