Leadership Overland Park Session 3 – The Political Process

Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 by
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In the afternoon at Leadership Overland Park, we heard from members of the House and Senate at the third session. One in particular, Paul Davis who is the minority leader in the House of Representatives, has a challenging job. Currently he is the House’s top Democrat in a state heavily influenced by Republican politics. He made the comment that he goes to work every day and is usually on the losing end of most votes in the House. But he has a positive attitude about the political process and thinks his role is very important to our Kansas government. So that differing opinions can be heard and have an influence on the overall process.

From here, we traveled to the Judicial Center where we spent the afternoon in the courtroom of the Kansas Supreme Court. We heard from Martin Hawver of Hawver’s Capitol Report. His online paper reports on all things Kansas statehouse. His view is Governor Brownback and the legislatures haven’t quite figured each other out yet but are still in the process of learning how to work together to get their goals accomplished. The next presentation was from a panel of lobbyists. They were candid in discussing how lobbyists are not always thought to have a high degree of ethics. But they went on to explain their role in government and how their job is to educate the lawmakers on laws that will affect various industries. Each panelist also spoke about how ethics rules have become much stricter, especially in Washington and how they always strive to be on the “up and up”. The final speaker was Judge Patrick McAnany who sits on the Kansas Court of Appeals. My uncle is a District Court judge in SE Kansas so I already have an appreciation for the importance and consequences their jobs hold. I was interested to learn that each appellate three-judge panel will review up to 30 appeals per month of which only approximately 10% are overturned which goes to prove the District Court Judges are doing a very good job.

A nice day in Topeka was topped off with a happy hour at Barley’s Brewhaus. Good ending. Next up for Leadership Overland Park is Education Day on 3/22/12.

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