October 24 , 2017
EDITORIAL: IGNORING ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
One of our leading gubernatorial candidates...Secretary of State Kris Kobach wrote a column for Breitbart urging federal and state governments to "fill no more than 2/3 of the vacancies that exist" as baby boomers retire.
Here's a fact that should cheer Kobach up: the number of state employees in Kansas has dropped by 25% since 2002.
For example, DCF lost almost 1,800 employees between 2002 and 2016 - a decrease of almost 50 percent. Perhaps Brownback and Kobach think it's just a coincidence that the agency is notorious for its poor performance, low morale, high turnover and overworked employees.  The Kansas Department of Corrections is another agency that has dealt with major personnel problems in recent years.
Next time a politician mindlessly celebrates the diminution of government, just remember that state workers are the ones responsible for maintaining our roads, guarding our communities, securing our prisons and protecting our most vulnerable children.  Read more here.
PUT WOMEN IN CHARGE
Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times
Nevertheless, as long as we have a hierarchal society, the gender of those at the top matters. In any field where women consistently have to please men to realize their ambitions - or simply to survive - there will be exploitation. Right now, that's almost every field, and that's what has to change. No woman just starting out should ever be told she has to choose between working for a Harvey Weinstein and working for a Mike Pence. If there must be bosses, fewer of them should be men.  Read more here .
THE MESSAGE TO CONGRESS: DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE WE DID IN KANSAS
Dinah Sykes, The Washington Post
Americans want efficient government, responsible spending and reasonable taxes. This is not difficult. Yet sometimes what seems so simple becomes complicated when these concepts are turned into buzzwords and used as weapons for political gain.
In 2012, Republicans in Kansas enacted a "revolutionary" tax overhaul promised to be a "shot of adrenaline to the heart of the Kansas economy." With the benefit of hindsight, we can say with certainty this promise was unfulfilled. In the following five years, Kansas experienced nine rounds of budget cuts, stress on state agencies and the inability to effectively provide the core functions of government for our citizens.
As Republicans in Congress begin working to modify the federal tax code, I worry that tax reform done poorly could lead to similar failure. I hope federal lawmakers learn from mistakes made at the state level.  Read more here .
THESE OBSCURE OFFICIALS ARE ROLLING BACK AMERICANS' RIGHT TO VOTE
Pema Levy, Motherjones.com
In most states, the power to expand or curtail the right to vote is largely in the hands of an obscure official, the secretary of state. Thirty-one of these secretaries are currently Republicans or aligned with the GOP. And four of them have gone to extraordinary lengths to make it harder to vote.
Jon Husted of Ohio -  Husted, who is running for governor next year, has purged more than 2 million voters since he took office in 2011.
Brian Kemp of Georgia -  Another 2018 gubernatorial candidate, Kemp recently came up with a similar way to remove poor and minority voters from the rolls.
Kris Kobach of Kansas -  The torchbearer for the anti-immigration movement, Kobach, who is also running for governor next year, serves as vice chairman of Trump's election integrity commission, allowing him to fearmonger about voter fraud and push for restrictive voting laws at the national level.
John Merrill of Alabama -  Merrill's latest ploy involves the state's 1901 constitution, adopted for the express purpose of entrenching white supremacy.  Read more here .
MASSIVE SECURITY RISKS DISCOVERED IN KRIS KOBACH'S VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASE
Kira Lerner, Think Progress
Administrators of the voter registration database used by 32 states and run by Kris Kobach, Kansas' secretary of state and the co-chair of President Trump's Commission on Voter Integrity, are emailing passwords and using unencrypted servers, according to newly released documents. These basic security vulnerabilities are leaving sensitive voter information open to the public and potentially hackers.
Voting advocates have raised concerns about the inaccuracy of the program - roughly 99 percent of the illegal double voters the program catches are false positives, with non-white citizens more likely to be falsely flagged as double voters. In the new documents, Kansas officials admit that double voting rarely occurs and most instances flagged by Crosscheck are errors.  Read more here .
YODER HEARS COMPLAINTS OF NEGATIVE TONE IN WASHINGTON TOWARD TEACHERS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
Some members of the Kansas State Board of Education told U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder on Tuesday that they believe President Donald Trump's administration has been sending negative messages about public education in general, and about teachers in particular, saying that kind of tone is contributing to a growing teacher shortage in Kansas.
"The narrative coming from Secretary DeVos and from our president has not been positive about public schools," board member Jim McNiece said. "I don't know if they are doing that deliberately because, I guess, they don't understand us, or they haven't experienced us, or if it's an agenda that's going another way. I'd like to take a more positive position and think they just don't know us very well, because neither had been involved in public education."
McNiece wasn't the only board member to complain about the tone coming out of Washington.
"I think we're going to have to talk seriously about the value of teaching in this country," Watson said. "Because if teachers thought everyone here valued them, and salaries were, I'm going to say, a little bit higher, I think that would go a long way."  Read more here .
TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS ARE WELL SERVED BY TEACHER PENSIONS
Monique Morrissey, Economic Policy Institute
In recent years, several studies have argued that teacher pensions are a raw deal for most teachers and should be replaced with account-style plans. In reality, however, most teachers working today are building a secure retirement:
The myth that most teachers get a raw deal while a lucky few receive generous pensions lives on despite having been soundly debunked. The purveyors of this myth suggest that older, experienced teachers are benefiting at the expense of younger and more mobile peers. They use their flawed research to advocate for replacing teacher pensions with account-style plans, such as cash balance plans and 403(b) plans, which are similar to 401(k) plans. Account-style plans are inefficient because they do not pool investment risk, typically have lower investment returns, and create perverse incentives that encourage turnover or cause workers to time their retirements based on stock market performance.  Read more here .
EDITORIAL: CANDIDATES EVADE RESPONSIBILITY ON MEDICAID
Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
Lawmakers in Kansas have been debating Medicaid expansion for years, but we remain one of the 19 states that have consistently refused to do so. While there has been plenty of disagreement about the effects expansion will have on hospitals and patients, the economic implications, etc., one concern has become the go-to excuse for Republican lawmakers who don't want to take a strong stand one way or the other.
Republican Sen. Jake LaTurner used this well-worn excuse: "I think we're being hasty to not wait and see what happens in Washington." Committee Chairwoman Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, responded, "If you can predict what's going to happen in Washington, that would be great. But in the meantime, we have to move ahead as a state." Which of these positions sounds more like responsible leadership to you?  While Kansas vacillates on Medicaid expansion, our rural hospitals continue to suffer and federal funding continues to be funneled into the states that are wise enough to accept it.  If not, they better stop pretending like major decisions about Kansans' health care can be delegated to someone else.  Read more here .
OUR VIEW: HEALTH CARE KEY IN RACE OF GOVERNOR
Brett Riggs, The Garden City Telegram
Positions on Medicaid expansion should help Kansans better understand current gubernatorial candidates.
The far-right conservative candidates alone in opposing Medicaid expansion - Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman - would faithfully follow a playbook that's delivered plenty of bad legislation in Kansas.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which writes model legislation to help major corporations in Koch Industries and others, firmly opposes Medicaid expansion.
While there are many important issues to consider, strategies on health-care coverage are critical - and should help Kansans separate the wheat from the chaff in a crowded race for governor.  Read more here .
KANSAS LAWMAKERS WADE INTO TELEMEDICINE INSURANCE CONTROVERSY
Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal
Posted in the Ottawa Herald
A committee of the Kansas Legislature examined complexities Friday of expanding the reach of telemedicine.
More than 30 states, including four bordering Kansas, have sought to improve access to health care in rural areas by enacting laws requiring insurance plans to cover delivery of remote medical services provided via telecommunications systems.  Read more here .
WANT TO RAISE AN EMPOWERED GIRL? 
THEN LET HER BE FUNNY
Ellen McCarthy, The Washington Post
Laurie Menser was a 7- or 8-year-old when she wandered over to a neighbor's house, slipped a glass eye in her mouth and got the attention of the grown-ups in the room. Then she smacked the back of her head and stuck out her tongue - waiting for laughs.
"They were appalled," she remembers.
The neighbors didn't know that it was Menser's father who'd picked up the fake eye at a yard sale and taught his daughter the gag. Don't worry, he told her, "they just don't get the joke."
Looking back, Menser wonders how the episode might have gone had one element been different: What if she were a boy? Would they have laughed then?  Watch 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
UNDER BROWNBACK, KANSAS GOVERNMENT KEPT SHRINKING. 'WE'VE GOT A LOT OF DAMAGE TO REPAIR'
Kelsey Ryan, The Kansas City Star
It's no secret that state government in Kansas is smaller than it used to be.
But you might be surprised at how much smaller.  "Not only have we depleted our workforce in terms of numbers, but we've also depleted it in terms of expertise, which is why so many of our agencies are underperforming," said Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat.
Read more here.
WHY TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH DON'T CREATE JOBS
It's time to end the "trickle-down" myth.
Do more than watch: Tell Congress to reject the GOP tax plan! Watch here.
ROBERTS, MORAN VOTE TO ADVANCE BROWNBACK-STYLE FEDERAL TAX REFORM
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran of Kansas both voted late Thursday to advance a budget resolution that could pave the way for Congress to enact tax cuts similar to those that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback championed in Kansas in 2012, but which state lawmakers repealed earlier this year.
As Brownback and his allies did in championing those kinds of cuts in Kansas, Congressional Republicans argue that they will stimulate job growth and economic expansion.
In Kansas, however, which Brownback said would be a "real live experiment" of the tax cut theory, jobs and gross state product lagged behind the rest of the nation while those policies were in place; state government suffered from severe revenue shortfalls that forced deep cuts in spending on highways, health care and education.  Read more here .
MEET MIKE FAWL, THE FACE OF #NOTONEPENNY
Meet Mike - a Republican farmer from Kansas who has experienced first-hand what happens when the GOP cuts taxes for the rich. Now, he's calling for  #NotOnePenny  in tax cuts for the wealthy: notonepenny.org Watch here .
MEET THE 4 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RUNNING FOR KANSAS GOVERNOR
Dean Reynolds, CBS Evening News
"I mean governor? Come on, right?" Reynolds asked the kids. "Why not?" said Tyler Ruzich. 
Why not, indeed, because it seems the 19th-century state leaders never thought to include age requirements to run for governor -- or any requirements.
"Of course there's a chance we can win" Tyler said.  Watch here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
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 .

