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: Kansas voters rebuke tax experiment

Kansas voters rebuked legislative allies of Gov. Sam Brownback and his reckless tax experiment in the August primary elections and again last Tuesday in the general election. Forty legislative seats currently held or contested by backers of the experiment changed hands, 25 going to centrist ...

Opinion: Is this election the beginning of the end?

A year ago, in assessing nascent opposition to some of Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies, I quoted Winston Churchill’s famous lines: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Bearing in mind the precipitous drop in tax ...

Opinion: Why I support the proposal for jail, crisis center

I began my career standing at the bars of the Des Moines City Jail interviewing people to see if they qualified for release on their own recognizance or release with treatment services. Since then, I have visited jails and prisons in multiple states. I know we have a major problem with mass ...

Opinion: Judicial independence under attack

Judicial merit selection was first adopted right here, in this part of the country. Will its death begin here as well, in this year’s Kansas judicial retention elections?Merit selection is just a shorthand. The plan Kansas and many other states use is officially called the Missouri ...

Opinion: Trump is Brownback on national scale

Sam Brownback’s approval ratings as governor of Kansas are dismally low, yet polls show Donald Trump winning Kansas. How can both of those things be true? It does not make sense for Kansans to boo Brownback but vote for Trump.Over the last year, Brownback has consistently polled in the 20 ...

Opinion: Medicaid change starts with Legislature

Kansas’s hardline opposition to Medicaid expansion has to change, if health care and health outcomes are going to grow in rural Kansas. Given the governor’s position, and a bill (HB 2552) passed in 2014, that change will have to begin in the Kansas Legislature. A change in the Republican ...

Opinion: Brownback coalition an utter failure

With the approach of upcoming elections I am reminded of a private conversation five years ago with Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief of staff, who mused: “The real issue is whether conservatives can govern.” At that time I held out hope that the relatively new governor and his legislative ...

Opinion: Kansans, are you better off now?

Debating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan pulled one of his classic moves. Reagan summed up decades of political science research with a pithy, homespun-sounding question. Once thought impossible, inflation and unemployment were both high at the same time, so the economy was on ...

Opinion: Facing a Trump-Brownback ticket

Like a supernova, Donald Trump has illuminated the electoral universe in 2016. Win or lose, he is likely to explode, showering his light and heat upon thousands of other races across the country, from county commissioner to U.S. senator. Like a red dwarf, Sam Brownback’s presence has shrunk, ...

Opinion: We must restore confidence in the value of education

It is time for a reality check.Americans are losing confidence in higher education, its quality and its availability. According to a recent poll by Public Agenda, 57 percent of the public are uncertain about the necessity of college; 46 percent say a college education is a questionable ...

Opinion: Brownback dealing in dreams, not reality

Recently, Gov. Sam Brownback held a press conference to invite Kansans to email him ideas for a new school finance formula. That sounds nice. Can anything be wrong with asking people for input? Well, actually, quite a bit.The big problem: A new school finance formula requires resources — ...

Opinion: Brownback’s economy spin wearing thin

For six years Gov. Sam Brownback has put his spin on the state of the state’s fiscal condition. Perhaps we have all been too dense to appreciate the underlying grand strategy of this supremely skilled budgeteer and his legislative allies who knew in advance that planning both pleasure (tax ...

Opinion: Kansas Chamber represents only a very few

The tail wags the dog when it comes to the politics of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. A few businesses underwrite the chamber’s electioneering with results contrary to the interests of most Kansas businesses.The Kansas Chamber Political Action Committee conducts the chamber’s campaign ...

Opinion: Kansas especially reckless, thoughtless on taxes

I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire adult life. By temperament, I’m a Midwesterner — relatively pragmatic, optimistic within reason, and generally kind (I hope). I’ve lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and — for the past 37 years — Kansas. Traveling through this ...

Your Turn: City’s action diminishes access to arts

In 1974, when Lawrence decided not to leave engagement in art up to the private sector or the marketplace, the Lawrence Arts Center and the City of Lawrence entered a collaboration to bring arts exhibitions, performance, and visual and performing arts education to the entire community. Our ...

Your Turn: Universities face uncertainty

In a matter of weeks — yes, weeks — our colleges and universities will be in full swing for the 2016-17 school year.And what can we expect? A survey of 12 college presidents and a review of the literature give us pretty clear insights. If pushed to define the upcoming academic year in a ...

Your Turn: Cuts will impact Cottonwood clients

Most days, there is news about the governor’s attempts to stem the state’s massive tax-cut-induced hemorrhage. School payments are delayed, highway funds are seized, KPERS loans are unpaid, and Medicaid reimbursements are cut 4 percent across the board.School and hospital voices are big and ...

Your Turn: Secretary shares Kansas ag stats

The agriculture industry has historically been a fundamental part of the Kansas economy, so we were surprised and concerned to see the article in the June 28 Journal-World that claimed agriculture was no longer a strong part of the “three-legged stool” of the Kansas economy.When the author ...

Your Turn: Group helps build sports participation

This is a great summer for sports fans. A partial line-up includes: NBA and NHL finals, Summer Olympics, baseball, three golf majors, Wimbledon, Copa America and UEFA Euro, more than a dozen NASCAR and Grand Prix races, and the Tour de France.  This is also a great time for the business of ...

Your Turn: Storm bearing down on Kansas schools

I grew up in central Kansas, where (for better or for worse) dark stormy skies were more likely to draw me outside with my dad than send me for cover in the basement. I’ve seen big storms, I’ve cleaned up the mess they leave and I’ve helped rebuild in the weeks and months after. It’s ...