Daily Archives: June 9, 2010

‘Tom Who?’ picks ‘Kelly Who?’

kultala,kellyThough the odds look grim, today’s rollout of the Holland-Kultala gubernatorial ticket signals that Democrats have no intention of losing quietly to the GOP’s Brownback-Colyer team. Casting themselves as the moderate alternative, state Sens. Tom Holland of Baldwin City and Kelly Kultala (in photo) of Kansas City, Kan., had choice words for the leadership offered by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. — “part of the problem,” “failed policies,” “divisive agenda,” “partisan record of saying one thing and doing another,” “Washington greed, negligence and working more for the special interests than for the common good.” Kultala is a one-termer in the Senate, but brings her experience as a Piper school board member and a commissioner in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City. Still, in all but the northeastern part of the state, Holland’s announcement is a case of “Tom Who?” picking “Kelly Who?”

Gitmo cost a bundle

gitmoflagFive months after President Obama’s blown deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, there are more questions as to whether it’s worth doing. What about the investment of at least $500 million made in the facility since 2001? According to the Washington Post, the spending includes an $18.2 million prison hospital with a $2.9 million psychiatric ward, a $26 million road, a $188,000 welcome sign, an unused $249,000 volleyball court, an unused $296,000 go-kart track and 27 playgrounds that cost $3.5 million. Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen blogged in the Washington Post: “If we have invested so much in making Guantanamo what it is — the best and most humane detention center in the world — why on earth would we shut it down and spend more tax dollars to build another facility here in the United States?”

Open thread 6/9

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Wichita isn’t getting its due

cashThe Wichita City Council certainly didn’t shortchange the proposal to endorse the west-side Bowllagio development’s consideration by the state for sales-tax-and-revenue bonds, devoting nearly three hours to it Tuesday before delaying a decision for a week. Though the public risk involved in using the state-authorized economic development tool seems minimal, council members still have a lot to consider, including how the training and entertainment center might affect existing bowling businesses. They also need to recognize the project as another chance for Wichita to benefit from the state’s economic development tools. It’s just wrong that south-central Kansas, including Wichita, has more than 27 percent of the state’s population and employment and pays 28 percent of the state’s sales taxes, yet receives only 13 percent of the state’s economic development funds.

Incivility hurting democracy

yelling“People recognize the lack of civility, and they claim they don’t like it, yet these same citizens get fired up and vote based on this outrageous talk,” said David Procter (not in photo), director of Kansas State University’s Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy. Procter contends that much of the public’s distrust of government is due to lack of civility in discussing politics. “When we’re uncouth,” he said, “we’re not just defeating a politician, we’re tearing at the fabric of democracy.”