Monthly Archives: November 2009

Ex-presidential hopeful Keyes to stump for Anderson from Kingman to Coffeyville

Keyes

Keyes (AP)

Anderson

Anderson

Those who want to see former ambassador and presidential candidate Alan Keyes — in Kansas to campaign for congressional candidate Jim Anderson — will have plenty of opportunity.

The campaign is bringing in Keyes to try to drum up support for Anderson, a small-business owner who is running in a five-candidate Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard.

The other candidates are businessmen Mike Pompeo and Wink Hartman; and state Sens. Jean Schodorf and Dick Kelsey.

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Tiahrt seeks to fold TARP and end bailouts for bankers and automakers

Tiahrt

Tiahrt

Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, has introduced a bill in Congress to halt further spending to bail out financial institutions and automakers.

Tiahrt’s bill is called the “Ensure TARP Expires Act of 2009,” and would block Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner from spending any more money on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, more commonly known as TARP.

Begun under the Bush Administration and continued by President Obama, TARP has injected hundreds of billions of dollars in capital into failing investment, banking, insurance and automotive companies in an effort to stabilize the financial system.

Supporters credit the program with staving off a worldwide depression by rescuing banks and other institutions that are “too big to fail” without causing dire economic consequences.

But the program’s popularity has plummeted in recent months amid reports that some large companies that received bailout funds have returned to giving lavish executive bonuses and perks now that they have returned to profitability.

“We must put an end to Secretary Geithner’s authority to funnel billions of bailout dollars to irresponsible institutions,” Tiahrt said in a statement announcing his current bill.

According to his office, Tiahrt has four co-sponsors for the measure so far: Mark Souder, R-Ind., Bob Inglis, R-S.C., Sam Johnson, R-Texas and Charles Boustany, Jr., R-La.

Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, who is running against Tiahrt for the Senate seat being vacated by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, is also in support of putting an end to TARP, a spokeswoman for his office said.

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KSU responds to audit that found financial mismanagement

TOPEKA — Former Kansas State University President Jon Wefald gave too much power to deputies who operated with too little oversight, according to a final review of financial irregularities identified in a recent audit.

“It was clear there was an awful lot of power invested in too few people,” current President Kirk Schulz told the Kansas Board of Regents today.

Schulz briefed the Regents on what actions have been taken in response to the June audit, which revealed undisclosed payments, conflicts of interest and accounting irregularities and potential tax problems at KSU and its Athletics Department.

A task force including faculty, alumni, students and university officials reviewed the audit and submitted four conclusions and recommendations.

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Jail consultants meet face to face with Sedgwick County commissioners

Kicking off a meeting with Sedgwick County commissioners and other officials, jail consultant Nancy Insco said she was glad they would have a chance to hear directly from her and her business partner, Allen Beck.

She noted that a lot had been written about Justice Concepts Inc. the past few months.

She said Justice Concepts has remained “relatively silent” in the meantime because of the “serious nature” of its work.

The Eagle has reported that Justice Concepts’ contract expired June 4. It has not delivered any written recommendations to the county during its 10-month contract. Part of its agreement with the county was to reduce the jail’s population by 25 percent.

The county has not paid Justice Concepts all of its original consulting fee yet.

Some officials, including Sheriff Robert Hinshaw, have been critical of Justice Concepts’ work. Commissioner Gwen Welshimer has been Insco’s biggest supporter, saying that she has succeeded in bringing stakeholders in the criminal justice system together.

This morning, Justice Concepts is asking for an 18-month extension of its contract and for an additional $228,000.

Todd Tiahrt, Jerry Moran, Fidel Castro and the Communist Party; Is this a red state or what?

Jerry Moran

Jerry Moran

Fidel Castro (AP)

Fidel Castro (AP)

Todd Tiahrt

Todd Tiahrt

The Jerry Moran campaign is seeing red over an e-mail from Senate rival Todd Tiahrt’s campaign that implies Moran is a fellow traveler of the Communist Party.

