Archive for Friday, May 27, 2011

Brownback announces big changes at Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services

Former SRS leader says overhaul of leadership focus is troubling

May 27, 2011, 5:56 p.m. Updated May 27, 2011, 9:45 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback's administration on Friday announced an overhaul of the leadership and focus of the state welfare agency.

"This transition marks a new day at SRS," Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki said.

Related document

SRS News Release ( .RTF )

But a former SRS secretary, Robert Harder, said the changes were troubling. "I read it with a heavy heart," said Harder after reading Siedlecki's press release.

Harder, the longest serving SRS secretary in state history who held the post from 1973 to 1987 and briefly in 1991, said he was concerned that the changes Siedlecki announced were done without input from stakeholders, Siedlecki's emphasis on faith-based initiatives raised numerous questions and all the top leaders in the agency are from out of state.

"It would seem like it would have been a good idea to have some kind of a public meeting where there would have been some opportunity to have interaction with the public and people who are currently receiving services, and vulnerable Kansas, and advocates," he said.

Siedlecki's announcement was made in a short prepared statement followed by a list of new employees and their information.

The statement was released at the end of the business day before a three-day holiday weekend. No one from the Brownback administration made themselves available to answer questions about how many SRS employees lost their jobs and what the transformation meant to the thousands of people who receive assistance through SRS, one of the largest state agencies in Kansas.

Several high-ranking SRS employees have been replaced since Brownback appointed Siedlecki.

"We have assembled a team of experienced leaders who will focus on transforming SRS into an agency committed to improving the well-being of children and families, while remaining accountable to the taxpayers of Kansas through transparency and reform," Siedlecki said in the news release.

Some of the new employees came from Florida and the Bush administration, both stops in Siedlecki's career before he was chosen by Brownback to lead SRS in Kansas.

According to the news release, the new SRS team includes:

-- Deputy Secretary of Integrated Service Delivery Jim Kallinger, who has served in various positions in Florida, including four years as that state's Chief Child Advocate.

-- Deputy Secretary of Disability and Behavioral Health Services Pedro Moreno, who has experience in the state of Florida, federal government and private sector.

-- Deputy Secretary of Administration Greg Harris, who has experience working for the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Senate.

-- Deputy Secretary for Strategic Development and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Anna Pilato, who served five years in the Bush administration, including as director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The release lists approximately 20 more employees placed in high-ranking jobs.

Harder said the leadership's lack of experience in Kansas worried him.

"It makes me wonder what the flavor of the program will be in terms of the basic heritage and tradition that Kansans have grown accustomed to, which is doing the problem-solving and caring about neighbors," he said.

Harder, who is also a Methodist minister and volunteer advocate for persons with disabilities, also said he was concerned about the Brownback administration's emphasis on faith-based initiatives for families.

"Does family mean an intact family, a father, mother and children, or is there room in there for a single mother, or a non-traditional family, such as gay or lesbian or both? Are they excluded from the family initiatives? All of that remains unanswered," Harder said.


notanota 7 years ago

I'm sure there will be plenty more jobs when family members need to quit theirs to care for a disabled loved one. Not so much on the job growth, though.

mloburgio 7 years ago

well 390 are moving to kansas city missouri. KCMO lures Applebee’s headquarters from Kansas Applebee’s International is moving its headquarters and 390 jobs to Kansas City from Lenexa, the first big counterblow by Missouri in a cross-border business-poaching feud.

Read more:

somebodynew 7 years ago

Well, people from Florida seem to be getting jobs (and with the titles associated with them I am guessing $$$$$$). Wonder if these people qualify for that no-tax thingy he talked about - you know moving to a rural area and all.

Yes sir, putting people to work (just have to move here, not actually live here before the election).

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Brownback seems to be using the same techniques perfected by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in their dismantling of HUD back in the Nixon years. This guy is just preening himself for bigger exploits, all at the expense of Kansans.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years ago

Kansans should be quite used to that from their Governors by now.

Keith 7 years ago

I've heard of crony capitalism, this sounds like crony governing.

Confrontation 7 years ago

At least one of these new hires is more than proud to hang a large pic of Jesus on his office wall (the white version, of course). I'm guessing they all agreed to do this in order to take away a better employee's job. You know what that means: Less common sense/statistic-based approaches, and more pumping of religion where it doesn't belong. Also, be prepared for more anti-woman/pro-abuse policies.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years ago

The citizens of Kansas and particularly the folks who need SRS services are in for a dysfunctional and disasterous ride now that this Republican Terrorist governer has decided to grandstand with all this "reorganization" crap. I don't know how much longer this idiot can continue to foul up the state of Kansas and remain above reproach by people who know full well that this governer is the worst thing that has ever happened to Kansas.

Mercat 7 years ago

SRS is evil. Any change has to be good.

TheStonesSuck 7 years ago

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

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Taking a wrecking ball to a system that is broken.

jafs 7 years ago

What's your evidence that the system is broken?

My wife works with the DD population, and has plenty of contact with SRS. From her perspective, it's not perfect, but these changes are likely to make things much worse.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

To fill a basic prescription for a person in a social welfare program besides the MD who writes it 3 other well paid staff members must sign off.

Then the patient can have it filled. This is just fine for all those workers, they have great jobs. Yet, is this in the best interest of we the taxpayer. Local, county, state, federal jobs programs have more people working than actual people they train for jobs.

A slacker can actually keep moving among the various job training programs for years, all while collecting money off the dole.

Perhaps bringing in outsiders maybe Brownback's way of getting rid of the KU dominated social welfare state administration. Sometimes a dust-up is needed to find the waste.

notanota 7 years ago

Really? Because the people I know who work the program and benefit from it tell me a different story. They'd really rather work at real jobs, and they're frustrated that more isn't being done to allow them to do so.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

No, not all folks in training are scamming, but a large percentage are.

Talk with an honest social worker someday. They will tell you stories which will make you furious.

I know of at least 6 job training programs in Lawrence alone. Count 2 more if you include the high schools.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Don't believe me, ask a veteran social worker, not some Johnson County recent KU grad who has not clue about real life. Ask a mailman, ask the clerks at Dillons or Hy Vee about the first of the month check cashing by our welfare recipients. Many look just fine to me, seem to get around just fine. Many are very rude.

