Friday, May 2, 2008


Melvin Neufeld waited until exactly the right time.

He had threatened to keep the legislature in session indefinitely until the Governor's veto of two coal-powered, carbon-belching power plants in Western Kansas could be safely overridden.

So yesterday, ol' Mel finally unleashed the fury, holding a vote to override the veto, confident he had his 84 votes.

That confidence was misplaced. After holding legislators hostage for hours trying to find the votes, the override attempt failed, 80-45. Not only did he not get an extra vote -- the bill passed the house originally with 83 votes -- he actually had a net LOSS of three votes. All the arm-twisting, threatening and game-playing just turned people away.

Of course, it's only because Kathleen Sebelius bought people tickets to the final four.
Neufeld said after the vote that Sebelius allowed legislators to fly on state aircraft to The University of Kansas games in the NCAA Tournament to leverage her position on the coal fight.

"What else did the state pay for?" the speaker said. "I have no idea."

What soon-to-be-former-Speaker Neufeld fails to mention is that the individuals in question paid their own way. He also forgot that many of them were and still are in favor of the coal plants and that it's commonplace for a governor to bring legislators along on when traveling in their official capacity.

But I'm sure none of the special projects that he was promising to give people if they voted his way would have cost the state any money.

On a troubling note, Rep. Tom Hawk (D-Manhattan) voted with Neufeld and the rest of the Sunflower cronies. Rep. Hawk has been on the right side of this issue from day one, but yesterday there were some rumblings around the capitol that he had been seduced by Neufeld. We don't know the reason yet and we may never, but this blogger is shocked and saddened that a man who has been a very good legislator could flip-flop on such an important issue. We'll bring you more details as we get them.

Republicans voting yes: Aurand, Beamer, Bethell, Bowers, Brown, Brunk, Burgess, Carlson, Colyer, Craft, Crum, Dahl, Donohoe, Faber, Fund, George, Goico, Gordon, Grange, Hayzlett, Hill, Carl Holmes, Mitch Holmes, Horst, Huebert, Humerickhouse, Johnson, Kelley, Kelsey, Kiegerl, King, Kinzer, Knox, Landwehr, Light, Mast, Masterson, McLeland, Merrick, Jim Morrison, Moxley, Myers, Neufeld, Olson, O'Neal, Otto, Owens, Patton, Peck, Powell, Powers, Proehl, Rhoades, Roth, Schroeder, Schwartz, Shultz, Siegfreid, Sloan, Swanson, Tafanelli, Vickrey, Watkins, Whitham, Wilk, William Wolf and Yoder.

Republicans voting no: Colloton, Hodge, Huntington, Metsker, Judy Morrison, Pottorff, Quigley, Spalding, Swenson, Kay Wolf and Worley.

Democrats voting yes: Feuerborn, Gatewood, Grant, Hawk, Lukert, McKinney, Palmer, Pauls, Peterson, Phelps, Ruff, Wetta and Williams.

Democrats voting no: Ballard, Burroughs, Carlin, Crow, Davis, Dillmore, Faust-Goudeau, Flaharty, Flora, Frownfelter, Garcia, Goyle, Henderson, Henry, Holland, Kuether, Lane, Loganbill, Long, Mah, McCray-Miller, McLachlan, Menghini, Neighbor, Rardin, Ruiz, Sawyer, Storm, Svaty, Tietze, Treaster, Trimmer, Ward and


Anonymous said...

ha! take that Melvin!

Anonymous said...

one of the comments posted on the CEP blog indicated that the trailer bill's generous weatherization policy helped sway Hawk.

although there's a lot going on up here :) so who knows

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that House Speaker Melvin Neufeld might've "punished" him for opposing the bills, by obstructing the agro-defense facility in Manhattan, which Hawk supports because of the jobs it would bring.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Sydney Carlin's constituents support the NBAF facility too, but she had the backbone to cast the correct vote.

Anonymous said...

Ya, no shit. Hawk has been a safer seat too even though it's a tougher district.

Anonymous said...

No one in Kansas will mess with the NBAF deal. Governor, both senators, etc. all working hard to get it and the bonding authority sailed through the legislature. Hawk switched for another reason but I don't know what.

Michael Caddell said...

The NBAF, in reality a biological WMD project grafted to a USDA facility - shielding a black budget of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is another stupid but immediately dangerous "jobs to Kansas" scam.

Stupid because while Sebelius threw a $160 million bone in incentives to the paranoid war lovers on this progect in the state legislature, it neglects the obvious danger of putting such a high level bio-lab directly into the middle of Manhattan, KS - just say the word "jobs" and both parties jump on it.

Serious investigations have pretty much put the word out that these type of bio-weapons labs have been responsible for the spread of the West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

No one up there in Topeka, is going to tell us that, and until the same people on the grassroots who got involved in stopping the crazy Holcomb project, in turn get fighting mad about the bio-weapons lab - Kansans will be kept in the dark by their government.

High falutin' political scientists would know this and do more than toot the Kansas Dems horn - kudos to LBK for publishing the names of those Dems voting for the coal plants - now it's time to stop the bio-weapons lab coming to Manhattan, Ks.

Just check out the book, "LAB 257: The disturbing story of the government's secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory" by Michael Christopher Carroll - it's the same kind of lab coming here.