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Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Republicans at war with each other over redistricting

May 15, 2012

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— A Senate Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday exploded into a war of words between conservatives and moderates over redistricting.

At one point, state Sen. Tim Owens, a moderate Republican from Overland Park, who is chair of the Senate redistricting committee, stormed out of the meeting, saying, "I don't need to sit here and listen to this garbage."

Meanwhile, conservatives demanded that Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, be summoned to the meeting.

"We're in a political war," said state Sen. Susan Wagle, a conservative Republican from Wichita. She accused Morris and Emler of wanting to work more with Democrats than conservatives.

Later in the evening, the Senate reconvened, and Morris postponed the redistricting debate until Wednesday. He urged opposing sides to try to reach a compromise.

The fireworks came as legislators continued to meet in overtime with no resolution in sight on key issues, such as the budget, tax cuts and redistricting.

The once-a-decade process of redrawing political boundaries to adjust for population shifts has been particularly nasty, especially between the factions of the Kansas Republican Party.

Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, and the conservative-led House have opposed Senate-approved maps that were approved by a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

State Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, said the process was poisoned by Brownback when the governor's allies made it clear they were going to try to defeat moderates in the Republican Party primary.

"This whole collision course was started by people not in this room," Brungardt said during the caucus meeting.

But conservatives pounced on the latest map that Owens planned to carry on the Senate floor. They said it would have hurt conservatives and helped Democrats. Sen. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, said Douglas and Shawnee counties were over-represented. "It would seem, the Democrats basically got what they wanted," he said.

But Owens said it was impossible to draw a map that would satisfy everyone. Frustrated over the issue, Owens said the committee process had been a waste of time and that Brownback politicized the issue further.

"This is about politics," Owens said. "It is not about a logical map. This is a political war, and I'm tired of it," he said, adding that he didn't care if the issue was resolved in the courts.

State Sen. Jeff King, R-Independence, urged Owens to pull down the map, saying even if it passed, Brownback would veto it. "Why on earth are we doing this? We don't need to make a difficult week any worse," King said.

Comments

tange 1 year, 11 months ago

War, HUH! ... good gawd, y'all.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 11 months ago

Democrats at war with each other over budget. "Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/may/16/obama-budget-defeated-99-0-senate/

Not one single vote. That would be the Democrat controlled Senate. Hope & change. No he can't!

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ThePilgrim 1 year, 11 months ago

For all the talk of free markets, state's rights, and freedom, the Republicans are remarkably paternalistic in their leigislative behavior.

They insult the freedom of the citizen and voter as much as they accuse the Democrats of doing.

Fascism by any other name...

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 11 months ago

"I hope all Democrats in the "targeted" districts switch to republican for the primary " === Good point. I used to switch back and forth, but just stayed with the R's after a bit. Picking off the craziest of the bunch in August can sometimes help provide more rational choices in November.

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kansanjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Good luck I believe the legislature is reflective of the people who are truly conservative.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 11 months ago

It's time for the moderate republicans and democrats in Kansas to realize if Kansas is ever to be freed from the evangelical Koch addicted monsters, we must work together. I hope all Democrats in the "targeted" districts switch to republican for the primary and vote these Brownback kissed conservatives out and elect moderate voices who believe in Kansas and have the will to lead instead of these idiots who lockstep march to the conservative can't get enough government in our vaginas out of business.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 11 months ago

How embarrassing and damaging to Kansas.

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jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

One of my concerns about this is the $2.5 million or so of taxpayer dollars that may be spent on court cases, if/when they can't get their jobs done.

Maybe we could fine them for non-performance of their duties?

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Shelley Bock 1 year, 11 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Kansas redistricting, budget and taxation are getting absolutely zero interest from the national media. Kansas doesn't seem to matter to anyone but Kansans. Well, some Kansans.

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

"We're in a political war," said state Sen. Susan Wagle

Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, and the conservative-led House have opposed Senate-approved maps that were approved by a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats

State Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, said the process was poisoned by Brownback when the governor's allies made it clear they were going to try to defeat moderates in the Republican Party primary.

Wow!!! Susan, you and your ilk are in a war with America. Everything that is good and that has been fought for, the rights and laws that took decades to make, are all being undone. This is very much like giving up the car for a horse or your cell phone for a tin cup and string. I really hope that what has been going on allows citizen republicans to rethink their affiliation with their party and maybe vote for the better candidate and not just the one with the R next to the name

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wastewatcher 1 year, 11 months ago

For the record, the moderate republicans did not compromise in the 2002 map. The current districts were drawn and passed by a coalition od conservative republicans and all of the democrats. Yes politics does indeed make strange bedfellows And the moderates were just as stubborn and wrongheaded in 2002 as they are in 2012. Check the facts.

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irvan moore 1 year, 11 months ago

so far over 100k in overtime pay for these idiots

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 1 year, 11 months ago

Not sure why journalists are so soft on these Republican "moderates". Even the people in their own party know they're crooks. If they were moderates, they'd switch parties and become Democrats.

The JW needs to sic Rothschild on guys like Owens and Vratil and see just how much their activities in the legislature are a reflection of their law firms' clients interests and how much is actually done for their constituents. Are journalists just soft on them because they're Republicans?

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trinity 1 year, 11 months ago

^what JJ said. I am just shaking my head in disbelief. Well, kind of. These tools are so busy screaming at each other about redistricting, that they're totally blowing off other very pressing issues that MUST be addressed during their "overtime" sessions-um, hello, budget anyone??? So here a buttload of State employees sit, gearing up for an impending TWO day furlough next week. Why don't these fools STFU and get on with the business at hand??? I am so disgusted.

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JJE007 1 year, 11 months ago

Nut job Jihad! Nut job Jihad! They've already burned down the entirety of their credibility and are now building a fortress of insanity for their golden calf.

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kansanjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

The governor and house need to stand strong for conservative map which gives fair representation to places like Leavenworth county not just the liberals in Douglas.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

Kansas is a mess right now thanks to Brownback and these radical right wingers. Just go away, please.

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wastewatcher 1 year, 11 months ago

Lets not let the LIBERALS get away with blaming Brownback, remember Graves vetoed a plan because he did not like it. Liberal Senator Owens is a disgrace to call himself a Chairman when he does not have the guts to face a filed challenger so he moves the challenger out of his district. Owens should accept his own failure and not blame others when speak the truth.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 11 months ago

The conservatives are at war. They are not really conservatives, they are radicals.

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Orwell 1 year, 11 months ago

If the conservatives have confidence in their principles why do they feel such a great need to stack the electoral deck? Don't they trust the voters?

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