The Wichita Eagle and Salina Journal both endorsed Paul Morrison for attorney general today. In reading the endorsements, I couldn't help but note the similarities between the two.
WE: "Phill Kline can rightfully claim some notable achievements -- fighting for tougher penalties for child predators, launching a dragnet for parole absconders, and successfully defending Kansas' death penalty statute before the U.S. Supreme Court."
SJ: "Kline deserves credit for some successes as Kansas attorney general. He beefed up the Kansas Bureau of Investigation crime lab to handle increased workloads. He rightly pursued abortion records to find child rapists, despite charges it is a fishing expedition."
WE: "But just as notable -- and regrettable for Kansas -- are Kline's lapses of judgment and questionable priorities."
SJ: "But there are troubling aspects to Kline’s term that bring judgment into question."
WE: "Kline hiring his nephew as chauffeur, and choosing as his consumer fraud chief an anti-abortion activist with 12 arrests and an outstanding $61,000 court judgment."
SJ: "Consider Kline’s 2003 appointment of Bryan Brown as chief of the AG consumer protection division. Brown was arrested 12 times during anti-abortion protests starting some 20 years ago. Civil disobedience is not too troubling. But Brown dodged a federal judge’s ruling demanding he and two others pay $61,000 in attorney’s fees resulting from the protests."
WE: "And Kline encouraging Kansas State Board of Education members to add anti-evolution stickers to textbooks."
SJ: "Kline also erred when he met with conservative members of the Kansas State Board of Education to discuss the evolution debate. Kline visited with the six members in two groups of three, which circumvented the Kansas Open Meetings Act."
WE: "It's telling that former Attorney General Bob Stephan -- like Kline, a Republican and born-again Christian -- recently resigned as an adviser to Kline after raising concerns about Kline using churches as political fundraising machines."
SJ: "Former Attorney General Bob Stephan told the Lawrence Journal-World last week that he resigned as special assistant to Kline because he was troubled with Kline using people’s faith to raise money. In particular, he said, was an incident where a church gathered donations and gave the money to a company owned by Kline’s wife."