Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Opinion: The Hawver Report - Nov. 14, 2018

By Martin Hawver

How would you like to be elected governor of Kansas by about 46,000 votes on Tuesday and on Friday learn that you’re going to have $306.4 million more to spend than you thought?
Columnist Martin Hawver
Martin Hawver
Doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Well, that’s exactly what has happened to Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, who by the way beat Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach who pledged during his campaign to start cutting taxes quickly if elected.
Well, Kelly isn’t talking tax cuts, she’s talking investment in schools, expanding Medicaid and balancing the budget without new taxes—and that was before she heard about the $306 million windfall which the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group unveiled Friday. The CREG meets twice a year, in November and April, to predict upcoming state revenues.
This might be an interesting four years ahead with a governor who wants to first take care of the state’s responsibilities that have been avoided the past several years before talking about tax cuts. The new money is good, of course, but we’re not yet constitutionally “adequate” on state aid to schools and are making little progress in restoring money that has been “swept” out of agency budgets for highway construction, pensions and such.
No, we’re not looking for Kelly to start handing out tax cuts while she’s waiting for her stationery and business cards to be printed up.
In fact, even before that $306 million windfall, Kelly was talking about waiting until next April’s Consensus Revenue Estimate before giving much thought to tax cuts—after she’s nailed down the spending necessary to restore state government duties.
Part of that, of course, is her experience as a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee—which makes the appropriations and cuts necessary to balance the budget. It’s been more cuts than appropriations in the past few years, and she’s made clear that restoration of services is first in line, ahead of tax cuts.
What’s it mean? Well, from a Statehouse viewpoint, it probably means a rather complicated “State of the State” message when lawmakers come back to town in mid-January. She’s a details person, likely to talk more about programs that need to be rebuilt or financed adequately than new programs that Republicans tend to spend a lot of time trying to think up catchy names (or acronyms) for.
Don’t look for flash.
Now, remember that she’s going to face an overwhelmingly Republican legislature that is probably going to be more interested in cutting taxes than rebuilding the state payroll of social workers and helping local school districts rebuild their staff of teachers and aides.
Key there is for the governor to convince those conservatives in the Legislature that the not-very-flashy care of the poor and ill and their children are the best way to improve the state before cutting taxes.
Tax cuts? They will probably start with the sales tax on food. It’s a big deal for the poor who see the cost of a can of beans at 9% or 10% (depending on local sales taxes) more than the shelf price before they get it out of the store and into the kitchen.  Oh, and it also means that those steaks and salmon are cheaper, too, but it’s not an afford-it or not decision for more prosperous Kansans.
That $306 million? Well, it gives Kelly some negotiating room, enough spare cash to bargain a dab of tax cut in return for the social service, highway construction and health-care expenditures she’d like to make.
But all that new direction in state spending that Kelly proposes will ultimately be keyed off of the makeup of the Legislature, and whether that top-heavy Republican majority in both chambers is solid enough to pass veto-proof legislation.
We’ll see. Check back in April…
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Monday, November 5, 2018

Opinion: The Contentious Words and Name Calling Turns

Kevin Surbaugh

photographer Kevin Surbaugh
The November election is tomorrow. How many people will vote tomorrow? Last week Douglas County reported that 23% had already voted (through Oct 29).  Since then the Kansas Secretary of State has reported 300,000 had already cast a vote in early voting statewide.  That kind of turnout is unprecedented, for a midterm election. Will that turnout hold true through election day tomorrow.  We will see, but for now, let's focus on my endorsements for this years election.

On the Federal level, you probably already seen my endorsement of Steve Watkins over Paul Davis.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh
In the race for Governor of the Great State of Kansas, Laura Kelly (Democrat), Kris Kobach (Republican), and Greg Orman (Independent) are considered to be the three battling it out.  There are two others running, another independent and a Libertarian. They aren't even polling higher then single digits,  Then again, neither is Orman. So why is he considered a major candidate and the other two aren't? It goes back to when, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Pat Roberts, when without a Democrat in the race, he came in a strong second place.

