Archive for Friday, February 9, 2018

Most GOP candidates for governor shun Kansas Press Association forum, citing pledge

February 9, 2018

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— A dozen candidates for Kansas governor in the 2018 election turned out for a forum Friday sponsored by the Kansas Press Association.

But the forum may have been more noteworthy for the candidates who refused to show up, not the ones who did.

With the exception of former state Sen. Jim Barnett, all of the major Republican candidates in the race declined to take part in the forum.

According to KPA executive director Doug Anstaett, those candidates cited a pledge they signed with the Kansas Republican Party in which they agreed not to take part in debates that don't meet the GOP's guidelines for the format and the types of questions allowed.

Former Republican state Sen. Jim Barnett, left, and Democrat Carl Brewer, a former mayor of Wichita, were among the 12 candidates for governor who took part in a candidate forum Friday sponsored by the Kansas Press Association. Noticeably absent from the forum, though, were most of the other major Republican candidates who signed campaign pledges not to take part in debates that are not sanctioned by the Kansas Republican Party.

Former Republican state Sen. Jim Barnett, left, and Democrat Carl Brewer, a former mayor of Wichita, were among the 12 candidates for governor who took part in a candidate forum Friday sponsored by the Kansas Press Association. Noticeably absent from the forum, though, were most of the other major Republican candidates who signed campaign pledges not to take part in debates that are not sanctioned by the Kansas Republican Party.

"As a journalist, and all of us as journalists, I'm appalled that party trumps allowing people to hear a message in an open forum such as we have today," Anstaett said at the start of the forum.

Those not attending included current Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, businessman Wink Hartman and former state Rep. Mark Hutton.

That still left 12 other candidates who did show up to answer questions, creating a slate so crowded that each candidate was given only a moment or two to respond to each question — including just 30 seconds to state how, if they were governor, they would ensure that Kansas maintains a school funding system that meets constitutional muster.

But it was the noticeable absence of the major GOP candidates that drew some of the sharpest comments during the event.

"It's a rigged system," Barnett said. "The GOP debate coming up next week is rigged to protect just a few. It is not what our democracy should be about."

That was a reference to a debate scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in conjunction with the state party's annual convention in Wichita. Colyer, Kobach, Selzer, Hartman and Hutton are the only candidates currently listed as participating.

Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, however, praised her former Senate colleague for agreeing to take part in the KPA event.

"I think it takes courage to break with your party and to participate in a forum which they have banned, essentially," said Kelly, the only female candidate for governor.

Another Republican who did participate was Tyler Ruzich, of Prairie Village, who, at age 17, is not yet old enough to vote for himself in the election. He's one of several teenagers in this year's race who are taking advantage of state laws that set no minimum age requirement to serve as governor.

Still, he drew praise from other candidates after identifying himself as the only candidate on the stage who has attended public schools in Kansas throughout the Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer administrations.

"The Brownback and Colyer administration has created a national embarrassment for the public education system in this state," he said. "If we don't do something about it and make sure we have adequate spending for public education, then we're going to be going nowhere."

That even brought praise from Democrat Josh Svaty, of Ellsworth, a former lawmaker and state agriculture secretary.

"I've got to say, you don't sound terribly like a Republican," Svaty said. "I respect your right to be one. If the Republican Party lets you get up on the big stage with the rest of the candidates, I will be there because that will be awesome to watch."

Because of time constraints, candidate were given only a couple of minutes to introduce themselves, and they were only allowed to offer a few bullet points in response to questions.

When asked what actions they would take as governor that would have the biggest impact on the state, for example, House Minority Leader Jim Ward, of Wichita, mentioned that he would reinstate workplace protections for LGBT employees in the executive branch.

Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer said he would work to improve the transparency of state government, while Barnett said his top priority would be to present a balanced budget with adequate revenues to restore many of the public services that have been cut in recent years.

Kelly said she would seek out "the best and the brightest" to serve in her cabinet while working to restore highway funding, K-12 education funding and economic development programs that were cut or eliminated in the Brownback administration.

Svaty also said he wants to restore LGBT protections in the state workforce and to secure more funding for programs to protect the state's water resources.

