Monday, September 17, 2018

Your Five Candidates for Kansas Governor

compiled by Kevin Surbaugh

Below I have compiled a brief biographical profile of each candidate.


Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach (file photo)

Birthday: March 26, 1966 (52 years old)
Marital Status: Married to Heather Kobach (17 years)
Children: 5 - Josephine, Lilly, Charlotte, Reagan, and Molly Kobach
Occupation: was a lawyer and law professor before being elected Secretary of State.
Education:  Washburn Rural High School, Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University, M.A. and D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, earned a J.D. from Yale Law School

Kobach won a seat on the Overland Park, Kansas, City Council, in April 1999. He unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat in 2000.  In 2004 Kobach unsuccessfully challenged then Congressman Dennis Moore.  In 2007, Kobach was elected Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, a position he served for two years. Later in 2010, he was elected to his first of two terms as Secretary of State, a position he currently holds.  Kobach announced in June 2018 that he would run for Governor of Kansas against incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer. After a narrow primary victory, Kobach is running against Democrat Laura Kelly, Independents Greg Orman, and Rick Kloos, as well as Libertarian Jeff Caldwell in the general election.


Laura Kelly
Laura Kelly (file photo)

Birthday: January 24, 1950 (age 68)
Marital Status: Married to Dr. Ted Daughety (34 years)
Children: 2 - Kathleen and Molly Daughety
Occupation: prior to being elected State Senator, she was director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association for 19 years and prior to that recreational therapist, which involved using recreation to help children with mental illness.
Education: Bradley University, Indiana University Bloomington

In 2005, Kelly was elected as a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 18th District. Currently, she is the Senate Minority Whip, previously during the 2011-2012 Legislative Sessions, she served as the Kansas Senate Assistant Minority Leader.  In 2009 she briefly considered a run for Kansas's 2nd congressional district.


Jeff Caldwell
Jeff Caldwell (file Photo)
Birthday:  September 8, 1986 (age 32)
Marital Status:   Single
Children  0
Occupation  Sales 
Education:        Attended, Business, Johnson County Community College, 2008     
Attended, Business, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2007     
Attended, Business, Benedictine College, 2006     
Attended, Business, Mid-America Nazarene University, 2005-2006

   Jeff has lived in the Kansas City area  his entire life and in Kansas for 20 years. Caldwell has been an executive member for the Libertarian Party of Kansas since 2010. He has been a volunteer and campaign manager for multiple campaigns over the years and has run for Kansas State House of Representative  three times. 
Among his accomplishments, he has helped with drafting, introducing, and passing legislation through the legislative process in Topeka. Jeff has been to the committee hearings to get the Kansas Safe Access Act [medical cannabis] out of hearing and onto the floor for vote  and has seen firsthand the corrupt politicians who stand in the way of allowing medical cannabis to move forward in Kansas. Caldwell helped with the process of creating the Kansas Education Liberty Act, which would bring school choice and funding from outside  of the state to education in Kansas. A major victory was scored when Jeff helped overturn Lenexa's city ordinance of banning open carry of firearms. Jeff Caldwell is the only candidate running to cut government spending, cut taxes, legalize cannabis and defend  the Second Amendment.


Rick Kloos
Rick Kloos (file photo)
Birthday: July 26, 1966 (52 years old)
Marital Status: Married to Pennie Kloos (33 years)
Children: 4 - Nathaniel Kloos (Also his Lt. Gov Running mate), Michael Kloos, Ricky Kloos, Matt Kloos
Occupation: Director of God's Storehouse in Topeka Kansas (

