January 30, 2018
STARK REALITIES ABOUT KANSAS TAX 'EXPERIMENT' HIGHLIGHTED IN NEW RESEARCH
Heidi Holliday, KCEG
A report out this week from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers fresh details about the failed tax plan and the lessons that other states should take from our state. While tax-cut proponents have argued that Kansas' experiment was imperfect and should be dismissed, the evidence shows otherwise.  Here are three takeaways:
  1. The Kansas experiment was a test of supply-side economics. It failed.
  2. Kansas cut spending to the bone. Cutting more would have left the state worse off.
  3. Under the plan, businesses didn't behave the way supply-side theory expected.
In other words, the tax "experiment" created precious little -- other than gaping deficits.
"Some will continue to argue that Kansas's fiscal and economic struggles after its tax cuts aren't relevant to other states, but plenty of evidence says that they are.
Read more here.
NEW GDP INDEX SHOWS KANSAS STRUGGLING TO KEEP PACE WITH RIVAL STATES
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
A new economic index produced by Emporia State University reveals Kansas' growth in gross domestic product surpassed only Iowa among seven Midwest states during the year ending in November, a reflection of a slump in manufacturing exports.
Marc Fusaro, director of the Center for Business and Economic Development at ESU, said Kansas per-capita GDP expanded during five of 12 months in the one-year period. Annual growth in economic activity from November 2016 to November 2017 was 1.03 percent in Kansas, slightly better than the 0.9 percent expansion in Iowa.
Fusaro said Kansas' 4 percent contraction in manufacturing exports during November tarnished the state's one-year rating.  "That drop off in exports, that is what is causing our model to estimate a drop in gross domestic product for the month of November," he said. "It's somewhat significant."
Read more here.
AS GOVERNOR, BROWNBACK MOVED KANSAS TO RIGHT ON
BIG ISSUES
John Hanna AP, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
As governor, conservative Republican Sam Brownback moved Kansas hard to the right, gaining national attention for an ultimately ill-fated experiment in cutting taxes while making the state a leader on abortion restrictions and gun rights.  Brownback successfully pushed the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass aggressive personal income tax cuts in 2012 and 2013, arguing they would provide "a shot of adrenaline to the heart" of the state's economy.
But persistent budget problems followed, along with court mandates to boost spending on public schools. Kansas became an example even for conservatives of how not to do trickle-down economics. Voters turned on his legislative allies in 2016, and bipartisan majorities rolled back most of the cuts last year over Brownback's veto.  Read more here .
WHAT KS NEEDS IN 2018 AFTER THE END OF THE BROWNBACK ERA: A RETURN TO THE CENTER
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
Gov. Sam Brownback's impending resignation reminds Kansans they must pick a new governor this November.
The choice will be critical. After seven-plus years of Sam Brownback, Kansans must get this election right.
The campaign will be intense and complicated. There will be time for a lively discussion of important issues, such as school spending, taxes, support for higher education and others.  Today, though, we can start with this plain fact: Kansas cannot endure another four years like the past seven. A third Brownback term would set the state back years, if not decades.
Voters must turn the page and focus on candidates who can move the state forward.  Read more here .
JEFF COLYER'S SEVEN-MONTH TRYOUT AS GOVERNOR FULL OF CHALLENGES
Wichita Eagle Editorial Board,
The Wichita Eagle
Jeff Colyer waited six months to become Kansas governor. He bided his time and filled in for Gov. Sam Brownback here and there. He was a dutiful lieutenant while Brownback waited (and waited) on his confirmation for a U.S. ambassadorship.
Will he be a Brownback clone, sticking to the soon-to-be former governor's policies? Some of those crashed the state budget and turned many voters toward more moderate legislators in the last election.
Will he take a path so far from Brownback that it'll be hard to remember he was once Brownback's right-hand man? Or maybe somewhere in between.
We will begin to see Wednesday.  Read more here .
NO MORE SECRET VOTES,
'GUT-AND-GO'MANEUVERS IN KANSAS LEGISLATURE, DEMOCRATS PROPOSE
Judy Thomas, Hunter Woodall &
Laura Bauer, The Wichita Eagle
In a legislative session already consumed with making government more open, Tuesday was the Democrats' turn to try to stamp out longstanding tactics that have kept Kansans in the dark for decades.
They rolled out a sweeping package of more than a dozen House and Senate proposals designed to bring more transparency to Topeka. The bills, they said in an afternoon news conference, will shed light on one of the most secretive states in the country, a troubling revelation in a recent investigation by The Kansas City Star.
One bill would require all votes taken in the Kansas Legislature to be recorded, and another would prohibit the tactic of stripping a bill and then inserting a totally unrelated measure - a maneuver called "gut-and-go." Both problems were highlighted by the Star in its mid-November series, Why So Secret, Kansas?  Watch and read more here .

