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Archive for Monday, June 6, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kansas Arts Commissioner resigns; meeting in Lawrence canceled

June 6, 2011, 12:21 p.m. Updated June 6, 2011, 3:16 p.m.

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— Gov. Sam Brownback is continuing his shakeup of the Kansas Arts Commission.

Last month, Brownback, a Republican, vetoed funding of the Arts Commission, making Kansas the first state in the nation to end state assistance for the arts.

While the funding is gone for the fiscal year that starts July 1, the commission still exists in state law.

On Friday, Brownback appointed a new commission chair to replace one critical of Brownback.

Linda Browning Weis, the new chair, immediately canceled next week’s commission meeting in Lawrence. Weis was also picked by Brownback to lead the Kansas Arts Foundation, which is the private organization the governor wants to replace the Arts Commission.

The governor also shut down the Arts Commission’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, a member of the Arts Commission resigned and criticized Brownback’s decision to eliminate state funding.

“It was tragic. It was wrong,” Lon Frahm of Colby said Monday.

He said that before he served on the commission he may have agreed with Brownback’s philosophy that private funding of the arts was the way to go.

But after serving on the Arts Commission, he said that having a state-funded agency to assist in enhancing art in Kansas was more appropriate.

“I’ve never seen an agency that did so much with so little money, and made such a big difference in people’s lives,” Frahm said. “Having served on the commission opened my eyes.”

The Legislature had appropriated $689,000 to the Arts Commission for the fiscal year that starts July 1, but Brownback applied a line-item veto to the funding.

Frahm said, “Wealthy people in Lawrence and elsewhere will always have the arts, but places like Oakley and Hoxie will probably never get back what they had with the little bit of guidance and small amount of money that the Arts Commission provided.”

Frahm’s resignation was prompted by a choice given by Brownback.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said Frahm was told he could either continue to serve on the Arts Commission or on the Kansas Water Authority but not both.

Jones-Sontag said Brownback thinks that both boards require such a large time commitment that he wants to make sure that people who serve are able to give the proper amount of attention to their task.

Weis will replace Henry Schwaller as chair. Schwaller opposed Brownback’s move to eliminate funding of the commission.

Weis, the supervising broker-owner of an independently owned real estate company, has long been involved in community affairs and art and music programs.

“I look forward to working with my fellow arts commissioners in finding innovative solutions that will bring hope and joy to the arts communities of Kansas,” Weis said in a prepared statement. “I am here to help them know that they are valued and appreciated; I am here to let them know that their art will live on.”

Weis canceled the June 16 commission meeting at the Lawrence Arts Center that had been called by Schwaller. At that meeting, Schwaller had planned for the commission to discuss its next move in helping secure support.

But Weis said state law doesn’t allow the commission to meet anywhere but Topeka. She said the commission will meet again in July after it receives several new members. Five positions on the commission expire June 30.

In addition, the Arts Commission’s Facebook page has been shut down until new commissioners come on board and the panel can determine the best way to communicate with the public, Jones-Sontag said.

Kansas Citizens for the Arts, a group that supports the Kansas Arts Commission and opposes Brownback’s veto of funding, will hold a meeting June 16 at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Meanwhile, Brownback again said he supported the arts in Kansas. He said he will donate a portion of his remaining inaugural funds to the Arts Foundation.

Comments

kseagle 3 years, 6 months ago

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye! Don't come back!!

question4u 3 years, 6 months ago

Auf wiedersehen. I assume that you are referring to the purging of the arts community that Germany experienced in the last century. You're right that there are some obvious parallels, though the analogy certainly isn't exact. You've captured the right spirit though. Hate is the first step.

JustNoticed 3 years, 6 months ago

Hardly, it's a song lyric, he's quoting "The Sound of Music"! Get a grip on your bad self.

MarcoPogo 3 years, 6 months ago

"Don't come back!" is not one of the lyrics. Get a grip on your "Sound of Music".

Zazzman 3 years, 6 months ago

I think you and I smell a similar breed of rat. I don't have the evidence for it yet, but this may go deeper.

These guys want to privatize everything and run the state / nation on cronyism, just like back in a day when your vote determined what services you got. Tammany Hall anyone?

