Voting plan – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to create a framework whereby some Kansans would be eligible to vote in congressional and presidential races but not for state or local candidates. Other Kansans could vote for all candidates and issues on the ballot. If this sounds like a mess, it is. It’s also a stain on Kansas, harking back to post-Civil War days in the South when black citizens sometimes had to register multiple times and meet stiffer requirements to vote in state elections than the federal government required. The Legislature should repeal the law requiring proof of citizenship – or risk a fiasco in the 2014 elections.
Kansas City Star
There are a number of ways Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach could improve the accuracy and integrity of the state’s election system. Creating a two-tiered voter-registration system whereby some voters would be qualified to cast ballots only in federal races is not one of them. Kobach claims that his efforts have nothing to do with suppressing the vote in Kansas, but the confusion and uncertainty his legal machinations are causing are almost certain to have exactly that effect.
Health exchange – Gov. Sam Brownback rejected Washington’s offer of $31.5 million to build a state health-insurance exchange. Right now that looks like one of his biggest mistakes. It was popular animosity against Obamacare – stirred up by Americans for Prosperity and its allies – that prompted Brownback to reject a state exchange. Now 327,000 Kansans without health insurance, and others with high-priced individual policies, are fighting the uphill battle of signing up on a federal exchange. Thanks, Sam.
Winfield Daily Courier
Consolidation – Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, took a swat at a hornet’s nest when he included the subject of school consolidation in a 12-page “Know the Facts” document he compiled recently to help House Republicans stay on point when discussing several issues. Hornet’s nest or not, it’s a topic worth consideration. Merrick, in his package, suggests, “How about a little commonsense reorganization?”
Roberts – Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan, is opposed to President Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve, and he thinks that former Democratic Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius should resign as head of the Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, Roberts’ campaign brought in $500,000 in the third quarter, bringing his on-hand cash to $1.8 million. We’ve never thought of Roberts as a tea party type. He always seemed far more reasonable than that. But in politics, you do what you have to to win, and right now, Kansas is the reddest of states. So it’s “nay” for Yellen, Sebelius has to go, and keep the checks coming.
Food stamps – Gov. Sam Brownback’s record on helping poor people is bad and growing worse. The latest example is the decision of the Department for Children and Families to reject federal funding to help people to sign up for food stamps. The Brownback administration apparently thinks that “outreach” to get eligible people into the program undermines their self-reliance. That’s a bit like saying the neighborhood church shouldn’t tell people about its soup kitchen because it doesn’t want too many hungry people to show up.
Arkansas City Traveler