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Rep. Paul Davis

Rep. Paul Davis

Kansas is a leading pro-life state, electing a pro-life super majority to both chambers. We’ve enacted many benchmark pro-life laws signed by pro-life GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. Brownback is seeking re-election, opposed by Democrat Paul Davis.

With the abortion issue omitted at every gubernatorial debate, many Kansas voters haven’t learned how very extreme Davis is on the life issue. As a state representative for 14 years from the most liberal district in Kansas, Davis voted 80 times AGAINST pro-life bills. Here’s a partial list of what Davis voted against:

  • bans on sex-selection abortion, tax-funded abortions and gruesome abortions done on unborn children with proven pain capability;
  • parental consent for abortion and against abortion clinics sending fetal dna samples from pregnant girls under age 14 to the KBI (as evidence for rape prosecution);
  • state licensure for abortion clinics to include death and injury reporting for the health department;
  • allowing prosecution for crimes against pregnant women to include separate charges for death and injuries to unborn children;
  • conscience protection for pro-life doctors, healthcare workers and businesses that object to abortion.

Davis was tutored in anti-life stridency when he worked for Kathleen Sebelius (as state insurance commissioner) and interned for now-Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley. This animus is not just against state regulation of abortion, it shows when Davis voted against modest grants for pregnancy care centers and for creation of a unique (and ethical) stem cell therapy center.

Additionally, as Democrat policy chair, and later, as House Minority leader, Davis whipped up the opposition to pro-life bills, pressuring Democrat state reps not to vote pro-life. There are now less than a handful of pro-life Democrats left in the Kansas House.

Davis’ website reads, under the topic, HOW SHOULD KANSAS CHANGE LAWS RELATED TO ABORTION?:

“Kansas’ abortion laws are among the strictest in the nation – I will not change that as governor. I do feel that every woman has the right to make her own personal medical decisions in consultation with her family and her doctor – free from government intrusion.

Well, of course he says he will not change the laws in effect, because he CANNOT do so! What he didn’t promise was to vigorously defend, and not undermine, the existing pro-life laws.

As an example, a Kansas abortion may not be performed unless the woman has accessed state info available at: woman’srighttoknow.org. Yet implementation of the 2009 update of this website was botched under the administration of then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, and not correctly implemented until Sam Brownback became governor in 2011.

Through his choice of agency heads and budget priorities, an extremist pro-abortion politician like Davis would be a disaster for the unborn and women’s health. Davis could:

  • veto new pro-life laws enacted by the pro-life Kansas House and Senate;
  • use the state budget to fund abortion, instead of the current modest support for pregnancy help centers;
  • select a cabinet whose members would allow subversion of current life-protective laws and agency regulations;
  • deter the health department from investigating maternal deaths occurring at abortion clinics;
  • pressure the state medical board to ignore abortion malpractice;
  • refuse to rigorously defend state laws challenged in court.

The governor makes hundreds of appointments to advisory boards, as well as  selecting a variety of judges, including those on the state Supreme Court.

It is not hard to imagine how much damage Davis could do as governor. Pro-lifers need to get the word out and get to the polls!

Incumbent pro-life Sen. Pat Roberts and challenger Greg Orman

Incumbent pro-life Sen. Pat Roberts faces pro-abortion challenger Greg Orman

In the cola-dominated soft drink market, 7-up enjoyed great success after it labeled itself the “UN-cola”. And for the last 2 months, a multi-millionaire without public service experience, Greg Orman, has gotten some good poll numbers portraying himself as an independent “UN-politician” running against incumbent Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

 But in the candidate debate last night, Roberts charged that Orman’s attitude about abortion is “UNconcionable.”

Here’s how it developed: more than halfway into the debate, the sole “life issue” question was posed:  Kansas abortion law requires a mandatory ultrasound, should that be a federal law? (By the way, no such ultrasound mandate has been filed in Congress.)

Orman didn’t answer, instead responding:

  • that, as a man, he’ll never face that issue, and he “trusts women” (this is the slogan created by the late-term abortionist George Tiller);
  • abortion is settled law about which we have wasted too much time when there are other important issues to discuss.

The debate moderator interrupted to ask whether he was pro-life or pro choice and Orman said pro-choice.

Roberts looked at Orman with incredulity, saying that to admonish us to “get past” the rights of the unborn and those at the end of life is unconscionable.

“I am pro-life,” he said [voting record: 64 out of 64 correct pro-life votes] and am proud to be endorsed by National Right to Life and Kansans for Life.

In a follow-up rebuttal, Roberts added, “[abortion] isn’t settled law because we had a great fight over Hobby Lobby, didn’t we? …[that] we’re not going to accept Obamacare because it strikes at our religious beliefs. And the Hobby Lobby won. And so it isn’t settled law, not by a long shot.”

