Friday, November 05, 2004

November 5: American Fascism

We'll be joined for the hour by author and journalist David Neiwert, who argues that the current American political climate shares a disturbing number of features with fascist movements. We'll discuss the ascendancy of authoritarianism in the United States, and the implications of Tuesday's election results for these trends.

Neiwert is the author of Death on the Fourth of July and In God's Country, which examine white supremacists and the militia movement.

UPDATE: A reader of David Neiwert's blog captured the audio of this program. In case you missed it, you can download the complete program here.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

October 29: Congressional District 3 revisited

The race between Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore and his challenger Kris Kobach to represent Kansas Kansas' Third Congressional District is expected to be extremely close. It is also extremely important, with implications for the future of the national Republican Party, as well as for our state and its already-fractured GOP.

This is also the only race in which this program will endorse one candidate over another. The views presented on "Politics with Rachel Robson" do not represent those of KJHK radio or Student Union Activities.

In this episode, "Politics with Rachel Robson" is breaking with its neutrality and strongly endorsing Rep. Dennis Moore for re-election. This program will revisit our earlier interviews with Rep. Moore and Mr. Kobach, and will replay clips from their October 17 debate at Johnson County Community College, which aired on KCPT on October 18. We'll also be joined by Mary Ca Ralstin, who helped found Republicans for Moore and asked a question at the KCPT debate, and by Josh Rosenau, a KU student who has been fact-checking the claims made in this race.

Mr. Kobach claimed on the KCPT debate and elsewhere that Rep. Moore merely jumped on an already-crowded bandwagon in his support of a bill to pay the Rest & Recuperation travel expenses of deployed troops, and that Rep. Moore was not instrumental in getting this bill passed. Mr. Kobach's claim is demonstrably false, as can be seen here, where it is clear that Rep. Moore is the main sponsor and original author of an early (October 1, 2003)resolution on this issue. While it is true that the version of this bill that eventually passed was later (January 27, 2004) sponsored by Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota and not by Rep. Moore, Rep. Ramstad's office, in a phone conversation, confirmed Rep. Moore's version of this story--i.e., that Rep. Moore and Rep. Ramstad worked together to get this bill passed. Note also that Rep. Moore is one of only three original co-sponsors of this bill, not one among "hundreds" as Mr. Kobach claimed on the October 17 debate. Contrary to Mr. Kobach's repeated assertions, Rep. Moore clearly deserves the credit he claims in getting deployed troops travel expenses back home paid for. Proof of Rep. Moore's additional claim, similarly contested by Mr. Kobach, that he sponsored a bill to increase the military death gratuity from $12,000 to $50,000, can be found here.

The Lawrence Journal-World piece cited by Mr. Kobach on the KCPT debate as if it were an unsigned staff editorial expressing the considered opinion of that paper's editorial board was in fact written by Journal-World publisher Dolph Simons, well-known locally for his very conservative views. Ironically, the Simons column, written more than a year ago, highlights the importance of a positive race, free from name-calling, in the Republican primary. "It will be a tight horse race between Taff and Kobach, but if they can avoid serious name-calling and if the rift between Johnson County Republican moderates and their Republican cousins who call themselves staunch conservatives does not become too deep, there is a good chance the Republican primary winner could defeat Moore," Simons then wrote. Mr. Kobach ignored this other bit of advice from Dolph Simons' October 2003 column, repeatedly calling his primary opponent Adam Taff a "liberal" who supported the "radical gay rights agenda," although he denied that he had ever called Taff such names on his October 1 interview on this program.

More information on Mr. Kobach's extremism, with links to supporting documentation, can be found here.

Friday, October 22, 2004

October 22: U.S. Senate and Douglas County Clerk

From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., we'll be joined by Lee Jones, the Democratic challenger to Sam Brownback, the Republican Senator who has now represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate for the past eight years. Sen. Brownback was offered opportunites to be interviewed on this program several times, with the first request for an interview being made to Sen. Brownback's office in July. All interview requests were refused. Additionally, Sen. Brownback has yet to agree to a debate with Jones, and has granted few interviews to any media outlets this campaign season. "Politics with Rachel Robson" makes every reasonable effort to provide equal time to all candidates in the races discussed.

From 7:30 to 8:00 p.m., we'll talk with Republican Marni Penrod and Democrat Jamie Shew, who are competing to be Douglas County's County Clerk. They'll discuss the Help America Vote Act and its implications for elections in Douglas County, as well as their differing approaches to leadership in the County Clerk's office. There is no incumbent in this race, as the current County Clerk, Patty Jaimes, is retiring from the post.

Friday, October 15, 2004

October 15: Dennis Moore and DAs

Because of KU's fall break, "Politics" is and hour and a half instead of its usual hour, and begins at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7:00.

From 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., we'll be joined by Douglas County District Attorney Christine Kenney, who is up for re-election this year. Ms. Kenney was first elected to the office in 1996. She'll discuss her office and its accomplishments since 1996.

Ms. Kenney's challenger is Charles Branson, a Lawrence attorney. He'll join us from 7:00 to 7:30 to discuss his campaign, and why he thinks Doulgas County needs a new District Attorney. We'll take your calls at 864-4044 during this segment of the program.

From 7:30 to 8:00 p.m., we'll talk with Congressman Dennis Moore, who is running for re-election in Kansas' Third Congressional District. Rep. Moore was first elected to this office in 1998. He is being challenged in this race by Kris Kobach, with whom we spoke on October 1.

Scheduling conflicts that were mainly my responsibility prevented Rep. Moore from having more than 30 minutes for this interview. Since Rep. Moore's opponent Mr. Kobach was allowed an hour on this program, every effort will be made to provide Rep. Moore with his additional 30 minutes of equal time prior to election day.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

October 8: Kansas House District 10

Republican Rich Lorenzo is challenging incumbent Democrat Tom Holland to represent Kansas' 10th District in the state house. They'll discuss their stances on taxation, education, economic growth, gay marriage, and other issues on this program. We'll also be taking your calls at (785)864-4044 so you can ask these candidates your questions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

October 1: Kris Kobach

Kris Kobach is running against incumbent Democrat Dennis Moore to represent Kansas' third Congressional district. This is an extremely contested district, one of the most competitive in the nation. The last election was decided by just a few hundred votes.

Kobach will discuss the war on terrorism, taxes, immigration and gun control, among other issues on this program. We'll also be taking your calls at (785)864-4044 so you can ask about issues important to you.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

September 24: Nancy Boyda

Democrat Nancy Boyda, who is challenging incumbent Republican Jim Ryun (interviewed September 10) to represent Kansas District 2 in the U.S. House of Representatives, joins us for the hour. We'll discuss national security, healthcare, the economy, the war in Iraq, and science policy. We'll also take your calls at 864-4044 so you can join the discussion.

Rep. Ryun was also offered an hour-long interview, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from being available for more than 30 minutes.

"Politics with Rachel Robson" makes every reasonable effort to provide equal time to all candidates in the races discussed.