The cheaters know the system extremely well. Do a job training stint, just before or soon after getting a test job, find a way to quit and start another one.

By the way. I think living in fear of the government pulling your benefits, the humiliation, the fact as a grown person you must live in public housing, or in general anything of this type of life is horrific.

We as a nation can do better.

I would say out of 100 men under the age of 50 who claim to have permanent disabilities collecting welfare checks, 75 could work.

Kansas has the authority to pull welfare checks from fathers behind in child support payments. They don't though. In some areas, getting your girlfriend hooked up with welfare and state housing is considered taking care of your obligations. Isn't that sick?

Somebody is paying for all this. Me

Food stamp fraud is out of control. There are good studies done, but I do not have a figure on the exact estimate per dollar spent. This is one I had handy........CAGW reported in 1996 that food stamp fraud may be as high as $5 billion annually out of the then-$27 billion program.

Section 8 housing is so ripe with fraud it's unbelievable, which apparently includes some of you. Talk to a mailman serving section 8 housing areas. You will not believe what he or she will tell you.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

"CAGW reported in 1996 that food stamp fraud may be as high as $5 billion annually"

Could be, I really wouldn't know. But I do know a couple food stamp recipients that get $10 per month, and one that gets $16 per month. There sure must be an awfully lot of them to add up to $5,000,000,000 per year!

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

I know of a family of 5, pops in prison, who have never, I repeat never earned one dime of income. One of the children now 23 lives at home in Section 8 housing. The mom trained for a job, (one of the pitfalls of welfare is having to fake interest in working) but with 3 kids to raise, now 17 to 23 she can not be expected to work can she? She fears losing her benefits.

They honestly think and complain when having to pay electric bills, cable too. They live here in Lawrence.

This is exactly what is meant by cradle to grave welfare.

Besides the thousands and thousands of dollars each month, the younguns complain non stop about the housing and short term money problems. None of the kids work either.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Oh, in reality they must like Lawrence, they actually relatively new to the area now have several other family members living here now.

Lawrence is a nice place.

llama726 7 years ago

Yep. One family proves the entire system is broken. A liquor store was robbed once. We shouldn't sell alcohol. Banks get robbed, too. People shouldn't be able to go in banks or carry cash.

Your logic is tremendously flawed.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

There is another thing also that is rarely discussed. It's not at all obvious when you meet someone on the street. What you would need to do in order to see it is to spend some time, say a week or ten days, in a psychiatric or a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) ward.

For quite lengthy periods of time, the patients appear to be and act in a very normal way, that is, they don't seem to have any problems at all.

But, at times, the nurses have to rush to help when things are not right in various ways. There isn't a lot that can help besides psychotropic drugs, and a professional that is there to help at a moment's notice, although sometimes a phone call is adequate.

The truely frightening ones are the PTSD patients, who sometimes sincerely believe that they are once again in Viet Nam or in one of the Gulf wars, and they are about to be killed.

Other times, they appear to be just fine, and exhibit no problems at all that you can see. Of course, you can't see into their minds in order to realize why they are furtively glancing around every corner or dark place to see who might be hiding there.

And, if there is someone hiding there in order to hurt them, their only defense is to inflict serious injury on someone else before they are injured or killed themselves.

But usually, a PTSD patient will go to great lengths to hide his problems, and you will never notice it on the street.

But in order to maintain a job, their employer would have to sign a waiver accepting complete responsibility for anything that might happen while they have a PTSD patient as an employee that just might suddenly be back on a battlefield in Viet Nam.

Very few employers would be willing to accept a responsibility such as that, and of course, there could be no limit on the policy coverage. Even Lloyd's of London won't accept a policy like that.

So, the only thing that a person with that sort of problem can do is stay at home as much as possible, and hurry back there as soon as things start to seem frightening.

And, there are many other problems also that are not at all obvious. The only thing that a person with those sorts of problems can do is try to live as normal of a life as possible, and keep everything hidden.

And, don't forget exactly why the PTSD patients have those sorts of problems in the first place - so that you can have a free country to live in.

So please, don't be so quick to judge.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

I did leave out one thing. The VA usually cares for the PTSD patients whose problems originated in wartime, and also for the others who are veterans, not the SRS.

jafs 7 years ago

I think your estimate of 75% fraud is off - getting disability claims rewarded is extremely difficult - they almost always deny your claim the first time, and you have to prove it.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

I have to laugh just a bit here, it does depend upon how many times the police were summoned, and how many times you were involuntarily committed into a psychiatric ward.

llama726 7 years ago

"Don't believe me, ask a veteran social worker, not some Johnson County recent KU grad who has not clue about real life. Ask a mailman, ask the clerks at Dillons or Hy Vee about the first of the month check cashing by our welfare recipients."

Don't ask doctors if you're sick. Ask people who you encounter every day. They'll tell you if you're sick, and they know best, not some stupid trained professional!

"I would say out of 100 men under the age of 50 who claim to have permanent disabilities collecting welfare checks, 75 could work."

And I would say out of 100 words you've written, 90 of them form incredibly illogical or preposterous claims. Wow, it's pretty pointless to quantify something that you have neither the training nor the data to quantify, isn't it?

"Somebody is paying for all this. Me"

You pay far, far more for subsidies to corporations (especially in the defense industry ) and have voiced (that I can see) absolutely no objection.

"Food stamp fraud is out of control. There are good studies done, but I do not have a figure on the exact estimate per dollar spent. This is one I had handy........CAGW reported in 1996 that food stamp fraud may be as high as $5 billion annually out of the then-$27 billion program. "

Other studies have shown that $1 in food stamps translates to over $1 in the economy, helping the economy tremendously. So? I don't buy that number, and it's probably tremendously inaccurate.

"Section 8 housing is so ripe with fraud it's unbelievable, which apparently includes some of you. Talk to a mailman serving section 8 housing areas. You will not believe what he or she will tell you."

Better yet, talk to an expert on these issues. Do you think having an underfunded agency where workers are pushed to their limits, then ridiculed for these issues is going to help, or hurt, when it comes to preventing fraud?

