Archive for Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gov. Sam Brownback seeks private involvement in SRS

May 31, 2011

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— The state’s welfare agency is seeking a bid for a consultant to help it develop “a new mission, vision and strategic planning activities.”

The bid by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services comes as officials with that agency announced last week laying off top staff, replacing them with several people from out of state and the establishment of a faith-based division.

When asked to describe his vision for SRS, Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday said he wanted to engage more people from the private sector “in helping us carry our mission on forward and hopefully doing a better job of it in the process.”

He said he wants to expand that notion to the Kansas Department of Corrections where every prisoner leaving the system would have a mentor, working on a volunteer basis, who would help the released prisoner stay out of prison.

Brownback said he expects faith-based groups and service organizations, such as the Lions Club and Junior League, and others to get involved.

“I think this can be a very positive thing,” he said.

He said everyone who works with the state would have to be credentialed to do the work.

Comments

TheStonesSuck 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh, lord. Mr. Brownback needs to go. Live it up Kansans, soak that gravy up wit a biscuit. All the talented young Kansans are leaving the state because the writing is on the wall. Who will be left when the dust settles? the Phelps clan and the knuckle-dragging descendants of this tool. Mmm, mmm....smells like....failure.

deec 4 years, 2 months ago

Time for the religious zealots to belly up to the trough.

GardenMomma 4 years, 2 months ago

"...every prisoner leaving the system would have a mentor, working on a volunteer basis, who would help the released prisoner stay out of prison."

Nice concept, but this still isn't creating jobs. Who is going to volunteer to mentor when they can't feed their own families?

Linda Endicott 4 years, 2 months ago

If he thinks volunteers are such a wonderful idea, then why doesn't he just do volunteer work? Then we wouldn't have to pay him a salary to screw people over...

Scott Morgan 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes, the Radical Lions Club, yes yes, step by step, inch by inch, the Lions are tracking you non believers.

Watch out, they will get you and next thing you know, you'll be in a summer camp. Next thing you know, the Oddfellows will be trying to send chronically sick kids for free medical treatment.

Yes, run run while you can.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

wissmo, you agree that the way to run government is to create a myth about volunteers doing the work and use all the taxpayer money to pay $100,000 salaries for over 30 administrators?

There are no tax cuts here, and there is no tax cut coming for you in the future. All your'e getting is an explosion of administrators at the executive level. Your tax dollars are being taken away from services and being put into executive salaries.

Welcome to the Enron government, wissmo.

boundariesplease 4 years, 2 months ago

How is it that there is so little information from news organizations about the costs of added Chief of Staff positions and higher salaries for political friends and potential campaign allies, as they replace administrators who were performing very well - and not just at SRS but at other state agencies. These aren't just Brownback allies, but friends of Tiahrt and others from far, far right. Let's add a bill for 'consultants' to the tab - while the current strategic plan gets dusty.

A new mission for SRS?! They have one of the most succinct mission statements around to provide focus - "Protect children and promote adult self-sufficiency". Difficult to see how removing a boundary between church and state is going to improve safety for children and families or provide needed services.

Jimo 4 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't the Lions Club have plenty to do already without doing government's job for them too?

overthemoon 4 years, 2 months ago

And aren't most Lions, Kiwanas, Opptimists, etc working professionals already?

question4u 4 years, 2 months ago

"...hopefully doing a better job of it in the process.”

Hopefully? What kind of idiot messes with an agency to this extent without having some better idea of the outcome? This is a guy who thinks that tourism will "pop" in the Flint Hills if private land owners build horse trails. This is a guy who thinks that Kansas won't lose its NEA money when the Arts Commission is eliminated. Now he's hoping that volunteers will do a better job than SRS staff? Who's going to train those volunteers? Who's going to be responsible for certifying them? Does Flim-Flam Sam have plans to bring in more people from Florida to carry out those tasks? What's that going to cost? Does he have the slightest idea?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Translation-- "Using state funds to help kids and families is against our ideology, but transferring tax money to 'the private sector' is precisely what God wants us to do, especially if they've proven to be good campaign donors."

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Why does he want more 'Private" help?

Because he is spending all of the taxpayer money on consultants on highly paid staff members.

Highly paid staff members who have nothing to do with providing services.

Where is the right wing on this issue? Where is the outrage about government employees? Where is the outrage about spending all the money on administrators and none of the money on services?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, there is a difference. PP delivers needed healthcare services. Faith-based groups deliver nothing but superstition.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

That's really not fair.

Many church groups do a variety of good and helpful things in their communities, and around the world.

somedude20 4 years, 2 months ago

"establishment of a faith-based division."

This bothers me as faith is like a wish or being hopeful and neither one of those should be the basis for any kind social service or policy. Have faith in one hand and spit in the other and see which hand fills up first.

grammaddy 4 years, 2 months ago

The folks who elected this idiot must be SO proud! I'm with BrianR--RECALL.

newmedia 4 years, 2 months ago

Tax and spend. Whine and moan. A libs glass is always half empty.

average 4 years, 2 months ago

Sounds to me like the door's wide-open to 'social service provision' by the Scientologists. They're quite good at creating oddball organizations for that sort of thing, sucking a little public money, and screaming religious discrimination if Christian groups get such funds and they don't.

