Archive for Thursday, August 22, 2013

League of Women Voters seeks governor’s schedule to find out who else was interviewed for appeals judge

August 22, 2013


— The League of Women Voters of Kansas today criticized Gov. Sam Brownback for keeping secret the selection process that led to his nomination of his chief counsel Caleb Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals, and the group is asking to see the names of other candidates the governor considered for the judgeship.

“Governor Brownback claims that Mr. Stegall is the most qualified choice for the Court of Appeals among 13 applicants who were interviewed,” said the league's state president Dolores Furtado. “As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘trust, but verify.’"

The organization has filed a request under the state Open Records Act for the schedules of Brownback, Stegall and the governor's Appointments Director Kim Borchers from July 15 to Aug. 16. "Taxpayers have a right to know what public officials and their agents are doing on their behalf. If these meetings actually happened, there should be no problem releasing the calendars as required under the law," Furtado said.

Under a new law that was pushed for by Brownback and Stegall, the governor nominates Court of Appeals judges with Senate confirmation.

Under the former law, a nominating commission accepted applications, vetted applicants and conducted interviews before forwarding to the governor three names from which the governor selected.

The nominating commission had made public the names of those applying and those who made the final cut.

Brownback has refused to do that. He said revealing the names would make some qualified applicants shy away from applying. "You limit your pool of applicants," he said.

On Tuesday, Brownback selected Stegall, 41, to a slot on the state's second-highest court. It was the governor's first appointment under the new law.


Centerville 4 years, 9 months ago

Since when the League become the water carrier for the crank wing? Oh yea, when George Soros started paying their bills.

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

Why do you think the League is a "water carrier for the crank wing?" Brownback claimed he wanted this change in the judicial appointment process to add more transparency. Do you think it would be more or less transparent to ask for the list of other potential candidates, since Brownback is also asserting that he picked the most qualified. If he chose the most qualified, wouldn't it be obvious from that list?

Catalano 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm pretty sure that Mr. Soros does not pay the State League of Women Voters bills. Instead of badmouthing them, why don't you try to learn a little more about them?

Catalano 4 years, 9 months ago

Interesting. Although it appears Soros contributed to the National League of Women Voters Education Fund over the years, which is not the State League. But interesting, nevertheless. Thanks.

hillsandtrees 4 years, 8 months ago

From David Burress, Co-President, LWV - Lawrence/Douglas County: "The Kansas LWV has received no money from Soros. National education funds have not been used for that purpose and are used by National LWV, not Kansas. There has been no Kansas contact with Soros. Further Kansas LWV has challenged Brownback;s secret judicial appointment procedure, not the Brownback administration as such. Therefore describing Soros as funding Kansas LWV opposition to Brownback tells us a lot about the lack of integrity of the Franklin Center and nothing about the LWV."

Keith 4 years, 9 months ago

The only crank wings here are the ones you're flapping.

question4u 4 years, 9 months ago

Why should anyone have to resort to the Open Records Act for this? There's no worry about limiting the pool of applicants now. Shouldn't Brownback be happy to provide information that would clear some of the stench of corruption from this appointment?

Welcome to Kansas. Enjoy the puppet show, but don't ask what's going on backstage.

riverdrifter 4 years, 9 months ago

Muscular Sam always looks like he's sniffing some freshly cut rare cheese.

Stuart Sweeney 4 years, 9 months ago

I can tell you who he interviewed for the appointment--Caleb Stegall!! That is the only one you will find and that is why he keep his potential candidates a secret!

EveryMan 4 years, 9 months ago

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat and lawyer who opposes changing the selection process, called Stegall “well-qualified” for the Court of Appeals. Davis said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Stegall among the finalists. “Caleb is an experienced attorney who’s practiced in a number of different settings,” Davis said.

Now, Paul Davis feels Stegall is not qualified and Davis is running for Governor...shocker.

xyz 4 years, 9 months ago

The rest of the quote from the CJ article that EveryMan posted: “Caleb is an experienced attorney who’s practiced in a number of different settings,” Davis said. “But there may be people with more experience than he has, and I think we have to trust the people on the nominating commission to do their job.”

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks xyz. They love to trot out quotes but always leave out the part of the quote that doesn't go with their argument. They must assume they are the only ones who read the entire article and have the comprehension level to actually Remember what was said. Too bad their memory is so Selective.

Rational_Kansan 4 years, 9 months ago

Good for the League of Women Voters. The people have a right to know.

msezdsit 4 years, 9 months ago

Republicans change the law so they can appoint judges, they appoint one of their own, and then the republican legislature rubber stamps them. Now thats fair and balanced. Why would anyone question that. A great big thank you to the League of Women Voters. I guess to the "get the government out of our lives people" that means let the government operate in complete secrecy and just obey them.

tomatogrower 4 years, 9 months ago

"Brownback has refused to do that. He said revealing the names would make some qualified applicants shy away from applying. "You limit your pool of applicants," he said."

People apply for jobs all the time and don't get them. What he really means is if he releases these names we will discover that there were more qualified people he didn't even consider. Otherwise, why not reveal the names? They are adults. I think they could handle it. The names were public knowledge before, and yet people still applied.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.