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5 Things That Have People Asking, What The Heck Is Going On In Kansas?

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Other than the Wizard of Oz, tornadoes, and the world’s largest ball of twine, most people seldom think much about Kansas — unless they are on the boring 425-mile trek on I-70 to get somewhere else. Politically, this state is no different. We’re a flyover state — solid red Republican territory that votes too late in the cycle to usually matter.

But since the last mid-term election in 2014, Kansas has been nothing but news politically, from an independent U.S. Senate candidate almost beating the sitting incumbent to allegations of systemic voter machine fraud.

Between these issues and a secretary of state that just won’t quit on his schemes to purge the voter lists, a governor intent on bankrupting the state, and a state supreme court that is about to take over the school funding, the state is a complete mess from a political perspective.

1. Judge Trivializes Voting Machine Fraud Case

Dr Beth Clarkson has made some pretty incredible accusations in the 2014 Kansas U.S. Senate race — that the math just doesn’t add up and points to a systemic tampering of machines.

The state and local voting agencies have dragged their feet, stalled, and tried to derail her efforts for an audit of the paper tapes. So she sued in district court.

The defendants asked for summary dismissal in mid-February, which the judge did not grant, but instead trivialized the case to the point of utter uselessness.

In his ruling, the judge determined that the only outcomes would be a recount or nothing, removing an audit of the paper tapes off the table.

This is completely pointless since a recount is just going to give Clarkson (and the rest of us following this) the same questionable result. It’s the paper tapes that hold the answer, and without an actual audit the state has succeeded in wasting everyone’s time, which only increases the skepticism of the whole process.

2. You Can Fight For Your Country, But You Still Might Be Purged From Kansas’ Voter Rolls

Ralph Ortiz, a Kansas resident and 13-year Air Force veteran is among six others suing the state for violations of the federal “Motor Voter” laws, by requiring more documentation than the law permits to be allowed to vote.

Ortiz lived in Kansas for several years during his Air Force deployment and decided to return to Kansas afterwards to live. When he changed his driver’s license, he was asked if he wanted to register to vote, which he did. But then, he got a letter from the state telling him his registration was purged because he didn’t provide proof of citizenship (according to Kansas standards) when registering.

So far, over 35,000 citizens have been purged or placed into the lower tier of voting, half of whom are young voters with no party affiliation. The two-tiered system invented by Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), which was struck down in January, divided people into those who could vote in federal elections (complying with the “motor voter” laws) and those who could vote in state and federal elections.

Kobach’s ‘holy war’ on voter fraud has yielded nothing but bad press for Kansas and a small handful of indictments. When vying for prosecutorial power in voting fraud cases, Kobach claimed as many as 200 grand-slam cases he had ready to prosecute.

Seven months later, he’s officially prosecuted 6, half of which could be credited to dumb mistakes and ignorance of the law.

3. With the 6th Worst Bridges in the U.S., Governor Brownback Robs $1 Million a Day from the Highway Fund

Trying to prop up his failed economic policies, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has been redirecting highway funds to the tune of $1 million a day in 2016 to cover budget shortfalls.

Now in its second year, Brownback’s economic experiment has been a conservative crucible of trying to coax the economy into activity through supply-side economics.

While seen as a 'gold standard' of economic growth, Kansas is still in the bottom 10 of the 50 states in job creation.
David Yee, IVN Independent Author

With a tax plan that eliminated taxes on 300,000 of the wealthiest Kansans, the state has had to bolster revenue shortfalls with sales tax increases and diverting funds from other accounts.

While seen as a ‘gold standard’ of economic growth, Kansas is still in the bottom 10 of the 50 states in job creation. The experiment has failed.

But where it has ‘succeeded’ is in the ability of lawmakers to panic over the shortfalls and start cutting programs and budgeted amounts. This includes plans to tighten TANF (temporary welfare) to a lifetime eligibility of 24 months (down from 36 months). Also on the chopping block, causing more political chaos, is the cuts to school funding–raising the ire of the State Supreme Court.

4. State Supreme Court May Write School Budgets… Again

This isn’t the first time that the state courts have blocked the legislature’s funding of school–declaring them unconstitutional by state standards.

The courts have given the legislature until May to fix the problems, yet the legislature has yet to even consider taking up the measures.

