Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

Firefighters union endorses Brewer and Longwell

The Wichita firefighters union endorsed Mayor Carl Brewer and District 5 council member Jeff Longwell for re-election, the union’s political action committee announced this afternoon.

Union officials interviewed each candidate for roughly an hour about their views on the safety of firefighters and the public. Earlier this week, the union’s PAC backed Pete Meitzner in east Wichita’s District 2, James Clendenin in southeast Wichita’s District 3 and Joshua Blick for District 4 in the southwest area.

House forwards corporate group’s EPA “train wreck” resolution to Washington

TOPEKA — When it came to criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, the only question for the Kansas House members today was whether to use the term “mandate” or “train wreck.”

They picked “train wreck.”

House Resolution 6008 claims that EPA’s air-quality regulations are harming the national economy.

It urges Congress to defund EPA’s air-quality efforts and prohibit the agency from regulating emissions of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases that scientists say are contributing to global climate change.

HR 6008 — including the term “train wreck” is essentially a word-for-word copy of a resolution offered to state legislatures by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The Washington-based organization claims to have 2,000 state legislators across the country as members. It is largely funded by oil, chemical and corporate interests, including foundations controlled by Wichita-based Koch Industries. Read More »

House speaker shoots an air ball on KU legend Danny Manning’s NBA career

O'Neal

TOPEKA — Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal blew a layup on a basketball question in his own trivia contest today.

Each morning, O’Neal throws House members a trivia question, usually a point of state history or politics. The first representative to provide the right answer wins a candy bar.

Today, O’Neal asked which two NBA teams University of Kansas basketball legend Danny Manning played for.

He announced that the right answer was given by Rep. Mike Burgess, R-Topeka — the Los Angeles Clippers and the Atlanta Hawks.

A few minutes later, after getting a message from Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, O’Neal acknowledged that his answer was incorrect.

Manning

Ballard correctly pointed out that Manning in fact played for seven NBA teams: the Clippers, the Hawks, the Phoenix Suns, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Utah Jazz, the Dallas Mavericks and the Detroit Pistons.

“I stand corrected; thank you Rep. Ballard, O’Neal said.

Manning is now an assistant basketball coach at KU.

Burgess, part of a back-row alliance of representatives who pool their knowledge and take turns claiming the candy, speculated that the Manning question was probably supposed to have been to name the first two teams Manning played for.

Manning played for only a partial season in Atlanta, between long stretches with the Clippers and Suns.

Kobach immigration bill stays stranded in committee

Smith

TOPEKA — The House just soundly defeated a motion to pull Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s Arizona-style immigration bill out of committee and bring it to the floor.

The motion by Rep. Greg Smith, R-Overland Park, would have breathed new life into House Bill 2372, which is stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would require local and state police to detain and check immigration status of people they come in contact with if there is reason to believe that the person is in the country illegally. It also would have required employers to use a federal database to confirm the legal residency of new employees and make it a state crime to harbor undocumented immigrants or encourage them to come to or reside in the state.

The rare motion to take the bill out of committee was voted down 84-40. It would have needed 70 votes to pass. Read More »

Sedgwick County’s jail population in February down from 2010

Sedgwick County Jail

Sedgwick County’s jail population for February was down slightly from the same month the year before, county manager William Buchanan told commissioners this morning.

The average daily population at the jail in February was 1,541 compared with 1,556 in February 2010. Buchanan said the slight reduction could be due in part to the county charging cities jail fees for housing inmates facing municipal charges.

The number of inmates in work release was down slightly last month, at 117 compared with 133 in February 2010.

Buchanan said people only can be on work release if they have a job, and the economy could be affecting the work release program as fewer jobs are available in the community.