Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Politics: February 2010

WICHITA, Kan. - Tom Holland, a small business owner and State Senator for Baldwin City, has announced his candidacy for Kansas Governor. The Democrats have, in my opinion, have found a viable champion of moderation and common sense to challenge the extremism and pro-business ideology of Sam Brownback. On Saturday, February 20, Holland came to Wichita. Here's a video of his remarks...

TOPEKA, Kan. - "Congressman Honda, I'm Marty Keenan from Great Bend, Kansas. Right in the Middle of the State!" Congressman Honda seemed strangely fascinated by Kansas. It was like an epiphany for him. I don't think he came to Kansas expecting much.

For one, he was floored by Governor Parkinson's oratorical skills. Parkinson gave a barn-burner speech at the Friday night "Washington Days" Banquet that was his best speech to date. And I've been listening to Parkinson speak since his Moot Court days at KU law school.

Honda spoke in a breezy, stream-of-consciousness style. "To see a guy give a speech like that without notes or a teleprompter or anything!" he mused about Parkinson. But it was the content of Parkinson's speech that inspired Honda.

ELLIS, Kan. - Two Kansas politicians have been getting the kind of media attention in the last week that should make citizens of this state cringe with embarrassment. One of these Kansas politicians is a sitting U.S. Senator, and the other one wants to be.

School Daze

POTWIN, Kan. - Sending my oldest daughter off to kindergarten last year was beyond difficult. Now that both of us are adjusted to school, I am now having trouble with the budget cuts to education and how it is affecting her small-town school.

I received a letter, like all other parents, stating that budget cuts were made, and changes would happen to help the school save money. There were simple money saving ideas like no longer sending the lunch and breakfast menus home with the student, and cutting down on other notes sent home. They also eliminated several positions, and no longer pay for uniforms for custodians.

But what disturbs me is what wasn't in the note.

A Stinging Response!

EMPORIA, Kan. - My last article was largely cut and pasted from a letter to the editor submitted to my local newspaper, The Emporia Gazette. That letter generated significant comments on the newspaper's online forum. That article and forum can be viewed here.

Subsequently, a person wrote a letter to the editor critizing my prior letter which also generated a significant number of comments. That letter can be viewed at this link.

Yes, I admit I lost my composure and shouted out "you lie" a la South Carolina, U.S. Republican Representative, Joe Wilson, during a joint session of Congress at which the President was giving a speech last year.

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Senator David Haley is the son of a state senator, the nephew of "Roots" author Alex Haley, and a graduate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s alma mater, Morehouse College.

So one would expect Haley to speak in the eloquent cadences of scripture so typical of African-American preachers. And Haley delivers the goods.

Check out this sugarplum launched by Senator Haley in Fridays' death penalty debate:

"Many of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory... I won't cast the first stone and won't be part of an angry mob and call for vengeance."

In a few seconds, Haley had invoked Paul's letter to the Romans, the Gospel of John, and invoked images of one of America's saddest chapters -- the lynch mob.

Kansas Legislature Wants to Marry You!

TOPEKA, Kan. - State Representative Anthony Brown, R- Eudora, is sponsoring the Covenant Marriage proposal approved Thursday by the Kansas House. This proposal was added to House Bill 2667 which deals, ironically, with issues of custody, property, and, even protection from abuse.

The bill was approved on a vote of 70-49. As written and passed, a covenant marriage is "a marriage entered into by one male and one female who understand and agree that the marriage between them is a lifelong relationship". By affidavit all who, voluntarily, enter into a covenant marriage are testifying that they have completed pre-marital counseling and fully understand that dissolution of their marriage shall be granted on limited grounds including, confinement of one spouse in a mental institution for a period of two years or more, or failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation. Bills and proposals such as the Covenant Marriage proposal purport to be about strengthening families and the institution of marriage.

"I'm standing here today to let Kansans know they DO have a choice for Governor. My name is Tom Holland, I'm a problem solver and a small businessman and I'm running to be the next Governor of Kansas!"

TOPEKA, Kan. - Announcing his candidacy for Kansas Governor before a crowd of supporters today, Tom Holland said he will use his small business experience to solve the problems facing our state.

"Kansas needs a problem solver with a business mindset for its next governor," Holland said. "I have a proven track record in running a successful business, making a payroll for over 15 years, creating jobs and bringing people together to find solutions."

