Friday, April 13, 2007

Weekly News Roundup

Okay, so this is a new feature, but just because it says "weekly" in the title does not mean it will ALWAYS appear weekly or always appear at a specific time. It will appear when I feel like it.
I've been focused on national and international news for a long time, but I think it's time to return to the wonderful world of Kansas politics:
  • Kansas may not be Chicago or New Jersey, but that doesn't mean corruption is not alive and well. Last month, we told you about the River Ridge development scheme in which major contributors to Sebelius received a state-contract to develop a new state park and saw the appraisal of their property triple in value in just 3 years. Well, now Sebelius has appointed Dr. Tiller's attorney to the Kansas Sentencing Commission (Dr. Tiller is KS' notorious abortionist, who performs late term abortions for clients who come from all over the country. He was one of Sebelius' top contributors). This is not a surprise, considering that Sebelius has stacked the state supreme court with her contributors and cronies already, which is why she's so confident that her supreme court will uphold the gambling bill recently passed by the legislature.

Check out this editorial from The Olathe Daily News that slams Sebelius for her utter lack of integrity and her appeasement of big donors and lobbyists, despite the fact that all these stories are under the radar and being ignored by most of the mainstream Kansas press.

  • So gambling is approved (basically, state-sponsored gambling, another state-owned enterprise). Congrats Kansas! Even California and Nevada don't have state-sponsored gambling. Now don't get me wrong--I actually support changing the constitution to allow private casinos to function, subject to voter approval via a statewide referendum. But allowing state government to own and operate casinos in an invitation to corruption--and I don't think most Kansans are in favor of that. And what does Johnson County get out of this bill? It seems like Dodge City and the Dott get all the benefits. If our GOP senators--Vratil, Allen, Wysong--were going to vote for this, why didn't they ensure we at least received some of the benefits? You know, a Caesar's Palace in Leawood would be pretty nice, and with a certain percentage going to SMSD and Blue Valley school districts, we wouldn't have to raise the LOB for a long time or rely on jealous legislators out west to give us our proper share of school funding.
  • It's official: Lynn Jenkins vs. Jim Ryun primary battle in KS 2nd district. Your thoughts?
  • Sometimes, government does get it right. The state legislature here in KS has officially overturned the ridiculous law requiring drivers to renew their licenses on their 21st birthday or risk driving with an expired license. I (and other college students) could not return home on my 21st birthday, so I had to drive on an expired license for 2 days...Kudos to the legislature for repealing this impractical law.

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