Ruckus is a lively roundtable about the big ticket issues that face our community today. Join moderator Mike Shanin as he leads the ensemble of conservatives and liberals in this Special Edition … as they duke it out over whose view will stand. Then find out how to join Mike Shanin and the Ruckettes at Californo’s (in Westport) on Thursday, November 10, 2011 for dinner and a special live Roast & Toast.
KCPT’s Ruckus .
THE TODD SQUAD
Backers of Congressman Todd Akin continue to show support for the embattled candidate whose comment about rape and abortion caused many to think he would have to abandon his campaign.
WHITE COLLAR CRIME?
Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese has been found guilty of failure to report suspicions of child abuse. His two-year probation has been suspended. As a result of the court ruling, some Catholics and others believe Finn should resign. Ultimately, any decision will be made by Rome.
If Missouri voters approve local control of the St. Louis Police Department this fall, it seems likely Kansas City will try and follow suit. Mayor James has expressed support for the St. Louis initiative and says if a consensus develops, Kansas City may ask the legislature for approval next year.
THE INVISIBLE MAN?
In his political column, Steve Kraske points out that Governor Brownback was largely ignored at the GOP convention, raising questions about his potential strength as a future presidential contender. Kraske writes that other Republicans are now dominating the discussion about 2016: Rubio, Ryan, Haley, Christie. Kraske also speculates that Brownback may no longer be as ambitious as before when he sought the presidential nomination in 2008.
TOPIC 1: E-LATED!
Kansas City voters overwhelming endorsed the earnings tax and it will stay in place for at least five more years.
TOPIC 2: E-P-A AND K-C-K
Unified Government officials vow to fight the proposed move of the E-P-A Regional Office in downtown Kansas City, Kansas to Lenexa. Critics say the move would be costly and would also violate federal guidelines to locate offices in downtown areas when possible.
TOPIC 3: POACHING POLSINELLI?
The Polsinelli-Shughart law firm announced it will drop plans to build a headquarters building at West 46th Terrace on the Country Club Plaza. This follows protracted protests about the proposed location and design. The firm says it is now open to offers from throughout the metro area.
TOPIC 4: APPRENTICE PRESIDENT?
Billionaire and television personality Donald Trump says he’s seriously exploring a run for the GOP presidential nomination. His nascent campaign has focused on the “birther” issue, claims that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States. Trump supporters envision the 2013 inaugural where he applies the popular phrase from his television program and tells Obama “You’re fired.”
TOPIC 1: PICK A PICNIC!
Mayor-elect James has decided to mark his inauguration with a picnic. Previous administrations have held more formal events. Also, the incoming council and mayor have met and pledged to work together cooperatively.
TOPIC 2: STOP GROWING!
One of Yael’s recent columns deals with the negative side of so-called “urban sprawl.”
TOPIC 3: DOUBT ABOUT CLOUT.
Steve Rose contends that Johnson County would be far more effective in the State Legislature if its delegation were more united.
TOPIC 4: THE PLAZA (POLICE) PLAN.
Police Chief Corwin says his department is much better prepared this year to deal with mass gatherings of young people loitering and sometimes causing problems on the Plaza.
Corwin notes it’s not the police department’s job to provide activities for youth or to teach parents how to do a better job.
TOPIC 1: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!
Mayor-elect James has named a Mayor pro-tem and appointed committee chairs and members. Let’s discuss the importance of these appointments, especially the chairmanships.
TOPIC 2: GIVE ME FIVE.
The Greater Kansas City area Chamber of Commerce is attempting to elicit from the community five achievable goals that will promote Kansas City as a region. Chamber President Jim Heeter says his main goal is to bring Kansas City together as a region.
TOPIC 3: CALL THE AMBULANCE…EARLY.
It’s been a year since the Kansas City, Missouri, Council mandated that fire department ambulances would arrive at the scene of life-threatening emergencies within nine minutes or less, ninety percent of the time.
That goal has not yet been achieved in any month. Fire Chief Smokey Dyer says it’s impossible under current conditions.
TOPIC 4: LOST OUR WAY?
A New York Times/CBS News poll reports seventy percent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. The poll also shows unfavorable opinions about the president and the congress. There is support for raising taxes on the wealthy, but also for reducing the size of government.
TOPIC 1: NOT AS “SLY” AS HIS FATHER.
Mayor James’ son, Kyle, made some news because of his involvement with disturbances in the P&L District. Young James refused to pay his restaurant bill, made rude and intemperate remarks to patrons, threatened some bystanders and told one police officer he “would have his job.” The mayor issued an apology for his son’s behavior. Later, Kyle also apologized publicly.
TOPIC 2: MORE PRESSING ISSUES FOR MAYOR JAMES.
Yael has written a review of the mayor’s first three months in office.
TOPIC 3: THE RICK AND SAM SHOW.
Last weekend, Texas Governor Rick Perry took part in a project he initiated titled “The Response.” It was a day of prayer and fasting seeking divine help to solve our burgeoning national problems. Perry is expected to announce his candidacy for president in the near future. Critics of the event said it was not inclusive and was blurring the lines between politics and religion. Governor Perry invited all of his 49 counterparts to attend and take part. Only one did. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
TOPIC 4: HELL OF A TASTE!
