Kathleen Sebelius

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Posted by sonny 04/17/2009 @ 01:11

Tags : kathleen sebelius, department of health and human services, white house, government, politics

News headlines
Secretary Sebelius, Sesame Street's Elmo Team Up to Announce New ... - International Business Times
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be joined by Elmo from Sesame Street on Friday, May 22, at 11:00 am, at a local daycare center, to unveil a national public service advertising...
Feds say California can cut pay for home-healthcare workers - MiamiHerald.com
Schwarzenegger made the announcement in Washington after meeting privately with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In a letter to Schwarzenegger, the department said the state remains eligible to receive another $8 billion in...
US Preparing for Possible H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic - Voice of America
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius says everyone must cooperate in this activity because disease knows no borders. A debate is raging at the World Health Assembly as to whether the WHO should raise its international influenza...
Sebelius Says International Response Needed to Combat Swine Flu - RTT News
(RTTNews) - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressed the World Health Assembly Plenary Session in Geneva on Monday, where she outlined the efforts the US has taken to combat swine flu. According to Sebelius, the US has...
New Kansas governor reverses Sebelius on coal-fired plant - The State
The compromise allows Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build one 895-megawatt coal-fired power plant near Holcomb, instead of two 700-megawatt plants that were repeatedly blocked by Kathleen Sebelius when she was governor. In exchange for the go-ahead...
Sebelius Relishes "Breakthrough Moment" - CBS News
The health care system in the United States may seem sickly, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius viewed Monday's meeting of industry leaders and politicians as a strong dose of good medicine. It was a "breakthrough moment,"...
Holder, Sebelius to Announce New Initiative to Fight Medicare ... - SYS-CON Media (press release)
WASHINGTON , May 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will announce a new initiative to fight Medicare fraud and protect taxpayer dollars on WEDNESDAY, MAY 20,...
HHS Secy Sebelius Defends Public Plan, Tax Exclusion - Wall Street Journal
By Patrick Yoest Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--In her first appearance before Congress as Health and Human Service Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius made strong statements in favor of creating a government health insurance option to compete...
Obama Remarks on the Swearing-In Ceremony for Sebelius - Washington Post
I am thrilled to have Kathleen Sebelius as my new Secretary of Health and Human Services. Obviously, we have a lot to do to make sure that health care is affordable for the American people, to deal with critical issues like food safety....
Pelosi and Sebelius are examples of Trinity's Catholic education ... - Catholic News Agency
When she sat here 39 years ago, I'm sure that Kathleen Gilligan never imagined that one day she'd be called Secretary Sebelius at Health and Human Services," McGuire surmised. According to the Trinity University president, "what motivated each of these...

Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius (born Kathleen Gilligan on May 15, 1948) is an American politician currently serving as the 44th Governor of Kansas. She is the second female governor of Kansas, the Democratic respondent to the 2008 State of the Union address, and chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors Association. She is President Barack Obama's choice to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sebelius was born Kathleen Gilligan and raised in a Roman Catholic family in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended the Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, followed by Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., and later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas. She moved to Kansas in 1974, where she served for eight years as a representative in the Kansas Legislature and eight years as Insurance Commissioner before being elected governor.

Sebelius is the daughter of former Ohio Governor Democrat John J. Gilligan, and thus they became the first father/daughter governor pair in the United States after her election. Her husband K. Gary Sebelius is a federal magistrate judge and the son of former U.S. Representative Keith Sebelius, a Republican. They have two sons. She also visits her childhood and current vacation home, located in Leland, Michigan, north of Traverse City, Michigan.

Sebelius defeated Republican Tim Shallenburger in the 2002 election by a vote of 53%-45%. She was called one of America's five best governors in a 2005 article in Time magazine. Since winning the election, Sebelius has successfully built upon her popularity and, as of January 2006, was tied for the 12th most popular governor in the country.

On May 26, 2006 Sebelius formally announced her candidacy for re-election. Four days later, Mark Parkinson, former Kansas state GOP Party Chair, switched his party affiliation to Democrat; the following day Sebelius announced that Parkinson would be her running mate for Lieutenant Governor. Parkinson had previously served in the state House during 1991–1992 and the Senate during 1993–1997. Parkinson was viewed as a pro-business moderate who strongly supported public education. This was somewhat reminiscent of the fact that John Moore had also been a Republican, before switching just days prior to joining Sebelius as her running mate.

She was challenged by Republican Kansas State Senator Jim Barnett. A September 1 Rasmussen poll showed Sebelius with an 11 percent lead over Barnett. Other polls gave Sebelius as much as a 20 percent lead. As of 2004, 50 percent of Kansas voters were registered Republicans, compared to 27 percent as registered Democrats. Sebelius, nevertheless, won a landslide re-election – with 57.8 percent – of the vote to Barnett's 40.5 percent. Because of Kansas's term limit law, her second term as Governor is her last.

In February 2009, during Sebelius's second term in office, there was a report in the Wichita Eagle that the State of Kansas was suspending tax refunds and that because of a lack of tax revenue, may not have been able to meet payroll for state employees. Sebelius called for issuing certificates of indebtedness, moving funds from various state agency accounts into the general fund to alleviate the crisis. However, Republican leaders in the legislature did not agree with her certificate of indebtedness plan, saying the state would be unable to repay the certificates unless Sebelius issued allotments or signed a budget rescission bill that had been passed by the legislature but had not yet been delivered to her desk. The standoff ended when the budget arrived, and Sebelius agreed to sign it, although she line-item vetoed several cuts she felt were too large. The rescission bill reduced the budget by about $300 million. $7 million of the cuts came in the form of reduced educational funding.

In 2001 Sebelius was named as one of Governing Magazine's Public Officials of the Year while she was serving as Kansas Insurance Commissioner.

In November 2005, Time named Sebelius as one of the five best governors in America, praising her for eliminating a $1.1 billion debt she inherited, ferreting out waste in state government, and strongly supporting public education – all without raising taxes, although she proposed raising sales, property, and income taxes. Also praised was her bipartisan approach to governing, a useful trait in a state where Republicans have usually controlled the Legislature.

The Cato Institute (a libertarian think tank) gave Sebelius the grade of "D," citing the combination of rapid spending growth and proposed tax increases.

In February 2006, the White House Project named Sebelius one of its "8 in '08," a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run and/or be elected president in 2008.

During the 2004 election, Sebelius was named as a potential running mate for John Kerry. In the aftermath of Kerry's defeat, some pundits named Sebelius as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. After Barack Obama's clinching of the nomination in June 2008, speculation that she would be a contender for the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic ticket continued. The Washington Post listed her as the top prospect for the 2008 nomination. James Carville and Bob Novak also mentioned Sebelius's name, and Wesley Clark, also considered a potential running mate, publicly endorsed Sebelius, referring to her as "the next vice-president of the United States." Speculation that the Vice Presidential nomination lay in her future was heightened by the fact that she was chosen by the Democratic Party's congressional leaders to give their party's official response to Republican President George W. Bush's 2008 State of the Union Address. The next day, she endorsed Obama's campaign, one week before the Kansas caucus on Super Tuesday. Obama won the caucus easily, with 74% support.

Speculation on her Vice Presidential selection intensified when a report from political ad agency insider, Tribble Ad Agency, reported on its website that the Obama Campaign owned the domain name "ObamaSebelius.COM" through the GoDaddy.com registration service. However, just after midnight on August 23, it was reported by the Associated Press that Obama ultimately selected Joe Biden, the senior senator from Delaware, as his running mate.

Sebelius was considered to be on the short list for nomination to a position in Obama's Cabinet, but she officially withdrew her name from consideration on December 6, 2008. Following Bill Richardson's withdrawal as Obama's nomination for Secretary of Commerce, there was media speculation that Sebelius would be chosen as the new nominee. Through a spokesperson, Sebelius reiterated her earlier statement that she would not consider accepting a nomination to the Cabinet position. Sebelius's name was again floated as a replacement for Tom Daschle, who withdrew as Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services-designate over tax issues. The governor at first did not publicly comment on whether or not she would be interested in accepting the position. On February 28, 2009, the British wire agency Reuters reported that Sebelius had accepted the president's offer to become Secretary of Health and Human Services and that she would be nominated on March 2.

Following Senator Sam Brownback's announcement that he will not seek re-election to the Senate, and will instead run for Governor of Kansas in the 2010 elections, Sebelius was one of several people that media outlets speculated would run for the open United States Senate seat in 2010. However, her likely confirmation to the presidential cabinet of Barack Obama could prevent her from running for election to the Senate seat.

Sebelius is a former chair of the Democratic Governors Association, a popular launchpad for those with national political ambitions.

On February 28, 2009, it was reported that Sebelius had accepted Barack Obama's nomination for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. On March 2, 2009, Barack Obama officially announced Governor Sebelius as his nominee. At Obama's announcement, Sebelius was accompanied by two Kansas Republicans, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and current U.S. Senator Pat Roberts. Though she is expected to be confirmed, anti-abortion advocates have already begun to denounce the appointment and pro-life members in the Senate are most likely to be her main opposition.

During the vetting process for this position, in March 2009 she admitted to "unintentional errors" in tax returns and paid nearly $8,000 in back taxes. She took unduly large deductions in areas that included: charitable contributions, the sale of a home, and business expenses.

In answer to questions from the Senate Finance Committee during her April 2009 confirmation hearing, Sebelius stated she received $12,450 between 1994 and 2001 from physician George Tiller. The Associated Press, however, reported that from 2000 to 2002 Tiller gave at least $23,000 more to a political action committee Sebelius established to raise money for Democrats while she was serving as state insurance commissioner.

Sebelius's office states that abortions have declined 8.5 percent during her tenure as governor. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment statistics, the number of induced abortions in Kansas declined by 1,568, or 12.6 percent, from 2001 to 2007, the year of the most recently available statistics. Her administration attributes the decline to health care reforms that Sebelius initiated, including "adoption incentives, extended health services for pregnant women..., sex education and... a variety of support services for families." Nationally, the number of abortions declined approximately 7.6 percent from 2000 to 2005, the year of the most recently available and reliable U.S. statistics.

Sebelius has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and they have conducted fundraising activity on her behalf. Sebelius vetoed anti-abortion legislation in Kansas in 2003, 2005, 2006, and again in 2008.

Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann asked that Sebelius no longer receive Holy Communion because of her position on abortion. Naumann criticized Sebelius for vetoing HS SB 389. The action received mixed reviews in the Catholic press.

