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John Todd: Wichita officials may have won a battle, but the Century II war isn’t over

John Todd: Wichita officials may have won a battle, but the Century II war isn’t over

On Century II, Wichita City Hall won the first round, but the public issue remains, writes John Todd. A special to the Wichita Eagle by John Todd. The Wichita City Council’s lawsuit against the Save Century II committee and the 17,265 Wichitans who had signed our petition won a first-round legal victory in state district court Aug. 28. The effort to have a binding vote by Wichita voters at an upcoming election was rejected by the court. This is a setback for Wichitans seeking to resolve this issue at the ballot box in November. This courtroom defeat demonstrates that the…
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Dr. Willie E. Scott, Jr. on the Power of Unity

Dr. Willie E. Scott, Jr. on the Power of Unity

Dr. Willie E. Scott, Jr., Executive Director of Wichita United, speaking on "The Power of Unity." By John Todd Dr. Willie E. Scott, Jr. the Executive Director of Wichita United, presented an exceptional program at the Park City Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting this month titled, “The Power of Unity”. In a presentation tailored to business owners, Dr. Scott hit a home run with our Chamber of Commerce group. By offering an “invitation to partner” with them, he effectively demonstrated how business owners who embrace diversity and inclusion in their business and employment hiring practices, can create an expanded customer…
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Memories of William T. “Bill” Davitt

Memories of William T. “Bill” Davitt

Following are remarks prepared and presented by John Todd on the passing of Bill Davitt. My longtime friend and fellow citizen activist William T. “Bill” Davitt passed away on May 14, 2020. His active voice of counsel will be missed in our community. I don’t remember when I first met Bill Davitt but suspect it was in the late 1980s. Bill was a familiar presence walking across the Bitting Street Bridge over the Little Arkansas River on his way to or from home from the former Dillions grocery store at 13th & Waco. He could be seen waiting at the…
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Regulation reform could jump-start Kansas economy after COVID

Regulation reform could jump-start Kansas economy after COVID By Michael Austin. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only posed a severe public health risk, but actions to combat it now risk a global economic collapse. With nearly half of all Kansas hourly jobs gone, the Kansas Department of Labor is overwhelmed processing unemployment claims. Roughly 40 percent of Kansas small businesses are shuttered, with more than half of them saying they are weeks away from closing permanently. Kansans need a pathway through this economic disaster. Will we come back stronger than ever before, or fall deep into an economic depression? To…
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The Making of the Wichita Mayor 2019

The Making of the Wichita Mayor 2019

The Making of the Wichita Mayor 2019 By Karl Peterjohn There are eight major lessons for Wichita voters when they cast their ballots on or before November 5, 2019, concerning the revelations of favoritism involving the mayor, apparently a majority of the city council, and a number of Wichita businesses and businessmen concerning a proposed massive city water plant contract that is close to half a billion dollars. The Wichita Eagle’s detailed reporting on this proposed contract, Mayor Longwell’s role deserves scrutiny at several different levels. Let me begin with full disclosure. Both Mayor Longwell and I are registered Republicans,…
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Trump’s Bush League Challenge

Trump’s Bush League Challenge

If President Trump is going to exceed his presidential standing over his predecessors, he has to overcome his Bush league challenge, writes Karl Peterjohn. Trump’s Bush League Challenge By Karl Peterjohn President Trump’s government closing battle is déjà vu all over again but not in the way the liberal media is covering it. If President Trump is going to exceed his presidential standing over his predecessors, he has to overcome his Bush league challenge. This Bush 41 challenge and comparison goes back almost 30 years ago. In 1988 George H.W. Bush repeatedly promised, "...read my lips, no new taxes." This…
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Unruh recollections disputed

Unruh recollections disputed

A former Sedgwick County Commissioner disputes the narrative told by a retiring commissioner. By Karl Peterjohn A version of this appeared in the Wichita Eagle. Lame duck county commissioner Dave Unruh’s recent commentary ("It’s time to set the record straight." December 14, 2018 Wichita Eagle.) is an attempt to re-write county commission history. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” Here are county commission facts correcting the commentary fiction: Commissioner Unruh was deeply involved in both the hiring, and recent firing, of county manager Scholes by…
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Sedgwick County Manager epitomizes duty, honor, country

Sedgwick County Manager epitomizes duty, honor, country

Statement to Sedgwick County Commission By Karl Peterjohn As a Sedgwick County citizen and taxpayer, I have been distressed to see news reports about the scandals, FBI and other legal investigations, that involve this county commission. The details of this appalling topic shall remain for another day. Today, I am here to praise four county employees who deserve public commendation. On May 12, 1962, five star General-of-the-army, Douglas MacArthur, an army officer during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, gave his famous speech to the army cadets at the West Point military academy. MacArthur, then in…
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Kansans voted for growth, not stagnation

Kansans voted for growth, not stagnation

Kansans voted for growth, not stagnation By Michael Austin Director, Sandlian Center for Entrepreneurial Government With a new Kansas Governor-elect and State Legislature, Kansans voted to make a change. Despite many elections however, the Kansas economy has been slowing for the past 40 years. While the new administration cites government as the solution to this problem, history shows that government is primarily the cause. Kansans need of a new way of thinking. They won't get that from a Democrat or Republican as governor. Kansas has had a storied life in celebrating freedom and improving its quality of life. Through our…
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Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government

Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government

The Sedgwick County Commission scandals are an outrage for me. I must speak out against the appalling revelations that provide explicit evidence of illegal misconduct in our county government, writes Karl Peterjohn. Déjà vu scandals in Sedgwick County government By Karl Peterjohn During the Watergate scandal the press repeatedly stated that the campaign break-in was not the primary crime, but the cover up involving the White House was. These scandals eventually led to criminal convictions, and ultimately, to the resignation of the president. Sedgwick County government now appears to have multi-part scandals. It is not clear whether these scandals will…
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Political civility in our age of thuggery

