State of Kansas Archives: on Government Reform


Barbara Bollier: Make it easier to vote including same-day registration

Q: Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Barbara Bollier: No. Make it easier to vote, including early voting, same-day registration for eligible voters, and postage-paid return envelopes for mail-in ballots.

Roger Marshall: Yes. Opposed HR1, which included various measures to make voting easier. Opponents said this risked voter fraud and gave government undue power to interfere.

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Kansas Senate race Oct 10, 2020

Dave Lindstrom: Term limits: no more than 12 years House/Senate combined

Limit tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives to no more than three terms and tenure in the U.S. Senate to no more than two terms. And, additionally, require service in the Senate be limited to one term if consecutive to prior service in the House, limiting total consecutive congressional service to no more than 12 years for any individual.

Members of Congress should be prohibited from accepting PAC contributions from industries with business before the committees upon which the member serves. Committees should operate without undue influence, real or perceived, that arises from the acceptance of campaign contributions from the very interests over which a committee has direct jurisdiction.

Source: 2020 Kansas Senate campaign website LindstromForSenate.com May 31, 2020

Dave Lindstrom: Eliminate Congressional pensions, let them save up

Senate and House members draw a salary of $174,000 (three times the average American income), a sum more than sufficient for them to save for their own retirement. Depending on the length of tenure, congressional pensions can provide a $139,200 (80%) annual retirement benefit, and currently cost taxpayers more than $36 million annually to fund. Congressional pensions incentivize politicians to stay in office as long as possible to accrue the greatest benefit. This must end.

For every $1 billion in overspending added to the annual deficit, salaries of Congress and the president should be reduced by $100. If this plan were in place, the last spending bill would have eliminated $100,000 from each elected official's salary. Such accountability will ensure Congress fulfills its fiduciary duty as stewards of our taxpayer dollars, and force greater scrutiny of favors and giveaways for special interests. Our government will return to operation for the people.

Source: 2020 Kansas Senate campaign website LindstromForSenate.com May 31, 2020

Dave Lindstrom: Confirm constitutionalist judges who respect Rule of Law

Dave will only vote to confirm constitutionalist judges who possess a demonstrated respect for the Rule of Law, a passion for freedom and who value life to protect the unborn, the aged and the disabled. Presidents should only nominate, and the senate sho
Source: 2020 Kansas Senate campaign website LindstromForSenate.com May 31, 2020

Barbara Bollier: Lobbying ban for ex-officials; overturn Citizens United

Our political system is in dire need of ethics reform. Barbara will:
Source: 2020 Kansas Senate campaign website BollierForKansas.com May 28, 2020

Barbara Bollier: Prevent foreign election interference in bipartisan way

Foreign interference is one of the greatest threats facing our democracy right now, with hostile actors targeting government agencies and both political parties. We must rise to address this problem in a bipartisan way--without letting our adversaries divide us.

Barbara will prevent foreign interference in our elections by securing our election systems, creating auditable paper trails on all voting machines and requiring additional disclosure on online political ads.

Source: 2020 Kansas Senate campaign website BollierForKansas.com May 28, 2020

ACLU: Disallow checking citizenship papers to register to vote

A federal judge has struck down a Kansas voter citizenship law and ordered a halt to the state's requirement that people provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

The ruling is the culmination of a federal lawsuit filed in 2016. At a bench trial earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union represented voters who said they had been impeded from registering by the law.

"This decision is a stinging rebuke of Kris Kobach, and the centerpiece of his voter suppression efforts: a show-me-your-papers law that has disenfranchised tens of thousands of Kansans. That law was based on a xenophobic lie that noncitizens are engaged in rampant elections fraud," said the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

Under the ruling, Kobach must instruct all state and county election officers that voter registration applicants do not need to provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote.

Source: Wichita Eagle on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Jun 18, 2018

Kris Kobach: Found in contempt for checking voter citizenship to register

A federal judge has struck down a Kansas voter citizenship law that Secretary of State Kris Kobach had personally defended. The judge also ordered Kobach, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, to take more hours of continuing legal education after he was found in contempt and was frequently chided during the trial over missteps.

In an 118-page ruling, the judge ordered a halt to the state's requirement that people provide proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. The decision holds the potential to make registration easier as the August and November elections approach.

Kobach was ordered not to enforce the proof of citizenship law and its accompanying regulations. Kobach's office said he will appeal the ruling. At trial, Kobach said the law was working. Since 2000, 129 non-citizens have either registered or attempted to register. Many of them were blocked from registering by the proof of citizenship law, he said.

Source: Wichita Eagle on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Jun 18, 2018

ACLU: Enforce voter registration despite Kansas contempt

US District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in an ACLU lawsuit over the state's voter registration law.

