Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline appears in pulpits and then presses congregations for cash

By Diane Silver

The state's top law enforcement official apparently thinks the way to re-election is to bring the church as close to the state as possible, according to a memo leaked from Attorney General Phill Kline's campaign.

Reported this morning by Scott Rothschild of the Lawrence Journal-World, the memo was verified as authentic by Kline's campaign. The memo details the Republican's plan to use churches as a fund-raising platforms.

The Journal-World reported:
Kline is a frequent visitor to Kansas churches, often appearing as guest preacher. But the memo makes clear Kline is out to spread more than the Christian message when he takes the pulpit. And he wants to hit as many churches as possible.

(Sherriene Jones, a spokeswoman for the Kline campaign) said none of the fundraising occurred during actual church services, but at later receptions. Under federal tax laws, churches must maintain arm's length from political candidates or risk losing their tax-free status.
The memo names anti-gay pastors Terry Fox and Joe Wright as targets of Kline's fund-raising efforts.

All of this shows why the race for attorney general should be watched closely by progressives and queer Kansans. The campaign between Kline and Democrat Paul Morrison, in many ways, is a surrogate battle between the Religious Right and the moderate heart of Kansas.


Anonymous said...

AG Kline met at the McClouth, Ks. Nazarene church more than two months ago after services at a "reception" and my investigation ran into a stonewall from the participants. I only learned about the meeting after the fact and called, visited with church officials who were quite pleasant in not discussing what Kline said. I find it very interesting that apparently he has taken this as a strategic fundraising tool. The participants wouldn't discuss Kline's appearance only to confirm that he was there and "everybody had a great time."

This was from the on-duty church secretary who said no one to her knowledge tape recorded the event.

Once dissidents and progressives in Kansas start treating this kind of GOP / Church(s) collusion as a political conspiracy against women who want to control their bodies, or homosexuals who want to excercise full civil rights, or poor who want human rights, nothing will be done to effectively stop them.

While the force of the GOP/Church(s) alliance is diminishing around the state, it is a sleeping giant -

"Don't watch the leaders, but the parking meters."
- Bob Dylan

Diane Silver said...

Thanks for your information.

Can you provide any details as to when he appeared and as to when and where the reception was held?

Also, I do believe it helps credibility to post with your real name.

Again, many thanks for providing the information!