Local Columns

Opinion: Thank these exceptional lawmakers

Democracy can be a thankless venture. When eligible citizens place their name on a ballot and ask neighbors for their vote, they invite scrutiny and accept the verdict at the ballot box. In advance of the upcoming legislative session, please join me in publicly thanking a small group of ...

Opinion: Kansas’ back and forth governorship

“Take me back, take me way, way, way back …” — Van Morrison, “On Hyndford Street” January 1949. Republican Frank Carlson is sworn in as governor for a second two-year term, a seemingly ordinary event, given the GOP’s general dominance of Kansas politics. Who could have ...

Matt Tait: Biggest job for new Kansas OC Chip Lindsey: Get Pooka the ball

New Kansas offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey has been on the job for barely 48 hours and already extended a scholarship offer to a four-star, dual-threat quarterback from Alabama. That’s a terrific start. And recruiting, no doubt, will be a huge part of Lindsey’s job at Kansas. But no ...

Opinion: Work begins for Kansas Democrats

Democrats had a lot at stake this year. They won a qualified victory, and they owe it all to new voters. Sharice Davids captured the Kansas City-area 3rd Congressional District from incumbent Kevin Yoder, while Laura Kelly defeated the drama-seeking Kris Kobach for the governorship. Davids is ...

Matt Tait: History of developing NFL talent an added bonus of Les Miles hire

The list of former LSU Tigers who played for Les Miles and were drafted into the NFL is roughly as long as the number of junior college transfers the Kansas football program brought in during the past 10 years, hoping against hope that the juco route would be the elixir that cured KU’s woes. ...

Opinion: How school choice works in Kansas

Mix, match, customize — the modern world is an array of choices that permeate many aspects of our daily lives. Take, for example, public school choices approved by the Kansas State Board of Education. While not all options are listed here and not all are found in every school district, the ...

Matt Tait: Kansas football covers; was Les Miles watching?

Imagine, for a minute, that you were Les Miles on Saturday night and found yourself in front of a television set around 6:30 p.m. Wouldn’t you have flipped the tube to FOX to check out the Kansas football team’s second-to-last game of the season at Oklahoma? Whether with his family ...

Opinion: Women, you should run for office

The 2018 election was “Year of the Woman, Part Deux.” Women, particularly Democrats, made gains nationwide. Kansas factored into that, electing Laura Kelly as governor, Vicki Schmidt as insurance commissioner and Sharice Davids to Congress. Despite these gains, women still have not achieved ...

Matt Tait: Beaty staying positive to the bitter end

Some coaches in their final year on the job enjoy farewell tours that come with gifts and adoration from longtime foes in once-hostile venues. Former Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart’s final farewell at Kansas is one that comes to mind, and Norm, who for decades had been urged over and ...

Opinion: Kansas rejects brash partisan politics

Shock and awe! Kansas voters nailed the coffin shut this week on the discredited Brownback era. They chose a bipartisan path forward by electing Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly as governor and soundly rejecting her opponent, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach was embraced by President ...

Matt Tait: Best advice for KU AD Jeff Long: Go with your guy

I ran into Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long on Tuesday night in Indianapolis, and while chatting with him before KU’s basketball victory over Michigan State we talked a little football, too. Specifically, Long asked — joking I’m sure — if I had any tips for him as he began the ...

Opinion: Crucial counties for Kansas Democrats

Like Napoleon, Hillary Clinton’s long career ended in Waterloo. Only in her case, it was Waterloo, Iowa. She trailed Barack Obama’s 2012 totals by 9 percent in Waterloo’s Black Hawk County, helping President Trump win the White House, which he did by capturing votes in areas that ...

Opinion: Assessing impact of charter schools

A national, yet controversial, charter school movement intended to promote school choice and school reform has made its way rather quietly to Kansas. Currently, 11 charter schools operate within Kansas’ 286 public school districts. Begun as a way to encourage innovation in public schools, ...

Opinion: Casting your vote on Kobach’s legacy

Kansans have two chances to vote on Kris Kobach next month: on Kobach himself in the gubernatorial race and on his legacy in the secretary of state race. Kobach’s tenure as secretary of state has been marred with mismanagement: failures to update his office’s website, shortfalls in ...