Quite a bit of that in Florida with Jeb Bush's privatization efforts, which is why it's particularly worrisome to see a bunch of imported Floridians doing it for Sam.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 2 months ago

When the court system orders a prisoner or probationers to attend AA. Is this not faith based?

Nobody squawks.

Are most of the hospitals in the U.S. faith based? Nobody squawks.

The best by far adoption agencies are from faith based groups. Nobody squawks.

A governor of a small population state tries to improve services while keeping costs down and the peanut gallery goes ape.

ebyrdstarr 4 years, 2 months ago

People do squawk when AA is ordered. If a prisoner or probationer objects to attending AA on religious grounds, a court, prison, or probation officer cannot require attendance at those meetings as it would violate the First Amendment.

notanota 4 years, 2 months ago

Some people point at the evidence - or lack of it. Credible studies fail to show that AA or other twelve step programs are actually effective.

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 2 months ago

Hey Dummy, AA is not a faith-based organization.

verity 4 years, 2 months ago

I believe you do have to believe in a higher power, but that power is not specified. So technically it is faith-based.

Janet FitzGerald 4 years, 2 months ago

I have two children who were adopted. I've been part of the adoption community for over a decade. I can tell you that it is the faith-based agencies that end up going bankrupt, or sometimes get involved in corrupt activities. Think of the faith-based group that took kids from Haiti, for instance. There was no consideration for the relatives of those children, who were undoubtedly looking for them. Kids don't want to be the subjects of charity. Kids want families that in turn want kids, for the sake of having kids. God doesn't rip a child from their biological family to be with another family because He made a mistake. Faith-based adoptive parents often say God meant for their child to be with them (but not the first family??). Adoption begins from profound loss. Anyway, we worked with an agency that was not faith-based, and there were no problems, at all.

Jimo 4 years, 2 months ago

I am unaware of a major poll for Brownback in Kansas but for other states with GOP Governors, in virtually every single state, voters say they wish they'd voted for the Democratic opponent in 2010. In some cases this is by large margins (Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida).

(In fact, the Obama 2012 people are delighted that Republicans are so unpopular in key swing states like Ohio and Florida. And we already see on the national level a desperate GOP determined to force the Democrats to 'co-sign' on Republican fiascos like ending Medicare with the Senate Minority Leader just this week demanding Medicare "reform" in return for a debt ceiling vote. Democrats, of course, are sitting in the cat-bird seat, hoping(!) that this can become a fight over whether to cut entitlement spending - yes! yes! please God, please!)

Tracking polls in Kansas show that Brownback is now or soon will be (following the trend) at a net negative approval level by now. I suspect it's worse than that seeing that some of his most mini-dictator actions have occurred within the last month or so.

Off-hand, I can't recall any time when a wave of electoral victory for a party was followed so quickly by public backlash. Hmmm.....maybe the GOP should have just leveled that their agenda was abortion, voter suppression, war on unions, abortion, spending cuts to the poor, more and more tax welfare for the wealthy, and abortion. Then the voters could have just said "no thanks - been there, done that."

average 4 years, 2 months ago

'Generic Democrat' might be up a little bit. But, honestly, I'm going to say that the wide majority of last November's Kansas voters couldn't name Tom Holland as last year's Dem candidate today. This is possibly even true in Douglas county, where he got a majority. And as far as I can tell, he's about the biggest and best star they've got right now.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 2 months ago

Republican governors with the exception of Wisconsin have very unpopular jobs. The states they represent were crashing. They are a bit like Khrushchev after Stalin.

These folks have to tell constituents the party is over.

While some polls show some degree of disappointment, the dem party is not seeing a real bounce. By the way, have you had time to read the recent federal economic reports. Not good mi amigo.

Jimo 4 years, 2 months ago

"These folks have to tell constituents the party is over."

When the GOP tells the Koch Bros. that their tax welfare days are done then we'll all know that "the party is over." Tell us: when does the Republican Party get the courage to tell their corporate buddies that the party is over? Despite high corporate tax rates, the tax paid by corporations is lower in the U.S. than any other advanced country (we're just tied with Turkey!). Corporate tax revenue used to rival individual income tax revenue. Now, corporate tax revenue barely registers in the treasury.

sciencegeek 4 years, 2 months ago

What tracking polls? I haven't seen anything of the sort. Except for the LJWorld, I haven't seen anything about any of the things that have been done except for the Arts Commission and KNI.

Maybe that's why their actions have been so egregious--no one can protest because no one knows.

verity 4 years, 2 months ago

". . . no one can protest because no one knows." If that is true, it's very sad.

From "Kansas Common Sense" (really?) an electronic newsletter sent out by Jerry Moran: "Like most Americans, you probably haven't heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau . . ."