The Governor's race is interesting to me. It, of course, is the meat and potatoes in Kansas politics. Our focus boils down to Kelly and Kobach.  Polling, which I had alluded to already, have the race very tight. A poll conducted by Emmerson has Kobach edging Kelly 44% to 43% in a poll conducted between October 26 and 28.
In another poll, conducted about the same time (Oct 17-27), ISPOS and Reuters in conjunction with the Virginia Center of Politics reported that Kelly edged out Kobach 43% to 41%, in a statistical dead heat.
The race has been interesting, to say the least. Like both of the Congressional races in eastern Kansas, it has been contentious. With former Republican Governors and U.S. Senators endorsing the Democrat. Republicans who have ignored Ronald Reagan statement, "never say anything bad about fellow Republicans."  It is true that Republican politicians have supported Democrats before, likewise, Democrats support Republicans. However, those instances were done in secret. Not publicly broadcasted. It is part what is expected from the leadership of any party. I, myself have personally served as a precinct committeeman. A position that, in part elects the chair and other leadership of their respective party. In turn, they also help promote the candidates of their party, they cannot publicly support any candidate from another party. Doing so goes against the grain of what they were elected to do. So the actions and statements by that handful of Republicans (some of who I call friends) are disappointing.
So, who am I endorsing? Well, I actually cast my vote, with having to be in the office until 4:30 and then driving in rush hour traffic back to home, it was just easier. Even though I am among the 23% plus that has already voted, it is important for me to lay out my cards and tell my readers who I voted for and thus who I encourage each of you to vote for also. That candidate is Kris Kobach. True, there are issues I disagree with him on.  One of which is medical marijuana. Something that has been proven to offer relief for some kinds of pain and medical conditions. Something that Missouri and Utah are voting on tomorrow to join the growing list of states that will legalize it for those with a doctors prescription. I think Kobach could come around with some education.   His commitment to hold the line on taxes is a big reason I support him.
State Representative
In the race for state representative, Eileen Horn is running unopposed, so I wrote my own name in.  If you so chose, you can also write in the name of D. Kevin Surbaugh for state representative. I have not campaigned for the position, nor will I, but I will accept the position if there are enough write-in votes.
Live Reporting
Finally, I will be live posting results as they come in tomorrow night. The first post I expect will be around 7:30, thirty minutes after the polls close. Who will win? We will find out tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Opinion: A Look at the Second Congressional Election

Kevin Surbaugh

It's that time of the year again. Yes, it's election time.  That is no surprise with all the contentious barbs that have been being traded this election cycle. In fact, it has been one of the most contentious I have seen in several years.  Even more so than the Trump v Clinton election two years ago.
My mailbox has been filled with a lot of mail from both sides.

One piece of mail came from a group calling itself the Center for Voter Information, out of Springfield, MO.  Once it was opened up, I found the mailer was a liberal organization, twisting the truth. The first problem is that it is out of state interest group, interjecting itself into a Kansas election.  The second, it claimed that Steve Watkins wants to cut the taxes for millionaires.  Trying to insinuate that he wants to raise everyone else's taxes.  The real fact is that he wants to lower the taxes for everyone, especially the poor.  The fact that millionaires are also included, is a good thing.  If the millionaire's taxes are lower, they have more money to pay employees. Yes, millionaires tend to be the ones who own businesses. As such they create jobs.  More money they have, the more jobs they can create. The more jobs they create, the more people are working and paying taxes.  Which, is a big win for the government.
The fact Paul Davis is shady is, or should be by now obvious, with his being present in the back room of a strip club, receiving a lap dance when the club was raided for drugs. One could say, as Davis tries to, that was thirty-years ago. Does change the fact, that as a lawyer he should have known better.  Sure people can change, but it's hard to not overlook that fact.  I admit, I have done things in my past, that I would rather forget. Especially in my youth. That, however, was just that I was not a lawyer, I was not someone, who was representing the law in any way. I was young and ipressionable, I since grew up.  Davis was a grown man, working as a lawyer.
He in turns tries to paint Watkins to be just as shady. I for one am not buying it. Yes, I have qualms about the GOP nominee (I endorsed and voted for Caryn Tyson in the Primary), but I cannot in good conscience, vote for someone, who wants to raise taxes on Americans.  Which in turn, if it happened, would raise unemployment.  The fact is, we must cut Government waste.  If a candidate, isn't willing to look at cutting government waste first and foremost then I am not interested in voting for them,  It is for that reason, I am endorsing Steve Watkins for Congress in the second district of Kansas,  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Opinion: Hawver Reports