But these days, how we vote is a private affair! And that's federal law! What do you think "States Rights" is all about - just marijuana and slaves? Its the ability for the state to thumb its nose at federal law, and I don't see it being done through anything like the proper means.

somedude20 3 years, 6 months ago

"Jones-Sontag said Brownback believes that both boards require a large time commitment and he wants to make sure that people who serve on these boards are able to given them the proper amount of attention."

Care to explain how Kris Kobach has time to run around the country shooing away people of color but has time to the the Sec of State?

not_dolph 3 years, 6 months ago

Care to explain how Shallenburger is both the Governor's legislative guy and the President of the Kansas Development Finance Authority?

or

Care to explain how Taylor is Secretary of Administration and the Grim Repealer?

Need more examples?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 6 months ago

not_dolph you made an excellent point for Brownback. One person can't do both jobs as evidenced by the fact that Taylor hasn't repealed any friggin laws. All the to do made about the repealer and then nothing happens.

George_Braziller 3 years, 6 months ago

Brownback continues with his jackboot pogrom on the Kansas Arts Commission.

Friday he ordered that the Commission's Facebook page be immediately terminated.

Sigmund 3 years, 6 months ago

Just how will Kansas survived without a art commission???? The horror!!!

finance 3 years, 6 months ago

I guess it's surviving your bad grammar. The question is can it survive you, your grammar, people just like you, AND no art?

thepianoman 3 years, 6 months ago

LOL. Ya, I know. Kansas won't survive. Our economy will collapse and we'll all be standing in food lines!!!! LOL.

photorat 3 years, 6 months ago

Just one more reason for the rest of the country to laugh at Kansas... If I where a young family I would head to greener pastures to raise my kids.

BobandAlice 3 years, 6 months ago

Question: Can the Governor of Kansas shut down my personal Facebook page? How about my work Facebook group that I am the administrator of? I do work for a state-funded program. However, the group is set up through my personal Facebook account. I thought only Facebook could order the shutting down of a page based on violation of Facebook's policies. Did the commission's Facebook page violate Facebook's policies? Or, just disagree with Governor Brownback? Then, again, maybe I'm just not visualizing how this works. If I put it into this perspective:

  1. I, Jane Doe, set up a personal Facebook page for Jane Doe.
  2. I, Jane Doe, work for XXX Program funded through "collaboration with and cultivation of individual donors, foundations, corporations and government (state and federal) agencies.
  3. I, Jane Doe, set up a group page for XXX Program. I am the administrator of the page as well as several other administrators of program XXX Program through their own personal Facebook pages.
  4. I, Jane Doe, post to the XXX Program status updates periodically. Most recently, I, Jane Doe, post updates to possible state funding cuts. Others also post comments regarding those status updates.
  5. Governor Brownback views these status updates on his personal Facebook page. He does not like the updates and comments.
  6. Gov Brownback fires me, Jane Doe, or I resign from XXX Program.
  7. OK - Here's my question: How does Governor Brownback shut down a group that I set up through my personal Facebook page?
  8. AND, how does he have the authority to shut down a Facebook page that provides information on a program that is also funded through individual donors, foundations, corporations and federal agencies. Even if funded only by state dollars, wouldn't that also need to have state legislative input?
  9. Final Q: Am I the only one who is afraid that our personal rights in Kansas will be gone in the next few years?

overthemoon 3 years, 6 months ago

This needs to be explored further. I say the former Arts Commission set up a webpage (not on facebook) and continue to publish information as a privately managed source of information, on the Arts in general as well as monitoring the new 'Foundation'. If that gets messed with, call in the ACLU and file suit.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

I don't think Brownback can shut down a FB page single handedly, and I doubt that he did. Rather, I imagine he simply ordered it's creator to shut it down. Nothing illegal about that. D-baggish, and hauntingly dictatorial, sure. But not illegal.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

Recall Sam Brownback!!

Governors in Michigan and Wisconsin are being exposed to a recall. For close to the same reasons.

oldexbeat 3 years, 6 months ago

Gee, 10 trillon was there the day before Obama became President -- doesn't that count ?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

Attempt to balance the budget? Hardly... If that were the truth then Sham Brownstreak wouldn't have spent tax dollars to implement a new state logo. We didn't need a new state logo, but Sham Brownstreak thought we did...he's balancing the budget, ya know? With a new state logo. Why am I the only one outraged by this obvious point of fact?

