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From Pachyderm: David Kensinger

From Pachyderm: David Kensinger

From the Wichita Pachyderm Club this week: David Kensinger, President of Kensinger and Associates. His topic was “The Early Returns of the 2020 Presidential Election." This audio presentation was recorded on August 2, 2019.
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again — and again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, the urge to expand it is irresistible. Earlier this year the City of Wichita installed 70 cameras in Old Town for the purpose of enhancing public safety. [1. Leflier, Dion. If you think someone’s watching you in Old Town -- they are. Wichita Eagle, June 22, 2017. Available at http://www.kansas.com/news/local/crime/article157654759.html.] Now we've learned two things, according to Wichita Eagle reporting: The cameras aided in making one arrest for a serious crime, and the role of the cameras has expanded to include traffic enforcement. [2. Manna, Nicole.…
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A Wichita social media town hall

A Wichita social media town hall

A City of Wichita town hall meeting ends in less than nine minutes, with a question pending and unanswered. As part of its engagement with citizens, the City of Wichita holds social media town hall meetings. On June 20, 2107, there was a Facebook town hall on the topic of economic development featuring Assistant City Manager Scot Rigby. His charge is "developing and implementing a coordinated and comprehensive development services program and for developing, implementing and overseeing economic development, redevelopment and real estate programs and projects." He's worked for the city for two years. [2. City of Wichita. Assistant City…
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In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, the surveillance state expands again

In Wichita, we see another example of how once government starts a surveillance program, it probably won't produce the promised results, yet will be expanded. This week the Wichita City Council will consider adding more surveillance cameras to Old Town. City documents don't specify how many video cameras will be installed as part of the $618,261 program (for one-time installation costs only), except that it may be "as many as 100." The city is also asking council members to pass an ordinance with bonding authority of up to $750,000 to pay for this project. In other words, the city is…
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Gary Sherrer and Kansas Policy Institute

Gary Sherrer and Kansas Policy Institute

A former Kansas government official criticizes Kansas Policy Institute. I wouldn't normally use a Facebook comment in a public way, but the comment was left in public, to a post on my Facebook profile. Plus, the writer is a former Kansas government official. He's Gary Sherrer, who has been Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of Commerce, and Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. Sherrer had criticized the truthfulness of Kansas Policy Institute, claiming he "could write an essay" on his criticism of KPI. Upon my suggestion for him to do so, he offered two criticisms. First, Sherrer wrote this: "They count…
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The Joseph Ashby Show, revived

The Joseph Ashby Show, revived

He's no longer on AM radio at KQAM, but people still want to hear him. So for now there's the Joseph Ashby Show podcast. There are several ways to listen: Like The Joseph Ashby Show on Facebook. Click here for this. (Be sure to ask for notifications, or at least for posts to show at the top of your newsfeed.) Subscribe to the podcast on Podbean. Click here for this. Follow The Joseph Ashby Show on Twitter. Click on @JosephAshbyShow.
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Kansas, a frugal state?

Kansas, a frugal state?

Is Kansas a frugal state, compared to others? On Facebook, a person wrote "We were already a frugal state ..." (I've obscured the name to protect the uninformed.) Is this true? What is the state and local government spending in Kansas, on a per-person basis? How does it compare to other states? Every five years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census of governments. In its own words: "The Census of Governments identifies the scope and nature of the nation's state and local government sector; provides authoritative benchmark figures of public finance and public employment; classifies local government organizations, powers,…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Joseph Ashby on Kansas judges, schools, and the president

WichitaLiberty.TV: Joseph Ashby on Kansas judges, schools, and the president

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Radio Show Host Joseph Ashby joins host Bob Weeks to talk about Kansas judges, Kansas schools, and presidential politics. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 128, broadcast September 11, 2016. Shownotes The Joseph Ashby Show The Joseph Ashby Show on iTunes From Pachyderm: Radio Host Joseph Ashby Joseph Ashby author archive at American Thinker
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GetTheFactsKansas launched

GetTheFactsKansas launched

From Kansas Policy Institute and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, a new website with facts about the Kansas budget, economy, and schools. GetTheFactsKansas.com aims to provide Kansans with factual information about our state. Sometimes this is in short supply, so this effort is welcome. As an example, when explaining school spending, the site notes: "At $13,124 per-pupil, 2015 marked the third consecutive year of record-setting funding according to the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE). And if the Department’s estimates hold, another new record will be set when the 2016 final results are reported. Record funding is not the result of…
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A David Dennis half-truth

Why would a candidate split sentences in order to create an untruthful claim about his opponent? In a Facebook post on the David Dennis campaign page, this claim is presented regarding Karl Peterjohn: "Claims to be anti-tax yet calls for RAISING sales taxes."[1. David Dennis for Sedgwick County Commission, District 3. Facebook. July 22, 2016. Available at www.facebook.com/vote4daviddennis/photos/a.885503861595816.1073741830.874272696052266/922554071224128/.] For many years Karl Peterjohn has been calling for a raise in the county sales tax, yes. That's the first part of the plan. The second part of the plan is to eliminate the county property tax. These two parts of the…
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Say no to Kansas taxpayer-funded campaigning

