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.

September 17: State Senate District 2

The three candidates for Kansas Senate District 2 joined us to discuss their competing visions for our state.

Reform Party candidate Jim Mullins was our guest for the first 20 minutes of the program. Mullins is the former head of the Douglas County Republican Party. He is running as a Reform Party candidate in this election because he feels that the Republican candidate is too liberal.

Incumbent Republican Mark Buhler joined us for the second 20 minutes of the program. Buhler has been serving in the Kansas Senate since 2002, when sitting senator Sandy Praeger was elected as Insurance Commissioner. Prior to that, Buhler served eight years on the Douglas County Commission.

Democrat Marci Francisco joined us for the last 20 minutes of the program. Francisco is a former Lawrence mayor who is heavily involved in community organizations.

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.