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Archive for Friday, September 16, 2011

Statehouse Live: About 250 people rally against Brownback policies

September 16, 2011, 11:58 a.m. Updated September 16, 2011, 12:46 p.m.

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— About 250 people on Friday rallied at the Capitol, upset with Gov. Sam Brownback's agenda and vowing to do something about it.

Tamara Werth, left, and Crystal McComas, both of Lawrence, on Friday speak at rally on the south steps of the Capitol.

Tamara Werth, left, and Crystal McComas, both of Lawrence, on Friday speak at rally on the south steps of the Capitol.

Crowd listens Friday at Statehouse rally of Kansans United in Voice & Spirit.

Crowd listens Friday at Statehouse rally of Kansans United in Voice & Spirit.

Pat Sloop, of Wichita, holds sign during rally held to protest Gov. Sam Brownback's policies.

Pat Sloop, of Wichita, holds sign during rally held to protest Gov. Sam Brownback's policies.

"Our Kansas way of life is in jeopardy," said Crystal McComas of Lawrence. McComas, a social worker, and Tamara Werth, a psychologist from Lawrence, organized the event to protest recent Brownback decisions.

They formed a group called Kansans United in Voice & Spirit and said they hoped the rally would initiate local chapters across the state.

Speakers at the rally criticized Brownback, a Republican who took office in January, for cutting public schools, social services and the arts.

Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association, said Brownback's cut of $232 in base state aid per student amounted to a nearly $110,000 cut to Quail Run Elementary school in Lawrence.

He asked how cuts like those across the state would affect schools' abilities to replace textbooks, hire teachers and para-professionals. He said the state has shed nearly 1,300 teacher positions and 935 support personnel between the 2008-9 and 2010-11 school years.

And he warned that Brownback's plan to cut income taxes would further erode the state's ability to pay for needed services. "The state will have no choice but to enact massive cuts," he said.

Brownback has defended his budget cuts as necessary in tough economic times. And he says reducing the state income tax would attract more businesses to Kansas and grow the economy.

Diana Gibson said budget cuts and policy changes under Kansas Department of Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. have hurt her 85-year-old uncle who is a World War II combat veteran.

Gibson said her uncle lives with her brother and sister-in-law in south-central Kansas and receives home-based care with her sister-in-law being designated as the caretaker.

But the state has cut the hours of care from 34 hours per week to 7 hours per week and doesn't want the sister-in-law to be the provider, she said. The state has said they will pay for the elderly man to go into a nursing home, which will cost three times as much than if he stayed at home, she said. But her uncle wants to stay home, she said.

"In less than nine months, they (the Brownback administration) have pretty much destroyed the program," she said.

John Divine of Salina, and former chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission, said Brownback's veto of funding for the arts has sent a negative message throughout the country.

The message is, he said, "If you want to be creative, go to Colorado, go to Nebraska, go to Missouri. Don't come to Kansas."

Brownback has said arts funding is not a core function of state government, and the funding loss can be made up through private donations.

Douglas County Commissioner Nancy Thellman, who attended the rally, said of Brownback, "He is not representing Kansas values."

Thellman agreed that the state economy was in tough shape, but said Brownback's moves were part of his "commitment to corporate America."

In response to the rally, Brownback's spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said, “In the past eight months, Kansas has added more than 13,000 private sector jobs and turned a budget deficit into a $100 million surplus, but there’s still a lot of work to do."

Total unemployment, however, has increased. The Kansas jobless rate increased in August for the first time in more than two years, going from 6.8 percent in July to 6.9 percent.

Comments

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I welcome all voices in Kansas! We need to hear from everyone--however we need a little honesty!--Brownback would not have cut anything out of education and other programs if he was not required to balance the budget which he did--we may not all agree on all of the cuts but the bottom line was that they had to be made. Really we need to reform education and other programs to get the monies to the teachers and the classrooms and reduce administrative costs which are so high.

