State of Kansas Archives: on Government Reform

Greg Orman: Ballot requirements hinder 3rd-party candidates

Q: How do current election laws affect independent candidates trying to launch campaigns in Kansas?

A: "The single greatest hurdle facing an independent candidate is getting the 5,000 signatures on the petition to allow his or her name to be on the ballot," Orman commented. "This is not imposed on party candidates."

"The single greatest hurdle facing an independent candidate is getting the 5,000 signatures to be on the ballot." Orman also stated the rules for this petition stipulate county- specific forms (there are 105 counties in Kansas) and the petition has to be signed in person with a witness--all of which makes the disallowance of signatures very easy.

Another major disadvantage to independents came in 1901 in Kansas with the passage of Antifusion Laws. Prior to this, according to Orman, third parties thrived [because] candidates could run under more than one party. Candidates could state that they were a Populist and a Republican (or any other combination).

Source: Independent Voter Project on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 30, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: 1999: Brought articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton

In the 2014 campaign, former Rep. Ross is expected to go head-to-head with Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman from Northwest Arkansas, in a race with some political ghosts. Ross is a protege of former President Bill Clinton; and, Hutchinson is the former congressman who brought the articles of impeachment against Clinton from the U.S. House of Representatives to trial in the U.S. Senate in 1999. Clinton was subsequently acquitted, ostensibly on the basis of an emotional floor speech by then-Senator Dale Bumpers, of Arkansas.
Source: Hope Star on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 2, 2014

Mike Ross: Left Congress due to growing acrimony of national politics

In 2012 Ross made it clear that he was tired of Washington & the growing acrimony of national politics; and, he quit Congress to begin an executive position at the Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock. Ross had publicly ruled out a 2014 run for governor, but Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's campaign imploded with allegations regarding an extra-marital relationship, and Ross was suddenly a hot name.

"I'm not running against anyone, I'm running because I've got a positive vision for the future of this state that is based on building what Gov. Beebe has started in education and economic development," Ross said at a campaign stop.

Ross said he was not focused on attacks against him by opponent Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. "I've got a positive vision and a positive message, and my campaign is not going to be about the past," Ross said. "It's going to be about the future and moving the state forward and insuring that every child in the state can get a good education and have a job to come home to."

Source: Hope Star on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 2, 2014

Mark Pryor: Government shutdown is reckless & irresponsible

Sen. Mark Pryor blasts Rep. Tom Cotton for forcing a government shutdown and hurting the economy in a new ad: "Tom Cotton cost us billions. The government shutdown cost America $24 billion. Cotton and a small group of reckless congressmen took our country to the brink of default. His irresponsible actions weakened our credit and damaged our economy," the ad's narrator says. "Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed. Senators like Mark Pryor brought Democrats and Republicans together to end the shutdown and responsibly cut spending."

Pryor has zeroed in on the shutdown in an attempt to paint Cotton as "reckless," a term he's used in multiple ads. The ad is running statewide.

In response, the Cotton campaign released the following statement: "This ad is a total fabrication. Tom Cotton voted five times to fund the government and end the shutdown. Senator Pryor voted against four separate compromise measures that could have opened the government sooner.

Source: The Hill's AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 22, 2013

Chad Taylor: Require open meetings for water utility rate-setting

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor filed a lawsuit today against the Kansas Corporation Commission, and its Commissioners individually alleging that the Commissioners of that agency violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).

The action seeks injunctive relief concerning the rate increase for Howison Heights, Inc., previously approved by the Commission. The impact of the injunction would void the action taken by the KCC resulting in a near fifty percent rate hike to consumers of the water district.

The lawsuit also seeks other relief consistent with the KOMA. The primary purposes of this action are to ensure that both the statutory provisions of the KOMA are adhered to and the purpose of the Act, governmental transparency, is enforced.

Source: D.A. office press release: 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 19, 2013

Roy Blunt: Carnahan's $107M wind energy project created only 16 jobs

Blunt pointed out that a wind-energy company headed by Carnahan's brother, Tom, had received a $107 million grant through the federal stimulus package. That money, Blunt said, created only 16 jobs. "Tell me if that's a good investment of money," Blunt said.