The e-mail subject line asserts — falsely — that Moran has been endorsed by the Communist Party USA.

“The assertion that Jerry Moran would be affiliated with communists is so outlandish, only a desperate campaign like Todd Tiahrt’s would make such an assertion,” said Moran campaign spokesman Aaron Trost. “It’s a desperate public statement by a campaign that’s still trying to find a message.”

Tiahrt spokeswoman Michelle Schroeder said the e-mail was sent to select supporters to remind them of “the good conservatives who support Todd and Todd’s campaign.”

Moran, who represents Kansas’ 1st district in Congress, and Tiahrt, who represents the 4th District, are locked in a bitter struggle for their party’s nomination to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sam Brownback, who is running for governor.

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New report shows low- and middle-income families shoulder more tax burden than the rich

coinsMost states, Kansas included, put more tax burden on middle- and low-income families than on the wealthy, according to a new study by the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

At a glance, Kansas appears to split taxes as a share of income more evenly than the national average. (See the Kansas fact sheet.) But low- and middle-income families are still seeing a greater percentage of their incomes go to the government than wealthy families.

Kansan families that make less than $19,000 a year pay about 9.2 percent of their income in taxes — the national average is 10.9 percent. More than 6 percent comes from sales and excise taxes and 3.5 percent comes from property taxes, the report shows. The richest families making more than $424,000 pay 7.1 percent of their incomes in taxes. Offset by federal deductions, the poorest pay the same share in taxes and the richest pay 5.9 percent in taxes — the national average is 5.2 percent. Ks Whopays Factsheet

Governor: State cuts to be ‘painful, but not crippling’

Parkinson

Parkinson

Gov. Mark Parkinson told the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that while the recession is “really brutal” for Kansas government, he thinks he and the Legislature can come together to balance the budget in a “post-partisan” manner.

Parkinson has taken on himself most of the responsibility of making $260 million in cuts that will be needed to bring the the 2010 budget back into balance.

That should allow the Legislature to focus on 2011 issues when it returns in January.

Parkinson said the past several years of budget shortfalls have burned away the waste in state government and there’s “no question we’re (now) affecting basic services.”

He said cuts must be a “shared sacrifice” across departments and will be “painful, but not crippling,” so departments will be able to rebound when the economy improves.

Bizarre moment when Kelly Parks mentions warrant

Parks

Parks

During a heated meeting about the future of the Kansas Coliseum, Kelly Parks mentioned that someone who had signed a petition in favor of Heritage Development Group’s plan had a warrant out for his arrest.

Commissioners received a petition signed by 400 people in support of Heritage’s plan to turn the Coliseum into the Saddle Rock Rodeo Resort.

Parks, who supported North American Management-Kansas’ plan to build a mix of retail and entertainment at the site, noted that some names on the petition were from out-of-town people.

He also said that as a former police chief, he noticed that one person who signed the petition had a warrant out for his arrest. He didn’t name names.

But he suggested that Sedgwick County Sheriff Robert Hinshaw look at the petition.

Commissioners vote down recommendation to go with North American plan for Coliseum

Sedgwick County commissioners have voted 3-2 not to enter into negotiations with North American Management-Kansas to develop the Kansas Coliseum, which was the recommendation of a committee that reviewed all proposals.

Stay on Kansas.com for more information.

Commissioner Kelly Parks raises ire at meeting

Commissioner Kelly Parks showed his frustration that other commissioners don’t want to enter into negotiations with North American Management-Kansas to develop the Kansas Coliseum.

“Be prepared to take your dog show downtown” Parks told those in the crowd who use the pavilions for dog and equestrian events.

“I’m going to tell you north end people, I tried,” he said, frustrated.

Parks said his district supports the North American proposal because it preserves Britt Brown Arena.

He and commissioner Gwen Welshimer are the only board members who appear to be supporting entering negotiations at this time. It appears likely the board will defer a decision.