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Archive for Saturday, February 18, 2012

Group mobilizing people to protest Brownback, Kobach

After a protest outside Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office, more than 300 people rallied near the south steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday.

After a protest outside Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office, more than 300 people rallied near the south steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday.

February 18, 2012

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— Tamara Werth, one of the co-founders of a grass-roots organization that has arisen in opposition to the agenda of Gov. Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said many Kansans are upset with the political direction of the state.

“What people do seem to fall back on is the quality of life — that Kansas has such a strong history of education, social services, trust-building and neighbor helping neighbor, and that is being diminished and marginalized as a consequence of decisions being made in Topeka,” Werth said.

Werth and Crystal McComas, also of Lawrence, have formed Kansans United in Voice and Spirit, which helped put together a rally last week that drew several hundred people to protest outside Kobach’s office and then Brownback’s office in the Statehouse. It was the group’s second rally in Topeka. The first one in September drew a similar-sized crowd and was directed mostly at Brownback concerning his cuts to school funding and administration of the social services agency.

But the list of grievances has expanded since then.

At last week’s rally, people spoke against Brownback’s proposals to overhaul the tax code, school finance formula and public pension system, and further changes to social services.

And protesters have also turned their attention to Kobach.

The group criticized Kobach for his work nationally on cracking down on illegal immigrants and in Kansas for pushing through a law that requires photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship for new voter registrations.

“We want a secretary of state that works for us,” said Sulma Arias, executive director of the Wichita-based Sunflower Community Action.

Kobach’s critics say the voting requirements will create obstacles to voting, while Kobach says the measures will prevent fraud at the ballot box. On illegal immigration, Kobach says his enforcement measures are causing undocumented workers to “self-deport.” But immigration advocates say Kobach’s proposals are causing hardships and tearing families apart.

Another focus of Kansans United in Voice and Spirit, Werth said, is the influence that the Washington, D.C.-based American Legislative Exchange Council has on the Kansas Legislature.

ALEC is a corporate-funded group that describes its mission as promoting free markets, limited government, federalism and individual freedom. Each year, bills based on ALEC “model legislation” are introduced and passed by legislatures across the nation, including in Kansas.

Art Laffer, who as a $75,000 paid consultant helped craft Brownback’s proposed tax overhaul, serves as a member of ALEC’s Board of Scholars.

ALEC has also pushed for the Health Care Freedom Act, which is aimed at blocking federal health reform and was signed into law by Brownback. ALEC has also advocated for replacing the public employee pension system with 401(k)-type plans, which Brownback has supported.

“ALEC’s agenda seems to be the backdrop for a number of changes we are seeing in Kansas,” Werth said.

Werth said the main goal of Kansans United is to organize concerned citizens to support valuable state services and programs. At this point, the nonpartisan group doesn’t have a future event scheduled, but she said it will continue working with one of its goals being to increase voter turnout.

“We are about mobilizing the people and giving people a voice,” she said.

Comments

Mike1949 2 years, 9 months ago

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Carmalee Winebrinner 2 years, 9 months ago

Well said! And sad to say, yes, one really needs to vote Republican in order to have any say in a final candidate here in Kansas.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

Read news from other states mi amigo? Wisconsin had the entire Democrat party leave the state in the dead of the night so they didn't have to vote.

New York has a room full of highly paid teachers who do nothing all day except play cards. California is broke, and Illinois can't keep the lights on. Florida should have Weird News section of only Florida stuff.

Actually Kansas is doing very well. Ask the KCMO Chamber of Commerce. Relax Mike, take a break, head to the Legends for a day. Yes, the Legends is in Kansas.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 9 months ago

Mike1949

Suggesting violence is deplorable. People should realize that dissenting voices are good for this country. They are checks and balances.

Advocating, suggesting or even alluding to violence is despicable and suggests a evil heart and soul.

Centerville 2 years, 9 months ago

I hope they keep the drums. It gives them such a sense of gravitas and gives the rest of us a good laugh.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

"Why is it easier to believe that 150,000,000 Americans are lazy scum rather than 400 Americans are being greedy?"

“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

cait, some look at the wealthy as greedy, some look at the wealthy as providing jobs. Henry Ford was wealthy, and made many many families upper middle class. Still doing so.

Henry Ford did nothing like the Koch's in regard to humanitarian acts.

