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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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Using your smartphone for political activism

Using your smartphone for political activism

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: Your smartphone is a valuable tool for activism. Here are two ways to get involved. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this topic, see Your smartphone is your activism toolkit.
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Your smartphone is your activism toolkit

Your smartphone is your activism toolkit

Your smartphone is a valuable tool for activism. Here are two ways to get involved. Many people wonder how they can be involved in helping to improve government as a citizen activist. It may be that you have a valuable tool that's in your pocket, and that you take everywhere you go: Your smartphone. You may have seen me showing photographs of street lights burning in downtown Wichita during the middle of sunny afternoons. Have you ever spotted government waste like that? I’m sure that you have. I think people forget they have a fairly high-quality camera with them at…
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Twitter, helpful in this case

A useful contribution of Twitter to society is to reveal how little some people actually know about their causes. It started with this. American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, was holding a meeting in Kansas City, and there was a lot of ALEC-bashing going on. But I like what ALEC does, as I tweeted: I'm glad that #ALEC advocates for free markets and limited government, especially since freedom has so many enemies. #ksleg— Bob Weeks (@bob_weeks) May 2, 2014 Which provided an opportunity to explain the fundamental axiom of libertarianism, and how libertarians apply it to everyone, including government: .…
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2013 year in review: Top 10 stories from the Sunflower State

2013 year in review: Top 10 stories from the Sunflower State By Travis Perry, Kansas Watchdog OSAWATOMIE, Kan. -- It’s over, done, finalized, finito. With the final days and hours of 2013 ticking to a close, we figured it’s a good time for reflection on what the last 12 months have brought the Sunflower State. So, without further delay, Kansas Watchdog presents its Top 10 stories of 2013. 1. Wayward welfare dollars An in-depth investigation into howKansans spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in government welfare money came to a shocking conclusion: a striking number of transactions appear to be going toward anything but…
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Kansas school spending advocates take to Twitter

A few days ago someone sent me a message on Twitter, regarding something I wrote about Kansas schools. @bob_weeks @albobcobb Bob, these class sizes are getting out of hand. We must first restore funding then we can go after remaining probs.— Devin Wilson (@ksucats96) August 10, 2013 As Tweets are too brief to discuss the issues, I do so here. It's true that state education spending -- that portion of total school funding provided by the State of Kansas -- has fallen. But total school spending per student is different. It has fallen too, but by much less. That's because…
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Kansas unemployment, the credit or blame

The unemployment rate in Kansas dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.9 percent in September. Before figuring who to credit for this, we ought to take a look at the underlying trends. KS unemployment rate dropped to 5.9% in Sept. lowest rate since Dec. '08. #ksleg #ksgov dol.ks.gov/LMIS/NewsRelea…— Sam Brownback (@govsambrownback) October 19, 2012 Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was quick to take credit, issuing the tweet "KS unemployment rate dropped to 5.9% in Sept. lowest rate since Dec. '08." Thank you, @barackobama RT @govsambrownback: KS unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, lowest rate since Dec. '08. #ksleg dol.ks.gov/LMIS/NewsRelea…— Jason Perkey (@jasonperkey) October…
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Sedgwick County updates agenda information system

Recently Sedgwick County implemented a new system for making its commission agendas and accompanying background material available online. Previously, only the agenda itself was available online. Agendas contain just a brief description of each item to be handled at meetings. If citizens wanted more information about an item, they had to travel to the courthouse to obtain a printed copy of the agenda report. This document, which might be several hundred pages in length, contains detailed information about each item. It's the type of information that citizens need if they are to be informed about the matters the commission will…
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RightOnline in Las Vegas this week

Later this week the RightOnline Conference takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the third year for this conference. It's held at the same time -- and in the same city -- as the Netroots Nation. Or NutRoots, take your pick. The event features a lot of training and some great speakers. Michele Bachmann will headline the Friday dinner, and the Saturday general session features speakers like Andrew Napolitano, Mike Pence, Robert McDowell, Herman Cain, Erick Erickson, and John Fund. RightOnline is sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Click on Podcast: Erik Telford Previews the RightOnline Conference to…
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Articles of Interest

Capitalism, CFL bulbs, green indoctrination, bailout constitutionality, Facebook, Twitter 'The Road to Serfdom' revisited: Markets display uncertainty over future of capitalism itself (Scott S. Powell in the Washington Times) Discussion of how government interventionism in the economy is not helping. "President Eisenhower called it 'creeping socialism.' Nobel Prize winner Friedrich von Hayek called it 'The Road to Serfdom.'" Do New Bulbs Save Energy if They Don’t Work? (New York Times) Many customers are not happy with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Short life for the expensive bulbs is a common irritation. 'Green Hell' Coming Soon to a Life Like Yours (Human…
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Articles of Interest

Journalism, crime alerts, war on drugs, minimum wage, stimulus and education The State of the Fourth Estate (Jordan Ballor at the Acton Institute) What will happen to journalism in the digital age? The article describes its importance to a free society, with reflection from a Christian view. Alert system tells you when a crime occurs (Stan Finger in the Wichita Eagle) Receive email or text messages alerts concerning crime in your area by signing up at www.citizenobserver.com. Maybe criminals will start using Twitter to tweet about their escapes, making it easier for police to capture them. While email and text…
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Pew Internet and American Life Project Redesign

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has redesigned their website. This organization has been a valuable source of information about the Internet and how people are using it. As an example, here are some of their recent research reports: Twitter and status updating: "As of December 2008, 11% of online American adults said they used a service like Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others." Adults and Social Network Websites: "The share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has…
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Articles of Interest

Subsidizing Bad Ideas What are some of the things wrong with the president's plan to solve the mortgage crisis? Howie Rich of Americans For Limited Government explains: "First, the plan is emblematic of America’s new “dependence mentality,” which is advanced by politicians like Obama who rhetorically extol the virtues that once made this country great while they systematically remove brick-by-brick the incentives needed to make it great once again. Second, it’s more of the same smoke-and-mirrors Washington politicians employ to hide the true coming-and-goings of your tax dollars in our nation’s capital. Third, it rewards many of the same financial…
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Kansas Jackass spotted at Kansas days

Through several methods, including excessive tweeting and plain old gumshoe work, the identity of the anonymous blogger Kansas Jackass was deduced. One tweet by the Jackass told me that the blogger would be entering the event hall at Kansas Days in a few minutes. I waited by the door and had a conversation with the Jackass.
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Maggie Twitters

My friend Maggie Thurber from Toledo explains a bit about Twitter and tweets. See Do you Twitter? from her blog Thurber's Thoughts. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
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Follow Me on Twitter. I’ll follow you.

Some people have asked if I'm on Twitter, and the answer is yes. Here's a link to my Twitter profile, from where you can choose to follow me. I don't use Twitter as much as a lot of people do. I don't have a mobile device like a Blackberry. I have a regular old-fashioned cell phone. (Isn't is funny to think of a plain cellular telephone as old-fashioned, even quaint?) So I just update from my computer. What I mostly do on Twitter is to post titles and urls to new blog posts. There's a problem, though. Often the title…
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Defending the American Dream, or RightOnline in Austin 2008

I just returned from Austin, Texas, attending a conference put on by Americans For Prosperity partnering with Sam Adams Alliance, Heritage Foundation, Leadership Institute, and Media Research Center. Thank you to my friend Erik Telford for inviting me to this conference. We had some great speakers. Robert Novak is a favorite person of mine. I devoured his autobiography The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington last year. He told us that he believes the Republicans will lose seats in both houses of Congress, but the presidency can be won. Also: "I like Ron Paul (cheers)...but not for President"…
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