Kloos says,
I have come to appreciate this great state from my early years in rural Kansas by enjoying the outdoors -fishing, hunting and camping. As a teenager, I was known by the local farmers as “Mr. Stuck” because too many times I would get stuck mudding and have to be pulled out by one of the farmers with his tractor. At sixteen, I started driving a truck across Kansas, building my own business. I learned the value of hard work from my mother who is a German immigrant. I learned the art of negotiation from my stepdad, making my small business successful at a young age.  My wife and I graduated cum laude from Trinity College in North Dakota with a Bachelors in Theology and Ministerial Studies and served as clergy for nearly 30 years. I then continued my studies in substance abuse counseling at Washburn University and later received certification in ACPE which allowed me to serve both as a police and hospice chaplain in correctional facilities and clinical settings.  We have been in the Topeka community since May of 1998. In June of 2009, we started a non-profit thrift store employing a staff of 30. Its success is not credited to our leadership alone but in part to all our hardworking staff and volunteers. Pennie and I have been in public service almost all our lives. We realize that life is no longer about our dreams, visions and aspirations but it’s about our kids and our grandkids. It’s about their future and the generations to come. And this is where our next season in life begins. Our journey is about the passion we have for Kansas and the desire for it to be a place where we all can successfully live.
Kloos brands himself as a "Frustrated Republican," due to his previous party affiliation.
He recently told the media that his campaign adopted The White Buffalo as the Kloos for Kansas campaign symbol early on, due to the significance of the Buffalo as the Kansas State animal and the extreme rarity of White Buffalo. HIs campaign slogan is "Keep Kansas Home."
Kloos' 5 core platform points are: Support Education Redesign, Strengthen Agriculture & Aviation, Preserve Kansas' Appeal, Empower Local Governments & Unite Kansas through Bipartisan Efforts.

Gerg Orman
Greg Orman (file photo)

Birthday: December 2, 1968 (age 49 years)
Marital Status: Married to Sybil Orman (5 years)
Children: 2 -  Imogen and Sigrid Orman
Occupation: Businessman
Education:   Mankato East Senior High School in Mankato, Minnesota and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Princeton University.

According to Wikipedia, Orman, who has never been elected has
at various times Orman has been registered as a Republican and a Democrat. He has been unaffiliated with a party since 2010. After a debate in 2014 he stated, "I've tried both parties; and, like most Kansans, I've been disappointed."
 Orman has made donations to both Democrats and Republican candidates. In 2006, while he was considering running as a Democrat for the Senate, he gave $1,000 to Harry Reid, and $4,600 to the 2008 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Public records also show donations to Dennis Moore, Nancy Boyda and Al Franken. Orman has donated substantially more to political reform organizations. In 2012 he donated $25,000 to the independent political organization Americans Elect. He has also contributed $288,236 to the Common Sense Coalition.

Orman, Wikipedia reported was briefly a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate election in Kansas, but dropped out before the primary, saying
 "Whenever you run as a candidate in either party, there are certain constituencies that want you to behave and act and believe certain things. As I evaluated the race and looked at the positions I was going to have to take to get the support that was necessary to win, I just didn't feel comfortable taking those positions."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Editorial: Changing Focus

by Kevin Surbaugh

Kevin Surbaugh (1994)
Two and a half years ago (closer to three-years), this town awoke to the news that the local newspaper was closing. Though the paper was not local, it was a print paper and it was ours. That pride was shattered, with the announcement. That disappointment was short-lived, however. That same day, the news became public, a middle-aged man who studied Communications (Journalism) at Washburn University stood up and said, we can't have this, and launched an online newspaper.  The publication quickly jumped to an average of a hundred a day.  A position it maintained. At times it averaged a hundred-fifty, but the over-all average never dropped below the one-hundred per day.  The readership was there, but the widespread support was not. Still, the publication persevered and strived to bring the community the news.   In some aspect, at great financial difficulties.
Last week, a new print paper launched.  That paper which is free also, appeared in our mailboxes this past Tuesday. As the publisher of the Gazette, I support Vern Brown and the Baldwin City Community News.  It had been my hope to give him the Gazette name, as we worked to together,
but I didn't hear from him.  That is okay though, I look forward to seeing the new paper strive and flourish.  I still hope to work with him in some compacity. 
Future of the Gazette
As for the Gazette, we will still be around.  The focus will be a little different. Still providing the news, the Gazette will have a more statewide focus. With coverage of politics, government, business and of course college sports (especially Baker). With the contacts, I have made over the last thirty-years I hope to have more in-depth interviews with the people who govern us or hope to.
As we move forward, the Gazette will simply be the Baldwin Gazette.  Acknowledging our Baldwin City roots, while also acknowledging our forward move towards serving the statewide community. 

Number 12 Baker Football Hosts Culver-Stockton on Family Day

Baker University Sports Press Release:

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The No. 12 ranked Baker University football team looks to bounce back from a home opening day loss to No. 10 Grand View University, as they take on the Culver-Stockton Wildcats this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. inside Liston Stadium. Saturday also marks, family day, for the Baker community.