I think you are very intelligent cait, but seriously take a peek at how our economic system works.

Wealthy Americans including those small business people who show 200K on tax returns, but invest in growth/jobs are the backbone of our prosperiety. We only began the downward slide since LBJ pushed the failed Great Society.

Bill Gates once threatened to take Microsoft out of this country. Toilets flushed all over Washington in anxiety fueled response. Just think if Koch left Kansas, or Coleman, or any of our successful business people.

I'm sitting very comfortably due to a family who did not sit on wealth, but formed another offshoot company I was employed to help start. Risk yes, profits yes, me happy 20 years later.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Henry Ford paid his factory workers a living wage. He realized early on that his own employees could/would be some of his biggest buyers if he paid them enough to do it. In this, he was a huge influence on the rise of a solid middle class. And he did it without being forced into it by a union. Catch the Koch's or Walton's doing something similar. ( http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/dear-walmart-mcdonald-starbucks-feel-paying-employees-little-124603023.html ) On the other hand, Ford was also a huge supporter of Nazism prior to America's entrance into WW2. /shrug Glad to know you're part of the top 10% in the country. Congratulations. Since this came from your "family" it must be nice.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

My first memories are of an orphanage, the wealthy family comment was about a self made wealthy family who did not sit on the money and smoke cigars.

cait, I grew up without a pot to p@@ in. Worked my way through college, and never stopped working. Doubt I'm in the 10 percent, but am happy.

When the business climate was good these people (the wealthy family) hired several folk, me one of them to start a new company. Through hard work including more 4 o'clock alarm clock wakings than I wish to remember, and many nights away from my young family we succeeded.

Big risk, their money, good jobs created.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

You justify hate based ad campaigns because the patron gives to charity? You should just look at what is happening to working families, not spend your wheels claiming there is no greed in the wealthiest looking for even more tax cuts. Yes, there is greed and ruthlessness in the Koch social plans for Kansas and the country. Kochie brothers aren't looking out for working families, they want to them as cheap laborers. They want to sit on their backs.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

Your idea that employee's getting paid for their work is some sort of charity is nuts.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 9 months ago

FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society actually helped prevent the progression toward Totalitarianism that the wealthy always demand to protect their financial interests. Regardless of the current propaganda on fox entertainment tv, unions aren't destroying America. When Reagan was elected, union membership was something like 70% of american adults, now it is a lot lower. Both FDR and LBJ also helped prevent the reaction of the working classes demanding to get their FAIR share of the economic pie that would result in communism. Neither totalitarianism nor communism work. The USA is a socialist state, always has been and always will be. Medicare is a good thing. Social Security is a good thing. Public education for free is a good thing. Police and courts that work and aren't corrupt like in Mexico is a good thing. Safe drinking water from municipal systems is a good thing. Etc. People like the Koch brothers are so greedy that they are willing to rape the planet for more than they will ever need. How much is enough? Greed for lack of a better word, is BAD. that is what none of the current republican candidates running for president and what Brownback and kobach don't understand.

The brilliant part of representative democracies like our republic is that all of us get to decide together what is best for all of us together. The sad part is too few people choose to participate as is evidenced by voter turnout and apathy. It is also sad that money has purchased a voice on the US supreme Court as is evidenced by the citizens united decision which hopefully will be overturned soon. Corporations are not people.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 9 months ago

Explain to me how their wealth improverishs a nation? If they gave away all their wealth would the country suddenly be better off?

A man could have stacks of newspapers, but if they are properly stored and don't interfere with them leading a normal productive life no one will call them crazy. It is just when the stacks of newspaper pose a fire threat, inhibit egress and ingress in the home and interfere with a normal life that they are deemed crazy.

A person that hoards money and doesn't spend a cent because they have some abnormal obsession to it is probably crazy, but someone who invests wisely, keeps their funds liquid, ie in case because it is the safer investment at the time and continues to acquire wealth while living a good life is not crazy.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

If they "created jobs" instead of sitting on the money, we'd be better off.

We're talking about huge amounts of money that are on the sidelines, while companies continue to lay people off, and make profits.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 9 months ago

jafs what right do you have to tell someone how they are use their money. They are not charities,they are for profit businesses often answering to shareholders who demand they turn a profit and pay a dividend.

How many jobs have you created?

Many retirees depend on those dividends to maintain their quality of life.