Comments

Michael Kort 2 months, 1 week ago

Now,.......they can't help it, if their plans are a secret .......or if those who make those plans for them, haven't yet told them what their supposed political goals for Kansas will be .

Cults just have a way of being mysterious.......it builds loyalty,......and why let their rabid dogs and cats out of their political bag .

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

So we should believe the candidates who wouldn't appear in a public forum...and their party...will be champions of the recent move toward transparent government ?

Just when you think Republicans couldn't perpetrate any greater outrages on Kansas and its people...

I'd always called them a "faction:" but you got exactly the right word for this secretive quasi-religious group that wants to rule Kansas (longer), Michael. They fit the classic definition of a "cult."

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

It seems that the republicans want to limit any embarrassing questions that might be asked, say about the lack of revenue to fund schools, roads, prisons, state hospitals, the courts, the foster care system, the state water plan, or anything else for that matter. Or questions on the lack of transparency in government, or the privatization of government - which is costing tax payers more and giving lower service, or sexual harassment in the workplace. You can probably think of more embarrassing questions that might be asked - that you won't hear asked of most GOP gubernatorial candidates under the current GOP agreement.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

"That still left 12 other candidates who did show up to answer questions, creating a slate so crowded that each candidate was given only a moment or two to respond to each question — including just 30 seconds to state how, if they were governor, they would ensure that Kansas maintains a school funding system that meets constitutional muster."

It sounds to me like the GOP guidelines were correct in appraising this forum as not worth attending. As bad as it was, it would have been even worse if even more candidates had attended.

Obviously the Kansas Press Association failed to plan and implement a functional forum. You can hate the GOP on general principles all you want, and it may not be politically correct to shun the group who controls what (slant of the) news gets printed, but from an intellectual perspective it was the smart choice. Of course, since the people delivering this story to you are members of this same incompetent group, you can't expect them to truly lay blame where it belongs...

Steve Jacob 2 months, 1 week ago

My take is the GOP want to control the questions.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

That may be. However, do you really believe that this was a well hosted forum?

For example, if 12 candidates were each given 30 seconds to respond to the issue of school funding, 17 candidates would have been allowed roughly 21 seconds. Do you honestly believe 21 seconds is sufficient time to answer the question of school funding?

The questions don't really matter if you're not allowed time to answer them.

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

The Kansas GOP agreement was in place a couple of months ago, and the media already knew that the major GOP candidates would not be taking part. The KC Star hosted a forum for the Democrats last December, and were offering one for the republicans, when they learned that no independent sponsored forum would be approved by the GOP: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article188712909.html

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

As a Republican, Andrew, I hope you will support those in your party who are more transparent and willing to debate and answer any and all questions.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

Will you join me in denouncing this poorly run forum that did not allow time to properly answer the questions or will you be your typical hypocritical self and pretend that the missing candidates would have been allowed time to do so despite there not being enough time to split even between the lesser number of candidates that did attend?

Will you join me in denouncing this hit piece reporting or will you defer to your biased media in overlooking the faults of the forum to bash those smart enough to avoid it?

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

Andrew Applegarth. You are ignoring the facts: The Kansas GOP will not allow their candidates to participate in these forums. The AP knew that all the GOP candidates who signed the GOP agreement would not be allowed to participate in any of their forums. So, they invited all, and left it up to the candidates. AP could have had separate democrat and republican forums, but for the republican forum, only Barnett, who didn't sign the GOP agreement, and the teenagers (who are not allowed in the GOP forums) could have attended.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

I would have to ignore the facts in order to criticize anybody for not attending this poor excuse for a 'forum'. As bad as it was, adding 5 additional candidates would have reduced the time per candidate to even more absurd levels. If you wanted to hear what any of the candidates had to say, you should applaud those who did not attend, thus freeing up a little bit more time for the foolish ones who did.

Can you fully express your solution for school funding in 21 seconds or are you just another hypocrite?

Vicki Smith Hale 2 months, 1 week ago

I would take 21 seconds to hear solutions for school funding as opposed to hearing nothing at all.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

So, you would deliberately choose to be misled by a partial answer? So be it.