In September 2005, physician George Tiller won a reception at Cedar Crest, the official residence of the Governor, at an auction benefiting the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus. Pro-life commentators in Kansas have publicly criticized Sebelius' HHS nomination, accusing her of taking campaign donations from Tiller, who is the medical director of an abortion clinic in Wichita.

Early in the term, Sebelius made education funding her top priority. Education funding reached a breaking point in the summer of 2005 when the Kansas Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to increase K–12 funding. Sebelius offered one education funding plan early in her first term which consisted of property, sales, and income tax increases. Resulting in 2006 in the largest K–12 education funding increase in the history of the state. The three-year plan aimed to increase education funding by nearly $1 billion over three years but did not give a funding source for the second and third years.

Sebelius chairs the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition. In 2006 she requested that $200 million be allotted from the US government to support the Department of Energy Biomass and Biorefinery Systems Research and Development Program.

She pushed for more widespread recycling efforts across the state. In addition, she vetoed bills authorizing the construction of coal-fired power plants on three separate occasions saying in March 2008, "We know that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. As an agricultural state, Kansas is particularly vulnerable. Therefore, reducing pollutants benefits our state not only in the short term – but also for generations of Kansans to come." On June 2, 2008, Sebelius spoke at the American Wind Energy Association Conference, calling for greater federal support for wind energy and other renewable energy resources.

Sebelius vetoed, like her Republican predecessor Bill Graves, a concealed carry law that would have allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons after obtaining a state permit and passing an FBI background check. The veto left Kansas, at the time, as one of four states without any form of a conceal-carry law.

On March 21, 2006, she vetoed Senate Bill 418, a similar concealed-carry bill. On March 25, Sebelius's veto was overturned after the Kansas House of Representatives voted 91–33 to override it. This followed the Kansas Senate's 30-10 override vote, which occurred the day after her veto.

On April 21, 2008, Sebelius signed Senate Bill 46 into law, which repealed a 1933 state law prohibiting civilian ownership of machine guns and other firearms restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934, specifically permitting ownership by civilians successfully meeting the requirements of the NFA. The law was passed in part to address legal issues that could have prevented dealers from delivering firearms to law enforcement agencies in Kansas. The law took effect on July 1, 2008.

Sebelius did not support an April 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution that made same-sex marriage in the state unconstitutional. Sebelius said she supported the existing state law outlawing same-sex marriage, viewing it as sufficient, and therefore opposed the constitutional amendment. The amendment passed with 70 percent voter approval.

Sebelius is an opponent of capital punishment. During her first term, the Kansas capital punishment laws were declared unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court. However, on appeal by Kansas's then-Attorney General Phill Kline, the ruling was again overturned and the current law reinstated by the United States Supreme Court.

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United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

United States Department of Health and Human Services Seal

The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services is the head of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, concerned with health matters. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet.

In 1979, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was split into the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education. The final Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare was Patricia Roberts Harris, who was also the first Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The duties of the secretary revolve around human conditions and concerns in the United States. This includes advising the President on matters of health, welfare, and income security programs. It strives to administer the department of Health and Human Services to carry out approved programs and make the public aware of the objectives of the department.

The secretary must be confirmed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and also by the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid.

After the attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks, the position has held a unique significance in the War on Terrorism. Upon his departure, then-Secretary Tommy Thompson remarked "I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do..." Scholars concur, arguing that an attack on food (particularly milk) could affect approximately 100,000 people.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is President Barack Obama's choice to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.Charlie Johnson is presently Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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Wesley Clark

General Wesley Clark official photograph.jpg

Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., KBE (born December 23, 1944) is a retired general of the United States Army. Clark was valedictorian of his class at West Point, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master's degree in military science. He spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.

Clark joined the 2004 race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination as a candidate on September 17, 2003, but withdrew from the primary race on February 11, 2004, after winning the Oklahoma state primary, endorsing and campaigning for the eventual Democratic nominee, John Kerry. Clark currently leads a political action committee — "WesPAC: Securing America" — which was formed after the primaries, and used it to support numerous Democratic Party candidates in the 2006 midterm elections. Clark was considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2008, but, on September 15, 2007, endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton. After Clinton dropped out of the Presidential race, Clark endorsed the then-presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

Clark's paternal great-grandfather was a Belarusian Jew who immigrated to the United States in response to the Pale of Settlement and anti-Semitic violence from Russian pogroms. Clark's father, Benjamin J. Kanne, graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as an ensign during World War I, although he was never assigned to a combat mission. Kanne, living in Chicago, Illinois, became involved with ward politics in the 1920s as a prosecutor and served in local offices. He went on to serve as a delegate to the 1932 Democratic National Convention that nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt as the party's presidential candidate (though his name does not appear on the published roll of convention delegates).

Clark was born Wesley Kanne in Chicago on December 23, 1944. His father Benjamin died on December 6, 1948, following which his mother then moved the family to Little Rock, Arkansas. This move was made for a variety of reasons, including escaping the greater cost of living in a large city such as Chicago, the support Veneta's family in Arkansas could provide, and her feeling of being an outsider to the remaining Kanne family as she did not share their religion. Once in Little Rock, Veneta married Viktor Clark, whom she met while working as a secretary for a local bank. Viktor raised Wesley as his son, and officially adopted him on Wesley's 16th birthday. Wesley's name was changed to Wesley Kanne Clark. Viktor Clark's name actually replaced that of Wesley's biological father on his birth certificate, something Wesley would later say that he wished they had not done. Veneta raised Wesley without telling him of his Jewish ancestry to protect him from the anti-Semitic activities of the Ku Klux Klan occurring in the South at the time. Although his mother was Methodist, Clark chose a Baptist church after moving to Little Rock and continued attending it throughout his childhood.

He graduated from Hall High School with a National Merit Scholarship, and helped take their swim team to the state championship, filling in for a sick teammate by swimming two legs of a relay. Clark has often repeated the anecdote that he decided he wanted to go to West Point after meeting a cadet with glasses who told Clark (who wore glasses as well) that one did not need perfect vision to attend West Point as Clark had thought. Clark applied, and was accepted on April 24, 1962.

Clark's military career began July 2, 1962 when he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Clark later said an important influence on his view of the military came from Douglas MacArthur's famous "Duty, honor, country" speech given to the class of 1962, only months before Clark entered West Point. A recording of the speech was played for Clark's class when they first arrived.

Clark sat in the front in many of his classes, a position held by the highest performer in class. Clark participated heavily in debate, was consistently within the top 5% of his class as a whole (earning him a "Distinguished Cadet" patch on his uniform), and ultimately graduated as valedictorian of West Point. The valedictorian is first to choose which career field of the Army to serve in, and Clark selected armor. He met Gertrude Kingston, his future wife, at a USO dance for midshipmen and West Point cadets.

Clark eventually applied for a Rhodes Scholarship and learned in December of his senior year at West Point that he had been accepted. He spent his summer at the United States Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Clark worked in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program during his Rhodes Scholarship, completing his degree at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in August 1968. While he was at Oxford, a Jewish cousin of Clark's who lived in England telephoned Clark and informed him of his Jewish heritage (after asking his mother if she would allow it). Clark spent three months after graduation at Fort Knox, Kentucky, going through Armor Officer Basic Course, then went on to Ranger School at Fort Benning. He was promoted to captain and was assigned as commander of the A Company of the 4th Battalion, 68th Armor, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Clark was assigned a position in the 1st Infantry Division and flew to Vietnam on May 21, 1969 during the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He worked as a staff officer, collecting data and helping in operations planning, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the staff. Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. The wounded Clark shouted orders to his men, who counterattacked and defeated the Viet Cong force. Clark had injuries to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip, and right leg, and was sent to Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the encounter.

Clark had converted to Catholicism, his wife Gertrude's religion, while in Vietnam. He saw his son, Wesley Clark, Jr., for the first time while at the Valley Forge Hospital. Clark commanded C Company, 6th Battalion, 32nd Armor, 194th Armored Brigade, a company composed entirely of wounded soldiers, at Fort Knox. Clark has said this command is what made him decide to continue his military career past the four-year commitment required by West Point, which would have concluded in 1971. Clark completed his Armor Officer Advanced Course while at Fort Knox, taking additional elective courses and writing an article that won the Armor Association Writing Award. His next posting was to the office of the Army Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C., where he worked in the "Modern Volunteer Army" program from May to July 1971. He then served as an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point for three years from July 1971 to 1974.

Clark graduated from the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), earning his military Master of Arts degree in military science from the CGSC with a thesis on American policies of gradualism in the Vietnam War. Clark's theory was one of applying force swiftly, which was being advocated by many soldiers at the time, a concept that would eventually become established as U.S. national security policy in the form of the Weinberger Doctrine and its successor, the Powell Doctrine. Clark was promoted to major upon his graduation from the CGSC.

In 1975, Clark was appointed a White House Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a special assistant to its director, James Thomas Lynn. He was one of only 14 appointed out of 2,307 applicants. Lynn also gave Clark a six-week assignment to assist John Marsh, then a counselor to the President. Clark was approached during his fellowship to help push for a memorial to Vietnam veterans. He worked with the movement that ultimately helped lead to the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Clark took two commands with the 1st Armored Division based in Germany from August 1976 to February 1978, first over the 3rd Battalion 35th Armor and then the entire 3rd Brigade. Clark's brigade commander while in the former position said Clark was "singularly outstanding, notably superb." Regarding his term as brigade commander, one of his battalion commanders called Clark the "most brilliant and gifted officer ever known." He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his work with the division.

The brigade commander had also said that "word of Major Clark's exceptional talent spread", and in one case reached the desk of then Supreme Allied Commander Alexander Haig. Haig personally selected Clark to serve as a special assistant on his staff, a post he held from February 1978 to June 1979. While on staff at SHAPE, Clark wrote policy reports and coordinated two multinational military exercises. As a result of his work on Haig's staff, Clark was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit. After his European post, he moved on to Fort Carson, Colorado where he served first as the executive officer of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from August 1979 to February 1980, then as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, 4th Infantry Division from February 1980 to July 1982. According to the American journalist David Halberstam, the commander at Fort Carson had a reputation of disliking West Point graduates and fast-rising officers such as Clark. After two years of not making the list to rise from battalion commander to brigade commander, Clark decided to attend the National War College. After studying there from June 1982 to 1983, Clark graduated and was promoted to full colonel in October 1983.

