Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brownback’s chief seeks changes in state Senate districts that could affect Holland, Kultala

February 22, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback wants a Senate redistricting plan that would exclude two Democratic incumbents, including his general election opponent, from their current districts.

Brownback's chief of staff, David Kensinger, told the Senate Reapportionment Committee on Wednesday that Leavenworth County deserves to be one Senate district.

"This is a data driven process," Kensinger said.

Leavenworth County has a population of 76,227, which is more than the ideal Senate district size of 70,986. Of the 10 largest counties, Kensinger said, only Leavenworth isn't self-contained in one Senate district or the predominant county of one Senate district. And he said neither state senator representing Leavenworth County lives in Leavenworth County.

Currently, Leavenworth County is represented by Sens. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, and Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City. Brownback, a Republican, defeated Holland in the November gubernatorial race. Kultala was Holland's lieutenant governor running mate.

Holland's 3rd Senate District includes part of Leavenworth and Douglas counties, and all of Jefferson County. The 5th District, which is represented by Kultala, includes the cities of Leavenworth and Lansing and most of Wyandotte County.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, noted that Brownback and Holland ran against each other last year. Hensley said he was suspicious of the governor's effort.

"It seems to me there may be an underlying motive here," Hensley said. Kensinger denied there was another motive for proposing the change other than the data.

Hensley said Holland and Kultala have done an excellent job of representing Leavenworth County.

Holland, a member of the Senate Reapportionment Committee, said he enjoyed representing Leavenworth County "and hope to do so in the future."

Kensinger said neither Holland nor Kultala have won majorities in their portions of their districts within Leavenworth County in a general election. "These data ... could support a finding that the residents of Leavenworth County are effectively disenfranchised under the current Senate configuration," he said.

Kensinger's decision to weigh in on Senate redistricting on behalf of the governor was unprecedented, Hensley said. "I've never known of the chief of staff of a governor come in and basically state what his boss wanted to see in a reapportionment," he said.

The committee continued its deliberations and won't meet again until next week.

Legislators are redrawing legislative, congressional and State Board of Education boundaries to accommodate population shifts over the past 10 years.


hyperinflate 6 years, 2 months ago

I think this is an example of what H.W. Bush referred to as "naked aggression"

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 2 months ago

Didn't Leavenworth County have it's "own district" prior to the GOP changing that in redistricting 10 years ago?

Make up your minds already.

average 6 years, 2 months ago

Indeed it did. Its population hasn't been growing that explosively. The aim was, 10 years back, to get part of Lawrence and part of KCK tied in with redder LVCO and get one if not both seats GOP. It didn't work. Just like splitting Lawrence down Iowa was supposed to neutralize it, when instead it managed to backfire into both Moore and Boyda getting elected (for one election anyway).

You can't say that the map as it is now is the result of anything the Dastardly Dems have done. They haven't had any say in drawing maps since at least 1970.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 2 months ago

These reppublicans are the rottenest people around. This is so obvious that they wouldn't have a chance in a court case.

Brian Hall 6 years, 2 months ago

You have to admit that the Republicans are at least out in the open about their plans to make Kansas the reddest state in the country. "Let's put heavily Democratic Douglas County in the Western Kansas 1st District to ensure they will never be properly represented." "Let's eliminate these two Democratic senate seats for really no good reason." "Let's focus all of our attention on abortion and other meaningless social issues even though we ran on the platform of creating more jobs."

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

"This is a data driven process," Kensinger said." LOL. If district lines were data driven the computers would draw them based on population, there would be no regard for political power and the chips would fall where they may during elections. They really do think we are Sheeple, don't they?

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

Look at what one party rule (theocracy/monarchy/dictatorship, etc) did to many countries in Europe. Is that really what you want?

In my opinion, the current administration in Kansas is so blatant in their quest for getting rid of any opposition, not because they think we are stupid or will just follow along, but because they think they don't have to care. The Koch's money will make it happen.

