Kansas politics | KCUR

Kansas politics

Matthew Long-Middleton / KCUR 89.3 / StoryCorps

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Teacher Brittney Fiedler says being from Kansas carries some baggage when you talk to people in other states.

"They assume you're from a farm, they assume you see tornadoes all the time and they assume you're a pretty conservative person," Fiedler says. "For me, none of those things are true, really."

Segment 1: Kris Kobach announces his senate campaign for the 2020 election

Pat Roberts is retiring from his seat in the U.S. Senate, which leaves it open for the 2020 election. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach just announced his candidacy which immediately received criticism from some fellow Republicans. Stephen Koranda and Bob Beatty discussed Kobach's strategy and what his chances of winning look like. 

Kansas News Service / Kansas News Service

One might think the end of her first legislative session as Kansas governor would give Laura Kelly some relief.

"Oh, not much," she said. "We've been extraordinarily busy."

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Jul 3, 2019

State's chief executive offers insights on her first session in office and her plans for moving Kansas forward

Governor Kelly explained how she is working with Republicans despite pushback from party leaders on everything from Medicaid to the budget. Kelly acknowledged that state prison conditions are a top priority and that she will entertain every alternative to avoid building a new prison "at all cost."

Emanuel Cleaver And Sharice Davids

May 30, 2019

U.S. Representatives Emanuel Cleaver and Sharice Davids discuss the latest developments in the nation's capital.

The Democrats from the 3rd District of Kansas and Missouri's Fifth District gave their thoughts on the Mueller Report, the impact of tariffs on farmers and taxpayers and the large pool of Democratic candidates for the 2020 election. 

Segment 1: Journalists discuss the Kansas City mayor's race, legislative sessions in Jefferson City and Topeka, and politics in Washington. 

In one week, Kansas City voters will narrow the field of mayoral candidates from 11 to two. Today, our political panel discusses issues on the April 2 ballot in Kansas City, Missouri, and the latest happenings in Missouri, Kansas and Washington politics.

Segment 1: Kansas governor and lawmakers don't see eye to eye.

Political reporters described a hostile environment  between Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican-led legislature. They explained what each side is looking for on the issues of Medicaid expansion, school funding, protecting vulenerable children and the food tax.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: An early look at Kansas City's mayoral race, and the performance of new governors in Kansas and Missouri.

There’s so much going on in the world of politics that we couldn’t resist any longer. Today, our political panel discussed the mayor's race in Kansas City, Missouri, which is beginning to heat up, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's plans for infrastructure and workforce development, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's struggle with Republicans on tax cuts and school funding, and the soon-to-be-open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas. 

File photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ new governor wants to fix the state’s foster care. Fast.

Laura Kelly isn’t the first governor to highlight a crisis in child welfare, or to inject cash into the Department for Children and Families.

Expectations run high for Kelly, who sat on a task force examining the child welfare system for more than a year. She’s made fixing foster care a high priority — it was one of just three topics she homed in on in her State of the State address last week.

Congressional Leadership Fund

Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas' 3rd District had been in office for less than 24 hours when Republicans came out swinging with an attack ad.

"With her very first vote in Congress, Sharice Davids caved to the party bosses and voted to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker," says a female narrator, with chilling music in the background.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Kansas goes further than any other state in kicking local and state government out of decisions about nutrition labels and portion sizes, leaving that and other food policy up to federal lawmakers.

In a recent study, New York University researcher Jennifer Pomeranz said Kansas did more to limit local control than the 13 other states that passed similar laws.

NOMIN UJIYEDIIN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

In a live broadcast from the south steps of the Capitol, Steve Kraske and Jim McLean hosted discussions about the political priorities of Kansas' 48th governor as she took her oath of office. State lawmakers and political watchers opined on her chances for turning her Democratic Party platform into law, and how hard a fight the Republican legislature will put up when it comes to Medicaid expansion, school funding and more. Then, Gov. Laura Kelly gave her inaugural address.

File photo / Kansas News Service

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and independent Greg Orman both funded much of their losing races for governor of Kansas through self-financing, campaign finance reports filed Thursday show.

Orman spent $1.28 million of his own cash on his campaign and raised about another $1 million from donors.  He also spent several thousand dollars on in-kind contributions, including software and staff lunches.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: An exit interview with the 47th governor of Kansas.

