Roberts-Sebelius ties once transcended party politics

By Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

This is a follow-up to the Mercury’s Oct 14 editorial to the effect that Sen. Pat Roberts’ call for the resignation of Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was explainable only because of the emergence of a Tea Party rival in the Republican Senate primary.

It is worth remembering that Pat Roberts got his start in politics as an aide to long-time Republican representative in the Big First District of Kansas, Keith  Sebelius. When Rep. Sebelius was in Washington, D.C., his son Gary was a student at Georgetown University. There he met Kathleen, who also was a student at Georgetown and was a member of the school’s women’s basketball team. Her father was a Democrat representative from Ohio. When the two of them were guests in the Sebelius home, they became well acquainted with Mr. Roberts and his family, and a mutual intergenerational fond-ness resulted. This respect and fondness continued when the two young people graduated and then married.

The couple moved to Topeka. He became a respected trial lawyer. Kathleen served in the Legislature as a Democrat, later became a well respected two-term insurance commissioner and then was twice elected Kansas governor. Gary was nominated by President Clinton to be a federal judge, but his nomination was blocked by then-freshman Sen. Sam Brownback. Gary then was selected as federal magistrate judge by the panel of Kansas federal judges.

The family ties between the two young and capable people and Sen. Roberts resulted in him supporting her nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services by President Barack Obama. It was a warm and human thing to do.

But now that Roberts has a Tea Party rival, he has thrown Kathleen Sebelius under the bus. What a sad thing to see! Tea Party politics are brutal!.

Ed Horne

3405 Sioux Circle

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