New Poll shows 71% of Kansas voters want court of appeals application made public; Brownback still resists

TOPEKA — Today, the Kansas Values Institute released a poll of Kansas voters showing that a full 71  percent believe Governor Brownback should release the names of applicants for the state Court of Appeals.  The results came as Governor Brownback continued to resist calls to release the names, confirming that the  new selection process will remain secret from the public, overturning a process that has been in place for  decades. 

“Governor Brownback has broken yet another promise to Kansans and thumbed his nose at 71 percent of voters that want an open and transparent process for selecting court applicants,” said executive director Ryan Wright. “Judicial applicant names have been released since 1981 and, up until seven days ago, they were available to the public. Now, Governor Brownback claims that they are exempt from the Kansas Open Records Act. The real question is, ‘what is Governor Brownback hiding by not releasing the names of these applicants?’”

Key findings of the poll:

  • Seventy-one percent of Kansans believe that Governor Brownback should release the names of applicants for Court of Appeals vacancy. Only 20 percent think that the process should remain secret.
  • Sixty percent of Kansas voters are less likely to support Brownback in the future if he sticks with his plan to keep the names of Kansas Court of Appeals applicants secret. Only 18 percent are more likely to support him.
  • Fifty-five percent of Kansans think that the state in headed in the wrong direction. Only 32 percent think it’s headed in the right direction.

Polling was conducted by 20/20 Insight LLC, which surveyed a representative sample of 871 registered voters over a period of three days, July 5-7. The margin of error was 3.3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level. A copy of the poll is attached to this email.

Wright went on to say, “Governor Brownback and opponents of the Kansas merit selection process said that the nominating commissions were engaged in backroom dealing, despite their open process and open meetings. Ironically, in response, Governor Brownback went and replaced the transparent nominating process with one that might actually involve backroom dealing. At the end of the day, this is about maintaining free and fair courts for every Kansan and ensuring that the process has integrity. Governor Brownback has failed on every account.”

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