Clay Wirestone has written columns and edited reporting for newsrooms in Kansas, New Hampshire, Florida and Pennsylvania. He has also fact checked politicians, researched for Larry the Cable Guy, and appeared in PolitiFact, Mental Floss, cnn.com and a host of other publications. Most recently, Clay spent nearly four years at the nonprofit Kansas Action for Children as communications director. Beyond the written word, he has drawn cartoons, hosted podcasts, designed graphics, and moderated debates. Clay graduated from the University of Kansas and lives in Lawrence with his husband and son.
Kansas Supreme Court justice resigns as teacher after KU protests antigay speaker. Bless his heart.
By: Clay Wirestone - December 2, 2022
Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall had his feelings hurt. Students and administrators at the University of Kansas questioned whether the campus Federalist Society should have invited an anti-LGBTQ speaker. Despite protests, the talk from Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom went forward as planned. Stegall outlined the situation and his claims in a […]
With same-sex marriage vote, U.S. Senate says families matter. Including mine, here in Kansas.
By: Clay Wirestone - November 30, 2022
The U.S. Senate took a momentous step Tuesday, passing a same-sex marriage law that offers a vital backstop for LGBTQ folks in Kansas and the nation. While the Respect for Marriage Act falls short in some ways, it shows how far we’ve come over the past few decades. In 1996, after all, President Bill Clinton […]
Kansas legislators block good policy every session. It’s time to give voters a powerful new voice.
By: Clay Wirestone - November 28, 2022
If Kansans could vote today on the issues, they would expand Medicaid, legalize marijuana and control access to deadly weapons. Already this year, they showed up at the polls in overwhelming numbers to support abortion rights. But lawmakers at the Statehouse have opposed or blocked these measures in the past, and the upcoming legislative session […]
This Thanksgiving, your friendly Kansas opinion editor needs to get some gratitude off his chest
By: Clay Wirestone - November 24, 2022
Many holidays thin and fray from familiarity. A relentlessly secularized Christmas too often marks commercial transactions, while the silly spookiness of Halloween has given way to adults parading around in superhero costumes. Thanksgiving, oddly enough, has been spared the worst of this, perhaps because the point of the holiday is right there in the name. […]
This architect of Kansas’ tax policy failure mocks our state. Leaders can’t ignore recent history.
By: Clay Wirestone - November 21, 2022
For the better part of a decade, Kansas government has been consumed by tax policy. Residents first endured former Gov. Sam Brownback’s “experiment,” which resulted in yawning deficits, budget cuts and credit downgrades. Teachers fled. Prisoners rioted. State agencies crumbled. Arduous years of rebuilding followed, under the guidance of Gov. Laura Kelly and a more […]
As Trump announces, Kansas GOP follows his lead and plots revenge. But there’s another way.
By: Clay Wirestone - November 16, 2022
The nation turned its incredulous eyes to Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night as former President Donald Trump launched his third campaign for the highest office in the land. But spare a wary peeper or two for the antics of the Kansas Republican Party, which seems to have absorbed the onetime commander-in-chief’s taste for vengeance against his enemies, […]
Kansas voters deliver thundering midterm message: Underestimate women at your peril
By: Clay Wirestone - November 14, 2022
One piece of advice for the Kansas GOP springs to mind after this year’s elections: Don’t underestimate women. Be it Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the women who ran the campaign to preserve abortion rights, or Kansas voters who turned out to cast their ballots, women defined our state’s balance of power […]
After an unhinged election season, results in Kansas suggest a sensible streak
By: Clay Wirestone - November 9, 2022
After all the drama, all the accusations and mudslinging, election evening in Kansas was — dare I say it? — a bit of an anticlimax. As I write this, shortly after midnight, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids won a convincing victory for the 3rd District congressional seat, proving once and for all that a determined candidate […]
With Kansas elections approaching fast, I searched for peace in this tranquil hideaway
By: Clay Wirestone - November 7, 2022
Next to the Watkins Museum of History in downtown Lawrence sits a tiny park, a mere 90 by 92 feet. If you don’t keep your eyes open when strolling along the Massachusetts Street sidewalk, you could easily miss it. Walk up the concrete path and behind the cast iron fence, however, and you’ll find an […]
Six of the most notable, egregious and ridiculous Kansas campaign ads for the midterm election
By: Clay Wirestone - November 2, 2022
We can nearly see the finish line, folks. On Tuesday, voters will head to the polls in Kansas and across the nation to cast ballots in midterm elections. While we twiddle our thumbs (or cast advance ballots), let’s take a look at some of this season’s most notable, egregious or ridiculous campaign spots. This roundup […]
The ‘blue dot’ of Lawrence, Kansas, will soon have a new congressman. No one’s talking about it.
By: Clay Wirestone - October 31, 2022
Lawrence, a vivid blue dot in the sea of red that is Kansas, could soon be represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by a Republican who opposes abortion rights and voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election. If the Democrat in the race wins, he would have to drive more than five hours from […]
Silly season descends on Kansas politics: Manufactured outrage enough for everyone!
By: Clay Wirestone - October 26, 2022
With less than two full weeks remaining until Election Day, Kansas politicians have embraced silly season. That’s known as the time of the campaign cycle when candidate scroungings for votes will say anything — absolutely anything — to make news and shore up support. Few feel overly constrained by the facts. Not with ballots being […]