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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2012

Lawmaker subpoenaed in meetings probe

May 25, 2012

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— A Kansas House member said Friday that he's been subpoenaed by a county prosecutor investigating private meetings Gov. Sam Brownback had with legislators at his official residence.

Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican, told The Associated Press exclusively that he received a subpoena Thursday ordering him to appear June 7 at the Shawnee County Courthouse. Schwab was angry about being summoned to answer questions, calling it "beyond ridiculous" because he wasn't at any of the gatherings.

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, a Democrat, is investigating seven meetings the Republican governor had in January at Cedar Crest, the governor's official residence. Brownback invited members of 13 legislative committees, with all but one of the invited lawmakers being Republicans.

Taylor's spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment. The district attorney has been investigating the meetings since February and has yet to announce any findings. Brownback has said repeatedly that he's confident none of the gatherings violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act.

Schwab said he has told Taylor's office repeatedly that he did not attend the two gatherings to which he was invited. Schwab called Taylor "a politically motivated monster" and said the district attorney's investigation is "a witch hunt."

"He's completely incompetent or politically motivated," Schwab said. "He just needs to resign."

Brownback invited more than 90 of the state's 165 legislators to the dinner gatherings in January at Cedar Crest, grouping them by committee membership. The one Democrat who was invited has said she assumed it was a mistake and didn't attend.

The governor acknowledged in March that he set up the meetings to discuss his agenda for this year's legislative session, did "most of the talking" and took questions and comments. However, he's dismissed criticism that the gatherings were business meetings, and many lawmakers who attended them have described them repeatedly as social gatherings.

The Open Meetings Act prohibits a voting majority of a legislative body from discussing government business without giving the public notice or access to the meetings.

Taylor said at the outset of his investigation that the Open Meetings Act does not apply to Brownback as an individual, and that the alleged violations are civil, not criminal, matters. Officials who knowingly break the law can be fined up to $500 per incident. But typically, a case leads to an order or agreement spelling out what steps officials will take to avoid future violations.

Comments

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

We have had years of interpretation of the law, no fines, just endless repetition of little meetings, where they probably laugh, teaching how they can do " it" without appearing to break the rules, Lessons on how to skirt, the open meetings laws. I am sick of the "investigations" that pat the hands of anguished politicians being "unjustly" caught breaking them. How many infractions before they come up with another excuse other than they were too stupid to understand the law. The governor acknowledged in March that he set up the meetings to discuss his agenda for this year's legislative session, did "most of the talking" and took questions and comments. However, he's dismissed criticism that the gatherings were business meetings, and many lawmakers who attended them have described them repeatedly as social gatherings.

Is Governor Brownback delusional, or does he think we are. Having broke the open meetings law doing exactly what he wanted, he thinks calling the conversations social and not political is brazen brass. . Brownback should resign.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

just another personal attack...delusional...you are just upset a more conservative agenda is moving forward in Topeka!

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Not name-calling just using the word the poster used to point out his name calling.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Not name-calling just using the word the poster used to point out his name calling.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 8 months ago

Is there anything, I repeat, ANYTHING, you have to say that directly refutes the story?

Then just give your keyboard a break.

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

How would Brownback describe a business meeting , where he presented ideas and took questions and answers from a select group of fellow politicians? Where he only invites some? Calling this a social gathering, just means he has the worst parties in the history of the mansion.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

The intention of the open meetings act was not social gatherings at Cedar Crest...im sure Sebelius discussed just as much politics with Tiller ... when she honored him at the governors mansion. This is a Democrat prosecutor run amok.

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

I have been at many social gatherings at the mansion. Do you even know what the intention of the open meetings laws are? You are suggesting that because you hated Tiller, Governor Brownback should not have to obey the law. I disagree.
Your arguments are like this all the time. Can't you just address the issue? The issue is not abortion or abortion rights. Unless that was the discussion the Governor and the legislators were socializing over.

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

The above remark implying the discussion was socializing is sarcastic. For those who can not extrapolate.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

By the way...i have never said I hated Tiller...which I did not and do not now...i hated the criminal and immoral acts he committed but I did not hate him. Love the sinner and hate the sin, just as we would with any criminal, we must stand up for what is right!

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

So you think the late Dr. Tiller was at this meeting?

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Kansas. Statutes 45-215 - 45-223 passed by the Kansas legislature define the law.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Point is there was no violation here it is just political...rep Schwab was not even at the meeting...

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh you of too much faith, I don't mean religious, Were you there? Do you know any facts? Do you know what the Open meetings act is?

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, well aware of KOMA, are you aware rep. Schwab was not even there?

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

Do you know what happened at his meeting? Do you know if Rep Schwab got a communication from the results of the meeting? Do you care if the open meetings act was violated? Were you at this meeting? I wish I could bet with someone about how sideways your response will be.

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

which is why I included the open records act. I am not sure, just guessing the boys were stupid enough to send information to colleagues about the "social" business decided.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 8 months ago

And what has that to do with the fact that the DA has asked for information from Schwab, even if he wasn't there?

Until you have information--read that, facts--what is your point in repeating that Schwab wasn't there? Do you have information that Schwab's testimony is useless? Do you even have any inkling why Schwab might have been subpoenaed?

Damn, kjh, your posts get sillier each and every day.

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

No the antics of the left to stir up some pixie dust fake scandal because they cannot win the political debate is what is really the silliest!

pace 2 years, 8 months ago

A bit barbaric, you don't care how it is done, as long as infrastructure built by generations of Kansans is destroyed or sold and the wealthiest get a tax break while the middle class pay more. We will short change returning veterans from support services and the oil kings will have more money to pay for various advertising blitz. I just don't agree that is all good. I do know the common attitude is acceptance of secret schemes and rotten deals but I wouldn't call them good. But you have a right to your feelings.

cowboy 2 years, 8 months ago

Is it not ironic that "lawmakers" have a problem complying with the law and cooperating with legal investigations.

George_Braziller 2 years, 8 months ago

If it's "beyond ridiculous" then why's he getting his panties in a wad? Go in, answer questions from the prosecuting attorney and it's done.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Hamlet, Act III, scene II

Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

What Schwab was not at the meetings? A republican RINO friend to Sam Brownback decided not to be there? This is fishy.

For some reason he is being asked to drop by.

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