And truth is I believe this notion that people are sitting on huge amounts of money that could be invested to create jobs is a left wing talking point not based in truth. I could be wrong so point me to the facts to back it up. Thanks It drives me crazy to listen to people who have no skin in the game tell others how to spend and invest their money.

Perhpaps you should take your savings and spend it to help the economy. You can do that so why don't you?

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I simply answered your question - you asked if the country would be better off if they gave away their wealth, and I answered how the country would be better off.

A quick google search should find the information you seek, about how much money is sitting on the sidelines - companies have massive cash reserves they're not using to "create jobs".

And, you'll note I never told anybody what to do at all, although most of your response is based on that false notion.

I simply answered your question about how the country would be better off, in my view.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

Fred you are right, but any more most shareholders are unseen via mutual funds and whose only stake in the company is stock price growth. The large shareholders/owners also are not necessarily interested in long term viability of the company. To say that the workers who invest time and there livelihoods in work are not stakeholders seems wrong to me. In many ways they have ivested there lives and education and training to see a company do good. They can't simply just dump there stock like investors can.

Katara 2 years, 9 months ago

With how many of the 401ks work today, the company contribution (if they choose to do that as a benefit) is company stock so many workers are shareholders too. But their interest is long-term as this is what is helping to fund their retirement.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

I once had a professor who told me that the best way for the system to work is when workers are also shareholders. This rings true. The 401k benefit is a good benefit too. It is a mutual investment between employers and employees. This is all good.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

Why should the wealthiest not pay their fair share of taxes? You seem to think people who have a lot of money and invest it deserve a special pass so working families pay the rich people share of taxes.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

pace, study economics. Briefly when the business climate is good our people invest in many things. good grief even the Chicoms understand this.

when bad like now, people harbor money. Tax breaks for all can and has stimulated our economy in the recent past.

when it's better off to park money, we all lose.

pace 2 years, 9 months ago

If they paid their fair share of taxes it would certainly help the country and if they get tax breaks for shipping our jobs overseas, it hurts, if they don't pay penalty for hiring illegally, it depresses all wages. If you think it doesn't hurt for one part of the population to take advantage of the perks and not shoulder the responsibility you probably have never helped with house work or child care in your family.

booyalab 2 years, 9 months ago

No one ever accused liberals of not choosing the easiest beliefs.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

And yet, an interesting study concluded that liberals exercise the area of their brains associated with understanding complexity much more than conservatives do - conservatives are using the part of their brains more associated with fear.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Using disabilities as a term of insult is a real indication of what kind of person you really are.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

nope, I have in fact learned to respect Bill Clinton, especially after he realized his lib agenda was dead as a doornail. I am actually in many respects far left.

Many of us were former leftest when we realized the modern libs were taking away our freedoms. Look at photos of the 60s protests. You will see Freedom often on signs.

There will be a time, someday soon when our mandatory socialized medical records will be used to make decisions in our best interest. Just the thought of this gives me the chills. As I peck this out, medical records are being transferred from paper files to digital.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Exactly what?

You aren't a big proponent of freedom, as far as I can tell, since you find it de-stabilizing to our society.

So, when the liberals stand for freedom, you don't like them. Of course, if you perceive them acting in the other direction, you don't like them either.

But when conservative are anti-freedom, you like them.

Hmmm.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I understand now.

But, neither party has demonstrated fiscal responsibility for quite a while now - I don't know why you think that the R party has, while the D haven't.

Greece's problems, from what I've read, are largely due to a serious problem with "tax avoidance" - meaning that many people simply didn't pay their taxes.

The problem you refer to seems right to me - many people vote based on what candidates offer them - but it's not at all limited to the D.

And, you really should read about what the people who conducted the research that came up with that number say about it.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't care whether they "talk" about fiscal restraint - I care about whether they act in that manner, and neither party has a good record on this, for many years.

There are opposing philosophies about how to fix the economy, and our country is divided on that question.

I would point out that in many ways, the economy is better now than when Bush left office, although I'm also concerned about large budget deficits and our national debt.

The reasonable way to proceed, in my opinion, is with a combination of increased tax revenue and decreased spending, to get our debt situation under control.

And, the problem with this is that there's always somebody who doesn't want their pet spending cut, so where do we cut? Also, there's always somebody who doesn't want their taxes to go up.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Depends which cuts you're talking about, doesn't it?