By Martin Hawver

We’ve come to the point in the campaigns that political ad after political ad after political ad drag on long enough that there’s time to microwave popcorn and not miss the cop show on television.
Martin Hawver
Yes, and for those of you who have other things to think about during the commercials…one of those thoughts might just be what happens to the Kansas Legislature after the next federal census in 2020.
That’ll be the 24th national census, and it is designed to tell us what the population of the nation is, and where those people are located—and likely whether Kansas remains a four-congressional district state.
Is that official April 1, 2020, headcount a little far off? Why think about it now? Well, if you live in one of those Kansas House or Senate districts out west, say, west of US-81, the north-south Interstate that is the dividing line between western Kansas and eastern Kansas, you might want to start thinking about it now.
It’ll be 2022 when the first statewide election occurs after the census, based on that federal census and where it says the people are. That’s the key data for reapportionment of Kansas House and Senate districts. Oh…and the state’s four congressional districts.
And that reapportionment is based on U.S. Census population data which the Legislature will spend more than a year dissecting into 40 Senate districts and 125 House districts, and, yes, those four Congressional districts.
What’s worth thinking about now ahead of that reapportionment? Probably for much of western Kansas it’s what the Republican Party efforts to further regulate immigration and the “close the border” talk has to do with populations out west of US-81.
Yes, it is western Kansas, with its agriculture and food processing industry that stands the best chance of seeing foreign workers not participating in the census or maybe misstating their legal citizenship for fear of deportation. Oh, and there are lots of foreign-born workers and their children in other parts of the state, too.
Now, the GOP and President Donald Trump make a decent case that immigrants should come across the border with Mexico legally. They ought to get the visas and such, and probably some clearly defined path to becoming a full United States citizen, with a stake in how this country is run, and the right to vote.
But this concentration on immigration, while a strong national political issue, will undoubtedly have some effect on headcount in the census.
So, if the historic trend of adults and their children moving out of western Kansas is accelerated by federal immigration regulation that makes the census inaccurate, count on many who have come to this country and state for a better life to decide just not to participate.
And that means likely less census-counted population in parts of western Kansas, and by the time the Legislature has mapped out new House and Senate districts based on population, fewer state representatives and senators from areas where the population count is down.
That means fewer, and larger, Kansas House and Senate districts out west, and likely more districts in urban areas of eastern Kansas—Wichita, Topeka, and Missouri-bordered northeast Kansas counties.
Now, it’s based on population, and that’s fair, but it likely means less attention will be paid to western Kansas (except for highways) and more attention to population-heavy areas based on their representation in the House and Senate because the members of the House and Senate will be tilted toward urban areas—which, by the way, are easier to gerrymander based on voter political registration.
Something to think about during those commercials, isn’t it?
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Opinion: The Trump Factor

