Kansas appoints AFL-CIO board member to state Supreme Court

Via SunshineReview.org
September 22, 2009

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson announced that he appointed the 4th Congressional District member to the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission and appointee Paul Babich has a history of high involvement with labor unions and other political connections.


The Wichita native Babich taught in his hometown’s public schools for three decades. Recently, Babich retired as the President of the United Teachers of Wichita, having served on the Kansas NEA Board of Directors. Babich received USD 259’s Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award and was a Fulbright Scholar to Israel.

The State Supreme Court Nominating Committee’s duty is to recommend people for Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals appointments. Babich joins three public members serving on the board for a limit of two terms.

The Committee requires the Governor to appoint one public member per congressional district, amounting to four, and the members may not hold any other public elected or appointed position at the time they are appointed. The other members of the Committee are elected to their position by their local Bar Association, just as the Chair is elected into position.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission are exempt from conflict of interest statements, so other information about these members is not readily available to the public.

Political involvement

Babich now has a role in selecting Kansas Supreme Court judges and the governor did not provide extensive information about his political involvement in his press release.

Teachers unions

United Teachers of Wichita / American Federation of Teachers The Constitution and Bylaws of the United Teachers of Wichita explains the union is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, a taxpayer-funded lobbying organization. Its constitution also explains it is affiliated with the National Education Association, Kansas Association of Public Employees, the Kansas-National Education Association, the AFL-CIO, the Kansas AFL-CIO, and the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation, all taxpayer-funded lobbying organizations.

The United Teachers of Wichita is a non-profit under the name American Federation of Teachers Wichita, making it an affiliated international union of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The 2008 IRS paperwork for the non-profit shows Paul Babich received an American Federation of Teachers (AFT) salary of $90,380 as president, and vice president Larry Landwehr received $84,949.

Analysis continues at SunshineReview.org

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