Some Johnson County deputies are thrilled with overtime. It is not unusual for a master deputy to earn $75,000 in overtime in one year. And there is great incentive to pile up as much overtime as possible, especially in years right before retirement. Under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, lifetime retirement income is based on an average of the final three earning years.
Here’s the dirty little secret as to why so many moderate Republicans in Kansas, especially in Johnson County, will not bother to vote in the August primary. Despite the fact that approval ratings for Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature are in the toilet, the direct impact of their sins has not yet been felt. And if the impact has not yet hit home, all the headlines about mismanagement of the state’s budget may seem like a distant dream, or maybe a distant nightmare.
The Kansas “Fallacy” Institute, er, I mean Kansas Policy Institute, headquartered in Wichita, is called a think-tank. But that is a misnomer because the folks who crank out numbers there don’t really think about issues at all. Rather, they take a preconceived notion that government and schools are enormously wasteful and inefficient, and then concoct absurd calculations to make it seem so.
Aug. 2 may be one of the most important elections for Republicans in modern Kansas history. On that primary election date, Republicans will decide whether the Brownback “bad guys” will continue to rule the Legislature or turn over to the “good guys” the keys to the Capitol.
Are the Kansas Supreme Court justices — except for the conservative appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback — villains or heroes? A million dollars — or even more — could be spent by conservative groups, both inside and outside the state, attacking four of the justices up for retention in November.
Those who don’t know Ben Craig may think his request to throw a portion of his ashes in the air along Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park is a bit odd. But this 87-year-old civic leader, who has cancer and been given three months to live, has rational reasons for this unusual request.
The Kansas Legislature, or governor, or both will comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling. But the outcome is likely to be ugly. The Kansas Supreme Court just dropped the first of what is likely to be two shoes on the Legislature. The justices predictably declared the disparity between state funding for poor school districts and wealthier districts to be unconstitutional.
The plan to redevelop the Metcalf South Shopping Center in Overland Park is a substantial improvement over the empty mall that sits there now. And it is a plan that probably will pass muster with city officials.
No one will be in a better spot to win the governor’s seat than Kris Kobach, unless he wants to waits for a U.S. Senate run. The Kansas secretary of state since 2011 has enormous statewide name identification. Not only that, but he has considerable name recognition and a following nationally because of his crusade against illegal immigration. Money would pour into his campaign from all over Kansas and all over America.
On the overall view of the Kansas economy and the budget, Nick Jordan and columnist Steve Rose sharply disagree. Even when they largely agree on the same set of facts, Jordan presents a picture that is pretty rosy, while Rose see things as very bleak.
As executive director of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, Brian Newby appears to have helped increase voter restrictions. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach aided in clamping down on voters.
If misery loves company, Kansas has company. When he was governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who recently unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president, must have read the same playbook that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback read.
Sprint has brought 100 families to the Kansas City area by hiring new employees from all over the world. On Saturday, they got a welcome party from CEO Marcelo Claure. "It gives me a chance to meet their families," he said. "I think Monday when we all come back to work, we're a happier family and we're all more energized."
Mark DavisThe Kansas City Star
Meet the neighbors: Sprint welcomes employees new to Kansas City with a party
I Am: Raising A Black Child
Kansas City, Kan., Police Capt. Robert Melton laid to rest at Leavenworth National Cemetery
Funeral service for Kansas City, Kan., police Capt. Robert Melton