The problem with partial answers is that they are misleading by default, regardless of the

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

Better than listening to their attack ads.

Vicki Smith Hale 2 months ago

No, I'm not deliberately "choosing" to be misled by a partial answer, I am deliberately being mislead by the absence of any answer when the Republicans refuse to participate.

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

I can agree that candidates should have been given a bit more time to respond.

But calling a person or group "incompetent" for making one mistake seems unjustified.

And how does truthfully reporting that all major Republican candidates but one refused to take part in a public forum, and accurately reporting the reason they gave for not showing up, constitute "hit piece reporting," and "biased media" ? It doesn't.

If you want to look for a villain in this story, Andrew, how did you miss the political cult whose standard of public transparency and accountability is to "not to take part in debates that don't meet the [cult's own} guidelines for the format and the types of questions allowed" ?

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for agreeing with me, even if you then try to belittle that same point.

You don't disprove a formula by citing a case where it derives the correct answer. However, that's exactly what this article and people like you are trying to do. Wait until they refuse to join a legitimate forum and I won't argue with you. Until then, it's sour grapes and bad reporting.

It's a hit piece because it misrepresents those facts. It makes sense to refuse to participate in a forum that was so mishandled as to assure inadequate answers and thus plenty of room for the media (who was hosting it) to further misrepresent those answers. Perhaps you are correct that it was not incompetence, but deliberate malice?

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

"Wait until they refuse to join a legitimate forum and I won't argue with you."

They have already refused to join a legitimate forum - the KC Star forum.
"The Star had offered to put on a similar forum for Republican candidates, but that fell through when the state Republican Party intervened in order to dictate what debate questions can be asked of GOP candidates."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article188712909.html#storylink=cpy

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

Show me one place I've defended them not attending that forum. I would wait, but since I have done no such thing it would be an extremely long wait...

Now that we have that out of the road, are you ready to be honest and criticize this poor excuse for a forum that the KPA hosted or do you wish to continue down your route of dishonesty?

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

The GOP agreement won't allow any candidate to participate in a GOP "sanctioned forum" who hasn't signed the agreement, and any candidate who did sign the agreement, can not participate in any other forums. So, the GOP will be denying GOP candidates who have filed to run for governor in their forum next weekend in Wichita.

"Any forum governed by party rules dictating candidate participation and limiting the types of questions that can be asked is contrary to foundational journalistic principles."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article187612388.html#storylink=cpy

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, Cillie hits the exact flaw in your theory, Andrew: all major Republican candidates except one DID "...refuse to join a legitimate forum..."

Makes me greatly appreciate the personal integrity and political independence of former state Sen. Jim Barnett: which is directly proportionate to the personal cowardice of the other Republican candidates, and the attempted suppression by the Republican Comintern of all thoughts and words except those they approve in advance.

Jim Barnett would be the kind of man whose honest ideas would be worth hearing. But those are exactly what make him unacceptable to his party's leaders.

Someone said Grover Cleveland was "loved for the enemies he made." Personally, I regard Jim Barnett that way. He's offended all the "right" people.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

No, Cille did not hit any flaw in my argument. She posted a strawman argument which quickly burst into blames and a quote from a peeved journalist who didn't like having the power of the press challenged. There was absolutely nothing to support the bogus contention that it was a legitimate forum or that it would not have been an even worse event had the 5 other candidates attended. That is the flaw in your rant.

"Jim Barnett would be the kind of man whose honest ideas would be worth hearing." You contradict yourself. If this had been a legitimate forum he would have been given reasonable time to express those ideas and you wouldn't need to dream about it happening at a future event.

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

Did you miss that I was talking about the KC Star forum, not the AP forum? The KC Star held a forum for the democrats in December, and planned on holding one for the republicans, but the Kansas Republican party said that their candidates couldn't participate. Link is here for the democratic forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zReDpK76JD

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

No use, Cille. In the self-referential solipsism of Republicans' ideology, that the Star hosted a forum proves it was illegitimate, and that they were right (remember, they're always right) to thumb their nose at public accountability.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

I noticed, but you didn't do so until you realized you were on the losing end regarding this 'forum' and had to move the goal posts. Nice try, but no cookie.