KANSAS INTERN CONFIDENTIALITY RULE: WHAT HAPPENS IN LAWMAKER'S OFFICE STAYS THERE
Hunter Woodall and Lindsay Wise, McClatchy DC Bureau
Interns in the Kansas Statehouse are required to sign a sweeping confidentiality agreement that employment law attorneys warn could have a chilling effect on their willingness to report harassment or illegal activity.  Anything that takes place or is said in lawmaker's office stays there, the document says, under threat of immediate termination.
"What do they have to hide?" asked Kelly McCambridge. "Seems they are more interested in protecting the reputations of their politicians than they are in protecting the safety of their student interns."  Read more here .
READY OR NOT, CAMPAIGN SEASON IS HERE
John W. Carlin and Civic Leadership
Someone once said that the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. I'd like to add one: words that are short on truth. In campaigns, candidates often say a lot of words and they're taken at face value. But they need to be scrutinized, evaluated, and the truth shared with the voters. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. The hard working press often try, but especially today the working reporters are too few and far between and often simply do not have the time to do the research.  Words used do matter, and the truth can make a real difference.  Read more here .
AS CROSSCHECK MOVES TO SECURE VOTER DATA, HACKING FEARS GROW AMONG EXPERTS AND POLITICIANS
Dell Cameron, Gizmodo
After weeks of testimony, Kansas lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, are even less convinced that Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office is equipped to keep sensitive voter data from as many as 27 states out of malicious hackers' hands.
Fewer still are enthused about the prospect of the state being held financially liable should any of those records be compromised-again.
Ultimately, the researchers found that infiltration of the larger Kansas government, by even a modestly proficient hacker, would be all but guaranteed.   Read more here .
LETTING PEOPLE VOTE AT HOME INCREASES VOTER TURNOUT. HERE'S PROOF
By Gilad Edelman & Paul Glastrix,
The Washington Post
It's no secret that American democracy is in a bad way. In the last midterm elections, only about 37 percent of eligible adults voted - the worst showing since World War II.
Over the past few years, Washington Monthly, where we work, has published a series of articles arguing that the simplest and most effective way to address these problems is to adopt universal vote by mail, also known as "vote at home." The idea is simple: Instead of going to a designated polling place, every registered voter automatically receives a ballot in the mail. They have a window of time, typically two weeks, to fill it out and either mail it back or drop it off at a secure site. 
By making voting dramatically more convenient and changing it from opt-in to opt-out behavior, vote at home promises to boost turnout, especially among the people who today vote the least. Read more here.
COURT ASKS IF KANSAS LAWMAKERS HAD POWER TO KILL TEACHER TENURE
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, kmuw 89.1
Tenure, as Kansas public school teachers had known it for decades, died at the hands of lawmakers without a hearing in the spring of 2014.  No one disputes that.
On Wednesday, state and teachers union lawyers went head-to-head before the Kansas Supreme Court over whether the ending of those long-standing job protections ran afoul of the state and U.S. constitutions.
"This was run through," union lawyer David Schauner told the justices, "without any regard for whether anybody whose property was being taken would have an opportunity to respond before it was a fait accompli."  Read more here .
DEAN OF KANSAS SCHOOL FINANCE SURVIVES FIRE FROM GOP LEADERS
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, KCUR 89.3
The chief school finance official in Kansas -- under fire from top Republican lawmakers, backed by scores of people in state education circles -- on Friday avoided a suspension.
Dale Dennis, the state's deputy education commissioner and a walking encyclopedia of Kansas school finance policy, came under attack over an audit that showed some school districts had long been getting money for buses beyond what lawmakers authorized.
Yet on Friday - with four former governors, nearly half the legislature and various education factions springing to Dennis' defense - the Kansas education commissioner said he wouldn't suspend the employee.
"I have full confidence in Dale Dennis and his performance of duties," said Randy Watson, the man who made the call after seeking guidance from the State Board of Education .
Read more here.

