Daily Archives: June 28, 2013

How could Kobach still believe he is correct?

How could Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach think that Kansas’ law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote is constitutional when a nearly identical Arizona law was tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court? Kansas City Star contributor Steve Rose suggested several reasons, including: “His ego is so bloated Kobach cannot conceive that he could possibly be wrong,” “Kobach is so anti-immigrant (OK, illegal immigrant) he is blinded by his own prejudices,” and “Kobach is so unbelievably ambitious that he will step on anyone and stoop to any level to raise his own profile.”

Kansas now seen as higher bond risk

Here’s another consequence of Gov. Sam Brownback’s push to eliminate state income taxes: a lower bond rating. Moody’s Investors Services has downgraded bond ratings for a Kansas Department of Commerce program that used to pay for a worker-training program. The lower rating affects about $200 million in outstanding debt. Because the bonds are backed by income-tax withholdings, “efforts to eliminate the state income tax without defeasing the debt or substituting a new revenue source will expose bondholders to risks greater than previously anticipated,” the credit rating service reported this week. Drip, drip, drip.

KCC doesn’t want media watching open meeting

At the same meeting this week that the Kansas Corporation Commission asked the Kansas Attorney General’s Office to defend it against charges that it violated the state’s open-meetings law, KCC staff shut down a videoconference feed of the open meeting to its Wichita office after an Eagle reporter tried to watch it. How fitting. The commission is facing a lawsuit filed by the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office over a process it has routinely used in which a staff attorney circulates a proposed order individually to commissioners and obtains their signatures indicating approval instead of holding a public vote. It voted Wednesday to stop that practice. This week the KCC also hired Kim Christiansen as its new executive director. She replaces Patti Petersen-Klein, who was forced out after an audit revealed serious management problems. In addition to pulling the KCC out of the ditch, Christiansen needs to make sure it follows the open-meetings law.