Tom Holland

Kansas Bioscience Authority hearings, day 2

At the second day of testimony (January 26, 2012) regarding a forensic audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, a representative of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was strongly critical of the audit itself, and also of the Board of Directors of KBA. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale A. Rodman, who oversaw the audit process on behalf of the Brownback Administration, also said that legislators who voted to form the KBA should "feel outraged that a golden opportunity that you helped create was taken away from your efforts." Rodman urged the committee to step back and look at the situation from a…
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Kansas committee asks if KBA audit did enough to expose problems

By Bob Weeks, Special to KansasWatchdog.org Members of the joint Commerce and Economic Development Committees expressed concern that a forensic audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority was not broad enough and that deliberate deletion of data from a KBA computer left questions unanswered. On Wedesday James Snyder, managing partner for BKD’s Forensics and Valuation Services, told the committee that while his firm was hired and paid by KBA, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration was heavily involved. Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman served as the main contact for the Brownback Administration, although Caleb Stegall, the governor’s chief lawyer, and Steve Anderson,…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday October 26, 2010

Karl Rove. "Former George W. Bush aide Matt Latimer was there to observe the dealings of Karl Rove during the previous administration, and he writes that there’s no secret why most conservatives have now come to view Rove as a fraud. Latimer says that Rove has become symbolic of a GOP establishment that’s known for its utter betrayal and ruin of the Party that Reagan had left so strong. Now that his secret is out, Rove’s influence will only continue to diminish as time goes on and the Tea Parties take over." A fascinating look at the legacy of Rove,…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday October 15, 2010

Moran at Wichita Pachyderm today. Today's speaker at the Wichita Pachyderm Club is current United States Representative and Republican Party Senate nominee Jerry Moran. As a large audience is expected, please arrive by 11:45 to get your buffet lunch in time for the noon start (the larger meeting room will be used). Cost is $10, which includes lunch. Rasmussen: Voters don't trust politicians' promises. "Half (50%) now believe that when politicians break campaign promises, it’s because they deliberately made a false promise to get elected. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and say unforeseen events after they took office forced them to…
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Political site FiveThirtyEight looks at polls, statistics

The political website FiveThirtyEight provides an innovative look at political forecasting and also supplies useful information about candidates and political districts. The site FiveThirtyEight.com was active during the 2008 campaign season. Now it is a feature of the New York Times and can be accessed at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. The name comes from from the number of electors in the United States electoral college. FiveThirtyEight uses a variety of methods to arrive at its results, including polls, where polls are weighted by several factors including recency, sample size, and the polling firm's track record. Some polls are considered so unreliable that they…
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School choice solution to Kansas school funding

In its search to find a solution to the problem of funding its government schools, Kansas is overlooking a sure solution: widespread school choice. While proponents of public school spending argue that school choice programs drain away dollars from needy, underfunded public schools, this is not the case. In 2007 The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released the study School Choice by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006. According to the executive summary: "Every existing school choice program is at least fiscally neutral, and most produce a substantial savings." How can this be? The public school…
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Next Democrat Strategy: The October Surprise?

A guest Op-Ed by Sue C. So far this election cycle Democrat strategies used against Republicans have included demonization, fear mongering, racism accusations, and voting record fabrications. None of which seem to be working well (here), proving that most people distrust not only politicians but also the liberal media. Regardless, we need to be prepared for the next level of attack: The Democrat October Surprise. I predict that this tactic will be widely used this fall. Expect it to be delivered within days of the election. Timing will be crucial. Democrats will want to ensure that the “surprise” inflicts the…
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Americans believe teachers should be paid based on merit

A Gallup poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly believe that teacher salary should be paid "on the basis of the quality of his/her work." 72 percent of public school parents believe this. A related question asked "How closely should a teacher's salary he tied to his/her students' academic achievement?" 75 percent of public school parents answered either "very" or "somewhat closely tied." Then, 78 percent of parents answered "yes" to this question: "Do you have trust and confidence in the men and women who are teaching children in the public schools?" Taken together, the responses to these question indicated that Americans…
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Brownback paves plan for Kansas education reform

Last week near Emporia Sam Brownback, surrounded by Kansas educators and legislators, laid out the start of his plan for improving Kansas education if he is elected governor. His opponents in the race for Kansas Governor are Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon, Libertarian Andrew Gray, and Democrat Tom Holland. Mark Parkinson, the incumbent, decided not to run. In his remarks, Brownback said that education is "primary function of the state." While Kansas has excellent schools, he said that more innovation is needed. In the area of teachers, Brownback wants more mentoring opportunities available to young teachers. He supports a master…
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Holland / Kultala ticket pairs two Kansas Senate liberals

Today Kansas senator and gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland chose fellow senator Kelly Kultala of Kansas City as his lieutenant governor running mate. Earlier today Holland characterized the two candidates as "pragmatic and moderate." Evidence from the candidate's voting records is different, however. In the Kansas Economic Freedom Index for this year, Holland earned a score of zero, the only senator to do so. Kultala earned a score of seven percent, earning her a tie for 36th place among the 40 senators. She voted in favor of economic freedom only once. In a score card just released by the Kansas Chapter…
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