November 14 , 2017
WOMEN FOR KANSAS SOUTHEAST CHAPTER
DISCUSSES "FAKE NEWS"
Pat Dooley, distinguished Professor Communications, WSU Elliott Schools, joined Women for Kansas, Southeast Chapter for  a discussion, "Real News,
Fake News:  Literacy for the Information Age".  Dooley, noted author of 4 books and Past President, League of Women Voters-Wichita Metro, talked about the age of fake news and its impacts on independent media. The presentation concluded with the very engaged audience participating in an informative 'question and answer' session with Pat.
While we were up against some pretty tough competition, including a PSU football game, the turnout was exceptional.
BIG MONEY'S INFLUENCE ON GOVERNMENT
John W. Carlin and Civic Leadership
Privatizing government functions is a topic that has been around for a long time. But it takes on added interest and concern when one party controls all the power. In this case, it happens to be the party that is most comfortable with turning basic government functions over to the private sector. Now consider the impact of the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, which opened the floodgates for billionaires to play an unlimited role in politics. These wealthy citizens help recruit and fund the candidates they want. Then these same citizens use their influence to get legislation they need to take over previously government-managed functions.
But the final problem we have with many possible private sector run government functions is that all-too-often the private sector doesn't even support the core functions of the agency or program being taken over. It isn't in many cases that they think they can run it better, but that privatization creates an opportunity to shrink government without any real review or assessment of the impacts on citizens. As I've said many times, elections do have consequences.  Read more here.
THE HISTORY OF TAX REFORM
The Week Staff, The Week
Kansas Republicans embarked on what Gov. Sam Brownback called a "real-live experiment" in 2012. The plan  eliminated state income taxes  altogether for  so-called pass-through ¬≠entities - companies filing their taxes as individuals. Brownback and  others argued that the tax cuts would pay for themselves by generating massive economic growth.
But that growth never materialized, and Kansas now faces an $889 million budget shortfall over the next two years. The state has been forced to make deep, unpopular cuts to public education, social services, and even highway repairs, while its credit rating has been downgraded.
A coalition of Republicans and Democrats reversed most of the tax cuts this year, overriding Brownback's veto. With many of the same economists who advised Brownback working with the national GOP on its tax plan, some Kansas Republicans are warning Congress not to assume tax cuts will pay for themselves. "That won't work, so you better learn our lesson," said state Sen. Barbara Bollier.
Read more here .
WHO BENEFITS FROM TAX
BREAKS IN KANSAS YOU'RE
NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW
Steve Vockrodt and Bryan Lowry,
The Wichita Eagle
Kansas gives up hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to a long list of tax credits each year.  But finding out which companies and individuals benefit from those tax credits, and how much of their tax bill is whittled away through these programs, is nearly impossible.  Kansas is a rare state that forbids disclosure of tax credit recipients, arguing that it's confidential taxpayer information.
Greg Leroy, executive director of the corporate tax break watchdog Good Jobs First, said the lack of disclosure provides no way of analyzing whether corporate tax credits - often given for a promise of more jobs - actually work.
"When the state doesn't disclose anything about outcomes of deals, actual jobs created, actual wages paid, you don't have an honest cost-benefit debate," Leroy said. "To us, that's just irresponsible."  Read more here .
REJECT 'TRICKLE-DOWN' MYTH
Renalda Arndt, South Huntingdon, TRIBLive
In 2013, Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback set out to prove that tax cuts grow the economy, bring back jobs and make everyone richer. In what was described by a New York Times writer as a "petri dish for movement conservatism," he cut personal income tax and imposed no tax on business incomes. Brownback told The Wall Street Journal, "My focus is to create a red state model that allows Republicans to say, 'See we've got a better way and it works.'" 
None of his claims about tax cuts came to be. In fact they did exactly the opposite. 
It is time to reject this trickle-down concept. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Brownback has proven that tax cuts for the wealthy and for businesses do not grow the economy, nor do they increase our wealth.  Read more here .
PAY ATTENTION TO THE KANSAS DISASTER: IT'S WHAT REPUBLICANS WANT FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY
Charles Pierce, Esquire
By now, the whole country knows what a godawful mess Governor Sam Brownback has made out of the state of Kansas in his doomed experiment to prove that modern conservative economics make sense. (Pro tip: They don't.) Brownback, of course, would rather that not have gotten out to the world at large, and he and his government  have done their level best   to make sure it didn't, as The Kansas City Star tells us.
One might conclude from this that Brownback would rather have people die on his state's highways than admit, in the words of Marshall McLuhan in  Annie Hall , that his entire fallacy is wrong. One might do that, indeed.
The  Star 's investigation was six-months long, and it touches upon every aspect of the state government. You can decide for yourselves what findings are the most grotesque.
The series in the  Star  is worth reading in full, because what happened in Kansas is precisely what the Republican Party has in mind for the country. This will necessarily including burying the evidence the way Brownback and his government have in Kansas. What happened there was a pure experiment in the supply-side, laissez-faire economics that are the primary foundation of respectable conservative crazy. They don't work. They never will work. Their impact on the lives of ordinary people is inevitably and profoundly destructive.  Read more here.
