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Archive for Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ralliers protest policies of Brownback, conservative Republicans in the Legislature

February 23, 2013

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— Approximately 200 people rallied Saturday outside the Statehouse, protesting the policies of Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative Republicans.

The Rev. Joshua Longbottom, pastor at Plymouth Congregational in Lawrence, speaks Saturday at rally outside Statehouse.

The Rev. Joshua Longbottom, pastor at Plymouth Congregational in Lawrence, speaks Saturday at rally outside Statehouse.

Protestors carry signs Saturday against legislation aimed at teachers.

Protestors carry signs Saturday against legislation aimed at teachers.

"It breaks my heart to see what some of the folks in the building behind me have been doing to the place that we call home," said Lisa Ochs, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Kansas.

Many of the proposals opposed by the crowd deal with restricting the Kansas National Education Association and public employee unions.

The crowd booed House Bill 2023, which would prohibit teachers and state employees from voluntarily having deducted from their paychecks funds for political activity.

"What burns me most is when the folks in this building try to take away your right to participate in the political process," said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. "There is nothing more fundamental than your First Amendment right to participate in democracy and have your voice heard," Davis said.

The bill, backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, has been approved in the House and is now pending before a Senate committee. Supporters say it is needed because employees are being coerced into signing over funds for political campaigning.

Several of the speakers at the rally on the east side of the Capitol said some legislators are attacking teachers and public employees while Brownback fights for tax cuts for wealthy Kansans.

"Gov. Brownback wants to keep bailing out his corporate friends, empty the state treasury and then point the finger at you and me," said Randy Mousley, president of the United Teachers of Wichita.

Last year, Brownback signed into law a package that reduced the state personal income tax and eliminated income taxes for 191,000 business owners.

Brownback has said the cuts will boost the economy, but so far, the cuts have led to budget shortfalls. To bridge the revenue gap, Brownback has proposed making the temporary state sales tax of 6.3 percent permanent and eliminating homeowner deductions.

Former state Sen. Jean Schodorf, who was defeated in the Republican Party primary last August and has since switched to the Democratic Party, said Brownback has political motivations with his tax plan.

"This is an experiment that Sam Brownback is conducting and it's not for the people of Kansas. It's for the Republican Party in 2016, so he can say that Kansas cut taxes and brought back jobs," Schodorf said.

Brownback has said moving the state toward no income tax will make Kansas more attractive to businesses.

"You're moving really from taxing the production side of the equation to the consumption side of the equation," he said recently.

Another speaker at the rally, Resa Boydston, a mental health technician at the Kansas Neurological Institute, said the state's tight budget situation was leading to a skyrocketing turnover rate at the residential facility that care for people with profound disabilities.

"My guys that I take care of, they deserve to have that stability, and running people in and out is not going to get it for them," Boydston said. "We're the only support they have. We're their family. They couldn't survive without us," she said.

Others who spoke at the rally were Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka; the Rev. Joshua Longbottom, pastor at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence; and Sulma Arias, executive director of Sunflower Community Action. Deena Burnett, president of the Lawrence Education Association, read a letter from Dave Reeber, a Free State High School biology teacher.

Comments

question4u 1 year, 10 months ago

"The bill, backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, has been approved in the House...Supporters say it is needed because employees are being coerced into signing over funds for political campaigning."

If this is about public employees being coerced then why is the Chamber of Commerce spending time and money pushing it? When has the Chamber of Commerce shown concern for employees in the public OR private sectors?

Does the Kansas Chamber of Commerce run the Kansas Legislature? The fate of this bill will make the answer clear. The Chamber wanted all moderate voices out of the House and Senate. The people of Kansas obliged. It should come as no surprise that the Chamber has begun to pull the puppet strings. Welcome to the third world.

Mike1949 1 year, 10 months ago

Have been saying that since browback took office! (Welcome to the third world!)