ACLU attorneys complained Kobach routinely defied a temporary injunction issued by Robinson in 2016 to block enforcement of the state's proof of citizenship law. Kobach's office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections.

"The judge found that Kris Kobach disobeyed the court's orders by failing to provide registered voters with consistent information, that he willfully failed to ensure that county elections officials were properly trained and that he has a 'history of noncompliance and disrespect for the court's decisions,' " said an ACLU attorney.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Apr 12, 2018

Kris Kobach: Contempt of court for blocking new voter registration

US District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in contempt of court for failing to comply with her orders in a lawsuit over the state's voter registration law. Robinson ordered Kobach to pay for attorney fees to the ACLU for litigating the contempt motion.

Kobach's office refused to update language on its website suggesting that new voter applicants may not be able to vote after November 2016 elections. Kobach also failed to follow through on a promise to Robinson that counties would send postcards notifying voters they could participate in elections, even if they failed to show a birth certificate or other documents when they registered.

Kobach for years has championed the need for strict voter registration laws as a way of keeping noncitizens from voting. As a candidate, Kobach rallies supporters by telling them he likes makes the ACLU unhappy. "As soon as the ACLU sues, I know we have made the right decision," Kobach said during a debate last week.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Apr 12, 2018

Jeff Colyer: 4-point plan to increase state government transparency

I will sign four executive orders, that take important steps to make Kansas government more transparent:
  1. First, we will no longer charge Kansans for open records requests of less than 100 pages.
  2. Second, we will institute policies to ensure the Administration relies on official email accounts to conduct state business.
  3. Third, I will implement performance metrics for Cabinet Agencies so Kansans can see how we perform.
  4. Fourth, we are launching a website to serve as a one-stop-shop for Cabinet Agencies to post open meetings, locations and materials.
Transparency is key to better accountability and accountability is the key to real results. Let's make this happen.
Source: 2018 Kansas Inauguration/State of the State speech Feb 8, 2018

Kris Kobach: Tighten restrictions on voting

Kobach has advocated for voter identification and proof of citizenship voter registration laws. He spoke at a 2015 writer's workshop organized by The Social Contract Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center says is a white nationalist publisher. Kobach described the Press in 2015 as "a think tank for pro-enforcement immigration policies" and said it was ridiculous that the Center viewed it and other opponents of illegal immigration as white nationalists.
Source: Wichita Eagle on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Aug 16, 2017

Jeff Colyer: Supports voter ID requirements

As a legislator, Colyer's record indicated support of voter ID requirements, making English the official language of Kansas, strengthening of seat belt laws, development of nuclear and coal industries, the 2010 state highway construction program, as well as an array of abortion restrictions.

Colyer embraced requirements that voters provide a photograph identification when casting a ballot to minimize the potential of illegal immigrants influencing the outcome of elections. In 2008, he voted in the House for a voter ID bill that would have applied to everyone except those older than 65, people with a disability, individuals residing overseas and members of the military.

Then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius issued a veto message to block the kind of voter ID legislation eventually signed into law by Brownback. "No elected official should support enacting new laws discouraging or disenfranchising any American who has been legally voting for years," Sebelius said.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Aug 14, 2017

Kris Kobach: Vice-chair of Presidential Commission on Election Integrity

Kentucky's Secretary of State said she will not comply with broad federal request for voter registration information. Alison Grimes said, "Not on my watch are we going to be turning over something that's left to the states to run--to the federal government." Kentucky is among at least 24 states that have either wholly or in part rejected a request by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to hand over key voter registration information as part of its investigation into President Trump's claims of widespread illegal voting.

The request, sent by the panel's vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, asks states to provide voters' names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers and other information.

Source: The Hill coverage of 2018 Kansas Governor race Jun 30, 2017

Kris Kobach: Fight widespread voter fraud with strict voting laws

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who has championed some of the strictest voting laws in the nation, announced a campaign for governor. Kobach was recently appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as vice chairman of a new federal commission that will investigate the prevalence of voter fraud.

During his 6-year tenure as secretary of state, Kobach has repeatedly made claims of widespread voter fraud. He crafted a law that requires Kansas voters to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport, to vote. He has so far secured nine convictions for election crimes.

Kobach has repeatedly said the law ensures the integrity of Kansas elections, but opponents, including the ACLU, say that the law makes it harder for rightful voters to participate in elections.

The law blocked thousands of potential voters from participating in the state's last gubernatorial election, but it could not be fully enforced in 2016 under orders of federal and state judges.

