Party switching – A bill sent to Gov. Sam Brownback would prevent Kansans from switching political parties from June 1 until after the August primary. This, of course, is intended to stop Democrats from crossing over to support moderate Republicans, who might pose an electoral threat to some of the conservative Republicans now in charge. It’s a bad sign that Kansas lawmakers would devote so much attention to a law that may stifle turnout, but have made no move to fix a previous law that has thrown the voting status of about 15,000 Kansans into limbo.
Kansas City Star
This partisan, self-serving bill is another example of the high-handedness of the majority Republicans in the Legislature. They can do this, so they will, regardless of the impact on voters’ rights. This bill deepens the partisan divide that keeps government from doing the people’s work. It discourages moderate Republicans from running for office and leaves their party in the hands of a coalition of right-wing conservatives and single-issue extremists.
Winfield Daily Courier
Local elections – Until city and school district officials clamor for partisan fall elections in even-numbered years, legislators should refrain from forcing their will upon the local election process. There is enough partisan fighting and ideological rigidity at the state and federal levels now. There’s no need to spread more of it around.
Two bills – one to make local elections partisan and the other to limit re-registration – taken separately can cause heartburn. But taken together, along with other “reforms,” and the strategy becomes clear. Get power, and then keep it.
Liquor sales – Legislators have been more than sympathetic to liquor store owners. They need to balance that with sympathy for the consumer and basic common sense. Liquor is legal in Kansas. These restrictions about where you can buy it are just plain silly. But if it takes a phase-in and protections for liquor store owners to accomplish the change, so be it.
Brownback – Gov. Sam Brownback recently defended former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole with an astounding reference to two-term Republican President Reagan. Brownback said: “My point is, the Reagan point is, you just don’t speak poorly of fellow Republicans. You know, and Reagan was always a very inclusive person and he had a lot of moderates in the party.” The comments were laughable coming from a governor who worked overtime with his allies, Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, to malign and ostracize fellow Republicans who dared challenge their ultraconservative agenda in any way.
Garden City Telegram
Huelskamp – It’s better late than never that Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, made his NCAA ticket raffle legal. While mere mortals would face fines and reminders that ignorance of the law is not an excuse, Huelskamp’s minions obfuscate their misstep with potshots at the president. Thumbing their noses at pesky documents such as the Kansas Constitution likely will increase the donations solicited with Huelskamp’s e-mail. It does nothing, however, to raise the confidence level that Huelskamp is interested in anything besides himself and his pursuit of re-election.
Hays Daily News