Congressman Cleaver’s comment about the debt ceiling deal being a “Satan Sandwich” have been widely covered. Star columnist Tom McClanahan takes issue with Cleaver’s point that the deal with hurt current recipients of Social Security and Medicare. McClanahan notes the real “Satan Sandwich” will come for future generations if we continue on our current financial course.
TOPIC 5: WHY RUCKUS?
TOPIC 1: IT HAD TO HAPPEN!
Last weekend, three teens were shot on the Country Club Plaza. Mayor James and other black leaders were in the area trying to assess the extent of the problem caused by large throngs of teens “hanging out” there. Now, he and they know. The mayor says he is working on solutions.
TOPIC 2: DO WE NEED A KINDER, GENTLER (Peter) KINDER?
A former stripper and “entertainer” says that in the mid-90s, she performed private dances (lap dances?) for then state-Senator Peter Kinder. She alleges that, on occasion, he would become aggressive during the dances and try to push her down to his groin. Tammy Chapman asserts that Kinder, now Lieutenant Governor, is not fit to hold public office. Kinder, the front-runner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year, says her story is wrong, the woman’s comments are bizarre and this is a Democratic Party effort to derail his campaign.
TOPIC 3: IT SEEMS TO ME I’VE HEARD THIS SONG BEFORE.
The mayors of Kansas City, Missouri, and the Unified Government of KCK are pledging to work together in a spirit of cooperation, not competition.
TOPIC 4: AND NOW THERE ARE THREE?
After the Iowa Straw Poll and Rick Perry’s entrance into the presidential campaign, some analysts say the GOP race is down to three: Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
This week Steve Glorioso sits in for Yael.
WHILE YAEL’S AWAY …
Taking advantage of Yael’s absence and Steve’s presence, we will talk briefly about the public spat between Yael and the mayor over the August 7th sales tax. Because of Steve’s unique experiences (as a public official and as a journalist), we will talk first about some of the benefits and consequences of “feuds” between a pundit and a public official. This is not meant to be a discussion about this specific disagreement, but about general dimensions of the phenomenon.
CHICK-FIL-A AND THE RIGHT TO PRAY
The Chick-Fil-A controversy rolls on. The company’s CEO says he “fears God’s judgment” on this country because of the growth of “non-traditional,” i.e. “gay” marriages. Both critics and supporters have emerged in large numbers. We can look at several questions: Is the quality of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches enhanced or diminished because of the CEO’s views of marriage? Were you outraged at the initial reactions of the mayors of Chicago and Boston who threatened to block the company‘s expansion in their cities? Are we likely to see more of these kinds of issues emerge as our culture changes?
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The extent of education funding is a key issue in the conservative-moderate battle for seats in the state senate. The two sides of the same Republican party have distinctly different views and that plays a role in who endorses and funds their campaigns. A Kansas City Star story cited examples of candidates supported by two major Kansas groups, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas National Education Association.
TO EXPAND OR NOT TO EXPAND
Under the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act, states have the right to opt-out of the Medicare Expansion portion. It’s not yet clear what Missouri and Kansas will do. Those who support expansion cite a couple of reasons: 1) The number of people covered will increase and 2) The federal government funds it, at least initially.
ROASTS AND TOASTS
A SHAKEN AKIN
Whatever happens between now and Thursday at 2 p.m. will be the discussion topic. The first question will deal with how the state election and the national GOP are being affected and will be directed to Woody.
CAUGHT WITH HIS PANTS DOWN
Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder has apologized for taking a brief nude dip into the Sea of Galilee last year. He was one of several freshman members of congress who were on a fact-finding trip to Israel last August. The report of the escapade became public last weekend. Yoder is running without opposition in the fall election and no taxpayer dollars were involved.
END OF THE MIDDLE?
In a wide-ranging article, writers Steve Kraske and Dave Helling discuss the decline of moderation and compromise and the increase of partisanship and polarization in our political process. The two suggest these developments have set the country on a dangerous path.
Classes are back in session for Kansas City, Missouri, School District scholars. Enrollment appears to be higher. A state report showed some modest gains. And a court case designed to clarify transfer policies seemed only to complicate things.
Steve Mirakian sits in for Woody this week.
We can discuss the key issues and races that are being decided today. They include, but are not limited to: Kansas City, Missouri, sales tax and sewer questions; 5th District GOP House race; and Republican race for U.S. Senate nomination.
This discussion will focus on the races for the state senate, especially those in Johnson County, and the impact they will likely have on Governor Brownback’s agenda. Please note the New York Times article on Kansas politics that you will receive. It’s likely to be raised by me as a discussion question.
A “CRUZ” TO CAPITOL HILL?
Texas Republicans have nominated the underdog candidate for the U.S. Senate. Ted Cruz overcame a 14 point deficit to defeat the state’s Lt. Governor and the party establishment. Cruz is a “hero” of the Tea Party.
A FREIGHTQUOTE “QUOTE.”
We can discuss the planned move of Freightquote from Lenexa to Kansas City, Missouri, and the ongoing battle over “poaching.”