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 10 months ago

One of the investment programs on 980 am this morning said businesses from Missouri are moving across the line into Kansas as fast as they can get out of their leases. Does that mean new jobs for Kansas, fewer empty storefronts and the start of a favorable business climate? More for our tax base, less on unemployment? Our elected officials got this one right. Now if we can get a performanced based educational system where quality teachers are rewarded instead of this one size fits all approach, our educational system will start to turn around.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

Have it your way. At least I was smart enough not to vote for Obama.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 10 months ago

If a business movesfrom Lee's Summit to Overland Park or from KCMO to KCK, that does not result in economic development. What it does result in is a negative sum game where Missouri will reciprocate with tax cuts to lure businesses back. There will be no net change in unemployment. But, school kids will lose. But, motorists will lose. But victims of crime will lose. Etc. the GOP is full of empty promises. Remember what we learned as kids...if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

You are assuming that less money equates to better taught children. In what other area of life do you expect to get better quality if you pay less money?

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

That is false. He never said less money equates with better education. As I understand him I'm led to believe he thinks as I do that there is an approximate amount at which you get the most education for the money and funds spent beyond that will be much less effective.

I think that dollar amount is as much as it takes so 99% of students can learn a trade or attend a community college after graduating high school. Students with exceptional abilities will learn beyond the minimum on their own and will be natural candidates for universities.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 9 months ago

P76, I'm not assuming that. But I am assuming that LESS money equates to poorer education outcomes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Funny that those who say that money doesn't matter in how well schools can operate also believe that to a wealthy business owner, it's supercritical that they pay zero taxes.

funkdog1 1 year, 10 months ago

Actually, I heard a conversation about this very thing on the program Up to Date on KCUR. Yes, they're moving across the line, often just blocks away from where they were originally. So all the employees are the same -- a mix of folks from Kansas and Missouri. That's pretty much the sum total of the "new business" that's been attracted to Kansas.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah... These "new" businesses probably won't be hiring "new" employees after they hop the state line...unless, of course, they can get away with paying them less. Ahhhh...Kansas!

tomatogrower 1 year, 10 months ago

This was happening before the tax cuts, because Wyandotte and Johnson county have been giving them tax breaks. The problem is most of them are moving across in KC. Guess what? It's not that far of a commute. Chances are most employees will continue to work there, just drive further. Not too many new jobs. Now if you can show me that they are moving businesses to western Kansas, then, hey, I'll agree with you.

tomatogrower 1 year, 9 months ago

These companies are in KC. Their Missouri workers will just commute further, and their Kansas workers will just not have to commute as far. Give me examples of any of them moving to western Kansas, or even Lawrence or Topeka?

Lane Signal 1 year, 10 months ago

These kinds of protests are important. I applaud their efforts. Brownie and his puppets are destroying our state. The more we can expose the silliness of their stated reasons for their policies, the more obvious it will be to everyone that we are being lied to. They say teachers are being coerced in to funding political action? Is the idea they are being tricked into supporting candidates who will push for better funding for education? And union membership is voluntary. Where is the coercion? It's about time Republicans start to express their embarrassment at the lies their congressmen are telling. It's about time Republican's start to express their embarrassment for how stupid Brownie and his puppets think we are. They aren't really even trying to come up with credible rational for their bid to give all the money and all the power to the wealth based political machine that installed them. They are just making up completely idiotic excuses.

Dan Eyler 1 year, 10 months ago

I have been listening closely to democrats such as Paul Davis, Tom Holland and Hensley hoping they will lay out a plan for Kansans. I was hoping to hear something about job growth, opportunity, prosperity and hope. But in the end I haven't heard anything. What I do hear is raising taxes, more social services, more tax dollars from an already strapped tax payer. But nothing that will bring jobs to this state to help people free themselves from government dependency and therefore contribute to their own cause. In this article there is not a single work about creating a job, putting people back to work or opportunity unless you call a handout opportunity. Kansans are a very charitable people but we have been pushed to the limit. We have been promised that only the rich will be taxed and we are finding out this is nothing buy lies. To meet the demands of those organizing this rally would mean even a bigger decline in household income and we are not going to buy into that any longer. Most want to help the handicapped, and provide care for the very sick. But the definition of needy has grown to include anyone who doesn't want to work when they are able. We all have some problems that make it hard to get out of bed every day put on our shoes and get out the door looking for a job or going to work. But the number of people in this state who can't even manage this is ridiculous. Its obvious and enough is enough. I side with those who want to grow business in this state and create jobs and put the needy to work. Democrats promote and encourage the needy and that sales pitch isn't working.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