Later on, during discussion of second amendment gun rights, Roberts brought up Orman’s support for a bill [S.J. Resolution 19, see here] that would severely restrict first amendment free speech rights of groups like Kansans for Life.

Orman is running neck and neck with Roberts and the Kansas Democrat candidate for Senate dropped out of the race Sept. 3 (more here). Notwithstanding Orman’s repeated claim that, if elected, he has not decided which party he will side with, no one believes it; there are currently two “independent ” Senators who vote with the Democrats.

Roberts’ key message is that a vote for Orman is a vote for the Democrat anti-life agenda of Harry Reid and President Obama; for example, Reid has refused to allow a vote on the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act (s. 1670, read here) which passed this year in the U.S. House.[Kansas passed this law in 2011.]

KFL executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented, “One Kansas City-area abortion business has posted Orman signs on the premises. They know that Orman is not a new-style, problem-solving “UNpolitician”– he is an old-style politician trying to downplay an unconscionable pro-abortion position in a state with a pro-life majority.”

Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Orman

Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Greg Orman

Last month, Kansans witnessed court shenanigans to secure a dirty back-room deal to try to stop Republican pro-lifers from taking over the U.S. Senate majority.

The floundering Democrat Senate candidate– Topeka District Attorney Chad Taylor—submitted a last-minute statement of withdrawal on Sept.3. Taylor did not type out,“I am incapable of fulfilling the duties of this office if elected,” which (after the primary has passed) is the only allowable excuse, other than death, for getting out under Kansas statute 25-306a .The Kansas State Supreme Court ruled that his use of the phrase “pursuant to” in his statement, sufficed to remove his name.

No one disputes that Taylor’s exit was designed to facilitate opposition to 3-term GOP incumbent, Sen. Pat Roberts, coalescing around multimillionaire “independent” candidate, Greg Orman, who’d been running TV commercials promoting his candidacy before he was even technically on the ballot. (Read pro-abortion support for Orman here and national media frenzy over the Roberts challenge here)

The tougher question that the Kansas State Supreme Court ducked was whether the Democrat Party could be held in contempt (and fined) for not supplying a Democrat replacement for Taylor. The party had publicly refused to find a replacement after Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, said the law required it (even with a viable candidate, see below).

A lone, long-time-Democrat-voting citizen, David Orel, filed suit for Democrats to perform that duty.

The state Supreme Court wanted to dodge that question and certainly the fact that four of those justices are Democrats and one of their homes was being used that week for a Democrat fundraiser had no impact, right? So the issue of whether the Democrats were illegally not replacing the Taylor name was sent to a lower court panel of three judges who

  • were insulted that Orel did not come to court, although his attorney argued that the court merely needed to interpret the statute, without testimony;
  • found that Orel would not be uniquely harmed by not having a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate on the ballot;
  • ruled that the law about replacing withdrawn candidates was not a mandate, just an option.

Now, it is true that current legal scholars hate laws that use the word “shall.” But, as the filing of the Kansas Attorney General’s office in this matter explained, the pertinent Kansas election provision in the Taylor/Orel matter uses “shall” for some mandates and “may” for some optional duties—indicating that the legislators understood the difference, and that candidate replacement by the party (after the primary) was mandatory.

WHERE’S WALDO?
But, wait… where was the Democrat whom the public and the courts should have heard from? The rightful replacement for Taylor is Taylor’s runner-up in the primary, who garnered 46.3% of the vote and who could, with not much effort, resume campaigning for the seat.

Patrick Weisner is that person– a successful CPA and attorney, newly retired from the military, who in fact had also campaigned for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010! Where had he disappeared to in all this? Oh wait, a perusal of Weisner’s political positions (here, here and here) shows he is not a lock-step Democrat. Guess he was muffled off as part of this back-room deal.

In conclusion, Kansas election law enacted to preserve the integrity of primary-chosen candidates has been perverted and needs to be revisited.

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.

Sec. of State Kobach (l) tried to keep Chad Taylor on US Senate ballot

Sec. of State Kris Kobach (l) was overruled on keeping Chad Taylor (r) on ballot

As we predicted after Tuesday’s hearing, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered that the name of Shawnee County District Attorney, Chad Taylor, be removed from the ballot as the Democrat contender for U.S. Senate.

It remains unsettled whether the final ballot for the Kansas U.S. Senate seat will include a Democrat because Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, asserts that the state Democrat Party is legally obligated to submit a replacement candidate for Taylor. At a press conference Thursday, Kobach announced the new Democrat name must be received by noon, Sept. 26.

UPDATE, 5pm, Fri. Sept.19: The AP now reports that Kobach’s office sent a directive to county officials, telling them to move ahead with mailing the ballots without having a Democrat nominee listed for the U.S. Senate race.