SMH (POLITICAL RANT)
Principalpositivity.blogspot.com
For those of you born when Democrats and Republicans argued, but still found a way to govern with civility and keep the best interests of the people front and center, the title of this post, smh, stands for "shaking my head," which is exactly what I've found myself doing for the better part of the past 30+ hours.  To almost every superintendent and many other administrators, Mr. Dennis represents consistency, integrity, and class.
And if you think I'm just in Dale's corner because I'm a school administrator, so be it. But I'm in good company with the vast majority of (or all) educators who know him, four former Kansas Governors, and 9 of 10 State Board of Education members (unsure of why Bacon voted against him).  Read more here .
BROWNBACK, COLYER PUT BRAKE ON KANCARE 2.0 IN RESPONSE TO GOP COMPLAINTS
Tim Carpenter, The Hutchinson News
The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback backed down from plans to seek approval of major alterations to the state's privatized Medicaid system amid consternation among legislators about the cost and merit of reforms.
Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who has taken the administration's lead in managing the KanCare system, said the rollout of KanCare 2.0 would be delayed. 
In early January, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and three other influential Republican senators publicly urged Brownback to stop pressing ahead with KanCare 2.0 until complex problems with the existing KanCare model could be addressed. The central issues for the senators were eligibility application processing, delivery of health services to Medicaid participants and the need to make investments in mental and behavioral health services.
Read more here.




Women for Kansas Leaders joining Pam (LF) and Deanna (LB): Lynn Stephan (RF) and Anna Anderson (RB).

LEAVE IT TO DEANNA ZITTERKOPF...
...to dream up a PR moment for Women for Kansas. She and Pam Martin had been emailing about starting a W4K Chapter in Great Bend and were meeting for the first time in Wichita at Ya Ya's.
While Deanna could have waited for Pam at the front of the restaurant, she requested seating next to a wall for the express purpose of displaying a W4K sign. Pam couldn't miss the green and gold logo...and neither could Ya Ya's customers! Nice going, Deanna!
If you're interested in learning more about a Great Bend Chapter, contact Pam Martin at 620-285-1083 or butterfly@hbcomm.net.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH WIND
KPR Staff, Kansas Public Radio
Kansas, the 34th star on the American flag, has produced one president, one vice-president, three astronauts and numerous aviators, artists, educators, inventors and journalists - not to mention a good share of the farmers who help feed the world. January 29, also known as Kansas Day, is the state's birthday -- the date we became a state. How old will Kansas be on Monday (January 29)? 157
Let's take a look at many of the "female firsts" associated with Kansas.
Read more here .
LOUD LIGHT: WEEK 3 RECAP
Davis Hammet, LoudLight
Thousands of Kansans at risk for identity theft, Brownback's leaving, an attempted ousting backfired, secret government contracts, and more !! Week 3 in the Kansas State House.
Head over to loudlight.org/ksleg to see just some of the tons of hearings going on this coming week! Watch here.
GOVERNOR WHO? JEFF COLYER FINALLY TAKES OVER IN KS
Jim McLean, KCUR 89.3
Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer goes from one of the most anonymous jobs in state politics to its most prominent.
Brownback is stepping away  from the job with a year left in his term to work in the U.S. State Department for the Trump administration. That gives Colyer a chance to show that he's up to the job and to catapult his prominence in this year's race for a full term as governor.
A group connected to Koch Industries paid for his commercial. That suggests that Koch's powerful political network is backing Colyer and not Secretary of State Kris Kobach, his more dynamic conservative rival in the governor's race.
Listen here .
KOCH NETWORK TO SPEND $400 MILLION DURING 2018 MIDTERM ELECTION CYCLE
Jonathan Easley, The Hill
The network of groups affiliated with billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch will spend more than $400 million on conservative causes and candidates in the 2018 midterm election cycle.
Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said Saturday that the investment would be the network's largest election cycle investment ever - 60 percent greater than the 2016 presidential cycle - as Republicans seek to protect majorities in the House and Senate.  Read more here .
Visit Open Secrets, Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsible Politics has made itself into an essential national institution. Now more than ever, the proliferation of super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups pouring huge sums into campaigns, it's critical to have a reliable and handy source of information on money and politics. Opensecrets.org is the go-to site for data-trustworthy, accessible and well-presented.

WE FOLLOW THE MONEY. YOU MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!
Your belief in W4K and the work we do to elect and keep moderates in Topeka has created  14 W4K Chapters across the state!  Thousands of moderate voters thank you.  As you know, 2018 is a momentous election year, and we're looking for committed W4K members. 

If you're interested in being involved, contact a Chapter Leader. A complete list of Chapter Leaders and their contact information is available here.

If you're interested in forming a Chapter, contact Deanna Zitterkopf at beowulfprof@cox.net .
  
Thanks to the efforts of hundreds
of determined Women for Kansas,
2016 was the year we began turning the ship around. In the Senate, we picked up 10 moderate seats; in the House,  we added 28. Not quite a legislative majority but changed enough so that Brownback and his lemmings can no longer stream roll over us.
 
Up next: planning for the 2018 gubernatorial/statewide races.

With your support, Women for Kansas will again help lead the way. Our work, supported 100% by individual, private donations, now gives you 2 options:

Women for Kansas Civic Group
A 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the Civic Group
is our primary and membership organization, providing support for our staff and advocacy activities. It is the most flexible funding source and the best choice for donors.
Donations are not tax deductible
but are the most flexible way to support our advocacy work.

