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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday October 29, 2010

This Week in Kansas. Rebecca Zepick of State of the State KS, Malcolm Harris of Mammon Among Friends and Friends University, and myself join host Tim Brown to discuss politics, elections, shale gas, and Wichita’s aircraft industry. “This Week in Kansas” airs in Topeka on WIBW TV channel 13 Saturdays at 11:30 am, and in Wichita on KAKE TV channel 10 Sundays at 9:00 am.

Business jets and elections. Speaking of Malcolm Harris, his recent blog post Business jets and elections provides an accurate look at the past two years, with Harris noting that our economic problems are long-term in nature, but President Obama provided short-term solutions, and then lost his focus. As for the future, Harris writes: “Moreover, without significant policy changes there is a very real threat in the medium term. The perceived erosion of the rule of law (think of the treatment of GM’s bondholders), the costs of the healthcare system reengineering, and the prospect of tax hikes if the Bush tax cuts expire have eerily recreated the conditions of 1936. These set the stage for the Roosevelt recession of 1937. We avoided the financial collapse that trasformed the recession of 1929 into the Great Depression. Now we have recreated the conditions for the 1937 recession, a recession whose severity was exceeded only by the contractions of 1929-33 and 1920.”

Long-Shots in Kansas. Joseph A. Aistrup, professor of political science at Kansas State University, writing in an Insight Kansas editorial at State of the State KS, looks at some of the Kansas candidates this year who, facing only small probabilities of victory, still pound the campaign trail. He concludes: “Long-shots of every ilk and political party are the unsung heroes of our democracy. They spend countless hours campaigning in an effort to make sure that voters have the opportunity to choose. All of us owe them a debt of gratitude for making our democracy a more meaningful affair.”

Brownback at Wichita Pachyderm. Today’s meeting of the Wichita Pachyderm club will feature United States Senator and candidate for Kansas governor Sam Brownback. The public is welcome at Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club.

Rally in Wichita today. At 2:00 pm, Republicans hold a rally and news conference at the Sedgwick County GOP headquarters, 555 North Woodlawn. At 5:30 pm, Raj Goyle and other candidates appear at a “Made in America” tour stop at Old Town Plaza, 353 N. Meade Street.

Kansas minor parties might break through. A lack of competitive races statewide, coupled with some impressive showings in forums by minor party candidates, might foreshadow a big year for them at the polls. The Kansas City Star has more at In a year of voter discontent, minor parties might move up in Kansas.

History of the tea party movement. The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise of the tea party movement. See Birth of a Movement: Tea Party Arose From Conservatives Steeped in Crisis. Coverage of the tea party events in Wichita may be found at Wichita Tea Party.

Get your developer welfare here. The Wichita Eagle reports today: “Downtown officials will roll out a 10-page guide to available development incentives next week, the first step in their one-stop information shop for retail and residential prospects.”

Clinton to Meek: Quit. Former president Bill Clinton asked Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race, Politico reports. This would have helped Charlie Crist, who is losing to rising star national Marco Rubio, a tea party favorite. It’s thought that 1.7 million people have already voted in Florida, so those who had voted for Meek would have voted in vain had Meek agreed to drop out of the race.

Wichita Eagle opinion line. “I hear we may soon have a fish for our state fossil to celebrate 150 years of statehood. May I suggest Bob Dole as a replacement nominee?” Ouch.

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