Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kansas Senate’s budget committee chairman filed for bankruptcy in 2010

December 12, 2012, 11:27 a.m. Updated December 12, 2012, 11:32 a.m.


— Topeka (ap) — The Kansas Senate’s new budget committee chairman filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and listed nearly $885,000 in unsecured debts in a federal court filing stemming from problems at his former home-building business.

Other incoming Senate leaders nonetheless defended Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, following his selection Tuesday as Ways and Means Committee chairman. The Wichita Eagle reported that Masterson said he’s working to pay off his debts, though they were discharged this year.

As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Masterson is at the center of budget discussions. A GOP leadership panel picked him, and he and other incoming Senate leaders will begin their jobs when the 2013 session starts in mid-January.

Masterson said he understands that some might question his appointment because of the bankruptcy. But he said it gives him a personal perspective on the tough economic times.

“Who better to lead out of the forest than somebody who has seen a lot of the pitfalls?” he said.

Kansas faces a projected $295 million gap between anticipated revenues and existing spending commitments for the fiscal year beginning in July 2013. The shortfall is tied to massive income tax cuts enacted this year to stimulate the economy, which Masterson supported.

Incoming Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita said Masterson has “tremendous credibility with his peers.” New Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said none of the nine members of the leadership panel — who include Wagle and Bruce — saw the bankruptcy as an issue.

Masterson served four years in the House before winning his Senate seat in 2008. He was re-elected this year without opposition.

“Everybody has faith in his ability to bring forward a good product to the Senate floor,” Bruce said.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, said Masterson was the logical choice for the chairmanship, given that conservative Republicans ousted the chamber’s previous moderate GOP leaders in this year’s elections. Masterson was the only conservative on the Ways and Means Committee this year.

“He’s a quick study in terms of the budget,” Hensley said.

Masterson said the bankruptcy was linked to the 2006 failure of a business, Masterbuilt Homes, and his problems started with an employee’s mismanagement and unauthorized charges.

The senator and his wife filed for bankruptcy in December 2010 under a chapter of federal bankruptcy law that allows individuals or businesses to liquidate their debts. They listed $304,100 in assets, including their $270,000 home, and nearly $1.13 million in debts, including more than $243,000 on their home’s mortgage.

Masterson owed Corner Bank $209,000 and Emprise Bank $53,890 in commercial loans. He and his wife also listed more than $160,000 in revolving credit card debt. But the filing said the debts were not primarily consumer obligations.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court records available online show that Masterson’s debts were discharged in late April and the case was closed in August, two days after the state’s primary election.


Thomas Bryce 2 years ago

At least he has experienced a bankruptcy?That is their reason for picking him? You can't make this stuff up! Just what The State of Kansas needs right now. Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger due to the Policies of this current administration. Sounds like they got the right person for the job. I would have been a little happier if they had found someone that had AVOIDED a bankruptcy. I don't think they plan on avoiding it, though.

chootspa 2 years ago

Bankruptcy is a strategy for the plutocrats. It's only a moral failing for the little people.

Mike1949 2 years ago

Kansans haven't even imagined the hard times that they are going to go through with this state administration. Bankruptcy is going to be the order of the day for the next 5-10 yr. for Kansans!

Pepe 2 years ago

Terrible choice. This deadbeat can't even manage his own finances and they put him in charge of the state's budget? Given that he just filed bankruptcy 2 years ago, budgeting does not appear to be his strong suit.

chootspa 2 years ago

I can't see what he majored in at K-State in his bio - or even if he finished college. I suspect he dropped out or he'd list a degree. Seems his qualifications to be on very important committees like the Ways and Means and KPERS are as follows:

1) Owned a (failed) business 2) Sold real estate 3) ??? 4) Loves Brownback

I think that about sums it up, right? Also note that he provides his Gmail addy as his primary contact instead of his official Kansas channel. Yeah, not a fan of that particular shady move, although I see that it's increasingly common.

fancy80 2 years ago

Sort of like putting a tax evader in charge of the United States Treasury, right?

Peetey 2 years ago

I remember when this happened to him, he was basically the victim of a crime. He is a good man. There are no riches to be made in being a state legislator, it is a thankless job and they are compensated very little for all the time they put into serving. That's a fact.

lucky_guy 2 years ago

"Incoming Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita said Masterson has “tremendous credibility with his peers.” When your peers intend to bankrupt the state and give what is left over to the Brownback for President Super Pac then yeah that is credible. We are now seeing the fruits of our low information electorate.

