Sunday, September 19, 2004

September 10: Jim Ryun and Bill Wagnon

Congressman Jim Ryun joined us for the first half-hour, discussing issues like the economy, the PATRIOT Act, the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, and embryonic stem cell reseach restrictions. Ryun's accomplishments during his four terms representing Kansas District 2 in the U.S. House of Representatives were also discussed.

In the second half of the show, we were joined by Bill Wagnon, who represents District 4 on the State Board of Education. The state's school financing formula was covered at length, and Dr. Wagnon expressed his views on state standards for science and social studies teaching. Dr. Wagnon is in favor of the continued teaching of evolution in science classrooms, and he also favors a broad social studies curriculum including information on other nations and cultures rather than a narrower focus on the history and culture of Kansas and the United States.

Dr. Wagnon's opponent in the November election, Robert Meissner, refused to be interviewed on this program after dozens of requests beginning in July. Dr. Meissner, a Topeka dentist, has not made his views known on any of these issues. He has refused interviews with all media outlets in which his opinions on such issues would be made explicit. For this reason, some suspect that Dr. Meissner may be running a "stealth campaign" against Wagnon, similar to the one used successfully against moderate Republican Val De Fever in 2002. What is known for certain is that Dr. Meissner refuses to let District 4 voters know how he would represent them if he were elected to the Board of Education.

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