Archive for Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mock funeral crowd mourns ‘death’ of Kansas

June 8, 2013


The Rev. Josh Longbottom leads a memorial service for the state of Kansas on Saturday. The event, including a funeral procession down Massachusetts Street, was a protest to Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies.

The Rev. Josh Longbottom leads a memorial service for the state of Kansas on Saturday. The event, including a funeral procession down Massachusetts Street, was a protest to Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies.

Laurie Ward, of Lawrence, carries a coffin over her head during a mock funeral procession for the state of Kansas.

Laurie Ward, of Lawrence, carries a coffin over her head during a mock funeral procession for the state of Kansas.

Pallbearers carry Kansas’ casket from Plymouth Congregational Church to South Park on Saturday.

Pallbearers carry Kansas’ casket from Plymouth Congregational Church to South Park on Saturday.

About 150 people, most wearing black and carrying signs, lined up two-by-two and marched south on Massachusetts Street on Saturday in a mock funeral procession for the state of Kansas.

At the helm, four men carried a casket draped with a Kansas flag and filled with handwritten condolences for the state, along with a petition asking Gov. Sam Brownback to repeal a bill that would increase the state sales tax and reduce itemized and standard income tax deductions.

Brownback has said that he will sign this bill into law with the ultimate aim of eliminating state income taxes.

Saturday’s protest of the tax policies was coordinated by local councils of MoveOn, a liberal public policy advocate group.

The crowd gathered at 3 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, at 925 Vermont St., where the Rev. Josh Longbottom started the memorial service.

“We use the liturgical rite of the funeral as a protest of recent actions by Kansas leadership and to the direction we are headed as a state,” Longbottom said. “If we continue down the path we are treading, it will surely put to death all we love about this great state.”

Last year, Brownback signed into law cuts in state income tax rates and the elimination of state income taxes for the owners of partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies. Brownback has said the cuts will spur the economy.

The cuts also projected revenue shortfalls for years to come. This year, Brownback and conservative Republicans pushed through a $777 million tax increase that will boost the state sales tax and reduce itemized and standard deductions, while continuing to phase down income tax rates.

Bill Glover, president of the Kansas State University employees association who attended the event Saturday, said that, as a state employee, he has not received a pay raise in four years. Because of the potential cuts to the higher education budget, he thinks this trend will continue.

“We have to say, ‘enough is enough,’ no matter if you have a ‘R,’ ‘D,’ or ‘I’ in front of your name,” Glover said. “The way we’re headed, I don’t know why anybody would want to move to Kansas.”


George_Braziller 4 years ago

I wish I had known it was happening because I would have been there to be marcher 151 in support.

Dick Sengpiehl 4 years ago

Was in the LJW. Should have been many more there.

Phil Minkin 4 years ago

I thought there were 200-250 at the church, not as many joined the funeral march.

question4u 4 years ago

The funeral is unfortunately premature. Koch's disease and Chamber-of-Commerce syndrome involve a lot of suffering before the relief of death.

smileydog 4 years ago

It is pointless for the left to protest anymore since Obama is mounting his coup. At least the good Reverend and doesn't have to worry about any IRS interference - all part of the coup.

Gary Anderson 4 years ago

Sorry...can't have a coup...we area country of laws.

chootspa 4 years ago

You do realize that twice as many conservative groups were approved than liberal groups, during that time, right?

rtwngr 4 years ago

You do realize that's not true, right?

chootspa 4 years ago

An analysis of the 176 groups flagged for extra scrutiny and approved shows that: - 122 were conservative groups - 48 were Liberal/nonconservative groups - 6 were unknown

Alyosha 4 years ago

You should look up the definition of the word "coup" — because your use of it in this comment is alien to its normal definition.

An elected chief executive pursuing policies you or I disagree with or dislike does not a coup make.

And you are woefully lacking comprehensive information about IRS interference.

It's a shame you post comments based on so little accurate information.

Janis Pool 4 years ago

Why would they when Brownback hired Elizabeth to run Medicaid?