BU has dominated the all-time series against Culver, posting a 34-4 record heading into today's matchup, including a 67-7 victory last season in Canton, Missouri.

In that contest, running back Nate Pauly recorded two rushing touchdowns on seven carries for 66-yards, making him one of four Wildcats to record a multi-touchdown game.

Linebacker Jake Zieler returns for his sophomore season with the Wildcats, looking to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball. In 2017, Zieler played in 12 games and helped BU rank nationally in eight different defensive statistical categories.

Culver-Stockton is off to an impressive start to its 2018 season, as they have posted a 2-1 record through its first three games, including a 35-22 victory over Central Methodist on September 1st, before falling last week to MNU, 46-20.

Sophomore quarterback Korbin Marcum returns for Culver-Stockon, looking to continue his early season success. Marcum has thrown seven touchdowns to only one interception so far this season and has completed 73-percent of his passes.

Through three games, Culver has 1,210 yards of total offense, averaging 403 yards per game, while the defense has allowed 282 yards per game.

The Baker offense has averaged 319 yards of offense through its first two games and will look to stifle the Culver offense with a strong defensive game plan.

In this matchup of Wildcats, Baker has won 10 of the last 11 games, and have recorded 50 or more points in three-straight matchups, including an 89-27 victory in 2016. In that contest, Baker set a team record for points in a single half with 75.


Governor Colyer Proclaims American Legion Day

American Legion Press Release

  The National American Legion was chartered by the U.S. Congress on September 16, 1919, as a wartime veterans’ organization.  The American Legion principals are based on the four pillars of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth.    
contributed photo
The Kansas American Legion has become a preeminent community-service organization with more than 42 thousand family members currently supporting the four pillars.  Kansas Legion family members provide benefits for Kansas’ veterans, active duty service members, their families, and the youth of America.
American Legion posts are organizing special events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.  These events will provide opportunities for citizens to recognize Kansas Legionnaires for their many contributions to their communities and the State of Kanas.  
Governor Jeff Colyer is among those patriotic citizens who want to recognize and honor veterans.  He has expressed his support for Kansas Legionnaires by proclaiming September 16, 2018, as The American Legion Day.   
Kansas American Legion Department Commander Dan Wiley is actively encouraging Legion posts to organize 100th-anniversary observation events.  “Millions of Legionnaires have promoted American Legion ideals and principals over the past 100 years,” Wiley said.  “I appreciate Governor Colyer proclaiming September 16, 2018, as The American Legion Day to honor the efforts of those American patriots. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Baker Football Falls to Grand View in Home Opener

Baker University Sports Press Release

The number nine ranked Baker University football team suffered its first loss of the 2018 season, as the Wildcats fell to number 10 ranked Grand View, 39-17, in its home opener on Saturday afternoon inside Liston Stadium.

Baker falls to 1-1 on the year, and Grand View improves to 1-1. This marks the Wildcats' first loss to the Vikings since they joined the conference prior to the 2015 season.
The Vikings and Wildcats were nearly identical in total offensive yards, with 295 and 293 yards respectively.

BU jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, as quarterback Brandon Mueller scampered into the end zone from 12 yards out, and Cooper Lee nailed a 25-yard field goal.

The Vikings would respond with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Ben Ferkin to Steve Sarcone, cutting the Baker lead to 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.

After a five-yard touchdown run by Ferkin to take a 14-10 lead over BU in the second quarter, the Vikings' defense recorded back-to-back pick sixes. At halftime, Grand View held a 27-10 lead over Baker.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats responded to another Vikings' field goal, when quarterback Marco Aguinaga found receiver Sam Huckabee in the back of the end zone from 16-yards out for the score.

Baker was not able to complete the comeback, as Grand View took the victory, 39-17.
Freshman wide receiver Sam Huckabee had an impressive day for the Wildcats, as he recorded 10 receptions for 135-yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Kegan Shumann led the Baker defense with 14 tackles, including 3.5 for losses and a forced fumble.

Baker will next host Culver-Stockton College on Family Day, next Saturday, September 15 at 1 p.m. inside Liston Stadium.

KanCare Education Meetings Get Underway Today

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Press Release

Member and provider meetings in Wichita, Olathe, Topeka, Pittsburg Dodge City, Hays

TOPEKA – Beginning this past, Tuesday, September 4, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host education meetings throughout the state during the months of September and October, to share with KanCare providers and members updates and information about the upcoming open enrollment period. KanCare is the state’s Medicaid program.

