Your Turn

To submit a lengthier opinion piece about a topic of public interest, please email your submission to letters@ljworld.com and indicate that you would like it to be considered for a “Your Turn” column. Submissions must bear the name, address and telephone number of the writer.

Opinion: How we got here, the short version

I recently talked to a national reporter who came to Kansas to cover the Legislature’s wrap-up session. He wanted to know how we arrived at our current Rubik’s Cube of revenue, funding and budget issues.Here’s my story of how Kansas arrived in its current circumstances. From the early ...

Your Turn: Concealed carry or great universities?

I am submitting the following letter of resignation from the University of Kansas in light of the looming July deadline to allow concealed carry in college classrooms, a policy that will do irreparable harm to higher education in Kansas and the well-being of Kansans. To: Dr. Eve Levin, chair, ...

Opinion: Will the real Wagle please stand up?

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, serves as president of the Kansas Senate, first elected to that post in 2012 and re-elected last December. She has served in the Legislature for more than one-quarter of a century, elected to the House in 1990, before moving to the Senate in 2000.For most of her ...

Opinion: Secret settlements harm public

Women who worked for him accused Bill O’Reilly of sexually harassing them. He denied all of it, said the stories were made up. Someone else, who will come into this later, might have called it “fake news.” Then recently, the New York Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News had paid ...

Opinion: Our trust in democracy is under attack

Can we trust democratic institutions? To bring this home, think about a bank account. You deposit your paycheck; during the month there are automatic withdrawals, you use your bank card, write a few checks, and at the end of the month you get your online statement. You’ve actually seen few ...

Opinion: Defeat Brownback’s hold on Kansas

Kansas is thrashing in Gov. Sam Brownback’s grip. Tax reform to restore desperately needed financial stability? Vetoed. Medicaid expansion? Vetoed. A fair and adequate school finance formula? That bill has not yet arrived at the governor’s desk, but the prospect of a signature ...

Your Turn: Secondary school bond needed for students

The May 2, 2017, Lawrence School Bond Mail-Ballot Election addresses educational needs as well as decades of deferred maintenance that face Lawrence’s (and many of our state’s and nation’s) schools, due in part to a general underfunding of public education. Our school board and district ...

Opinion: Surrendering ourselves to ‘strongmen’

Two high-profile elected executives, President Donald Trump and Gov. Sam Brownback, have stimulated a long dormant itch I need to scratch. I first felt this sensation nearly 50 years ago as a graduate student. At that time international politics interested me. We were in the midst of both ...

Opinion: Student debt situation is creating indentured servitude

Perhaps as much as half of settlement in the British American colonies was by indentured servants. Mostly under the age of 25, they lacked the money for passage to the New World and “indentured” themselves to repay the cost of getting here. Their time and labor was owned by their masters; ...

Opinion: A banner year for Major League Baseball

It could be “back to the future” for the New York Yankees in 2017.And their arch rival from Bean Town, the Boston Red Sox, is loaded with riches of young talent, too.As the new baseball season opens expect to hear and see much about the Yanks and their cast of promising kids headed by ...

Opinion: Time for Brownback to say goodbye

Where is Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback?Physically, he still inhabits his second-floor suite in the Capitol, haunts the Statehouse halls in his sweater vest, and resides at Cedar Crest, courtesy of Kansas taxpayers.Legislatively, however, Brownback is nowhere. He is essentially absent from the ...

Opinion: Founders believed we had a duty to help

From what some politicians are saying you’d think the makers of our nation were a bunch of bare-knuckled libertarians. A nation of hardy individuals and the Founding Fathers, this narrative goes, thought government an evil — the politicians say — because Americans don’t want help and ...

Opinion: ERA not needed? Women still get raw deal

So, there is hope. It’s not quite like the play “Lysistrata,” in which women used the ultimate trump card to stop their men from killing each other. First performed in Athens, around 411 B.C., Aristophanes’ comedy had women on both of the warring sides, Athenian and Spartan, come ...

Opinion: Name your state budget cuts now

Kansas budget cutters: The time has come to get real and very specific. Which expenses can be cut to balance the state budget? What’s your plan? Put out the details so that Kansans can judge the best course of action. Despite multiple rounds of budget cuts over the last years, some ...

Opinion: Senate leadership needed on tax bill

Undoubtedly many informed Kansans were upset by events in the Kansas Capitol last week.Deliberating at nearly the speed of prairie lightning the Kansas House and Senate had considered and passed, by nearly veto-proof margins, tax legislation that made progress toward resolving the structural ...

Opinion: Trump’s message is exceptional fear

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech was a message of fear: Fear Isis, fear China, fear Mexicans, be afraid in both public restrooms and private bedrooms, and be afraid on city streets. Be afraid of now, and be afraid of the future. The reason to be afraid is people who are different from us and ...

Opinion: Brownback obstructs will of majority

In a flurry of statehouse drama rarely seen, Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed the monumental tax bill Wednesday morning; within a couple hours the House overrode the veto, and that afternoon the Senate narrowly sustained the governor.In the end Brownback had obstructed the will of legislative ...

Opinion: A Legislature worthy of the Capitol

The Kansas State Capitol is a beautiful, breath-taking building. From the solid limestone foundation to the top of the dome, this structure exudes a solid feeling of strength and confidence, captured in our motto: “To the stars, through difficulties.”For much of its history, the Capitol has ...

Opinion: Governor’s plan fiscally unsound

There’s a $350 million elephant in the room, and it’s time to acknowledge it.The state is suffering a record $350 million shortfall — and growing. I’ve received numerous visits, calls and emails from constituents asking: How did we get here?At the end of the last legislative session, ...

Opinion: Will GOP end love affair with deficits?

Republicans were once married to balanced budgets and conservative money management, but now they have run off with something new: the seduction of tax cuts and budget deficits. They try to cover up the truth about their new relationship by cooking the books. Kansas’ own Dwight Eisenhower ...