Mike Ford 4 years ago

Obama has had no coup....he's working with the rules left behind by that president whose name starts with B that conservatives hide and run from. if only these conservatives would stop obstructing everything long enough to get rid of bush/cheney rules. one can't the blind elephant to move in right direction though. and the elephant says it's someone else's fault.

Liberty275 4 years ago

Obama likes a good war as much as the next guy. Cut him some slack,

Besides, he's president. His job is commander in chief. What good is being commander in chief without an enemies?

rtwngr 4 years ago

@ tuschy - Still Bush's fault? 5 years later and still Bush's fault?

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

Nothing is Bush's fault....he was a great leader,that is, if you like your country turned into a toilet. Obama is just part 2,.....try to keep up there 'rtwngr'

Liberty275 4 years ago

So since Obama is doing it, it was OK for Dubya to do it?

rtwngr 4 years ago

p> is a radical, left wing, pro socialism, redistributionist advocacy group.

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

this guy is hilarious !! will someone let him out of the basement of the Antique Mall already?

Mike Ford 4 years ago

it's nice to hear grumbling comments since many of you probably weren't there. I was. As the son of clergy whose witnessing this country and perverse love affair with anything that screams "End of Days" and cultural dumbing down and historical amnesia it was refreshing to hear people care about the margins of society with the fervor that's existed before segments of this population came up with excuses and malarkey to malign President Obama. I love conservatives with false outrage when they make it soooo hard to get rid of bush policies.

Brock Masters 4 years ago

What Bush policies has Obama tried to get rid of? He did not have to extend the patriot act, but choose to do so. He didn't have let his DOJ wire tap the press but he did.

Name one thing that Bush did that Obama wanted to get rid of but the GOP wouldn't let him.

scaramouchepart2 4 years ago

Stupid cuts to the endangered species list, cuts to the environmental act to name a couple more

Michael LoBurgio 4 years ago

On Warrantless Wiretapping: 97 percent of the House GOP voted for FISA, 93 percent of the GOP Senate

Armstrong 4 years ago

I guess I would mourn the death of my revenue stream as well.

chootspa 4 years ago

Don't worry. You'll have your chance.

skinny 4 years ago

somebody always wantin something for nothing!

If you don't like how your job or this state is ran, LEAVE!!

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Armstrong 4 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Liberty275 4 years ago

"Good Jobs"

You can have as good a job as you can be the best at.

"has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare."

And you still bow down and worship government. You complain that they don't take enough of our money, then you complain about them being crooks and giving away our money. I don't get it.

How about they don't take our money and don't give it away? Would that make you happy?

friendlyjhawk 4 years ago

Certainly hope that everyone commenting and all who showed put for the "funeral" vote in the next election and all the upcoming ones.

Martha Oldham 4 years ago

When is the next election for governor? I wish someone was working on a recall vote.

Douglas Thompson 4 years ago

Good luck with that. Getting 40% of the number of people voted to sign a recall petition in 90 days...that will happen.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

There is only a year and a half until the next election. If you go ahead and register as a Republican, then you can even vote in the primary. If the moderate Republicans would just run a candidate in the primary against Brownback, he would have a chance to lose right there, but most of us register as a Democrat, or an Independent, or don't vote in the primary at all.

I'm calling on all Independents, Democrats, and moderate Republicans to stop Brownback at the primary. You can always switch back to Democrat or Independent after the election, and you don't have to vote Republican in the general election.

I'm also calling on all moderate Republicans to get out and vote in the primary. The radicals make sure their base gets out to vote, that's why they were able to get their people into the legislature. We will help you take back your party, if you get out there too.

For all of you who never vote. Get off your duff and do something! Your vote does count.

Dick Sengpiehl 4 years ago

Amen, Tomato Grower. You are one of the few voices in the replies which make sense. I've always wished that the Kooks posting in the reply section should be identified so their neighbors would know their ideas. In letters to the editor we know and that's good. Would be fewer ridiculous postings.