After just under a year in office, the outgoing Kansas governor sat down to discuss his time as leiutenant to Sam Brownback, his short tenure as the state's chief executive, and what he's looking forward to doing after Jan. 14 — both personally and politically.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has ended the talk — and there's been a lot of it — about his political future. The senior senator from Kansas announced in Manhattan Friday that he won’t be campaigning for a fifth term.

“I will serve the remainder of this term as your senator, fighting for Kansas in these troubled times. However, I will not be a candidate in 2020,” Roberts told a gathering at the state Department of Agriculture, standing behind a podium decorated with a shock of wheat.

Kansas Legislature

(This story was updated at 3 p.m.)

The latest defections from the Kansas Republican Party — two Johnson County legislators — show politicians in some corners of the state trying to catch up with changes in the voters they need to win over.

In quick succession Wednesday morning, Republican moderates state Sen. Dinah Sykes and state Rep. Stephanie Clayton announced they are changing parties.

They followed the path of moderate Republican state Sen. Barbara Bollier, who declared herself a Democrat earlier this month.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Segment 1: The state senator says she felt increasingly at odds with Republican Party stances on LGBTQ issues and supporting President Trump.

An older white haired man in a black suit and blue shirt sits in front of a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas Senate President Dick Bond on his time in office and Kansas politics today.

An older white man with white hair, wearing a blue sweater.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Is the U.S. "locked in" to a two-party system?

Independent candidate Greg Orman recieved 6.5 percent of the vote in the Kansas gubernatorial election this year, and independents don't fair much better nationally. So is there still hope that a third party candidate can eke out a win? Today we discuss how our two-party system differs from other democracies, and what it could take in our current climate for a third party to find success.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is making the transition with the help of Gov. Jeff Colyer and others.

A white piece of paper taped on a brick wall. There is a red arrow on the paper with the word 'Voting' inside.
Keith Ivey / Flickr-CC

Segment 1: Listeners tell us what's driving them to the polls this midterm election.

A woman in Missouri says she is voting for checks and balances on the White House. Another says she is voting for her children and the future of our planet. For some, it is their first time voting in a midterm, or voting at all. Today, we heard about the issues and candidates motivating voters to turn out in what could be record numbers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 / Senator Claire McCaskill / Flickr - CC

The midterm election is just a weekend away. Today, we covered the big races on both sides of the state line and some of the ballot measures Missouri voters are set to decide. In the Show-Me State, Attorney General Josh Hawley has been accused by Sen. Claire McCaskill of innapproriate use of consultants, but were the alleged misdeeds revealed too late to make a difference in the result? Meanwhile in Kansas, the contest between Secretary of State Kris Kobach and state Sen. Laura Kelly remains a virtual tie.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: In a tight race for Kansas governor, candidate Kelly touts her bipartisan bona fides.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder and his challenger, Democrat Sharice Davids, faced off in a debate on Tuesday afternoon, just a week ahead of the midterm election. 

Both are vying for a seat in the Kansas 3rd congressional district, and Tuesday's debate was the first time the candidates had met in person. Yoder called attention to this in his opening statement, accusing Davids of skipping debates.

file photo / Kansas News Service

Two of the top three campaigns for Kansas governor are relying heavily on a single source of cash: their own money.

The last major campaign reports filed before next week’s election revealed that, in the last three months, Kris Kobach’s running mate accounted for nearly half the money hauled in by the Republican candidate.

Kelly cashes in

Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly raised the most money by a wide margin, pulling in almost $1 million more than Kobach. During the period from July 27 to Oct. 25, Kelly received $2.3 million.

Kris Kobach dressed in a blue dress shirt and tie sits at a microphone.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: If elected, Republican candidate Kris Kobach to use "natural attrition" to reduce number of state employees.

The race between conservative Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly, and Independent Greg Orman for Kansas governor is too close to call. Today, the state's current top election official laid out his prospective plans for funding education, cutting taxes and shrinking government.

File photo / Kansas News Service

Kris Kobach says his proposal to reform Kansas Medicaid could save the state $2 billion.

At campaign events, the Republican nominee for governor touts the benefits of combining Medicaid with direct primary care, an unconventional payment system that avoids the bureaucracy of health insurance.