Kansas GOP plots to strip power from new Democratic governor


Republicans in the Kansas legislature are the latest GOP group to strip power from duly elected Democratic governors.

In a naked attempt to hoard political power, Kansas Republicans are plotting a move to strip the state's Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly of her power to fill vacancies in key state positions, the Kansas City Star reported.

Two GOP-introduced bills would remove the governor's power to appoint a replacement if the attorney general or secretary of state leave office in the middle of their terms, and would place that power in the hands of the party that last held the office. In Kansas, that would mean Republicans — who currently hold those positions — would get the power to appoint over the duly elected governor.

Another bill would also strip the governor of the ability to fill vacancies for state treasurer and insurance commissioner.

The Kansas City Star reported that the bills are likely a protection attempt by Kansas Republicans, who fear that many of the top GOP officials in the state may leave their posts early in order to run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat of GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, who is retiring when his term expires in 2020.

Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt is mulling a bid for the seat, while state Treasurer Jake LaTurner already announced his bid — which would give Kelly, a Democrat, the power to appoint their replacements.

Kelly won the governor's race in Kansas in 2018 fair and square, defeating racist Trump sycophant Kris Kobach, who somehow managed to lose a deep red state, thanks to the state GOP's radical far-right agenda that voters grew tired of.

But now, Kansas Republicans are taking the sore loser route, trying to mitigate the damage their gubernatorial loss caused their party by taking powers away from Gov. Kelly. (Republicans still control the state legislature.)

"How can the people trust us when we are making laws based on political gain as opposed to how to best structure and run our democratic system that we have here in the state of Kansas?" Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Clayton told the Kansas City Star.

This is not the first time a GOP-held legislature has moved to strip power from a newly elected Democratic governor, however.

Republican-held legislatures in Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina all waged blatant power grabs after Democrats won major statewide elections in 2016 and 2018

Republicans' new motto now seems to be "if you can't beat 'em, strip 'em of all their power."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.