Daily Archives: June 1, 2012

Edwards a scoundrel but no jailbird

“It’s no surprise that the Justice Department case against the two-time Democratic presidential candidate basically crashed and burned,” columnist Dick Polman wrote about the John Edwards trial. “The jurors got it right yesterday when they exonerated Edwards on one count, deadlocked on the other five counts, and the judge declared a mistrial. In nine days of deliberation, they couldn’t bring themselves to believe that Edwards was a criminal – scoundrel, yes; jailbird no – just because he took money from a pair of rich friends to abet his perfidy.”

Tax cut good for another Brownback presidential run?

National attention such as Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal editorial will fuel the view that Sam Brownback sees his governorship as a step toward another presidential run. “I have no doubt that this is part of a presidential campaign commercial to follow,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske said it’s hard to give Brownback a final grade on the 2012 session, but he showed “a clear set of leadership traits that could prove attractive – or unappealing, depending on your viewpoint – for a future candidacy. He demonstrated flexibility and a hard-nosed quality that resulted in the tax bill surviving, but his tactics proved so heavy-handed at times that some labeled it bullying.”

Paying public is due a view of teacher contract talks

It was disappointing enough that the talks between USD 259 and teachers union negotiators hit a wall this week even before salary issues could be discussed. It’s worse that some on the district’s side see transparency as an impediment to agreement, and look forward to the closed-door sessions that would come with federal mediation. Mary Whiteside, the district’s director of personnel, told The Eagle that public meetings “hamper the conversation. We’re not able to have that open conversation to try to work through some of the nitty-gritty that happens.” Tom Powell, the district’s general counsel, suggested union officials’ insistence on video recording the negotiating sessions got the talks off to a bad start, because of the prospect of such footage ending up on YouTube. Open meetings may not be fun at times for the participants. But more often than not, the public should be welcome to watch the operation of the government it pays for – and without having to endure suggestions that its presence in the room, whether physical or technological, is some burden or deterrent.