Monday, March 12, 2007

Kansas: Phill Kline meets the public & complains that he is misunderstood

In the continuing Phill Kline Watch...

The Kansas City Star notes that the new Johnson County district attorney met this weekend with a largely friendly audience at the first to two scheduled town hall meetings.

KC Star columnist Mike Hendricks attended and writes to advise Kline to stop with the pity party.
Clearly, Kline wants to prove that he is competent at putting crooks in jail and that he’s not obsessed with abortion, an impression he blames on people in my line of work. (journalists)

“They continue to make it sound like it’s all I do,” Kline told the audience of 60 to 70 people at the Overland Park Community Center.

Could it be there’s a reason “they” make it sound that way?

I wasn’t the only one in Saturday’s crowd who noticed that more than a third of the two-hour meeting was devoted to abortion law and Kline’s attempt while attorney general to prosecute Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller.

“We’ve heard 30 to 45 minutes on abortion,” a guy in the back of the room complained. “I want to know what your plans are for the D.A.’s office.”

Hendricks ends his column by saying people should give Kline a chance. OK, I'm game. Let's see what he actually does. So far all Kline seems to have done is fire people and hide from the news media. Stay tuned...

Kline's second meet-the-folks meeting is open to anyone and scheduled for Saturday, March 24, at 10 a.m. at the Powell Community Center, 6200 Martway St. in Mission.


Anonymous said...

Whining? Why is the Star so sensitive to criticism?

* Why has the Star NEVER reported that Kline’s Senior Deputy District Attorney was named the 2006 Kansas County and District Attorney’s Prosecutor of the Year? Someone from the audience asked Phill at the meeting who was up against Maxwell. Answer: Paul Morrison (who lost to Maxwell). Was this reported anywhere?

* Did the Star ever report that Kline was named the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Prosecutor of the Year? Where is ONE news story about Kline’s work for the mentally ill?

* Did the Star report that someone from Paul Morrison’s staff did a freedom of information request to find out the salaries of Kline’s DA staff to try to cause trouble with that info? Why is the Attorney General’s staff trying to cause problems for the DA’s office?

* Why does the Hendricks and the Star use the word “abortion” but never talks about the “child predators” and the viable babies who are killed in violation of state law? Why is the Star so sympathetic to child predators when the case involves an abortion? Do you care that Kline is looking after the 75 girls, some as young as 10, who were the victims of child rape and then are taken to abortion clinics so the “evidence” is destroyed? Why does “abortion” trump “child predators” and “child rape”? Why doesn’t anyone want to help these victims? One woman in the audience suggested Kline was very "pro-woman".

* Does the Star ever publicly acknowledge they received a reward from Planned Parenthood for their editorial content last year?

* Where is one press report about Kline's initiative to have his assistant DAs become Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys to fight crime across that state line?

All of these topics were addressed at the Town Hall Meeting. Was Hendricks listening?

Diane Silver said...

Where to begin, where to begin...

First, I'm not going to spend much time defending the KC Star. They're perfectly willing to do that themselves. However, I do want to note that Hendricks did say a lot of postive things about Kline, including saying that he thought it was a good idea for Kline to seek to have assistant county DAs certified as assitant U.S. attorneys.

Ah, you might want to actually read Hendricks' column before criticizing it.

I find myself baffled, though, by your comments that seem to confuse prosecuting abortion providers with finding child rapists.

Nothing in Kline's Ahab-like pursuit of Dr. George Tiller was going to help children. Nothing was going to identify perpetrators.

All of the charges Kline attempted to file had to do with the doctor. None were aimed at the criminals who prey on children. I may be wrong on this, but I also don't remember the county DA saying that Kline had ever provided her with any information or evidence that would help her prosecute child predators. If that was his goal -- going after child rapists -- why didn't Kline file charges? Why didn't he share evidence? Why did he only focus on the abortion provider?

Thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

On Saturday Kline said 75 abortions a year were performed on girls who had been raped, some as young as 10. He had the evidence. He explained two judges said there was "probable cause" that crimes were committed. Why won't anyone help these child vicitms? Why is Kline criticized for trying to help these victims of child rapists? This was all discussed and explained, so how did Hendricks miss this in his article. Why don't you care?

Diane Silver said...

Dear anonymous,

I care DEEPLY about the rape of children. What planet do you live on that you think I, or most people for that matter, don't care about children who are raped? I'm a mother and a survive of child sexual abuse, and I care DEEPLY and PERSONALLY.

By making such an absurd accusation you have just undermined your credibility as a commentator. If you disagree with me, then argue the facts of the case. Don't claim to know why I feel in my heart.

If you or Phill Kline want to make the issue about child rape, then someone, and that includes Kline, needs to charge someone with that crime, or provide prosecutors in Wichita with the evidence they can use to build a case against rapists. The Sedgwick County DA said that evidence was never provided. Instead, Kline attempts to prosecute a doctor -- not a rapist. Get that... he was trying to prosecute a doctor. He never went after rapists.

And here's the real kicker, the information Kline received from the abortion clinics did not include identifying information about any of the patients. How could Kline have possibly prosecuted anyone?

Anonymous said...