Republicans tend to oppose cuts in the military, while Democrats oppose cuts to SS/Medicare/etc.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

Tip o hat Born......

Many brains far far brighter than mine warn when a democratic society (Republic) has more non contributors than contributors..............the nation is dead.

The thought 47 percent of our nation pays no taxes, yet vote. YIKES.

Armstrong 2 years, 9 months ago

It's comical to see the masses that still have the"local" view of life. I would strongly urge the malcontents to visit other states to see what bad really is

JackMcKee 2 years, 9 months ago

Brownback couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

And by the way, investment doesn't mean squat if not enough people are making enough money to actually, you know, buy the products being invested in. Otherwise, it's nothing more than a meaningless, Wall Street paper shuffle with the only people making a profit being the traders.

Scott Morgan 2 years, 9 months ago

actually funny stuff gals. It is a bit chilly, and pumping chests out with a good gorilla pounding does make all seem better.

uggggg me hungry ugggg oooooooooooohhhhhhhaaaaaaaaauuuuuuaaaaaa

JackMcKee 2 years, 9 months ago

According to the latest polls, Brownback's is less popular in Kansas than Obama. The "far left" must have taken over in Kansas.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

"Explain to me how their wealth improverishs a nation?"

Because they are not follwing thru with the notion of trickle down. The average CEO pay is 300-400 times greater than the average worker, and it would certainly be hard to prove that they are this many times more productive than regular folks like us. In fact, these managers are also most often large shareholders and sit on the board of directors, and they often make decisions that are based on short-term agendas that increase share price and dividends, often leaving the long-term viability of companies (and workers) in a disarray.

These are the same managers that outsource jobs. Outsourcing is also a good short-term decision because it increases profitability, but we are now beginning to learn that it is not good long term thinking because of lost productivity. This is not because workers from overseas are not hard-working, it is because of the long distance and other communications barriers (anyone who is in an office that works with out-sourced departments knows what I'm talking about). While these managers make decisions like this, worker skill reqiuirements are shifting to lower wage lower skill service sector jobs. As trickle down will continue to be proven false, and income levels polarize, we will see greater dissatisfaction. The right wing will have a harder time proving their point or otherwise shifting the point via smokescreens that play on our fears (ie immigration, voter fraud, birth certificates, elitisim, liberalisim, etc)

Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

Let's see....there were ministers, teachers, workers, women, Hispanic people, Native people,,,,,educated people. Teachers brought petitions in support of removing brownback policies. I love the Henry Ford nonsense. Henry Ford was insanely paranoid, A quarter or more of Ford employees were spies on their own co workers beating up and reporting Union sympathizers in the 1920's and 1930's. Henry Ford was in fact a Nazi sympathizer. He marveled at the autobahn and publically supported Germany. He kept the Cologne, Germany Ford plant open up until the allied planes bombed and destroyed it in Word War II. Henry Ford's paranoia financially ran Ford into the ground at the end of World War Two and his sons took the company over and he died in 1947 I don't worship any robber barons like a blind following orders person. The last I checked this is the same behavior that southern planters and farmers had in following the plantation owners and confederate government that drug them down and made the everyday southern man fight the war and deal with reconstruction for blind loyalty, Oh the irony of examples...

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

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Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

what language do you speak...falsehope???? chahta iskatini anumpuli li.... chahta imanumpa ish anumpuli hinla ho nahollo? nahollo micha ishpani anumpuli ut yakni falaya. falsehope.....you are like the Germans and Afrikaans who inhabit South Africa and Zimbabwe. Yes, you were born here, but you speak an immigrant language. There are probably thousands of indigenous peoples who waited for the day they could rise up and call out the people who forced christianity or death upon them, who kidnapped and molested their kids at church ran boarding schools in the 19th and 20th centuries, who used abrogation of treaties to steal lands at will, and still make insensitive comments due to their intentional ignorance, and tell them you aren't from here and you cannot plead ignorance at all of the lands and crops and culture and nameplaces you appropriated as immigrant americans with a mythological 240 year old history to lead your archie bunker lives. I feel sorry for clueless people with empty pride.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

And that's the real crime, right?

Not being "in step" with the majority.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

These people need to join together with their little friends and work to elect candidates that share their views. Elections do have consequences. (from a source)

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