Daily Archives: April 7, 2013

Article on Huelskamp’s district raising alarms

A Boston Globe article last week on how Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, seems to accurately represent the views of his conservative “Big First” congressional district has garnered attention – but not for good reasons. The article focused on residents of Jetmore, many of whom are urging Huelskamp to continue refusing to compromise. “Just keep saying ‘no’ until people listen,” one man said. The residents have no interest in broadening the GOP base, as national party leaders want. The editor of the local newspaper joked about how Jetmore doesn’t have “the gay problem.” The local doctor complained that “this president is trying to destroy the country I grew up in.” But what really raised alarms was that two of the citizens interviewed (at different times) joked about needing Lee Harvey Oswald (the man who assassinated President Kennedy). “I keep donating to the Bring Back Lee Harvey Committee,” one man said. “It hasn’t worked yet.”

Women a majority on Topeka City Council

Though Wichita’s low-turnout election last week barely qualified as news, Topeka voters made history by electing four women to the City Council. That means women now hold five of nine seats – their first majority in the council’s 28-year history. “I think a real theme of Topeka is freedom and offering an opportunity to anybody who is willing to step up,” re-elected council member Karen Hiller told the Topeka Capital-Journal. The election brought to mind both the historic election of an all-female Syracuse city council in 1887, just after Kansas amended the constitution to allow women to vote and hold municipal offices, and the city-county fight in Topeka in 2011 over paying for prosecution of domestic violence cases, which drew national headlines such as “Enjoy Hitting Your Spouse? Move to Topeka.” In contrast, Wichita has two women on its seven-member City Council; it reached a peak of three a few years ago.

Locals investing in school bond issues

The commitment to school needs and funding at the state level remains questionable, but Kansans seem eager to raise taxes to invest in their schools locally. School bond issues passed last week in half a dozen Kansas districts including Lawrence and Shawnee County’s Seaman district, with the winning majorities ranging from 53 percent in Goodland to 92 percent in Goessel. “We were conservative and focused on education and not a lot of wants,” said Jeff Johnson, school board vice president in McPherson, where the bond issue passed with 81 percent of votes.