Editorial summary: Kansas | Kansas News


Topeka Capital-Journal. December 21, 2021.

Editorial: Kris Kobach Guilty of $ 1.9 Million in Lawyer Fees for Failed Voting Law, But Others Are to Blame

Good news: Kansas is expected to have a budget surplus of $ 2.9 billion.

Bad news: Kansas is on the verge of paying nearly $ 2 million in attorney fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and another firm. It stems from a federal lawsuit over a failed voting law championed by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Political cartoons

Read again, nearly $ 2 million of the state’s $ 2.9 budget surplus goes to a lawsuit settlement.

Jason Tidd of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Joint Legislature Committee on Special Claims against the State has formally recommended settlement payments of $ 1.4 million to the ACLU and $ 475,000 to a second cabinet of attorneys, Dentons US LLP. The two cases were separate but consolidated during the litigation.

It seems a lot of people want to blame Kobach just for this problem. Among them are Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and current Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab. We admit that Kobach is an easy target – and rightly so – but others have helped. Remember this.

It may also be wise to remember that when you point one finger, three fingers are pointing at you.

In 2011, the legislature passed and former Republican Governor Sam Brownback signed the Safe and Fair Elections Act with an overwhelming bipartisan majority.

The House vote was 111-11 and the Senate vote 26-3, including then-Senator and now Democratic Governor Laura Kelly among the yeses. Schwab was then the representative and chairman of the elections committee and helped lawmakers pass the law.

It’s a fairly large group of legislators.

After the first decision against the law, Schwab and Schmidt appealed. They lost. Tidd reports that it’s not clear what part of the $ 1.9 million bill comes from appeals filed under Schwab and Schmidt.

We, like many lawmakers, are unhappy that this money has to be used in this way, but here we are. The state is federally obligated to pay this settlement. Schmidt told the committee that simply not paying is not an option to explore after a lawmaker asked him about it.

We hope that lawmakers will think long and hard about this nearly $ 2 million.

What could that money have done for Kansas? Could it have helped extend broadband connections to rural areas? Education supported in our state? Did you help overcome this food tax? We may never know.

Kansas City Star. December 20, 2021.

Editorial: Crazy about Manchin? Kansas and Missouri Senators Vote Against the People All the Time

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is catching all the heat for refusing to back the Biden administration’s signature political legislation, the Build Back Better plan. But let’s not blame him for trampling on an agenda that would benefit women and children, families, the poor and this suffering planet. After all, the Republicans here in Missouri and Kansas also failed to defend what would help most of us.

Of course, we didn’t expect Republicans to like the pumping senses of Missouri. Josh Hawley, Roy Blunt, or the Kansas Senses. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall vote other than the GOP party line – no to everything Biden. But their lack of interest in any attempt to equalize economic and health care inequalities among Americans is no less disgusting.

Unlike Manchin, who at one point seemed to side with Biden on BBB and then turned around, Republicans never showed support for the plan’s provisions.

The Republicans’ lie that Biden’s $ 1.75 trillion federal investment, which was cut by $ 3.5 trillion, is too expensive, “unreasonable” and “reckless” was increasingly aimed at denying the president a major political victory. But their contempt comes at the expense of the education of young children. Or to make it easier for the average American to pay for health care and housing. Or switch to clean energy for homes and cars.

They don’t care. The Biden administration said Build Back Better would add little to the national debt. In fact, Republicans have had no trouble supporting spending under President Donald Trump. During his tenure, the national debt increased by $ 7.8 trillion.

Their actions are reminiscent of the all-out war Republicans waged against the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which ultimately prevailed. Then as now, their response was simply to say no.

Manchin, whose net worth exceeds $ 5 million, lives on a $ 250,000 yacht – a noble lifestyle that stands in stark contrast to the vast majority of his constituents. West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the United States and has the highest rate of hunger.

During negotiations with Manchin and others, Democrats agreed to cut nearly $ 2 trillion from the 10-year plan, including key priorities for expanding Medicare dental and vision coverage. So, Mr. Manchin, how can you go home to West Virginia and explain this? Are you going?

The Republicans of Kansas and Missouri have long shown us who they are by voting against a bill to end gender-based pay discrimination, against legislation that invests in the country’s infrastructure, and against laws that guarantee voter access and integrity.

These are clearly votes cast with a cynical eye on the next political campaign – not the people. After all, polls show that most Americans want fair wages, safe homes, and access to a secure ballot box.

So, yes, Manchin is an easy scapegoat now, but let’s not forget to call on our own autonomous lawmakers as well. Senators Blunt, Hawley, Moran and Rogers have done no less than Manchin to say that they will never care to help average citizens unless it helps them as well.

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