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

your link is least it didn't work for me--twice.

deec 7 years ago

That is strange. If I paste it directly in the bar, it comes up, but not from the copy/pasted link. It's a FAQ from 8/2001 so admittedly the #s may be somewhat different now. "Myth: The Food Stamp Program is rife with fraud. Between people committing fraud to get onto the Program and people selling food stamps once they get them, food stamps is not a good investment of public funds.

Fact: There is little fraud in the Food Stamp Program. USDA audits over 50,000 food stamp households every year searching for fraud and reports that 93 percent of all food stamp benefits are issued correctly. Most of the remaining cases consist of small overpayments to eligible households that still leave households well below the poverty line. According to USDA, only 2 percent of benefits go to households that are ineligible for food stamps, and some of these families receive food stamps as a result of mistakes or confusion over complex rules, rather than fraud."

llama726 7 years ago

Okay, and my stepmother was an honest social worker. Every day. For many years, before she died of breast cancer, which our family wouldn't have survived on her paltry salary.

It does make me furious. Because people are incredibly judgemental and have nothing but anecdotes to back up their evidence.

notanota 7 years ago

Because my friends are "dishonest social workers?" Try your "no true Scotsman" argument somewhere else.

SRS means more than Section 8 housing and food stamps. They handle a lot of cases and a lot of situations, and they're increasingly asked to handle more and more with less and less.

Sure there are system scammers - in every system, at every level of every public or private enterprise known to man. There are people who screw the boss to get a job they don't have to work and bosses who take credit for everything their underlings do and don't do any actual work themselves.

That doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bath water. I wouldn't argue we should close all banks because a few robberies are inside jobs. If someone is willing to go through the humiliation it takes to apply for SRS programs and willing to go through all the effort it takes to fill out all the forms and complete all the paperwork? Give 'em the benefit.

Meanwhile if you've got non-friend-of-a-friend evidence of someone scamming the system? Report it. For cripe's sake, the case workers are certainly busy enough as it is.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

notanota - you commented: "They'd really rather work at real jobs, and they're frustrated that more isn't being done to allow them to do so."

This may be hard to believe, but it's true. Some people contained by the social safety net simply cannot get even a regular part time job because it would result in a significant loss in income.

In some programs, for each dollar you earn, you lose one dollar in benefits. But you have to pay Social Security deductions on that one dollar, as well as pay taxes on it. You also have to notify the section 8 people, so that they can cut your rent subsidy. And, also the food stamp people, so they can give you less benefits.

Ends up that for some people, for each dollar they actually earn, they lose maybe 30 cents. How are you supposed to pay the bills with a 30% cut? Do you think you could do that?

notanota 7 years ago

Yup. We like the idea of "hand up not hand out" but we don't like to actually do anything to promote it.

! seem to recall a country - Denmark maybe? that has a program where the unemployed can enroll in a small business development course. When they complete the course and submit a business plan, they're given a small grant to start their business. They expect most of these business startups to fail, but the ones that succeed more than pay for the failed efforts.

I suspect our big businesses are too scared to let the unemployed try their hand at entrepreneurship. Much better to give it lip service and avoid the competition.

Katara 7 years ago

Perhaps we could get people from a state other than one that has a reputation for losing children in the system and then finding them dead later on?

"Over the past six years, 41 percent of all children who died of abuse or neglect in Florida had been the subject of at least one prior contact with child protection authorities, the state Department of Health reports. The average for all other states: about 12 percent."

Further proof that Brownback does not give a crap to what happens to children once they clear the birth canal.

mloburgio 7 years ago

if you want a republican to care about you, remain a fetus.

llama726 7 years ago

I'm not sure I've ever seen anything more true in my life.

Joe Blackford II 7 years ago

Amen. As an Agnostic, I have Faith-Based in mlogurgio's statement, "if you want a republican to care about you, remain a fetus," that some Brownback appointee will initiate my reincarnation as a fetus before we'll see improvements in SRS.

I'm one of those statistics republicans like to pull out of, well, you can guess where . . . .

Diabetic since the age of 11, employed to some extent from 14 to 48, and adamant that I was still a capable employee in spite of the IQ tests to the contrary. Imagine, taking an IQ test for the first time & discovering you're @ the 30th percentile in areas dealing with visual cognition (look up "Pump Head" + "cognitive impairment" to learn how this can reach ~ 1/2 of bypass survivors).

It took me 3 years to be recognized by SRS as disabled (they wanted to check the Blind Box); as mentioned, the Disabled are anticipated to die or become disheartened & disappear before their first rejection of disability. Hired a lawyer for my ALJ appeal & 5 months later approved, 3 years retroactively.

I Should Be One Of Those Applauding Brownback's decimation of SRS. KS has the worst record on Disability Determination backlog in the Nation. But putting Bush-appointee caliber out-of-state-taters & My Faith Is Your Salvationists in charge is Not Going to Improve SRS.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Watch for expensive privatization to take a giant step forward. Grab your tax dollar wallets.

AND other neoconservative christian fundamentalist values will surely raise their ugly heads.

A campaign to recall Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is underway - YES! Rick Snyder is cutting education and retirement benefits to pay for corporate tax breaks. In some cities, he's revoked the powers of democratically elected local officials and replaced them with dictatorial "emergency financial managers."

Ohio,Wisconsin,Michigan also are being treated to similar shockwaves and legislation. Serious recalls are under way in Wisconsin as we speak.

This is a well funded concerted effort. Led by dishonest people.

kernal 7 years ago

Time for some investigative reporters to do some digging.

TheStonesSuck 7 years ago

Like that happens anymore. We'll tell you what to think.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Where is the money coming from for all of these positions?

Didn't SRS just go through another round of budget cuts?

As a taxpayer, I expect when I pay taxes they go towards services for the poor, for the disabled, etc. Why does Il Marrone think my taxes should go to pay lavish salaries and benefits for his partisans?

Clearly, their plan is to put tax dollars in their pockets and hope others pick up the slack of providing services. It is the Enron model of government.

notanota 7 years ago

Brownie's just fine hiring his buddies for top positions and firing the peons that actually get the work done.