We have to vote these people out. I don't see any other way. They simply don't care what the people want, they only care about what they see as being good for themselves.

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

Man, you really have to hand it to these guys. Just when you thought you had seen the slimiest greasiest scumbag moves in the world then these bozos one up it. Enron, the Bush White House, Larry Craig, Nixon, do not hold a candle to Brownback.

He does not even try to hide it. Brownback is the daylight raper of Kansas

Clearly4Kansas 6 years, 2 months ago

I grew up in a moderate republican household. The first time I voted was in 1978. I voted for John Carlin because he made a case that it was Bennett's fault utility bills skyrocketed. I later voted for Joan Finney because Hayden raised taxes. 20 years ago the democrats held the govenors seat and two congressional districts. Today the democrat bench is empty - you have no candidates. Twenty years ago, Sam Brownback was preparing to run for congress- he was a moderate. Many of us thought of ourselves as moderates at that time in our lives, but we grew and became conservatives who wanted a limited government; a govt that would preserve individual liberties and freedom. Most kansans outside of Lawrence and Topeka are like me. As a result all statewide and congressional office holders are conservatives. The democrats now hold only 8 out of 40 state senate seats; the republicans will win two more in November and three or four moderate republicans will lose their senate seats in the primary. The democrats only hold 33 out of 125 state house seats, but you will lose another four in November. If democrats want to be viable again they need to do three things: 1. Build the party instead of assisting and enabling moderate republicans. If you are content to work with moderate republicans, the democrat party will die. Insist that like minded republicans change party affiliation and join you as democrats. 2. Become a populist party, instead of a hard left party. 3. Stop hating. You're not very attractive to folks when your hatred for elected officials is all that defines you. Do those three things and you will rebuild your movement. Do what you have been doing the last 20 years and your movement will die. Just my 2 cents.

Hooligan_016 6 years, 2 months ago

"but we grew and became conservatives who wanted a limited government; a govt that would preserve individual liberties and freedom."

Yeah, like the current Repubs in the legislature are advocating this. Far from it.

And the Democratic Party in Kansas is selling itself as "hard left"? Are you kidding me? A Democratic legislator is essentially a moderate Republican from 20-30 years ago.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"You're not very attractive to folks when your hatred for elected officials is all that defines you."

You have it backwards-- the Republican Party has come to define itself through its hatred of anyone in the 99%.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"its hatred of anyone in the 99%."

And most bafflingly, that includes most of the folks who vote Republican, and therefore against their own self-interest.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 2 months ago

Clearly$Kansas: I'll give you a different take on history. You didn't become conservative. You allowed yourself to become aligned with the intolerant and those willing to use that to gain power. As much as I sometimes admired Bob Dole, I blame him for sending Kansas down the dark road of religious extremism. Late in his first re-election campaign in 1974 he allowed anti-abortion groups to pass out materials accusing Dr. Bill Roy of performing abortions. Roy lost the election by less than one percent. That issue was later combined with support of the death penalty to effectively define the only acceptable candidates in Kansas. Once people like the Kochs figured out they had a group of "useful idiots" that would also promote their agendas of no taxation and no regulation - it became a marriage by the devil. Your liberty hasn't been threatened by any Democratic big government. Kansas is a damn puny state and the government has very little impact on you besides paving your roads and keeping you safe at night. It is a nice addition that when you walk down your streets you don't see people sleeping in boxes under the overpasses or begging on the street for food. It is probably also a benefit to you whether you know it or not, that the kids others have are being educated so that most of them won't end up troubling you and will make their own way in the world. Whether or not some woman you don't know makes use of the services of Planned Parenthood or whether a deranged killer is put to death 10 years from now, doesn't really effect those other services that are far more important to you and an organized society. But hey, if you feel your personal liberty is threatened by the poor, by the threat of illegals voting in your elections, and by the few remaining reasonable people in the legislature, then vote for greater Brownbackistan.

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