If Gov. Sam Brownback values transparency in government, he has two opportunities to show it – by releasing the names of applicants for the opening on the Kansas Court of Appeals and the two new seats on the Saline County Commission. Instead, the administration has denied the Salina Journal’s request to know the 13 people seeking appointment to the newly expanded commission, inexplicably claiming that the openings for these elective positions come under the open-records exemption for “personnel records.” And if Brownback handles the new Court of Appeals vacancy as he did one last year, there will be no comparing the new judge’s qualifications with those of other applicants. Release of those names had been standard practice until Brownback persuaded the Legislature to stop using a nonpartisan nominating commission and instead give him discretion to fill Court of Appeals openings however he liked – which turned out to be secretly. – Rhonda Holman
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