This is your same ole litany of baseless assertions and talking points, KF.

weeslicket 1 year, 9 months ago

kansasfaithful: But the definition of needy has grown to include anyone who doesn't want to work when they are able.

thanks kansasfaithful. i always wondered what the purpose of KNI was.

Lane Signal 1 year, 9 months ago

kansasfaithful, you say "the definition of needy has grown to include anyone who doesn't want to work when they are able", but that's not the primary focus of Brownie's cuts. He wants to take money away from all the programs. Aid for the physically challenged and money for public schools are among his targets. He wants to give huge breaks to the wealthy, saying this is an investment in our economy. The wealthy have proven time and time again that giving them money does not inspire them to invest in our economy and stimulate growth. Republicans have been chanting this trickle down mantra for decades, and while they chant, the wealthy accumulate a higher and higher percentage of the wealth and the gap between rich and poor widens. Strip this argument down to it's bare roots and it becomes obviously ridiculous. You would argue that taking x dollars away from public schools and giving that amount to the rich in the form of a tax cut will result in a greater benefit to Kansans. How stupid do you think we are?

Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 months ago

Wanted: More diversity of thought in Kansas politics

In Kansas, the situation is even more pronounced as the voters sent moderate Republicans home and conservative Republicans to Topeka. Some rejoice that the agenda of a conservative governor will work its way through the conservative Legislature with little challenge. Governmental gridlock for which the public has expressed its frustration will diminish in Kansas, so they claim.

Not only did the voters reduce diversity in state government, elected officials use their power to reduce possible dissent in the public conversation. Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick directed the state chief justice to put the annual state of the judiciary report in writing instead of addressing a joint session of the Legislature.

Merrick said the decision was in consideration of the multiple tasks the legislators have to complete in a limited time. Many people, however, suspect it is an attempt to muffle certain voices. Likewise, many observers see the debate about reducing state support of public radio as an attempt to thwart certain views from reaching western Kansas.

The cost is too great. If the researchers are correct in saying diversity of thought contributes to innovative thinking, then Kansans should lower expectations that the current state government will find solutions to current issues. Researchers reported that groups with a single, shared mindset have less ability to think in ways that foster innovation.

These days in politics, compromise is a bad word. But we don’t need compromise as much as we need creative solutions to the rapid, continuous change we experience.

State leaders should open the process to more voices and listen when someone speaks. Political parties must find and equip articulate candidates. Voters should abandon the notion that a monolithic government best serves our collective good.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/22/4081470/wanted-more-diversity-of-thought.html#storylink=cpy

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 9 months ago

Excellent story. You will never see anything THAT critical of The Kansas GOP in the LJW. Dolph wouldn't allow it.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

It's a Rothschild piece, when you see that name at the top of the article you don't even need to guess if it will be critical or not -it will

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Can you point to a passage in this article that you consider "critical?"

(and reporting of someone else's words doesn't count.)

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Brownback has said the cuts will boost the economy, but so far, the cuts have led to budget shortfalls. To bridge the revenue gap, Brownback has proposed making the temporary state sales tax of 6.3 percent permanent and eliminating homeowner deductions. The "shortfall" has not been seen yet if ever. The "shortfall" is a projected number not yet realized

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Weak, very weak. There is no doubt at all that without taking countermeasures (i.e., shifting the tax burden to lower income people) that there will be budget shortfalls.