In 2015, the budget crisis forced school districts to close early for the year, cut programs, close schools permanently, and cut teaching jobs.
The teacher’s unions have urged teachers to opt for a smaller one-time payment of their summer wages at the end of the school year because of the uncertainty in funding.

In 2015, the budget crisis forced school districts to close early for the year, cut programs, close schools permanently, and cut teaching jobs.

While the court’s ruling protects the integrity of the 2016 school year, all bets are off if this becomes a court-directed budget.

The real problem with all of this is that the state legislature ‘knew’ the courts weren’t going to accept their law when it was written, but it has become a part of the political power struggle between the Kansas legislative and judicial branches.

5. Don’t Like The Way The Courts Rule? Defund Them, Then Make Impeachment Easier

In the constant struggle between the courts and the legislature, the legislature has tried to reign in the court’s power by threatening to defund the judicial branch if they didn’t comply to legislative demands.

While this amounted to political extortion, it didn’t convince the whole legislature, and they finally backed down from defunding the courts. But then came the next scheme: just make it easier to remove the judges.

While reasons for impeachment are vague in both the U.S. and state constitutions, a very specific addition has made it through the Senate committee to include:

[A]ttempting to usurp the power of the legislative or executive branch of government.

While this ‘sounds’ like a reasonable addition, all branches of government are far from innocent on usurping each other’s authority and power — at the federal and state levels.

George Washington set ‘executive legislation’ (not without detractors) by the issuance of executive orders during his first presidency, Marbury v Madison gave the courts legislative power, and the 13th Amendment (and all subsequent ones) gave Congress broad executive enforcement powers.

In practice, the states have followed the national government’s lead on this–making what was intended to be a distinct separation of powers very murky.

The biggest problem with this ploy is limiting the courts while the executive and legislative branches retain their own ‘encroachment powers.’ This is once again only a political manipulation of the courts–something far from intended in our government’s design.

Big Government Running Amok in the Reddest of Red States

What ever happened to the simple conservative principle of smaller government that worked better?

At each step of the economic and political disasters in Kansas, the government has had to get more involved, not less, to try to put out the unintended fires created by the previous actions.

While Brownback wanted to make Kansas an exemplar of a shining, vibrant, conservative state, all he’s succeeded in doing is angering the moderate Republicans in both the legislature and the general population.

The great economic and political experiment may have truly backfired, and if Kansas now has even the slightest tinge of pink to it, a new battleground state might be in the makings.

This is far from mere speculation. No one thought that independent Greg Orman would have a good shot at taking on the well-funded U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R). Yet Orman ran an amazing campaign, requiring the national Republicans to swoop into the state, spending millions of dollars to pull out a thin win.

If this could happen in 2014, anything is possible in 2016 with the most recent political developments in the state.

Photo Credit: Allen Graham – PDImage / shutterstock.com

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115 comments
Doug Philips
Doug Philips

Same in NY , that's why I moved, prison industry rules NY and jersey

Doug Philips
Doug Philips

Tactics to help there special interests stay relevant. Vote Sanders and send a message to this crooked govt for once

Kathy Donnelly
Kathy Donnelly

We, as a country, must stay fair and honest....come on.

Karen McCormick
Karen McCormick

Yet Bernie still won the state. What the US needs is direct national elections, where every vote counts. Not this rigged system we have now. That's the real voter fraud.

Matt Williams
Matt Williams

Warren J. Guss IDEAS ? he has none!.. but he is the 0.1% of the 1 percent. Why anyone thinks he woudl do anything except make himself richer is beyond me.! MR DRUMPF is a Bankrupt NAZI

Eldred Fuchs
Eldred Fuchs

Candidate selection should not be left to a party-controlled public subsidized process.

Jo Ro
Jo Ro

Happened to me in Massachusetts. Went to vote. I am a lifelong registered Independent. Gentleman says I've been removed because I haven't voted in a while. I said, I haven't missed a vote in decades. I'll wait for this to get straightened out. Waited an hour. Filled out a form. Voted. #feelthebern MoFos!

Warren J. Guss
Warren J. Guss

I do like some of Trumps ideas however I don't think he is the right person for the big picture.