Alceste 7 years ago

Capt.: The positions already exist and are all un-classifed. The people who HAD been "serving" in them have simply been replaced. shrug

When one plays the game of working in an un-classified slot, one has signed up to play politics. The dimbulbs being replaced are and were just that, dimbulbs.

Now, don't get me wrong.....the people replacing the current dimbulbs are even dimmer and shadier......but still.....just saying: Most of the people replaced ran SRS into the ground with the constant "We've always done it this way" mode of thinking coupled with "creative book keeping". An example of this "creative bookkeeping" would center around the replacement of Children and Family Services - Director, Tanya Keys with some faith based zealot: Gina Meier-Hummel as Director of Children and Family Services. Keyes was part and parcel with "hiding" children who had been removed from their homes such that the removal was not "counted" and hence not reported to the Feds. Read: and all the other facts that rocketed Kansas to the top of the list relative to the removal of children from their homes and keeping the removals "off the books".

Take a look at the now replaced "leader" of the KC Metro Region (which Lawrence is a part of), one Lori Alvarado and explain her "superior ways", please. Can't be done. Another political hack who built a "career", largely with one of the larger poverty pimp operations in the state located right here in River City: DCCCA. She's been replaced by yet another political hack name of Phyllis Gilmore who was a part of the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board; recently "retired" and now is just a puppet for Brownback. Prior to her cushy litle BSRB thingy she was a political hack in the legislature out of Richville: Olathe. Guess which "party" she went to? That's correct: Republican. Brain of a pea. Now the puppet master Brownback has one of his own to do his bidding in the KC Metro Region. Whoopy.

Yeah...we Kansans....we got us some real backbone. spit

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

So you get rid of mediocrity and replace it with hacks--clearly clouds are on the horizon. Any idea what the storm will contain, though? A little rain is fine, even good; hail: not so good. My sense from folks I know is that it's an EF5 tornado--anybody spotted the funnel yet?

Alceste 7 years ago

These "folks" you "know"....are they currently in SRS employ?

If enough of the existing staff have the courage to resist and push back, Brownback will get the message. I've seen it happen in two other reason it cannot happen in Kansas: out and out refusal to implement directives with the backing of the "troops" results NOT in instant dismissal but consternation from the politicos who back track. However, the reason it won't happen in Kansas is because those currently employed within SRS haven't the backbone or an iota of intelligence to accomplish....that's why they're mediocre. Sometimes it just gots to bees likes that. Know what I'm sayin"? In 2 other states I have seen this happen: Political patronage types are appointed to run the show. They hold their meetings bringing in the poor saps who are left. The poor saps sit and nod their heads at the "new ideas" and take their marching orders. The meeting ends. But does it? Doesn't have to: That's when the REAL meetings take place and mutinous fomenting of dischord takes place such that the mid-level managers hold their own meetings; agree NOT to be particularly speedy in implementing changes.....and the patronage types get all in a dither. Funny DOES work, however. "What does he know anyway? He's from Florida. This is Kansas."

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Actually, in the case of Kansas Neurological Institute, they DID push back, and the community rallied around them and the legislature backed them up, eventually. KNI is part of SRS, too, by the way. From reports I got, staff didn't use their job time, either, and Brownback screened all public comments coming out of the facility and chaperoned all tours as well, to make sure that they controlled what came out. But the Parent's group, area legislators, a ministerial alliance and area hospitals all organized an effective effort and the Brownback admin. backed off--at least for now.

My understanding is that there is a post audit going on now, and it may be a set up for privatizing the place, and there's no way to say what tack the Brownback admin. will take between now and the next legislative session, especially with the reorganizing of SRS that is taking place, but you gotta give those folks a lot of credit for the low key, appropriate organizing efforts that went on.

verity 7 years ago

Too bad the rapture didn't happen. Unfortunately the tribulation is upon us.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years ago

Maybe it did happen - but none of us were taken up!

verity 7 years ago

I wasn't expecting to go. I was just hoping Brownback and his christian cronies would be taken.

Alia Ahmed 7 years ago

Not only is Brownback firing people left and right and replacing them with like-minded puppets of his, the manner in which this is happening is appalling. Not only at SRS but other state agencies, people who have spent 25 years or more serving the most vulnerable people as well as every citizen in our state are being unceremoniously fired and marched out the door at the same time. This is not compassionate conservatism. How about a chance to honor them for their work and dedication, how about letting them say goodbye to colleagues and their employees or help make the transition as orderly as possible?

In terms of SRS being "evil", it is pretty ridiculous to use some wide brush to paint everyone and everything about a huge organization as evil. As a former employee at several agencies and organizations in Lawrence, it is absurd to say every single person in the organization is "evil", lazy, incompetent. Certainly, there are a few of those folks in every organization as well as many private businesses. Social workers provide services for children and families in the state and it is a fairly thankless job most of the time. There are many dedicated employees in differing roles and professions who care deeply about the welfare of the children, disabled and the elderly in this state.

There are many people employed by these agencies and we all probably know someone who works for a local or state agency. Try telling those friends, relatives or acquaintances that each and everyone of them are evil, lazy or incompetent.

Mike1949 7 years ago

People just don't get it. The conservatives across the nation, one state at a time, has been destroying system after system by Bush area flunkies that my 13 year old grand daughter could do a better job than them. Brownback said he was going to increase jobs for Kanasans, yet he hires totally out of state, and he hires people who have a history of destroying their previous state's services.

Again, conservatives have this wish to destroy America from within. It amazes me that the people of Kansas is putting up with it. Then again, ever since I came back to my home state, I have be increasingly disappointed at the incompetence of Kansas political systems. It is a death warrant if a worker gets hurt here in Kansas. I know, I have lived it!

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

The Plan,12271,1312540,00.html

Followed by taking down our nations financial institutions:

The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion)

Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney

Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money?

Jeb Bush and cousin George Walker were on the Lehman Bros. Payroll when it went down.

I say new Governors Rick Snyder, Sam Brownback, Scott Walker are part of this large plan = state by state plan.

Funding provided by such backers as Koch, Waltons(Wal –Mart),Erik Prince Family(Blackwater) , DeVoss family (AMWAY) etc etc.