EVEN A NOTICE HACKER COULD BREACH THE NETWORK HOSTING KRIS KOBACH'S BOGUS VOTER FRAUD PROGRAM
Dell Cameron, Gizmodo
A program overseen by the head of Trump's "election integrity" commission--which is now largely a tool for driving conspiracy theories  about "massive voter fraud" in the United States--is placing the personal data of millions of American voters at risk, according to internal records and security experts who examined the program at Gizmodo's request.
The stated purpose of the program, known as the Interstate Crosscheck System, is to identify potential duplicate registrations among states and provide evidence of possible double voting.  It does not work.
To put it bluntly, Crosscheck's methods for detecting voter fraud are overly simplistic and statistically inaccurate in almost every respect. In fact, an oft-cited paper published this year by researchers at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Microsoft, revealed that Crosscheck is capable of producing false positives for double voters roughly 99 percent of the time.
Read more here .
BUZZFEED SUES KRIS KOBACH OVER DENIED RECORDS
REQUESTS
wpxi.com
BuzzFeed Inc. is suing Kansas Secretary
of State Kris Kobach and his office for refusing to release emails containing any of 30 terms that relate to immigration or the election.
The lawsuit comes after a BuzzFeed reporter asked Kobach's office in June for emails sent or received May 1 that include terms such as ICE, immigrant, Trump, voter, fraud and Mexican. The secretary of state's office at first asked for $1,025 for 13 hours of work and an attorney's review, then refused to release any records when the reported challenged the cost, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Shawnee County District Court.
BuzzFeed is asking that Kobach's office be ordered to provide the documents and pay for attorney fees, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.  Read more here .
WHY DIDN'T KANSAS REAL ID LICENSES WORK CORRECTLY ON ELECTION DAY?
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board,
The Kansas City Star
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of
Kansans who went to the polls Tuesday ran into an unexpected problem when they provided required photo identification.
Real ID driver's licenses include a white star in the corner and two pictures of the license holder. On the back, there are bar codes that provide information about the holder.
That's where Tuesday's problem comes in. Kansans who presented Real ID licenses to poll workers soon learned the bar codes didn't work. The scanners couldn't read them. 
Perhaps Kobach can pause from his work on the Election Integrity Commission long enough to make sure voters' rights in Kansas are fully protected and that election systems work.  Read more here .
KANSAS LEADERS SHOULD TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT DREAMERS
Sam Peak, The Kansas City Star
When Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Children Arrival or DACA program in early September, U.S. officials representing Kansas were quick to respond. Sen. Pat Roberts called on Congress to pass a "commonsense and compassionate plan for children whose parents brought them here illegally." Roberts' fellow Sen. Jerry Moran along with Reps. Kevin Yoder, Roger Marshall, and Lynn Jenkins all expressed similar sentiments.
The RAC Act would give legal status to unauthorized immigrants who entered the country at age 16 or younger before 2012. To qualify, applicants would need to pass a criminal background check, owe no back taxes to the government and not be dependent on federal assistance. In addition, they would need to have been employed, in school or serving in the military for the last three years.
As the immigration debate continues to polarize the country, the desire to protect Dreamers is one issue where Americans can achieve consensus. The RAC Act represents a unique opportunity for congress to enact sensible immigration legislation.  Read more here .
OUR READERS WRITE TO US
W4K-Butler County Chapter, Butler County Times Gazette
To the Editor,
On Oct. 26, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas held a public meeting in
El Dorado, hosted by Women for Kansas, Butler County. The goals of the alliance are improving and expanding KanCare by accepting federal Medicaid money. So far the state has turned back over $2 billion. That is $1.9 million of our federal tax money every day. These funds are now going to other states.
In the last legislative session, a bill passed that would allow Kansas to accept federal funds. However, Governor Brownback vetoed this bill. The Legislature failed by two votes and the Senate by three to override the veto. Contact your state legislator and senator and tell them that Kansas needs to accept this money.  Read more here .
STATE AGENCY REQUESTS $200 MILLION TO SHORTEN WAIT FOR MEDICAID DISABILITY SERVICES
Allison Kite, cjonline.com
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services on Wednesday requested $90 million from the state general fund to shorten wait times for Medicaid recipients who need services for physical or intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The funding request would take aim at long wait times endured by Medicaid recipients who need home and community-based support services for their physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities.  Read more here .
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE $250 TAX BREAK THAT TEACHERS COULD LOSE
Liana Loews, Education Week
When it comes time to do their taxes, millions of educators have had the satisfaction of checking a box that
 saves them some money, and isn't available to people in other professions. The tax bill proposed by House Republicans would eliminate the $250 deduction teachers can claim for classroom supplies--and educators aren't taking to it kindly.
We spoke with Internal Revenue Service officials to try to get a handle on what exactly the tax law says and what it means for teachers. Here's some of what you need to know about the "educator expense deduction."
  1. Who can take the tax deduction? And what can they take it for?
  2. What's the history on this deduction? How long has it been around?
  3. How many teachers and other school employees actually claim the deduction?
  4. How much does it cost the federal government?
  5. What are the arguments for ending the deduction?