By Martin Hawver

We have less than a month to figure out whether the Topeka rally by President Donald Trump will see if his endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Secretary of State Kris Kobach is going to move the tight race in Kobach’s favor.
Martin Hawver
Martin Hawver
Similarly, we’re going to see whether his endorsement moves the tight race for 2nd District Congress to Republican Steve Watkins, who has virtually no government experience—or even experience at voting—to the relatively little-known Republican.
While a presidential visit to the state is always front-page news, Trump had his issue Saturday which was celebration of the Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as the newest, and perhaps tipping-point on life issues, nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The question, of course, is will that matter to Kansas voters next month?
At the rally, Trump talked a little about general issues, the ones that rile the Kansas Legislature each session, like taxes and spending and illegal immigration. But nothing specific that would bring Kansas notoriety as a national leader or strong supporter of Trump policies on those issues. But…it’s not going to be difficult for candidates for governor and congressional seats to raise those issues to show that if they are elected, well, the president is on their side for whatever political and legislative advantage that might yield them and their constituents.
There weren’t many legislative candidates visible at the rally. Trump didn’t identify any by name, and searches of the 10,000-Republican crowd at the event didn’t turn up any legislative candidate who made it into the same photo frame as Trump.  It is those state legislators who, if Kobach defeats Democratic challenger Laura Kelly, will tip Kansas government next session either in favor of Kobach or away from Kobach in floor votes or in considering vetoes.
The rally, though, probably had a positive effect on conservative Republicans trying to move some of those moderate GOP candidates toward conservative policy.  There are going to be those House candidates who point to conservative party leadership, and their degree of support for that conservatism may jiggle the Legislature’s votes on state issues ranging from tax cuts to school finance to expansion of Medicaid (KanCare) to voting rights.
And there are going to be moderate Republicans who vote along with Democrats on key state issues who will be able to portray themselves as important brakes on conservative moves that would dramatically alter Kansas’ responsibility to care for the poor, the ill, the roads, the students from grade school through college.
Which side wins and which side of the GOP uses the Trump appearance to its best advantage in the general election are keys for candidates who are selling themselves to voters who are pro-Trump or anti-Trump. Democrats, seeing the GOP reaction to the presidential visit, may find ways to translate that into voter support for not taking that conservative tack in the upcoming Legislature.
Remember, when Trump carried Kansas in 2016 with 56.6% of the vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 36%, that was before Trump actually had taken the wheel of the federal government. His tough trade policies that appeared for a time likely to make Kansas farmers just watch their crops and livestock they produced rather than seeing them sell at good prices, now are being shifted to what might become economic boons for those farmers. And restricting immigration, a key to Kansas productivity because those immigrants comprise a significant share of the state’s workforce, might just become another of those policy moves that may shift to help the state’s economy.
Kansans have a month to decide, or predict, what effect Trump has had on the state—and even their Kansas House districts. And then vote for or against it.
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Steve Watkins Endorsed by National Federation of Independent Business

Topeka, KS - Steve Watkins, U.S. Army veteran and Republican nominee for Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, has earned an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, which is dedicated to electing small business advocates to Congress.
Steve Watkins (Gazette File Photo)
“I am truly honored to have my candidacy for Congress endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that consistently stands up for the needs of our nation's small businesses,” said Steve Watkins. “As someone who has found both success and failure in the small business world, I know how tough it can be to start and grow a business and I will be a dedicated advocate for those who keep our local communities growing.”
"Steve Watkins has a deep understanding of the small business climate in our state,” said NFIB’s Kansas State Director Daniel Murray. “He knows the issues that concern our members, and we are confident that he will be a strong advocate for small business in the United States House of Representatives. On behalf of small business owners in Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, we are proud to endorse Steve Watkins for election to the U.S. House.”
This endorsement adds to four others earned by Steve Watkins in recent weeks, including the National Right to Life Committee, Kansans for Life, National Rifle Association, and an endorsement from President Donald Trump.

Obituary: Brenda Sue Rice

Funeral services for Brenda Sue Rice, 72, rural Baldwin, will be at 10 am Saturday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, with Dave Olmstead officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Brenda died Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at her home, surrounded by family.
Brenda Sue Rice Obituary
Brenda Sue Rice
She was born April 7, 1946, in Lafayette, Georgia, the daughter of Temple T. and Irene Hales Hale. She graduated from Lawrence High School in 1964. She began working at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, and later worked for ServiceMaster as an Environmental Services Manager. She enjoyed home decorating and cooking, and watching HGTV and various cooking shows. But most important to Brenda was her family.
She married Frank Molby in 1964. They divorced in 1976. She married Dan Morrow in 1977. They divorced in 1985. She married Virgil ‘Bear’ Rice in 1987. He preceded her in death in 2009. She was also preceded in death by four siblings, Geneva, Jeanette, BettyJo, and Sonny. She is survived by three children, Sean Molby and wife Christy, Grain Valley, Mo., Daniel Morrow, North Kansas City, Mo., and Shawna Vandebuerie and husband Luc, Baldwin City; a brother, Oscar Dee Hale and wife Donna, Burlingame; a sister, Frances Bates, Chattanooga, Tenn.; a sister-in-law, Carol Hale, Overbrook; and many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Brenda Rice Memorial Fund, in care of the funeral home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Boil Water Advisory Continues for Franklin County Rural Water District 6, Franklin County

KDHE Press Release

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued a boil water advisory for Franklin County Rural Water District (RWD) 6, in Franklin County on Sept. 29. Laboratory testing samples collected from the system indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, however, due to the discoloration of the water, Franklin County RWD 6 will remain under a boil water advisory. 
Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:
  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
The advisory took effect on Sept. 29, and will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved. KDHE officials issued the advisory because of a water line break.
Regardless of whether the public water supplier or KDHE announced a boil water advisory, only KDHE can issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.
If you have questions, please contact the water system or you may contact KDHE at 785-296-5795.

