Friday, January 18, 2008

New state attorney general has Kansans scratching their heads

By Diane Silver

Kansas has gotten a new attorney general, and the collective response in the state is: Huh?

To say that new AG Stephen Six is unknown outside of legal circles is a serious understatement.

The only things we know about our new attorney general are that he's a Douglas County judge, he's been a lawyer, supports the governor who appointed him (the GOP is shocked!), is a Democrat (really shocking), is youngish (at least to me) and doesn't have a charismatic speaking style (note video at KC Star link). I'm also betting (and dearly hoping) that Six has been vetted to within an inch of his life.

Democrats are praising the appointment by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. The Republican response is, as journalists are saying, "mixed." On the other hand, the negative quotes in that mix so far seem to only be coming from Republican Party officials.

Moderate Republicans, like Senate Vice President John Vratil of Johnson County, called the choice "outstanding."

“He has all the qualities you want in an Attorney General,” Vratil said. “He’s honest, he has integrity and probably equally important, he’s dedicated.”

Six also once clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Deanell Tacha, who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan. Tacha's mother, Marynell Reece, was the state's Republican National Committeewoman for years. .

In case you're wondering why Sebelius had to appoint a new attorney general, you can review the sorry tale of Republican-turned-Democrat Paul Morrison.

PHOTO: Part of an image from The Wichita Eagle.

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