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Justice Beier

Justice Beier

Kansas is a “red” conservative state with a “blue” state Supreme Court and a liberal media supporting the latter.

But even the slavish Kansas media is having a hard time keeping the illusion alive that the behavior of Kansas’ top Court is ethically disciplined and above politics.

Last week the Court rushed to rule that the name of a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate would not appear on the upcoming ballot. (more here)

No one disputes that the withdrawal was aimed at consolidating opposition to pro-life GOP Sen. Pat Roberts behind a newly-emerged, “independent-but-Democrat leaning,” pro-abortion, multi-millionaire challenger, Greg Orman.

The widely acknowledged impact of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision could be to help unseat Roberts. The media gleefully positioned the ruling as slapping down a partisan Secretary of State who would not deem a candidate’s hasty withdrawal as legal.

But the Court was not done. It gave Democrats another gift: the time delay they needed to avoid selecting a replacement candidate for the Democrat ticket, as required by law. The Court on Tuesday sent that issue to a lower court with an indefensible excuse, read: The Kansas Supremes Give Democrats Exactly What They Wanted . . . Again

However, another story arose the same day, one the press groaned inwardly to report because it shredded what few excuses there were to insist the Court’s decision was above board: complaints from the GOP that a fundraiser for the extremely anti-life Democrat gubernatorial candidate would be held that night at the home of State Supreme Court Justice, Carol Beier!

The most incensed media outlet was the uber-liberal (and rather raunchy) “alternative” online source, The Pitch, based in Kansas City. Reporter Steve Vockrodt wrote

[Carol Beier is] often accused by the state’s Republican activists of advancing stridently liberal ideology on the state’s highest court.
A Tuesday-evening backyard barbecue at Beier’s house thrown in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, however, seems tailor-made to amplify such claims while calling into question the judge’s integrity.
“It’s my husband’s event,” Beier tells The Pitch. “I’ve taken pains not to be involved in it.”
But it’s hard to see the upside to holding a campaign event at the home of a top judicial official, someone who could have a say on the legal muster of legislation that Davis might sign as a future governor. At best, it’s reckless.
Both Beier and Davis are lawyers who should understand that even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a troublesome prospect. But neither seems bothered by the question today.

While it is true that no rule in the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct limits the political activities of a judge’s family, the media is warning Beier, and the Court, such blatantly partisan stunts are nearly impossible for the media to spin as passing the smell test.

The media will, however, continue to help the liberals and anti-lifers. They sanitized the Paul Davis lap dance story and refused to link it to his role in opposing (and mocking) state proposals to regulate strip clubs over the past few years. (see Community Defense bill vote here)

The media has portrayed the Kansas state Supreme Court ruling as a rebuke to a partisan Secretary of State—not as inappropriate activism by a pro-Democrat Court wanting to help prevent the Republican Party’s takeover of the U.S. Senate. But consider….

  • There was no media mention that the Supreme Court majority are Sebelius-appointees unvetted by the Senate and selected by an elitist committee.
  • There was no questioning why a longtime Democrat advisor and long-time business partner with the state Democrat Party, Justice Dan Biles, didn’t recuse himself from an issue so critical to the democrat party interests.

It is supposed to be commonly held that the media and judges discipline themselves to be neutral. But consider, as a mental exercise, whether the Kansas Court rulings and media stories would be the same if it were the GOP overturning the results of a state primary to achieve a back-room-made deal disadvantaging the Democrats.

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KS Supreme Court, currently awaits installation of Calb Stegall

Kansas Supreme Court, 6 current members- top row and bottom right selected by former Gov. Sebelius.  Caleb Stegall to join Dec.5.

As it was a decade ago, the Kansas Supreme Court is smack dab in the middle of a controversy affecting pro-lifers.

Back then, the top Court was being utilized by abortion attorneys to halt then-Attorney General Phill Kline’s battle to enforce state late-term abortion laws.