Restaurants and other food establishments that have questions about the impact of the boil water advisory on their business can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety & lodging program at  kda.fsl@ks.gov or call 785-564-6767.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Alice Cooper new Album Released August 31

by Kevin Surbaugh  contributor to Blogcritics.org

I have a confession or better yet an admission. When I grew up in the 70's and 80's I was not a fan of Alice Cooper. However, in the 90's something happened that changed all that. Alice Cooper changed. He recognized his weakness' in faith and accepted the God of his youth. The God his dad used to preach about all those years ago. His band quit and he hired a new band and released that first album that I fell in love with, The Last Temptation. That was 1994. Now twenty-four years later, I had the chance to have a listen and review his latest album, A Paranormal Evening at The Olympia Paris.
This album follows last years (2017) the release of the studio album Paranormal (Cooper's first in six years), which was the best chart-performing album by Alice Cooper in decades. That album had the American rock legend taking his exciting live show all over the world, accompanied by "the best band he has ever had." That tour ended in Paris on December 7, 2017, in Paris at the "world-renowned Olympia Theater, where this album was recorded.
This live album is a 90-minute release featuring classics such as “Poison,” “School’s Out,” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” gems like “Pain,” and newer numbers like (Paranormal single) “Paranoiac Personality.”
The album captures a rock 'n' roll show at its peak and is one of the best live releases by Alice Cooper, featuring his longtime band guitarists Nita Strauss, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel in front of an excited audience, says the promotional media release.

Awesome Music with a Message

The music still has that sarcasm, that his fans have come to love, but there is a message.  It may not be, the overt in your face message that Stryper and other Christian bands do. However, for a band that isn't thought to be Christian at all, the message is there and can be seen for those that take time to actually listen to the lyrics.   In my effort to write this, I listened and then listened again to each song.  Sometimes, three or four times. In the first song, Brutal Planet, Cooper sings about how horrible this world is.  His lyrics include the words:
Right here we stoned the prophets, Built idols out of mud, Right here we fed the lions, Christian flesh and Christian blood, Down here is where we hung ya Upon an ugly cross, Over there we filled the ovens Right here the holocaust.
Granted it is not as good, in my humble opinion, as "Lost in America", my favorite Alice Cooper song, but it is still a fantastic song. I could certainly have it as the first song to be added to my cell phone's music player.  Other songs on the album included, which was released on earMusic and on two CD set or two (colored) LP set:

Compact Disc Set

  1. 1. Brutal Planet
  2. 2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  3. Under My Wheels
  4. Department of Youth
  5. Pain
  6. Billion Dollar Babies
  7. The World Needs Guts
  8. Woman of Mass Distraction
  9. Poison 10. Halo of Flies
  1. Feed My Frankenstein
  2. Cold Ethyl
  3. Only Women Bleed
  4. Paranoiac Personality
  5. Ballad of Dwight Fry
  6. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
  7. I'm Eighteen
  8. School's Out

LP (colored) Set

  1. Brutal Planet
  2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  3. Under My Wheels
  4. Department of Youth
  5. Pain
  6. Billion Dollar Babies
  1. The World Needs Guts
  2. Woman of Mass Distraction
  3. Poison
  4. Halo of Flies
  1. Feed My Frankenstein
  2. Cold Ethyl
  3. Only Women Bleed
  4.  Paranoiac Personality
    1. Ballad of Dwight Fry
    2. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
    3. I'm Eighteen
    4. School's Out