Following his graduation, Clark worked in Washington, D.C. from July 1983 to 1984 in the offices of the Chief and Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army, and earned a second Legion of Merit for his work. He then served as the Operations Group commander at the Fort Irwin Military Reservation from August 1984 to June 1986. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit and a Meritorious Service Medal for his work at Fort Irwin, and was then given a brigade command at Fort Carson in 1986. He commanded the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry there from April 1986 to March 1988. Veneta Clark, Wesley's mother, fell ill as he began this command and died on Mother's Day in 1986. After Fort Carson, Clark returned to the Command and General Staff College to direct and further develop the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) there until October 1989. The BCTP was created to teach senior officers war-fighting skills, according to the commanding general at the time. Then on November 1, 1989 Clark became a general with his promotion to brigadier general.

Clark returned to Fort Irwin and commanded the National Training Center (NTC) from October 1989 to 1991. The Gulf War occurred during Clark's command, and many National Guard divisional round-out brigades trained under his command. Multiple generals commanding American forces in Iraq and Kuwait said Clark's training helped bring about results in the field and that he had successfully begun training a new generation of the military that had moved past Vietnam-era strategy. He was awarded yet another Legion of Merit for his "personal efforts" that were "instrumental in maintaining" the NTC, according to the citation. He served in yet another planning post after this, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine, and Developments at Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia. While there, he helped the commanding general of TRADOC prepare the army for war and develop new post-Cold War strategies. One of Clark's major pushes was for technological advancement in the army to establish a digital network for military command that Clark called the "digitization of the battlefield." Clark was promoted to Major General in October 1992 at the end of this command.

Clark's divisional command came with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Clark was in command during three separate deployments of forces from Fort Hood for peacekeeping in Kuwait.

His final Officer Evaluation Report for his command at Fort Hood called him "one of the Army's best and brightest"; Clark was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his work at Fort Hood and was promoted to lieutenant general at the end of his command in April 1994. Clark's next assignment was an appointment as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), from April 1994 to June 1996.

Clark began planning work for responses to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina upon his appointment in 1994 as the Director, Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) on the JCS staff. While collecting information to outline military options for resolving the conflict, Clark met with Bosnian Serb military leaders including Ratko Mladić, who was later accused of war crimes and genocide. Clark was photographed exchanging hats with Mladić, and the photo drew controversy in the United States. A Washington Post story was published claiming Clark had made the visit despite a warning from the U.S. ambassador. Some Clinton administration members privately said the incident was "like cavorting with Hermann Göring." Clark had actually listed the visit in the itinerary he submitted to the ambassador, but says he learned only afterwards that the visit had never been approved. He also said there had been no warning and no one had told him to cancel the visit, although two Congressmen called for Clark's dismissal regardless. Clark later said he regretted the exchange, and the issue was ultimately resolved as President Clinton sent a letter defending Clark to the Congress and the controversy subsided. Clark said it was his "first experience in the rough and tumble of high visibility... and a painful few days." Conservative pundit Robert Novak later referred to the hat exchange in a column during Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, citing it as a "problem" with Clark as a candidate.

Clark was sent to Bosnia by Secretary of Defense William Perry to serve as the military advisor to a diplomatic negotiating team headed by assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke later described Clark's position as "complicated" because while it presented him with future possibilities it "might put him into career-endangering conflicts with more senior officers." While the team was driving along a mountain road during the first week, the road gave way, and one of the vehicles fell over a cliff carrying passengers including Holbrooke's deputy, Robert Frasure, a deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, Joseph Kruzel, and Air Force Colonel Nelson Drew. Clark and Holbrooke attempted to crawl down the mountain, but were driven back by sniper fire. Once the fire ceased, Clark rappelled down the mountain to collect the bodies of two dead Americans left by Bosnian forces that had taken the remaining wounded to a nearby hospital. After returning to Washington D.C. for funeral services, the negotiations continued and the team eventually reached the Dayton Agreement at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and later signed it in Paris on December 14, 1995.

Clark returned to the European theater and the Balkans following his USSOUTHCOM position when he was appointed to U.S. European Command in the summer of 1997 by President Clinton. He was, as with SOUTHCOM, not the original nominee for the position. The Army had already selected another general for the post. Because President Clinton and General Shalikashvili believed Clark was the best man for the post, Clark eventually got the nomination. Shalikashvili noted he "had a very strong role in last two jobs." Clark noted during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services committee of the 105th Congress that he believed NATO had shifted since the end of the Cold War from protecting Europe from the Soviet Union to working towards more general stability in the region. Clark also addressed issues related to his then-current command of USSOUTHCOM, such as support for the School of the Americas and his belief that the United States must continue aid to some South American nations to effectively fight the War on Drugs. Clark was quickly confirmed by a voice vote the same day as his confirmation hearing, giving him the command of 109,000 American troops, their 150,000 family members, 50,000 civilians aiding the military, and all American military activities in 89 countries and territories of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The position made Clark the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), which granted him overall command of NATO military forces in Europe.

The largest event of Clark's tenure as SACEUR was NATO's confrontation with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the Kosovo War. The United Nations Security Council introduced Resolution 1199 calling for an end to hostilities in Kosovo, and Richard Holbrooke again tried to negotiate a peace. This process came to an unsuccessful end, however, following the Račak incident. Then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright tried to force Yugoslavia into allowing separation of Kosovo with the Rambouillet Agreement, which Yugoslavia refused. Clark was at the Rambouillet talks and tried to convince Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milošević by telling him "there's an activation order. And if they tell me to bomb you, I'm going to bomb you good." Clark later said Milošević launched into an emotional tirade against Albanians and said that they'd been "handled" in the 1940s by killing large numbers of them.

Clark started the bombings codenamed Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999 on orders to try and enforce UN Resolution 1199 following Yugoslavia's refusal of the Rambouillet Agreement. However, critics note that Resolution 1199 was a call for cessation of hostilities and does not authorize any organization to take military action. Secretary of Defense William Cohen felt that Clark had powerful allies at the White House such as President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that were allowing him to circumvent The Pentagon in promoting his strategic ideas, while Clark felt he was not being included enough in discussions with the National Command Authority, leading Clark to describe himself as "just a NATO officer who also reported to the United States". This command conflict came to a ceremonial head when Clark was not initially invited to a summit in Washington, D.C. to commemorate NATO's 50th anniversary, despite being its supreme military commander. Clark eventually secured an invitation to the summit, but was told by Cohen to say nothing about ground troops, and Clark agreed.

Operation Allied Force experienced another problem when NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999. The operation had been organized against numerous Serbian targets, including "Target 493, the Federal Procurement and Supply Directorate Headquarters", although the intended target building was actually 300 meters away from the targeted area. The embassy was located at this mistaken target, and three Chinese journalists were killed. Clark's intelligence officer called Clark taking full responsibility and offering to resign, but Clark declined, saying it was not the officer's fault. Secretary Cohen and CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility the next day. Tenet would later explain in testimony before the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on July 22, 1999 that the targeting system used street addresses, which gave inaccurate positions for air bombings and that the various databases of off-limit targets did not have the up-to-date address for the relatively new embassy location.

The bombing campaign was ended on June 10, 1999 on the order of Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana after Milošević complied with conditions the international community had set and Yugoslav forces began to withdraw from Kosovo. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 was adopted that same day, placing Kosovo under United Nations administration and authorizing a Kosovo peacekeeping force. NATO claimed to have suffered no combat deaths thus making Clark the first US general to win a war without losing a single soldier to combat. NATO did suffer two deaths overall; coming from an Apache helicopter crash that NATO attributed to engine failure. A F117a was downed near the village of Budjanovici. The bombing was noted for its high degree of accuracy, with estimated 495 civilian deaths and 820 wounded reported to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia as a result of the entire campaign. Yugoslavia estimated that number of civilians killed is higher than 2,000 and that more than 5,000 have been wounded. Human Rights Watch estimates the number of civilian deaths due to NATO bombings as somewhere between 488 and 527.

Milošević's term in office in Yugoslavia was coming to an end, and the elections that came on September 24, 2000 were protested due to allegations of fraud and rigged elections. This all came to a head on October 5 in the so-called Bulldozer Revolution. Milošević resigned on October 7. The Democratic Opposition of Serbia won a majority in parliamentary elections that December. Milošević was taken into custody on April 1, 2001, and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on June 28 to face charges of war crimes and genocide. Clark was called to testify in a closed session of Milošević's trial in December 2003. He testified on issues ranging from the Srebrenica massacre to conversations Clark had had with Milošević over his career. Some anti-war activist groups also label Clark and Bill Clinton (along with several others) as war criminals for NATO's entire bombing campaign, saying the entire operation was in violation of the NATO charter.

One of Clark's most debated decisions during his SACEUR command was his attempted operation at Pristina International Airport immediately after the end of the Kosovo War. Russian forces had arrived in Kosovo and were heading for the airport on June 12, 1999, two days after the bombing campaign ended, expecting to help police that section of Kosovo. Clark, on the other hand, had planned for the Kosovo Force to police the area. Clark called then-Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana, and was told "of course you have to get to the airport" and "you have transfer of authority" in the area. The British commander of the Kosovo Force, General Mike Jackson, however refused to block the Russians through military action reportedly saying "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you." Jackson has said he refused to take action because he did not believe it was worth the risk of a military confrontation with the Russians. American General Hugh Shelton called Jackson's refusal "troubling," and hearings in the United States Senate suggested it may amount to insubordination, with Senator John Warner suggesting holding hearings regarding whether the refusal was legal and potentially changing those rules if it was. British Chief of the Defence Staff Charles Guthrie, however, agreed with Jackson and told Clark this on the day Jackson refused the order. Russia eventually withdrew its aid when some nations - including Bulgaria and Romania - granted U.S. requests and disallowed Russian aircraft to fly over their territory, halting their ability to bring in reinforcements.

Clark received another call from General Shelton in July 1999 in which he was told that Secretary Cohen wanted Clark to leave his command in April 2000. Clark was surprised by this, as he saw SACEURs as being expected to serve at least 3 years and often asked to stay on for a 4th, while this date would give him less than 3 years of service at the post. Clark was told that this was necessary because General Joseph Ralston was leaving his post as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would need another 4-star command within 60 days or he would be forced to retire. Ralston was not going to be appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff due to an extramarital affair in his past, and the SACEUR position was said to be the last potential post for him. Clark said this explanation "didn't wash" because he believed the legalities could have been sorted out to let him serve a full 3 years. Clinton signed onto Ralston's reassignment, although David Halberstam wrote that both he and Madeleine Albright were angered at Clark's treatment. Clark spent the remainder of his time as SACEUR overseeing peacekeeper forces and, without a new command to take, was forced into retirement from the military on May 2, 2000.