On Saturday Kline discussed the Estrada case in Wichita where an adoption agency called his AG office when there was something "wrong" about an adoption. The young girl giving birth, and her sister, were abused over several years by their father resulting in 4 pregnancies, including the birth of twins on the 12th birthday of one of the daughters. Kline DID refer this case to Nola Foulston (against Dr. Zaremski) but Foulston did nothing because the case involved abortion doctors who had refused to help the child rape victims. There seems to be a pattern in Sedgwick County of ignoring such crimes and ignoring victims of child rape.

The Star's Hendricks doesn't want to do know the truth and doesn't want to help girls like this that are being abused. How could a journalist not want to help such young, innocent victims? Isn't it shameful that political leanings are more important than helping victims?

I don't remember the exact numbers, but I think Kline said he had referred over 20 similar cases all over the state to local prosecutors and some took action. Little or no news investigation or reporting. I wonder why.

Kline DID want the names of the victims of child rape, but the Kansas Supreme Court denied that request. In fact the Kansas Suprme Court helped tell the child predators they were under investigation. Who in the Kansas press wrote anything about Kline trying to help the victims of child rape? Kline WOULD have prosecuted the child predators but he was blocked by the courts -- and Nola Foulston. Where were the children's rights ativists in trying to help Kline?

May I suggest that you go to the 2nd Kline Town Hall Meeting, talk to Kline directly about these child rape matters, and then do something about it by trying to help such victims by writing about their need for help through your blog?

I am sorry if my last posting offended you, but no one is willing to even try to help these vicitms of child rape even after they hear the facts.

Diane Silver said...

I want to start with the last paragraph of your comment and thank you for apologizing.

I think -- and suspect you may agree -- that it's time that we in this country realize that we are all on the same side. We are all good people, trying to live the best lives we can, and we do all want what's best for children, families, this state and this nation. We may disagree about how to go about that, but we do agree on the goal.

Now to the meat of your argument...

The Estrada case was a horrible one, and we are all thankful that he has been put away. However, the public record of that case is far different than you recount.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Fouston has said Kline and the abortion records had nothing to do with it. Here's my post on this.

Diane Silver said...

I had to break this into two posts because Blogger got cranky.

You raised another issue of investigations of child rapes and why that isn't reported in the news media. I can tell you from my experience as a newspaper reporter that I've never met a police officer, prosecutor, sheriff or anyone else in the law enforcement system who doesn't want to go after people who prey on children. That goes triple for sexual criminals.

The problem with reporting on those investigations is that they are the most private investigations of all. Anything involving children is closely guarded by law enforcement and the judicial system. That's for one simple reason: To protect the children.

I cannot say what The Star has done or hasn't done in the way of investigation, but I do know that it is difficult to get information on such cases.

George Tiller and all doctors, along with teachers and other people are legally required to report any possible child abuse cases. And rape certainly qualifies as child abuse.

Tiller has said he has reported those cases. He has not been prosecuter or convicted of failing his duty to report.

However, you and I are not in a position to know what he reported. The results of such reports are not automatically made public because children are involved.

In other words, if such cases were made public the children would end up being victimized twice. Both by the criminal who preyed on them and by the publicity that would reveal to all that they have been raped. How is this fair or good for a child? Would you want your child paraded as the victim of sexual assault?

Anonymous said...

If "dad" or "uncle" are the sexual predators, you're still protecting them instead of the child. The child's "privacy" is so important that you're willing to have the child be a serial victim of a family member instead of helping them?

My wife was molested by her grandfather and no one did anything. She's still suffering from that today. Her tears watching a TV show some years ago about child victims was my first clue there was a problem in her past.

Just what does Nola Foulston know when two judges saw "probable cause" and she's now ignoring that? Again, the predators are protected from the law, and the victims may likely become serial victims. All of this is truly sad.

Your hatred for Kline let's you see him as a bad guy instead of someone that is trying to help victims. Again, this is truly sad.

Diane Silver said...

What I'm saying is that cases may be proceeding against perpetrators, but that as members of the public, we may not know about them. This doesn't mean that cases are not proceeding, just that they may not be in the news.

Sexual assault is a horrible crime. Incest is a horrible crime. I am a survivor of incest myself, and yes, I can tell you that it damages people for their entire lives. I have spent a lot of time and money on theraphy dealing with what was a deep, deep trauma.

I am so sorry to hear about what your wife went through. My heart goes out to her. I hope that she is getting whatever help she might need to deal with such a traumatic experience.

Here's what I think is important in the pursuit of people who prey sexually on children: What's important isn't you. It isn't me. It isn't George Tiller. It isn't Phill Kline. What's important is protecting children and getting predators off the street.

If this was Kline's purpose in pursuing Tiller, then I am concerned about the method he used. It isn't a method that is used very often. It doesn't seem to be aimed directly at the problem, particularly if the doctor in question is reporting cases to the authorities as he is supposed to do under the law.

Instead of focusing solely on Kline's pursuite of Tiller, I would much prefer to focus on the pursuit of the people who hurt children. Personally, I don't know what Sedgwick County or Wichita Police are doing about that. It is, however, a question worth asking.