All of the above seem related which explains Brownback bringing in “outsiders” which are insiders.

gkerr 7 years ago

Whaaa. Whaaaa. Whaaaa.. Woe. Woe. Woe.

That nasty Sam Bwanbak he playin in our sandbox- we not want him to neither. Gkerr

question4u 7 years ago

What he's doing in the sandbox isn't playing, and it will take a long time to clean up.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

More than a cat can cover up, that's for sure.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

I've been researching these people on the internet and what I am finding is not encouraging. Jim Kallinger is a general contractor who served in the Florida House of Representatives for two terms. After losing the election for Orange County Commissioner he became Director of Development for the Christian Coalition in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed Chief Child Advocate for the state of Florida by Crist, a post where he was senior management in charge of child abuse investigation and adoption. Prior to 2007 he had no experience in social services and he holds no social welfare degrees. He had not "served in various positions in Florida" prior to the 2004 appointment other than as a state representative. This is the man I am most concerned about due to the responsibilities he is assuming in this state. He comes from state where, in 2002, over 500 children were discovered missing from the state's foster program. It's suspected that more than a few were outright murdered while the foster parent(s) continued to collect state payments for their care. In the four years that Kallinger held the post in Florida I can find little evidence that he did much to clean up the mess in Florida's DFC that Jeb Bush's administration left behind.
Although I am sure Pedro Moreno is a nice man, his one "claim to fame" is that he started an organization encouraging fathers to parent their daughters. Most of this work, according to his own blog posts at Huffington, seems to have taken place in India. I'm very troubled that Brownback is bringing in these people. He's dismantling the state's SRS and handing it over to people who, frankly, have no real idea what they are doing. One expects a governor (or president) to give a certain number of political appointments to friends as favors. But children and family services is not an agency that one normally messes with. Most governors have the sense not to have the hubris and arrogance to actually think they can hand over that kind of agency to people who don't have the proper degrees and experience to actually care for the people they are supposed to serve. Jeb Bush tried it and look what it got him. Dead children. And now Brownback is handing our agency over to those same people? This is astonishing coming from the man who believes life begins at conception and fought tooth and nail to over regulate abortion in an attempt to outlaw it by proxy. The hypocrisy is astounding. .

somebodynew 7 years ago

Good info cait48. To me this is all about control. Brownshirt wants to control everything (scary picture with the name and actions), and these are his people to do it. He is attacking at the very core that will affect a lot of Kansans and now he has people who will do whatever it takes to follow His mission.

And hypocrisy ??? I have yet to see one of this group give a c(( about a child once it is born, only before.

Hypocrisy - - how about some jobs for Kansas citizens like they promised while campaigning???

mloburgio 7 years ago

SRS solicits budget-cutting ideas

Agency looks for ways to make additional spending cuts TOPEKA — A top official at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services on Wednesday asked mental health advocates for help in cutting almost $40 million from the department’s $1.6 billion annual budget.

mloburgio 7 years ago

Respected head of local SRS office fired Jean Hogan, for six years the respected and innovative regional director in Wichita for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, has been fired by the state secretary of SRS.

Friday was her last day. She started as a social worker for SRS 38 years ago, and worked her way to the top of the Wichita regional office six years ago.

She said she was given the news by SRS chief of staff Jeff Kahrs, and that she's not the only regional SRS director being removed.

"So I get to retire," she said. "The chief of staff said the Secretary (new SRS director Robert Siedlecki), would like to pick his own administrative team."

"I want the community to know how important it is for SRS to be the eyes and ears for the safety and protection of children," she said.

Her removal, and what she said is the removal of other state SRS regional directors, is coming at time when SRS's budget for taking care of children, the poor and the elderly is being cut. Since 2009, she said, her Wichita staff has been reduced from nearly 600 positions to about 490 now. The Kansas Legislature this year passed a budget cutting $10 million across the board from state social services.

Read more:

Alceste 7 years ago

Careful now: Wichita had the dubious distinction of having the highest removal rate of children in the state of Kansas....having NOTHING to do with poor/bad parenting or actual abuse.

Hogan herself fired many a social worker. No pity party for her. She is the one who decided to play a political game by accepting an un-classified "leadership" role.

"In an Orwellian interpretation of federal regulations, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has turned these children into unpersons. As far as SRS is concerned, what happened to these children never happened, and for purposes of the data presented to state legislators and the federal government, the children don’t exist.

"That is what SRS does on its own website, in its own reports, and when it comes to reporting to a critical federal database. As a result, that database vastly understates the number of children torn from their homes in Kansas every year, especially in Sedgwick County."

Now, don't get me wrong here....her replacement shall most likely be even worse: Wichita Regional Director Diane Bidwell. I will bet money that each and every replacement is a card carrying Republican. Who wants to take the bet?

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

SRS also made the decision to pull kids in state custody out of homes after 90 days.

Never really heard the reason, but it destroyed many great youth programs around the state.

These buffoons are the ones your folks are fighting to keep in office?

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

LBJ had a vision, taking FDR's blueprints and closing up some loopholes regarding poverty.

We should be proud, Kansas is not as screwed up as most states are in how this simple idea of taking care of the few deserving unfortunates turned into huge fiscal problems. CA can't pay bills for instance.

This was the basic idea wasn't it. The few who fell through the safety net? In the early 1990s I visited an older impoverished relative who was given an apartment, food, heat, water, electricity all for just being poor. Actually, blowing through money, houses, cars, husbands, you name it. Had a nasty problem with Jim Beam and Uncle Jack too.

This place was a high rise near 87th st. in Overland Park. The place was ripe with Russian immigrants, and people from all over the world. Young, old, it didn't seem to matter. They all got the same deal. Somebody has to pay for this.

What really was sad was after moving in this relative was all "thank the lord" can you believe this, can you believe that, meals on wheels, the best medical treatment.

Within a few weeks, like her high rise mates, all were complaining, parking problems, too hot, too cold, t.v. reception, new carpet lists, you name it.

Now take this little example, then multiply it out over all the social welfare programs offered and funded.

