Part One: Disgusting Republican attack ads on Democrats in Kansas

This is a slimy attack ad by Republican forces on Democrat Vicki Hiatt, the better candidate in the Kansas Senate District 10 race.

A slimy ad by Republican forces attacks Democrat Vicki Hiatt, the better candidate in the Kansas Senate District 10 race.

Democratic Kansas Senate candidate Vicki Hiatt wants to make it clear: “I’m not a member of ISIS,” she told me with a laugh on Wednesday.

Whew. Glad we cleared that up.

The interview with Hiatt was part of my review of the fact that supporters of Republican and Democratic candidates are flooding the mailboxes of Johnson County voters with disgusting or inaccurate last-minute ad fliers.

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Here are evaluations of judges on Missouri and Kansas ballots

Voters should retain Kansas Supreme Court justices this fall.

Voters should retain Kansas Supreme Court justices this fall.

Voters in Missouri and in Kansas will decide this fall whether to retain certain judges. But they don’t have to do it blindly.

Few stories are written about the men and women in black robes — unless they work for the Kansas Supreme Court this time around. However, there are ways to evaluate and judge for yourself if all of these men and women are worth keeping.

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Experienced Hensley over rookie Hawley for Missouri attorney general

Teresa Hensley is the best candidate in the race for Missouri's attorney general.

Teresa Hensley is the best candidate in the race for Missouri’s attorney general.

Teresa Hensley served as Cass County prosecutor for 10 years and has experience pursuing convictions in courtrooms, especially regarding abuse of children, seniors and domestic partners. Even more importantly, the Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general has a solid view of how the office should work on behalf of all Missourians.

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The eight Johnson County Democrats who just have to win this fall

Johnson County Democrats have high hopes in some races this fall.

Johnson County Democrats have high hopes in some races this fall.

UPDATED NOV. 9: Only two did win. They were House candidates Cindy Holscher and Brett Parker.

Suddenly in 2016, Democratic candidates in Johnson County have a huge opportunity to send a loud, clear message that Gov. Sam Brownback’s extremist Republican legislative allies aren’t needed anymore in Topeka.

I have picked out eight contested races in which voters could elect Democrats and send Brownback’s GOP allies packing this fall in Kansas House and Senate races.

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Who will beat Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves or Vicky Hartzler?

Emanuel Cleaver will win, again, in the U.S. House 5th District race.

Emanuel Cleaver will win, again, in the U.S. House 5th District race.

Answers: Nobody. No how. No way.

— In the 5th U.S. House District, a Republican hasn’t represented a large part of Kansas City south of the river (and points east in the now-gerrymandered map) since 1949.

Perpetual GOP candidate Jacob Turk is not going to beat Democrat Emanuel Cleaver this fall.

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Support KCK school bonds, Bill Hutton and Kathy Wolfe Moore in Wyandotte County

Voters should approve a no-tax bond plan to improve Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools

Voters should approve a no-tax bond plan to improve Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools

The local races aren’t nearly as exciting on the Wyandotte County ballot this fall as they are in  Johnson County. But  three crucial ones deserve attention. Voters have good reasons to:

— Approve a $235 million, no-tax increase bond issue to improve educational facilities for 22,000 students in Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.

— Elect Bill Hutton in the 5th District Kansas Senate contest and re-elect Kathy Wolfe Moore in the 36th District Kansas House race.

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George Brett pinch-hits for a struggling Kevin Yoder

George Brett is endorsing Kevin Yoder, again.

George Brett is endorsing Kevin Yoder, again.

Hall of Fame baseball player George Brett says he is “still a Yoder voter” in a new campaign ad for 3rd District U.S. congressman Kevin Yoder.

It’s little more than a  piece of fluff that still raises a few questions. When Brett says Yoder “turns down his government health care,” my first thought was, why would he do that? That’s not very smart.

As for accomplishments in Washington, where Brett says Yoder “fights for us,” the Royals’ former third baseman doesn’t list any of those. And that’s a problem.

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Battle roars on to retain Kansas Supreme Court justices

women-for-kansas-yes-for-ks-judges-2016With 13 days until Election Day, supporters of retaining Kansas Supreme Court justices are fully engaged in costly, sometimes ugly battles that involve radio and TV ads, yard signs and endorsements.

Voters need to keep the justices on Nov. 8.

If that doesn’t happen, Gov. Sam Brownback will make the final choices in 2017 on replacement justices who could serve years, if not decades, after his ruinous administration concludes in January 2019.

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Chris Cindric for State Board of Education

Elect Chris Cindric to the State Board of Education in Kansas.

Elect Chris Cindric to the State Board of Education in Kansas.

Chris Cindric is the highly qualified person Johnson Countians should want representing them on the 10-member Kansas State Board of Education. Incumbent Steve Roberts does not deserve re-election to the District 2 seat.

The district includes parts of the county’s biggest and much-beloved school districts: Blue Valley, Olathe and Shawnee Mission.

The board is often an after-thought for voters. It shouldn’t be. The board, when controlled by ultra-conservatives, has embarrassed Kansans. A decade ago, the board promoted intelligent design over evolution. Fortunately, newly elected board members eventually reversed that decision.

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