With little warning, Kansas City Mayor Sly James unveiled a plan for building a new one-terminal KCI at no city expense. Engineering firm, Burns and McDonnell, proposes to build the airport at its expense and then turn control and operations over to the city. The firm would receive airport revenues under the new plan. Some see this as a great opportunity with little risk; however, some council members and others are skeptical. Is there cause for skepticism? Before this becomes a reality, there has to be city council approval and then a public vote. Is this a steep challenge for the plan's supporters? Is this simply an act of civic concern by Burns and McDonnell or a long-term, lucrative financial deal? Or both? Is this the type of "privatizing" that Republicans often support? Some think others should be given the chance to bid on this project? Are others likely to be willing to privately finance this public project? Aside from the financial aspect, are there other upsides for the city? Problems?
The Missouri Legislature has wrapped up its 2017 session. For the first time in eight years, Republicans not only control both houses of the legislature, but also the governor's office. With GOP control of the levers, one might well conclude that Republicans got everything they wanted from the session? Did they? Did the legislature succeed in blocking Kansas City voters from voting on the minimum wage? Critics call the Republican majority dysfunctional. Fair charge? Was the session a good one for Missouri business? If so, does that mean it was bad for others? Was right-to-work the GOP's biggest success of the session? Worry over Real ID issue resolved? The legislature "fully funded" K-12 education. What exactly does that mean? Any action to improve state roads/bridges? How did Greitens perform in his new role?
The omnipresent Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, was recently appointed to a Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. The commission will study various forms of voting irregularities, i.e., fraudulent registration, fraudulent voting, irregular voting, voter suppression, etc. Kobach is vice-chairman; Vice President Pence will chair the commission. The commission stems from the president's assertions that several million illegal votes were cast in last year's presidential campaign costing him victory in the popular vote. Of course, legions of Trump and Kobach critics have emerged calling the commission a sham and inappropriate. Is it a legitimate venture to find out if people who should not vote are voting and those who should are being suppressed? Critics say there is no way millions of unqualified or illegal votes occur. How do we know? Opponents of voter suppression are critical of Kobach's appointment. Is there evidence he has suppressed votes? Would the president be better served by dropping his claims about illegal voting? Does this study just reinforce the fact that Trump lost the popular election count? Won't this study be discredited by many as soon as it's published? Won't it simply generate more negative public relations for the president and Kobach? Is there a good chance Kobach will run for governor next year and win?
Ruckus offers viewpoints on top stories from four different panelists each week. The Ruckettes, who are public newsmakers and officials, provide a diversity of opinion through debate and discussion on issues affecting the Kansas City metro. Moderator Mike Shanin leads this ensemble of conservatives and liberals who provide lively round table talks about issues that face our community today.
Watch Ruckus Thursdays at 7 p.m. Join the conversation at @KCPT by using #RuckusKC and KCPT.
Mike Shanin’s been hosting Ruckus since the program’s debut in 1995 and in recent years, has also served as Managing Editor. A veteran Kansas City radio broadcaster, Shanin has worked as a talk show host, political analyst, news anchor and in management. Since leaving radio in early 2012, he’s done freelance pubic speaking and commercial radio and television projects. A graduate of both Northwest Missouri State University and Park University, Shanin’s academic emphasis was on Political Science, Social Science, and Public Administration. He served in the U.S. Army as a Broadcast and Information Specialist between1968 and 1970, stationed initially at Ft. McPherson, GA., and later with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. @MikeShanin
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