Not sure people realize the extent of what we offer in Lawrence. There's a huge number of Section 8 housing units in Larrytown.

llama726 7 years ago

Your hero, Brownback, would not help someone with alcoholism. A complete program would mandate rehabilitation and help the person resolve their alcoholism. And that person would be a lot more productive. Instead, we only have enough funds to make sure that some kids don't starve, and people never get better.

notanota 7 years ago

Oh, I'm sure that's where the "faith based" comes in. They'll force everyone to have a come-to-Jesus moment.

Not to disrespect people who have chosen a faith-based path to sobriety. I just don't think it should be forced on anyone or a substitute for fully functioning mental health services.

BrianR 7 years ago

The government is going faith-based? Does the First Amendment not apply here?

Are these the same Florida officials who lost several hundred foster children?

This administration is really starting to look like a domestic threat.

1957 7 years ago

The government is and always has been "faith based". The only thing that changes is what is the object of that faith.

Maybe it is time to reevaluate if the current gods of materialism and pleasure and their ablity to give a fulfilled life.

notanota 7 years ago

If that's the case, what's the objection to raising taxes?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

SRS has a difficult job. Fixing the dysfunctional families that get that way under the crushing weight of a society and economy that's structured to meet the whims of those at the very top, not those in the lower tiers, is destined to meet as much failure as success, especially when funding is kept low so that the Koch brothers', et al, taxes are even lower.

While there is almost certainly much that needs to be fixed at SRS, these actions don't indicate that Brownback has any intention of fixing anything. This is all about imposing a right-wing ideology on the SRS, not about helping families in need.

Alceste 7 years ago


What did people think was going to happen when they elected Brownback to office....both in the U.S. Senate and the Governorship of Kansas? We have nobody to blame but ourselves and we're getting exactly what we asked for.

Further, there were MANY, MANY, MANY different ways SRS COULD have gone a long way back.....even before the consent decree in the 1990's which compelled SRS to start acting right and was brought by the Federal Government against Kansas SRS due to it's dismal performance. Right here in Douglas County, children were wrenched from their loving parents because they had the aroma of smoke on them....smoke from a wood stove used for heating...not burning rope armoa. Kansas has continued to perform dismally and the social workers who failed to advocate and organize on behalf of the disenfranchised...; who simply went to work and got a paycheck....never sticking their collective necks out for anybody but themselves....are as much to "blame" as any thing or anybody else.

Kansas was the first state in the Nation to "privatize" foster care services. We're a progressive place, don't you know? And this banality was done well before Brownback got involved.

This SRS non-sense is not a Brownback issue. It's a state wide issue that has been going on for years and years and years. What did the man sing? "You step out of line, the man come and take you away". Continuing: "It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down/Paranoia strikes deep/Into your life it will creep/It starts when you're always afraid."

Try working for a joint like SRS where you go to work everyday AFRAID "today is the day" because you have dared to advocate for the disenfranchised and you know NONE of your "co-workers" are going to back you up. spit

This SRS meltdown is FUNNY STUFF! Enjoy it for it's the KU School of Social Welfare in all this? Any organizing going on? Any advocacy happening? Nah, just a bunch of back slapping, self-serving hacks trying to get an appointment to visit with Brownback and put it in their resume....hock>>>>spit

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Hope that helped clear your throat with all that venting; now why don't you take some of that spit and help organize to protect legitimate efforts in SRS? Neither back slapping nor back stabbing helps move things forward if you haven't noticed....

Alceste 7 years ago

Simple reply: The process is only open to the "chosen"; "stake holders": All code speak for club members. Decisions are made behind closed doors: Public meetings are "buy in" meetings......the decisions have already been made.

It's simply just a new set of closed door meeting holders that's going on. The people who were replaced are every bit as guility of keeping control over failure and, maybe, mediocrity, as this new set of dopes. Mark my words.

So, again.....this SRS meltdown is funny stuff: Grab a seat, relax, start watching and get ready for a buncy of belly laughs.

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Sounds like a bitter experience lays behind your comments, and no discussion will take that bitterness away, so I won't even try, nor should I.

A simple reply to your simple reply is that there's nothing about the Brownback moves that will improve the SRS experience, as good and bad as it is. It will hasten the dismantling of those pockets of effectiveness and responsiveness that do exist in SRS, and it will guarantee that those who are suffering will be hurt the most.

johnnyreb 7 years ago

Siedlecki/Moreno for Governor/Lt. Governor in 2018! Great work! Sad day for Kansas liberals. Conservatives rejoice!

Maddy Griffin 7 years ago

I hope everyone who voted for the guy is happy. Haven't seen one job created, just a lot of lives put on the edge. Those who could least tolerate it.

Jan Rolls 7 years ago

I said when he hired the lousy dennis taylor that this would happen. Taylor did the same thing when he was with the Kansas department of human resources. He fired all the competent people that happened to be democrats and replaced them with republicans. Check this latest list of hiring and see who has an r by their name. What a bunch of lousy people.Enjoy it while it lasts sam. First you will never be a presidential candidate and second you will get run out of office because you can't hide or explain all of your lousy deeds. By the way sam where is the 1st job you have created for the general populus no one can find it.

Bill Getz 7 years ago

Turning SRS over to "faith based" groups opens the door to species of abuse and corruption we have not yet experienced, as well as practically every imaginable civil liberties lawsuit. It provides jobs for out-of-state GOP cronies of Brownback at the expense of Kansans with good records of public service. On the darker side, what kinds of "faith-based" groups will get on board this particular gravy train? Reverend Billy? Westboro Baptist? Hamas, anyone? BG

1957 7 years ago

Yea there are no corrupt non-"faith based"- people. All pure as the driven snow.

James Roper 7 years ago

"Time for some investigative reporters to do some digging." Right, except new organizations can't afford it, no longer have a tradition of it, don't have much experience with it, and why bother digging around when so little of the public pays attention?

Besides, reporters want "access", not trouble. I'm still stunned that in them midst of so much blind cutting, no one has bothered to ask Brownback to align his zeal for attacking social programs (too much $) with his family's zeal for sucking up farm subsidies. Gub'ment money, whether state or federal, is still gub'ment money, and therefore evil.

The Koch's have won, at least in this state, and this "news"paper's owner couldn't be happier.

Scott Drummond 7 years ago

Not to worry....the well known liberal bias of these news corporations shall get to the truth.