Say no to Kansas taxpayer-funded campaigning

Kansas taxpayers should know their tax dollars are helping staff campaigns for political office. As reported by the Wichita Eagle, it is perfectly allowable for some Kansas state government employees to work on political campaigns.[1. Lowry, Bryan. Taxpayer-funded campaign staff can knock at Kansans’ doors. Wichita Eagle, July 17, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article90179637.html.] Not all Kansas state government employees can work on campaigns while being paid by taxpayers. Only personal staff members of elected officials can. But this can be quite a large number of people. The Eagle reports that Governor Sam Brownback has 21 personal staff members. It's not…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: News media, hollow Kansas government, ideology vs. pragmatism

WichitaLiberty.TV: News media, hollow Kansas government, ideology vs. pragmatism

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: New outlets for news, and criticism of the existing. Is Kansas government "hollowed out?" Ideology and pragmatism. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 124, broadcast July 17, 2016. Shownotes Kansas Memo on Facebook A short video on using Kansas Memo and other pages of Facebook The Honest Media on Facebook Renee Erickson's Facebook post Article: In Wichita, Meitzner, Clendenin sow seeds of distrust Article: Kansas government ‘hollowed-out’ Prager U: Free Courses for Free Minds
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In Wichita, Meitzner, Clendenin sow seeds of distrust

In Wichita, Meitzner, Clendenin sow seeds of distrust

Comments by two Wichita city council members give citizens more reasons to be cynical and distrusting of politicians. In a recent Facebook post that someone sent to me, Wichita City Council Member Pete Meitzner (district 2, east Wichita) wrote: "Hmmmm.....of note; Wichita is the only sizable city in Kansas that does not ADD any sales tax on top of the State and Sedgwick County sales tax rate." It is astonishing that council member Meitzner would brag of this -- that Wichita has no city sales tax. That's because Meitzner, along with all council members but one, voted to place the…
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‘Game on’ makes excuses for Kansas public schools

‘Game on’ makes excuses for Kansas public schools

Even if NAEP "proficient" is a lofty goal, it illustrates the shortcomings of Kansas public schools, especially for minority students. "Game on for Kansas Schools," a Facebook page, seeks to draw attention away from the performance of students in Kansas schools. In a post, it make the case that the standard of "proficient" on the National Assessment of Educational Progress is an unreasonably high expectation.[1. Game on for Kansas Schools. Facebook post, July 13, 2016. Available at www.facebook.com/gameonforksschools/posts/1012639852155750.] We can easily understand why GOFKS needs to make excuses. As can be seen in the nearby chart of NAEP scores for…
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A plea to a legislator regarding Kansas schools

A plea to a legislator regarding Kansas schools

On Facebook, a citizen makes an appeal to her cousin, who is a member of the Kansas Legislature. What should we do regarding the school funding "crisis" in Kansas? One citizen made an appeal to her cousin -- a member of the Kansas Legislature -- through Facebook. I'll omit names to respect the privacy of both parties. The writer stated, "The children of our state are on the line here. We need our public schools." Well, children need education, but it doesn't have to be delivered through public schools. She also wrote, "This isn't about politics anymore, it's about our…
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Wichita has cut waste, officials say

Wichita has cut waste, officials say

Wichita city officials say they have worked hard to eliminate waste. Well, except for this. It's been an ongoing problem in downtown Wichita. Not only are bench lights apparently permanently switched on, we find the tall street lights also burning in the middle of the day. This is especially problematic given these two Fridays -- with street lights switched on near noon -- were Riverfest Fridays. Many visitors, both natives and tourists, may have been downtown to see the waste on display. It doesn't promote a good image for our city and its leaders. The wasteful spending on illuminating street…
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Did Jeff Longwell dodge a tough city council vote?

Did Jeff Longwell dodge a tough city council vote?

On election day, Wichita city council member and mayoral candidate Jeff Longwell appears to have ducked an inconvenient vote and would not say why. At his Wichita mayoral campaign announcement last November, then-council member Jeff Longwell called for a moratorium on the use of forgivable loans until a new policy is implemented. [1. Wichita Eagle, 2015. Economic Development Among Mayoral Candidate Jeff Longwell’s Priorities For Wichita. Accessed April 16 2015. Available at www.kansas.com/news/local/article393829.] At other times he called for the end to traditional cash incentives, telling the Wichita Eagle “I think that we have to get away from the traditional…
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Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer on citizen engagement

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer on citizen engagement

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and the city council are proud of their citizen engagement efforts. Should they be proud? The day after the November 2014 election in which Wichita voters rejected a proposed city sales tax, Mayor Carl Brewer and most members of the Wichita City Council held a press conference to discuss the election. A theme of the mayor is that the city reached out to citizens, gathered feedback, and responded. Here are a few of his remarks: As elected officials, it's our duty and responsibility to listen to citizens each and every day. And certainly any and every…
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Voter privacy a subject ready for debate

Voter privacy a subject ready for debate

Campaign methods used in the recent election may spark debate on the information government makes available about voters and their voting behavior. This election day, after voting, someone posted on their Facebook page: "I'm not comfortable with the GOP observer writing down the names of those who appear to vote." Elsewhere on Facebook and other online sites stories like this were common: "I received a palm card that had names and addresses of my neighbors, and whether they voted in the last four elections. This was supposed to motivate me, a woman voter, to vote. It actually freaked me out…
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