Local Columns

Opinion: Preparing Kansas students for future

“Can’t fight progress,” my father observed as he pitched his plan to buy our family’s first automatic dishwasher. “Why would we want one?" I remember my mother’s counter. “We already have two daughters.” Fortunately for me, it didn’t take long for dishwashers to make ...

Opinion: Who’s the real anti-Kobach candidate?

Bill Graves, the last moderate Republican governor of Kansas, recently endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in the gubernatorial race — his first public endorsement of a Democrat ever for statewide office. Sure, Graves and Kelly are both relatively centrist, but the shocker was Graves endorsing at ...

Opinion: Trump places rule of law on ballot

Will the “Trump effect” carry Kris Kobach and Republican congressional candidates to victory this November? Some commentators believe that an endorsement by President Donald Trump represents a powerful force in winning state and local elections, but the president’s mounting and careless ...

Opinion: Greg Orman and the road not taken

With seventy-some days to the 2018 general election, Greg Orman has become reviled by Democrats and others as a “spoiler,” who could easily help far-right Republican Kris Kobach win election as governor of Kansas. It didn’t have to be that way. In 2014, heading into the last few days of ...

Opinion: Laura Kelly and a return to sanity

Contested recounts, an independent spoiler candidate and national publicity each time our secretary of state starts a new round of antics. Never a dull moment in Kansas these days. Enough already. To heck with those guys. I am not even going to bother naming them. It is time to talk about ...

Opinion: Orman could hand Kobach a victory

How can a politician as flawed as Kris Kobach be elected governor? Easy—just divide and conquer. A lot of politicians with deep pockets and deep ambition see 2018 as their moment to shine. Consequently, Kobach enjoys the major advantage of having “too many” opponents, letting him squeak ...

Opinion: The choice is to go forward or turn back

For voters planning to cast a primary election ballot for governor on Tuesday, your choice is move forward and away from the Sam Brownback era or turn back toward it. Candidates have defined this choice on the major issues of the campaign. Most Kansans do not see abortion and guns as their ...

Opinion: In Kansas race, it’s Krump v. Colback

On Aug. 7, GOP voters will choose their nominee for governor, and it’s an intriguing four-person race. No, not the Jeff Colyer, Kris Kobach, Jim Barnett, Ken Selzer contest, although those names are on the ballot, along with a couple of well-spoken 17-year-olds. With all due respect, ...

Opinion: What’s a lieutenant governor for?

The Kansas Constitution requires all gubernatorial nominees to run on a ticket with their lieutenant governor nominees. Much more fanfare has surrounded the process this year than it has in the past. Why? The state Constitution and recent history do make one thing clear: The next lieutenant ...

Opinion: Leave the Constitution alone on schools

A storm is brewing over equitable education funding in Kansas. Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court passed down a decision upholding the state Legislature’s five-year school funding proposal of $522 million in new spending. The court required only that additional resources to sufficiently ...

Opinion: A license to discriminate in Kansas

Kansans should expect candidates seeking state office this year to address state laws and practices that discriminate against LGBT people. Gov. Jeff Colyer recently signed a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies that receive state funds to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples ...

Opinion: Kobach’s incompetence fully revealed

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been on vivid display in federal courtrooms over the past year, and his performance there tells Kansas Republicans all they need to know about his capacity to be the next governor of Kansas. He clearly lacks the competence and character to be elected to ...

Opinion: Young people stepping up politically

“Come Gather ‘Round Children …” Despite the great success of female candidates across the country this year, 2018 may become, even more, the political year of youth. This rosy possibility confronts the hard historical reality of low interest, low voting turnout and general cynicism ...

Opinion: New thinking on suicide prevention

Nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide each year — an increase of nearly 25 percent since 1999. No wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it a public health crisis. The problem is even worse in Kansas: up 45 percent in the same time frame. The issue is in today’s ...

Opinion: Why Kansas teachers didn’t strike

As state legislators grappled with a new Kansas school-funding plan this spring, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and recently North Carolina, strikes, walkouts and statewide teacher rallies closed schools. The demonstrations protested low salaries for teachers and ...

Opinion: Going out with good impressions

This is it. The end. I’m not going to be around anymore to nag you about low birth rates, shrinking populations out west, and the inevitability of change and its costs and responsibilities. No more scoffing at ridiculous claims about the sanctity of free enterprise without government ...

Opinion: Is higher education worth the cost?

It’s the end of spring, the beginning of summer, which means college graduation for millions of Americans. During the 2017-2018 school year, almost 5,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education will award just under 4 million degrees: a million associate degrees, 1.9 million ...

Opinion: Legislators, beware of ‘windfall politics’

Kansans should thank those courageous state representatives, a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, who in the last hour of the last day of the recent legislative session withstood the tempting siren song of “return the windfall.” Even so, every candidate seeking state office this year ...

Opinion: A modest proposal for our Legislature

Legislatures are unpopular. Most voters think that legislators do little more than bicker, bicker, bicker. Major problems often go ignored, and back-room deals predominate. There is some truth to this depressing stereotype, yet most lawmakers try to do what’s best, despite their ...

Opinion: Kansas GOP is busy punching holes

Like moths, miners and marksmen, our Republican Legislature has been busy making holes this session. Voters should be paying attention.One hole cost about $200,000 to buy a tool that legislators could use to bury the idea that spending more money was necessary for public K-12 education. Instead ...