politics

Senate-Bound

Aug 21, 2015

Blaine Stephens knew he was up against the odds when he applied for a U.S. Senate intern position. As the Plattsburg, Missouri, high-schooler packs his bags for Washington,  D.C. Up To Date caught up with him to learn how he made the cut. 

Guest:

  • Jason Rae served as a Senate page 10 years ago. He is currently a senior associate at Nation Consulting in Milwaukee. 

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has battled through a political world dominated by men to get where she is today. She talks about that journey in her memoir, Plenty Ladylike.

Senator McCaskill will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 16 at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For admission information, visit www.rainydaybooks.com.

Simon & Schuster

It's been a long, strange trip for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.   

From homecoming queen to state auditor to two-term U.S. senator in one of the most competitive states in the country, the journey has been an uphill battle. 

McCaskill talks about navigating a political world dominated by men in her memoir, Plenty Ladylike

Here's an excerpt from the book, in which she describes the challenges she faced as a female lawyer in the Missouri House of Representatives:

Plenty Ladylike, by Claire McCaskill with Terry Ganey

Kansas Representative Gene Suellentrop is a supporter of the Kansas budget experiment known as the "march to zero" for income taxes. In his nephew's social circles, on the east coast, that position is hard to understand. So the nephew decided to immerse himself in his uncle's world, just as a legislative session turned upside-down by budget debates got underway.

Guests:

For a city of 9,500 people, Mission, Kansas has its share of big issues. Mayor Steve Schowengerdt discusses some of the meatiest topics on his city's table, from driveway taxes and the Mission Gateway development project to chickens and bees. 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Democrat Katheryn Shields, who will take her seat on Kansas City Council on Aug. 1 after a close election win, didn't grow up dreaming of political campaigns, though the Parkville farm where she grew up as an only girl with four older brothers did teach her to be "a bit of a scrapper." 

A 2013 poll showed that nearly a quarter of Americans lean toward a libertarian political philosophy. We explore libertarian ideals that support gay marriage as well as gun ownership. 

Guest:

In today's political world, winning a campaign often involves vilifying an opponent— at any cost. On this edition of Up To Date, we preview The Village Square's upcoming forum, "The Politics of Personal Destruction."

Guests: 

As the Kansas legislature nears an all-time record for longest session in Kansas history, Up To Date brings you the latest on the budget impasse and the threat of possible furloughs. 

Guests:

Courtesy Photo / Books by Ace

You may not know her name, but she’s brushed shoulders with Margaret Thatcher, worked on Wall Street, and shattered records raising money for George W. Bush’s first presidential campaign.

George Mitchell’s career in public service has been one of the most distinguished in recent times. After 15 years in the Senate, Mitchell’s work as a negotiator in Northern Ireland and the Middle East earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt traveled around the country on state business more than her husband? Or that Dolly Madison liked to break the Washington gridlock by throwing fantastic parties? First ladies are closer than anyone to the presidency, and they have the stories to prove it. 

Guest:

Missouri families in need are facing some big changes. On May 5, the Missouri House completed the override of Governor Nixon’s veto of the Strengthening Missouri Families Act.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the reasons behind the governor’s rejection of the act and what its supporters say will result from altering welfare assistance.

According to former NPR correspondent and foreign policy expert Sarah Chayes, some governments now resemble glorified criminal gangs, using power to pad their own pockets. She illustrates how government corruption is undermining society in her new book, Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.

For decades, politicians have battled over how to regard people who suffer chronic pain.  Are we a compassionate nation or are we enabling people to take advantage of the system?

Guest:

  The gun has officially gone off for the 2016 presidential elections, and NPR's team of political correspondents and editors are working around the clock to bring you the latest from the White House and the campaign trail. On this edition of Up To Date, we check in with Tamara Keith, Scott Horsley, and Domenico Montanaro

Kansas and Missouri, among other states, are pushing a bill calling for a national constitutional convention —the first since the original convention in 1787. Steve Kraske discusses the issues surrounding this call to action, and why supporters feel they can succeed when 750 other attempts have failed.