Taylor had filed at the last possible hour to remove his name (see more here) and has not yet commented on the reason he withdrew. The Kansas law on this matter was supposedly strengthened to prevent such late withdrawals of candidates for purely partisan calculations that disenfranchise those who voted in the primary.

The state Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling late Thursday remained very narrow and focused, declaring that Taylor’s official request to remove his name “pursuant to” the statute was acceptable, without a declaration of his “incapability to serve.”

Kobach told Bloomberg News he was disappointed:

 “The court’s decision essentially nullifies what the legislature did in 1997 when they inserted 14 words into the law to require a candidate declare that he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office.”

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, Pat Roberts, is the only pro-life candidate for that office. He commented about the ruling, “This is not only a travesty to Kansas voters, but it’s a travesty to the judicial system and our electoral process.”

Pundits point out that elimination of a Democrat nominee will benefit lately-entered “independent” candidate,  Greg Orman. Multi-millionnaire Orman has already spent over $900,000.00 on TV commercials.

The state Supreme Court did not rule Thursday on the legal duty to supply a Democrat substitute for Taylor, but a motion for the Court to address this issue has now been filed by a disgruntled Democrat.

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!

Kansas WRTK site has interractive ultrasound

Ultrasound featured on KS- WRTK

For decades, we have heard tearful testimony from post-abortive women who were misinformed about the humanity of their unborn child by the abortionist and staff. Far too many mothers have looked at sonograms of their current “wanted” pregnancy only to realize in private horror that the abortion they had years before, did not merely remove a “blob of tissue,” but destroyed a recognizably human, unborn child.

In the pursuit of selling an abortion, clinics cannot be trusted to promote medical accuracy. Unlike other acts of consumer deception, for which lawsuits would be entertained, abortion clinics fear no legal repercussions.

Instead, the one significant bar to total manipulation of abortion information came from the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1992 Casey decision. Casey allows the states to provide “objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate” information relevant to making an informed abortion decision.

Kansas implemented that right in 1997 by creating a “Woman’s Right to Know” division of the state health department (KDHE), to maintain a 24-hour phone hotline and publish official informational booklets.  Every legal abortion in Kansas requires the woman (whether a Kansan or non-resident) to sign a paper that she “accessed” this information prior to abortion.

In 2009, the Kansas legislature was able to enact updated pro-life provisions for informed consent that were not vetoed –as had been the pattern under then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. During a few-weeks window of time when she awaited confirmation as HHS secretary (and having described herself to the Senate Confirmation committee as pro-life!), Sebelius signed a pro-life law containing these main provisions:

  1. required clinics using ultrasound technology to honor the woman’s request to see the child’s ultrasound and receive a hard copy, 30 minutes prior to abortion; and
  2. instructed the KDHE to update all WRTK printed materials to a website.

[Unsurprisingly, after confirmation to the HHS post, Sebelius vetoed another pro-life bill, a late-term abortion ban. And both her administration, and that of her replacement, Gov. Mark Parkinson, botched the WRTK website project.]

IMPROVED 4-D ULTRASOUND
More importantly, however, was the fact that the WRTK website was indeed properly implemented in 2011, under pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback. Notably, the WRTK website was the first in the nation to include an independently-produced,  4-D ultrasound educational tool about prenatal development.

There has been significant traffic to the WRTK website, but the quintessential point is to provide “one-click” access to women at the crucial moments they are considering abortion. (Read more here.)

When women experience a lack of support for maintaining their pregnancy–or downright coercion to abort–they need every tool they can get. The WRTK website is a source of objective facts about pregnancy and a list of assistance centers. It is designed to enlighten and empower women, especially those being pressured by partners, friends or family members. Such information is best contemplated away from the abortion business, and a privately-accessible, trustworthy web source is ideal.

It is noteworthy that the websites of all four Kansas abortion clinics did include this WRTK link voluntarily from 2011-2013–even the (recently-closed) Aid for Women clinic whose website commentary roundly bashed the WRTK information. No doubt the clinics found that burying this link somewhere on their web pages would legally allow them to not physically hand out the WRTK booklets to their clients.

With the link thus so unevenly treated, and even scorned, the Kansas legislature in 2013 mandated that every abortion clinic in the state feature a live link to the WRTK site on their homepage, with a short descriptive tagline. The weblink tagline (tweaked in 2014) reads:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing information about the development of the unborn child, as well as video of sonogram images of the unborn child at various stages of development, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment`s website can be reached by clicking here.

Two Kansas City suburban abortion clinics sued the weblink mandate as an infringement of the First Amendment. The injunction governing the weblink–obtained in state court by the Center for Women’s Health, in June 2013– was dissolved this summer. Notice of this action was sent to federal court, which has not yet acted upon a request by Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid Missouri for a similar injunction.

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