Women for Kansas
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, W4K engages in non-partisan, non-political educational activities on behalf of our shared values. Donations to Women for Kansas are tax deductible.

Basic support $75.00 year
Contributing support $150.00 year
Sustaining support $500.00 year
Student support $30.00 year

Mail your check to:
Women for Kansas Civic Group
( or) Women for Kansas
P.O. Box 8774
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Pay online with PayPal:
W4K Civic Group, click here.
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(You are not required to have a PayPal account).
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
'WHENEVER YOU SEE INJUSTICES AT ALL, YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP
Reva Kibort, pbs.org
Holocaust survivor Reva Kibort remembers when the German soldiers came to Warsaw, Poland, and at first, she says, "they weren't so bad." But soon enough she was transported to a concentration camp, escaping the murder the other children suffered by hiding in a pile of dirty laundry.
"I feel, if I'm not going to speak out now, it will be up to my children, and my grandchildren, and maybe great-grandchildren to tell the story of the Holocaust.  So, we have to speak up. Whenever you see injustices at all, you have to speak up."  Watch here .
FIRST FEMALE MARINE LAID TO REST AT ARLINGTON
On January 23, 2018, the first female Marine to retire from the Corps was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Sepmer Fidelis, Master Sgt. Murray,  U.S. Marine Corps.  Watch here .
RUNNING FOR OFFICE 101:
CAMPAIGN SCHOOL LED BY KATE COYNE-MCCOY
Hosted by Kansas Chapter NASW
Sat., Feb. 3, 9am - 4pm
Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Ctr.
6200 Marway St., Mission, KS

$25 Tickets available at squareup.com.

If you have ever heard thought about running for office  and wondered  what is all involved to run a campaign
this is the workshop for you.
Visit Facebook page here .
REMEMBERING ICONIC KANSAS ABOLITIONIST JOHN BROWN - MARTYR OR MADMAN?
Bobbie Athon, KPR
Today is Kansas Day, the state's 157th birthday. It was on January 29th, 1861 that Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state, becoming the 34th star on the American flag.  Today, in collaboration with the Kansas Historical Soecity, KPR begins a series of essays profiling some of the state's most important people from the past 150 years.  For our first installment in this occasional series, Commentator Bobbie Athon introduces us to one of the most controversial figures in the early history of Kansas.  Listen here .
Hosted by Great Plains Chapter Americans United for Separation of Church and State

WHY DO SO MANY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE
WANT THE GOVERNMENT 
ON THEIR SIDE?

Saturday, February 10
Olive Tree Banquet Hall
2949 N. Rock Road, Wichita (entrance on 29th)

Cost: $35 per person
Doors open at 6:30 pm, followed by
Dr. Minor. Dessert will be served after Dr. Minor's talk.

Dr. Minor also promotes better understanding of humanity in all its diversity through The Fairness Project, which you can read about here.

RSVP: Please make your reservation here by February 6, or call Raye McAdam at 316-650-6641. You may pay at the door, but please do reserve in advance.

For more information, please visit
SAVE THE DATE!
2018 International Women's Day Solidarity Event
Hosted by The Resistance LFK
Saturday, March 10, 11am-7pm
Buford M. Watson Jr. Park
727 Kentucky St., Lawrence, KS

Speakers. Musical Performers. Organizations. Free on-site childcare. Artists. Food. Community. Solidarity. And all that good stuff!!!  Details to follow.
Visit our Facebook page.
Become a precinct committee woman! There are two precinct chairs for each Kansas legislative District, one of each gender, for each party. Precinct Chair is an elected position, and while it has few duties, it is critical in the democratic process.  For information about Kansas statute describing precinct chairs click here Precinct Committee person

Candidate's Declaration of Intention application available here .
AN APPLICATION THAT MAKES IT EASY TO PESTER YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER

Visit Countable here .
"The practice of democracy is not passed down  through the gene pool.
It must be taught  and learned anew by each generation of citizens."

Visit iCivics.org to learn more.
STATE GOVERNMENT: HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN KS
From tracking legislation, to contacting your state legislator
or governor,  to viewing campaign contributions,  this article is  packed full of  useful information  EVERY
Kansan should know.
PDF of handout available here.

2017-2018 KANSAS ROSTER AND CONTACT INFORMATION
KS House  Roster
Kansas Senate Roster

NOT SURE WHO REPRESENTS YOU?  WE CAN HELP
Find your  U.S. State Senator
Follow Women for Kansas on Twitter  or Instagram,
@women_for_kansas. Like us on Facebook , and visit our website at www.WomenforKansas.org .
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