Rumors persisted that Clark was forced out due to his contentious relationship with some in Washington D.C.; however, he has dismissed such rumors, calling it a "routine personnel action," and the Department of Defense said it was merely a "general rotation of American senior ranks." However, a NATO ambassador told the International Herald Tribune that Clark's dismissal seemed to be a "political thing from the United States." General Hugh Shelton would say of Clark during his 2004 campaign that "the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote." Shelton never elaborated further on what these issues were.

Clark had earned an average of US$40,000 per year (not adjusted for inflation) over the course of his military career and, according to The New York Times, retired with "precious little in the bank to show for years of public service." Clark set himself three initial goals in civilian life — to earn $40 million in the business world to let him practice philanthropy, to become an adjunct professor, and to become a professional golfer. Clark began a public speaking tour in the summer of 2000 and approached several former government officials for advice on work after life in government, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and Richard Holbrooke. Clark took McLarty's advice to move back to Little Rock, Arkansas, and took a position with the Stephens Group, an investment firm headquartered there. He took several other board positions at defense-related firms, and in March 2003 he amicably left the Stephens Group to found Wesley K. Clark & Associates. Clark began writing, publishing two books — Waging Modern War and Winning Modern Wars — along with writing the forewords for a series of military biographies, as well as a series of editorials. He had amassed only about $3.1 million towards his $40 million goal by 2003, but began considering running for public office instead of pursuing his business career.

Clark went on Meet the Press in June 2003 and said he was "seriously consider" running for president.

Clark announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary elections from Little Rock on September 17, 2003, months after the other candidates. He announced his candidacy, despite the fact that given his honorary knighthood, it would be illegal for him to seek public office, under Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. He acknowledged the influence of the Draft Clark movement, saying they "took an inconceivable idea and made it conceivable". The campaign raised $3.5 million in the first two weeks. The internet campaign would also establish the Clark Community Network of blogs, which is still used today and made heavy use of Meetup.com, where DraftWesleyClark.com had established the second-largest community of Meetups at the time.

Clark's loyalty to the Democratic Party was questioned by some as soon as he entered the race. Senator Joe Lieberman called Clark's party choice a matter of "political convenience, not conviction." Republican Governor Bill Owens of Colorado and University of Denver president Marc Holtzman have claimed Clark once said "I would have been a Republican if Karl Rove had returned my phone calls." Clark later claimed he was simply joking, but both Owens and Holtzman said the remark was delivered "very directly" and "wasn't a joke." Katharine Q. Seelye wrote that many believed Clark had only chosen to be a Democrat in 2004 because it was "the only party that did not have a nominee." On May 11, 2001, Clark also delivered a speech to the Pulaski County Republican Party in Arkansas saying he was "very glad we've got the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Paul O'Neill — people I know very well — our president George W. Bush." U.S. News and World Report ran a story two weeks later claiming Clark had considered some form of political run as a Republican.

Clark, coming from a non-political background, had no position papers to define his agenda for the public. Once in the campaign, however, several volunteers established a network of connections with the media, and Clark began to explain his stances on a variety of issues. He was, as he had told The Washington Post in October, pro-choice and pro-affirmative action. He called for a repeal of recent Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $200,000 and suggested providing healthcare for the uninsured by altering the current system rather than transferring to a completely new universal health care system. He backed environmental causes such as promising to reverse "scaled down rules" the Bush administration had applied to the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and dealing with the potential effects of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, livestock flatulence and other sources. Clark also proposed a global effort to strengthen American relations with other nations, reviewing the PATRIOT Act, and investing $100 billion in homeland security. Finally, he put out a budget plan that claimed to save $2.35 trillion over ten years through a repeal of the Bush tax cuts, sharing the cost of the Iraq War with other nations, and cutting government waste.

Another media incident started during the New Hampshire primary September 27, 2003, when Clark was asked by space shuttle astronaut Jay C. Buckey what his vision for the space program was after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Clark responded he was a great believer in the exploration of space but wanted a vision well beyond that of a new shuttle or space plane. "I would like to see mankind get off this planet. I'd like to know what's out there beyond the solar system." Clark thought such a vision could probably require a lifetime of research and development in various fields of science and technology. Then at the end of his remarks, Clark dropped a bombshell when he said "I still believe in E = mc². But I can't believe that in all of human history we'll never ever be able to go beyond the speed of light to reach where we want to go. I happen to believe that mankind can do it. I've argued with physicists about it. I've argued with best friends about it. I just have to believe it. It's my only faith-based initiative." This led to a series of headlines deriding the response, such as "Beam Us Up, General Clark" in The New York Times, "Clark is Light-Years Ahead of the Competition" in The Washington Post, "General Relativity (Retired)" on the U.S. News & World Report website, and "Clark Campaigns at Light Speed" in Wired magazine.

Clark campaigned heavily throughout the 2006 midterm election campaign, supporting numerous Democrats in a variety of federal, statewide, and state legislature campaigns. Ultimately his PAC aided 42 Democratic candidates who won their elections, including 25 who won seats formerly held by Republicans and 6 newly elected veteran members of the House and Senate. Clark was the most-requested surrogate of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee throughout the 2006 campaign, and sometimes appeared with the leadership of the Democratic Party when they commented on security issues.

Clark has opposed taking military action against Iran and in January 2007 he criticized what he called "New York money people" pushing for a war. This led to accusations of antisemitism.

Clark serves on the Advisory Boards of the Global Panel Foundation and the National Security Network.

Clark was mentioned as a potential 2008 presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket before endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. Before that time, he was ranked within the top Democratic candidates according to some Internet polls. After endorsing Hillary Clinton, Clark campaigned for her in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio and in campaign commercials. After Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination Clark voiced his support for Obama. Clark was considered to be one of Obama's possible vice-presidential running mates. Clark, however, publicly endorsed Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius for the position, introducing her as "the next Vice President of the United States" at a June 2008 fundraiser in Texas. Obama eventually selected Joe Biden as his running mate.

Wesley Clark has been awarded numerous honors, awards, and knighthoods over the course of his military and civilian career. Notable military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star with an oak leaf cluster. Internationally Clark has received numerous military honors such as the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Grand Cross of the Medal of Military Merit from Portugal and knighthoods. Clark has been awarded some honors as a civilian, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. The people of Đakovica, Kosovo named a street after him for his role in helping their city and country. The city of Madison in Alabama has also named a boulevard after Clark. Municipal approval has been granted for the construction of a new street to be named "General Clark Court" in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has also been appointed a Fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA. He is a member of the guiding coalition of the Project on National Security Reform.

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Sam Brownback

Sam Brownback

Samuel Dale Brownback (born September 12, 1956) is the senior United States Senator from the U.S. state of Kansas. During 2007, he was a candidate in the Republican primaries for the 2008 Presidential election. He has announced that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in 2010, and is expected to run for Governor of Kansas in the 2010 election.

Sam Brownback was born in Parker, Kansas to Nancy and Robert Brownback. He was raised in a farming family in Parker, Kansas; his ancestors settled in Kansas after leaving Pennsylvania following the Civil War. Brownback was state president of Future Farmers of America, and was its national vice president from 1976 to 1977. While at Kansas State University, he was elected student body president and was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho. He received his J.D. from the University of Kansas in 1982.

After college, Brownback spent approximately a year working as a broadcaster; he hosted a weekly half-hour show.

He is married to the former Mary Stauffer, whose family owned and sold a successful media company in 1995. They have five children, including an adopted son and daughter. One of his daughters, Jenna, was adopted from China when she was two years old.

Brownback told Rolling Stone that he had moved from mainline Protestantism to evangelicalism before his 2002 conversion to Catholicism, and that in 1994 he became involved with The Fellowship, a conservative Christian U.S. political organization. Raised as a Methodist, Brownback later joined a nondenominational evangelical church, Topeka Bible Church, which he still regularly attends, even though in 2002, he converted to Catholicism. He joined the Church through Opus Dei priest Father C. John McCloskey in Washington DC. Brownback himself, however, is not a member of the Opus Dei organization.

Brownback was a cosponsor of the Constitution Restoration Act, which would have limited the power of federal courts to rule on church/state issues. Brownback told Rolling Stone that he chairs the Senate Values Action Team, an off-the-record weekly meeting of representatives from religious conservative organizations.

Brownback was an attorney in Manhattan, Kansas before becoming the Kansas secretary of agriculture in 1986. In 1990, he was accepted into the White House Fellow program and detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 1990 to 1991. Brownback then returned to Kansas to resume his position as secretary of agriculture and remained in that position until 1993. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1994, and next ran in the 1996 special election to replace Senator Bob Dole, who had resigned his seat during his presidential campaign, beating appointed Republican Sheila Frahm.

Brownback defeated U.S. Senator Sheila Frahm, who had been appointed to fill the seat of U.S. Senator Bob Dole in 1996, when Dole resigned in the middle of his term to campaign for president. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Jill Docking and was elected to a full term in the Senate in 1998. He won a five person re-election in the 2004 Senate election with 69% of the vote, defeating his Democratic challenger, Lee Jones, a former Washington, D.C. lobbyist.

Brownback is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee (where he chaired the Subcommittee on District of Columbia when the Republicans were in the majority), the Joint Economic Committee, and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. He is the current Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, which monitors compliance with international agreements reached in cooperation with Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Brownback has announced that he would not run for reelection in 2010, in accordance with his support of term limits for members of Congress. It has been rumored that Brownback may run for Governor of Kansas in the 2010 elections.

In 2000, Brownback and Congressman Chris Smith led the effort to enact the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). President Clinton signed the legislation in October 2000. According to Christianity Today, the stronger enforcement increased the number of U.S. federal trafficking cases eightfold in the five years after enactment.

In 2001 Brownback submitted S.1465, which authorized Presidential waivers for foreign aid to Pakistan. S.1465 passed by a unanimous unrecorded vote of Senators present. The Pakistani Government utilized the U.S. Foreign Aide, when received from the U.S. Government, in an attempt to bribe Mujahideen and Taliban Militants inside that country. Taliban Commanders and Mujahideen Commander Nek Mohammed openly admitted that they intended to use the foreign aid money to repay loans, which they had received from al Qaeda.

As of August 12, 2007, in the 110th Session of Congress, Brownback has missed 123 votes due to campaigning (39.7 percent) — surpassed only by Tim Johnson (D) of South Dakota who due to a critical illness has missed 100% of the votes of the 110th Session, and John McCain (R) of Arizona with 149 votes missed due to campaigning (48.1 percent).