Shane Rogers 2 years ago

What A choice to lead us out of the forest......dude couldn't even get out of the forest himself. What a pick.

anonmouse 2 years ago

"Who better to lead out of the forest than somebody who has seen a lot of the pitfalls?” he said.

Perhaps someone who has seen and avoided the pitfalls?

Kerry Putthoff 2 years ago

... or a drug dealer is an unlicensed Pharmacist!

geekin_topekan 2 years ago

“Who better to lead out of the forest than somebody who has seen a lot of the pitfalls?” he said.


Same reasoning behind the hiring of felons. They have been there and done that. Why discriminate against hardworking people when they know the pitfalls of taking shortcuts in life?

Tracy Rogers 2 years ago

So, I'm guessing he would be the Scarecrow in out legislative Land of OZ?

Bob Forer 2 years ago

That raises a very perplexing question with no clear answer. Who in the world would play the Tin Man???????

Wait a second...... I have an idea ...... maybe Ssaaaaaaaaaaaaa..........

[And it ain't Satan]

Bob Forer 2 years ago

"The Wichita Eagle reported that Masterson said he’s working to pay off his debts, though they were discharged this year."

Nonsense. The purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge your debts and obtain a fresh start. I am curious as to how he is "working" to pay off his past debts.

I say he is an unmitigated liar.

The Republican leadership would have been smarter to plead ignorance of the bankruptcy, and convince the scoundrel to quietly step down.

The current state of affairs is the logical end result of a political party possessing a super majority. Invariably, it rears its ugly head as unreconstituted arrogance.

The Kansas Ways and Means Committee is lead by Sen. Ty Masterson, pictured here (front and center) with his fellow committee members.

The Kansas Ways and Means Committee is lead by Sen. Ty Masterson, pictured here (front and center) with his fellow committee members. by Bob Forer

Keith 2 years ago

The republicans keep telling us we need to run government like a business, who would have guessed they meant a failed business.

verity 2 years ago

I saw him in a parade last fall---had a really big semi cab and lots of big professional signs. And he was running unopposed.

He is really good looking though, and has a great name. Doesn't that count for something?

Randy Leonard 2 years ago

Why should this surprise anyone? The party of family values, high moral standards, and preemptive war is also the party of multiple failed marriages, extra marital affairs, corruption, outrageous lies, and warmongering draft dodgers. So it makes perfectly good sense that a man who can't manage his own finances is the logical chose to head the Senate Budget Committee.

verity 2 years ago

Somebody should write a book about Kansas.

"Fantasy of a Failed State: Return to the Darkness or How Reaching for the Stars Brought Us Down to Hell"

verity 2 years ago

I thought you had misspelled "Atra" but looked it up to make sure before I made a fool of myself.

Damn, sometimes you are just too clever, tange!

verity 2 years ago

An excerpt from the book "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free" by Esquire columnist Charles P. Pierce

A quote from the excerpt: "The rise of Idiot America, though, is essentially a war on expertise ... It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people we should trust the least are the people who know best what they're talking about."

Kerry Putthoff 2 years ago

WOW! UNBELIEVABLE!! I wonder who's friend/relative, he is? Next we are going to get stuck with a worthless community organizer for a president.... oh wait!

msezdsit 2 years ago

Screwed people out of nearly a million bucks. Those are the credentials we need on this committee to figure out how to screw Kansans. He can really be proud of himself after he can boast how much money he screwed Kansans out of. Especially when it will come from the people who can least afford it. The poor get poorer program brought to you by kansas republicans.

kelschartz 2 years ago

The only non-alcohol/non-pharmaceutical solution to escape the madness that is Kansas is to move. I recently expatriated from Lawrence to Panama. What a relief. No more anxiety about all the craziness in the good ol U.S.A. Now I observe from afar with a sense of gratitude that i'm out. Good luck. You are going to need it.

oldbaldguy 2 years ago

Bankruptcy is sometimes necessary. Maybe that was the only alternative he had. What are his credentials? A bankruptcy would get you eliminated from being considered for a judgeship. Saw that happen.

wastewatcher 2 years ago

Why doesn't the AP do a story and list all of the current and former Legislators and members of the budget committees who have taken bankruptcy. The AP reporters are personally familiar with thecasesandthey have not been an issue in the past.

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