Holland, joined by his wife, Barbara, and their four children, announced his candidacy near Lowman Hills Elementary School in Topeka. The location called attention to problems facing communities across Kansas dealing with public school closures and overcrowding.

SALINA, Kan. - In states where you don't have a filibuster, partisanship does not lead to gridlock; it leads to broad legislation.

A national study spanning 120 years of state lawmaking concludes that vigorous two-party competition in state governments provides the best guarantee for meaningful, broad-based governance. The authors say also that modest salaries for lawmakers add a second protection against narrow-interest legislation.

Money and Love

GIRARD, Kan. - The doorbell rang. Of course I was washing my hair and my husband was out in his man-cave. Forget it, I'm not answering the door. Of course then I was trying to figure out who had been at the door. Ah, its the day before Valentines. Hopefully, the flowers will be on the porch after I dry my hair.

That is not the problem I am really chewing on though. No, instead I am mulling over the consequences of truth. What the hey, I know I am loved. I have nothing to lose, right?

Sometimes the truth is unspeakable. Other times it can be just plain stupid to speak it, because everyone already knows or they plain don't want to know. In this case it is unspeakable, everybody knows it, and....

GREAT BEND, Kan. - It was horrible timing. A room in Great Bend was full with 350 people attending the "Kansas Oil and Gas Hall of Fame" banquet in 2008. At that very moment, Kansas was playing North Carolina in the Final Four at San Antonio.

As we waited for keynote speaker Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh to speak, my Dad passed me a note: "What's the score?" I checked on my cell phone and handed the piece of paper back to my Dad. "KU 40, UNC 12."

He shook his head negatively. "That can't be right," he seemed to whisper to himself. As each of the Hall of Fame Inductees had given their presentations, we tried to keep tabs on the game, while paying our due to the great inductees like L.D. Davis, Jim Robinson and others.

GREAT BEND, Kan. - A famous workers' rights leader (it was either Mother Jones or Joe Hill) said, "Don't agonize, organize."

Yes, candidate recruitment is off to a slow start for Kansas Democrats this year. However, nobody needs a permission slip to recruit candidates. Just start recruiting.

There's still plenty of time.

I helped recruit Christina Stein in the 112th District, and she's going to be good. I had Mike Laudick all primed for a rematch with Bob Bethell (R-113th), but sadly, Mike Laudick passed away suddenly. Now I'm looking for his replacement.

I have some feelers out for potential candidates against Rep. Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson).

Wake-up Call: A New Coffee Party

HAYS, Kan. - Christopher Renner filed a story on Sunday that included the full text of George Pyle's keynote address delivered at last Friday's Reality Not Celebrity event in Salina.

Christopher published the full text of that speech here. David Norlin, one of the Kansas activists that instigated the 'counter Palin' event, tells us that there have been many requests for copies of Pyle's speech.

Norlin added, "Many asked how we might get Pyle's keynote into area newspapers. Pyle rightly said that in its long form, it's unpublishable. Therefore, he has provided us a slimmed-down, concise version of about 850 words." For those wishing to have the new version published in their own local newspapers, Norlin recommends, "Contact the editors of your local paper with a request to print it."

We've published the shorter version here, too.

OSKALOOSA, Kan. - Is Senator Brownback an unbeatable candidate for Kansas Governor? I don't think so. Many of the republicans that I have had the chance to visit with seem to think that he is a classic politician who doesn't know much about anything. I've heard time and time again that he is a lot like Jim Ryan in the case that he is only engaged during election season.

Don't Like Mike O'Neal? Run Against Him

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Democrats who complain about House Speaker Mike O'Neal's pattern of using his public office to benefit himself, his wife, his law firm, and the clients of his law firm should recruit a Democrat to run against him.

The voters of Reno County, 104th District, hired O'Neal. And the voters of the 104th District are the only one's who have the authority to fire him. But O'Neal never seems to have a Democratic opponent.

Libertarian Ben Ferguson seems to run against O'Neal every time, and his showings of 21.7% (2006) and 18.7% (2008) are proof that not all Reno Countians believe O'Neal is in Topeka due to altruism.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and any officeholder will tend toward misadventure if he or she has no competition.

ANDOVER, Kan. - The continuing saga of Sarah Palin on the national scene is fraught with ironies and strange inconsistencies. The question has to be asked: Who is the real Sarah Palin? Is she the maverick fighting for the people? Is she a conservative feminist extraordinaire or just another huckster cashing in on her good fortune?