Cille King 2 months, 1 week ago

There was also a democratic gubernatorial forum held at Colby Community College. Again, the Kansas Republican party wouldn't let their candidates participate in a republican forum there: Jan 20 Democratic Candidate forum at Colby Comm. College, Colby, Ks.

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

"bogus contention that it was a legitimate forum"

So if the true contention is yours, that it was an illegitimate forum, how so, Andrew ?

You keep coming back to the fact, reported in this story, that candidates had very short time for their responses. That's a one-time procedural parking infraction: why do you expect us to believe it constitutes felony "illegitimacy" ? Why do you ?

You seem to believe it's true that candidates had a very short time for their responses, as reported in this story, since you make that the whole factual basis of your argument that this was not a "legitimate" forum, and was organized by an "incompetent" organization. (Personally, I think there's a great deal to be said for severely limiting candidates' responses in forums.)

But why do you believe anything in the story is true, when you says it's "hit piece reporting" by "biased media" ? Either the story is true, and will support your argument: or your partisan ideology is true that the story is a lie. Which is it ?

Or is the forum "illegitimate" because the organization that sponsored it is ? (Careful, now...the fact you want to base your argument on was probably reported by a member of that organization...and you probably don't want to mire yourself in further inconsistencies.)

If you say so, how so ? Is it one of those ephemeral PACS cooked up a couple months ago to promote some partisan viewpoint on a recent "issue," or to support some transient candidate ?

Is it one of those organizations by which billionaire ideologues like the Koch brothers create impenetrable financial labyrinths to put their "dark money" to work propagandizing for evil laws and candidates that will fatten their bottom-line...without leaving fingerprints ?

If you check me on this...and please do...the Kansas Press Association is a non-partisan professional organization, in existence since 1863. It says its primary goals are "... to preserve and expand a free flow of information to the public; to seek excellence in the practice of the profession of journalism; [and} to serve as a forum for the exchange and presentation of technical and business information."

You imagine some kind of malevolent conspiracy behind the scenes, Andrew ? Sounds like a worthwhile and legitimate organization to me. But I'm curious to hear the contrarian "conservative" take on it, please ?

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

If you want me to believe what the KPA says about itself, are you willing to accept what the KKK says about itself? If so, you are an idiot. If not, you are a hypocrite. Either way, there's not much point in trying to further explain it to you.

I do appreciate the strawman argument about how the whole article has to be factually incorrect to be a hit piece. I wish I knew if you were really stupid enough to believe that or just dishonest enough to throw it out in a pathetic attempt to discredit me.

You remind me of the Zantac ads where they always mention something along the lines of "Prilosec may take 24 hours for full relief." It's misleading because Prilosec is designed to be taken daily as a preventive rather than a quick corrective like Zantac. It's a true statement so they can get away with it, but it's deliberately dishonest. In the same way, it's possible for accurate facts to be included in a hit piece story to give it legitimacy. Obviously it works because you are here defending it...

Steve Hicks 2 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Andrew. Self-deluded sophistry and personal attack.

I could have warned you it's unwise (or in your terms, "stupid") to follow lying ideologues because you'll become exactly like them: but the warning is obviously too late in your case.

I'm disinclined to listen to wannabes's blather when your Republican Comintern handlers have professional standing and are so much more skilled at it.

Nice talking to you, Andrew.

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

Nice try, but I'm not following you so I'm probably safe. As for your being disinclined to listen, that would explain why I had to keep repeating myself.

I'd say it was nice talking to you too, but I don't like to lie.

Richard Heckler 2 months ago

Conservatives flipped transparency the bird instead of showing and discussing.

The so called "GOP Agreement" is an ALEC document designed in secret behind closed doors. This "agreement" is floating around the nation. It is not exclusive to Kansas.

The "Contract for America" is also a ALEC document.

Politicians DO NOT need to subscribe to such nonsense. Any politician that obviously supports such should not be elected for they will only represent the ALEC agenda.

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