Archive for Friday, February 24, 2012

Brownback focuses on Leavenworth County in Senate redistricting plan

February 24, 2012


— It’s not personal. It’s business.

That was Gov. Sam Brownback’s message on Friday as he explained why he wants to make Leavenworth County one state Senate district, a move that would place his general election opponent outside the current district boundaries.

“I think it is important that Leavenworth have a state senator. They need to have that organizing piece,” Brownback said.

He said there are numerous federal assets in Leavenworth County that will be susceptible to possible federal budget cuts. Those include a federal penitentiary, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and other facilities. Having one state senator from Leavenworth County will help keep political focus on protecting those assets, he said.

But Democrats said it looked like Brownback, a Republican, was involved in political payback against state Sens. Tom Holland and Kelly Kultala, both Democrats. Brownback denied that was the case.

Holland ran against Brownback for governor in November. Kultala was Holland’s lieutenant governor running mate.

Holland, of Baldwin City, and Kultala, of Kansas City, Kan., represent different portions of Leavenworth County.

If the Senate district boundaries were redrawn to put the entire district within Leavenworth County, Holland and Kultala would most likely have to run against incumbents in other districts because neither of them lives in Leavenworth County. Holland would probably face state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Kultala, state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, Kan.

Earlier this week, Brownback’s chief of staff, David Kensinger, testified to the Senate Reapportionment Committee. He didn’t mention the governor’s concern with protecting federal assets, but focused on Leavenworth County’s population, saying it deserved to be self-contained in one Senate district or the predominant county of one.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said having the governor’s chief of staff testify on what the governor wanted in a legislative redistricting map was unprecedented.

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

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the fact that Brownback’s plan affects Holland and Kultala “makes the governor look a little petty.” Davis said Brownback has shown he wants to exert his influence over the Legislature and judiciary.

Republican leaders downplayed Brownback’s influence in the Senate redistricting process.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said he doubted the Senate would collapse two districts.

Senate Vice President John Vratil, R-Leawood, said Brownback had earlier indicated he would not be involved in legislative redistricting and now has changed his mind.

Vratil said the governor is entitled to his opinion, but added, “I would just hope he would be consistent.”


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"He said there are numerous federal assets in Leavenworth County that will be susceptible to possible federal budget cuts."

WTF? A state senator has absolutely no say in federal funding.

In addition to his many other shortcomings, Brownback has now shown himself to be a really bad liar.

Shelley Bock 6 years ago

So, if there are two state senators who represent Leavenworth County and local interests, it is better to have only one? Interesting...

Jan Rolls 6 years ago

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what he is doing. Protect federal assets my aunt fanny. What are the Senators and reps for. Like everything else he says he is just a lying you know what. You can tell when he is lying because his lips move.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Terminate Sam Brownback!


The state of Kansas cannot afford Sam Brownback and his back door politics!

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Such violent rhetoric for a family-friendly award-winning website...

kansanjayhawk 6 years ago

Leavenworth county voted against both of the current Senators Holland and Kutala in the last election they lost the Leavenworth portion of the district so one could argue that Leavenworth is presently not being represented at all by those two politicians! Leavenworth county has the population base and is one of the State's 10 largest counties population based. Why should the people of Leavenworth County not have our own State Senator? Maybe some of the politicians in Topeka are afraid that we might send them another very conservative legislator???? I think they are right to be concerned because we will send another conservative!

Kontum1972 6 years ago

maybe they will do a succeed from the State and start a War...they actually planned for Leavenworth to be the Capitol of Kansas....and that did not happen and they still hold a grudge about it...

average 6 years ago

Exactly who drew the lines after the 2000 Census? After the 1990 Census? After the 1980 Census?

Let's not pretend that the split of Leavenworth county was pushed through by some dastardly Dems. They haven't, in the lifetime of many of us, been in any position to even slightly affect the lines. The GOP split LVCO, trying to put more Republicans into seats that represented parts of Lawrence and KCK. This backfired (both seats stayed Dem, even with the additional Republicans). Now they're trying to make it sound like they're correcting some cosmic wrong that was put on them, not something they drew up and voted for in 2002 with virtually no Democratic input.

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