So, again, we see that for Armstrong, unless Rothschild writes fawning propaganda pieces rather than just reporting the facts, he's being "critical." He seems to be confused by watching too much Fox and listening to too much Rush to the point that he actually believes that what they do is journalism.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

No straw man-- I just happen to be able to do basic arithmetic, which is clearly way beyond you and your heroes in the legislature and the gov's mansion.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Not sure where the arithmatic thing comes into play in this article but keep tryin Boz. If nothing else your posts are great entertainment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Hmm, you bring in the tax cuts as your "proof" of something or other, and pretend that Brownback, et al, are Jesi of some sort who can multiply fish and bread and money merely by waving their capitalistic magic wands. Seems to indicate a naive attempt to compensate for a deficiency in basic arithmetic skills to me.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Answered Boz in the first response. Read the thread.

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

Usually, P76, you call Democrats "big government" types. (Not an accurate descriptor, but one you often embrace.) But suddenly Democrats are "anarchists"--that is, people who believe in no government? Your posting is revealing, P76: you don't know enough about political theory to be posting about it.

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

You are confusing protest with anarchy, P76. It was an orderly, law-abiding, well-organized demonstration bringing to the attention to the government and the public issues of concern. It was an exercise of our rights as citizens (First Amendment, freedom of assembly). That's completely different from anarchy. If you don't understand that, P76, it only shows that you are ignorant as to the meaning of "anarchy." And if you don't know the meaning of the terms you throw around, you would do better not to post. When you use key words wrong, it makes readers doubt everything you say.

Although, come to think of it, it would probably be a good thing if readers doubt everything you say.

Starting with your assertion that the protest "cost Topeka" for "overtime." Where's your evidence that this gathering cost a single penny of increased costs for police, or anything else? If you were really a defender of our system of government, you'd be happy to pay a tiny bit, if necessary, so that your fellow citizens can exercise their Constitutional freedoms safely.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

"Approximately 200 people rallied Saturday outside the Statehouse, protesting the policies of Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative Republicans."

2,885,705 did not. Do the math.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

"So because someone didn't show up at the protest that must mean they agree with Brownback's policies."

If that's all you saw, that's all you deserve.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

No, I said nothing about people's opinion of Brownback's policies. The vast majority of Kansans have no interest in helping unions and it shows up well when only 200 people from a state of almost 3 million show up to protest the loss of union power. Tell us about the similar protests in Wisconsin. Were there more than 200 people there? Did they win in the end?

You're a little drop of blue surrounded by a sea of red. Get used to it.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

"Logic failure big time Liberty. Very disappointing."

Don't dance your jig just yet.

"So because someone didn't show up at the protest that must mean they agree with Brownback's policies."

That is a statement. I can tell it is a statement because it has a period and not a question mark, It states that people that didn't show up agree with Brownback. I hold that we cannot know for certain if they all agree with Brownback or not as some Kansans died after the protest without stating their opinion and before your post.

The premise in your statement is undefinable and therefore cannot be used as a base for any other argument. Your logic is faulty.

Thank you for your disappointment. That means you don't expect logical fallacies from me. I generally avoid them but in this case the fallacy was worth the satiric difference between the numbers.

Did you watch Daytona? They had an ad for themselves as they probably lost a lot of advertisers because of the tragic wreck, and one of those had a cool line: "love your rival so you'll have someone to defeat". I like that. It really fits the passive aggressive form of pseudo-Buddism I seem to have developed.

Also, learn punctuation.

bad_dog 1 year, 9 months ago

You should have quit after the first statement you quoted. It pretty much (and succinctly) describes the pseudo-analytical diarrhea that follows.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

The great majority of eligible voters did not vote for Brownback. Does that mean he's not really the governor?

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

They hang the man and flog the woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
And geese will still a common lack
'Till they go and steal it back.

- 17th century protest against English enclosure

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

A man that runs a small corp gives me money twice a month for doing stuff. But before he can give me money he has to send part of my money to the feds and the state. I make that point because from where I am sitting, your 17th century protest should be directed at the government.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

And you get absolutely no benefit from any of that money going to the state or the feds, right?

hedshrinker 1 year, 9 months ago

roads, bridges, police and EMT svcs, public education, etc, etc....not much, huh?