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

sounds like you value your privacy very little, why dont you post your address or phone number so i can call you to confirm what exactly your 'ideas' are and judge you accordingly with your 'neighbors'? Lieutenant???

tomatogrower 4 years ago

We Democrats don't have as much money as you extremists Republicans, so it's hard to find someone with the money to run.

twicker 4 years ago

The next election is in 2014. I can see that a lot of people are concerned about what's happening nationally in politics, but Kansas will continue to suffer regardless of what's happening on the federal level until Brownback and his cronies are voted out.

A good many of our legislators pledged that the sales tax enacted because of the recession would expire but made it permanent in this legislative session.

Liberty275 4 years ago

"Brownback has said that he will sign this bill into law with the ultimate aim of eliminating state income taxes."

Let's get this done.

Garth Atchison 4 years ago

Enjoy your property and sales taxes--because unless you are a millionaire they are going to take advantage of you.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Don't you know? All of the Tea Party people who post on here are wealthy, or they will be soon. They're just sure of it.

Liberty275 4 years ago

I think all taxes should be consumption taxes. I don't enjoy any taxes, but I prefer those I can opt out of when I need to.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Oh great. We would get high school drop outs teaching college algebra. Real good plan.
One thing I've noticed is that all these extremists keep saying that we can spend more wisely everywhere, but then I never hear any specific ideas from them. Wastewatcher, have you done an audit of universities? Have you gone to all of the state departments and looked for the waste?

Liberty275 4 years ago

Specific? OK. K10 Bypass west of the bridge to nowhere was the single best road in Lawrence. It may have been two lanes, but the surface was like an interstate. Yet for reasons I don't know, they just repaved over the perfectly smooth surface. Granted, that wasn't billions of dollars, but it was waste.

I was helping a buddy load some stuff in storage. Next to the storage place is a building used by the school system, Out front is a big blue dumpster. We watched as they through away chairs, desks, projectors, rugs and lots of misc stuff. Is there some reason they couldn't sell the desk and a chair to a college student for $30? Or a projector to someone that might use it for something?

Seriously, you don't see them throwing your money away?

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

Quite a bit of that ends up at the State Surplus in Topeka for sale actually, you should check it out! A for effort though

chootspa 4 years ago

Glad to know freedom of speech and symbolic protest mean nothing to you. State sanctioned retribution. Huzzah!

smileydog 4 years ago

Do the people on the left NOT watch the news? Are you living in a vacuum? Obviously you're behind a few days. The wiretapping didn't just apply to a few AP reporters. It applied to millions of Americans. Microsoft, google, facebook, apple, etc (50 companies) - those companies listed also supported Obama's election and re-election, btw. Bush may have started it, but it was Obama who massively expanded it.

skull 4 years ago

You can't trust the main stream media...e'eryboy nos dat.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

What does that have to do with Kansas? Quit trying to change the subject.

yourworstnightmare 4 years ago

I suppose it is the lot of the pitiful, ignorant Kansan that he loves his home and life, never realizing that there could be more.

I think the phrase is "being kept down on the farm". The caged bird also sings.

true_patriot 4 years ago

I'm amazed at the degree of misunderstanding about our tax code. Those that say they want a flat tax code really don't want it if it were truly flat across the tax picture. I personally would love a flat tax code but it is impossible to implement: Can you imagine the howls of outrage if your annual income was tracked and available to every small business, gas station, grocery store, online retailer, corporate chain, etc. in the nation so they could calculate a flat percentage of your income on every purchase at the register or the pump or online?

This is why most of our taxes are regressive (hurt the poor severely, painful to working class, zero effect on the rich) and are therefore only able to be balanced by making our income taxes progressive, to address the imbalance. But since that graduated structure has been gutted, the scales are now tilted dramatically in favor of the wealthiest Americans. The reality is that income tax structure is simple and logical but what needs reforming are all the crazy loopholes and shelters, not the progressive structure itself, which needs restoration ASAP to stop the theft of hard-earned money by the elites from those that actually must do real work for a living.

