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Let's not reduce this issue to finger pointing and mud slinging. Perhaps Justice Matters is focused on a "win" rather than a careful examination of all facets of the issue. I would argue proponents of the alternative are engaged in the same behavior. That's kind of how political activity works. Nuance doesn't get much play. Regardless of one's feelings for Justice Matters, the issue is jail expansion. One's impression of the Justice Matters organization is not important. The issue is about whether we continue with the status quo of ever expanding warehousing of humans as a criminal justice solution or do we push back. Solutions are not simple here, but the first step is for voters to indicate that they are unwilling to expand the warehouse.
Posted 23 April 2018, 11:07 a.m.
Title of this article should be "Kobach's streak of ignoring the courts, breaking the law and getting away with it continues". Considering how flagrantly Kobach expresses his contempt for the courts and considering he is building such a track record as unwilling to follow the instructions of legal rulings, I don't see how LJW can claim Kobach is "losing". The courts have been unwilling to actually curb his illegal activity. They keep finding that he is breaking the law but never force a remedy. For Kobach, that's a winning streak. He gets to do exactly what he wants. He's been winning so much, he's probably starting to get tired of winning.
Posted 23 April 2018, 10:16 a.m.
I smell a rat. It's not immediately obvious to me what the Koch brothers are up to here, but I don't, for a second, believe their motivation is primarily philanthropic. There is a game going on here. Basically this is an effort to give corporate lawyers more power to operate in the state and regulators less power to control corporate legal activity. Does anyone (anyone at all) really believe that this change will cause an influx of pro bono help for the needy? I'm calling shenanigans, shenanigans.
Posted 23 April 2018, 10:03 a.m.
Would you trust the Kansas Attorney General to render an impartial, well informed opinion on this matter? Schmidt has been a political hack both before and during his tenure as AG. He has also been a loyal toadie to both Brownback and Kobach. Some examples include Schmidt signing on and supporting Kobach's stupid fight to keep Obama off the ballot unless he "proved citizenship" and fighting to continue to prevent same sex couples from receiving spousal health benefits long after multiple Federal rulings against his efforts. Schmidt doesn't care about the law and his track record shows that his opinion holds little water with judges. Schmidt is a political hack.
Posted 21 April 2018, 4:29 p.m.
Well Melinda, The statute KSA 19-117 is defined here: http://www.ksrevisor.org/statutes/cha...
The legal basis for Bullock's conclusion is not clear. He does not indicate the specific language or specific component of state law that he claims supersedes the process outlined in 19-117. And there is a reason he does not get specific. Because if he did outline the specifics, it would become apparent that his conclusion is just ridiculous. The whole point to 19-117 is to allow voters to force tax levy issues if their elected officials refuse to act in the voters' interests.
Posted 21 April 2018, 11:10 a.m.
That really sounds to me like an incredible pile of B.S. The county is now claiming that "The Kansas Legislature already has devised a process for how counties can levy property taxes. As such, the law doesn't allow for a referendum that would force the county to put a property tax increase proposal on the ballot."? So K.S.A. 19-117 does not apply because property tax levies are already outlined by legal rules? Really? I think that either county counselor John Bullock is a world class idiot or (more likely) the county thinks the voters are stupid enough that clouding the issue with a little legal mumbo-jumbo will discourage participation in an amended petition. We need to remember this little maneuver in future. When it is demonstrated (perhaps by some tenacious investigative journalism?) that the county is just spouting a ridiculous claim here, we need to keep in mind that it demonstrates that they are either complete idiots or dishonorable liars who have no respect for the rights and interests of the voters of this county. It's one or the other. They are idiots or weasels.
Posted 20 April 2018, 8:51 p.m.
Well this is about the weakest measure they could figure out that they could try to call a "transparency" measure. Let's at least lend our voices to tell the jackals in the legislature that their token law doesn't fool anyone into thinking they are honestly trying to be more open. There is still much work to be done if the Kansas legislature wants to even appear to be trying to let voters see what's going on in Topeka. These crooks want to protect themselves from any kind of serious accountability.
Posted 17 April 2018, 3:34 p.m.
Consider looking at this petition as a symptom of a problem rather than a polished legislative maneuver. This kind of effort comes from a reaction by a community that is not being well represented by elected officials. Our elected officials seem disinterested in forwarding initiatives that represent the will of the electorate. When we are abandoned by those we elected to represent us, a petition drive is one of the only remaining means to push an agenda. This petition may need some work, but based on what's outlined in this article, it sounds like a pretty easy fix.
Posted 17 April 2018, 8:20 a.m.
Linda, I agree that from the perspective of a jail administrator or an inmate, a failure to fund the jail expansion probably means some hardship. But we have to look at the system as a whole. Voters are not generally in a good spot to influence comprehensive policy directly. And no one piece of the puzzle will address the entire issue of unreasonably high rates of incarceration. Voters have to draw the line somewhere. If we are going to change the culture and draw down incarceration rates and work towards racial equity in our criminal justice system, we have to take opportunities to pressure the system where we can. Those in charge of law enforcement and prosecution and sentencing decisions seem to vehemently deny there is a problem with the continued increase in incarceration rates.
Posted 14 April 2018, 5:43 p.m.
Mike, I certainly agree that we may not have the full story. But it's important to consider that the district seems to think that the very few details that were released justify such a reaction. If we "citizens" just trust the schools and the police to manage all this stuff without asking to know more, then we are bound to end up with some unpleasant results. Based on what they have shared, it seems like this poor kid is being railroaded in the name fear.
Posted 14 April 2018, 5:28 p.m.
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