local politics Politics

One walk without the dog

As I have noted earlier, I am within walking distance of my polling place. In fact, I have occasionally walked my Minpin and my uncle’s Black Lab by the place. I don’t think it would be appropriate to bring a non-service dog to the polls, so at a quarter to seven, I made the trek alone.

As always, I am disclosing by ballot selections of my own free will. No consideration has been offered or considered for this disclosure.

US Senate: As previously noted, incumbent Jerry Moran‘s office was the most responsive regarding passenger rail.

US Representative, KS-01: Lawrence was gerrymandered from the 2nd District to the first, meaning that our candidates were changed. I went for incumbent Republican Tracey Mann. It will be interesting to see how left-leaning Lawrence will influence the otherwise heavily right-leaning district.

Governor: Four years ago, I voted for Laura Kelly because she was facing the infamous Kris Kobach. (more on him below) This time, I went back to the GOP candidate, Derek Schmidt. The political advertisements had focused on the economy: Kelly supporters accuse Schmidt of planning to re-implement economic measures of the Brownback Administration that they considered devastating, while Schmidt’s campaign accuses Kelly of wrecking the economy with her current economic action.

Secretary of State: Generally, Scott Schwab has kept his nose clean.

Attorney General: Incumbent Derek Schmidt gave up the AG position to run for governor. Running on the republican platform is Kris Kobach. If I didn’t already hate him, one of his antics at Secretary of State got him a serious “benchslap” from a US District Court judge. I’m surprised that the disciplinary office didn’t take any further action. I don’t think he should be qualified to be an attorney, let alone AG. I voted for Democrat Chris Mann.

State Treasurer: Four years ago, Jake LaTurner successfully ran for this position. Two years ago, he successfully ran for Congress in District 2. Governor Kelly appointed her then-Lieutenant Governor, Lynn Rogers, to the vacancy created by LaTurner’s move to Washington. Rogers is now seeking a full term in the Treasurer’s office. However, I went with the GOP candidate, Steven Johnson.

Insurance Commissioner: I voted to retain incumbent Republican Vicki Schmidt.

State Representative: Incumbent Dennis “Boog” Highberger ran unopposed. This seat has been a solid seat for the Democrats for as long as I have been a voter.

Judicial Retention: There was a campaign on the right to oust much of the Supreme Court. Six out of the seven Supreme Court seats were up for retention this election cycle. I voted to retain them all, along with the Court of Appeals and District Court positions.

Ballot Questions: There were two constitutional amendments and one Douglas County ballot question. The first amendment was one that would give the legislature an opportunity to veto any actions taken by an executive agency. This came about because Republican legislators did not agree with Governor Kelly’s actions in handling the early waves of COVID. The second was to mandate the elected office of Sheriff in the counties that currently have one (Riley County, which contains most of the city of Manhattan, is the only one county in Kansas that doesn’t) I voted against both of these questions. The Douglas County question was straightforward: “Shall the Governing Body of Douglas County, Kansas, increase its number of commissioner districts from three to five?” The only downside I see is if no one wants to run for the two newly created seats. I voted for the measure.

local politics Politics

Walk to the Poll Position

Today is the primary elections in Kansas. Since the 2020 election, I have moved (twice) from Lake Dabinawa and have wound up in East Lawrence. My new polling place is about a five-minute walk from the house. I got there around 6:45 and was first in line, and first to submit a ballot, when the polls opened at 7:00.

local politics

Kansas Supreme Court disbars a KC-area adoption attorney

You can read the full opinion on the Kansas Supreme Court website.

In short, this attorney represented adoptive couples. In two cases, the biological father of the child asserted a desire to take custody. The attorney filed motions to terminate the father’s parental rights, claiming they abandoned the child and/or failed to provide support to the mother after finding out that the mother was pregnant. However, in both cases, the father was unaware of the pregnancy until after the child was born, and only days before the petition to terminate the parental rights of the father was filed.

In one of these cases, the father appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, which reversed the lower courts and ordered the district court to make arrangements to transfer custody of the child to his biological father. The other case was reversed by the Court of Appeals, citing the first case in doing so.

The Attorney preemptively notified the Disciplinary Administrator of the Supreme Court’s opinion. The Supreme Court also transmitted the opinion to the Disciplinary Administrator.

