Daily Archives: Aug. 19, 2013

Cruz backs ‘birthers’ into a corner

“Birthers” are backed into a corner when it comes to the eligibility of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to run for president. The tea party favorite released his birth certificate Sunday showing that he was born in Canada to an American mother. That makes Cruz a dual citizen of Canada and America. Some claimed that Barack Obama couldn’t be president because they believed (falsely) that he wasn’t born in the United States. Will they hold Cruz to that same standard? Most legal scholars believe that an American born overseas to an American parent is still eligible to be president, but that’s not what birthers believe – at least while Obama is president.

Expect more ALEC-backed bills targeting energy standards

A number of the bills that come before the Kansas Legislature have emerged from the American Legislative Exchange Council and its task forces. House Energy and Environment Committee Chairman Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, told the Topeka Capital-Journal about two ideas out of the recent ALEC convention that would target state renewable energy standards – the “Market-Power Renewables Act” and the “Renewable Energy Credit Act.” One would let consumers choose whether to purchase electricity from renewable sources from their utilities. Hedke told the Capital-Journal that his ALEC task force also approved a resolution opposing a carbon tax. “The overall group was very diverse, with a great number of states represented, expertise appearing in panels, and other very valuable metrics,” said Hedke, one of 11 Kansas GOP legislators who used state dollars to pay their $475 ALEC conference registration fee in advance.

Loss of No Child waiver is not an option

The U.S. Department of Education’s warning Thursday that Kansas is at “high risk” of losing its No Child Left Behind waiver was hardly good news. But the Kansas State Department of Education has been working on the issue of concern – the need for a new system that uses student achievement data to evaluate teachers and principals. It’s hard to imagine state officials won’t meet the federal officials’ expectations to submit a more detailed plan within 30 days and ensure that the waiver is extended beyond the new school year. In any case, failure to do so is not an option, because of the havoc the loss of the waiver would cause for school districts across the state.