Editorial Roundup: Kansas

Kansas City Star. November 9, 2022.

Editorial: Divided Missouri, Kansas election shows one way voters are united: They want compromise

Republicans inched closer to gaining control of the U.S. House Wednesday morning, while party control of the Senate remained undecided. It may be some days before the full outcome is known.

To the nation’s great relief, however, the predicted “red wave” of landslide Republican victories turned out to be more of a ripple than a tsunami. Our government remains divided, because voters remain deeply divided.

Kansas — which shocked the nation by upholding abortion rights in August — once again showed the limits of GOP ambition. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly appeared to defeat Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the Republican, in unofficial returns. The race remains officially too close to call, with Kelly telling supporters that it’s too soon to celebrate.

There’s more. Democratic incumbent Rep. Sharice Davids easily defeated Republican Amanda Adkins in the race for the 3rd District. These outcomes were no accident.

Kansans appeared tired of the culture shenanigans of candidates like Schmidt. He offered no vision for the state. Kansas voters seem more interested in problem-solvers than would-be conservative TV stars.

We hope that message is clear in Topeka next year. Republican lawmakers gerrymandered Davids’ seat and still lost. They foolishly forced a primary vote on abortion rights, prompting thousands of younger voters to register and cast ballots.

Sadly, Kris Kobach narrowly won the attorney general’s race. He’ll cause no end of mischief. At the same time, all six Kansas Supreme Court justices facing retention votes won. That’s good news for Kansas.

Yes, incumbent Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, easily won reelection. We endorsed his candidacy because we believed sane voices in Congress should be encouraged. We now expect him to fulfill that commitment.

In Missouri, Sen.-elect Eric Schmitt appears unreachable by any appeals to logic or patriotism.

Schmitt’s victory was not a surprise. His candidacy was a deep disappointment because it further divided the state. Schmitt largely ignored Kansas City and St. Louis, a practice we hope he will not continue in Washington.

Missourians endorsed recreational marijuana. They also took the frustrating step of enabling the state legislature to set minimum funding for the Kansas City Police Department. It’s deeply regrettable colonialism, and should be challenged in court.

Kansas City overwhelmingly approved borrowing for the housing trust fund, Bartle Hall, and parks activities. It was the right thing to do.

The national picture remains cloudy. Voters appear to have endorsed mixed government, likely gridlock, and a continuation of the partisan sniping that sadly defines much of our national politics.

With a Democrat Joe Biden in the White House and Republicans potentially in charge of the House, prospects for significant progress on issues such as energy costs, inflation and aid to Ukraine are dim. The nation is looking at two years of subpoenas and investigations instead.

We could be wrong. We hope we’re wrong. It’s now up to the Republican Party to prove us so, by turning aside the most strident voices to focus on real concerns.

Plans to hold the debt ceiling hostage to extremists must be discarded. We should now expect a Republican House majority to provide real details of a plan to reduce the nation’s inflation-riddled economy. We should see those plans early in 2023, with a goal of falling prices within the year. If not, Republicans will have failed.

Congress should not reduce inflation by eliminating jobs. The classic cure for inflation is higher joblessness. That’s unacceptable.

Let’s be clear: Democrats are hardly blameless for the inflationary economy that led to some stinging defeats at the polls. Yes, it’s important to focus on climate change, women’s bodily autonomy, student debt and other issues. When moms and dads struggle to buy groceries or pay the rent, though, it’s hard for them to hear a reasonable debate on those concerns.

Democrats have acted for a year as if expensive gas and eggs are a minor quibble. Some prices have fallen — gas in Kansas City has been closer to $3 a gallon for months — and it’s also true that inflation is a worldwide phenomenon tied to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, hardly something unique to America. But Democrats have yet to treat the rising prices as seriously as they should have. We urge them to work with Republicans on a reasonable plan to address high prices, particularly on food and fuel.

We think voters want progress and compromise. Now that the campaign ads have mercifully left the screen, we implore office-holders of good faith to work harder to solve problems, instead of assembling fodder for the next campaign.

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Topeka Capital-Journal. November 11, 2022.

Editorial: Enough with the daylight saving time. Kansas Legislature should do away with it.

Anyone else grumpy that it’s dark at 5 p.m.? What about the loss of sleep? Or the feeling that something is just off?

How long does something annoying, inconvenient and potentially disruptive have to cause problems before we do something about it?

Yes, we’re talking about daylight saving time.

We think it’s time for a change. Sorry for the pun, but perhaps we seriously consider doing away with the time change.

Back in March, The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tim Hrenchir reported the U.S. took a step toward adopting permanent, year-round DST. The Senate voted unanimously that day to pass a bill that would take that step beginning next year. The bill, called the Sunshine Protection Act, was co-sponsored by 19 Senate Democrats and Republicans. It stalled. Here in Kansas, state lawmakers have made similar pushes, but nothing has seriously come of it.

We think there’s some merit to switching to a year round time.

Hrenchir reported the biannual time change brings various negative consequences, including causing people to lose sleep and bringing temporary increases in traffic accidents and strokes. The sleep loss alone is the driving factor.

“There’s really no reason we should continue to do this back and forth,” Erin Flynn-Evans, a consultant to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Public Safety Committee, told USA Today last year. “The negative health consequences and the negative effect on multivehicular crashes in the spring are just not worth it.”

USA Today reported the Department of Transportation says the switch to daylight saving time prevents traffic accidents, but data seems to suggest the opposite is true immediately after the transition.

Despite the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan efforts to make a change people seem strongly in favor of, we don’t see much hope in this changing at the federal level. So now we look to the statehouse. Please make this change for Kansas. The people of Arizona seem to live their lives perfectly fine without the time change. Why can’t those of us in the Wheat State?

We’re not saying this is a top legislative priority, but it’s certainly something apolitical that could get lawmakers talking to one another and help find inroads on other issues.

For the sake of preventing more sleepless nights in Kansas, please find a way to make this happen.

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