It's hard to say whether the deduction will be axed in whatever bill Congress passes. But things are moving quickly on the proposed legislation and the teachers' unions, among other education groups, are taking this quite seriously. Read more here.

REPUBLICANS OK $400K TO HIRE ATTORNEYS, EXPERTS ON SCHOOL FINANCE
Tim Carpenter, The Topeka Capital-Journal
Posted  in Garden City Telegram
Republican legislative leaders voted Tuesday to allocate $400,000 to hiring attorneys or consultants capable of persuasively arguing on behalf of lawmakers that state financing of K-12 public education complies with the Kansas Constitution.  "We should be depending on our own experts who work for us," Hensley said. "I feel that $400,000 is a waste of money on Senator King, on House counsel and a school finance expert."  Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, said the funding study ought to have occurred more than two years ago when the Legislature knew it had to rewrite the Kansas school finance formula.
"Here, in the bottom of the ninth inning, we're hiring a consultant," Kelly said. "I find this offensive. I think we're wasting money."  Read more here .
THE SEVEN MEGATRENDS THAT COULD BEAT GLOBAL WARMING: 'THERE IS REASON FOR HOPE'
Damian Carrington, The Guardian
E verybody gets paralysed by bad news because they feel helpless," says Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief. "It is so in our personal lives, in our national lives and in our planetary life."
But it is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such as mass-market electric cars, to those just emerging, such as plant-based alternatives to meat, these trends show that greenhouse gas emissions can be halted.
"There are some tremendous developments so I am very confident now we can do this, but the change, attractive as it is, has to be radical," he says. "Will we have the political and economic understanding and commitment to get there? I hope so."  Read more here .
THE KILLER RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE YEARLY DEATHS THAN AIDS, MALARIA AND TB COMBINED
Editorial Board, The Washington Post
A MAJOR study  published last month in
the Lancet, a British medical journal, found  that there is a global killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined: pollution.
Air pollution is the leading culprit, linked to 6.5 million deaths, followed by water pollution, with 1.8 million. Harmful particulates, toxic chemicals and smog-forming gases result from fuel burning, from primitive dung-fired cooking stoves to massive coal-burning power plants. These and other forms of pollution promote asthma, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other maladies. Premature death is only one problem. Long-term impairment before death also results in human misery and material impoverishment.  Read more here .
IMPACT OF GERRYMANDERING
ON THE ELECTION PROCESS
Great attendance for the candidate  forum featuring BOE candidates at the Meridian Center! Thanks to all who came out. Being well-informed on issues is our
strength as a community.
Looking ahead, we are very pleased to have secured Dr. Russell Arben Fox as our guest presenter,

