Kansas Courts in the Balance

In 2016, you will see an unprecedented attack from the fundamentalist conservatives on the judicial branch of state government. The Kansas courts have served as a seawall, blocking the push of Brownback and his Kansas Leadership to further erode civil liberties, individual rights, our public education system, and many other fronts.

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Here the People Rule

Last week, Governor Sam Brownback gave his State of the State speech. You may have listened to it, though you couldn't have watched it on television, nor on the State's promised streaming service (it never quite took off there).

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Exciting year ahead!

This is a message from MainStream Board President Sheryl Spalding, a former Kansas legislator and school board member.

As we end one year and begin another it is time to celebrate all Mainstream has accomplished this last year and see what it means for the future.

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What we will vote on in 2016

Stop us if you've heard this. 2016 will be a critical year for the future of Kansas. Every seat in the Kansas Legislature is up for a vote this year. That means every state senator, every state representative can (and should) be made accountable to their constituents. Every candidate, and that includes incumbents, should be held to account for their past votes and future plans.

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Moderation

This is a guest column by Dr. Alex Smith.

What does it mean to be a moderate?  What do moderates believe and how can they put their values into practice, especially in an age defined by growing economic inequalities, electoral polarisation and political extremism?

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The Electoral Landscape

There have been a few queries by our members about what exactly we are facing in the elections in 2016. How far do we have to go to turn our legislature around? Just how big is the hole we are trying to fill?

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Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, when charities ask their supporters to give generously for the causes they support. It is a moment to recognize the value of advocacy, of standing up for what you value, and supporting the organizations that do that work.

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Stand up to Terrorism

In the aftermath of last week’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, we have seen Americans rise up in support of the French people. The evil that is ISIS, the evil that is organized terror, is clear. Their attacks on innocents in France, their continued war on the population of Syria, their threats to countries across the world have brought governments and peoples together. We will not stand for these wanton acts of cowardice, no matter who we are.

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Rearranging Deck Chairs

It is said that in a democracy, one gets the government one deserves. This week, the Kansas Legislature's House Leadership contacted some elected Representatives, informing them of changes in committee assignments. This is an unusual move in the middle of the Legislature's traditional two-year cycle. And given that the changes removed qualified individuals who have stood up to Leadership in the past, the moves smell bad.

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How We Win

This week, you may have heard encouraging news out of Colorado. Three extremists on a local school board were ousted by the voters in a recall election that attracted as much as $1 million in funding. For a local school board, not a statewide board. Have no doubt, this was a major victory for teachers and education activists, and a defeat for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

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