Today, the state Supreme Court held a hearing over an election law. Their ruling will affect efforts to retain a true pro-life Kansas Senator, and to thwart the anti-life agenda of President Obama and Sen. Majority leader, Harry Reid.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a stalwart pro-life Republican, is on the ballot for re-election in November. The Democrat opponent, Chad Taylor, caused a shockwave when he filed to remove himself from the race during the last hour of the last possible legal day to do so, Sept. 3.

It is not debated that Taylor, without state-wide name recognition and funding, was urged by anti-Roberts interests to bow out, in hopes of clearing a path for recently-declared, ‘independent’, candidate Greg Orman. The political bosses calculated that a lone, multi-millionnaire candidate might better take down incumbent Roberts, following his bruising GOP primary fight.

What the Kansas Supreme Court heard today, was whether Taylor properly effectuated his request under state law. In 1997, Kansas altered the law which had allowed candidates to leave the race at any time.

Testimony showed a rash of “placeholder” candidates who got on the ballot by primary, and then relinquished their candidacy–allowing party bosses to secure rising, more viable candidates on the ballot at the last minute. Such “placeholder” candidates violate the integrity of elections, and undermine voters in favor of back-room dealing.

Thus, the legislature changed Kansas statute 25-306a to require that candidates can only get their name off the ballot– after the primary– by

  1.  death, or
  2. declaring they are “incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected.”

Taylor is alive—although not talking to media. He remains the Shawnee County (Topeka) District Attorney. The legal disagreement is whether it was sufficient for him to request that his name be deleted “pursuant to” the relevant statute, without claiming any incapacity to serve.

Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, whose office oversees electoral matters, insists he was forced to do his duty and refuse to remove Taylor’s name because Taylor had not made any “declaration” of any “incapability.” Kobach also contends that this is not a case of him trying to help fellow Republican Roberts.

The Kansas Supreme Court, whose members generally hold themselves out as being able to overcome their own personal partisan influences [LOL] will attempt to rule very narrowly on the smallest legal point. They aggressively questioned the Secretary of State’s contention that Taylor’s request was not in “substantial” compliance. Substantial was not defined, but contrasted with absolute compliance to every provision of the statute. The fact that past candidate removal requests had not been notarized, for example, was illustrative that Kobach’s office had made some judgment calls—inferring that this was a step too far.

It is assumed that the Court will issue its ruling tomorrow; they are in “emergency” mode as the state ballots must be printed by Friday. It’s dangerous to predict these things, but it seems likely that the Court will uphold Taylor’s request –and surely it will not be because four of the seven justices were selected by past-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius!

If the Court does rule that Taylor is off the ballot, a related issue that was not discussed in today’s hearing, is whether the state Democrat party must supply a substitute candidate. Stay tuned!

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TopSecretPaperclipThe Internal Revenue Service has proposed new rules for political activity by nonprofits –overturning more than 50 years of settled law– in order to conceal the true political record of pro-abortion politicians.

The IRS proposal will undermine the ability of certain (“C-4″) tax-exempt nonprofits to conduct

  • nonpartisan voter registration and
  • voter education.

Such organizations advocating for the unborn, like Kansans for Life and the National Right to Life Committee, would be

forbidden to leave records of officeholder votes and public statements on their websites in the two months before an election.

In other words, during the small, premiere window of time that the general populace is paying attention to elections, pro-abortion politicians’ records would be locked away!  Read details by former Federal Elections Commission Chair Bradley Smith here.

NRLC, and affiliates like KFL, are invaluable for informing the public about the positions of candidates, including those nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court! The Obama team sees pro-life organizations as a threat and want to muzzle those views.  It’s that simple.

NRLC has issued a nationwide alert to raise a storm of public protest against these regulations, to make it as hard as possible for the IRS to give final approval. 

We need to educate the American people that it seems every group that opposes Obama’s policies is now under threat of having their most fundamental rights taken away. The use of the IRS as a political weapon has to stop!

