Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2011

Statehouse Live: Brownback says ‘zero tolerance’ if improprieties found at bioscience agency

June 9, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday said there would be “zero tolerance” if any improprieties are uncovered at the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

Brownback made the comment during his economic summit on the animal health industry held in Manhattan.

The KBA is under investigation by the Johnson County District Attorney’s office, although Brownback and Johnson County officials have refused to say what the probe is about. In addition, the agency is undergoing a detailed audit.

The KBA is funded through tax dollars collected from the payrolls of existing bioscience companies. It is responsible for spending $581 million to lure bioscience companies and research to the state.

During the animal health summit, Wayne Carter, a vice president at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center, said the KBA has been a valuable agency in helping grow research and lure investment.

Carter said the recent controversy surrounding the KBA has been a setback, and he told Brownback the state needs to “make sure we have an organization moving forward.”

Brownback said he supported the mission of the KBA but that he would have zero tolerance of anything untoward or unethical.

“That is a basic Kansas standard,” he said. “My hope is we get through this investigation and start moving this thing on forward.”

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, held committee hearings during the recently completed legislative session in which she raised allegations of conflicts of interest and complained about salaries of KBA leaders. KBA officials have denied any wrongdoing. The agency’s former leader, Tom Thornton, left in April to work for the Cleveland Clinic.

On animal health in general, Brownback said his goal was for Kansas to be the “global center of the animal health industry ... and we have every potential of doing that.”

He said the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine must increase its national ranking. Others at the summit recommended investing in higher education to produce skilled animal health employees and removing regulatory hurdles.

Brownback also said state leaders must continue to fight to get federal funding of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. He said although the state was chosen as the location for the $651 million biodefense lab, it must continue to work in Congress to get the needed federal funding during tight budget times.

This was Brownback’s fourth economic summit following ones on aviation, tourism and life sciences. His fifth one will be on the defense industry Wednesday in Leavenworth, and one more is planned on renewable energy.


WilburM 6 years, 8 months ago

Zero Tolerance is simply code for BB to "discover" a reason for exercising more control over the KBA, regardless of the nature of the alleged transgression. Maybe there is something seriously amiss, but most of the current smoke has been fanned by Sen. Susan Wagle and others with a political interest in driving out the current board. So "Zero Tolerance" sounds good, but sets up the Board for failure, regardless of the JoCo findings, unless its an absolutely complete exoneration.

bornon7 6 years, 8 months ago

Brownback and his cult followers are frightening. People should be afraid, very afraid of this man. Church and State separate?! Not in Kansas.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 8 months ago

So basically Il Marrone told an industry leader that the Gov knows best when it comes to life sciences.

Brilliant. Why trust Wayne Carter and Hill's when you can trust Il Marrone? He knows how to grow the economy.

newmedia 6 years, 8 months ago

Nothing wrong with a audit when we (taxpayers) are paying the freight. I hope it comes out clean but if not now is a good a time as any to find out.

mloburgio 6 years, 8 months ago

American Family Association "the sponsor of the texas day of prayer" is a hate group on par with WBC.

Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the American Family Association " the sponsor of the event" as a hate group on par with Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. Instead of uniting people of faith in prayer for our nation, this event will actually sharpen divisions among Americans along religious and political lines.

The American Family Association to help him organize this event. In fact, one of AFA’s leading spokesmen has questioned President Obama’s Christian beliefs, called him a “boy,” and claimed that he hates America and white people. Moreover, he has blamed gay people for the Holocaust, said African-American women who get welfare “rut like rabbits,” smeared Native Americans as generally immoral, referred to Muslims as “parasites” and a “toxic cancer,” and suggested that Muslim must convert to Christianity or be killed by the U.S. military.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

bornon7 6 years, 8 months ago

Bravo! I totally agree with mloburgio! Well said!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

American Family Assoc likely = tons of special interest campaign dollar connections.

politicians close to god? How can that be?

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 8 months ago

Too bad this is happening. They invested a lot of time, talent and money to create a professional and successful image.

Credibility is everything. Whatever happens, this has got to impact them in a negative way.

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