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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Brownback’s office says he will release judical applicants’ names, then backs off statement

July 9, 2013

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— Under fire from advocates for open government, Gov. Sam Brownback's office on Tuesday said he will disclose the names of applicants for a new Kansas Court of Appeals position. But then minutes later the office said a decision on that issue hadn't been finalized yet.

Eileen Hawley, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said the furor over the governor's earlier decision to keep the names secret had become too much of a distraction.

"It became obvious the focus of attention was on the process rather than on selecting the best qualified person on the Court of Appeals," Hawley said.

But shortly afterward, Hawley contacted the Journal-World a second time and said that she had "gotten ahead" of herself, and a final decision hadn't yet been made.

She had said earlier that Brownback would announce the names of those who went through the application process on July 31, which is the deadline for applying. On that same date, he would announce the date that he would make his selection, she had said.

Hawley had said a decision has not been made on whether Brownback will reveal the names of applicants for future appellate positions.

A new law allows the governor to make appointments to the Kansas Court of Appeals with Senate confirmation. Previously, a statewide judicial nominating commission screened applicants and submitted the names of possible nominees to the governor. That commission had released the names of appellate court applicants since 1981 and in recent years had opened its interviews with applicants to the public.

Brownback's office had argued earlier that public accountability of his nominee would occur when the Senate holds an open hearing on his appointee.

A number of groups, however, said Brownback was making the selection process more closed off to the public after he and supporters of changing the selection method had complained that the former process was too secretive.

The League of Women Voters filed a request under the Kansas Open Records Act to get the names of those applying, but Brownback's office rejected the request, saying the documents requested were not subject to the Open Records law.

Comments

Fred Mertz 1 year, 5 months ago

How did Seblius get elected twice if what you say is true?

Fred Mertz 1 year, 5 months ago

Or maybe they just voted for the best candidate regardless of party. Sure there are those on both sides that will vote party line, but many will vote for the best candidate.

If the Ds put up a good candidate then Brownback is gone, if not then we will have four more long years of stupidity.

cowboy 1 year, 5 months ago

Ms. Hawley will really be sorry she took this job in 5,4,3,2,1,.... , its hard working for the political equivalent of Liberace.

riverdrifter 1 year, 5 months ago

Cowboy, I was thinking the same thing. I bet Eileen gets sick and tired of having to backtrack/redact for these nimrods and says to hell with it by the time the snow flies.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 5 months ago

It was nice to see her own up to her mistake......must really suck to work for people who can't get their act together.

oldexbeat 1 year, 5 months ago

still guessing the names are Koch, Kline and -- for rational side effects -- Miller. Just saying. Oh, and Perry (could be a Kansan if he lived at Sammy house -- you know, like that lawyer that became a non-Republican to be the 6th Republican on the Board of Regents) Lies are ok with the Sam.

Lisa Medsker 1 year, 5 months ago

Sammy hasn't learned that thing that most of us learned in Kindergarten: If you don't lie, there are no secrets...

voevoda 1 year, 5 months ago

How are we supposed to trust that Gov. Brownback has chosen the best qualified applicant to nominate if we don't know who applied?

bad_dog 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm guessing the operational definition of "best qualified applicant" is just a bit subjective...

hillsandtrees 1 year, 5 months ago

There are some very 'objective' factors that can be analyzed - such as a broad range of experience and expertise, even temperament, and absence of prejudice.

Claudean McKellips 1 year, 5 months ago

Doesn't pass the smell test. Too many secretive backroom deals in Brownbackistan. Cannot wait to vote against this mess.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 5 months ago

Orwell wrote "war is peace."

Brownback said "transparency through confidentiality."

This doesn't bode well for the future of Kansas...

DrQuack 1 year, 5 months ago

Why is it he doesn't want the puiblic to know? Is he hiding something or ashamed of something? This looks quite crooked.

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