As of 8-18-2008, Brownback has an approval rating of 56 percent, with 35 percent disapproving.

Brownback supports a bill that will introduce price transparency to the U.S. health care industry, as well as a bill which would require the disclosure of Medicare payment rate information.

Brownback is a controversial figure within Republican circles because his position on immigration is often in conflict with his conservative base. Brownback has a voting record tending toward higher immigration levels and strong refugee protection. Brownback was cosponsor of a 2005 bill of Ted Kennedy and John McCain's which would have created a legal path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already present. He has been criticized by Tom Tancredo for his support for Kennedy and McCain's latest immigration reform bill. Tancredo called him "an extreme opponent of getting tough on illegal immigration." Brownback responded that politicians "must protect our borders, enforce the law, provide legal means for people to work in the United States, and fix a broken system." On June 26, 2007, Brownback voted in favor of S. 1639, the Bush-Kennedy Immigration Amnesty Act of 2007 (officially "A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes."). Brownback supports increasing numbers of legal immigrants, building a fence on Mexican border, and the reform bill "if enforced." While he initially voted yes on giving guest workers a path to citizenship, he later switched his vote on cloture, voting "Nay" on June 28, 2007, after previously voting for cloture. Brownback has said that he supports immigration reform because the Bible says to welcome the stranger.

In December 2005, Brownback advocated using Washington, DC as a "laboratory" for a flat tax. He stated, "that making D.C. a test case would, with limited potential for negative impact, provide valuable data about the effects of a flat tax that would prove helpful in determining whether it should be applied nationwide." Some residents of the District believe that the proposed system of taxation would seem to only further what many believe to be the District's taxation without representation. DC mayor Anthony A. Williams said "Leaving aside the merits of this proposal, we continue to resist any efforts on the part of any member of Congress to impose rules and regulations on the people of the District." He was rated 100 percent by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. He voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment, supports reduction of money spending in federal budget and was rated 100 percent by CATO, indicating a pro-free trade voting record. He supports two-year limit on welfare benefits.

It does mean that there must be bipartisan agreement for our military commitment on Iraq. We cannot fight a war with the support of only one political party. And it does mean that the parties in Iraq — Sunni, Shi’a and Kurds — must get to a political agreement, to a political equilibrium. I think most people agree that a cut and run strategy does not serve our interest at all, nor those of the world, nor those of the region, nor those of the Iraqi people. So I invite my colleagues, all around, particularly on the other side of the aisle, to indicate what level of commitment they can support.

In May 2007 Brownback stated, "We have not lost war; we can win by pulling together" He voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq, voted NO on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding and voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007.

On June 7, 2007, Brownback voted against the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 when that bill came up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Brownback sits. (The bill was passed out of the committee by a vote of 11 to 8.) The bill aims to restore habeas corpus rights revoked by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Brownback visited refugee camps in Sudan in 2004 and returned to write a resolution labeling the Darfur conflict as genocide, and has been active on attempting to increase U.S. efforts to resolve the situation short of military intervention. He is an endorser of the Genocide Intervention Network, which called him a "champion of Darfur" in its Darfur scorecard, primarily for his early advocacy of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act.

In October 2007, Brownback announced his support for a plan designed by Benny Elon, chairman of Israel's rightwing nationalist NU - NRP party. Elon's positions include dismantling the Palestinian National Authority and refusing a two-state solution. Instead, Judea and Samaria will be annexed by Israel in their entirety, despite the fact that their their non-Jewish inhabitants will not gain citizenship in either Israel or a Palestinian state. Instead, they would be granted citizenship in neighbouring Jordan. Elon argues that this would complete the 1948 Palestinian exodus begun in the 1948 war. An article in Forward quotes Elon's spokesman, Uri Bank, as saying about the plan that it "is the completion of the transfer of population that began in 1948".

There's intelligence involved in the overall of creation. . .I don't think we're really at the point of teaching this in the classroom. I think what we passed in the U.S. Senate in 2002 the Santorum Amendment is really what we should be doing, and that is that you teach the controversy, you teach what is fact is fact, and what is theory is theory, and you move from that proceedings, rather than from teaching some sort of different thought. And this, I really think that's the area we should concentrate on at the present time, is teaching the controversy.

He has been closely allied to the Discovery Institute, hub of the intelligent design movement, and has argued extensively on their behalf during Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns such as the Santorum Amendment, Teach the Controversy, and the denial of tenure to Institute Fellow and design proponent Guillermo Gonzalez.

Brownback also stated he "could support a pro-choice nominee" to the presidency, because "this is a big coalition party." His voting record is rated zero percent by NARAL, since he has voted 100 percent pro-life. Brownback has stated that he supports a human life amendment or federal legislation ending abortion.

Brownback supports adult stem cell research and cord blood stem cells. Brownback appeared with three children adopted from in vitro fertilization clinics to coincide with a Senate debate over the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act of 2005 to show his support for the bill and adult stem cell research. The Religious Freedom Coalition refers to children conceived through the adopted in vitro process as "snowflake children." The term, as proponents explain, is an extension of the idea that the embryos are "frozen and unique," and in that way are similar to snowflakes. Brownback supports the use of cord blood stem cell research for research and treatment, instead of embryonic stem cells.

Brownback said in an interview, "I am not a supporter of a death penalty, other than in cases where we cannot protect the society and have other lives at stake." In a speech on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he questioned the current use of the death penalty as potentially incongruent with the notion of a "culture of life", and suggesting for its employment in a more limited fashion. However, he voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder and voted NO on maintaining right of habeas corpus in death penalty appeals. These two votes, on the other hand, occurred before his conversion to Catholicism in 2002 — since his conversion, he has echoed Pope John Paul II's remarks against the death penalty.

On September 27, 2006, Brownback introduced a bill called the Truth in Video Game Rating Act (S.3935), which would regulate the rating system of computer and video games.

On June 15, 2006, Bush signed into law the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 sponsored by Brownback, a former broadcaster himself. The new law stiffens the penalties for each violation of the Act. The Federal Communications Commission will be able to impose fines in the amount of $325,000 for each violation by each station that violates decency standards. The legislation raises the fine by tenfold.

On September 3, 1997, Meredith O'Rourke, an employee of Kansas firm Triad Management Services, was deposed by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs regarding her activities and observations while providing services for the company relative to fund raising and advertising for Brownback. In her deposition, she states that campaign management for Brownback's campaign had provided Triad with a list of current donors, specifically those who had "maxed out" on the federal contribution limit of $2,100. The deposition claims that Triad circumvented existing campaign finance laws by channeling donations through Triad, and also bypassed the campaign law with Triad running 'issue ads' during Brownback's first campaign for the Senate.

He has said he does not believe there is an inherent right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. He has, however, expressed disapproval of George W. Bush's assertions on the legality of the NSA wiretapping program. Brownback voted "yes" on maintaining current gun laws: guns sold without trigger locks. He opposes gun control.

He does not believe in evolution and supports the idea of teaching intelligence project theory. He was given a 27% rating by the NEA, supporters of teacher's unions. Brownback is a lead sponsor of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 and frequently speaks out against the mail-order bride industry.

Brownback introduced into the Senate a resolution (Senate Joint Resolution 4) calling for the United States to apologize for past mistreatment of Native Americans. He worked with Congressman John Lewis to help win placement of the African American Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..

Brownback is a supporter of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and voted against the federal expansion of hate crimes to include sexual orientation. He has taken no position on gay adoption.

Brownback's voting record on civil rights was rated 20 percent by the ACLU. He voted "yes" on ending special funding for minority and women-owned business and "yes" on recommending a Constitutional ban on flag desecration. He was rated 25% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. He voted "yes" on increasing penalties for drug offenses and voted "yes" on more penalties for gun and drug violations.

Brownback voted "no" on banning chemical weapons. He voted "yes" on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act and voted "yes" on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. In May 2007, Brownback stated that "Iran is the lead sponsor of terrorism around the world." He supports talks with Iran, but no diplomatic relations.

In 2005, the conservative organization Republicans for Environmental Protection ("REP") gave Brownback a grade of 7 percent for the 107th United States Congress, during which he cast what REP qualified as pro-environment votes on one of fifteen critical issues. Senator Brownback only voted pro-environment for an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, offered by Senator Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM), requiring at least 10 percent of electricity sold by utilities to originate from renewable resources.

In 2006, REP gave Brownback a grade of 29 percent for the 109th United States Congress, during which he cast what REP qualified as pro-environment votes on two of seven critical issues. REP criticized Brownback for supporting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in “sensitive marine waters” in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, as well as for opposing measures designed to increase “efficiency and renewable-resource programs to improve energy security, lower costs, and reduce energy related environmental impacts.” The environmental group League of Conservation Voters rated Brownback at 15 percent for the 109th Congress, citing his lack of support for low-income energy assistance, his lack of support for environmental and natural resources stewardship funding, and his tendency to vote in favor of offshore oil drilling and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

He voted "yes" on reducing funds for road-building in national forests and was rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes according to that organization. He voted NO on including oil and gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.

On December 4, 2006, Brownback formed an exploratory committee, thus taking the first steps toward candidacy. He announced his Presidential bid as of December 5, 2006 on his website. His expressed views position him in the social conservative wing of the Republican party. He has also stressed his fiscal conservatism. "I am an economic, a fiscal, a social and a compassionate conservative," he said in December 2006. On January 20, 2007, in Topeka, Brownback announced that he was running for President in 2008.

On February 22, 2007, a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports held that three percent of likely primary voters would support Brownback.

On August 11, 2007, Brownback finished third in the Ames Iowa straw poll with 15.3 percent of all votes cast. Fundraising and visits to his website declined dramatically after this event, as many supporters had predicted Brownback would do much better, and speculation began that the candidate was considering withdrawing from the campaign. This sentiment increased after his lackluster performance in the GOP presidential debate of September 5, broadcast from New Hampshire by Fox News Channel.

Brownback was endorsed by Frank Pavone, Jack Willke, Alveda King, Stephen McEveety, Norma McCorvey, Thomas S. Monaghan, Michael W. Smith, Angela Baraquio Grey and Stephen Baldwin. Brownback also won support from fellow Kansas lawmakers Senator Pat Roberts and Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

Brownback had stated that if he came in lower than fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses, he would drop out of the Presidential campaign.

Brownback dropped out of the 2008 presidential race on October 18, 2007, citing a lack of funds. He also commented that he wouldn’t debate immigration in the middle of an election cycle.He formally announced his decision on October 19. He later endorsed John McCain for president.

