Tuesday, February 19, 2019
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! STEVE ROSE SPEAKS OUT ON KANSAS STATE SEN. JIM DENNING LAWSUIT FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!
Here's is the word from a Johnson, County news pioneer and one of the leading pundits in the metro . . .
ROSE SPEAKS OUT ON LAWSUIT FOR FIRST TIME
Jim Denning’s vendetta against me started in April 2018. That’s when, in a column published in the Kansas City Star, I publicly withdrew my political support for the Kansas state senator -- now Majority Leader –after being longtime allies. It was a bombshell column that ended, “If Denning runs for re-election in 2020, I promise not to be fooled again.”
Is this why Denning cannot seem to remember our hour-long conversation at Houlihan’s restaurant in Fairway, Kansas, in which he made numerous arguments about why it was a bad idea to expand Medicaid, a program that provides health insurance for the needy? That conversation took place some time ago. However, I remember the words Denning spoke as if it were yesterday. I wrote a column recently about it, and Denning has now taken the heavy-handed approach of suing me over the column, attempting to divert public attention from his reasons for opposing Medicaid expansion.
The fact remains that Denning is a leading conservative voice in the Legislature, and there is no indication his position has changed since our discussion. He opposes Medicaid expansion vehemently and has said so publicly and very recently.
Most important, does Jim Denning truly not remember a comment he made to me that one reason expansion is a bad idea is that Medicaid patients typically do not show up for their appointments? When I asked him how he knew that, he said I could check with any physician who took Medicaid patients.
I don’t forget things like that, and I would never make it up. I did not falsely attribute any comments by him. I stuck strictly to the truth, as I have as a columnist for nearly 50 years.
In public statements he is making to draw attention to his lawsuit, Denning has emphasized that I offered to resign my column following publication, and that the Star decided to stop publishing my column.
To clarify, what troubled The Star is that the conversation with Denning was not as recent as the wording of the column may have implied, and they felt I should have clarified the timing of the discussion when final edits to the column were being made, which included naming the previously anonymous Denning as the source of the comments. That is why The Star has said the column did not meet their high standards. It was not an issue of misstating the substance of Denning’s statements or his reasons for opposing Medicaid expansion. As stated in the Star’s opposition to Denning’s lawsuit, “Mr. Rose’s column plainly did not distort Sen. Denning’s position as to Medicaid expansion. Sen. Denning has – and still does – oppose Medicaid expansion.”
In other words, what really matters in this case is not the exact timing of when Denning made his statements, but the fact that he made them, period.
With a naive hope that Denning would be satisfied that he had his revenge and would be satisfied by my resignation, I sent an email to Denning suggesting I would resign if he would just drop the whole matter. I was hopeful we could avoid a messy apology, clarification, or other fallout.
I said then, and I repeat now, of course I wish I had just killed the column. That would have eliminated the painful experience, which had nothing to do with the accuracy of the column.
If anyone’s reputation has been damaged by these events, it is mine. I have been accused by Denning of fabricating an entire meeting, of making up the points he clearly did make, and of somehow “ruining” his reputation as a public leader whose views – unless he states now otherwise – are precisely now as they were then. Denning has maligned me. He has twisted the truth to my detriment. His grandstanding publicity has given him the blood he sought, even though his allegations are totally absurd.
Above all, the suit has given Denning undoubtedly a thrill, and at the same time a cover for his refusal to expand Medicaid to low-income Kansans.
This BREAKING NEWS STATEMENT comes moments after the Kansas GOP news blast on this case.
Developing . . .