Here's is the word from a Johnson, County news pioneer and one of the leading pundits in the metro . . .


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 . . .


  1. Rose is doing the right thing writing about it. An off the record conversation is a lot different than not talking at all.

  2. Who cares about what Rose says.

  3. The Kansas GOP are a bunch of sellouts. I voted for Trunp and am registered as “non affiliated” after leaving the Republican Party.

    Seriously....these are guys who idolize the bushes or the romneys, but worse. State Senator Jim Denning is fighting to keep $3,000,000,000 from coming to KS from the US treasury. Good job Jim! Keep those high sales taxes on groceries coming along, among the highest in the nation. Those high property taxes in the state sure show the nation just how conservative we really are. I’m pro life and pro 2A, but other than that the GOP in Topeka loses me.

    Then you have that clown who is a GOP state representative Steve Alford that held Kansas Republican leadership positions. This is the one who publicly said marijuana is illegal in Kansas because it affects black people differenlty due to their genetics. Steve Alford is from Ulysses which is close to Garden City where Denning is from.

    I mean the list can go on and on. That and from them suffering from trump Derangement Syndrome. The John McCain types. The boring ones who wished for Jeb Bush to be President. Jim Denning is what is wrong with Kansas. He was supported by Sam Brownback and the Koch Brothers. The same group who wrecked the state financially and said the sun was shining over the state.

  4. 8:15: Who said it was off the record?

  5. Steve Who?

    Just joking but seriously I could care less about Roses problems and why he is trying to turn this into another publicity motivated soap opera.

  6. Battle of the egos.

  7. What the hell does he want? I don't get it.

    Just settle the dispute like any other person(s) does.

  8. Life is nasty.

  9. Denning's always been a hypocritical asshole. I'm on Team Rose.

  10. Regarding Steve Rose's response:

    Most readers will miss this, but please note how Rose crafted his post. First, he attempts to swap roles, assuming the mantle of maligned victim. Next, after just specifying an April 2018 column, Rose references an undated real or imagined conversation which may or may not have taken place with someone. This is an important detail and it's telling that Rose can't provide a date for this conjured meeting.

    "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?"
    It's in the form of a hypothetical question! A bad journalist's trick?

    "..what troubled The Star is that the conversation with Denning was not as recent as the wording of the column may have implied.." Here in the act of defending himself, Rose still fails to specify when the alleged meeting took place which he misrepresented to the Star.

    "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." This is pure bullshit, an obvious attempt to cover his ass, and Rose essentially confesses to being unethical. Using this logic, Rose apparently believes that a memory he has of a conversation from decades ago can be the basis for an editorial which implies a recent discussion took place. Think about all the things you said as a high school/college student, and then having Steve Rose write a column attempting to smear your now middle-aged self, passing off the comments as contemporary conversations.

    Steve Rose doesn't fool me a bit. I correctly pegged him years ago on Ruckus as a faux-Republican.

  11. His argument lost any sense of truth once it referred to the Star's "high standards."

    That's the best joke of the day

  12. Does Denning not understand. The press is off limits. I feel he must think that if it's OK for POTUS to bully the press, it must be OK for him to do the same. Any respectful judge would toss this and provide defense legal fees.

    1. Oh yes, the poor bullied press is the victim when Harvard has told us that 95% of Trump coverage is hostile, and the Jussie Smollett case being the latest example of the poor victimized press getting caught red-handed demonizing Trump supporters without evidence. When will the poor press be free of this bullying you guys??

  13. Steve just torpedoed Denning. There's no way that this frivolous lawsuit stands up. It's a comedy of manners, not a legal complaint.

  14. ^^^^ Rose ripped apart Denning. Do you think a trump defense will really work? It didn't help kobach. If the Kansas republicans are going to save themselves, siding with the Orange cheeto isn't going to cut it.

  15. Come on, Tony! You are defending the indefensible chronic liar and concealer, Steve Rose. And allowing him to try to litigate this in your blog?

    Isn't it true that Rose had already resigned, on Sat, when on the following Monday, he "offered to resign IF Denning would just drop this?"

    Apparently Rose can't even keep his own 2019 time line straight!

    And read the emails, in your post which preceded this one:
    Rose "updated" his defamation of Denning, using Gov. Kelly's estimate of $14 million cost deficit. A 2019 figure and quote of someone else--trying to laminate it onto his false recall of his UNDOCUMENTED conversation with Sen. Denning two years ago!!!

    That is gobsmacking chutzpah, I tell ya!

    Steve Rose is the Jesse Smollett of Johnson County. When one lie didn't get enough traction, he is now making up BIGGER lies!

    He is not a journalist. He quit college. He's a spoiled brat. Caught in his many lies. And using you and TKC trying to defend himself.

    Steve Rose is toast. Nobody's gonna read any blog he now establishes. (ala Yael Abouhalka...whatever happened to him?) Or Hearne Christopher's KCConfidential, virtual hibernation during his five year self-imposed exile in Lawrence, while selling Volkswagen diesels with defective parts--in Topeka. Two millionaires living on Daddy's money, so desperate for relevance or respect.

