While religious freedom can mean many different things to you personally, within the U.S. Constitution it means only two things: the government can’t promote one religion over another (or promote religion over the lack of religion, or vice versa) and you have the right to worship, or not, as…

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As policymakers manage the daily reality of Kansas’s prison crisis, let’s understand the core issue and its implications. Kansas has a growing prison population but lags other states on criminal justice reforms that could curb that growth, ease managing prisons and reduce budget strain from …

Former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.” He was referring specifically to congressional races, where responding to local issues from a national perspective – farm subsidy payments, social security checks, small business loans, etc. – was crucial to…

The First Amendment protects all kinds of speech we don’t like, but nothing in those 45 words prevents us from critically evaluating what we believe — or choose to retweet.

The beginning of a new fall semester is near. Labette Community College faculty will be back on campus, preparing for the semester with in-service and work days. It’s a time to remind ourselves about the central mission of the college: Creating quality learning opportunities in a supportive …

It’s one thing to be a loyal political subject, as Congressman Roger Marshall has proven to be for the Trump monarchy.

 Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! While we do not have any groundhogs at Proud Animal Lovers Shelter, we do have 23 dogs and 11 cats who would love to have their own forever families.

With a Democrat as the next governor of Kansas and a Republican-controlled Legislature, this would seem to be an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation in the Kansas Statehouse ... right after Kris Kobach tears up his NRA membership card.

“Take me back, take me way, way, way back…

Shock and awe! Kansas voters nailed the coffin shut this week on the discredited Brownback era. They chose a bipartisan path forward by electing Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly as governor and soundly rejected her opponent, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The 2nd District seat in U.S. Congress is one of the most important choices to affect Kansas and the nation. Today, Congress (the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate) is held in the majority by the GOP. Many people are frustrated with the gridlock that exists in dialogue, some f…

If you’re part of an endangered species in Kansas known as moderate Republicans, it’s OK to walk the walk, just don’t talk the talk.

Will the “Trump effect” carry Kris Kobach and Republican congressional candidates to victory this November?

Despite the great success of female candidates across the country this year, 2018 may become even more the political year of youth. This rosy possibility confronts the hard historical reality of low interest, low voting turnout and general cynicism toward politics among the young.

In communities across Kansas, farmers’ markets continue to offer homegrown and homemade products. Everything from freshly picked fruits and vegetables to mouthwatering baked goods, fresh eggs, beef, lamb, pork, colorful flower arrangements and assorted bedding plants.

Nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide each year —an increase of nearly 25 percent since 1999.  No wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it a public health crisis. The problem is even worse in Kansas:  Up 45 percent in the same time frame. The issue is in today’s headli…

If you’re reading this column in your local newspaper, congratulations! Just by skimming your eyeballs over this page, whether it’s in print or online, you’re doing a vital service for your hometown, and for democracy as a whole. (Go ahead and take the rest of the day off.)

 This is it. The end. I’m not going to be around anymore to nag you about low birth rates, shrinking populations out west and the inevitability of change and its costs and responsibilities. No more scoffing at ridiculous claims about the sanctity of free enterprise without government interfe…

Rightly or wrongly, certain First Amendment issues tend to dominate the national conversation more than others. Bring up President Trump’s tweets criticizing the news media, college campus protests of controversial speakers, or the possibility of the government regulating Facebook and you’re…

The next time you take a few minutes out of the sun, dust off one of those old family albums. You know the ones that date back to the ‘30s, ‘40s and even the late ‘50s.

Before I share some of the May news from PALS, I’d like to mention a concern that comes up this time of year.  It seems like every year we hear of more deaths of children and pets from being left in cars.  I haven’t heard of any local children being left in hot cars, but I’ve sure seen way t…

As state legislators grappled with a new Kansas school-funding plan this spring, in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and recently North Carolina, strikes, walkouts and statewide teacher rallies closed schools.

I first met former Gov. Bill Avery in December 2003.  He served Kansas in Congress and then as governor in the mid-1960s.  His start in Kansas politics came in the early 1950s when, as a young farmer, he was a leader of the “Stop the Big Dam Foolishness” campaign to thwart flood control dams…

Early this past Sunday morning, at the last minute, Kansas legislators passed a school funding bill of more than $500 million.  The Supreme Court must still rule on its constitutionality, but the frantic maneuvering of last week allows Kansans to understand a lot about state politics as we h…

This year confronts Kansas Democrats with something new: a primary challenge in the governor’s race. Former Govs. John Carlin and Kathleen Sebelius are split — Carlin backs former state Rep. Josh Svaty while Sebelius prefers state Sen. Laura Kelly. House Minority Leader Jim Ward and former W…

 Like moths, miners and marksmen, our Republican Legislature has been busy making holes this session.  Voters should be paying attention.  One hole cost about $200,000 to buy a tool that legislators could use to bury the idea that spending more money was necessary for public K-12 education. …

It’s frequently said that a good, experienced trial attorney will never ask a question of a witness to which he does not already know the answer.

FACT A-1: A few months after the 2016 election, Charles Kushner, father of presidential son-in-law and key advisor Jared Kushner, asked Qatar’s minister of finance to help bail the Kushner family real estate company out of a disastrous $1.8 billion investment in 666 Fifth Avenue, New York Ci…

Spring is almost here and that means flowers, warmer weather, longer days and mosquitoes.  Already, mosquitoes have been seen and that should be a concern for any dog owner who doesn’t have their dog on year-round heartworm prevention.  

“Democrats are for the working man. Republicans are for the businessman.” In the 1950s, political scientists taking polls heard this again and again. Today, we would not make such comments specific to men, but there is more to this story than that. Democrats were once America’s working class…

Republicans on Capitol Hill are still awestruck days after President Trump declared he would have run into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, without a gun in order to stop the student who killed 17 people.

Sam Brownback has resigned his Kansas governorship. Jeff Colyer has moved up to take his place. Colyer is running for a full term of his own with a campaign website that proclaims “A New Day for Kansas,” in a clear attempt to indicate distance between himself and the departing Brownback. 

 As the contest to be Kansas’s next elected governor begins, the probability that the best known and disliked Kris Kobach will be the winner is stronger than probably 60 to 70 percent of Kansas voters would prefer.   Here’s how that Bizarro-World outcome could unfold.

The field of candidates for governor of Kansas became a little less crowded when the candidacy of Angus Woolley ended before it could officially begin.

Kansas entrepreneur Greg Orman formally launched his independent bid for governor recently and in doing so is challenging the two-party structure that has dominated U.S. politics for well over a century.