Tuesday, June 12, 2012

KC Star Rewrites History on Kansas Redistricting


Kansas City's paper of record has their on unique take on the events that landed the job of redistricting Kansas in federal court.  The problem with their unique take is it relies entirely on their own version of the facts.

First, they claim the reason behind the legislatures inability to agree on maps was "conservative request for power."
Conservative Republicans, whose quest for political control was at the core of the Legislature’s failure to agree on maps, found their numbers potentially diminished by the new districts drawn by a panel of three federal judges.
Really?  Is that why the conservative led House passed a map that met Senator Tim Owens' requirements and still honored the validity of candidates who had already filed in the districts they resided in and Owens, who headed the senate redistricting committee, still rejected the map?
[House Speaker Mike O'Neal] insisted that the House reject a Senate map that went out of its way to accommodate two conservative House Republicans who were looking to challenge moderate Republicans in the Senate. O’Neal, an ally of Gov. Sam Brownback, wanted even more concessions from moderate Republicans.
Really?  A map that went out of its way to accomodate conservatives?  Is that why the map the Star is referring to gerrymandered out Senator Owens' primary challenger, Rep. Greg Smith?  It's interesting how the Star is so eager to defend a processes that was corrupted from the start by one man's own selfish desires to avoid a difficult primary challenge.

Instead of giving voters of his district a choice between two clearly different visions for Kansas, Senator Tim Owens obstructed the redistricting effort every step of the way.  When the process finally ended up in court, Owens was quick to try and insert himself into the process, immediately filing to intervene in the case.  And intervene he did.

Politicos knew Owens would end up getting his way when Chief Justice Mary Beck Briscoe assigned Chief Justice Kathryn Vratil to not only join, but to serve as the presiding judge of the panel.  Chief Justice Vratil just happens to be a close friend of Senator Owens and is the former wife of fellow "moderate" Republican John Vratil.

At the tail end of the Star's anonymous editorial on the fiasco that was the Kansas redistricting effort, we finally get a glimpse into the motivations behind their eagerness to rewrite history:
[T]he maps drawn by the federal judges appear more favorable toward moderate Republicans and Democrats than anything the Legislature was contemplating.
There you have it, facts simply do not matter to The Star.  They are willing to propagate any lie they feel furthers their ideological goals.

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