Monday, December 11, 2006

Kansas: It's official. Johnson County GOP picks Phill Kline as district attorney

By Diane Silver

This is bizarre, insane and probably the best political present Johnson County Democrats could ever get.

The suburban Kansas City Republican committee has just chosen the recently ousted Kansas attorney general, Phill Kline, to replace the man who creamed him at the polls on Nov. 7. It is true: Kline will take over for Democrat Paul Morrison as the county district attorney.

This is despite the fact that Kline has little to no experience as a prosecutor or in criminal law. Kline will serve out the last two years of Morrison's term as DA, while Morrison takes over as the attorney general of the state. Morrison was elected DA as a Republican and later switched to the Democratic Party to run against Kline.

In the vote that was just completed, Kline "beat the other nominee Steve Howe by 21 votes," KC's Channel 9 TV reports. Kline was put into office by anti-abortion crusaders and the ultra-conservative wing of the county party. The vote was even held at the Westside Family Church.

To show how out of touch the conservatives are in Johnson County, in the race for attorney general, Kline could only dredge up 35 percent of the vote in the county where he will now act as district attorney.

It will be fascinating to see what the voters of Johnson County make of all this. It will be fascinating to see if Kline has even a whisper of a chance of winning the DA's office when he comes up for election in 2008.


Denise said...

As a JoCo resident, I'm outraged that we voted overwhelmingly against this nut yet he's still foisted upon us against our will! He'll spend the next two years obsessing about abortion clinics, women's medical records and preparing for his next election and that's it. I'm just shocked that he's being thrown in our faces like this. What an insult to our voters.

Is there any way to start a recall NOW against this idiot?

Gary E. Bachman said...

Beyond any shadow of doubt, the Republican Party in Johnson County, Kansas has totally lost it's collective mind. Phil Kline as our the Johnson County District Attorney? It would appear that the party is over and folks have had entirely too much holy water to drink. (If that metaphore is offensive to anyone, well, so be it. Although I don't imagine such folks frequent this blog.)

I have been social worker and mandated reporter for thirty one years. Much of that time was on the faculty of the Family Medicine residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. I have personally initiated and been involved in a great many child protection reports and I have frequently testified in both adult and juvenile courts regarding matters of child abuse. I have certainly contributed to more felony convictions of child abusers than Kline has even prosecuted!

But four years ago Kline pontificated that mandated reporters (doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers…) must report to the state as suspected child abuse, any knowledge we might acquire about sexual activity between even consenting fifteen year olds. Voicing opposition to his mandate, a physician colleague and I were personally threatened with criminal prosecution and revocation of our professional licenses should we refuse to submit to his opinion. From Topeka, Kline publicly boasted, “ here’s a primary difference between us and the medical community. I have the tools to figure out the truth, you don’t.”
Of course his opinion was soon struck down in court by the simple finding that it “contradicts the plain meaning” of the law.

We must guard ourselves against confusing fanaticism for passion, eloquence for substance or truthiness with truthfulness.

This is local politics, not only at its worse, but perhaps at its most dangerous.

And I am at perhaps my angriest.

Gary Bachman MSSW

Diane Silver said...

What sometimes seem like the ironclad laws of the blogosphere decry that I should shriek my disapproval of Kline's so-called election, that I should chortle over the politics of it all... but frankly, all I want to do is be sad.

Unless Kline acts differently than he did as attorney general, this is a real tragedy for the people of Johnson County. You're trading an experienced prosecutor for an idealogue with little to no experience in that kind of position.

I'm sure the criminals in Johnson county are laughing right now.

Denise and Gary, thanks for posting. I am so sorry 316 people (the GOP activists that voted Kline in) did this to you. Feel free to use this thread as a place to vent and discuss.

Johnson County Elections said...

I am thrilled that Phill Kline is the next Jo Co District Attorney. As JO CO DA candidate pro lifer Steve Howe had the class to mention in an interview today, you don't have to be a prosecutor to manage the District Attorney's office. Hundreds of DA's across the nation do not enter the courtroom. In his four years as KS AG, Phill Kline sucessfully reinstituted the KS death penalty after the non elected KS Supreme Court judges wrongfully struck down the will of the people (temporarily moving John E. Robinson, Carr brothers and Mr. Marsh off death row). He successfully negotiated the Health Midwest settlement. He was in the process of prosecuting the father in Wichita that repeatedly raped his step daughters and forced them to get abortions. He was in the process of prosecuting men that rape underage girls by obtaining medical records from abortion clinics for which they hide crimes to make money. He kept degrading lyrics of CD's donated to libraries out of the hands of kids. The will of the people was not thwarted in regards to Phill Kline as DA. That will only be tested when and if he decides to run for the same position in 2008. The DA in Boulder, CO is the one you should be railing against as she paid to bring Mark Carr all the way from the Philipines on circumstantial evidence and without waiting for the DNA results to get back to her. She also failed to prosecute parents that broke every bone in their child and failed to prosecute for 8 months until she faced heat from a national source.

