Abortion controversy could cost Kansas governor her commerce chief

GOP lawmakers upset about Tiller fund grant
Abortion controversy could cost Kansas governor her commerce chief
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Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly could be forced to replace Kansas’ top business development official because of an abortion controversy.

Acting state Commerce Secretary David Toland has no role in regulating abortion providers, but the state’s most influential anti-abortion group has joined an effort by some Republican legislators to oust him. They are troubled by grants totaling less than $20,000 to a southeast Kansas economic development group he previously ran.

The grants were from a fund named for the late Dr. George Tiller. He was a Kansas physician who performed late-term abortions.

The Republican-dominated Senate is expected to vote on his appointment next week, and it refuses to confirm him, he will have to step down from the Cabinet post he’s held since Kelly took office in January.

Several Republican senators said Tuesday that the Tiller fund grants troubled them, and the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life emailed all 40 senators a letter Monday urging them not to confirm Toland’s appointment.