Guests:

  • Burdett Loomis is a political science professor at the University of Kansas.
  • Rep. John Rubin (R) represents Shawnee, Kansas, and supports the bill calling for a constitutional convention.

The recent suicide of State Auditor Tom Schweich brought new focus on the impact of political ads. In today's world, any detail of a political figure's life can be fodder for a brutal attack. On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors talk about when politics goes too far, and whether it's realistic to limit political tactics.

Guests:

It's been 20 years since there's been a Latino on Kansas City, Mo.'s city council; and there isn't currently any Latino representation on the Unified Government board of commissioners either. That's even while our metro's Hispanic community has been growing significantly.

  • CiCi Rojas, president and CEO, Central Exchange
  • Irene Caudillo, president and CEO, El Centro
  • Louis Ruiz, Kansas state representative, District 31 (Wyandotte County)

Senate Bill 71 is currently before the Ways and Means Committee of the Kansas Senate.  If it becomes law, it could immediately force school districts to rework their current budgets. Steve Kraske and guests examine the bill.  

Guests:

Moderates in Kansas once were the dominant political force in the state. Now conservatives hold sway. Steve Kraske talks with two former politicians working to keep the moderate voice alive in the Sunflower State. 

Guests:

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If we are all "Charlie" in the wake of an armed assault on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, no one has earned that solidarity more than political cartoonists. A left-leaning cartoonist and his conservative counterpart weigh in on the risks and rewards of taking a bold stance. In the course of doing a job intended to provoke, are there lines they do not cross?

Calumet Editions

Kansas City's Steven Jacques has more than 35 years of experience in national politics. He's worked on hundreds of White House advance teams, and even more presidential campaigns.

On this edition of Up To Date, he speaks with Steve Kraske about his new novel,  Advance Man: A Presidential Campaign Adventure and what the life of a White House advance man is really like. 

Guest:

Steve Mays / blog.missourinet.com

Bob Priddy is one of the most highly respected journalists in Missouri. He has spent forty years covering the governors, senators and lawmakers that have passed through the Capitol building.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the recently retired news director of Missourinet about the ins and outs of politics in Jefferson City, what drew him to reporting, and his thoughts on the Senate's decision to boot the news media to the basement. 

Guest:

With just one day left before midterm elections, this conversation explores how our behavior at the polls -- and even the decision to either get out and vote or stay home -- is influenced by personality, emotion, group affilation. In short, plenty having little if anything to do with cold hard facts.

Guests:

www.hawthorngroup.com

Election Day is coming up, and Kansas is brimming with close races. These could have a huge effect on the make-up of Washington DC. On this episode of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske talks with Washington political strategist John Ashford. We find out what those inside the Beltway think of goings-on in the Midwest. They also discuss the life of a political consultant in dealing with candidates and issues. 

Guest:

www.harris4house42.com

While many millennials are feeling disaffected with politics, Austin Harris is hoping to make a difference. The 19-year old from Tonganoxie is running for the Kansas State Legislature and, if he wins, he would be the youngest House member in Kansas in decades. Austin sits down with Steve Kraske to discuss the issues and the intricacies of attending Washburn University while campaigning against Republican incumbent Connie O’Brien.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Generation Listen KC is a new networking group through KCUR aimed at engaging and connecting with millennial public radio listeners in the Kansas City area.

As part of its Forward Promote series, Generation Listen KC invited Up to Date's Steve Kraske to speak with young voters about the upcoming elections at the group's inaugural event on Wednesday night.

There's been a lot of ambiguity in the laws surrounding same-sex marriage in Kansas, with Johnson County clerks first given a green light to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and then swiftly given the red light in short order. So how do couples evaluate their options while the state is in limbo? And what's happening in the courts right now? 

Guests:

J. Steven Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite what Thomas Frank wrote in What's the Matter with Kansas, political moderates really do matter. So says Prof. Alexander Smith who sees moderation as a value written deeply into the heart and soul of Kansas. On this edition of Up to Date, Smith tells Steve Kraske that, although greatly misunderstood, the more politically temperate among us will survive even this current period of political polarization.

Guest:

Pages