TOPEKA - Today, the Kansas Values Institute released a poll of Kansas voters showing that a full 71 percent believe Governor Brownback should release the names of applicants for the state Court of Appeals. The results came as Governor Brownback continued to resist calls to release the names, confirming that the new selection process will remain secret from the public, overturning a process that has been in place for decades.
"Governor Brownback has broken yet another promise to Kansans and thumbed his nose at 71 percent of voters that want an open and transparent process for selecting court applicants," said executive director Ryan Wright. "Judicial applicant names have been released since 1981 and, up until seven days ago, they were available to the public. Now, Governor Brownback claims that they are exempt from the Kansas Open Records Act. The real question is, 'what is Governor Brownback hiding by not releasing the names of these applicants?'"
Key findings of the poll:
Polling was conducted by 20/20 Insight LLC, which surveyed a representative sample of 871 registered voters over a period of three days, July 5-7. The margin of error was 3.3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level. A copy of the poll is attached to this email.
Wright went on to say, "Governor Brownback and opponents of the Kansas merit selection process said that the nominating commissions were engaged in backroom dealing, despite their open process and open meetings. Ironically, in response, Governor Brownback went and replaced the transparent nominating process with one that might actually involve backroom dealing. At the end of the day, this is about maintaining free and fair courts for every Kansan and ensuring that the process has integrity. Governor Brownback has failed on every account."
For more information about merit selection and the overall judicial issue, please visit www.KansansForFairCourts.org. Kansans for Fair Courts is an initiative of the Kansas Values Institute.