    On Tour

    Overall, even though it is not my favorite, I would still give it four and a half stars out of five. As for Cooper, he is touring the country and has the following upcoming concerts.
    • 10/4 — Albany, NY — Palace Theater
    • 10/9 — Charlotte, NC — Ovens Auditorium
    • 10/10 — Atlanta, GA — Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
    • 10/12 — Chattanooga, TN — Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
    • 10/13 — Biloxi, MS — Beau Rivage
    • 10/14 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hill Lawn
    • 10/16 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
    • 10/17 — Park City, KS — Hartman Arena
    • 10/19 — Memphis, TN — Orpheum Theater
    • 10/20 — St. Louis, MO — Peabody Opera House
    • 10/21 — Cedar Rapids, IA — Paramount Theater
    • 10/23 — Des Moines, IA — Des Moines Civic Center
    • 10/24 — Rockford, IL — Coronado Performing Arts Center

Saturday, September 29, 2018

President Trump Coming to Topeka

by Kevin Surbaugh, compiled from Press Releases

TOPEKA  - In a recent announcement, President Donald Trump announced he will visit Topeka, Kansas in support of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's campaign for governor. The October 6 event is free, but tickets are required.
Upon the announcement, Kobach said
"I'm honored and grateful that President Trump will be coming to Kansas on October 6. President Trump's success in cutting taxes at the national level unleashed economic growth, and I want to accomplish the same thing in Kansas by reducing our crushing tax burden. It has been a great privilege to work with President Trump's administration as a transition team member and informal adviser, and I look forward to working with him closely when I am Governor of Kansas."

 Steve Watkins, U.S. combat veteran, engineer, and Republican nominee for Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, a statement in response to the upcoming rally at the Expocentre in  Topeka, saying,

“Regardless of your political stripes, it is always a true honor to have an opportunity to welcome the President of the United States to your hometown. President Trump recognizes that this upcoming election and the race for the Second District of Kansas, in particular, is critical to the future of our nation and the Great State of Kansas. While my liberal career politician opponent, Paul Davis, has proudly embraced Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda and has in turn been showered with over $2 million in outside liberal interest group spending, conservatives like President Trump are supporting me. I look forward to meeting President Trump on October 6th and sharing with him my plans to help deliver lower taxes, enhanced border security, and higher paychecks for 2nd District Residents.”

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Number 1 Park Earns Home Sweep over Williams Baptist

Park University Sports Press Release

PARKVILLE, Missouri – The number one nationally ranked Park University women’s volleyball team made quick work of Williams Baptist (WBU) on Friday night inside the Breckon Sports Center, as they defeated the Eagles in straight sets, (25-13, 25-7, 25-9). 
The Pirates move to 16-0 on the season and extend their season-long set winning streak to a perfect, 48-0.

WBU falls to 3-16 overall and 2-4 in American Midwest Conference play, while the Pirates stay in first-place with its 4-0 AMC mark.

In the first set, Park held the Eagles to .061 hitting, as the Eagles had just six kills. Park hit .289 in that first set and Paula de Oliveira was stellar at the net with five kills and hit .444 in that first frame.

In the second, the No. 1 Pirates pieced together its best set of the night, as they hit .364 as a team, but defensively the Eagles hit just -.080 against the Park defense.

In the finale, the Pirates offense overpowered WBU by hitting, .433 and holding the Eagles to just .083 as a squad.

The Pirates had a balanced attack, as Salma Shahtout and Noura Meawad led the team in kills with seven each.

Two-time 2018 AMC Setter of the Week Danna Gomes had a team-high 26 assists in the victory and Celina Monteiro led the way with 12 digs.

Park had an impressive 12 service aces in the win while giving up zero. Gomes and Mackenzie Nunn each had three service aces to lead the Pirates

The Pirates will compete again inside the Breckon Sports Center on Saturday, September 29, as they take on Freed-Hardeman in another AMC match up at 1 p.m.


Williams Baptist (Ark.)13790
Park (Mo.)2525253
NAIA Women's Volleyball Box Score

BLM Announces Annual Adjustment to its Mineral Fee Cost-Recovery Schedule

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Effective October 1, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin using an updated fee schedule to recover costs incurred in processing certain actions related to oil, gas, coal, and solid minerals activities on public land. The fee schedule is adjusted regularly based on inflation and follows procedures established under the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule. The updated schedule appears in today’s Federal Register and will be posted to the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov.