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

new state logo? Since when? Gotta link?

jayhawk513 3 years, 6 months ago

@oldexbeat, not to take sides but if 10 trillion had accumulated since the beginning of the US, and an additional 4 trillion since Obama has come into office, that is exponential growth.

oldexbeat 3 years, 6 months ago

You're not correct -- re 10 trillion -- it was during the years just before Obama -- not since the beginning of the US.

Please look it up.

CreatureComforts 3 years, 6 months ago

Big differences...Michigan and Wisconsin are much more moderate states, so you have a large crowd that supports D's and a large crowd that supports R's. In Kansas, it is pretty heavily skewed towards the right, unless you are reading the LJ World comments section :).

I doubt any recall in Kansas would get much steam outside of DGCo. Good luck, though.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

If they are more moderate states, I wonder how they elected the governors that won.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

Arts and Economic Prosperity

This study demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.

Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. The study is the most comprehensive study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted. It documents the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 156 communities and regions (116 cities and counties, 35 multicounty regions, and five states), and represents all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The $166.2 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, generating the following:

* $5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs
*$104.2 billion in household income
*$7.9 billion in local government tax revenues
*$9.1 billion in state government tax revenues
*$12.6 billion in federal income tax revenues

Our Arts & Economic Prosperity studies continue to be among the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.

  1. Economic Impact : http://www.americansforthearts.org/information_services/research/services/economic_impact/default.asp

  2. Information and Services: http://www.americansforthearts.org/information_services/

  3. http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org ( Kansas making the news)

Flap Doodle 3 years, 6 months ago

How many times have you posted those same links on this award-winning website, merrill?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

I reckon if we do a search for posts from you, we'll have a good idea of how many posts merrill has made, given that you're his self-elected shadow.

overthemoon 3 years, 6 months ago

I actually check some of the references Merrill supplies. Usually good and pertinent information. I appreciate the effort. Why do you feel the need to comment with snark every time?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 6 months ago

This frickin' hillbilly is a government operative who doesn't like it when the truth is revealed. Hillbilly know-it-all insists on distracting people away from Merrill's truth nuggets with the same insignificant nonsense...every time.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 6 months ago

Stupid is as stupid does. Somebody said something like that in a movie but it applies to sam.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

74-5205: Meetings. Meetings of the commission may be held in Topeka, or at such other places within or without the state, as may be directed or authorized by the governor.

Why do Il Marrone and his GOP partisans believe they can lie at every opportunity in order to get their way?

Even on a subject as simple as a meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission, they choose to lie. It is astounding.

If you want to cancel a meeting, then cancel the meeting. Why lie about your reasoning? Il Marrone and his GOP partisans are running their own Ministry of Propaganda, and the media is blindly accepting its spin.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

The Kansas Arts Commission has long met in locations outside of Topeka. They have met in local communities across the state, including Concordia, Hays, Salina, Topeka, Lawrence, Wichita, etc. etc. etc.

Unbelievable arrogance by Il Marrone.

oldexbeat 3 years, 6 months ago

Lies are not an issue with God on your side, right ? Say anything ?

Please some one organize some gallery shows based on Brownback, and the color brown. Could be a lot of fun.

Brownback, remember, isn't even in favor of the Reformation.

How unAmerican is that ....

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

In November, 2008, the Commission met in Greensburg at the 5.4.7. Arts Center.

Apparently Il Marrone believes they broke the law at that meeting. In Greensburg. At the Arts Center created after the town was destroyed by a tornado.

Good for Il Marrone and good for his partisan supporters. All Kansans should have such disdain for Greensburg. That meeting was illegal and should have been in Topeka.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 6 months ago

How can the new commission chairperson cancel a meeting set by the others in the first place? If they haven't had a meeting to pass her proposal to cancel and reschedule the meeting, then she's making a decision without the consent of the others. Is that legal?

Sounds like a power play, plain and simple. Brownback told the commissioner to resign because he wants to stack the commission with his boobs. If he has a majority, he can do what he wants even tho he can't technically disband the legislature-created commission.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

"Frahm’s resignation was prompted by a choice given by Brownback.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said Frahm was told he could either continue to serve on the Arts Commission or on the Kansas Water Authority but not both."