Source: Kansas City Star on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Jun 8, 2017

Ron Estes: Five-year ban on members of Congress working as lobbyists

Changing the Culture of Washington: The insiders run too much in Washington. One of the biggest problems in Washington is the revolving door between Congress and the lobbying industry. Congressional votes should be based on the best interests of their districts and the nation, not on lining up a high paying lobbyist job. I support legislation that would prevent a former member of Congress from working as a lobbyist for five years following the completion of their term. This five-year ban would help shut the revolving door and lessen the influence of special interests in Washington. Also, I oppose special perks for members of Congress, which is why I support legislation that would require Congress to live by the same rules as the American people.
Source: 2017 Kansas House campaign website EstesForCongress.com Apr 11, 2017

Wink Hartman: Replace dysfunction in Topeka with stability

Wichita oil businessman Wink Hartman announced his launch of a campaign for the Republican nomination for Kansas governor. "As a businessman, I've watched the dysfunction in Topeka with increasing frustration. Instead of finding solutions, Topeka is causing problems. Instead of providing stability for Kansas families, farms and businesses, Topeka is creating uncertainty. Most importantly, instead of improving the quality of life for Kansans, Topeka is making things more difficult," Hartman said.

Hartman is owner of oil industry businesses and has been a donor to GOP candidates. He sought the 4th District seat in the U.S. House in 2010 but lost to Mike Pompeo in the Republican primary. Pompeo resigned to accept an appointment as CIA director under President Donald Trump.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race Feb 15, 2017

Roger Marshall: Low voter turnout results from politicians not listening

Career politicians in Washington and Topeka are out-of-touch. Too many of these politicians have motivations other than representing the people and act as though Washington DC insiders, special interest groups and TV cameras are the only things that matter in their decision-making process. This has created apathy and low voter turnout. This must be rectified.

For America to again thrive, we have to restore faith in our system of government. This has to start with each Representative. Dr. Marshall is committed to being a leader who will listen to those who elect him. This does not mean Dr. Marshall will agree with everyone, but it does mean he will engage voters and actually listen to our concerns and won't be beholden to those special interests handing out indexes and scorecards.

"Nobody will agree with me 100% of the time, but you should know I'll listen and factor your thoughts and concerns into all decisions. My door will always be open."-- Roger Marshall

Source: 2016 Kansas House campaign website KansansForMarshall.com Nov 8, 2016

Patrick Wiesner: No lobbyist-drafted bills; Senators must read all bills

Patrick pledges never to let a lobbyist draft the law; never to depend on his staff to write out the questions he is to ask at a hearing; and never to vote on legislation he hasn't read. His policy is before a Senator can vote on legislation, he or she must read the entire bill, acknowledge understanding the proposed law, and swear that no lobbyist has made a campaign contribution to get their vote. If the Senator can't say yes to all three, they are disqualified from voting.

Patrick believes this is the first step in ending the spectacle of Congress dumping thousands of pages of incomprehensible law on the public and then expecting businesses and government workers to figure out what they and the lobbyists meant.

Source: 2016 Kansas Senate campaign website WiesnerForSenate.com Mar 1, 2016

Sam Brownback: State Supreme Court justices should be elected not appointed

Kansas is the only state in the country where the selection of Supreme Court justices is controlled by a handful of lawyers. Kansas, however, is grounded in the principal of representative democracy. Enough is enough. The Legislature should put before Kansas voters a proposed Constitutional amendment for a more democratic selection process for our Supreme Court justices. We must have faith in the people. Here the people rule.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Kansas legislature Jan 12, 2016

Greg Orman: Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

At a forum titled "Politically Homeless," when asked by an attendee about the inability of independent candidates to compete financially with Republicans and Democrats, Orman's response earned him applause from the crowd: "Personally, I think we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United," he said, referring to a 2010 US Supreme Court ruling regarding campaign finance. Orman said the ruling "paralyzes our democracy."
Source: Topeka Capital Journal coverage of 2016 Kansas Senate race Apr 8, 2015

Greg Orman: Ban on PACs formed by congressional leaders

Orman recently proposed several reforms to campaign financing, including a ban on political action committees formed by congressional leaders and a ban on PAC donations from lobbyists to candidates.

Orman also called for a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which said corporations, labor unions and other groups have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts on elections.

Roberts supports the Citizens United decision and recently tried to block consideration of a Senate proposal allowing limits on corporate campaign spending.

In the State Fair debate, Roberts said he supported "transparency" in campaign donations. "If people know where the money is coming from," he said, "I think that is the biggest reform we can make." Yet current law allows unlimited secret donations to social welfare organizations known by their 501(c)(4) section of the federal tax code. Roberts has not indicated any desire to eliminate those groups.