Staff members will be available to answer questions and accept feedback from attendees. All meetings are ADA compliant, and people with disabilities will have full access. Members’ family members are also welcome to attend. Members and providers received by mail advanced notification of these meetings.

Tuesday, Sept. 4
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Marriott Corporate Hills
9100 Corporate Dr., Wichita
Wednesday, Sept. 5
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Kansas State University – Olathe
22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe
Thursday, Sept. 6
Providers 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Conference Call:
Call 833-795-0476

Monday, Oct. 1
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ramada Topeka Downtown, Jefferson Hall
420 SE 6th St., Topeka
Monday, Oct. 1
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wichita Marriott, Corporate Hills Ballroom
9100 Corporate Hills Dr., Wichita
Tuesday, Oct. 2
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Kansas State University – Olathe
22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe
Tuesday, Oct. 2
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dodge City Community College, Student Union Board Room
2501 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City
Wednesday, Oct. 3
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express
4011 Parkview Dr., Pittsburg
Wednesday, Oct. 3
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fort Hays State University, Eagle Communications Hall
600 Park St., Hays
Monday, Oct. 8
Providers 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Members 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Conference Call:
Call 833-795-0476

Former GOP Governor Graves Endorses Democrat Laura Kelly

Kevin Surbaugh

Former Republican Governor Bill Graves on Tuesday formally endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2018 race for Kansas governor. His endorsement makes him the most prominent moderate Republican to make such an endorsement in this election cycle.
The endorsement, which came in a video that was tweeted by the Kelly campaign, stirred a lot of conversation among Republicans and Democrats alike. The video, which appeared to look like a television commercial, is for social media only, the Kelly campaign told the Gazette.
In his video statement, Graves said,

I have been a Republican my entire life and inherited that from my father in my mother Laura Kelly is the only Democrat I have ever endorsed for public office and the reason I'm doing that now is because I believe so much is at stake in the state of Kansas and it's going to take someone with some very capable leadership skills someone who is willing to work across the aisle and be part of solutions to problems with education problems with our health care system problems with the state's infrastructure problems with Public Safety Laura to me has all equalities all the capabilities that we're looking for to lead the state during this difficult time to reestablish the state to what it once was laura has integrity I know she'll bring Republicans and Democrats together to solve problems

Upon hearing the news Republican Senator Susan Wagle tweeted,
Bill Graves never governed as a Republican and spent his career undermining Republican candidates and values. This endorsement is far from news breaking.

Independent candidate Greg Orman seized upon the message that Graves said that, “Laura Kelly is the only Democrat I have ever endorsed for public office.”
The truth Orman said is, in 2016 Bill Graves endorsed the following four Democrats. Why the deception in the statement today?     
  1. Adrienne Olejnik, District 51     
  2. Gerrett Morris, District 69     
  3. Don Shimkus, District 32         
  4. Tom Sawyer, District 95
While Orman's statement may be accurate, the fact is that Kelly would be the first statewide candidate that Graves has endorsed. Graves is retired currently lives with his family in Northern Virginia.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Auto Transport Company Opens Scholarship to Kansas Students

Press Release

Baldwin City, Kansas is the place to be for a chance to win the A-1 Auto Transport college scholarship this coming year. The company, one of the largest auto transport companies in the nation is based in California with offices in Kansas is offering their annual scholarship to students nationwide as a way of paying it forward to the public for supporting their business for more than twenty years.
Image courtesy A-1 Auto Transport
Award amounts of $250, $500 and $1000 are awarded in the spring each year to students who have shown initiative and dedication towards furthering their education by enrolling in an accredited college, university, vocational school or truck driving school. The only requirement other than being enrolled in an accredited school is that the student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. There are no age restrictions for entry.
To enter, students need to email their full name, contact information, name and contact information for their school, and a 1000 minimum word article focused on the auto transport industry to: by the deadline for entry date of March 10, 2019.
Winners will be chosen by the A-1 Auto Transport Scholarship Committee at the end of March 2019 and the winners will be posted on the scholarship page on the company website as well as notified in person.
For more information about entry and to see entries and winners from the current school year, you can check the scholarship page at:
The transportation and trucking industries are steadily growing and companies like A-1 Auto Transport are always looking for qualified drivers and logistics team members. With a tougher than ever workforce, a college education is vital in today’s job market and the company is working to make a difference to help guide students in the right direction.
According to Joe Webster, Director of Marketing and overseer of the scholarship program, “This is what entrepreneurship is all about and we work hard to help student’s, so they can be a great benefit to their local communities and bring something great to the table to keep companies like ours thriving well throughout the years.”
He went on to say, “This is our way of paying back those cities and local communities we have served over the years and showing our customers and the public that we care about their future.”
All award money will be sent directly to the school financial office as soon as winners have been determined for the 2019 school year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

