Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Senate President Wagle considers reopening legislative redistricting

December 6, 2012


— Incoming Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Thursday that she is interested in redrawing legislative districts next year, even though federal judges already redrew the boundaries this year.

Wagle told The Associated Press that she first wants to consult with attorneys to see whether a quick round of political redistricting is possible under the Kansas Constitution and past court decisions.

But she said if it is possible, "Why not try?

"Nothing should be out of the realm of fixing," she said.

Wagle, a Wichita Republican, was among the conservative GOP legislators frustrated during this year's legislative stalemate over redrawing political boundaries to ensure equal representation. Lawmakers failed to approve any maps, forcing three federal judges to draw the new lines.

Before this year's elections, the Senate had been led by Republican moderates who worked with Democrats on a number of issues, including redistricting. But conservatives ousted eight moderate GOP senators in the August primary, and Republicans retained their 32-8 majority in last month's general election, giving conservatives firm control of the chamber.

Wagle said this year's debate over redistricting represented "a colossal breakdown of communication." Next year, the GOP right will control both legislative chambers, which is likely to make it easier for conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to pass his initiatives.

"I feel like the House, the Senate and the governor's office, we're working together very well," Wagle said.

Rumors have circulated since the August primary — when it became clear that conservatives were likely to control both chambers — that they'd be interested in revising the state's political boundaries. But Wagle's comments Thursday were the first confirmation of serious interest.

The state constitution requires the Legislature to redraw its political boundaries in the second year of every decade, following the federal census. Some legislators don't think it's clear whether the language would prevent more frequent redistricting.

"I would like to hear different legal opinions about whether that's possible," Wagle said.


Bill Thompson 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm a little bit more comfortable with what the judges came up with so NO! The idiots in Topeka had their chance last year but blew it so leave it alone!

Joe Hyde 5 years, 6 months ago

I would expect they'll have to leave it alone. Federal District Court creates new districts whose borders, by longstanding law, are to be open to change only once every ten years. State under court order to live with the ruling. So if the matter is brought up, it'll be, "See ya in 2022, Senator, if we're both still around. Have a nice day."

geekin_topekan 5 years, 6 months ago

Why dont they just say that all white people with an income of over 25,000 are eligible to vote and all others are not. It would be more honest and streamline their policy saving tax payers $$.

The White Republic of Kansas is well on its way to becoming an extremists' paradise.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

Are you willing to add that all minorities are entitled to a lifetime of welfare? That statement is equally foolish as your statement.

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

You're really not good at detecting sarcasm.

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Because there is nothing more important in the state to worry about....

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, not for conservatives trying to extend and cement their power base.

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

Some people might do that by enacting popular and wise policies.

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

And that does seem to be the problem in a nutshell.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

So what is her (I want to use another word, but would get disappeareded) reason/excuse for wanting to redraw the boundaries? If didn't see any reason given in the article. Even after all that has happened, I as still astounded by what these anti-democratic, anti-human people can come up with. They keep managing to top themselves. I can't think of one good idea that has come out of the governor's office or from the radical regressive reactionaries in Kansas.

Give me one good reason why this should even have one moment or one penny spent on it.

I am going to email her and ask her for a reason. How about we fill her inbox?

somebodynew 5 years, 6 months ago

I would like to say I can't believe this, but even though I didn't see this coming, I am not having a hard time believing it. Even though they got what they wanted and ran out the moderates (the ones with some sense), it is not enough. I really didn't think I could ever live in a dictatorship here in America, but I guess I was wrong. this is just so sad.

And these people wonder why people are turning against the Republican Party ?????

Greg Cooper 5 years, 6 months ago

The real problem is that people, at least in Kansas, are swallowing the whole cloth of the current Republican Party's self-serving drivel, rather than thinking for themselves.

Nationally, however, there is evidence, i.e., the last election, that there is hope that the juggernaut is losing steam. Let's all hope so.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

They weren't able to get rid of Carolyn McGinn (Senate District 31, Harvey County and NE Sedgwick County). The carpetbagger who tried to defeat her in the primary got whompped.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

I just emailed Ms Wagle to ask what her reasoning is. This is the auto-reply I received.

"Thank you for e-mailing State Senator Susan Wagle.

Kansas has a 90 day session after which staff is released and business is concluded.

The Legislative Session will convene again January 14, 2013.

If you need assistance prior to this date, you may call the Kansas State Legislative Library at (785) 296-3296 or (800) 432-3919 (KS Only)."

Please join me and fill her inbox. Is she can go about making statements like this, she can check her email.

Catalano 5 years, 6 months ago

Please post her email address. I'd like to contribute.

SandCoAlmanac 5 years, 6 months ago


verity 5 years, 6 months ago

You can also google Susan Wagle and click on her website, then just click on her email address.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

What was wrong with KansasLiberal's statement? I read it, but can't remember now what it said.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

The powers that be are redrawing the boundaries of posting so I was told in my warning. Off topic will be deleted. Soooo to stay on topic, I would like Wagles email if it is handy.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

Seems silly to delete off-topic comments, if that's really what's going on. Readers / fellow commenters should be able to point out to off-topic-ers that their comments don't meet the standards of serious adults, since serious adults aren't likely to post something off topic.

Better to let the community know, by commenters own actions, that such-and-such usually posts off-topic comments, instead of the comment being disappeared.

