Archive for Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kansas lawmakers in their own words: from ‘dropping little turds’ to ‘a terrible mistake’

The Kansas Senate prepares for the final day of the 2016 legislative session on Wednesday June 1, 2016 at the Kansas statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (Chris Neal/Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

The Kansas Senate prepares for the final day of the 2016 legislative session on Wednesday June 1, 2016 at the Kansas statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (Chris Neal/Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

June 1, 2016


A roundup of quotes from lawmakers regarding the Kansas Supreme Court’s school finance decision and Wednesday's closing of the 2016 legislative session:

“Clearly, clearly it’s a political decision, and anyone who says otherwise has not read it.”

— Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover

“Frankly we don’t know what would appease the court. We thought we did that during the wrap-up session. There’s been a lot of talk, and a lot of attorneys have come to the conclusion that the Gannon decision was a political decision. It wasn’t legal, it was political, with the intent to take the focus off the Carr brothers and abortion bills that are before the court and place it on education in order to help bolster their retention elections. And that whatever remedy we think we may be passing, they’re going go out of their way to strike it down in order to keep that narrative going.”

— Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson

“I don’t want to go into a special session. I don’t want to go into explaining to my people why schools are closing on July 1. I realize they’re playing games with less than 1 percent of our school budget. But that’s less than 1 percent of our budget, too. It’s not their fault we don’t have the money. In my opinion, we ought to move on down the road.”

— Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia

“I think we should remember that this court doesn’t have any intention of allowing this issue to be resolved. They’re going to continue dropping little turds like they have at the appropriate times to do everything that they can to try to distract the Legislature. And for us to play this game with them is just encouraging them to continue engaging in this bad behavior. Eventually we’re going to have to stand up to this court and let them know that we are the Legislature. They are not the Legislature. Capitulating with them, I think, is a poor strategy and we’ll continue to be unsuccessful. “

— Sen. Jeff Melcher, R-Leawood

“Why don’t we just have a statute that grants amnesty to everyone that is in the funding chain, between the state treasurer, all the way down to the school board and superintendent, that says they are immune from any contempt of court charge and that schools are to open this year? If the court decides to strike that down, we (can) have an agreement with the governor who will grant a pardon to anybody that the court attempts to charge with contempt of court, and we’re going to keep the schools open.”

— Sen. Mitch Holmes, R-St. John

“I think that (defying the court) would be a terrible mistake. I think we have a constitutional obligation to provide for suitable education. The court has done its job in determining what that is. It’s our job to follow their orders.”

— Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence

“I find it fantastical that the Senate President, on the last day at Sine Die, when we don’t have a balanced budget, and we don’t have a constitutional way of funding our schools, would bring this (transgender bathroom) resolution to the floor so we can debate about where transgender kids pee.”

— Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City


Steve King 2 years ago

Uh, treating the Court's funding was blackmail pure and simple. We have an activist Legislature.

Melinda Henderson 2 years ago

Don't forget the best ever: Sen Francisco's calm response to Sen Fitzgerald coming undone at the thought of someone actually being transgender (because "that is insanity and no wonder they commit suicide"): Transgender is reality. Not insanity.

Joseph Jarvis 2 years ago

@Melinda: Totally agree with you. I called Sen. Fitzgerald this morning about his comments yesterday. We spoke for about 30 minutes on his views on LGBT Kansans. At times, he was very disrespectful.

Melinda Henderson 2 years ago

Wow. He didn't sound so much "disrespectful" yesterday, but more "fanatical" and very passionate instead. I would put him in the same crazy league as Mary Pilcher-Cook. He said a couple of other nutty things during his tirade, including gender mis-identity is part of Saul Alinsky's plan for the destruction of western civilization and "we" have a sacred responsibility to pass on Christendom to future generations. I imagine he has a well-stocked Armageddon bunker somewhere close by.

Kate Rogge 2 years ago

Why is refusing to adequately fund our public schools the principled position?

Barbara Cooper 2 years ago

Why do Republican Legislatures think inadequately funding all schools is going to be good for this generation? Why would the citizens put up with that? What are they teaching this generation when they refuse to follow the rulings of the court until they are confirmed by the Supreme Court or overturned? Even when the SCOTUS makes a ruling, if they don't agree they just ignore it. Who the heck do these Republican politicians think they are? Dictators? That's the way they act. Why anyone with a brain would vote for people that don't believe in the U.S. Constitution or the rule of law is beyond me. They are doing the same thing on a Federal Level in Washington. We don't like a ruling, we just ignore it and pass a law in direct violation of that ruling. Vote all Republicans out. Maybe the few left will get the message. You are there to work for all the people,not just the rich and you are required by the citizens of the States you represent to follow the Constitution and the Law instead of pandering to the most extreme in the party.. Keep sending them back election after election and this is what you get. The rich getting big tax breaks just because they are rich, your children getting an inferior education. Remember, your "A" school in your upper middle class neighborhood, still leaves your child's education 48th in the world. Is that good enough for you?