During the 2008 presidential race, some friends were mocking me and wondering if I would support Sarah since I was such a feminist; as if the only requirement for being a feminist is being female. Geez, how long must we fight this stupidity? I'm ready to enter the great Sarah debate if I can place all this in the context of a feminist critique.

Charlatan Spalding

EMPORIA, Kan. - Matthew Spalding of the Heritage Foundation appeared last week at the Granada Theater as part of the E.S.U. "Lectures on Liberty" series (funded in part by a grant from the Fred & Mary Koch Foundation) and asserted that the Progressive Movement has been undermining the foundations of American democracy in favor of Western European style socialism since its inception at the beginning of 19th Century.

In my opinion, it is Mr. Spalding and his Neo-Conservative, Tea Party, fringe ilk which are the more serious threat to our cherished freedoms. While raving against the current health care bill as an assault on personal liberty, he failed to mention that traditional popular policies such as Medicare and Social Security are as much a product of Progressivism as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s or the trust busting of Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican president who later founded the Progressive Party with the assistance of William Allen White, at the beginning of the last century.

Who Motivates and Inspires Me?

COLBY, Kan. - Two recent events in Salina can be compared with one another kind of like a night of television entertainment provided by Professional Wrestling and a night featuring a High School wrestling meet. You figure out which wrestling venue represents the Palin rally and which one can be compared to George Pyle's presentation. Thanks to one of our writers for Kansas Free Press, I had opportunity to read Pyle's speech. I didn't attend Palin's rally nor have I seen the transcript or viewed a reproduction of the event. However, I have had lots of opportunities to hear and see Sarah perform. Without question, I acknowledge her skill as a speaker/performer. She is smart, attractive, and has a charisma that attracts followers. But all those attributes do not convince me that she represents my values or priorities for the role of government in our nation.

Leonard Pitts, Jr. on Factual Facts

LAWRENCE, Kan. - This past Friday, KU's school of journalism, in its infinite wisdom, awarded the William Allen White Award to Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. I became familiar with Pitts' work a little over ten years ago via my hometown newspaper, the Lawrence Journal World.

I like Pitts because, though his politics tend to lean left, as mine do, he's not a knee-jerk liberal, either. His columns offer a sort of horse-sense, real-world analysis of events that appeal to me in a very personal way. Often when I read his columns I find that Pitts is the only commentator saying exactly what I'm thinking. If only I could write those thoughts as eloquently as he.

SALINA, Kan. - The following is the written speech George Pyle delivered at Reality Not Celebrity, the "counter event" to Sarah Palin's speech in Salina on February 5th.

Pyle's keynote was broadcasted on Community Bridge on February 25, 2010. To listen, click the start button on the player panel to hear the keynote in a streaming format, or click the MP3 button to download the file to your computer. Run time: 46:31.

MP3 File

Good evening, fellow outcasts.

Down in the valley, the respectable and the Republican of the community have gathered in a sports arena to hear from a self-professed maverick woman of the people. Up on the hill, we rabble of liberals and lefties are assembled in the local country club to hear a speech from a bald man who works for Warren Buffett. [though I must hasten to add that I do not speak for Mr. Buffett in any way, shape or form. He is perfectly capable of speaking for himself.]

So. What's wrong with this picture?

SALINA, Kan. - The RNC was able to draw a crowd of over 300 people to their counter Palin event on Friday, February 5th at the Salina Country Club. With special guest appearances from "Oprah," "Dick Cheney" and "Sarah" herself to soften up the crowd before hand, the evening's keynote speaker, journalist George Pyle, was able to walk off with the stunning coup d'état of the tea baggers and their leading lady.
Janice Norlin, Yvonne Gibbons and Kathryne Perney check in guests

When the Salina Chamber of Commerce announce they had signed on to bring Sarah Palin to speak at their annual meeting, some in Salina were not please. One might say they were down right upset.

But rather than protesting the Chamber of Commerce event, a group of "instigators," including Gene and Donna Sandberg, Janice and David Norlin, Yvonne Gibbons, Abner Perney, and others began meeting to plan a more hopeful, more progressive alternative to the Chamber's delusional choice in speakers.

Ice Age 2010

HAYS, Kan. - It's been a great winter - that is, if you are an opponent of global warming theory. Bitter cold temperatures and plenty of snow makes this winter one of the most memorable in a long time. Some say that we're entering another ice age, and mastodon sightings have been reported in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

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