MattressMan 5 years, 6 months ago

What is there to gain by redrawing the lines? The republicans already have the majority.

WilburM 5 years, 6 months ago

It truly is remarkable. conservative Rs dominate the Legislature; they hold --comfortably -- all four House seats. Not only is this over-reach, but totally unnecessary over-reach. It's not like there are no other issues to work on.

somebodynew 5 years, 6 months ago

And now you have a preview of what this session will be like. Plenty of things to work on, but instead they will AGAIN waste their time doing 'stuff' like this that doesn't need to be done.

All so that BB and his minions can rule supreme (and I do mean Supreme - over ALL others - well except Koch, of course)

chootspa 5 years, 6 months ago

This is what I'm wondering, too. They've got a rubber stamp for every ALEC bill they want to inflict on the state, so why bother changing the lines?

chicago95 5 years, 6 months ago

Kansas Democrats bear some responsiblity for this outcome by not having promoted any serious political challenge for Sen. Wagle's seat, most egregiously following her 2003 complaint against KU Prof. Dennis Dailey.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe Wagle can consult with Kobach--he'd be more than happy to provide a legal opinion, I'm sure. He'd be happy to provide the maps, for that matter, and then make a ruling on them, and most importantly, enforce them.

He's your one stop shop par excellence!

dabbindan 5 years, 6 months ago

greedy s.o.b.! (plural) hope it comes back to bite them next election cycle.

JackMcKee 5 years, 6 months ago

I sure hope we revisit that Shiria law thing too.

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

The TPers better be careful what they wish for. If the boundaries can be redrawn after every election, they will be.

i_read_things 5 years, 6 months ago

State constitution provides "every tenth year"; it does not allow for redistricting whenever Wagle likes. How many lawyers does it take to read:

somebodynew 5 years, 6 months ago

i_rea_things - haven't you learned by now?? LAWS and constitutions don't mean anything to these people (unless it justs happens to suit their cause).

And it will take as many lawyers as they can find until one says what they want to hear (shouldn't be too many with the likes of KK and Schmidt around). THEN it will take as many as the rest of us can afford (or not) to drag this through court - only to have them try to ignore whatever ruling comes out of it.

verity 5 years, 6 months ago

One Party Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (excerpts)

"The Republican Party’s descent into complete madness reached a new depth this week. Whipped up by paranoid delusions of a one-world autocratic UN government, Senate Republicans on Tuesday killed an international treaty designed to help people with disabilities all across the planet. . . .

"Former Republican Senator Robert Dole, himself a disabled veteran of World War II and now in a wheelchair, championed the treaty, and was wheeled onto the Senate floor for the vote where he watched Senator John Kerry plead with his colleagues to “not let Senator Bob Dole down.” . . .

"Thirty-eight Republican Senators walked right passed Bob Dole - former Republican candidate for President - to cast a “no” vote. . . .

"Again, not a single U.S. law would have changed if this treaty was ratified by the Senate. In fact, it had the potential to be very beneficial to disabled Americans traveling abroad - people like former Senator Dole - by providing the same accommodations they receive at home in foreign nations as well. . . .

"Another PPP (Public Policy Polling, which was recognized as the most accurate polling service during the 2012 election) poll found that 49% of registered Republicans believe that the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN stole the election for President Obama this year - even though ACORN hasn't existed for two years. That’s nearly half the Republican Party believing that a group that no longer exists actually does exists and was able to pull off a nationwide election theft.

"This is an extraordinary teaching moment. In the face of this insanity, we Americans should ask ourselves, "What happens when one of two major political parties in the United States either completely loses its grip on reality, or chooses to pander to a base that has?"

"So, a heartfelt plea to the few intelligent and thoughtful Republicans left: it’s up to you to inject sanity back into your Party. Please do it quickly!"

Read the whole article if you dare.

msezdsit 5 years, 6 months ago

New Senate President Wagle considers reopening legislative redistricting

Jeeze, the rest of the country is finally figuring these magots out and Kansas makes one of them president of the senate. There won't be a free pass on this crap. the day of reckoning for Kansas is coming. "Kansas, no depth is to low"

scarlett 5 years, 6 months ago

The repubs are so arrogant now that they'll try and gerrymander the dems out of existence. They want all the power and to drag kansas all the way down to alabama levels of racism and intolerance with a fundamental christian government. Has even one of them looked at the national polls which show the repubs becoming more and more irrelevant except in places like kansas? Stay arrogant and maybe there's a chance even here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

What makes her think that the courts would approve of the blatant gerrymandering she has in mind?

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

If they want to do that, they can do it on their own time. We paid for them to do it last year and they failed to get it done. You've got enough to worry about this session without bringing up past failures of our "legislators".

jrpigman 5 years, 6 months ago

"But she said if it is possible, "Why not try?"

Because the state legislature faces a giant budget gap and should be working on filling it immediately instead of redoing something they failed to do in the first place?

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Most of the next session will consist of anti-abortion laws, cutting funding for public schools and welfare, adding the right to be a religious bigot against gays or sexually active women, possibly school vouchers, symbolic votes against Obama's and/or the United Nation's policies, and maybe revisiting Sharia law. In the last week of the session they'll get around to the budget. There won't be raises for actual employees who do the gut work of running the state. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to pass a raise for themselves, though.

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