Patrick Briggs 2 years ago


They simply don't care. The Koch brother, who are behind the misery Kansas is now suffering, simply want what they think is coming to them... which is pretty much everything they can grab.

So they quite intentionally influenced Kansas politics at the state level in order to garner lucrative contracts, and unjustified tax cuts. Those state politicians were Republicans.


Republicans promised the middle class in Kansas tax cuts, without telling them that the vast bulk of the benefits of the tax cuts were designed to go to Koch's class of people.

The rest of Kansas got screwed. Why? Because there wasn't enough revenue to give all that money to billionaires... not if you wanted to keep the schools open.

And although I'm sorry to say it my friend, this is how wealthy corporations and interests go about redistributing wealth from the middle class up to the rich.

You can just look at the results, not only in Kansas but any of the states where the Kochs have convinced Republicans leaders to sell out their electorate.

And it is always a devil's bargain for the foolish politicians that go along.

They are the ones left holding the empty sack that once paid for essential services that benefited the middle class.

Like schools.

Chuck Holder 2 years ago

Excellent comment. It covered most all of the problems facing Kansas taxpayers. The only saving grace is that the Koch brothers are old. Can the state out last them? Who will take over their empire?

Alex Landazuri 2 years ago

hopefully no one more radical than they are.

Clara Westphal 2 years ago

Look at voting records before you vote anyone out. Some legislators do not follow party lines on some issues.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years ago

Barbara, you have hit the nail on the head. The voters in Kansas, like the clueless people of Germany in the 1930's, have voted in the fascist idiots that were running in the Republican party. Party loyalty has overtaken and trashed any sort of sense and decency. They hate the black, non-citizen Muslim President of the United States, are roundly opposed to the current Democratic candidate (Mrs. Clinton) and would again vote for the Hitler-like candidate that the Republicans have nominated for the Leader of the Free World). (P.S....Take your "flag" and stuff it!)

Stuart Evans 2 years ago

If you keep kids uneducated, they'll believe any stupid thing you tell them. Things like schools, internet, and freethinking are killing old dumb beliefs.

Joel Spurlock 2 years ago

Send in the federal troops to enforce opening of the schools! Just like 1963 (ish) in the civil rights movement. Was it Arkansas?

Chris Mulgrew 2 years ago

What Kansas really needs is another tax cut to do what the previous tax cut was supposed to do, but didn't.

Greg Cooper 2 years ago

Funny. I had to read your previous comments to see how to take this. Unfortunately, irony is lost on the legislature and you're now going to be asked to be one of them because you see the real problem.

Michael Kaufman 2 years ago

Satire I hope. If it isn't a joke, you need help.

Timothy Laurent 2 years ago

I think and hope that was a really nice bit of snark..cause that hit the proverbial nail on the head

Larry Ripley 2 years ago

Stupid springs eternal. Just how dumb do you have to be to believe that changing a State's economic policies and financing of the State is going to happen overnight. How many fools out there believe that a bunch of companies are going to zoom business and make Kansas rich overnight. Well that's what Brownback thinks. No plans for financing the State while the time passes between the tax cutting and the spending cutting and the hoped for results. During that time the hoped for results are going to go another direction. That happens because people are going to keep on looking for a better way and sooner. They want results in those most important support functions like education, transportation and employment and welfare.

While some may be happy plodding along doing everything themselves because they don't want the government doing it. I find it stupid and boring and a hell of a waste of my valuable time to have to get personally involved in everyone of the things above plus numerous others that idiots think the government shouldn't be involved in. I find I'm one hell of a lot more effective and efficient at what I do if I don't have to stop what I'm doing and look over proposals from construction companies.

Oh you hate the government. So do I, particularly when they stick their nose into my personal business. Now we're talking my wife and somebody else's idiot assed religion. Don't like the EPA, sue me if you can catch me when I build my open pit sewerage dispersal and disposal up the hillside above you and upwind and upstream of you. There are always things that can be improved and eliminated, but it's not going to be done by the paid to be mentally deficient clowns we send to Washington and just stupidly whacking crap.

All of the idiots trying this severely handicapped crap in their States should be prepared to be tried for "Legislating While Stupid".

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years ago

Our state was functioning just fine before. We took care of our less fortunate. We had good roads. We used to brag about how much better our roads were than Missouri's roads. We had great public schools, even though we didn't pay our teachers a lot of money. We had a wonderful highway patrol. We weren't a rich state, but we were functioning just fine, paying our bills, having a good, but not lavish lifestyle.

Then along came a group of radicals who worship money. More, more, more. They convinced people that they could bring lots of money into the state by cutting taxes to the wealthy so called "job creators". They changed everything, even things that functioned perfectly. They privatized the care of our less fortunate, so someone could make a profit. They took money from our good transportation department, so they could cover the tax cuts. Our highway patrol was cut to almost nothing, but they raised the speed limit, so there would be more highway problems. Well, I guess as the highways deteriorate, you won't be able to speed.

