Thursday, January 19, 2012

Even Bloodier Kansas


Crazy right-wing Kansas heather

Did you catch our brief post on the Republican civil war in Kansas last week? Koch Industries owns the GOP there, but a few of the legislators have had the temerity to try to actually work for their constituents instead of for the Kochs. So the Koch Brothers and one of their subsidiaries, the Chamber of Commerce, are trying to oust these Republicans from the legislature and replace them with teabaggers and outright fascists who understand how to take orders from up top.

This week the spat took a real turn for the bizarre as an especially vapid and deranged teabagger, state Rep. TerriLois Gregory, was caught secretly recording state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, a mainstream conservative.
A House Republican attempted to covertly record a private conversation in a Capitol office with a Topeka senator while discussing controversial health reforms sought by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Rep. TerriLois Gregory, of Baldwin City, asked to sit down with Republican Sen. Vicki Schmidt to talk about Medicaid services for people with disabilities. During the meeting this past Wednesday, Schmidt noticed a small flashing light in Gregory's satchel. It wasn’t a telephone.

"I asked her, 'Are you recording me?' " Schmidt said Tuesday in an interview. "She said, 'Yes.' ”

Schmidt said she assumed the secret taping of others was illegal, when in fact it isn’t.

Their conversation came to an end. Gregory returned later that day, apparently to make amends. However, Schmidt said Gregory never offered a clear apology.

A bipartisan contingent of legislators said Gregory violated an unwritten code of conduct among lawmakers that frowns on clandestine recording of colleagues in closed-door meetings.

Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, said the incident led him to caution members of the Senate GOP caucus to be wary of possible stealthy attempts to capture on tape their private discussions. He said Gregory, for whatever reason, crossed the line of propriety in the Legislature.

"You don't do anything in here you wouldn't do out in another setting," Emler said.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said common sense dictated senators and representatives not engage in secret recordings of each other.

Schmidt said Gregory didn't ask permission to record the impromptu meeting and apparently turned on the device prior to entering the senator's inner office in the Statehouse.

Gregory, a freshman lawmaker, said her decision to chronicle the conversation with a recorder was born from a desire to precisely capture Schmidt's insight into a recommendation by the governor to transfer control of Medicaid to private contractors.

...Schmidt, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, said hearings on the governor's Medicaid reform package would be conducted by her committee. She said Gregory was interested in removing developmentally disabled Kansans from the pool of beneficiaries subjected to managed care.

"She asked if she could speak with me," Schmidt said. "I never turn anyone down. She's a colleague."

Sen. John Vratil, a Leawood Republican and a lawyer, said Kansas law permitted "one-party" recording of conversations. That doesn't justify secret taping of legislators by peers, he said.

"There is an obligation to behave in a professional manner that does not include surreptitious recording of a conversation with a colleague," Vratil said.

Schmidt is one of the mainstream conservatives being challenged from the far right by the Koch Brothers and their cronies. They found a neo-Nazi sociopath, Joe Patton, also of Topeka, to primary her. He's a pal of Gregory's, and it is widely assumed that Gregory was trying to get some dirt on tape which Patton could use in his campaign. What a degenerate political situation!

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At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know about this incident. Thanks for informing me.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would venture to say knowing Terri that she has done this before...many times over. She is very dishonest and has pulled the wool over her constituents eyes as well. What a shame.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger jobe1 said...

happy i came across your blog, Heather. Mother's from Kansas and am reading Thomas Frank's book now, (What's The Mater with Kansas?)
Just trying to understand!

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous bill mahr said...

Kansas has become the Neanderthal state where the dumb get dummer and the rich get stupidier. Not to worry it will soon be 125 degrees in the spring there and like Texas it will be part of the Sahara West due to globel warming from the burning of fossil fuels. Not to mention 1000s of gallons of oil spilling into the aqua fir from big oils Canadian pipe line which the Koch servants have given the go ahead to.

I'd have some respect for Kansas if they had an abortion clinic in every small provincial town like all of them.

I kid the people of Kansas


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