Given that he had essentially just eliminated the Kansas Arts Commission, can this really be called a "choice?"

SouthWestKs 3 years, 6 months ago

MAN-UP and stop your whining!! The moneys gone, give it up..

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

All this whining about people voicing their opinions shows a tremendous amount of immaturity.

Not everyone blindly follows Il Marrone as one of his loyal partisans. Stop whining about it.

rtwngr 3 years, 6 months ago

Goodbye to a money drain! Way to go, Sam! That's why I voted for you.

Don't listen to Merrill. He/She is going to move back to Berkeley one of these days, hopefully.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

What do you suggest the Koch brothers do with the your share of the money that was "saved?" (that comes out to about 29 cents a year.)

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

From the Right Wing Watch web page about the American Family Association http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/american-family-association: (I am indebted to Ralph Reed for bringing this page to our attention.)

"'Indecent influences in American culture include: television, the separation of church and state, pornography, 'the homosexual agenda,' premarital sex, legal abortion, the National Endowment for the Arts . . ."

I take this to mean that Brownback's ultimate goal is to destroy the Arts Commission in Kansas or completely control it. This is just a round-about way of getting there.

When George W. Bush became president, he began accruing more power to the presidency. Now President Obama is using that power. Once power becomes part of a political position, the next person to hold that position may have a diametrically opposed agenda, but he/she rarely gives up the power.

Those who are applauding what Brownback is doing may not be so happy when someone who they don't agree with takes power.

optimist 3 years, 6 months ago

That is exactly why the government should fund nothing except those things only governments can (i.e. roads, bridges). When the government funds it then and only then can they control it. If you truly want the arts to reflect the free expression of the individual then Brownback is the one guaranteeing it into the future. It is a great first step.

thepianoman 3 years, 6 months ago

Awesome statement! Couldn't agree more!

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

I will repeat what I posted below:

If this were just about the arts, I wouldn't be so concerned.

The ultimate goal is what I am concerned about. I don't want to live in a Christian Taliban-like state or country and that, I fear, is where Mr. Brownback wants to take us.

optimist 3 years, 6 months ago

If you value the arts then write the check. This entitlement mentality that says the government on behalf of a segment of the population is authorized to take a disproportionate amount of property (money) from another segment and distribute it amongst those that believe themselves to be the entitled is what is destructive to the our society.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

If you value wars (that are not in self-defense), then write the check.

If you value subsidies for a variety of businesses, then write the check.

If you value wasteful renovations of the state capital building, then write the check.

Etc.

As soon as I get my tax dollars back that go towards things I don't value, I'll be glad to send them directly to arts organizations.

optimist 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree with every one of your points. The government should take little from the individual and provide little to the individual. The more the government effects the lives of the individual, especially economically, the less freedom to make choices the individual has. This is a simple concept; none of us should care that much who wins elections. We only care so much because of the impact it has on us individually and that is not what this country was founded on.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

This assumes that we, as a society, can meet all our needs on an individual basis. But no matter how much you want it to be otherwise, we can't.

For some things, we need to come together to do what needs to be done, and government is one of the ways we do that.

We'll never be able to wholly agree on what needs done through government, but that's why we have elections. It's an imperfect way of handling it, but it's all we've got. Getting big money out of that process, and a much more informed and involved electorate into it, would go a long ways towards making sure our government and economy are more transparent and responsive, and less corrupt.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

If this were just about the arts, I wouldn't be so concerned.

The ultimate goal is what I am concerned about. I don't want to live in a Christian Taliban-like state or country and that, I fear, is where Mr. Brownback wants to take us.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 6 months ago

Kansas is looking more and more like a soviet style Bulgarian government than a Christian taliban one. frankly. Cheap, highly centralized, influenced from afar, unresponsive to the majority of its citizens, unimaginative, ineffective, and otherwise an embarrassment.

optimist 3 years, 6 months ago

So if a Republican increases funding for the arts they are trying to control the arts but if they reduce or eliminate the funding they are trying to eradicate the arts in favor of some conspiracy to make this a Christian religious state devoid of freedom. I reiterate my point that being truly free and without fear of government can only be achieved through self reliance and restrictions on government. Short of that you are okay with being just another lamb.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

whaaaaa????