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Kermit Gosnell

Kermit Gosnell

A Philadelphia jury has found abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of 3 babies born alive during illegal, late-term abortions–a practice believed to have occurred hundreds of times, according to a Feb. 7, 2011 grand jury report.  The 261-page report dubbed Gosnell’s abortion business a “House of Horrors” due to its gross filth, pest-infestation and the storage of fetal remains, scattered throughout in cabinets and freezers.

Eight other former staffers of Gosnell have pleaded guilty to a variety of charges and await sentencing. Gosnell was also convicted of hundreds of charges ranging from infanticide to running a corrupt organization, including:

  • manslaughter for the drug-overdose death of a 6-months-pregnant woman;
  • 21 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit;
  • 211 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.

Gosnell’s premises had not been inspected for 17 years, beginning under the pro-abortion administration of Gov. Tom Ridge, motivated by a desire not to be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions. Notably, the grand jury report revealed that complaints about infection, injuries and illegalities at the Gosnell clinic to state authorities were not pursued–including this incident:

“Almost a decade ago, a former employee of Gosnell presented the Board of Medicine with a complaint that laid out the whole scope of his operation: the unclean, unsterile conditions; the unlicensed workers; the unsupervised sedation; the underage abortion patients; even the over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street. The department assigned an investigator, whose investigation consisted primarily of an offsite interview with Gosnell. The investigator never inspected the facility, questioned other employees, or reviewed any records. Department attorneys chose to accept this incomplete investigation, and dismissed the complaint as unconfirmed.”

One significant result of the Gosnell trial is that Congress has sent a formal inquiry to all 50 state health departments concerning abortion clinic regulation and enforcement. KFL executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented on this development, “When Kansas responds, they will have to answer that we indeed have an abortion clinic licensing law passed in 2011, but that because of a lawsuit by the abortion industry, that law remains enjoined and at the mercy of Kansas courts, despite it having been designed to be fully constitutional. Our hope is that one result of the Gosnell verdict would be to help lift the unfair injunction on the Kansas abortion clinic licensing law.”

Kansas had long attempted to pass an abortion clinic licensing law, particularly when several Kansas abortionists had accrued scores of malpractice filings that were settled without media attention–but then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ vetoed abortion clinic licensure laws in 2003 and 2005. Notably during this time period, Kansas City, Kansas abortionist, Krishna Rajanna, echoed Gosnell’s business model: a filthy, blood-stained, trash-filled clinic using underage and non-trained employees and storing fetal remains in the staff freezer.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts allowed Rajanna to stay open, even with evidence of  improper drug protocols and substandard conditions. The Board did eventually take Rajanna’s license in 2005, as Sebelius geared up for re-election. This ostensibly gave Sebelius some veneer of “clinic safety accountability,” with her vetoing of clinic bills and her involvement in covering up a 2005 late-term abortion death in Wichita.

The Board, now under new leadership, is no longer a pawn of the abortion industry. They have revoked the Kansas license of abortionist Kris Neuhaus for failing to meet the standard of care in evaluating abortion-seeking teens. The Board is taking seriously a complaint filed by Kansans for Life against Kansas-licensee, LeRoy Carhart, for the Feb. 7 death of Jennifer Morbelli, a late-term abortion client from his Maryland office.

Although the Maryland county police closed their investigation Monday without filing criminal charges, the Chief Medical Examiner has declined to release the final autopsy results and no results of an inquiry have been released by the Maryland Mental Hygiene’s Office of Health Care Quality. The Kansas Healing Arts Board can conduct its own investigation into the Morbelli death, and now has stronger legal grounds to pursue disciplinary action–even if Carhart cancels his Kansas license– because the death occurred while Carhart was licensed in Kansas.

Despite limited media coverage of the Gosnell case, the nation may be awakening, not only to the full horrors of killing the innocent, but the corruption of medicine and lack of human decency inside abortion clinics. It is a situation that Kansans have been trying mightily to battle for decades, and are now seeing some improvement.