Diane, have you ever met someone that had abortions and was totally devasted by the experience. I dated a gal once that had 3 abortions by two different men before she turned her life back to the redemption of Jesus Christ. That is when I met her and she beat herself up about it continually. The snowjob is the lie that the abortion clinics continually push that it will have no side effects on women. However, it takes a toll on men, women and especially the innocent among us.

The bible warns us that there will be a time when evil is called good and vice versa. I think we are almost there.

J Atchison

Denise said...

I wonder when the Taliban wing of the Kansas GOP will realize that their game is over. The last comment clearly illustrates how delusional they've become (and the result of the AG election shows how outnumbered they now are - hence the sad desperation of bible-thumping on liberal blogs).

Your bible does not override my constitutional right to privacy. To have Kline's grubby hands on my medical records is loathesome and something more akin to a totalitarian dictatorship than a constitutional democracy. To then have Kline leak the contents of our records to Fox News was the final straw for sane Kansans who booted him from office.

Putting him in a position where he can now terrorize women in Johnson County is hardly the 'will of the people' - it's a deliberate act of disrespect to JoCo voters in every town save perhaps the grimy fundamentalist enclaves of Shawnee and Olathe.

I hope you enjoyed your brief power trip, J Atchison, because once Kline is voted out of office as he surely will be your days of moving our state back to the 17th century and making us a national joke will be over.

Johnson County Elections said...


In a previous back and forth with an anonymous blogger on the selection of Melvin Neufeld as KS Speaker of the House you talked repeatedly of staying on the issues and not resorting to name calling, yet in your response to my post you utilize quite a bit of name calling (i.e Taliban wing of the GOP not realizing that their gig is over, Phill Kline does not have access to any medical records in which he has a name (All names were blackened)Only a judge saw the names. Where is your proof that Bill O'Reilly obtained medical records from the Attorney General's office. Could he not also have obtained the records from someone in Tiller's own office? The comment regarding moving the state back to the 17th century is fear mongering as abortion was not legalized nationwide until the 20th century. The 17th century burned people at the stake or placed a scarlet letter upon their dress. How does that equate to denying underage girls the opportunity to have life sucked out of their womb resulting in multiple consequences, both physical and mental and prosecuting the vile men that do this to them.

We are not imposing our bible upon you. We just don't want secular progressives to tear down the fabric of our society by imposing their agenda upon our children.

What actually is Phill Kline doing to terrorize the women in Johnson County? God created sex. However it comes with a plea. When you exit out of the boundaries of that which he created, unfortunately you subject yourself to the potential for pain and suffering. Is it more traumatic to abstain from sex until marriage or to get pregnant and suffer through an abortion?

God Bless You.

Diane Silver said...

Thanks everyone for commenting and engaging in debate.

Alas, I am stuck on deadline right now and don't have time to participate in detail. However, I want to note one thing for Johnson County Elections: Details are important and go toward the credibility of the poster. Please note that the person who commented about the Taliban wing of the GOP was not me, but a visitor named Denise.

However, I am the person who said I didn't believe in calling people names.

You can tell when Diane, the proprietor of this blog, posts because my photo always pops up next to my comment.

Johnson County Elections said...


Sorry for the confusion. My apologies!

GEB said...

to JCE, (J. Atchison?)I appreciate the more moderated tone of your second post.

The rhetoric of the past four years has only been exacerbated by the recent election cycle. I think we can all agree that name calling and hatefulness has no particular value except to further drive us apart.

But sometimes there may be something gained by examining the names that are called. Taliban for example: Basically a group of religious extremists willing to go to any length to impose their personal religious beliefs on everyone. Murder, terrorism, intimidation... are these things to be afraid of?

The anti-abortion / pro life movement certainly has at times appeared to behave in a manner similar to the Taliban. It also marches behind a religious banner.
Physical as well as verbal threats have occured. Abortion providers have been attacked and they have been murdered. Envelopes allegedly containing anthrax have been sent to clinics. Bullets have been fired into occupied clinics and bombs with nails have been detonated with the clear intent to injure and terrorize. All in the name of the "pro-life movement."

I clearly understand and believe (and hope) that these are not the acts of the majority in that movement. But neither have I seen any concerted effort by people to condemn or otherwise distance themselves from such acts.

You say that "Kline does not have access to any medical records in which he has a name." In fact his original subpoena for files ordered that the records include each patient's name, medical history, birth control practices, psychological profile and sexual history. He further asked for the records of all women and girls who sought abortions at or beyond 22 weeks' gestation. The original sopoena is available as a public record. The Judge said that such extensive information was beyond the scope of Klines investigation and the fight thus went on until 10/06. In March of 2005 Planned Parenthood (not Tiller) offered to provide their records with the identifying information stricken. Klines office refused to accept those files. Tens of thousand of state dollars later his office got the files with even less information than what had been OFFERED 17 months earlier.

You are right to assert that there is no proof that Bill O'Reilly obtained medical records from the Attorney General's office. There is no proof that I know of that he has records from ANY source.(such scandel makes for good media) But can you even remotely understand why people MIGHT believe that Kline have leaked records? Remember this story came out the same week Kline was running a negative campaign add that featured a Morrison voice double propositioning an employee. Kline has pretty clearly demonstrated he will do most anything to pursue his agenda.

