Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kansas Wednesday: Phill Kline hints & the Johnson County GOP almost feel the love

By Diane Silver

Are the folks in Johnson County shivering because of the sudden winter storm, or are they quaking because Attorney General Phill Kline could become their new district attorney?

Such a wild event may come to pass. Kline is indicating that he may be "open" to the idea of taking the soon-to-be vacated position of Johnson County DA. The position is open because current DA and newly minted Democrat, Paul Morrison, booted Kline from the AG's office in the Nov. 7 election.

Because Morrison won his previous DA post as a Republican, the choice of Morrison's successor has landed in the ample laps of the county Republican committee.

The Kansas City Star's KC Buzz Blog is reporting that Kline's spokeswoman says the AG is "keeping all his options open."

Of course, Kline's lack of legal experience may mean that he isn't even qualified, but speculation of a Kline-Morrison job swap has been going on since before the election. The speculation has been fueled by the fact that the new Johnson County GOP chair worked for Kline's campaign.

Meanwhile, the Buzz Blog is vibrating with sweet feelings for what it describes as a possible Love Fest within the Johnson County Republican Committee.

What has set the blog on fire is the fact that a combined slate of conservatives and moderates won election to the county committee. Could it be, the blog speculates, that at least one county is healing the long and costly split in the state GOP?

Perhaps, but I wouldn't buy the party hats just yet. If the county Republicans had really felt the love, they would have split the top spots of chair and vice chair between conservative and moderate.

Instead, both spots were kept firmly in conservative hands, while moderates were relegated to the much more lowly treasurer and secretary positions. See the Buzz Blog for the full list of committee members.


Anonymous said...

"Of course, Kline's lack of legal experience may mean that he isn't even qualified"

I wonder how many that lack legal experience to be a DA have actually argued before the U.S. Supreme Court:

Diane Silver said...

Arguing before the Supreme Court means very little in this instance. As the top attorney for the state, it's the AG's job to go before the Supreme Court to defend the state.

The Kansas City Star's blog at notes that there is a "minority" who wonder whether Kline is qualified.

Perhaps the best argument against putting Kline in as prosecutor was made by "ed" over at the Buzz blog. Ed notes:

"I am conservative, but putting Kline in as DA would be a huge mistake. DA should be a hands on, work in the trenches position, not a position for a radio talk show, microphone/camera loving person who has never directed a major police investigation, written a search warrant, selected a jury, handled a complicated supression hearing, attended an autopsy, presented DNA evidence, tried a homicide case and who probably doesn't even have a decent handle on the rules of evidence. The DA needs to be a QUALIFIED and experienced prosecutor. Not a career politician."

Apologies for not putting up a direct link to the post. I can't seem to make that work in the comment section here.