Sparko 7 years ago

And this is his focus. Brown-shirted re-education. The GOP spreads misery and sucks the life out of society. And, again, where are the jobs?

llama726 7 years ago

You could leave the Untied States and live on an island, with only yourself. Then you don't have to take care of anything. Don't expect any help from me, though.

sr80 7 years ago

i bet if you did E-verify on SRS that the program would be eliminated and i am not talking about the needy, it is the employees !!!

Jillian Andrews 7 years ago

The is eff-ing outrageous. Not that I don't agree that SRS needed massive reorganization. It sure as heck did/does. But this is not how it is done. This is tyrannic. Hope you are happy with electing this sob, people. You've signed away your rights to an autocrat.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

These are the same people who used state money to keep Terry Scheivo alive and to justify hanging pictures of Jesus on the walls of government buildings.

Kansas is doomed.

llama726 7 years ago

When you get done using the meth, I'd recommend that you turn off the computer, rather than trying to type comments. Just a thought.

parco814 7 years ago

Now, that's not fair to meth users. pigballin is completely sober and doesn't need dope to get stupid.

Jimo 7 years ago

The only news releases that politicians send out on Fridays before holiday weekends are shameful bombshells.

Here, we have a governor dumping experienced career people and replacing them with political--and religious--hacks. What's next: pray the gay away?

Unfortunately, the most vulnerable people in Kansas will be the ones who suffer from this Bush-like degree of incompetence.

camper 7 years ago

Does anyone know if Brownback has produced a copy of his long form birth certificate? I am beginning to become suspicious.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

I'm to the point where it would no longer shock me if Brownback invited Fred Phelps to Cedar Crest for a prayer breakfast and then signed the paper work to give Scott Roeder a pardon.

somebodynew 7 years ago

cait48 I hope you are joking, because I seriously believe that last part could happen. Probably not too soon though (closer to end of term) and depends if he really does run for Supreme Comm(I mean president). And you can bet it will come on a Friday just after 5pm on a Holiday weekend.

nomorebush 7 years ago

everyone send this to - and then watch Monday at 8.00 or Tuesday.

camper 7 years ago

I wanna see a god damned birth certificate.

Alceste 7 years ago

Surely you don't think the state of Kansas via Anderson County has ever troubled themselves to keep paper work on God ordained births?

And....PS: Remember, the people of the State of Kansas ELECTED this CLOWN. They/We are getting just what we asked for. That corn cob up my wazoo is starting to feel ok at this point. shrug

jafs 7 years ago

Those of us who voted for the other candidate are not getting what we asked for.

parco814 7 years ago

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

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

"The faster they're weeded out of the human race, the better!" Real Christian stance there, dude. In fact, you're exactly the kind of Christian I hope Jesus comes and "raptures". Good luck with the Big Guy. You'll need it.

BigPrune 7 years ago

The hatred from the leftists on here is astounding. Peace and love is nowhere to be found, just ignorance.

This is hope and change. Deal with it, and try opening your narrow minds for once.

If you are unable to open your minds, here's a suggestion: Since AOL (George Soros), bought the Huffington Post pre-election, why don't you go join your brethren over there.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

"The hatred from the leftists on here is astounding. Peace and love is nowhere to be found, just ignorance." This is hilarious. I suggest you read the post directly above yours. The irony is more than I can take.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

I read one of the two phrases libs use when really getting whupped with facts.

It's for the children. The other is he/she/it is a racist.

Doesn't Kansas under conservative leadership for the most part rank very high nationally on raising healthy well adjusted youth?

Some are arguing from the angle Kansas is failing at our responsibility to our youth.

Are we afraid we can improve and maybe work more efficiently?

jafs 7 years ago

If so, then there must be some evidence you can provide of that, that KS ranks highly on raising health, etc. youth.

And, of course, if the statistics are from the time that Sebelius was governor, then that would have to be a factor as well - she wasn't a conservative Republican, you know.

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Why don't you check in your assumptions at the door and do a little research on what SRS actually does? A suggestion: check out the Kansas Health series at KPR:

starting with the child neglect and abuse podcast at the top and follow as many related links as you like.

Lopping off the heads of multiple projects in an agency and replacing them with folks with no real understanding and experience with the current system typically leads to some initial gains in efficiency, followed by a realization that what was lost was very important indeed, and a rather paltry effort to try to rebuild what used to be there. Check out the disasters in Michigan if you want a fresh batch of examples.

Alceste 7 years ago

That is some rich propaganda, Doug! CASA is one of the larger fronts as it is a GIANT aspect of the problem with respect to the distorted "Court" system, families, children, removals, foster care, etc. CASA ain't no panacea and has been allowed to grow and mutate to the point of obscenity. LOTS of Jim Jones like Kool-Aid being drunk around these here parts. Read the truth about CASA and what a joke of an operation it is here: (if you dare, download AND READ the complete report here: , bearing in mind this report is one that was ordained by CASA itself and then BURIED because CASA didn't like what was found.... )

Here are some basic "bullet points" to wet your whistle: an evaluation commissioned by the National CASA Association itself. As Youth Today noted, the report “delivers some surprisingly damning numbers.”[1]

●The study found that CASA’s only real accomplishments were to prolong the time children languished in foster care and reduce the chance that the child will be placed with relatives.

●The study found no evidence that having a CASA on the case does anything to improve child safety – so all that extra foster care is for nothing. (The study specifically controlled for CASA’s all purpose excuse for this – the claim that CASAs handle the most difficult cases.)

●The study also found that when a CASA is assigned to a child who is Black, the CASA spends, on average, significantly less time on the case. (The study also found that CASAs don’t spend as much time on cases in general as the organization’s p.r. might lead one to believe. CASA volunteers reported spending an average of only 4.3 hours per month on cases involving white children, and only 2.67 hours per month on cases involving Black children).[2]

Rather than respond to the findings of its own study by cleaning up its act, CASA tried first to spin the results and then to bury them. Youth Today concluded that CASA’s spin “can border on duplicity.”[4]

In short, CASA is one more thumb tilting the scales of justice against families.