    Burnt toast. As for Rose, burnt bacon. Still can't write a kosher column. Or just own up to his manufactured and now updated lies.

  16. Okay, "Steve Rose is the Jesse Smollett of County." Is a quote if I ever heard one.

  17. My "give a shit" about any of this, and about any of them, is broken.

  18. Crime of the Century. Seriously, doesn't the leader of the Senate have more productive things to do with his time than this fiasco.

  19. Tracy Thomas/No More Taxes Shawnee2/19/19, 11:39 AM

    And here is Exhibit H. Part of the actual lawsuit, I didn't make this up.

    The emails from Steven Rose to his two bosses.
    Admitting so many lies and deceits.

    I don't think the Star's nasty accusatory tone and remarks in their lawyer's recent demand to have the suit dismissed are very smart. So over the top. Clearly EDITORIALIZING!! Kinda proving Denning's case.

    Why doesn't Colleen Nelson do the right thing? Publish a retraction! Should have been done on Day 1. When she and Derek Donovan killed the column. Instead they are doubling down. Generally, judges want motions to be factual. Not a rant. It's disrespectful of the court.

    The STAR is only in charge of the court of public opinion, and doing a piss poor job, at that.

    1. Tracy, you're an idiot if you think we can look at your email.

  20. Why do we listen to this silver spoon rino brat ?

  21. $TAR AND $TEVE $ETTLEMENT $PECTACLE2/19/19, 12:02 PM

    RINO Rose's fake news got him fired.

    Bet he's not going to come out of this FUBAR, smelling like a "rose".

  22. Steve Rose siad, "If anyone’s reputation has been damaged by these events, it is mine."

    Hate to tell you Steve, you did that to yourself and your family many, many, years ago.

    Oh and Steve I would caution you in saying someone else is twisting the truth on the matter. There is probably plenty of incidents of you doing such in printed history that could come back to haunt you.

    Typical media trick. Lets play and air the court case in the media to try and twist their views of the viewers to our side or away from the actual truth.

    Steve maybe you should put some thought into these words;
    You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

    I can't believe a good attorney would have allowed this rant from Steve.

  23. Another point is the fact the Star says they will can Rose if Denning goes away. So the Star knew right then they were and had been caught red handed. Rose walking away is also a self admission of wrongdoing. If it was all the truth they would have front paged the facts the following Monday morning. But they didn't, the Star instead went into CYA mode.

  24. I too wonder whether Rose ran this rant by his lawyer before he clicked send. I doubt it. Lawyers for civil defendants normally don't want their clients to give information except in closely controlled circumstances. (For civil plaintiffs lawyers, it's difference - it seems to be de rigueur to send an inflammatory complaint to the Star, which then writes a story about it as if it were gospel.) My guess is Rose went rogue on this one.

  25. The Star should print the facts. The public should hardly care. Rose is gone from the Star nothing else is Necessary. Kansas not taking medicare money in the light of healthcare costs and the need is obtuse.Steve should shut up about that politician, otherwise he is free to comment on whatever knowing his words will be so examined. Some of the angst is just a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Tell Denning he won the point. If he proceeds further then his judgement is fair game.

  26. 11:39---Don't insult Tracy with a stupid comment. We know Tracy and i assure you she would make a smarter comment, post her pick and own it. Besides you're not sexy, sensuous and always mysteriously alluring and you're not.

  27. I think what we're seeing is that Steve doesn't think much of the lawsuit. Have to agree with him. Whether the quote was from two years ago or last week, Denning admits talking to Steve and the documents show that they just agree about the nature of the conversation.

  28. I give Rose the win on this because even the most conservative judges have a high standard of proof for defamation. Afraid Denning's claim doesn't meet that.

  29. What a mess, I think Rose has a point but this should be a lesson for everybody on facebook and twitter that politicians are getting more thin skinned nowadays.

  30. The few people above who are still enabling Rose's unethical defamatory actions obviously haven't bothered to read the email timeline released by Denning's attorney.

    The case is quite clear, based on the evidence, and Team Denning wins their case.

  31. Rose has proven he's an idiot.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that once you've been served with a suit the only course of action is to STFU and let your lawyer do the talking.

  32. I think it's hilarious watching all of the leftist assholes on here trying to justify the unethical conduct of a douchebag like Rose. He's been doing this shit for years. When he owned The Sun no one could stop him and when he moved to The Star under Tony Berg's imported WAPO rejects no one cared. Bottom line is someone finally stood up to The Star and Rose and, if we're lucky, Denning's attorney won't even give them the courtesy of a reach around.

  33. Steve Rose lost all credibility as a journalist a long time ago. Expanding Medicaid is a sucker deal. Feds pay a lot at first, but the state has to keep paying for it in perpetuity. Jim Denning is wise to keep Kansans from being on the hook for these future bills.


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