BLM Helium Sales Generate $130 Million for American Taxpayer

Bureau of Land Management Press Release

Amarillo, TX – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced that $130 million generated from the 2017 sale and auction of crude helium from the Federal Helium Reserve is being transferred to the U.S. Treasury. The Federal Helium Reserve is a resource owned by the American people and managed by the BLM's Amarillo, Texas, Field Office.  The helium revenues were received in accordance with the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, which provided for market-based pricing and competitive auctions for the sale of Federal helium. 

The BLM's Federal Helium Program has returned over $1.86 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury from the sale and auction of crude helium between Fiscal Year 2005 through Fiscal Year 2017.  The Program is entirely revenue funded, operating using a revolving fund with all revenue generated being deposited into the fund and therefore no taxpayer money is used in its operations. 

The Federal Helium Reserve is the Nation's leading producer of crude helium for both the public and private sectors. Crude helium is an important resource for technology development and other important uses related to national defense, energy, medicine, industry, and space exploration.  Currently, the BLM's crude helium plant satisfies approximately 42 percent of the U.S. helium demand and approximately 15 percent of the global demand.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Former Presidential Candidate and Senator John McCain Passes Away

Kevin Surbaugh

This past Friday (August 24, 2018) we learned that Senator John McCain (81) had decided to stop further treatment for the brain cancer he had been battling for the past ten months. Glioblastoma is the same aggressive brain cancer that killed Vice-President Joe Biden's son Beau and Senator Ted Kennedy.  One day later, McCain passed away from the deadly cancer. Both Senator's passed away on August 25 exactly nine years apart. McCain's death came one day after his family announced that he was forgoing further treatment.
According to a brief statement on the Senator's Senate website,
Senator John McCain
Photo Credit:
“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.”
 The Senator's wife Cindy McCain tweeted:
"My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best."
Senator Jerry Moran tweeted the following statement:
"Godspeed to my friend @SenJohnMcCain, who leaves behind a profound legacy of courage and conviction. Robba and I are praying for the McCain family and we thank them for sharing John with us for so many years"

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued a statement
“Senator McCain will long be remembered for his years of dedicated service to our nation,” said Gov. Colyer, “We are grateful to him for his devotion to this country and send our deepest condolences to his family as they grieve his passing today. May God be with them all during this difficult time.”
Senator Pat Roberts tweeted:
My friend @SenJohnMcCain is an American hero and has spent his life serving our country. Franki and I are praying for the entire McCain family and wish them peace and comfort in the coming days.

Independent Candidate Greg Orman issued a statement:
"Sybil and I were saddened to hear the news of Senator John McCain’s passing. Our hearts go out to the McCain family—our thoughts and our prayers are with them. Tonight, the United States mourns the loss of a great American patriot and hero."

Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate Jeff Caldwell issued the following statement: 

Our campaign is saddened to hear the news of Sen. John McCain’s passing and we offer our condolences to his family in this time of mourning. Death is the great equalizer and transcends politics. Sen. John McCain was a great American that served his country for his entire life and deserves the respect of all Americans. Although there may be differences in approach, there is no question that Sen. John McCain was committed to this country and to his fellow countrymen.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate and current Secretary of State Kris Kobach tweeted:
"I am grateful for Sen. John McCain's service to our country. Heather and I hope that his wife, Cindy, and family find comfort knowing our nation is praying for them during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Senator."

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly tweeted:
 "John McCain was a man of honor and unrivaled integrity. My heart goes out to his family as they grieve. He was a true American patriot."
Senator McCain had stated that he wanted his funeral to be at the United State Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and that President Trump was not invited.  His wishes also stated that former President's (and presidential rivals) Barrack Obama and George W. Bush have been asked to speak at the funeral. At the time of this writing, there were no official arrangements made yet.