The fees cover the BLM’s costs for processing such actions as lease applications, name changes, corporate mergers, lease consolidations, and reinstatements. Under this update, seventeen of the forty-eight fees subject to annual adjustment will remain unchanged, while thirty-one will increase.

Of the thirty-one fees that are increasing, eighteen will increase by $5 each and eight will increase by $10 each. The fee for adjudicating ten or fewer mineral patent claims will increase by $50 (from $1,555 to $1,605), and the fee for adjudicating more than 10 claims will increase by $105 (from $3,110 to $3,215).

The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule. The Office of Management and Budget has also directed federal agencies to recover costs for their services. The 2005 Cost Recovery Rule expressly projected that the BLM would annually adjust the fee schedule to account for inflation. The BLM updates the fee schedule each year based on changes in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product (IPD-GDP), as determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Statue Celebrating Lifetime Achievements of Senator Bob Dole Unveiled at Washburn University

Washburn University Press Release

Topeka  – Today, Washburn University unveiled a bronze statue and celebrated the lifetime achievements of Senator Bob Dole. It was the first commissioned bronze statue of Dole ever created.

Washburn University President Jerry Farley said,
Photo couertesy of the Washburn University
Alumni Association and Foundation
“Senator Dole’s honorable career as a public servant embodies what we want Washburn students to reflect on while they are receiving their education. His career was built on service to others, to the country, and to the world, and what can be achieved when we focus on finding common ground. We are thankful for his leadership at Washburn and in the state of Kansas. We are honored to be able to celebrate his life with the dedication of this statue.”

The statue is a gift to Washburn University from John Pinegar, BA 1982, and the Doug and Kathleen, BBA 1984, Smith family and is located north of stately Carnegie Hall on Washburn’s campus.
Dole, BA ’52, JD ’52, H ’69, H ’85 said,
“Washburn provided me with a firm foundation to set my sights on great things. For my generation, which had won a war overseas, but then had to create a better future back home, Washburn gave us that new start through education.”

During the war, Dole suffered devastating injuries while trying to help a fellow soldier. He was later awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service. He has developed a worldwide reputation for public service, holding elected positions in the Kansas House of Representatives, as Russell County (Kan.) attorney and as U.S. congressman before spending nearly 30 years as U.S. senator. He was chair of the Republican National Committee, Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader, where he set a record as the longest-serving Republican leader. Dole was President Gerald Ford’s vice presidential running mate in 1976 and a Republican presidential candidate in both 1988 and 1996, earning the GOP nomination in 1996. He served as national chair of the World War II Memorial Campaign and has been a strong advocate for veterans and the disabled. In January, Dole was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest civilian honor.
Washburn conferred on him an honorary doctor of laws in 1969 and an honorary doctor of civil law in 1985. He received the Washburn Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 1966. The Washburn University School of Law honored him with the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 1981 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
The Washburn University School of Law houses the Robert J. Dole Center for Law and Government, where a professorship was also established in his name. A special scholarship bearing his name is designated for law students with disabilities. He served 11 years as a trustee of the Washburn University Foundation and has served as trustee emeritus since 1998.
Dole currently serves as special counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of  Alston & Bird LLP, a leading national and international law firm.

Friday, September 21, 2018

NRA Endorses a Gubernatorial Candidate

Press Release

TOPEKA  - The National Rifle Association (NRA) today announced its endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for Governor. The NRA's Political Victory Fund praised Kobach's support for gun rights and his advocacy for America's hunting heritage. The organization urged all NRA members, gun owners, and sportsmen in Kansas to vote for Kobach in November.
In a statement, Kobach told the media,
"I am humbled and honored by the NRA's endorsement, I will always defend our Second Amendment rights."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Need Government Officials Representing All of Us

Letter to the Editor by Sam Gellhorn (of Baldwin City)

The people of Kansas need hope for progress and change. We need government representatives representing all of us and not just the one (1) percent. The people of Kansas have good strong values. Taking food and healthcare from the poor to give tax breaks to billionaires is not one of them.
Progress and change. Yeah!
Sam Hellhorn
Baldwin City, KS

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 (gshtopeka.org)

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.