Stegall – Caleb Stegall may well turn out to be a fine appellate judge for Kansas. He is a smart and energetic lawyer, and will go into his Senate confirmation hearing with solid recommendations from the state’s legal establishment. But in nominating Stegall, his general counsel, to the state Court of Appeals, Gov. Sam Brownback advanced suspicions that judicial selection in Kansas has become based less on merit and more on political affiliations. The Kansas Senate will make a show of due diligence with a confirmation hearing for Stegall. It will be interesting but not suspenseful. Short of a bombshell revelation, Kansas conservatives have their handpicked judge. Kansas is worse off for the process.
Kansas City Star
Suspended voters – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s paranoia concerning foreign workers casting votes in state elections reached new heights last week. The states of Kansas and Arizona are suing the federal Election Assistance Commission in an attempt to force everyone filling out a voter registration form to be required to produce documents proving their citizenship. At the same time, there are approximately 15,000 taxpaying Kansas citizens who cannot vote because of the overly stringent state laws requiring they prove their citizenship. These Kansans registered under the federal guidelines, which have worked just fine for decades throughout the country. In Kobach’s attempt to stop one illegal vote, he’s devalued the rights of 15,000 legal voters. It seems not to matter to him.
Hays Daily News
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The proof-of-citizenship requirement in Kansas followed a law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, another ultraconservative strategy to discourage voting by sidelining those who may not have appropriate photo ID – the poor, elderly and students, for example – and who tend to favor Democrats on the ballot. As if making it more difficult to vote isn’t troubling enough, the thousands of prospective voters on the new “suspense” list easily could be the difference in tight statewide races – sad proof that the strategy to suppress future votes is gaining momentum in Kansas.
Garden City Telegram
Huelskamp – What kind of member of Congress refuses to help constituents with government services? Our congressman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler. Forget about constituent services, at least when it comes to the new government health care benefits. Because Huelskamp doesn’t agree with “Obamacare,” his office won’t serve constituents who call with questions related to it; they just will be told to call the office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We are not encouraging them to sign up for Obamacare,” Huelskamp said. Here’s a news flash: Obamacare is a done deal. It’s going into effect. So no citizen qualifying for benefits should be encouraged not to take advantage of them. That’s just sick.
Quantrill’s raid – The 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence certainly is nothing to celebrate, but the resilience of the town that rose from those ashes and the people who persevered through that tragedy is worthy of our admiration and pride. The raid was a pivotal event in the history of Lawrence and the nation. It played a big role in the community we are today — and that is worth honoring.