But Carnahan said the business created thousands of jobs around the state and accused Blunt of below-the-belt attacks. "I've got nothing to do with my brother's business," she said.

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

Roy Blunt: Took $200K from lobbyists for 2010; tops among House members

Carnahan repeatedly criticized Blunt for ties to lobbyists. He has taken $200,500 from lobbyists this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, tops among current House members. "Even your own party thought you were too tainted by these special deals & relationships with lobbyists," she said.

Blunt rejected the criticism, contending that some Senate candidates have taken more money from lobbying groups. He criticized a federal grant to Carnahan's brother for a wind farm project.

Source: Kansas City Star coverage of 2010 Missouri Senate debate Oct 15, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: No moratorium on earmarks; they fund local projects

Republican Senate hopeful John Boozman said Arkansas "can't afford" Blanche Lincoln anymore, while the Democratic incumbent accused Boozman of putting politics above the state's needs as the two debated on Friday for the first time in their election matchup.

Boozman and Lincoln sparred over Social Security, taxes and earmarks during the debate. "Sen. Lincoln is a good friend and I admire her, yet we can't afford her anymore," Boozman, a congressman representing northwest Arkansas, said.

Lincoln criticized Boozman for supporting House Republicans' moratorium on earmarks and said that his opposition to money for local projects is harming his congressional district. "The fact is he signed with his party above his state and his district," Lincoln said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

Lisa Johnston: Fight special interests by plain-language laws on Internet

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Aug 12, 2010

Jim Holt: Campaign reform is incumbency protection

Q: Some have equated money with speech, meaning that any restriction on the amount of money a candidate can raise or spend is a restriction on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Do you agree that a campaign contribution is the same as speech?

A: Yes. The so-called “campaign finance reform act” is unconstitutional. It should be called the “Incumbent Protection Act”, or the “Only the Media can say bad things about politicians Act”. Here again is an example of the courts failing to do their duty, ignoring a clear constitutionally guaranteed right, while they’re busy inventing others. I don’t think we fully realize just how bad this ‘reform’ is yet. We will, though. Under the act, in the critical weeks before an election, citizens are banned from pooling their money to buy ads that say anything negative about a politician! Only the media and other politicians can exercise free speech under this law. This is in direct violation of the First Amendment.

Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Questionnaire Aug 12, 2004

Kathleen Sebelius: Implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies

The Budget Efficiency Savings Teams I formed have achieved results that are nothing short of extraordinary. In just one year, the teams, working under the leadership of loaned executives from the private sector and former business executives in my Cabinet, have implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies by doing simple things and less simple changes.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature Jan 12, 2004

Kathleen Sebelius: Spending cut to provide a raise for state workers

In recent years, we have reduced the size of the state’s workforce by more than 10 percent. In the budget that I’m submitting to you, I propose additional cuts in spending to provide state workers with a cost of living raise. The men and women who serve this state in our leaner workforce are being asked to do more than ever with smaller budgets. I believe the state has a responsibility to be a good employer, and that means rewarding loyalty and hard work.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature Jan 12, 2004

Kathleen Sebelius: Audit government to eliminate waste

Sebelius promises to audit the state government “from top to bottom.” “It has been 20 years since a complete audit has taken place in the state government,” Sebelius said. The audit would be performed by government teams and private-sector members. “The cost of government is high,” she said, “but the people are not seeing it in their classrooms or business communities.”
Source: Kansas State eCollegian, “Sebelius Discusses Issues” Oct 7, 2002

Mike Huckabee: Not more government, but more efficient government

I don’t think we need a lot more government. We need the government we have to work more efficiently. We need it to work in ways that help our citizens rather than helping us to just grow more government. And, if the economy is slowing, then that’s all the more reason not to launch forth with a whole lot of new government programs but rather to scale back everywhere we can except for determining those things which we cannot scale back and then carrying out our responsibilities.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

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