Brownback has announced he will not run for reelection in 2010 due to self-imposed term limits. Early candidates to succeed Brownback include current Republican Representatives Jerry Moran of Hays and Todd Tiahrt of Goddard. Term-limited Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius may also run.

In 2008, Brownback publicly acknowledged he was considering running for Governor in 2010. In January 2009, Brownback officially filed the paperwork to run for Governor.

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Flag of Kansas

The State of Kansas ( /ˈkænzəs/ (help·info)) is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American "Heartland". It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa tribe, who inhabited the area. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind", although this was probably not the term's original meaning. Residents of Kansas are called "Kansans".

Historically, the area was home to large numbers of nomadic Native Americans who hunted bison. It was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state. After the Civil War, the population of Kansas exploded when waves of immigrants turned the prairie into productive farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing many crops, and leading the nation in wheat, sorghum, and sunflower production most years.

Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. The state is divided up into 105 counties with 628 cities. It is located equidistant from the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located in Smith County near Lebanon, Kansas. The geodetic center of North America was located in Osborne County until 1983. This spot was used until that date as the central reference point for all maps of North America produced by the U.S. government. The geographic center of Kansas is located in Barton County.

The western two thirds of the state, lying in the great central plain of the United States, has a generally flat or undulating surface. However, the eastern third has many hills and forests. The land displays a gradual slope up from east to west; its altitude above the sea ranges from 684 ft (208 m) along the Verdigris River at Coffeyville in Montgomery County, to 4,039 ft (1,231 m) at Mount Sunflower, one half mile from the Colorado border, in Wallace County. It is a popular belief that Kansas is the flattest state in the nation, reinforced by a well known 2003 study stating that Kansas was indeed "flatter than a pancake." This has since been debunked, with most scientists ranking Kansas somewhere between 20th and 30th flattest state, depending on measurement method.

The Missouri River forms nearly 75 mi (121 km) of the state's northeastern boundary. The Kansas River (locally known as the Kaw), formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers at appropriately-named Junction City, joins the Missouri at Kansas City, after a course of 170 mi (270 km) across the northeastern part of the state. The Arkansas River (pronunciation varies), rising in Colorado, flows with a bending course for nearly 500 mi (800 km) across the western and southern parts of the state. It forms, with its tributaries (the Little Arkansas, Ninnescah, Walnut, Cow Creek, Cimarron, Verdigris, and the Neosho), the southern drainage system of the state. Other important rivers are the Saline and Solomon Rivers, tributaries of the Smoky Hill River; the Big Blue, Delaware, and Wakarusa, which flow into the Kansas River; and the Marais des Cygnes, a tributary of the Missouri River.

Kansas contains three climate types, according to the Köppen climate classification: humid continental, semiarid steppe, and humid subtropical. The eastern two-thirds of the state has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer and spring. The western third of the state has a semiarid steppe climate. Summers are hot, often very hot. Winters are cold in the northwest and cool to mild in the southwest. Also, the western region is semiarid, receiving an average of only about 16 inches (40 cm) of precipitation per year. Chinook winds in the winter can warm western Kansas all the way into the 80°F (25°C) range. The far south-central and southeastern reaches of the state have a humid subtropical climate,HOT summers, mild winters, and more precipitation than the rest of the state.

Precipitation ranges from about 46 inches (1200 mm) annually in the southeast of the state, to about 16 inches (400 mm) in the southwest. Snowfall ranges from around 5 inches (130 mm) in the fringes of the south, to 35 inches (900 mm) in the far northwest. Frost-free days range from more than 200 days in the south, to 130 days in the northwest. Thus, Kansas is the 9th or 10th sunniest state in the country, depending on the source. Western Kansas is as sunny as parts of California and Arizona.

In spite of the frequent sunshine throughout much of the state, the state is also vulnerable to strong thunderstorms, especially in the spring. Many of these storms become Supercell thunderstorms. These can spawn tornadoes, often of F3 strength or higher. According to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center, Kansas has reported more tornadoes (for the period 1 January 1950 through to 31 October 2006) than any state except for Texas - marginally even more than Oklahoma. It has also - along with Alabama - reported more F5 tornadoes than any other state. These are the most powerful of all tornadoes. Kansas averages over 50 tornadoes annually.

According to NOAA, the all time highest temperature recorded in Kansas is 121°F (49.4°C) on July 24, 1936, near Alton, and the all time low is -40°F (-40°C) on February 13, 1905, near Lebanon.

Kansas' all time record high of 121°F (49.4°C) ties with North Dakota for the fifth-highest all-time record high recorded in a state, behind California (134°F/56.7°C), Arizona (128°F/53.3°C), Nevada (125°F/51.7°C), and New Mexico (122°F/50°C).

For millennia, the land that is presently Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. The first European to set foot in present-day Kansas was Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who explored the area in 1541. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas until the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848. From 1812 to 1821, Kansas was part of the Missouri Territory. The Santa Fe Trail traversed Kansas from 1821 to 1880, transporting manufactured goods from Missouri and silver and furs from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Wagon ruts from the trail are still visible in the prairie today.

In 1827, Fort Leavenworth became the first permanent settlement of white Americans in the future state. The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854, establishing the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas, and opening the area to broader settlement by whites. Kansas Territory stretched all the way to the Continental Divide and included the sites of present-day Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.

Missouri and Arkansas sent settlers into Kansas all along its eastern border. These settlers attempted to sway votes in favor of slavery. The secondary settlement of Americans in Kansas Territory were abolitionists from Massachusetts and other Free-Staters, who attempted to stop the spread of slavery from neighboring Missouri. Directly presaging the American Civil War, these forces collided, entering into skirmishes that earned the territory the name of Bleeding Kansas. Kansas was admitted to the United States as a free state on January 29, 1861, making it the 34th state to enter the Union. By that time the violence in Kansas had largely subsided. However, during the Civil War, on August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led several hundred men on a raid into Lawrence, destroying much of the city and killing nearly two hundred people. Until the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Quantrill's raid was the single bloodiest act of domestic terrorism in America. He was roundly condemned by both the conventional confederate military and the partisan rangers commissioned by the Missouri legislature. His application to that body for a commission was flatly rejected due to his pre war criminal record (see, Jones, Gray Ghosts and Rebel Riders Holt & Co. 1956, p.76).

In part as a response to the violence perpetrated by cowboys, on February 19, 1881 Kansas became the first U.S. state to adopt a Constitutional amendment prohibiting all alcoholic beverages.

As of 2007, Kansas has an estimated population of 2,775,997, which is an increase of 20,180, or 0.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 87,579, or 3.3%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 93,899 people (that is 246,484 births minus 152,585 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 20,742 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 44,847 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 65,589 people. The population density of the state is 52.9 people per square mile. The center of population of Kansas is located in Chase County, at 38°27′N 96°32′W / 38.45°N 96.533°W / 38.45; -96.533, approximately three miles north of the community of Strong City.

As of 2004, the population included 149,800 foreign-born (5.5% of the state population). The largest reported ancestries in the state are: German (25.9%), Irish (11.5%), English (10.8%), American (8.8%), French (3.1%), and Swedish (2.4%). People of German ancestry are especially strong in the northwest, while those of British ancestry and descendants of white Americans from other states are especially strong in the southeast. Mexicans are present in the southwest and make up nearly half the population in certain counties. Many African Americans in Kansas are descended from the Exodusters, newly freed blacks who fled the South for land in Kansas following the Civil War.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 405,844; the United Methodist Church with 206,187; and the Southern Baptist Convention with 101,696.

Kansas is one of the slowest-growing states in the nation. Known as a rural exodus, the last few decades have been marked by a migratory pattern out of the countryside into cities.

Out of all the cities in these Midwestern states, 89% have fewer than 3000 people, and hundreds of those have fewer than 1000. In Kansas alone, there are more than 6,000 ghost towns, according to one Kansas historian.

At the same time, some of the communities in Johnson County (metropolitan Kansas City) are among the fastest growing in the country.

The 2003 gross domestic product of Kansas was US$97 billion, an increase of 4.3% over the prior year, but trailing the national average increase of 4.8%. Its per-capita income was US$29,438. The December 2003 unemployment rate was 4.9%. The agricultural outputs of the state are cattle, sheep, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, and salt. Eastern Kansas is part of the Grain Belt, an area of major grain production in the central United States. The industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum and mining.

Kansas ranks 8th in U.S. oil production. Production has experienced a steady, natural decline as it becomes increasingly difficult to extract oil over time. Since oil prices bottomed in 1999, oil production in Kansas has remained fairly constant, with an average monthly rate of about 2.8 million barrels (450,000 m3) in 2004. The recent higher prices have made carbon dioxide sequestration and other oil recovery techniques more economical.

Kansas ranks 8th in U.S. natural gas production. Production has steadily declined since the mid-1990s with the depletion of the Hugoton Natural Gas Field—the state's largest field which extends into Oklahoma and Texas. In 2004, slower declines in the Hugoton gas fields and increased coalbed methane production contributed to a smaller overall decline. Average monthly production was over 32 billion cubic feet (0.9 km³).

The Kansas economy is also heavily influenced by the aerospace industry. Several large aircraft corporations have manufacturing facilities in Wichita and Kansas City, including Boeing, Beech, Cessna, Learjet, and Hawker-Beechcraft (formerly Raytheon).

Kansas has three income brackets for income tax calculation, ranging from 3.5% to 6.45%. The state sales tax in Kansas is 5.3%. Various cities and counties in Kansas have an additional local sales tax. Except during the 2001 recession (March–November 2001) when monthly sales tax collections were flat, collections have trended higher as the economy has grown and two rate increases have been enacted. Total sales tax collections for 2003 amounted to $1.63 billion, compared to $805.3 million in 1990.

Revenue shortfalls resulting from lower than expected tax collections and slower growth in personal income following a 1998 permanent tax reduction has contributed to the substantial growth in the state's debt level as bonded debt increased from $1.16 billion in 1998 to $3.83 billion in 2006. Some increase in debt was expected as the state continues with its 10-year Comprehensive Transportation Program enacted in 1999. As of June 2004, Moody's Investors Service ranked the state 14th for net tax-supported debt per capita. As a percentage of personal income, it was at 3.8%—above the median value of 2.5% for all rated states and having risen from a value of less than 1% in 1992. The state has a statutory requirement to maintain cash reserves of at least 7.5% of expenses at the end of each fiscal year.

