One Kansas State Representative appears to be on a lone crusade to protect corrupt police officers in a bizarre pattern of legislative behavior, bizarre even for Kansas, where bizarre legislative behavior is often the norm.
Yesterday, Friday May 2, a bill passed the House and Senate that will allow citizens who are the subject of a police search to request the probable cause affidavits that led to the search. The bill introduced by Rep. John Rubin, is a step towards bringing transparency to Kansas law enforcement. Kansas is currently the only state in the nation that seals these affidavits, a situation that will soon change, assuming Governor Sam Brownback signs the bill.
Only one state legislator, Rep. Melanie Meier, voted against this bill. Meier, a Democrat representing Leavenworth, KS, also happens to be the legislator who introduced the recent failed bill that would have legalized police retaliation, a story that was first reported by Kansas Exposed and which quickly became a national news story. That bill was shot down in committee, after being anonymously introduced by Meier. Reps. Brett Hildebrand (R) and Gail Finney (D) were both instrumental in blocking that inane bill from passage to the House floor.
Meier, a former Army intelligence officer, sits on the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, as well as the House Judiciary Committee. Meier is also an employee of Northrup Grumman, a defense contractor, and conveniently serves as the ranking minority member on the House Committee on Veterans, Military and Homeland Security. While activists in Kansas are rallying for increased transparency in our criminal justice system, Meier continually advocates for less transparency.