The effect in Kansas is even more pronounced with the recent moves to gut government while shifting the tax burden away from the wealthy to the working class and poor (more regressive taxes, less progressive taxes).

If we as a nation and as a state moved to zero out the progressive scale of income tax even more than has already been done, it can be seen as nothing else than all out class warfare on the working class and in particular the working poor and those mired in generational poverty.

The founding fathers would be severely dismayed to see their attempt at preventing an aristocracy in the New World like they escaped from in the Old World so firmly entrenched at this relatively young age for as new a nation as America. To rub salt in the wound, those that attack any attempt to halt the slide towards aristocracy are assaulted in the name of the founding fathers themselves and the with the ironic misappropriation of "Tea Party" as backing to advance corporate interests, knowingly or unknowingly (the Boston Tea Party event represented an open revolt against the largest corporation in the history of the world at that time!), by those who wrap themselves in the very flag whose principles she symbolizes are the very principles attempting to be preserved by those with the courage to stand up to the hyper-accelerating corrosion and perversion of the original founding vision.

true_patriot 4 years ago

The first sentence of that last paragraph should have read:

"The founding fathers would be severely dismayed to see their attempt at preventing an aristocracy in the New World like they escaped from in the Old World so effectively dismantled and the mechanisms to prevent realization of it so firmly entrenched at this relatively young age for as new a nation as America."

EveryMan 4 years ago

Pathetic, truly pathetic. Wonder if Plymouth Congregational Church had any trouble with their tax exempt status....naah, they're not tea party; conservative or pro-Israel. Oh well, maybe MoveOn will do just that and leave the rest of us alone.

true_patriot 4 years ago

I'm sure that's the tone you would take if you lived in the slavery era, too. Since when is having to take responsibility to pay for the services you receive through a sector (public) that is notoriously underpaid compared to its counterparts during boom times and then nonetheless further gutted and attacked during bad economic times caused by key players in the private sector in the first place something that is beneath you? And worthy of your contempt?

To complicate it, thanks to the rise of corporate power over politics and Tom Delay's K Street project in the late 1990's the lines between government and the private sector are so blurred in many areas now, and the rate of corporate welfare (taxpayer monies channeled to corporations via bought and sold politicians) that you can't really paint in the kind of broad brushstrokes you seem to resort to in order attack and bash others for their fact-based views.

optimist 4 years ago

And yet the electorate continues to vote for and elect candidates that are the most well funded, ingnoring alternative candidates within each party and outside of the controlling parties. We get the government we deserve. We will change things when we educate ourselves and pay attention to what is truly going on rather than what these politicians want us to see.

purplesage 4 years ago

What a circus. Not sure why they put up with a ringmaster like Josh Longbottom. This is supposed to be a church. As a few have noted, it is clearly politically active, as much so as any conservative group tryng to energize the religous right base to vote. THe Bible records Jesus as saying, "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's," in reference to paying taxes. There's a shell game being played in Topeka as to how and from whom tax revenues will be collected. It is crazy, I know, but this is ridiculous behavior.

conlawgrad 4 years ago

I don't understand why they would protest in Lawrence. Everybody will only look at you as the same ol' lawrence liberals. Actually drive to Topeka and do the funeral there. Have a better strategy and you might (I highly emphasize the word might) get something changed.

twicker 4 years ago

There have been numerous protests in Topeka since Brownback took office. There's going to be one on July 10 protesting the Americans for Prosperity's plan to shove their priorities down our throats. There have been protests by varied groups-Kansans United in Voice and Spirit (based in Lawrence) teachers groups, Kanvote, unions, parents of disabled children (because of the privatization of their medical care). Haven't you heard of any of them?

Kyle Chandler 4 years ago

I agree, and they probably will soon. If everyone on this forum utilized the same fervor they have for posting stupid polar nonsense into might be an impactful protest. Id love to see the streets of the capital clogged with all of us simple Kansas folk, but alas.....too many are stuck in the basement of the Antique Mall.

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