Your making up a fear.

Yes, we should stand vigilant against the government controlling the arts.... i guess....

Good thing that such a case has never.... ever.... .ever... occurred, nor was it ever.... ever.... even close to maybe kind of occurring.

Instead, the situation was this: for decades, elected representatives agreed that a modest investment into art programs for the state, specifically in communities with limited resources, was a good investment..... you know... similar to ever other state in the nation.

But that is just tooooooo whack, huh? What a crazy effing concept. Investment, by the people, in the arts.

Holy crap.

I suppose you're right though. Had the arts commission been allowed to continue, nobody would be able to create art in a truly free voice. And now that the funding has been eradicated, our freedom of expression has been liberated.

thanks for clearing that up. Tool.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

How about we tax renters here in lawrence. maybe a 10% tax on the rent. Spend the revenue in parts on the arts, schools and othere things we so badly want.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

Any other cities that you know of do that?

And, what would the justification be exactly?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it would stimulate the housing market by encouraging people to become owners rather than renters. While that may be "a" reason, I didn't really mean it, just thought it would be cute to throw that out there.

gudpoynt 3 years, 6 months ago

don't landlords typically set the rental price at a level to cover their expenses, including property taxes? Or is my landlord just being a jerk?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

Is there a reason you're singling out renters, who are already subject to the same taxes as everyone else?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

"How about we tax renters here in lawrence. maybe a 10% tax on the rent. Spend the revenue in parts on the arts, schools and othere things we so badly want."

Let the voters decide at the voting booth in November!!!!!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 6 months ago

"Let the voters decide" - No, only renters should vote for a tax increase on renters, just like only property owners should vote on tax increases on property. Oops!!!

Kim Murphree 3 years, 6 months ago

She's afraid to have the meeting in Lawrence...that's sad, funny, and very telling.

Terry Jacobsen 3 years, 6 months ago

Didn't say anything about being afraid. That is your opinion, but isn't necessarily fact. Of course your entitled to your opinon, but I'm entitled to not agree with you.

woodscolt 3 years, 6 months ago

some people are happy their cake and circus will still be paid for. Asphalt.

woodscolt 3 years, 6 months ago

Slimeback aspiring to be scrooge. He's the opposite of robin hood, you know steal from the poor and give to the rich. The only difference between slimeback and scrooge is that at least scrooge realized how despicable he was and changed. slimeback will just slime on.

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

gudpoynt (anonymous) replies… don't landlords typically set the rental price at a level to cover their expenses, including property taxes? Or is my landlord just being a jerk?

Yep but big but. Property taxes on rental units tend to track property taxes on similar sized homes. Only in the rental unit the tax is spread across all the renters and the tax deduiction the owners get. Leads to much lower tax per family and a delay in passing on increases until the next lease.

Since property taxes are for schools, AND such things taxing renters would better share the burden of providing civic services.

No JAFS, was a renter for half my life and have nothing against them. On the other hand I have never lived in a jurisdiction with such a high percentage of renters. Normally the tax payer and majority voter limits tax increases. In Lawrence most of the voters do not see the direct effect of voting for a tax increase (unless in sales tax)

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

That's why I don't understand why you'd move to Lawrence - college towns always have a higher percentage of renters.

If I own a house alone, and pay all of the property tax, does that give me the right to demand that you and your wife should pay 2x as much? Otherwise, you're each only paying 1/2 of the taxes, right?

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

Huh??? You lost me.

I justt want everybody to pay a responsible amount for the services they want and I want that cost visible so decisions to inistitute new services cost all of us. Majority riule and majority pay

George Lippencott 3 years, 6 months ago

JAFS

I did research in finding rental taxes. Found exactly none so my comment is obviously tongue in cheek. Of course only a few cities have more renters than owner occupied homes and they have similar issues to us (frequent tax increases). It is not surprising that many of those cities are college towns. But even there in about half the cases the town is not predominant in the encasing county and only the town taxes go up - and people move to the county.

JAFS somebody has to pay for the arts we keep arguing about, since the most noise is coming from Lawrence and renters are in the majority here why not renters – majority rule – right!!!

Terry Jacobsen 3 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, let's waste more of the taxpayers money on something that isn't going to happen.

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