They took an equitable funding system which had worked for years, and trashed it for an inequitable funding system, in an effort to twist facts and say they gave the schools more money.
All this in an attempt to destroy public education, because no one is making a monetary profit from it.

Money is all to these people. If they could make money by moving their own grandmothers to the street, they would do it. Education? Truly educated people ask questions. All they want is good job training, so they can make money for their bosses. Workers are a necessary evil for them, because they don't want to get their hands dirty. They just want the money that those workers earn for them, without sharing any of it with the people who made it possible. They want you and me to pay for our state roads, so their trucks can travel on it and make them even more money. Give their workers a raise? Pay taxes for the roads? How dare we ask them to do that. They are royalty after all. We should be happy if they throw us a bone, even though our hard work got them that hunk of meat in the first place.

Patrick Briggs 2 years ago

The frustrating thing is that there were a lot of people screaming at the top of their lungs that adopting Conservative policies was going to do exactly what adopting Conservative policies has done in other states.

Destroy them.

But too many Kansans, thinking that a hundred bucks in tax cuts to them meant it was okay to give wealthy interests multi millions in tax cuts.

In other words too many Kansans allowed themselves to be bought off.

And the Koch's slipped another sharp deal by voters and are now listening with great satisfaction to the furor wailing they've created in Pottersville. (Remember "It's a Wonderful Life"?

Corey Williams 2 years ago

It's only tax cuts on the state level. It's property and sales taxes on a local level. For every dollar they think they save, they spend twice as much.

Patrick Briggs 2 years ago

{watches all the Republicans Legislators pretend that they didn't cut taxes}

What I don't understand is why Kansans elected a bunch of people that don't understand that when you cut taxes, you cut revenue. There ain't no trickle down and never was. All you have to do is look at the result of trying trickle down policies. The wealthy get richer and your kids stay at home instead of going to school.

Maybe these Republicans leaders should have pulled their noses out of the Koch brothers... er... interests long enough to check if Kansas could afford to cut revenue and still teach kindergartners their ABCs.

As for the Republican base in Kansas. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

Everyone told you but you were too busy listening to the people Koch paid to tell you lies.

Bob Forer 2 years ago

"They’re going to continue dropping little turds ......"

Good one, Melcher. You are so crude that you would probably defecate in bed and kick it out with your heels.

Tom Weiss 2 years ago

Can the Senate Majority Leader read? I am quite sure that the Court told the legislature what needed to be done - and the Republican leaders chose not to do it.

And Longbine's comment that "it is not their fault we don't have the money' is amazing. I don't know who he means by 'they', but he knows well whose fault it is - and that they, the Republicans, could have corrected the problem in the last session, but chose not to do so.

Joe Miller 2 years ago

Don't need no dam schoolin to start a tracter!

Buzz Anderson 2 years ago

More like the idiot voters who keep re-electing these pie in the sky republicans while their state circles the drain.

All the politicians had to say was no more taxes and we hate Obama to get elected.

And you idiot voters in Kansas who hate Obama don't care that your state is about an inch from going as long as you are dumb enough to think all you have to have in common with the republican crooks you keep electing, is hatred of Obama, liberals, and that is all.

What are you going to do when the schools don't open. What are you going to do when you can't get any teachers because they are tired of being treated like the enemy. What are you going to do when more jobs disappear? What are you going to do when the roads fall apart? What are you going to do when bridges are safe to cross?

Be happy and applaud the fact that the Koch brothers are working to actually take over your state and pillage it into bankruptcy?

Taxes are what we pay to have a civilized society that has roads, schools, police, fire etc.

Your glee at having to pay no taxes is incredibly selfish, shortsighted and stupid.

Doug Larson 2 years ago

If I had kids in school, I would be packing the U-Haul right now. Don't let your kids suffer because of our stupid non-caring government. Fortunately my kids are out of school. Unfortunately they all live in Kansas. I wonder how many government paid employees will be jumping ship also.

Joe Cheray 2 years ago

To those who have commented and those who have yet to comment who are angry about what is going on in Topeka we are forming a PAC called Save Kansas. We have a group on Facebook called Sam Brownback Has to GO! Let Us Re-Call! if you're on Facebook. This is where you will be kept up to date about the progress of that process. Plus we post and discuss and keep people in the loop about all the things that Brownback and his henchmen do to this state.

Robert Brock 2 years ago

Kansas looks like it would fit in...between Damascus and Baghdad.

Corey Williams 2 years ago

From your source: "House Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell and others are — wrongly — trotting out the line that the spat is over a puny 1 percent of education funding. In reality, the court struck down a method used to collect 25 percent of school revenues. That’s $1 billion."

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