Major company headquarters in Kansas include the Sprint Nextel Corporation (with world headquarters in Overland Park), Embarq (with national headquarters in Overland Park), YRC Corp Overland Park, Garmin in Olathe, Payless Shoes (National headquarters and major distribution facilities in Topeka), and Koch Industries (with national headquarters in Wichita).

Kansas is served by two Interstate highways with one beltway, two spur routes, and three bypasses, with over a total of 874 miles (1,407 km) in all. The first section of Interstate in the nation was opened on I-70 just west of Topeka on November 14, 1956. I-70 is a major east/west route connecting to St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, in the east and Denver, Colorado, in the west. Cities along this route (from east to west) include Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Junction City, Salina, Hays, and Colby. I-35 is a major north/south route connecting to Des Moines, Iowa, in the north and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the south. Cities along this route (from north to south) include Kansas City (and suburbs), Ottawa, Emporia, El Dorado, and Wichita.

Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. I-135, a north/south route, connects I-70 at Salina to I-35 at Wichita. I-335, a northeast/southwest route, connects I-70 at Topeka to I-35 at Emporia. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. Bypasses include I-470 around Topeka and I-235 around Wichita. I-435 is a beltway around the Kansas City Metropolitan Area while I-635 bypasses through Kansas City, Kansas.

US Route 69 runs north and south, from Minnesota to Texas. The highway passes through the eastern section of Kansas, from the Kansas City area, through Louisburg, Fort Scott, Frontenac, Pittsburg, and Baxter Springs before entering Oklahoma.

Kansas also has the second largest state highway system in the country after California. This is because of the high number of counties and county seats (105) and the intertwining of them all.

In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service. By dialing 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours and weather conditions for the state highway system. Weather and road condition information is updated every 15 minutes. The elaborate and efficient transportation system in Kansas has attracted praise from experts nationwide, including the former Mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, who frequents Kansas roadways.

The state's only major commercial airport is Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, located along US-54 on the western edge of the city. Most air travelers in eastern Kansas fly out of Kansas City International Airport, located in Platte County, Missouri. For those in the far western part of the state, Denver International Airport is a popular option. Connecting flights are available from smaller airports in Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend, Hays, Manhattan, Salina, and Topeka.

The top executives of the state are Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson. Both officials are elected on the same ticket to a maximum of two consecutive 4-year terms. Parkinson replaced John E. Moore who served as Lt. Governor during Sebelius's first term which ended on January 8, 2007. Sebelius will not be up for re-election in 2010. The state's Attorney General is Democrat Stephen Six, a former Douglas County District Court Judge who was appointed to the post.

The legislative branch of the state government is the Kansas Legislature. The bicameral body consists of the Kansas House of Representatives, with 125 members serving two year terms, and the Kansas Senate, with 40 members serving four year terms.

Kansas has a reputation as a progressive state with many firsts in legislative initiatives—it was the first state to institute a system of workers' compensation (1910) and to regulate the securities industry (1911). Kansas also permitted women's suffrage in 1912, almost a decade before the federal constitution was amended to require it. Suffrage in all states would not be guaranteed until ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The council-manager government was adopted by many larger Kansas cities in the years following World War I while many American cities were being run by political machines or organized crime, notably the Pendergast Machine in neighboring Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas was also at the center of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a 1954 Supreme Court decision that banned racially segregated schools throughout the U.S.

Kansas was one of the few states where Franklin D. Roosevelt had limited political support, winning Kansas only twice. The state backed Republicans Wendell Willkie and Thomas E. Dewey in 1940 and 1944, respectively. Kansas also supported Dewey in 1948 despite the presence of incumbent president Harry S. Truman, who hailed from Independence, Missouri, approximately 15 miles east of the Kansas-Missouri state line.

The state's current delegation to the Congress of the United States includes Republican Senators Sam Brownback of Topeka and Pat Roberts of Dodge City and Representatives Jerry Moran (R) of Hays (District 1), Lynn Jenkins (R) of Topeka (District 2), Dennis Moore (D) of Lenexa (District 3), and Todd Tiahrt (R) of Goddard (District 4).

Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won his first term as President in the wake of the Great Depression. This is the longest Senate losing streak for either party in a single state. Senator Sam Brownback was a candidate for the Republican party nomination for President in 2008. Brownback has stated he will not be a candidate for re-election in 2010.

Historically, Kansas has been strongly Republican. In fact, the only non-Republicans Kansas has given its electoral vote to are Populist James Weaver and Democrats Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt (twice), and Lyndon Johnson. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's six electoral votes by an overwhelming margin of 25 percentage points with 62% of the vote. The only two counties to support Democrat John Kerry in that election were Wyandotte, which contains Kansas City, and Douglas, home to the University of Kansas, located at Lawrence. The 2008 election brought similar results as John McCain won the state with 57% of the votes. Douglas (64% Obama, 34% McCain), Wyandotte (70% Obama, 29% McCain), and Crawford County (49% Obama, 48% McCain) were the only counties in support of President Barack Obama.

The legal drinking age in Kansas is 21. In lieu of the state retail sales tax, a 10% Liquor Drink Tax is collected for liquor consumed on the licensed premises and an 8% Liquor Enforcement Tax is collected on retail purchases. Although the sale of cereal malt beverage (also known as 3.2 beer) was legalized in 1937, the first post-Prohibition legalization of alcoholic liquor did not occur until the state's constitution was amended in 1948. The following year the Legislature enacted the Liquor Control Act which created a system of regulating, licensing, and taxing, and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) was created to enforce the act. The power to regulate cereal malt beverage remains with the cities and counties. Liquor-by-the-drink did not become legal until passage of an amendment to the state's constitution in 1986 and additional legislation the following year. As of November 2006, Kansas still has 29 dry counties and only 17 counties have passed liquor-by-the-drink with no food sales requirement. Today there are more than 2600 liquor and 4000 cereal malt beverage licensees in the state.

The state's investigative branch is the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The Kansas Corporation Commission regulates public utilities, common carriers, oil and gas production, telecommunications companies, and motor carriers. The Kansas Department of Agriculture regulates the supply of meat, milk and eggs among other agricultural goods and services. The Secretary of Agriculture is Adrian Polansky, who heads the department as well as operating Polansky farms.

Kansas has 627 incorporated cities. By state statute, cities are divided into three classes as determined by the population obtained "by any census of enumeration." A city of the third class has a population of less than 5,000, but cities reaching a population of more than 2,000 may be certified as a city of the second class. The second class is limited to cities with a population of less than 25,000, and upon reaching a population of more than 15,000, they may be certified as a city of the first class. First and second class cities are independent of any township and are not included within the township's territory.

The northeastern portion of the state, extending from the Eastern border to Junction City and from the Nebraska border to south of Johnson County, has a rich history and is home to more than 1.5 million people in the Kansas City, Lawrence,and Topeka metropolitan areas. In the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the cities of Johnson County have some of the fastest growing populations and highest median incomes in the state and the entire country. Overland Park, a young city incorporated in 1960, has the largest population and the largest land area in the county. It is home to Johnson County Community College, the state's largest community college, and the corporate campus of Sprint Nextel, the largest private employer in the metro area. In 2006 the city was ranked as the 6th best place to live in America; the neighboring city of Olathe was 13th. Olathe is the county seat and home to Johnson County Executive Airport. The cities of Olathe, Shawnee, and Gardner have some of the state's fastest growing populations. The cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, and Gardner are also notable because they lie along the former route of the Santa Fe Trail. Among cities with at least one thousand residents, Mission Hills has the highest median income in the state.

Several institutions of higher education are located in Northeast Kansas including Baker University (the first university in the state) in Baldwin City, MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Ottawa University in Ottawa and Overland Park, Kansas City Kansas Community College and KU Medical Center in Kansas City, and KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Less than an hour's drive to the west, Lawrence is home to the University of Kansas, the largest public university in the state, and Haskell Indian Nations University.

To the north, Kansas City, Kansas, with the second largest land area in the state, contains a number of diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Its attractions include the Kansas Speedway, Kansas City T-Bones and The Legends at Village West retail and entertainment center. Further up the Missouri River, the city of Lansing is the home of the state's first maximum-security prison. Historic Leavenworth, founded in 1854, was the first incorporated city in Kansas. North of the city, Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi River. The city of Atchison was an early commercial center in the state and is well-known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.

To the west, nearly a quarter million people reside in the Topeka metropolitan area. Topeka is the state capital and home to Washburn University. Built at a Kansas River crossing along the old Oregon Trail, this historic city has several nationally registered historic places. Further westward along Interstate 70 and the Kansas River is Junction City with its historic limestone and brick buildings and nearby Fort Riley, well-known as the home to the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, also known as the "Big Red One." A short distance away, the city of Manhattan is home to Kansas State University, the second largest public university in the state and the nation's oldest land-grant university, dating back to 1863. South of the campus, Aggieville dates back to 1889 and is the state's oldest shopping district of its kind.

In south-central Kansas, the four-county Wichita metropolitan area is home to nearly 600,000 people. Wichita is the largest city in the state in terms of both land area and population. 'The Air Capital' is a major manufacturing center for the aircraft industry and the home of Wichita State University. With a number of nationally registered historic places, museums, and other entertainment destinations, it has a desire to become a cultural mecca in the Midwest. Although Wichita's population growth has been anemic in recent years, surrounding suburbs are among the fastest growing cities in the state. The population of Goddard has grown by more than 11% per year since 2000. Other fast-growing cities include Andover, Maize, Park City, Derby, and Haysville.

Up river (the Arkansas River) from Wichita is the city of Hutchinson. The city was built on one of the world's largest salt deposits, and it has the world's largest and longest wheat elevator. It is also the home of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Prairie Dunes Country Club and the Kansas State Fair. North of Wichita along Interstate 135 is the city of Newton, the former western terminal of the Santa Fe Railroad and trailhead for the famed Chisholm Trail. To the southeast of Wichita are the cities of Winfield and Arkansas City with historic architecture and the Cherokee Strip Museum (in Ark City). The city of Udall was the site of the deadliest tornado in Kansas on May 25, 1955; it killed 80 people in and near the city. To the southwest of Wichita is Freeport, the state's smallest incorporated city (population 8).

Located midway between Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita in the heart of the Bluestem Region of the Flint Hills, the city of Emporia has several nationally registered historic places and is the home of Emporia State University, well-known for its Teachers College. It was also the home of newspaper man William Allen White.