Source: The Kansas City Star on 2014 Kansas Senate race Sep 19, 2014

Greg Orman: 12-year term limit for Congress

Term limits: Orman says he will serve no more than 12 years in the Senate if elected twice. He supports a constitutional amendment limiting congressional service to 12 years. Roberts has been in Congress since 1981. He opposes term limits.
Source: The Kansas City Star on 2014 Kansas Senate race Sep 19, 2014

Pat Roberts: 2012: No transparency of PAC donors; 2014: Some transparency

Orman called for a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which said corporations, labor unions and other groups have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts on elections. Roberts supports the Citizens United decision and recently tried to block consideration of a Senate proposal allowing limits on corporate campaign spending.

In the State Fair debate, Roberts said he supported "transparency" in campaign donations. "If people know where the money is coming from," he said, "I think that is the biggest reform we can make." Yet current law allows unlimited secret donations to social welfare organizations known by their 501(c)(4) section of the federal tax code. Roberts has not indicated any desire to eliminate those groups or prohibit their secret spending in elections.

In 2012, Roberts voted to kill a bill that would have required public disclosure of some donors to companies and labor unions that engage in political activities.

Source: The Kansas City Star on 2014 Kansas Senate race Sep 19, 2014

Pat Roberts: No term limits for Congress

Term limits: Orman says he will serve no more than 12 years in the Senate if elected twice. He supports a constitutional amendment limiting congressional service to 12 years. Roberts has been in Congress since 1981. He opposes term limits.
Source: The Kansas City Star on 2014 Kansas Senate race Sep 19, 2014

Randall Batson: Indifferent to stricter enforcement of the right to vote

Q: Do you support or oppose stricter enforcement of the right to vote?

A: Indifferent.

Source: Email interview on Kansas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Patrick Wiesner: Lobbyists should never be allowed to draft laws, nor donate

My policy is before a Senator can vote on legislation, he or she must read the entire bill, acknowledge understanding the proposed law, and guarantee that no lobbyist has made a campaign contribution to get their vote. If the Senator can't say yes to all three, they are disqualified from voting. Lobbyists should never be allowed to draft laws or provide the talking points for a hearing.
Source: Emporia Gazette on 2016 Kansas Senate race Aug 2, 2014

Milton Wolf: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Wolf: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Greg Orman: Ballot requirements hinder 3rd-party candidates

Q: How do current election laws affect independent candidates trying to launch campaigns in Kansas?

A: "The single greatest hurdle facing an independent candidate is getting the 5,000 signatures on the petition to allow his or her name to be on the ballot," Orman commented. "This is not imposed on party candidates."

"The single greatest hurdle facing an independent candidate is getting the 5,000 signatures to be on the ballot." Orman also stated the rules for this petition stipulate county- specific forms (there are 105 counties in Kansas) and the petition has to be signed in person with a witness--all of which makes the disallowance of signatures very easy.

Another major disadvantage to independents came in 1901 in Kansas with the passage of Antifusion Laws. Prior to this, according to Orman, third parties thrived [because] candidates could run under more than one party. Candidates could state that they were a Populist and a Republican (or any other combination).

Source: Independent Voter Project IVN.us on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 30, 2014

Chad Taylor: Require open meetings for water utility rate-setting

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor filed a lawsuit today against the Kansas Corporation Commission, and its Commissioners individually alleging that the Commissioners of that agency violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).

The action seeks injunctive relief concerning the rate increase for Howison Heights, Inc., previously approved by the Commission. The impact of the injunction would void the action taken by the KCC resulting in a near fifty percent rate hike to consumers of the water district.

The lawsuit also seeks other relief consistent with the KOMA. The primary purposes of this action are to ensure that both the statutory provisions of the KOMA are adhered to and the purpose of the Act, governmental transparency, is enforced.

Source: D.A. office press release: 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 19, 2013

Kathleen Sebelius: Implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies

The Budget Efficiency Savings Teams I formed have achieved results that are nothing short of extraordinary. In just one year, the teams, working under the leadership of loaned executives from the private sector and former business executives in my Cabinet, have implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies by doing simple things and less simple changes.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature Jan 12, 2004

Kathleen Sebelius: Spending cut to provide a raise for state workers

In recent years, we have reduced the size of the stateís workforce by more than 10 percent. In the budget that Iím submitting to you, I propose additional cuts in spending to provide state workers with a cost of living raise. The men and women who serve this state in our leaner workforce are being asked to do more than ever with smaller budgets. I believe the state has a responsibility to be a good employer, and that means rewarding loyalty and hard work.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature Jan 12, 2004

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2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
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Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
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Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
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