Category Archives: Todd Tiahrt

Ryun endorses Congressman Todd Tiahrt for U.S. Senate

Former Republican Congressman Jim Ryun threw his support behind Congressman Todd Tiahrt’s bid for U.S. Senate.

Ryun represented the 2nd Congressional District until he was ousted by former Rep. Nancy Boyda, a Democrat.

Tiahrt, a Goddard Republican, is running against fellow Republican Rep. Jerry Moran, who currently represents the 1st Congressional District which encompasses most of western Kansas.

The two are hoping to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, who is stepping down and running for Kansas governor in 2010.

Below is Ryun’s endorsement letter.

Read More »

Tiahrt to make Senate race official

tiahrt_todd2Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt plans to take the last step he needs to take to make his Senate candidacy official, the Associated Press reports.

His campaign says he plans to file for the office Thursday, filling out the necessary paperwork at 10 a.m. at the Sedgwick County Courthouse, the AP says.

Tiahrt will be the second Republican to file for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Sam Brownback, who plans to run for governor. Rep. Jerry Moran also has filed, setting up a Republican primary in August 2010.

Tiahrt blasts mayors group and KAKE TV for illegal guns campaign

U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt is in a showdown with a coalition of mayors (none of which are in Kansas) who say his amendment to a bill in 2003 prohibits public access to a database that tracks all firearms recovered at crime scenes. (See The Eagle’s story for more details.) And the national campaign has been localized this week.

A drive-by bill board has been sweeping through downtown, television ads have aired and today there was a full page ad in The Eagle — all urging Tiahrt to repeal the amendment. Though Tiahrt acknowledges some clarifications could be added to the bill, he stands by it, saying it protects undercover officers. And he blasted the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group that has opened a major campaign against the amendment and KAKE-TV for airing ads.

“We might expect this from the New York Times or an East Coast liberal media outlet with an agenda, but it is very disappointing that KAKE has decided to run this misleading ad,” wrote Tiahrt communications director Chuck Knapp in a statement this week. Since The Eagle ran a print ad from the same group, it seems likely Tiahrt is also upset with the newspaper. (See the New York Times’ editorial on the issue that ran in their Sunday edition and a piece by the New York police commissioner in the paper.)

Washington reporter David Goldstein reported the base of the argument like this: “Tiahrt and others say the restrictions are necessary because disclosure could reveal names of undercover officers and informants, or tip off targets involved in investigations related to those weapons. (New York Mayor Michael) Bloomberg and more than 200 other mayors counter that the restrictions handcuff their efforts against violent crime where illegal guns are involved because they can’t trace their source.”

For more, see the Mayors Against illegal Guns site and Tiahrt’s response to the campaign.

Kansas: A model for government ethics?

If you think Kansas has its share of ethics controversies — or perhaps more than its share (Lawmakers chatting with state supreme court judges about pending school finance bills, using government address lists to distribute campaign fliers, etc), consider this: There’s a chance Kansas politicians just get caught more often because of its ethics system.

According to a new report by the United States Public Interest Research Group, Kansas is one of 12 states that is doing well. Kansas, and the other states PIRG rated well, has “outside oversight, meaningful conflict of interest rules, protection against arbitrary removal of commissioners, an open complaint process, full investigative authority and full disclosure of complaints filed and actions taken.”

Here’s their assessment: “The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission is a nine member body. The Governor appoints two members; the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and the majority and minority party leaders of the state legislature also appoint one each. There is a five year ‘cooling off’ period before party officials, candidates and lobbyists may serve on the commission. Commissioners are appointed to two year terms.

“The commission may initiate an investigation based on an outside complaint or a complaint filed by commission staff. Anyone may file a complaint, and all hearings of the commission are open to the public. In 2006, the commission reviewed approximately 35 complaints and issued 15 fines.”

That’s better than most states, and “far ahead of Congress in establishing independent ethics enforcement for legislators,” according to the report.

On another Kansas ethics note, Rep. Todd Tiahrt was appointed recently to the congressional ethics commission.