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Boston_Corbett 2 years, 7 months ago

It's good to know Merrill isn't mowing his lawns wearing Lycra.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

Keep it up merrill, soon we will be rationed on use.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 7 months ago

It’s time to send a message to the Koch Brothers and Koch Industries that they cannot treat American citizens this way and still expect us to support their products: http://kaystreet.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/boycott-koch-industry-products/

Koch Industry Gasoline: Chevron Union Union 76 Conoco

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***Georgia Pacific Building products Dense Armor Drywall and Decking ToughArmor Gypsum board Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood Flexrock Densglass sheathing G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters)- Agricultural Plaster Arts & Crafts Plaster Dental Plaster General Purpose Plaster Glass-reinforced Gypsum (GRG) Industrial Tooling Plaster Investment Casting Plaster Medical Plaster Metal Casting Plaster Pottery Plaster FibreStrong Rim board G/P Lam board Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing Blue Ribbon Sub-floor DryGuard Enhanced OSB Nautilus Wall Sheathing Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing Broadspan Engineered Wood Products XJ 85 I-Joists FireDefender Banded Cores FireDefender FS FireDefender Mineral Core Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard, Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF Wood Fiberboard - Commercial Roof Fiberboard Hushboard Sound Deadening Board Regular Fiberboard Sheathing Structural Fiberboard Sheathing

H/T Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries http://kaystreet.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/boycott-koch-industry-products/

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 7 months ago

The $56 million in corporate welfare tax dollars Brownback recently gave two corporations would have funded USD 497 and saved a ton of jobs. Plus saved locals from new tax increases as well. Brownback represents facism and wreckanomics.

Those 13,000 jobs? What 13,000 jobs? And how exactly were those jobs related to Brownback?

A $100 million dollar surplus? Where is the hard evidence? Why then doesn't Kansas fund the public school system? One day we're broke the next PR message is a $100 million surplus hmmmmmmm again where is the hard evidence?

13,000 jobs? What kind of jobs? Those seasonal jobs that come every year about spring and begin to disappear when the frost hits.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

you must be from oskaloosa and believe everything Sean Hannity and Michael Savage tell you. Rural people are so smart and capable of thinking for themselves that they don't listen to 98.1 FM, 88.1 FM, and 97.3 FM to learn how to quote people they listen to verbatim. duh duh ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.....hurry up...I hear dueling banjos...uh oh the threshing bee's tomorrow...

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sunny 2 years, 7 months ago

'people are starving in the streets'. Get real! People don't starve...they are pulling in food stamps from our tax dollars. They also get free housing and health care!

Whacko's!

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beatrice 2 years, 7 months ago

Did they play Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It"?

If they didn't, then it wasn't a real protest rally.

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Armored_One 2 years, 7 months ago

If I might ask, since I am obviously less educated on the topic of "flakes" as others, why are the people that organized this protest, which is a First Amendment right, being mocked?

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beatrice 2 years, 7 months ago

Well, at least they didn't have to cancel their protest party for lack of interest: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jul...

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verity 2 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't there because:

I can't afford the extra gas it would take.

I was doing two volunteer jobs to help those less fortunate than myself. (I know you rightwing whiners won't believe that a liberal does volunteer work, but you can stuff it.)

However, I am working on organizing people to educate and register voters. While I respect and applaud those who take the time to rally against Brownback and I may do so in the future, it's probably not going to do any good, as he is being paid and controlled by his corporate masters (yes, I said it) and doesn't give a damn. They only way to get rid of him is to educate and register voters and get them to the polls.

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4getabouit 2 years, 7 months ago

Brownback cares little for Kansas. It's just a rest stop and place to pump in his right wing experimential BS. His hope is that it propels him back for a shot at his dream title......Mr. President. He is all about himself.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

my college educated, masters degree holding, Bonhoeffer theologean, retired United Methodist minister father was there to stand against the dumbing down of this state and parts of it's populace. Dumblicans always attack intellectuals because the dumblicans want unquestioning people who don't care how many of their jobs leave the state and how many people who are uncapable of caring for themselves are thrown to the cold by selfish states rights theocrats. Reaganomics sucked then and doesn't deserve a second chance to destroy this country now. Dumblicans don't speak for me or my father and I'm tired of dumblicans like Jenkins, Boehner, and Howdy Doody Cantor from Virginia acting like they speak for the American people... they don't....

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EmergingAmericanVoice 2 years, 7 months ago

All you hear from the right is ad hominem attacks on the people at the rally..." their lazy, don't work, they whine... they're from Lawrence they have no values"... just a load of crap! ... you hear nothing on the issues.