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stem cell patients (2)If cell therapies are indeed becoming the ‘Third Pillar of medicine’ —the title of a symposium today at the University of California at San Francisco—Kansas has positioned itself to become the global clearinghouse of those treatments. Last Friday the legislature passed Senate Bill 199 creating the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Gov. Sam Brownback, long a champion of non-embryo-destructive stem cell research during his tenure as U.S. Senator for Kansas, is anticipated to sign the legislation soon, along with the Pro-Life Protections Act, House Bill 2253.

SB 199 does not mandate tax funding, although some seed money in the Kansas annual budget is not entirely off the table yet when the legislature returns in May.  But the Center will actively pursue grants from private and public sources. For example, the numerous disease foundations as well as the U.S. military, dealing with thousands of injured veterans, would have a strong interest in donating to this project.

Dr. David Prentice, Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics and an international expert on the stem cell topic, has testified annually over the past decade to Kansas lawmakers about adult (non-embryonic) stem cell (ASC) treatments, including that:
•    1 in 200 Americans will undergo an ASC transplant in their lifetime;
•    over 60,000 ASC transplants occur globally each year;
•    there are over 2,600 ongoing, or completed, FDA-approved ASC trials.

As reported yesterday, the Vatican has said that its international conference this week on ethical stem cell research will aim to correct the public misperceptions of the burgeoning scientific field. The Washington Times quoted conference co-sponsor, Dr. Robin Smith,  “Regenerative medicine is poised to revolutionize disease management by finding new ways to boost the body’s ability to heal itself…

“People are dying, literally, who could be treated or cured.”

Even as the MSCTC was touted during debate on SB 199 as expanding cures and treatments that would end suffering for thousands, some Kansas lawmakers opposed it. Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) and Rep. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills) led opposition to this center as ‘meddling’ with university independence. They tried to imply that MSCTC was more pro-life politics than good science.

The real reason was sour grapes—most of these legislators have been on the wrong (and losing) side for a long time.  They and/or their mentors:
•    failed to prevent ethical limitations in the 2004 Kansas Bio-Science Authority Act governing state commerce,
•    failed to achieve embryonic stem cell and cloning initiatives from 2005-2007, and
•    failed to keep tax-funded abortion training at KUMC the past two years.

But pro-lifers won’t hold that grudge when those legislators and their families come to the MSCTC for treatments in the near future!

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Stan Hazlett

Stan Hazlett

The director of Kansas’ state attorney ethics division, Stan Hazlett, is facing serious charges of his own, basically that he was “dishonest,” “unfair,”and broke the rules governing discipline of attorneys.While similar charges against Hazlett are part of the Phill Kline defense (discussed below), scathing allegations against Hazlett were filed in a May 2012 legal brief (that fills a three-inch deep binder) by Alma attorney, Keen Umbehr. Umbehr says he has been victimized by Hazlett,

who pressed for disciplinary action against Umbehr without having received the required decision from a 3-person disciplinary review panel that there was “probable cause” that ethical violations were committed.

Umbehr was the subject of a complaint to Hazlett initiated by the director of the state department of women’ corrections. Umbehr had shown the temerity to expose the scandal of sex between guards and inmates, including drugs and a procured abortion.

The resulting explosive Topeka Capital Journal newspaper series on conditions inside the women’s prison ran in October 2009. It was written by reporter Tim Carpenter, who accompanied Umbehr when meeting with jailed clients. The scandal triggered federal investigations that continue today.

Umbehr was threatened with loss of his law license for not volunteering that Carpenter was a reporter. After two years, it was found that he had not violated any professional ethics.

Umbehr’s filing shows how Hazlett stonewalled verifying whether the ethics charges were being handled according to the rules. Umbehr alleges the initial required review panel never even convened and that Hazlett lied repeatedly about it. Umbehr’s action against Hazlett now proceeds to a panel of the state Supreme Court.

