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Posts Tagged ‘Kris Kobach’

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  • ruled that the law about replacing withdrawn candidates was not a mandate, just an option.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.

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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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A pro-life candidate guide for November’s elections from the KFL-PAC (the nonpartisan political action committee of Kansans for Life) is now available at www.voteprolife.net.

The federal races include endorsements for Congressman Jerry Moran (R) for U.S. Senate, and 3 GOP Congressional candidates: Sen. Tim Huelskamp (1st district), Rep. Kevin Yoder (3rd district), and Mike Pompeo (4th district).

At the top of the KFL-PAC list for state-wide races is the GOP gubernatorial team of U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback and running mate, Kansas Sen. Jeff Colyer.

Also endorsed is Secretary of State candidate Kris Kobach (R) and both candidates for State Treasurer: Ron Estes (R) and incumbent Dennis McKinney (D). Neither Insurance (more…)

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