I wrote to inform him that I did indeed know what it was and I did not agree with him trying to gut it and keep Elizabeth Warren from being appointed director. He and his cohorts don't want government regulation of business, just of our private lives.

Jimo 4 years, 2 months ago

Everyone does tracking polls. Try Survey USA, for example.

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 2 months ago

We need to learn from Wisconsin and Michigan and recall Brownback before he really screws up everything. He represents what a fundamentalist christian politician is today.

verity 4 years, 2 months ago

I posted these link previously---unfortunately as far as recall goes, we are pretty screwed. It's almost impossible by Kansas law to do so.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Laws_governing_recall_in_Kansas

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Laws_governing_recall_in_Kansas

It's gona be a long four years.

Write letters to your government officials. At least they know their re-election is in doubt, although I'm sure they all will have high paying jobs in the private sector waiting for them.

I have just fired off a letter to Jerry Moran and intend to write Brownback that I am totally against faith-based organizations in government.

Any other suggestions? We really need to do something besides sit around and complain.

cowboy 4 years, 2 months ago

Dear Lord , I know you don't hear from me often but please save us from the stupid people !

Amesmb 4 years, 2 months ago

But just watch- he'll get reelected (and probably by a pretty significant margin).

sciencegeek 4 years, 2 months ago

This isn't the half of it. Those who work for the state know that it's deeper and scarier than anyone could believe. But talking can get you fired. 100+ so far and more to come.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree. I've heard of several firings of folks doing non-political jobs solely because they were suspected of not being part of the "Team."

equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 2 months ago

Patronizing Bozo! How does he have the constitutional right to make anyone forced into dealing with the KS SRS forgo the normal, decent and accepted boundaries between church and state?

Jan Rolls 4 years, 2 months ago

I said it the day he hired the idiot dennis taylor. All they want to do is privaitize everything they can so they can hire their right wing nuts. I hope all the little people that voted for him and have now lost their jobs are happy. Keep drinking the cool aid.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

"Privatize" is just code for hiring a bunch of $100,000 "administrators" and then spending more money than before on "private" service delivery.

sciencegeek 4 years, 2 months ago

The private sector has learned that there are some things that cost a lot more to privatize, and a few states have found the same thing. But it isn't about money, it's about belief. Believe that your prejudices are right, and all will be well. And, when you get rid of anyone with clout who can question you, and you control their replacements and everyone who produces data for public consumption, you can get away with anything.

Unless the media investigated it and blew the lid off the scheme. But the foxes in the hen house control them, too. It'll all be over before Kansans know what hit 'em.

JM Andy 4 years, 2 months ago

I can't wait until the day when I may have to pray to Jesus, Sam's Lord and Savior, for a loaf of bread. This is Brownie's concept of social services. We are in a hand basket heading south. Thanks to all who voted this SOB into office.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 2 months ago

Anyone that turns this into an anti-religion debate is going to lose.

My concern is that Brownback is removing qualified people based on political theology and if his theories don't work people are going to attack religion.

That's not how I would have done it.

A lot of very dedicated people are losing their jobs because of politics and Brownback. Is that a good thing?

There will have to be some accountibility if it does not bring great results.

true_patriot 4 years, 2 months ago

The biggest issue I'm concerned about here is that this is essentially theft of public funds.

People like me work hard at our jobs, pay our taxes whether we like it or not (as opposed to a huge chunk of corporations in Kansas), and then we see basic services that government is best equipped to provide and that we and our parents and our grandparents have invested in for decades being sold on the auction block for pennies on the dollar to the private sector, which ultimately represents a transfer of funds for working class Kansas to the CEO and rich investor class that benefits most from privatization.

To add insult to injury, the record clearly demonstrates that when basic government function is privatized, more money goes to profits and less to actually providing the services. Public funds should NOT be used for private sector welfare, especially (and ironically) in the case of an agency whose many missions includes social welfare services. It is an attack on the poorest and most unfortunate among us while transferring dollars away from services for these people and from tax-paying Kansas workers to the most well-to-do in our society.

verity 4 years, 2 months ago

You put it very well, true_patriot.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 2 months ago

Let's see if I can understand this. The state has an SRS agency because the private sector does not provide those services and/or can't provide them at a cost that would make the services accessible. We don't have private orphanages, private juvenile/neglected children facilities. The governor and the legislature are elected to study and make policy decisions. The private sector does not have the experience providing social services, nor is it structure to make political policy decisions. Yet Kansas is going to pay someone in the private sector to make recommendations. Seems to me we can do away with the legislature and the governor - there is no independent thought going on. Let's just do what they do in private industry - hire and grossly overpay a CEO from an entirely unrelated industry and hope he knows how to run your company. By the way, we really don't need any GOP legislators anymore. Just their paper votes are all that is needed. None of the legislation recently passed was written by any of them. It all came from outside groups like ALEC that write legislation favorable to their interests and then forward it to GOP controlled legislatures for passage. No thought needed.

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