The Disciplinary Administrator recommended an 18-month suspension, while a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys recommended a six-month suspension. In rejecting the lesser penalties, the Supreme Court stated:

In effect, respondent used the legal process to traffic children. It is not hyperbole to put the matter this starkly, and we can think of no breach of trust more significant or damaging than this. Our legal system depends on the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, truthfulness, and trustworthiness of our lawyers. […] A lawyer cannot come back from a breach of trust so grave. The confidence of the public and the sanctity of the rule of law can only be protected and preserved by meting out the most serious sanction available to us — disbarment.

In Kansas, a disbarred attorney may petition to be reinstated after five years. While there is no mechanism for the Kansas Supreme Court to prohibit an attorney from petitioning for reinstatement, the above quote would indicate that the Supreme Court is prejudiced against reinstatement.

He is also on the bar in Missouri. It would be interesting to see if the Missouri Supreme Court will choose to order a “reciprocal disbarment” or give him one of the suggested lesser sanctions.

local politics Politics

General Election 2020

I share who I voted for of my own free will. No incentive or consideration has been made to share my voting selections.

I made it out to the polling place for the 2020 general election at about 11:30. I was ballot number 181.

President: I cannot stand Donald Trump. In 2016, I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, either, and went third-party. (knowing full well that Trump was likely to take Kansas, which he did) I had no qualms about voting for Joe Biden this year. Trump is still likely to take Kansas.

US Senate: Clarance Oveur… I mean, Pat Roberts… is retiring. I went with Republican Roger Marshall over Democrat Barbara Bollier. Had Kris Kobach won the primary, Bollier would have gotten my nod. Although Bollier had the fundraising advantage leading into the General, Marshall will likely carry his home territory in the 1st Congressional district. (The ‘Big First’ has also moved Bob Dole, Roberts, and our other current Senator, Jerry Moran) The Balance will likely be in Shawnee and Sedgwick Counties.

US House, District 2: I voted for Jake LaTurner. Although I think Michelle De La Isla will fare well in Shawnee and Douglas Counties, I doubt that her credentials as the current Mayor of Topeka will fare well in the rural districts.

Kansas House, District 47: I expect the incumbent, Republican Ron Ellis, to easily carry the house district.

Kansas Senate, District 2: Even though she is a Democrat, I told Marci Francisco that I would not vote against her unless I was her opponent. I did not run for the Republican nomination for this seat, and neither did anyone else.

Everything else: The State Board of Education seat, currently held by Democrat Ann Mah, was unopposed, as were all of the county and township races. Five Court of Appeals seats, along with one Supreme Court seat and one District Magistrate seat, were up for uncontested retention.

local politics Politics

Primary Ballot not Counted due to USPS SNAFU

Because my family had to quarantine for two weeks leading to the Primary, my mother and I both applied for and received advanced ballots.

After filling out and signing out ballots, I dropped them off together at the drop box at the Downtown Lawrence post office on August 1.

The ballots should have gone from Lawrence to the Shawnee Mission sorting facility, then to Oskaloosa for delivery to the Jefferson County Clerk.

local politics Politics

GOP Primary 2020

For this year’s primary election, I did not go to the polling place on Tuesday. Because of a COVID-related quarantine, I elected to receive a mail-in advance ballot. I mailed the ballot in on August 1st.

There were only two contested races on my primary ballot. Both of the contested races were won by my preferred candidate.

local politics

Well, there’ll be something on the ballot

In Kansas, the odd-numbered year elections are generally for city commission/council and local school board elections. Since I live in a rural precinct, I have no city elections on my ballot, and the school board positions are low-key campaigns, if there’s even a contested seat.

Well, now I know there’s something on the ballot this year.

local politics

Parental Advisory: Case Law, Part 2

About a year and a half ago, I posted about a decision of the Kansas Court of Appeals regarding the admission of a defendant’s statements after being pelted with profanities by the arresting officers.

It turns out that the State petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court for review, which they accepted. They released their decision today.

local politics Politics

Turn left at the mirror

The titular mirror stands over the corner of 21st Street and Wellman Road, the closest point from the paved road to my new election site: Sarcoxie Township station #2.

Kansas Governor: I promised back in August that if Kris Kobach won the primary, I would vote for the Democrat. Not only did I vote for Democrat Laura Kelly, I put up a sign for her in front of the Kennedy Compound.

local politics Politics

GOP Primary 2018

As I usually do, I share my election picks after my ballot is in the collection box.

Kansas Governor: Without question, I chose incumbent governor Jeff Colyer. There was no way in hell I was going to let current Secretary of State Kris Kobach anywhere near Cedar Crest if I had anything to say about it. If Kobach makes it to general, I will vote for the Democrat – whomever he or she may be.