U.N. treaty – Opposition from Republican senators foiled an opportunity for the United States to lead the world in advocating for people with disabilities. The Senate needed 66 votes to ratify a United Nations treaty that calls upon countries to ensure disabled citizens receive the same rights and freedoms as their able-bodied peers. Despite a visit in the Senate chamber from an ailing former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, it received only 61 votes. As GOP Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said in May, each person “should have the opportunity to pursue happiness, participate in society and be treated equally before the law.” But Moran, along with GOP Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, voted in opposition to the treaty. As has been made painfully obvious, this is not Bob Dole’s Senate anymore.
Kansas City Star
Huelskamp – U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is determined to stand by his “principles” even when they are damaging to his constituents. That sort of blind devotion to the tea party constituency and special interest groups such as Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Tax Reform – and unwillingness to even consider a compromise on any piece of legislation – culminated last week with the Kansas Republican’s removal from the important House budget and agriculture committees. Huelskamp sloughed off any responsibility for his actions; wrapped himself in the warm, cozy blanket of conviction; and laid blame on everyone else in Washington. The problem, however, isn’t with Washington. It’s with Huelskamp. He has failed to produce or influence any meaningful legislation for the benefit of Kansans, and he seemingly prefers the role of obstructionist.
We share Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s frustration as the United States continues to spend its way into a $16.2 trillion debt hole. But the reality is, whether you’re in a marriage, Congress or any other relationship, absolutes are an impediment to getting things done. “My way or the highway” doesn’t work. For Huelskamp and those cheering him for standing on principle, ask yourself this: How well can you affect policy when you’re on the outside looking in, and how does that help your first responsibility, your constituents?
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is intelligent enough to know the system demands compromise in order to function and courageous enough to insist on that compromise.
Clay Center Dispatch
Kobach – There were 838 voters forced to cast provisional ballots in the Nov. 6 election because they did not have proper photo ID. Of those, Secretary of State Kobach said 306 returned later with their IDs and their ballots were counted. So that means 532 registered Kansas voters were ignored, a number Kobach is just fine with. Kobach’s paranoia is not resulting in more legitimate elections. Instead, he’s making a mockery of the office. Voter fraud is not taking place at the polls; it’s taking place in Topeka.
Hays Daily News
Democratic Party leaders in the Legislature say they’re prepared to introduce bills in January aimed at limiting Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s power and curtailing his outside work for other states on immigration issues. Granted, Kobach has his detractors in the Legislature, but there aren’t enough of them to pass the kind of legislation Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, plans to submit. His appears to be an exercise in futility.