Southeast Kansas Southeast Kansas has a unique history with a number of nationally registered historic places in this coal-mining region. Located in Crawford County (dubbed the Fried Chicken Capital of Kansas), Pittsburg is the largest city in the region and the home of Pittsburg State University. The neighboring city of Frontenac in 1888 was the site of the worst mine disaster in the state in which an underground explosion killed 47 miners. "Big Brutus" is located a mile and a half outside the city of West Mineral. Along with the restored fort, historic Fort Scott has a national cemetery designated by President Lincoln in 1862.

Central and North-Central Kansas Salina is the largest city in central and north-central Kansas. South of Salina is the small city of Lindsborg with its numerous Dala horses. Much of the architecture and decor of this town has a distinctly Swedish style. To the east along Interstate 70, the historic city of Abilene was formerly a trailhead for the Chisholm Trail and was the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. To the west is Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas.

Westward along the Interstate, the city of Russell, traditionally the beginning of sparsely-populated northwest Kansas, is the home of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and the boyhood home of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. The city of Hays is home to Fort Hays State University and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and is the largest city in the northwest with a population of around 20,000. Two other landmarks are located in smaller towns in Ellis County: the "Cathedral of the Plains" is located 10 miles (16 km) east of Hays in Victoria, and the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler is 15 miles (24 km) west of Hays in Ellis. West of Hays, population drops dramatically, even in areas along I-70, and only two towns containing populations of more than 3,000: Colby and Goodland, which are located 35 milies apart along I-70. The city of Wichita, the largest in both area and population, has been mentioned in a handful of films and television programmes such as 90210, a CW teen drama from which a family emigrate to Bevery Hills (hence the title).

Southwest Kansas Southwest Kansas, and Dodge City in particular, is famously known for the cattle drive days of the late 19th century. The city of Dodge was built along the old Santa Fe Trail route. The city of Liberal is located along the southern Santa Fe Trail route. The first wind farm in the state was built east of Montezuma. Garden City has the Lee Richardson Zoo.

Education in Kansas is governed primarily by the Kansas State Board of Education (web). Twice the Board has approved changes in the state science curriculum standards that encouraged the teaching of intelligent design. Both times, the standards were reversed after changes in the composition of the board in the next election.

Persons in western Kansas may sometimes support the major league teams in Denver. Many people who live close to the Oklahoma state line support the Dallas Cowboys. All Chiefs games are televised throughout Kansas by television stations in Topeka and Wichita, and Broncos and Cowboys games which do not conflict with Chiefs telecasts are also broadcast across the state.

Two major auto racing facilities are located in Kansas. The Kansas Speedway located in Kansas City hosts races of the NASCAR, IRL, and ARCA circuits. Also, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) holds drag racing events at Heartland Park Topeka.

Kansas is also the home to many fictional sports teams. In the show ], the Metropolis Sharks' are located in Metropolis, Kansas. Other teams in Metropolis are include: Metropolis Meteors, Metropolis Metros (football); Metropolis Monarchs, Metropolis Meteors (baseball); Metropolis Generals (basketball); and Metropolis Mammoths (hockey).

While there are no franchises of the four major professional sports within the state, many Kansans are fans of the state's major college sports teams, especially the Wildcats of Kansas State University, known as "KSU" or "K-State" by many and the Jayhawks of the University of Kansas, commonly referred to as "KU." Wichita State University, which also fields teams (called the Shockers) in Division I of the NCAA, is best known for its baseball program, winning the College World Series in 1989.

Both KU and K-State have tradition-rich programs in men's college basketball. The Jayhawks are a perennial national power, ranking third in all-time victories among NCAA programs, behind Kentucky and North Carolina. The Jayhawks are also the reigning national champions of men's college basketball, winning the 2008 NCAA Tournament in April for their fifth national crown (third NCAA tournament title). K-State also had a long stretch of success on the hardwood, lasting from the 1940s to the 1980s. Kansas State returned to the NCAA tournament in 2008 for the first time in 12 years. KU is tied for 4th all-time with 13 Final Four appearances, while K-State is tied for 17th with 4 appearances in the Final Four. Wichita State has made 1 Final Four appearance.

However, success on the football field has been infrequent for either team. When the two teams met in 1987, KU's record was 1-7 and K-State's was 0-8. Fittingly, the Governor's Cup that year, dubbed the "Toilet Bowl" by the media, ended in a 17-17 tie when the Jayhawks blocked a last-second K-State field goal attempt. There have been recent breakthroughs for both schools. KU won the Orange Bowl for the first time in three tries in January 2008, capping a 12-1 season, the best in school history. K-State was historically one of the worst college football programs in the country, until Bill Snyder arrived to coach the Wildcats in 1989. He turned K-State into a national force for most of the 1990s and early 2000s, until he retired after the 2005 season. The team won the Fiesta Bowl in 1997 and took the Big 12 Conference championship in 2003.

Notable success has also been achieved by the state's smaller schools in football. Pittsburg State University, a NCAA Division II participant, has claimed three national titles in football, two in the NAIA and most recently the 1991 NCAA Division II national title. Pittsburg State became the winningest NCAA Division II football program in 1995. PSU passed Hillsdale College at the top of the all-time victories list in the 1995 season on its march to the national runner-up finish. The Gorillas, in 96 seasons of intercollegiate competition, have accumulated 579 victories – posting a 579-301-48 overall mark.

Washburn University, in Topeka, won the NAIA Men's Basketball Championship in 1987. The Fort Hays State University men won the 1996 NCAA Division II title with a 34-0 record, and the Washburn women won the 2005 NCAA Division II crown. St. Benedict's College (now Benedictine College), in Atchison, won the 1954 and 1967 Men's NAIA Basketball Championships.

In 1992-93, KU became the second college program to participate in a football bowl game, the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and the College World Series in the same academic year. And in the 2007-08 academic year, KU's football and basketball programs set an NCAA Division I record for most combined victories with 49 total victories (12 in football and 37 in basketball).

Amelia Earhart (aviation pioneer), Carrie Nation (temperance activist), former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Vice President Charles Curtis, and former presidential candidates Bob Dole and Alf Landon called Kansas their home. NASA astronauts Ronald Evans, Joe Engle, and Steve Hawley also lived in Kansas.

Kansas was also home to Danny Carey (musician), Del Close (comdedian/actor), Inger Stevens (actress),Vivian Vance (actress), Samuel Ramey (opera singer), Louise Brooks (actress), Annette Bening (actress), Bill Kurtis (Journalist), Jack Cafferty (Journalist}, John Brown (abolitionist), Langston Hughes (poet), Gordon Parks (photographer, movie director, musician, author), Fatty Arbuckle (actor), William Inge (writer), Dennis Hopper (actor), Kelli McCarty (actress and Miss USA 91), Buster Keaton (actor), Coleman Hawkins (Jazz musician), Martina McBride (Country Singer), Joe Walsh (Musician), Chely Wright (Country Musician), Melissa Etheridge (musician), Kirstie Alley (actress), Paul Rudd (actor), Sarah Lancaster (actress), Charlie Parker (Jazz musician), Mike Jerrick (network journalist), Steve Doocy (network journalist, author), Campbell Brown (network journalist), Jeff Probst (Survivor host), Melissa McDermott (Journalist), Phil McGraw (psychologist), and William Allen White (editor). And members of the progressive rock band Kansas: Dave Hope (bass), Phil Ehart (drums, percussion), and Kerry Livgren (guitars, keyboards, synthesizers) formed the group named Kansas in 1970 in their hometown of Topeka, along with vocalist Lynn Meredith from Manhattan, Kansas.

Famous athletes from Kansas include Clint Bowyer, Braden Looper, Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth, Wes Santee, Joe Carter, Wilt Chamberlain, George Brett, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Darren Sproles, John H. Outland, Steve Fritz, Billy Mills, Jim Ryun, Walter Johnson, Jackie Stiles, Scott Fulhage, Caroline Bruce, John Riggins, Maurice Greene, Kendra Wecker, and Lynette Woodard. Kansas was also home to coaches James Naismith, Larry Brown, Phog Allen, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Ralph Miller, Gene Keady, Lon Kruger, John Calipari, Roy Williams, Glen Mason, Tex Winter, Dana Altman, Mark Turgeon, Bill Self, Bill Snyder, and Eddie Sutton.

Famous fictional residents include Marshal Matt Dillon from the TV show Gunsmoke, Mary Ann Summers of Gilligan's Island, Dennis Mitchell (Dennis the Menace), Dean and Sam Winchester from the TV show Supernatural, Clark Kent/Superman, Liz Sherman, Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell of Stargate SG-1, Walter and India Bridge from Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Jonas Nightengale from Leap of Faith, and Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz.

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Mark Parkinson

Mark Parkinson

Mark V. Parkinson (born June 24, 1957) is an American lawyer, businessman, and Democratic politician who serves as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Kansas.

Parkinson was born in Wichita, Kansas, into a family which has its roots in Scott City, where they still own a farm. Parkinson graduated from Wichita Heights High School before graduating Summa Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 1980 and finishing first in his class at the University of Kansas Law School in 1984. Parkinson then entered private practice, forming his own law practice of Parkinson, Foth & Orrick. In 1996, Parkinson left his law practice to develop assisted living facilities.

Parkinson entered Kansas politics as a Republican in 1990. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1991 to 1992 and the Kansas Senate from 1993 to 1997. From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. In 2004 he served as chairman of the Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce board, and in 2005, served as the "Chair of the Chairs" of the six Chambers of Commerce in Johnson County.

In May 2006, Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced that Parkinson had switched parties and was her running mate for her reelection campaign, succeeding retiring lieutenant governor John E. Moore (also a former Republican who had switched parties shortly before he joined a ticket with Sebelius). Parkinson's business experience and track record of working with both Republicans and Democrats were the reasons Sebelius gave for choosing him.

The Kansas Republican Party immediately labeled Parkinson a hypocrite, citing 2002 quotes where Parkinson called Sebelius a "left-wing liberal Democrat" and claimed that any Republicans who supported her were "either insincere or uninformed." Parkinson responded to the criticism by saying he had doubted Sebelius four years earlier, but came to believe she provided "independent leadership" for the state. He stated: "In an age where leaders duck responsibility and dodge their mistakes let me be the first to say: I was wrong." Some viewed his switch as opportunism; others felt his decision was another example of the bitter divide between moderates and conservatives in the Kansas Republican Party, and that the move encouraged more moderate Republican voters to move closer to the Democratic Party.

On March 2, 2009, Barack Obama announced Governor Sebelius as his nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, she would have to resign as governor, making Parkinson the 45th and next Governor of Kansas for the remainder of her second term, ending in January 2011. Parkinson stated he would not be a candidate for Governor in 2010.

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Source : Wikipedia