Your comment regarding moving the state back to the 17th century had some merit. Although I don't know that any of the plains tribes had an inkling of scartlet letters. Or white people for that matter. But to suggest that this was an example of "fear mongering" is just, well, silly.

Now, if Denise had suggested that his agenda would move us back to the late 60's, well THAT might have been fear mongering. My sisters had a college friend who hemoraged and died in her dorm room after undergoing an illeagal abortion.

You say you are not imposing your Bible upon us. I would point out it is my Bible too. And I don't totally disagree with many of your concerns. I do however disagree with a great many of the tactics I see.

Regarding your last comment about Kline not terrorizing people, and god creating sex and people practicing abstinance. If you read my original post, I describe a very personal example of how people have felt threatened by Kline. I was personally threatened in no uncertain terms.

I wish and pray that no one will ever seek an abortion. But I am also a realist. In spite of the best families and education, people do have unprotected sex. And in addition to AIDS spreading, unwanted conceptions occur. (And remember abortion IS legal in this nation.)

I have dealt frequently with both consequences. People dying of AIDS, and children abandoned, forgotten or abused. I've been the first adult that a child has trusted enough to disclose abuse too, and I've sat and held the hands of young victims of sexual abuse awaiting forensic exams. I've also held in my own hands children dead or dying as the result of extreme abuse.

You are right, name calling, like threats, adds nothing to the solution of such importnt issues. Civil engagement, dialogue, a sincere effort to understand and see opposing views, and a recognition that there are no easy solutions however DOES offer some hope.

It is my sincere belief that while God may listen, WE ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKEING OUR PRAYERS COME TRUE.

Gary Bachman

Johnson County Elections said...


Thank you for your heartfelt words. Yes there have been murders, bombings (Eric Rudolph), etc. done in the name of those against abortion. However, what those people did was violent and wrong and they have been and should be punished for their crimes just as Timothy McVey and others have been punished for their actions. Another wrong does not make a right no matter what the justification.

Phill Kline has never murdered, bombed or physically attacked anyone. He is prosecuting men that pray on underage girls and abortion clinics and doctors that fail to report these crimes because they are not regulated. I am sorry that you were threatened with your license being taken away.

I am sorry also for your sisters friend, but she chose an incorrect path thinking that she had no other way out. She had another choice. She could also have delivered the baby and put it up for adoption or kept it and she would probably be alive today. There have been women that have died from the drug RU 486 because the FDA rushed the drug onto the market. A down syndrome girl recently died in Dr. George Tiller's clinic because he did not take the proper precautions. Unfortunately, abortion is a risky procedure whether legally or illegally done. What separates partial birth abortions from murder of a baby two days after it is born?

Yes, I can see how people could suspect that Phill Kline's office leaked records to O'Reilly since it ocurred at approximately the same time, but until it is proven in a court of law then everything else is conjecture. We are a nation of laws.

The Taliban reference is slightly over the top. The Taliban subjected women to full bhurka's with no exposure of skin allowed, beat their women for the slightest offenses and did not allow them to be educated. The attempt to legislatively do away with legalized abortion does not in my opinion equate.

Yes abortion is currently legal in this nation just as slavery was legal in this nation for seventy plus years. It does not necessarily make it right, though. Blacks were dehumainzed just as fetuses (Latin for baby) were originally described as gelatinous globs. Women should have control of their bodies until they get pregnant. However, they unfortunately face multiple consequences after unprotected sex. When they choose to have a legal or coat hanger abortion, they take their life into their own hands. Fortunately more and more women are getting educated through the use of sonagrams in Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Pushing abstinence to teenagers will not protect all of the kids, but if you promote a positive message with something to shoot for, many kids will listen. Abortion is legal because seven justices on the Supreme Court somehow found it legal in the right to privacy. The two women that filed suit (DOE and ROE) both claim that they were manipulated by pro abortion lawyers.

Yes, most in the pro-life movement want to end the practice of abortion legally through legislative means because it hurts women most of the time and the innocents 100% of the time and even men some of the time. Doctors such as George Tiller make millions off of vulnerable people and do it legally.

Please give Phill Kline a chance. Objectively research and look at what he is doing before spouting the propaganda from NARAL, NOW and others. Abortion clinics need to be regulated to protect women. Find common ground. Witness the Dr. in KCKS that had horrible sanitary conditions comingling dead fetuses in his lunch refridgerator along with rat droppings in the clinic.

Diane Silver said...

GEB and Johnson County Elections - Thanks so much for your comments and thanks for debating the issue instead of attacking individuals.

I would like to jump into this more, but I'm pressed for time at the moment. I did want to say, though, especially to Johnson County Elections, that even though I disagree with you and feel that some of your information is inaccurate, I really appreciate your willingness to discuss the issues in a moderate tone. It's not easy to post on a blog with such a different political viewpoint without going into attack mode. Thanks, particularly, for your last post. I hope to have time to post more on these issues in the next week or so.

Between Christmas and work, life is very busy!

Happy holidays to all.