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Editorial Roundup: Kansas


Kansas City Star. June 24, 2023.

Editorial: Roger Marshall bemoans ‘climate demagogues’ but seeks farm aid in ‘historic drought’

On Wednesday, Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall called those who want to mitigate the already catastrophic effects of our global environmental crisis ‘climate demagogues.’

“If Biden thinks he can send his climate demagogues to Kansas & tell us which cars we can drive, he’s in for a rude awakening,” he tweeted. “The Preserving Choice in Vehicles Act will protect consumer choice & free market competition that drives down costs.”

We were going to point out that he only needs to consult Kansas farmers to learn how serious climate change is, right here and right now.

But on Friday, Marshall inadvertently made that point himself, and then said Washington should come to the rescue.

“The 1200-year drought across the west has hit wheat farmers in Kansas especially hard,” he tweeted, in support of his bill, introduced with Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, to strengthen crop insurance. “The historic drought has the forecast for wheat yields looking very bleak. While this bill can’t make it rain, it does provide flexibility to wheat farmers who need all the help they can.”

Hey Senator, do you seriously not see the connection here? Also, you are wrong about the Preserving Choice in Vehicles Act.

It wouldn’t keep “Biden’s climate demagogues” from crossing state lines. Instead, it tells the Environmental Protection Agency that it can’t allow California to impose strict clean air standards to push the state’s conversion to electric vehicles.

In other words, you’re all for federal intervention in the form of telling California what it can and cannot do, because you don’t agree with that state’s eagerness to respond to our worsening climate.

You also seek federal intervention in the form of aid to Kansas farmers, even as you call those who see what’s happening to our world demagogues.

This obtuse incomprehension is especially confounding because you know who’s going to benefit from all those new electric vehicles California wants? Workers at the new Panasonic battery plant in De Soto, Kansas, of course. And by extension, the state’s economy as a whole.

California’s a vast market, and its policy choices do have ripple effects on our consumer choices here.

But as usual, Marshall isn’t arguing against California’s policy choices on the merits, or even truthfully.

When he says he’s for keeping Biden’s climate demagogues out of Kansas, what he really means is that the federal government should tell California what to do. That’s different. And it’s the definition of demagoguery.


Capital-Journal. June 25, 2023.

Editorial: Kansas has no place for intimidation when it comes to debating important issues

The malignant thing we should find in the mail is an unexpected bill.

However, at least 50 Kansas lawmakers, including Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, have received suspicious letters or packages containing a white powder, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Friday.

So far Gov. Laura Kelly has not received a package.

That’s certainly scarier than an unexpected bill and certainly unwelcome.

So far the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has determined these packages don’t contain “biologicals.”

The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Andrew Bahl and Jason Alatidd report the letters were sent to legislators at their homes and have been turned over to the KBI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The KBI said it was responding alongside the KHP, FBI, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Office of the State Fire Marshal, and local police and fire departments.

We’d like to thank the various agencies for acting quickly and lawmakers for being responsible. There’s no place for such intimidation — especially to lawmakers’ houses. In any debate, regardless of how closely that may come to home, it should remain in the Statehouse. Elected officials have a right to seek respite in their personal homes.

It’s unfortunate that some disgruntled individuals feel otherwise.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the situation — namely who sent the letters and why. Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, said his letter had a return address for a church in Topeka and used the name Jahaira Balenciaga, a transgender woman and activist who was murdered in her Massachusetts home in 2021. Photos from lawmakers indicate other names were also used.

Is this someone upset about legislation? Is this a false flag operation? What we can say is no matter what the intentions were, this was a cowardly act. To whoever sent it, we hope you know it didn’t accomplish anything except waste time and resources.

The FBI is involved, so we know there are multiple states impacted in the ongoing investigation.

It’s unsettling how something as common as mail can turn into something as terrifying as potential bioterrorism.

We hope these agencies are able to swiftly respond and resolve the matter.

And until then, we hope the mail only brings happy returns.