Political civility in our age of thuggery

Following, from Karl Peterjohn, an account of why the Wichita Pachyderm Club is a valuable civic institution. The candidate mentioned in the article is Renee Duxler, running for Sedgwick County Commission District 1 (map is here). On her Facebook page she wrote "Proving once again that Democrats and Republicans can share ideas and thoughtful discussion within the same spaces ... this gal 'infiltrated' the Wichita Pachyderm Club for a great presentation by Kyle Bauer, of KFRM radio, on the history and future of agriculture here in Kansas. They were very gracious and welcoming, and I enjoyed the experience immensely. Let’s…
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Does School Choice Kill Public Schools?

Does School Choice Kill Public Schools?

Does School Choice Kill Public Schools? By Lori Graham Recently, I asked Kris Kobach, candidate for Kansas Governor, if he supports school choice. His answer was “Yes," and he gave an idea of how that would work. The liberal media pounced on his idea and twisted his answer in a way that perpetuates the fear that allowing parents to choose what is best for their child’s education will kill the public school system. Conservatives and liberals alike are fearful about this, but will it really kill the public schools? To answer this, we need to first look at the problem.…
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Reestablishing a Fundamental Principle of Democracy

Reestablishing a Fundamental Principle of Democracy

Reestablishing a Fundamental Principle of Democracy Alan Cobb, Kansas Chamber President & CEO The words of a recent guest editorial in the Lawrence Journal-World about the Kansas Coalition for Fair Funding were not surprising. It was a continuation of the intellectually shallow, fact-short screed about taxes, school finance, and the Kansas budget. Certainly, reasonable people can disagree about these issues, but partisans rarely adhere to that theorem. And thus, I thought I was reading something from a partisan staffer. Alas, it was from a well-respected Wichita State University professor emeritus who I have known for decades. I’ve not always agreed…
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Judge Melgren defends Constitutional protections

Judge Melgren defends Constitutional protections

By Karl Peterjohn While it has become increasingly common for members of the U.S. Supreme Court to make news by public comments, particularly during their summer recess, Wichita Pachyderm Club members had the opportunity for Kansas federal district Judge Eric F. Melgren to quote from his judicial colleagues in a way of defending the Constitution's concept of the separation of powers. Judge Melgren cited various appellate court rulings, particularly as they related to the largely little known Chevron decision, that damages that constitutional protection at his July 21 speech in Wichita. Judge Melgren, a former member of this club before…
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Kris Kobach at Wichita Pachyderm Club

Kris Kobach at Wichita Pachyderm Club

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach addressed members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club on Friday June 9, 2017, the day after he announced his candidacy for Kansas Governor in 2018. Video of this event is on YouTube here. By Karl Peterjohn Kris Kobach’s gubernatorial campaign heralding conservative policy options for Kansas arrived at the Wichita Pachyderm Club luncheon June 9. Speaking to a packed house of Pachyderm Club members and guests, Kobach wasted little time in blasting the tax and spend climate at the Kansas statehouse that resulted in the largest tax hike in Kansas history, a $1.2…
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Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock

Breaking the statehouse budget deadlock

By Karl Peterjohn The budget deadlock has begun at the Kansas statehouse. The legislature cannot leave Topeka until they have approved the next biennial state budget that will begin July 1. Usually, this includes the governor’s signature on that legislation. That might not happen this year. That’s the issue. Governor Brownback is not willing to fund a multi-year, multi-billion spending bill demanded by the liberal legislative majorities in both houses. Earlier this year he vetoed a record-breaking income tax hike scheme. So far, the governor has been successful in having his vetoes sustained. The pressure is going to be applied…
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Shocking News about Kansas Education!

Shocking News about Kansas Education!

By Paul Waggoner. This column first appeared in the Hutchinson News. Listening too often to Topeka politicians and administrators can leave a normal person feeling rather jaded, even used. Or maybe it’s the reporting, sometimes I just don’t know. Such was the case Tuesday reading the News report of Kansas Dept of Education Deputy commissioner Dale Dennis speech to the local Rotary club (Hutchinson News, April 18, “Ed Official: Fund Gap numbers shocking”). His talk was filled with boilerplate and themes typical of the education establishment. Mr. Dennis made multiple comparisons and statements of fact to prove his points. In…
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Benefits of tax cuts without raising debt

Benefits of Tax Cuts Without Raising Debt President-elect Donald Trump should learn from Kansas’s mistake on income-tax reduction -- don’t reduce revenue and increase spending. By Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute President-elect Donald Trump should learn from Kansas’s mistake on income-tax reduction: Don’t reduce revenue and increase spending. That’s the real problem with the Kansas budget (“Brownback Sees Kansas Tax Plan as Model for Nation,” U.S. News, Dec 24). There was never an expectation that spending wouldn’t have to be adjusted to accommodate revenue reductions, but Democrats and many Republicans refused to make government more efficient so spending and taxes…
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Beware of government arts spending

Beware of government arts spending

Art is too important to be dependent on politicians and injecting politics into anything inevitably tarnishes it, writes Lawrence W. Reed of Foundation for Economic Education. Economist Lawrence W. Reed is president of the Foundation for Economic Education in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. While in Wichita Reed appeared on WichitaLiberty.TV in this episode. An abridged version of the following appeared in the Wichita Eagle. Beware of Government Arts Spending By Lawrence W. Reed While visiting Wichita in…
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Teachers unions vs. students

From PragerU: There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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