Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Fox Top 10 Announced
August 4, 2015

Politico:
Fox News has announced the 10 participants in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

Missing the cut, but invited to appear at a separate forum earlier on Thursday, are Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki.

The 10 participants were selected from an average of five national polls, all conducted over the past week.

Brownback Administration Announcing $50 Million Mote Budget Cuts Thursday
July 30, 2015

AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director is preparing to outline $50 million in adjustments aimed at keeping Kansas from having a deficit.
Budget director Shawn Sullivan’s news conference was Thursday afternoon at the Statehouse.
The governor’s office said beforehand that Sullivan would discuss recommendations for reducing costs and shifting funds within state government to cover general expenses. It was not more specific.
Brownback was not attending the news conference because he was meeting with Wichita business owners.
GOP legislators counted on Brownback’s administration making adjustments under a plan to balance the state’s $15.4 billion budget. The plan approved also increased sales and cigarette taxes this month.
The state’s budget problems arose after lawmakers cut income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging to stimulate the economy.

Kansas Civil Rights Commission Looking at Voting
July 30, 2015

(AP) – The Kansas division of a federal civil rights commission will investigate whether voter identification laws have affected turnout around the state.
The Kansas Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission voted Tuesday to hold hearings to determine if turnout in some communities has been suppressed, KCUR-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1SMwZAi ). The committee also agreed to ask Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who strongly advocated for the laws, to testify at its hearings, which are expected to take place early next year.
“My office would be happy to appear before the Kansas advisory committee and point out the success of the Kansas photo ID law,” Kobach told The Associated Press late Wednesday afternoon.
Committee chairwoman Elizabeth Kronk said there is concern that the law “disproportionately impacts certain age groups and certain racial categorizations.”
“It is fair to say the committee has acknowledged this is an area of controversy,” said Kronk, who is also a law professor at the University of Kansas.
The state committee can recommend that the full U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington take up the case.
The General Accounting Office released a report in October 2014 comparing election turnout in Kansas and Tennessee, states that tightened voter ID requirements between the 2008 and 2012 elections, to voting in four states that didn’t change identification requirements. Reductions in voter turnout were about 2 percent greater in Kansas and from 2 percent to 3 percent steeper in Tennessee than they were in the other states examined, the report showed

Petition Drive To Block KC Minimum Wage Law
July 29, 2015

(AP) – A new group of business owners is gathering signatures on petitions seeking to force a referendum to overturn a new law that will gradually increase Kansas City’s minimum wage to $13 an hour.
Missourians for Fair Wages, which represents restaurant, hotel and other business associations in Missouri, must collect about 3,400 signatures by Aug. 25 to challenge the minimum wage law approved by the Kansas City Council July 16. The law would raise Kansas City’s minimum wage from $7.65 per hour to $8.50 per hour on Aug. 24, with annual increases to $13 per hour by 2020. Cost-of-living adjustments would be made in subsequent years. Workers 17 and younger are exempt from the increases.
If the petition drive is successful, the council would either repeal the ordinance or put it to public vote sometime next year.
Opponents contend the increased minimum wage, which makes Kansas City the only municipality in Missouri with a wage higher than the state’s current $7.65 minimum, will hurt workers because employers will reduce the number of minimum wage jobs. Supporters of the increase say it will help lower-income workers make a living wage and improve the economy by putting more money in people’s pockets.
“The minimum wage ordinance was done quickly and is a risky experiment,” said David Jackson, spokesman for Missourians for Fair Wages. “It has the potential to cause job loss in Kansas City. If you raise the price of employment, you get less of it.”
Supporters of the new minimum wage law are “disappointed to say the least” with the new petition drive, said Caitlyn Adams, deputy director of Missouri Jobs for Justice, a social justice organization that pushed for the wage increase. The petition drive will delay the implementation of the first minimum wage increase on Aug. 24 and could push any increase into the next year if the issue is put to a public vote, she said.

Pressure Mounts on LeVota
July 23, 2015

The political pressure is mounting on Missouri State Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.

A second intern, identified by the Kansas City Star as Taylor Hirth, says LeVota made advances toward her when she worked for him in 2010. That is five years before the first charge that emerged on Wednesday. A 2015 intern says Levota made advances toward her, too.

LeVota denies it.

Senator Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, citing the “new information”, kicked LeVota off the influential Senate Rules Committee and then announced the panel would investigate the allegations against the Independence Democrat.
“The Missouri Senate takes very seriously matters involving the public trust,” Dempsey said in a statement.

Moments later Democratic Governor Jay Nixon suggested ina statement his fellow Democrat resign.
In a statement Nixon called the charges against LeVota are “deeply troubling and raise serious questions about his ability to continue to serve his constituents”.

LeVota could not be reached by phone Thursday.

His brother Phil, a close advisor, says the Senator plans to cooperate fully with the investigation.

In an interview with KMBC TV on Wednesday after the first report came out LeVota said, “I’m not going to let false allegations prevent me from representing my district.”

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