politics

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. 

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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?

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  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.

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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.  

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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? 

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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.

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www.tradingacademy.com/ / OTA Photos, Flickr

The Kansas budget has been in the national spotlight ever since Governor Sam Brownback signed dramatic tax cuts into law in 2012. Over the past several months, tax revenue has been coming in at lower levels than the state projected. Not surprisingly, the two sides of the political spectrum view the resulting conundrum differently. 

Guests:

  • John Hanna, reporter, The Associated Press
  • David Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute
  • Duane Goossen, former Kansas budget director

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Senate races in Kansas aren't usually big news in the rest of the country, but this is an unusual year. Greg Orman, challenger to incumbent Pat Roberts, is running as an independent. If he wins, that would make him a much more powerful senator.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Orman about how he's different from Roberts, what his main policy stances are and how his background got him to this moment. We invited Pat Roberts to join this discussion, but he did not respond to our repeated requests.

www.brookings.edu

There are almost 500 billionaires living in the United States. Having more money than one might know what to do with isn't a problem for a growing number of them as they turn their focus and funds to American politics. From Michael Bloomberg to Sheldon Adelson, they are more than dabbling these days. In some cases, like Bloomberg's, they're even running for office.

TaylorForSenate.com

Democrat Chad Taylor's name will stay on the ballot for the U.S. Senate from Kansas, despite his withdrawal from the race earlier this week.

Republicans, in the odd predicament of fighting to keep a Democrat on the November ballot on Thursday, won a legal challenge decided by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kobach sided with his fellow Republicans, who argued that state law requires that anyone trying to withdraw from the ballot must state the reason why he or she couldn’t serve.

Words matter . . . especially in politics, but perhaps no one makes themselves harder to understand than our elected representatives.

Sage Ross / iamkawehi.com / Wikimedia Commons

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says we can't begin to deal with problems like climate change, financial reform or anything else until we deal with the corrupting influence of money in American politics. As part of Up to Date's  continuing look at TEDxKC 2014, Lessig explains to Steve Kraske how he believes our system became broken and what it will take to fix it.

Theresa Thompson / Flickr-CC

On Thursday's Up to Date, guest host Brian Ellison covers primary ballot issues on both sides of the state line. In Kansas, KCUR has kept an eye on Milton Wolf and Sen. Pat Roberts as they battle to be the Republican nominee for the U.S.

Scott Morgan for Secretary of State / Department of Justice

Primary elections in Kansas and Missouri are one week from today. On the Kansas side, a lot of the action will wait until November but one primary race in particular has gained a lot of attention, more than you might expect. Incumbent Kris Kobach is well known for his work on election and immigration laws. His opponent, Scott Morgan, says that's a big part of the problem.

Citizen Koch is a new documentary that investigates the political influence of Kansas-born billionaires David and Charles Koch. The film has a strong point of view, which has drawn mixed reviews.  On Tuesday's Central Standard, we talked with the directors about how Citizen Koch was made and their approach to documentary filmmaking.

Pat Roberts has represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate since 1997, but he’s up for re-election and facing several competitors in the Republican primary.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with two of those challengers, Republicans Milton Wolf and Alvin Zahnter. We discuss about how healthcare laws, the job market and more.

Guests:

  • Milton Wolf, U.S. Senate candidate from Overland Park
  • Alvin Zahnter, U.S. Senate candidate from Russell, Kan.

RebelAt / Wikimedia Commons

So far 2014 has been a banner year for the GOP in both Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri General Assembly passed a major tax cut and expanded gun holders' rights despite opposition from state Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Kansas legislature increased public school spending to the tune of $129 million. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with lawmakers from both states to discuss what they did, and didn't do, during the 2014 legislative sessions. 

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