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH,  7:00PM
Newton Trinity Heights, 1200 Boyd, Newton
(directly across 12th Street from the high school)

You may be familiar with Dr. Fox of Friends University's Political Science Dept. He is a frequent contributor to political articles in the Eagle and for interviews on KWCH news. His topic for us will be the impact of gerrymandering on the election process, an issue that may not be well-understood by everyone.  THIS IS NOT LIMITED TO WOMEN. ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.

If you have or know students studying history and government, please encourage them to attend.  If you are from out of town and need further directions, please contact a member of our steering committee.
Gini Johnson - johnsongini@hotmail.com
Virginia Benninghoff - rvbenn@prodigy.net
Evelyn Adams - ejadams54@hotmail.com
Mary Collier - mcolliersales@gmail.com
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 .
SLICK MAILERS MISLEADING ABOUT TAX LEGISLATION
Robert Entriken, Salina;  Posted in Salina Journal
I just received a slick mailer from Americans for Prosperity screeching about how Sen. Randall Hardy "traveled back in time to tax you more," as if he were solely responsible for a "$1.2 billion retroactive tax increase."
It makes me angry - not at Hardy, but
at the fallacious and dishonest b.s. in
my mailbox.
Is anyone sending out slick mailers about how Gov. Sam Brownback bankrupted the state?
Don't be misled by selfish billionaires who can find nothing better to spend their money on than spurious screeds of bogus allegations whining about a legislator who has the courage to be fiscally responsible.  Read more here .
'ONE OF THE MOST SECRETIVE, DARK STATES': WHAT IS KANSAS TRYING TO HIDE?
Laura Bauer, Judy L. Thomas & Max Londberg, The Kansas City Star
Kansas runs one of the most secretive state governments in the nation, and its secrecy permeates nearly every aspect of service, The Star found in a months-long investigation.
From the governor's office to state agencies, from police departments to business relationships to health care, on the floors of the House and Senate, a veil has descended over the years and through administrations on both sides of the political aisle.  "What are you trying to hide from us?"said former Rep. John Rubin Watch here .
HERE'S HOW KANSAS LAWMAKERS KEEP YOU FROM FINDING OUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING - UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE
Judy Thomas and Bryan Lowry,
The Kansas City Star
It happened so fast that few inside Room 519-S of the Kansas Statehouse even realized what was going on.
As members of the House Transportation Committee gathered to consider legislation, then-Rep. Artie Lucas made his move.
That brazen move, known as a "gut-and-go," took place 27 years ago. Believed to be the first time the maneuver had been used, it changed the way lawmakers conduct business, paving the way for Kansas to become one of the most opaque state legislatures in the country.
But it's not the only legislative tactic that stifles open and transparent government.  Watch here .
DISABLED VOTERS' BALLOTS TOSSED BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WRITE THEIR NAMES
Dion Lefler, The Wichita Eagle
The ballots of 23 Sedgwick County voters were tossed out Monday under a state law that requires disabled voters to sign their own mail-in ballot envelopes.
County commissioners, acting as the canvassing board for last week's election, reluctantly signed off on the decision to toss out the ballots.
Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Kansas Disability Rights Center, said it defies common sense to require a person who is physically incapable of filling out a ballot to try to sign it.
"Some people with disabilities can't use their arms," he said. "It sounds like nobody's disputing that these ballots were filled out (properly). It's just technicality. ... It doesn't seem right and it's not right."  Read more here .