Ann Gammell Akler
Ann Gammell Akler

??? GO TRUMP GO 2016! NEVER FORGET BENGHAZI! These elites have the balls to trash Trump while they sold us down the river over OBAMACARE THE IRAN DEAL AND CAVING TO OBAMA'S BUDGET plus whatever whim he thinks up! We cannot afford these leeches!!! We have not had two parties for a very long time and Clinton and DC along with his cartel belong in prison! These leeches need to be stopped along with all their corruption! Implement term limits for Congress! GO TRUMP GO!

Paul Shores
Paul Shores

Brownbacks Kansasastan fascism continues control the vote by having only your party vote and shazam you're reelected.

Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown

Coming to a Republican controlled State near you. Think you are exempt ? Think again.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

– Enough of the bought and paid for puppet politicians, pundits and puppet masters that are proponents of the importation of foreign H1B / H2B visa workers, vague / deceptive on illegal "immigration" and the outsourcing of American jobs and industries to other countries like communist China, India and Mexico. How does Ted Cruz win any States at all? – He's such an obvious phony. Cruz followers are just proving that Hillary's brainwashed followers aren't the only one's capable of being brainwashed by BS and spin. Bought and paid for puppet politicians and media pundits masquerading as "constitutional conservatives" doesn't mean crap, when they’re just using it to distract conservative Americans from the fact that they're selling us out. Our Constitution is Great – Our Traitorous Trade and Immigration Policies are Not It's Not Rocket Science – Since the FreeTraitors have had their way of it, our largest export has been American jobs and money. Our huge trade deficits and indebtedness to foreign countries like communist China are obviously not in the best interest of our country or the American people. For the last 25-years our government has allowed and enabled our country's industries to get sucked out to other countries like communist China , India and Mexico and allowed illegal aliens and foreign H1B / H2B visa workers to continue to pour into our country and take away income-tax-paying American's jobs and drive down wages. Good news for the American People would be more full time jobs and without getting benefits taken away – And we all know that that's not happening. What we obviously need are actual loyal American leaders who will put the best interest of our own citizens and country first and foremost, especially our veterans. Trump is the only one that can beat that evil-unethical-disingenuous-dishonest-power-monger Hillary and appears to be the guy to get us headed back in the right direction.

John Strange
John Strange

This election year we should have the Venezuelan or Chilians to count our ballots their maybe less controversy in the counting.

Douglas Edwards
Douglas Edwards

Proposed solution: Kansas should not be allowed to participate in either convention. I think the same about the Democratic party's caucus in Iowa.

Richard Hightman
Richard Hightman

Stephen M. DeOrio this gets old! http://youtu.be/dO-NA73FsW8 So now after why would trump run? Fame? Fortune? Popularity? Wealth? Presidge? Why? Has anyone really tryed to figure it out? Let me explain it! He doing it to topple the ones that have screwed up this country for years! He loves this country! Not all them are bad but they rule and dictate the group. Think about it and for god sakes educate yourself, on the candidates! Example Cruz wife works for Goldman Sachs! Took to low interest loans? Who else did? Starts with H! Cruz wife was under Contra Lisa rice under bush jr. Administration you know the one who was on watch and the towers fell! Look at his voting record! I can go on and on with them all

Robyn Moss
Robyn Moss

Such BS. Sounds like they have COMMUNISTS in their midst!

Tracy Elliott
Tracy Elliott

I call this voter fraud. All legal registered voters have the right to cast their vote.

Michele Penirian
Michele Penirian

If Ibama had Guts he would have restored the Voter Rights act. And Hillarybeill follow in his footsteps

Kathy Jernigan
Kathy Jernigan

Answer to the problem is voting out Brownback and locals who vote.fot.these crazy laws or take them court.

Luis Barreto Lugo
Luis Barreto Lugo

THOUSANDS FOREIGN PEOPLE HAVE BECAME A USA NATURALIZED CITIZEN DECADES AGO NOW ARE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP ,WHO IS A TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT./

Edo Mihic
Edo Mihic

NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY OR DO , OUR VOTE GOES TO TRUMP I CAN SEE FEAR IN THEIR EYES ,FEAR OF A MAN THEY CAN'T MANIPULATE, MR. DONALD TRUMP. THE REASON EVERY POLITICIAN AND MEDIA ARE AFRAID OF TRUMP, HE DOESN'T OWE ANYONE ANYTHING TRUMP THE NEXT PRESIDENT. THE MAN THAT SPEAKS THE TRUTH VOTE FOR AMERICA VOTE FOR TRUMP

Sharon Rowell
Sharon Rowell

Stephen M. DeOrio oh not Bernie!! Heaven for bids!

