Shallenburger to leave top GOP post
Here are today's headlines from Kansas government:
(LJW) Shallenburger won't lead Republicans in 2007: Kansas Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger said Monday he will not lead the party next year. "I'm not running again," said Shallenburger of Baxter Springs. He said he would notify party officials soon in a letter. Even though Republicans hold a sizable advantage in registered voters, the GOP was dealt a major setback at the polls in the November election. Republican Attorney Gen. Phill Kline was defeated in a landslide by Republican-turned-Democrat Paul Morrison, and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, easily won re-election.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
(AP) Sebelius to lead Democratic governors: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will assume the chairmanship of the Democratic Governors Association next year as the party enjoys its first gubernatorial majority in 12 years, officials said Monday. Sebelius, who was elected to a second term last month, will succeed New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging an official announcement Wednesday.
(Arizona Republic) Innovation conference Tuesday: Governors, educators, business leaders and others will meet in Phoenix on Tuesday and Wednesday to kick off the Innovation America Initiative, an effort to maximize innovation to meet the challenges of the global economy. Gov. Janet Napolitano, chairwoman of the National Governors Association and co-chair of Innovation America, will host the meeting. Also featured will be Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, vice chairman of the NGA and co-chairman of Immigration America; and Govs. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Matt Blunt of Missouri and Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah.
(LJW) House GOP picks conservative to lead: House Republicans on Monday elected as speaker conservative Melvin Neufeld, who said one of his top priorities will be addressing the issue of massive repairs at state universities. The election of Neufeld caps a long, colorful and controversial career in the House. And even though the November election results produced a more moderate House, the Republican caucus went further to the right in selecting Neufeld, who was seen as the most conservative of the three speaker candidates, which included Mike O'Neal of Hutchinson and Kenny Wilk of Lansing.
Here is the leadership lineup for the 2007 legislative session that starts Jan. 8:
House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls. Defeated Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, and Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing.
House Speaker Pro Tem Don Dahl, R-Hillsboro. Defeated Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie.
House Majority Leader Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell. Defeated Clay Aurand, R-Courtland.
House Assistant Majority Leader Jene Vickrey, R-Louisburg. Defeated Lana Gordon, R-Topeka.
House Majority Whip Rob Olson, R-Olathe. No opposition.
House Republican Caucus Chairman Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard. No opposition.
House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, D-Greensburg.
House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita.
House Minority Whip Eber Phelps, D-Hays.
House Democrat Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence.
House Minority Agenda Chairwoman Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth.
House Policy Chairman Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.
There were no contested races in the House Democratic caucus.
(Kansas City Business Journal) JoCo legislator resigns to run leadership center: Rep. Ed O'Malley, a Johnson County Republican who won re-election to the Kansas House last month, will resign his seat to become the Kansas Leadership Center's first president and CEO. He will begin his new position with the Wichita-based center in January. Republican precinct committee members from his district will choose his successor. "It did develop quickly," O'Malley told the Wichita Business Journal, a publication affiliated with the Kansas City Business Journal. "This was not in the plan, but it wasn't an opportunity I could pass up. It seemed like a way to continue my passion for Kansas."
(Topeka Capital-Journal) House Speaker Doug Mays proud of his legacy: Somewhere in today's political world, there is room for a little civility. At least, that is what Doug Mays thinks. And on his way out the door as speaker of the Kansas House, he isn't shy in believing he brought some civility back to the Legislature during his four years as its top leader. He talks about the partisan rancor and sometimes unprofessional conduct that radiated from the House chamber before he took control in 2003. And he talks about how Democrats and Republicans since then -- although their broad philosophical differences remain -- at least have been able to talk to each other. "I think we were very successful in calming things down in the House," said Mays, who will see his successor appointed by House Republicans on Monday. "The whole environment was improved. I certainly hope that continues. That was my proudest accomplishment."