BECOME A MEMBER OF WOMEN FOR KANSAS!
  
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.

Basic membership $60.00 year
Contributing member $150.00 year
Sustaining member $500.00 year
Student member $30.00 year

Mail your check to:
Women for Kansas
P.O. Box 8774
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Or charge your credit card via  PayPal
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).

FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
WHAT RED STATES ARE PASSING UP AS BLUE STATES GET BILLIONS
Margot Sanger-Katz & Kevin Quealy, The Upshot, The New York times
For years, red states have effectively been subsidizing part of health insurance for blue states.
By declining to expand their Medicaid programs as part of the Affordable Care Act, many of those states have passed up tens of billions of federal dollars they could have used to offer health coverage to more poor residents.
Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health policy at George Washington University, said states generally fight to maximize federal funding for their programs. She described Medicaid expansion as a striking counterexample, where political preferences have sometimes outweighed the desire for resources. "It's so much revenue," she said. "That's when you know we're not dealing with dollars and cents."  Read more here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
KANSAS STANDARD FOR FEDERAL EDUCATION LAW EXCLUDES THOUSANDS OF MINORITY STUDENTS
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, kmuw 89.1
Kansas' approach to implementing a federal law on equity in education would fail to promote achievement for thousands of students the law was meant to protect, civil rights advocates say.  Kansas is one of eight states taking a more limited approach to the federal law than the rest of the country by making fewer schools fully accountable to it.  The National Down Syndrome Congress believes this will have "a devastating impact" for monitoring how well schools serve children with disabilities.  Listen here .
TONIGHT!
ENGAGE ICT: ELECTED OFFICIALS TRIVIA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 5:30
Roxy's Downtown
412 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita

Think you know all of the people who represent you at the different levels government?

There will be food and drinks as usual, but also some prizes for our trivia winners from local businesses like The Workroom and Bella Luz.

Future Topics include:
December: Sequoia Roots: How Your (Small) Actions Hold Others Up.
For information about more Engage ICT events, visit the website at www.kmuw.org/topic/engage-ict.
WHAT NOW? KS POLITICS IN 2018: A MAINSTREAM FORUM

TONIGHT!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
 Program 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Sylvester Powell Community Center
5960 Dearborn St., Ste 213,  Mission, KS

Ticket information available here.
Free and open to the public
Speakers TBA

Please attend and join the discussion by bringing your questions. There is much work to be done in 2018, let's be prepared!  The forum will be live-streamed. If you are unable to attend, please use the live-stream button on our homepage to watch and listen live.


FARM & FOOD CONFERENCE
November 17 - 18, 2017
Four Points Sheraton,  Manhattan
This year's theme,
"Driving the Change that Matters: Practical and Political Solutions to our Farm  and Food Future ". 

To learn more about becoming a sponsor, registering, or scholarships at this year's conference visit
kansasruralcenter.org  or call
Natalie Fullerton at 866-579-5469 Extension 701 or email info@kansasruralcenter.org.
"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.

This outrageous conduct of politicians.
You are their boss and we as a people are completely capable of retaking control  of our civic life.  Vote Smart has made a great start. We track all of their votes, words, bios, ratings, money and issue positions in easy to use systems.
Visit website  or call  888-VOTESMART .
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 of Representatives 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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