As relates to former AG Phill Kline’s protracted case, Kline’s attorney, Tom Condit issued a demand letter to Hazlett Nov, 21, for additional documentation on the working of Hazlett’s office in light of the derogatory comments tweeted by an appellate law clerk (see post here). Condit’s letter draws attention to numerous failings by Hazlett, in pursuing Kline:

There are seemingly infinite ironies between the many failings and omissions of your [Hazlett] office and …the standard of absolute perfection required of all of Mr. Kline’s acts and communications.”

Condit notes that— as in the Umbehr case— Hazlett failed to secure a written “probable cause” finding for Kline. When asked for the report, Hazlett asserted that review panel results were “oral.”  This is the same excuse Hazlett gave Umbehr, although the Rules clearly state that the panel must commit their findings to the record.

Also noteworthy in the Kline case, is that Hazlett’s own investigators did not find Kline guilty. And Hazlett ignored the “not guilty” findings of a special inquisition of Kline in 2007 and the ruling of Wichita Judge Owens on related matters.

So what compelled Hazlett to take the path he did with Kline?  The results of the legal complaint filed by attorney Umbehr may verify whether Stan Hazlett has been violating the very ethics he is in charge of enforcing.

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Sammie Nesslein winner grand prize

“Kansans are pro-life” 2012 KFL grade school grand prize poster

After the re-election of President Clinton, Kansans for Life distributed refrigerator magnets and bumper stickers saying “pro-lifers are unbelievably persistent”. That description came from a local media story, and while not intended as a positive, we chose to take it as a compliment.

So the tragic re-election of pro-abortion President Obama will be answered by our steady, uninterrupted march to create a pro-life culture in Kansas.

Both our U.S. Senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, are pro-life and all four Congressional reps are pro-life. Two of them, Tim Huelskamp and Kevin Yoder, had uncontested races, while the remaining two, Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins, saw robust victories Tuesday.

Kansas’ pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback was not up for re-election this year, but actively lent his support to firming up pro-life majorities in the state House and Senate. The Kansas House will continue its super-majority status, with a minimum of 86 (and probably higher) pro-lifers out of 125 members. The Senate has now attained a pro-life super majority with 29 of its 40 members.

76% of House candidates and 70% of Senate candidates who garnered Kansans for Life’s endorsement won contested races Tuesday, 

similar to the rate of pro-life success in the August primaries. A half dozen races (both pro-life wins and losses) face recounts due to narrow margins.

But simple stats belie the hard fought nature of some of these election battles, set up against a backdrop of last-minute state redistricting by the court to correct the failure of the Senate to pass acceptable new state maps reflecting 2010 census changes. (This is a task all states must do every ten years and Kansas was the only state in the nation to fail to accomplish it.)

So after the court drew new boundary lines in June, many proven pro-life incumbents found themselves redrawn into new districts in competition with one, or even two, of their long-time pro-life legislative comrades. And in other districts, constituents found themselves without their long-time reliably pro-life representative.

Because Kansas is a heavily Republican state, the winner of the GOP primary is very often guaranteed the seat. So Democrats and liberal Republicans actively urged Democrats this summer to register as Republicans in the primary and vote against conservative pro-lifers. That strategy contributed to the narrow primary loss of a Senate seat for Kansans for Life co-founder, Joe Patton.

But despite the party-switch tactic of Democrats, three-fourths of the pro-lifers in Kansas state primaries won their races. That led liberal Republicans who’d lost their seats in the primaries, to publicly encourage Republicans to vote Democrat in the general election. That plea had little, if any, success.

Thanks to the hard work of the Kansans for Life Political Action committee and the myriad of pro-life volunteers across the state, the final tally of pro-life lawmakers for the Kansas 2013 legislative session is:

•    a minimum of 79 out of 92 House Republicans and 7 of 33 House Democrats;
•    29 of the 32 Senate Republicans and 0 of 8 Senate Democrats.

Yes, Kansas pro-lifers are unbelievably persistent!

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