TOPEKA — Today, the Kansas Values Institute executive director Ryan Wright issued the following statement in response to Governor Sam Brownback’s refusal to release the names of applicants to the vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals.
“Governor Brownback’s decision to stand with special interest groups in Washington, DC and against the 71 percent of Kansans that demand an open and transparent process for selecting applicants to the Kansas Court of Appeals is disappointing, but not unexpected from this Administration. The Governor’s latest flip-flop comes only one day after an influential right-wing blogger, who happens to represent a deep-pocketed DC special interest group, accused him of “giving in” on the issue. Apparently, the pressure from the big-money folks was too much for him.
Governor Brownback said that to release the names would ‘hurt applicant pools for future selections,’ but this argument doesn’t hold water since names for Court of Appeals vacancies have been made public since 1981. The fact still remains that Kansans have no say in the governor’s process, we don’t know what standards he is using to judge an applicant’s qualifications and we don’t know who is advising him. I realize that somebody who spent their career in Washington, DC like Sam Brownback could get confused into thinking that this process is ‘open and transparent,’ but at least 71 percent of Kansans know the difference and we are paying attention.”