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

"roads, bridges, police and EMT svcs, public education, etc, etc....not much, huh?"

OK. I pay to register my car every year, that's a hundred or so. Some percentage of the money I pay for gas is a tax. Just by driving a car I am paying what I believe is fair for the amount of wear I place on roads and bridges.

Police - I have no use for them and would be happy to see many fewer.

EMT - Not used in 30 years of paying taxes. If I need them, I have insurance that will pay 80% of the cost.

Public Education - I don't have any kids.

Not much, huh? How much should $10,000+ buy me for the year? How about the $10,000 my wife pays? Tell me what we are getting for our $20,000.

63BC 1 year, 9 months ago

Good to see a pastor presenting at this rally.

From Colonial times, American clergy have been involved in political activism.

Good for him and good for the organizers.

This also means we're done with leftist complaints about such involvement...right?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

It's one thing for a person of faith to be politically active. It's a whole nother thing to attempt to establish a theocracy.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago


I can guarantee you that this isn't the "Jesus" that Brownback and his friends worship.

Liberty275 1 year, 9 months ago

IOW, jesus-lovers can say what they want as long as Bozo agrees.

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

Suppressing unions was an early stage in Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power.

Nikonman 1 year, 9 months ago

For Paul Davis to claim his or any of his followers First Amendment Rights are being curtailed is not only a huge stretch, but completely absurd. If you have to pay union dues to be heard, then go to your bank and have a regular payment set up. If you are too lazy to do that, then there's no hope for you. I think the goal is to have 100 % of the state budget end up in Douglas County instead of the 30 %. Thirty percent is what I heard several years ago.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 9 months ago

Boy, you guys have made an art of sidestepping the real issues and creating and disseminating talking points. Let me explain why anti-union bills such as ours are wrong:

The actual evil in this thing come from the language that prohibits public unions from doing anything with union members' dollars that smacks of politics, like, for instance, arguing for the election of people who actually support anything. The fact that the people can make personal contributions, set up an auto-debit, or donate their homes and children to the union makes no difference, does it, if the union is prohibited from doing anything similar to AFP, The Kansas Chamber of Commerce, or any organization that sollicits funds from individuals or businesses.

Try to stay on task when you decry the actions of people who really understand.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Tried and tired liberal tactic seen daily on this award winning site.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Debate is one thing, watching the same baseless liberal hyterics spewed out daily is another. Come up with something besides a wild conspiracy theory or grandstanding and I will be happy to debate.

Armstrong 1 year, 9 months ago

Or, maybe I should examine why I my blue dot views are so overwhemingly in the minority and out of step with the rest of the state.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 9 months ago

They OWN it Alright . They Will OWN the Out come of Brownback's Grand Experiment as well. Hope you can choke it down when it becomes apparent to all. These policies will hurt whether you are A Republican or a Democrat. Unless you(RC1977) are a member of the Top 1%, Your taxes will GO UP. Will you still support them(Kansas GOP)Then?

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

Just because you know that Brownback will try this, (Rick Perry is BB's idol, after all), it appears that the state of Texas got a big dose of reality.
http://www.policymic.com/articles/20410/texas-to-refund-family-planning-babies-are-more-expensive-than-the-pill

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 9 months ago

STILL waiting for an Answer! OK Can.t, Armstrong! RockChalk 1977! Will You Still Support the Kansas GOP when YOUR Taxes go up? Sure you will. When a Democrat raises taxes, They are being irresponsible Socialists. But ,when a Republican raises taxes, they are being Fiscally Responsible, Benevolent Saviors of The Republic. By the way, I don't Expect an Answer from You. I KNOW the Answer.

notajayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

"Approximately 200 people rallied Saturday outside the Statehouse, protesting the policies of Gov. Sam Brownback and conservative Republicans."

Wow, 200 people.

Then again, that was almost everyone that voted against them ...

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