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.

1 IN 5 KANSAS KIDS ARE FOOD INSECURE
Their families don't necessarily know where they'll get their next meal. This means schools are critical to alleviating hunger in our state with innovative breakfast and afterschool meals programs.  Schools invest considerable resources in students - as they should, but hunger impedes students' ability to learn and thus reduces the return on that investment. Well-fed children make better students.
Interested in learning more? Check out our reports for the school districts we highlighted and see where the school board candidates for those districts stand on the issues. Visit our website at
KansasAppleseed.org/vote2017 .
WE  LIBERTARIANS WERE REALLY WRONG ABOUT SCHOOL VOUCHERS
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View
Twenty years on, my optimism seems to have been far too exuberant. Some studies suggest that voucher programs do modest good; others suggest that they do very little; and a few suggest that the impacts are actually negative. My overall takeaway from the literature is that voucher programs probably do a little bit of good. But the emphasis is on the word "little"; they are not a cure-all, or even much of a cure for anything. It was reasonable to think, in 1997, that voucher programs could change the world. Now we have two decades of evidence.
How did we get it so wrong?
Read more here.
WHY HEALTHCARE SHOULD NOT BE PRIVATIZED
The biggest factor driving up healthcare costs is the profit motive.  Watch here .
KAW ADVANCING WOMEN ENDORSEMENTS
The 2017 Local Elections are less than a month away. These are the candidates we've endorsed.  Read more here .
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 7!
WICHITA WOMEN'S FORUM with LWV & Amigas de Wichita

Sunday, November 5, 1:00 pm
Manhattan Fire Station
Corner of Kimball and Denison

Leading the formation:  Rep. Valdenia Winn, PhD  34th District, Wyandotte County. Becky Fast, President of the Roeland Park City Council. Gail James, PhD, retired from KU, and an active advocate for women's rights.

QUESTIONS? Contact Rep. Valdenia Winn at vwinn1236@att.net.
"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 of Representatives Roster
Kansas Senate Roster

NOT SURE WHO REPRESENTS YOU?  WE CAN HELP
Find your  U.S. State Senator

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 .


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.
Follow Women for Kansas on Twitter  or Instagram,
@women_for_kansas. Like us on Facebook , and visit our website at www.WomenforKansas.org .
Stay In Touch

Facebook    Twitter