Robert Osborne
Robert Osborne

This should be outlawed. Putting restrictions on any vote for any reason should be illegal in a democracy/republic.

Stephen M. DeOrio
Stephen M. DeOrio

Don't kid yourself, Trump is one of them. If what Bennet thinks is true then these two party elitist will effectively shut down his presidency, just as they did with obama. He is buying his candidacy with his own money. Sanders is the only candidate speaking for the majority of citizens... not for the global elitist, or the 1%, or the coporatist, not for the MIC...

Howard Berkowitz
Howard Berkowitz

Our state is full of closed minded conservative bigots bent on winning at all costs. Even if it costs us our democracy. Disgusting.

Peter Specht
Peter Specht

Why is it a surprise that republicans don't like people voting? Look at their history.

Bobby Young
Bobby Young

Well, well well slowly taking the secret out of how people vote!

Raymond Reid
Raymond Reid

Rigged voting anything to make sure their party wins B.S. FROM OUR GOVERNMENT ONCE AGAIN.

Edward Tedesco
Edward Tedesco

More of the same! The clintons learned from GWB's win over gore ! This time you will have riots in the streetdamn it!

Dominic Carmelich
Dominic Carmelich

You are one of those still Blindly following the establishments like its a rival football team. Tragic, your being had.

Dan Wonser
Dan Wonser

Kansas polititicians appear to be crooks

Sharon Rowell
Sharon Rowell

EVERY VOTER MUST READ THIS.... Truthfully, take the time and think. Very Interesting take on Donald Trump - Think about it... will they stop him, Democrats and Republicans alike? This affects all Americans who get the short end of the stick… Democrats and Republicans and Independents. Former U. S. Secretary of Education , William J. Bennett's frankly candid and shocking observations of Donald Trump's impact on the behavior of the entrenched Washington D. C. bureaucrats in both parties -- and the risk The Donald faces in so doing. What I See Happening In a Trump Presidency By Bill Bennett They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump. Don't be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few. It's about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media. They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it's in all of their interests to protect one another. It's one for all and all for one. It's a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We're the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened. Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart. It's no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It's because most of the other politicians are part of the a good old boys club. They talk big, but they won't change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations - like Big Pharmacy or Big Oil. Or they are owned lock, stock, and barrel by foreigners like George Soros owns Obama or foreign governments own Hillary and their Clinton Foundation donations. These run-of-the-mill establishment politicians are all puppets owned by big money. But there's one man who isn't beholden to anyone There's one man who doesn't need foreigners, or foreign governments, or George Soros, or the United Auto Workers, or the teacher's union, or the Service Employees International Union, or the Bar Association to fund his campaign. Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn't need anyone's help. That means he doesn't care what the media says. He doesn't care what the corporate elites think. That makes him very dangerous to the entrenched interests. That makes Trump a huge threat to those people. Trump can ruin everything for the bribed politicians and their spoiled slave masters. Don't you ever wonder why the GOP has never tried to impeach Obama? Don't you wonder why John Boehner and Mitch McConnell talk a big game, but never actually try to stop Obama? Don't you wonder why Congress holds the purse strings, yet has never tried to de-fund Obamacare or Obama's clearly illegal executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens? Bizarre, right? It defies logic, right? First, I'd guess many key Republicans are being bribed. Secondly, I believe many key Republicans are being blackmailed. Whether they are having affairs, or secretly gay, or stealing taxpayer money, the National Security Agency knows everything. Ask former House Speaker Dennis Hastert about that. The government even knew he was withdrawing large sums of his own money from his own bank account. The NSA, the SEC, the IRS, and all the other three-letter government agencies are watching every Republican political leader. They surveil everything. Thirdly, many Republicans are petrified of being called racists, so they are scared to ever criticize Obama or call out his crimes, let alone demand his impeachment. Fourth , why rock the boat? After defeat or retirement, if you're a good old boy, you've got a $5 million-per-year lobbying job waiting. The big-money interests have the system gamed. Win or lose, they win. But Trump doesn't play by any of these rules. Trump breaks up this nice, cozy relationship between big government, big media, and big business. All the rules are out the window if Trump wins the Presidency. The other politicians will protect Obama and his aides but not Trump. Remember: Trump is the guy who publicly questioned Obama's birth certificate. He questioned Obama's college records and how a mediocre student got into an Ivy League university. Now, he's doing something no Republican has the chutzpah to do. He's questioning our relationship with Mexico; he's questioning why the border is wide open; he's questioning why no wall has been built across the border; he's questioning if allowing millions of illegal aliens into America is in our best interests; he's questioning why so many illegal aliens commit violent crimes, yet are not deported; and he's questioning why our trade deals with Mexico, Russia and China are so bad. Trump has the audacity to ask out loud why American workers always get the short end of the stick. Good question! I'm certain Trump will question what happened to the almost billion dollars given in a rigged no-bid contract to college friends of Michelle Obama at foreign companies to build the defective Obamacare website. By the way, that tab is now up to $5 billion. Trump will ask if Obamacare's architects can be charged with fraud for selling it by lying. Trump will investigate Obama's widespread IRS conspiracy, not to mention Obama's college records. Trump will prosecute Clinton and Obama for fraud committed to cover up Benghazi before the election. How about the fraud committed by employees of the Labor Department when they made up dramatic job numbers in the last jobs report before the 2012 election? Obama, the multinational corporations and the media need to stop Trump. They recognize this could get out of control. If left unchecked, telling the raw truth and asking questions everyone else is afraid to ask, Trump could wake a sleeping giant. Trump's election would be a nightmare. Obama has committed many crimes. No one else but Trump would dare to prosecute. He will not hesitate. Once Trump gets in and gets a look at the cooked books and Obama's records, the game is over. The jig is up. The goose is cooked. Holder could wind up in prison. Jarrett could wind up in prison. Obama bungler Corzine could wind up in prison for losing $1.5 billion of customer money. Clinton could wind up in jail for deleting 32,000 emails or for accepting bribes from foreign governments while Secretary of State, or for misplacing $6 billion as the head of the State Department, or for lying about Benghazi . The entire upper level management of the IRS could wind up in prison. Obamacare will be de-funded and dismantled. Obama himself could wind up ruined, his legacy in tatters. Trump will investigate. Trump will prosecute. Trump will go after everyone involved. That's why the dogs of hell have been unleashed on Donald Trump. Yes, it's become open season on Donald Trump. The left and the right are determined to attack his policies, harm his businesses, and, if possible, even keep him out of the coming debates. But they can't silence him. And they sure can't intimidate him. The more they try, the more the public will realize that he's the one telling the truth.\l " — with Kenneth Davis, Larry Blue, Reba Jo Rueda and Brittney Thuss.

Mike Bissonnette
Mike Bissonnette

Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, and more are falling like dominoes. This needs to be turned around.

Daniel Louis Gomez
Daniel Louis Gomez

EVERY ELECTION HAS THE INFLUX OF CHEATERS ! WEED THEM OUT AND INVESTIGATE THE VOTING METHODS THEY PARTICIPATE IN !

Tuyen Nguyen
Tuyen Nguyen

Tks ad of Independent Voter...I got 5 percent, and you? Test now... iyVuDAN \U0001f449 start now. ~~> http://goo.gl/cvDpKq ... I like this post: All eyes will be on Kansas as the state conducts its presidential caucuses today, but did you know: "Over 35,000 citizens have been purged [from the ...

Warren J. Guss
Warren J. Guss

EVERY LEGAL CITIZEN has a right to an equal vote!!! This should be regardless of race, creed, religion, criminal background etc!!! A felony conviction doesn't make a person incompetent.

Terry Mingus
Terry Mingus

tier? as in one vote being more important than another? hmmmm doesn't sound American to me

Jaden Lynx
Jaden Lynx

And you don't think it happens in Blue states? Of course it does. BTW, these voting machines are George Soros machines, the wealthy and corrupt Hillary backer. The whole system is rigged by both parties and the Establishment to get their puppet nominees.