By Diane Silver
I have no intention of turning this into the Phill Kline All The Time blog, but just for the record, there are two new developments in the career of Mr. Kline. The soon-to-be Johnson County district attorney is in the 11th hour of his career as Kansas attorney general.
First, Kline today filed misdeamisdemeanor charges against Dr. George Tiller. A Wichita M.D., Tiller is a perpetual target of anti-choice/pro-life (pick your term) forces because he provides late-term abortions. (By the way, that isn't the only medical service Tiller provides. It's just the one that gets in the headlines.)
"The filing of criminal charges by Phill Kline is the last gasp of a defeated and discredited politician," Lee Thompson, one of Tiller's lawyers, said at a news conference this morning in Wichita. "Rather than exercising his duty as a prosecutor to see that justice is done, he has chosen to engage in a malicious and spiteful prosecution on the eve of Christmas."Tiller found a summons to appear in court on the door of his home.
Allegations include that Tiller has not properly reported information to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the lawyer said.
Dan Monnat, who also represents Tiller, said he expects the charges to be dismissed, either at next week's hearing or after Kline leaves office. "We also intend to explore any and all means of holding Kline personally responsible for his malicious actions," Monnat said.
Meanwhile, neither Kline nor his office are returning reporters phone calls.
For those jumping to this post directly, please note that a judge has already thrown out the charges against Tiller and Kline has talked to the news media. See the In This Moment post. post.
[end up update]
And to keep matters lively... Yesterday, the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission accused Kline of breaking ethics rules, a problem that could cost him a $5,000 fine. AP reports:
The commission's notice says only that in September, Kline used or authorized the use of state computers to copy and forward e-mail addresses to "expressly advocate" his re-election. Carol Williams, the commission's executive director, declined to provide additional details.
In September, Harris News Service reported that people who signed up for e-mail updates from Kline's office about a new state law allowing Kansans to carry concealed handguns also received e-mails from his campaign's Web site.
In This Moment reported on Kline's use of his office to raise money earlier.
We're supposed to be slowing down here. Somehow it isn't happening, at least not yet. Let us all now take time for our families.
Take care all!