Like how Brownback's cuts would affect schools' abilities to replace textbooks, hire teachers and para-professionals. How the state has shed nearly 1,300 teacher positions and 935 support personnel between the 2008-9 and 2010-11 school years. And that Brownback's plan to cut income taxes would further erode the state's ability to pay for needed services.

Right-wingers are experts at "the self fulfilling prophecy" "Government is too big, it's not good for the people to trust or depend on their government... the government can't do anything competently...let's cut revenues until the government collapses and has no power to regulate... just put repuglicons in charge and do away with the last vestiges of government by the people, for the people... let's privatize all government functions and give person-hood to corporations... let the rich, job givers have full control" Now wouldn't that be nice?

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hedshrinker 2 years, 7 months ago

The usual people show up to slam those who are outraged by Brownback's policies, using the same ad hominem attacks, highly judgemental, perjorative language, making unfounded assumptions about people's work situations and politics. Many of the rally participants were NOT fr Lawrence; there was a big Greyhound style bus of people fr Wichita, for example (not typically thought of as a bastion of Lawrence-style "left-wing flakes whiners and liberals" to use YOUR language, not mine), as well as other places around KS. Some participants appeared to be of retirement age, hence attending a function on Friday didn't interfere with their work status. Others appeared to have some physical or other impairments so maybe they're not engaged in competitive employment? Other workers may have flexible schedules like I do. I find those who disparage concerns about reimbursing family caregivers with the new limits on HCBS waivers to be incredibly ignorant. The days when volunteer family caregiving is the norm have changed drastically since most families either require both parents work outside the home to make $ ends meet or the family is a single parent family headed by a woman....yes, in days past the volunteer caregiver was almost always a woman, who took care of HER aging parents and her spouse's aging parents as well as their kids and all the household tasks. I tend to caregivers everyday of my worklife who are exhausted and burned out by this monumental task, usually while holding down a paid job outside the home as well. Those of you who minimize this work and GUILT those who have the audacity to keel over from the physical and emotion challenge need a compassion transplant.

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KS 2 years, 7 months ago

Where does it say that a person should be paid by the taxpayer for taking care of a family member? Whatever happened to family values? If I get paid, I will do it. If not, well, le the ole guy fend for himself. Geezzz! What a mess this country is in.

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KS 2 years, 7 months ago

Was there an actual count? Right on "big b". Thousands and thousands of others did go to WORK today. Not surprising that a lot of these folks were from Lawrence. The stronghold!

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. Thousands and thousands went to work.

250 people is not a large number, but we shall see where this leads as Brownback continues his crusade to drown Kansas government in the bath tub.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 7 months ago

250 people is not a large number to be sure.

We'll see where this leads.

Nothing for Brownback to be concerned with at this point. He can simply continue his dictatorial assault on the institutions of the State of Kansas unimpeded.

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LJ Whirled 2 years, 7 months ago

Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of people went to ... WORK.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 7 months ago

I wonder how many of these flakes were from Lawrence.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

Out of 2.7M. This is newsworthy - only on here!!

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 7 months ago

BS: Settle down, Bubba. It will take a while for the implications of Muscular Sam's program to promote his weird little businessman jesus to sink in. If it does, and people actually vote next time (that's you, the 800,000+ who didn't even bother last time) things may change. The August 2012 primaries will be the key. If the efforts to knock off the remaining moderate senators succeed, will the last person leaving KochKansas please turn out the lights?

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consumer1 2 years, 7 months ago

Or many people such as myself are tired of left wing whining and fed up with a few dictating to the masse,.and actually approve of someone trying to help the economy, who has a moral sense of right and wrong.

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pocket_of_sunshine 2 years, 7 months ago

Or many people, such as myself, were unable to take off of work due to many different reason. Don't assume that just because we weren't there that we all agree with what this man has done.

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Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

In other news, 2,818,497 Kansans didn't rally against Brownback policies.

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consumer1 2 years, 7 months ago

Well isn't that cute to see these little people playing together so well. Wow and 250 of them. Did they all wear matching uniforms? So, they think they will get things changed huh? what percentage of the population of Kansas is that ? Something like 0.00002 %. By all means Govenor, change policy for all of us based on 250 whiners from Lawrence. Give em suckers and send them home.

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