Daily Archives: March 12, 2009

Salerno says he left Wichita after ‘learning something that had not been disclosed’

Pat Salerno told a Coral Gables, Fla. city commissioner that he “rejected the Wichita job only after learning something that had not been disclosed,” according to a story in The Miami Herald. ”It was the ethical thing to do,” Commissioner Maria Anderson told the Miami paper after her one-on-one interview with Salerno.

Salerno, who was just picked to be Coral Gables’ new city manager, backed out of his job in Wichita last summer after he had signed a contract.

This is the closest thing to an explanation he has given.

Families of Carr victims: Don’t abolish death penalty

TOPEKA – Standing with Attorney General Steve Six on Thursday, family members of the Carr brothers’ victims joined him in urging lawmakers not to abolish the death penalty.

On Monday, Senate Bill 208 is scheduled to for debate on the Senate floor. The proposal would abolish the death penalty for cases sentenced after July 1, 2009.

Six worried that the change could mean that death row inmates currently appealing their sentences – such as Michael Marsh and Gavin Scott – could be exempted from execution.

Family members also worried that Reginald and Jonathan Carr could escape the death penalty through appeals, if the law were changed.

It is’t about cost or closure, said Amy Scott, who was dating Brad Heyka, one of four people kidnapped and shot execution style on a Wichita soccer field in 2000 by brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr. A fifth person survived. The Carrs have been on death row since 2002.

“We’re never going to have closure because we’ve lost the people we loved so much,” she said. “I just think this is a matter of justice. This just needs to be finished to the end.”

The proposal comes from Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, who says all cost-saving measures should be considered while the state faces a budget crunch.

Prosecutors, such as Six, have argued that the cases do not necessarily cost more and justice should not be predicated on expense.

He urged Kansans to contact their lawmakers and express opposition to banning the death penalty.

Kansas has 10 men on death row. No one has been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1994.

AFP survey shows Kansans don’t like high taxes

A survey released by Americans for Prosperity shows Kansans are opposed increased taxes, even if they aren’t the ones paying them.

See the full release below.

TOPEKA –A new survey by the free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity finds that 57 percent of Kansans believe the state’s taxes are too high, with 51 percent disapproving of the way the state legislature handles budget and tax issues. When asked to identify the most important issue in state budgeting, 43 percent identified wasteful spending on programs that do not work.

“Kansas taxpayers have simply had enough,” said Derrick Sontag, state director of the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity. “Legislators must work to address wasteful government spending before they even consider raising taxes on Kansas families and businesses.”

The survey also finds that lower-income Kansans oppose higher taxes, even if they are not forced to pay them. A solid 60.3 percent of respondents earning under $30,000 rejected the idea of raising taxes on others.

Respondents also rejected the idea of taxes that are paid for by working poor and lower income groups, with a decisive 91 percent opposing the taxes.

The survey was conducted by Voter/Consumer Research, and is based on the responses of 613 registered voters across the state, conducted by telephone Jan. 28- Feb. 2 of this year. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent.

The complete national and state results can be viewed at: www.americansforprosperity.org/tax-survey

Death penalty floor debate Monday in the Senate

The Senate will debate a measure to abolish the state’s death penalty on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, said the issue was the only item scheduled for debate that day.

Senate Bill 208 would abolish the death penalty for cases sentenced after July 1, 2009.

The proposal comes from Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, who says all cost-saving measures should be considered while the state faces a budget crunch.

Opponents of capital punishment say the death penalty is expensive and does not act as a crime deterrent.

Supporters of the death penalty say the decision should not be based on cost alone.

It the measure were to pass the Senate, it would still have to clear the House before heading to the governor’s desk. Time could be a problem. Lawmakers only have three weeks left in this year’s session.