While Dan Coffey and Citizens for Responsible Government hope to put a referendum on the ballot allowing voters to weigh in, that appears unlikely. Coffey's major complaints seem to involve the city's $35 million investment in the project and the transfer of city property. What about the change of hotel operators from Hyatt to Loews? What happened? Is the downtown convention hotel deal a good one for the city? Should the CFRG's referendum have been placed on the ballot? It will be five years from announcement to conclusion of the hotel project, if current timetables are accurate. Is that typical? Longer than usual? Shorter? Is the CFRG a legitimate outlet for interested citizens or does it just attract bitter partisans? Is the hotel the final acquisition necessary for downtown to thrive? Is Loews a better fit for a convention hotel than Hyatt? Are city taxpayers "on the hook" beyond the $35 million and property donation?
The Olathe GOP staged a weekend "Faith and Freedom" picnic. The flyer promoting the event was headlined "Olathe Lives Matter." The Star's editorial board took offense saying the heading suggested a lack of understanding and compassion for "people who feel their lives matter less or not at all." The GOP chair, David Lightner, explained that the heading was meant only as a light-hearted comment. Is the Star missing a sense of humor or is Mr. Lightner missing the point? Does anyone other than the Star editorial writers take offense at the picnic flyer? Is this over-reaction or appropriate criticism? Are certain groups in our culture immune to criticism or light-hearted humor? Are minority groups and organizations such as Black Lives Matter off-limits for humor or criticism by non-minorities? Is the Star equally concerned about people calling for violence against Republican elected officials? What about the debate between Steve Kraske and Steve Rose about the J.C. Nichols fountain? Has there been discussion before the Kraske column of taking the Nichols' name from the fountain? Do you agree it should be removed? What should the fountain be named, if anything? Will its removal ease the pain of past racism or remind victims of it? Does the Rose column make a legitimate point in suggesting you can't judge the past by today's morals and mores?
The early going suggests the 2018 race for the Kansas GOP gubernatorial nomination may continue the battle over state income tax. Kris Kobach says he will "stop the tax madness" if he's the nominee and next governor. Kobach is referring to the income tax increase recently enacted by the legislature. Another candidate---former nominee--Dr. Jim Barnett--calls legislators who passed the tax hike "courageous.” The recently passed tax increase is expected to raise $1.2 billion over two years. Half-a-billion of that will go to K-12 education following a recent state supreme court ruling. Is taxation the right topic for Kansas Republicans and is 2018 the right time? Can we expect additional tax increases because of another anticipated directive from the court to increase school finance? If so, does that benefit Kobach or Barnett or neither? Who else might run for the GOP nomination. (Wink Hartman and Ed O'Malley are also apparently running.) What about Jeff Colyer? Kevin Yoder? Susan Wagle? Might 2018 be a year of increased opportunities for Kansas Democrats in wake of intense criticism for Sam Brownback? What options do those who oppose increased taxes suggest? Cuts in programs? Which ones? Employees? Cut salaries? Consolidate schools?
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
Panelists discuss KCI, education funding in Kansas and political divisiveness in the U.S..
Panelists discuss income tax changes in KS, open bidding for KCI and Comey's testimony.
Panelists discuss the push for new KCI, police chief search & negative reporting on Trump.
Panelists discuss the new KCI proposal, the Missouri legislative session and voter fraud.
Panelists discuss Yoder's vote on AHCA, KS legislative session and dark money in Missouri.
Mike Shanin and the Ruckettes discuss free speech, KCPD/City Hall and convention hotel.
Panelists discuss the Kansas economy, the push for a KCI vote & a KC/St. Louis coalition.
Panelists discuss issues facing KS lawmakers, downtown convention hotel and Bill O'Reilly.
Panelists discuss KS budget crisis, KCMO election winners, Gorsuch confirmation & Syria.
Panelists discuss election results, Greitens avoiding media & McCaskill blocking Gorsuch.
The panelists discuss Chief Forte's resignation, KS ed funding and the heatlh care bill.
The panelists discuss the KCMO GO Bond, KS education funding and Trump's approval rating.