Again, this SRS non-sense has very little to do with Brownback. The dolts he's put in place are clearly there for political patronage purposes and window dressing. "It" shall only get worse for those unfortunate souls who come into contact with "child welfare" in Kansas, let alone any of the other "programs".....oh....and just to save some time.....KNI is a joke and will eventually be done away with. It really isn't even on the radar screen so little money, in the final analysis, is involved. The fact that state of Kansas REFUSES to provide Medicaid waiver programs to provide real services to keep the profoundly disabled in the community is where the real problem lies. (Continued below):

Alceste 7 years ago


We're a state that embraces ignorance and mediocrity, hiding behind what we like to call "world class" froo froo. Thinkers and visionary types are quickly shown the door within SRS be it controlled by right wing religious nuts or "good people". It is what it is.....

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Sounds like I touched upon the bitter experience you or someone you know experienced first hand. Sorry that the system designed to help did the opposite for you/your friend. No excuses for that kind of stuff happening.

In my experience, there is no substitute for bright, innovative folks who want to make things work better. If you can find them and hire them, then do what it takes to keep them happy and step out of the way. Contrary to your experience, I know some of those folks who have found a good environment for change within SRS but I know that there are others who are the opposite, just as there are pretty much everywhere. What I see on the horizon for SRS are the kind of command and control policies that will make even more of the bright, innovative types head for the exits.

Alceste 7 years ago

Well, Doug, what happened personally isn't really important, is it? Wasn't at the time(s); werent' nobody around rearing their head to help(s); were a lot of people ducking....despite the facts and figures....all turned over to Region VII of ACF (Health and Human Services) as well as USDA (United States Department of Agriculture, e.g. food stamps). The Feds don't care: Their in bed with their state counterparts...NOBODY wants to what is right....they all just want a check to go home at 3:30 (flex hours, don' you know?).

Did you read the CASA report I posted? The "good guys" dreamed up the CASA bull butter YEARS ago. Can these "bad guys" do a whole lot worse? I's HARD to mess up what has already been messed up.....Be certain the little guy/guyette and their family is going to get the shaft even more deeply than what SRS delivers at present. Be certain.

Too, a hand wringing school marm is a hand wringing school sheeeee a Republican or a Democrat. shrug

The SRS in Kansas done been BUSTED UP for a long, long, long time. Will it get worse for the line level worker is the question? My bet is shall....because stuff is now not only going to be full on jacked's going to be "faith based" whatever the hey that is!

kernal 7 years ago

Just what does Ms. Pilato mean by "faith based initiatives"? If you are of a faith other than Christianity you don't qualify for any SRS benefits?

C'mon Pilato, what is your real initiative?

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Jafs, I will provide the research explaining the relative high rank our state has in quality of life for a child. Again, I scratch my head over people of our community who seem so dead set of proving we are a bunch of ignorant mud farmers compared to the rest of the country.

Not directing this at you Jafs, but all the Kansas bashers.

Were you frightened by a state trooper as a child? Or do you just swallow what other libs tell you? Why the unjustified criticism of our state?

OK, here it is. Kid Count a legit study using data from good sized yearly samples from numerous indicators feel Kansas ranks 14th best in how we deal with our youth.

jafs 7 years ago

Thanks for the link.

I don't know how they arrived at their rankings, so I don't know how to evaluate them.

But I appreciate the evidence for your statement.

Alceste 7 years ago

Wissmo: What's the deal with your "stats"??? They don't stand for a hill of beans given this is what is being measured: Percent Low-Birthweight Babies, Infant Mortality Rate, Child Death Rate, Teen Death Rate, and Teen Birth Rate

Here's a better report for you which underscores how SRS CHEATS: : WHY KANSAS CHILD WELFARE IS BROKEN

As well, simply comparing Kansas to other states is absurd. Simply put, why hasn't "the right thing" been going on for the past 30+ years? Why was Kansas compelled to enter into a consent decree relative to foster care (which led to privitization which leads to a vested interest in keeping children in "the system" rather family reunification, blah, blah, blah.

"Our" state is a state which has been broken for a long time when it comes to children and families in need. Accept the reality you reside in a state fraught with ignorance. As a 5th generation Kansas Hillbilly I know from where I speak.....and write.....

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Alceste, I am arguing even though we are doing well in many areas, there is room for improvement. The Foster Care leanings over the past 15 years is clearly out of KU research needy, overpaid, under field worked, upper middle class dreamy we want to help everybody.

They can move on to other universities and they do. What they planted stays in our state for quite some time. Take the KU Autism program and all the bragging bleating including LPS did for many years. Now who owns the failed program? LPS does no more than any other district in the state, in fact perhaps less. But, we sure spend more.

Yes, Alceste, the foster care, state custody situation in Kansas is research opinion based, and can be improved. Quickly.

I clearly stated the 90 day hold law for state custody kids is an utter failure. Utter failure means kids hurt.

Alceste 7 years ago


Try telling B. Wayne Sims and Kaw Valley Center that; or The Farm, Inc; or Kansas Children's Service League; or any of the outfits suckling off of the breast of privitization.... Their "dog in this fight" is one big, roid raged animal at this point and won't be going away anytime soon......again.....we got what we as a state collectively asked for; we're stuck with it; and as Colin Powell told Bush " You break it, you own it...". We done broke it I do fear....

Mixolydian 7 years ago

A lot of needless wringing of the hands here. These things happen with the change in every administration. There was a bloodbath in 03 when Sibelius took over.

The only suprise is that it didn't happen in January. Other agencies had their blood letting then. The going reason is that they wanted to wait until after the legislative session and the budget was done.

jafs 7 years ago

According to my wife, the changes have never been this "deep" before - they generally replace those at the top, but don't continue down the ladder this far.

Alceste 7 years ago

The ONLY people replaced were in UNCLASSIFIED slots. They rode the merry-go-round for a long, long time. Did they grab their own personal brass ring? Who cares. Good riddance.

Were they replaced with "better thinkers"? Highly doubtful. Politics is what it is.

Kansas elected we live with it. Why isn't everybody happy now? Isn't "democracy" all about voting? hahahahahahahahahaha.

Always remeber to say with respect to SRS at this time: "What does that person know? They're from Florida, right?" hahahahahahahahhahaha

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