Daily Archives: Feb. 10, 2010

Former Sen. Allen, known for “Macaca moment,” to campaign for Todd Tiahrt



Former Virginia Sen. George Allen is endorsing Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s Senate campaign and will be headlining a $150- to $1,000-a-head fundraiser for Tiahrt.

Allen was elected to the Senate in 2000 and appeared headed for re-election in 2006, but became embroiled in controversy and lost his seat after a campaign-trail gaffe in which he called an opponent’s staffer — who was videotaping the event — “Macaca.”

The remark was interpreted by many as a racial slur against the staffer, who is of Indian descent. Allen insisted it was just a made-up word.

Despite the “Macaca” incident and the loss of his seat to Jim Webb, D-Virginia, Allen remains a popular figure among conservative Republicans who feel he was wronged by news coverage of his comment.

GOP conservatives are expected to be a major force in the upcoming Senate primary between Tiahrt, R-Goddard; Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, and former Kansas Attorney General Bob Londerholm.

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Updated: House approves budget cuts, including pay cut for elected officials

moneyTOPEKA – The House gave tentative approval to a bill cutting more than $92 million in current spending — after adding a 5 percent pay cut for elected officials.

The pay reduction, which would save a little more than $1.5 million, would apply to lawmakers, cabinet secretaries and people that are named directly in statute, said Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls.

“This is small step but this sends the message clearly to the public that we are serious. We are going to cut our pay and cut all our elected officials’ pay,” he said

The measure, Senate substitute for House Bill 2222, includes cuts to the current budget proposed by Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson; the cuts still need legislative action.

It also includes some small boosts such as $5 million more for the Judicial Department, which will help fend off almost 24 days of furloughs for court employees, said House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park.

The bill also cuts payments to Medicaid providers such as doctors, nursing homes and hospitals, by 10 percent. Read More »

Sedgwick County approves $120,000 for Child Advocacy Center

child advocacy centerAfter a lengthy discussion, Sedgwick County commissioners voted 3-2 to give the Child Advocacy Center $120,000 to help it stay open another year.

Commissioners Kelly Parks and Karl Peterjohn voted against the funding, saying that not enough information was made available about the non-profit center’s mission, goals and finances.

Peterjohn had wanted to defer a vote for a week to gather information he felt was necessary to have before making a decision, but other commissioners noted the center’s urgent need for help.

County staff earlier had recommended giving the center $835,000. Commissioner Gwen Welshimer proposed giving the center $334,000 contingent upon it receiving $334,000 from the city and $167,000 from the state. That seemed unlikely given the city’s and state’s troubled finances. The state already had committed $112,000.

Wichita Police Deputy Chief Tom Stolz said the city plans to contribute $50,000 to help keep the center open.

The center serves about 2,500 children each year who have been the victims of sexual and physical abuse and Internet exploitation.