Daily Archives: Sept. 16, 2009

New government gadfly site, Kansas Watchdog

For the past five years, conservative blogger Earl Glynn has been keeping a watchful eye on the government through his blog Kansas Meadowlark.

He announced Tuesday in a post that he was shutting the site down and focusing on a new Kansas gadfly project Kansas Watchdog.

The site describes itself as “a project of the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, is part of a nationwide effort to give citizens and their elected representatives solid, factual reporting on issues that matter.”

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Sedgwick County bans cell phone use for employees driving on county business

Sedgwick County employees driving on county business will have to pull over or ignore calls to their mobile phones under a new policy approved Wednesday.

First responders such as sheriff’s officers, emergency medical services and firefighters are the only exceptions.

The move is part of an overhaul to a decade-old driving policy, and it comes as more government agencies ban their employees from taking calls while driving.

Sedgwick County’s ban includes cell phones — including hands-free devices — headphones and computers.

It applies to employees driving county-owned and personal vehicles on county business.

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Hartman announces run for Congress

winkhartmanmugSaying he wants to take a direct role in fixing the national economy, businessman and Wichita Wild owner Wink Hartman formally announced his candidacy for Congress today.

Hartman joins a crowded Republican primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, who is running for Senate.

GOP National Committeeman Mike Pompeo, state Sens. Jean Schodorf of Wichita and Dick Kelsey of Goddard, and Wichita businessman Jim Anderson are also seeking the party’s nomination.

Rep. Raj Goyle, D-Wichita, and retired court services officer Robert Tillman are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Hartman is an oilman, restaurateur and developer of the Hartman Arena, where his football team plays.

Saying he has created more than 1,000 jobs in the last two years, Hartman laid down a platform calling for lower taxes, less regulation and limits on litigation to help small businesses create more jobs.

He also laid out strong stances against abortion and for gun rights.

He said some reform is needed in health care, primarily in the areas of accessibility and litigation control, but he opposes President Obama’s health care plan.

Fort Leavenworth off detainee list, Kansas senators say

Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback said they believe Fort Leavenworth is probably off the list as a replacement site for terrorist detainees from Guantanamo.

As a result, the Kansas Republicans have dropped the roadblocks that they erected to filling several key posts in the Obama administration.

They had placed the legislative holds because of concerns that President Obama might select the fort when it closes the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba., which it has pledged to do in January

The nominations are for appointees to posts in the Defense and Justice departments. Chief among them was Republican Rep. John McHugh of New York, President Obama’s choice for secretary of the Army.

In a statement, Brownback and Roberts indicated they were satisfied with the outcome of their talks with the administration about Fort Leavenworth.

“We believe that the administration has a good understanding of obstacles and concerns and is giving them proper consideration,” they said. “We are confident that because of this good faith dialogue, detainees will not be transferred to Fort Leavenworth.”

Schmidt to run for attorney general


TOPEKA – Independence Republican Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt announced in an e-mail Wednesday that he plans to run for attorney general against incumbent Steve Six, a Democrat.

Schmidt was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2000. Prior to that, he was a Kansas assistant attorney general and special counsel to Gov. Bill Graves.

Below is the announcement from Schmidt’s campaign:

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