Kansas Reflector Podcast


Kansas Reflector Podcast

The Kansas Reflector Podcast, hosted by senior reporter Tim Carpenter, presents voices from the people and politics of Kansas.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, right, a Topeka Democrat. wamts the Kansas Legislature to upgrade its software system for handling bills during the annual legislative sessions. (Kansas Reflector)

Hensley remembers good and bad from 44-year legislative career

HOSTED BY: and - December 28, 2020

After 44 years at the state Capitol, 2020 will be the last for Sen. Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat. The longest-tenured legislator, who took office in 1977, has worked with 10 different governors and around 150 different state senators. On the Kansas Reflector podcast, senior reporter Tim Carpenter sits down with Hensley to reflect on […]


Kansas attorney general weighs in on election lawsuits, criminal justice reform

HOSTED BY: and - December 21, 2020

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, now in his third term, makes his presence felt. He will be relied upon during the upcoming legislative session, but beyond that, he has weighed in on several notable legal issues, like the election and Kansas proof of citizenship laws. On this edition of the Kansas reflector podcast, senior reporter […]


Pat Roberts, Senate colleagues reflect on the Kansas congressman’s career

HOSTED BY: - December 14, 2020

After nearly 40 years as a congressman, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts announced early last year he would not pursue reelection in 2020. Capping off the longest tenure of any Kansan in the nation’s capital Sen. Pat Roberts delivered a final speech on the Senate floor Thursday. In what he dubbed his “adios amigos” speech, Roberts […]


The Kansas Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Kansas Court of Appeals without outlining boundaries of the Kansas Open Records Act as it pertained to audio records of district court proceedings. (Kansas Supreme Court/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas civil rights advocates on capital punishment

HOSTED BY: - December 7, 2020

Kansas law allows capital punishment, but no one has been put to death in the state since 1965. At El Dorado Correctional Facility, 10 men are currently on death row, set to die by lethal injection. The majority are white and all are convicted killers.  On this Kansas Reflector podcast, Cheryl Pilate, a criminal defense […]


Kansas legal leaders pitch Veterans Treatment Courts

HOSTED BY: - November 30, 2020

According to a report from the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 8% of inmates serving time in state and federal prisons and local jails are veterans. Despite making up a sizeable portion of the criminal justice system, diversion options specific to veterans are few and far between. In 2008, Judge Robert […]


Sparks fly as Kansas legislators debate pandemic recovery

HOSTED BY: - November 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has left Kansas embroiled in economic chaos. Tens of thousands out of work, severely delayed payment of unemployment claims, and a wave of fraudulent jobless claims are among the turmoil the state has suffered over the past nine months. This past week a joint House and Senate committee charged with working on […]


Political scientists dissect 2020 election results

HOSTED BY: - November 17, 2020

Bob Beatty and Amber Dickinson, political science faculty members at Washburn University in Topeka, say President Donald Trump easily won confidence of Kansas voters, no amount of money would have altered the outcome for Senate candidate Barbara Bollier, and rural backing carried state Treasurer Jake LaTurner. Read more about their election recap.


Davis Hammet, president of Loud Light, is among a coalition of four organizations filing a lawsuit challenging constitutionality of a series of election laws adopted by the 2021 Legislature after overriding a veto by Gov. Laura Kelly. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

What happened and what’s left in the 2020 general election

HOSTED BY: - November 9, 2020

Election Day 2020 has come and gone, but many races are still too close to call across the country, including here in Kansas. A week removed, counties now must canvass election results and cure provisional ballots in order to certify results. Davis Hammet, president of Loud Light, a youth-focused organization fostering increased civic engagement in […]


Annual survey sheds light on where Kansans stand on major issues

HOSTED BY: and - November 2, 2020

How strong is president Donald Trump’s support in Kansas? Is it time to join neighboring states by passing a law legalizing recreational marijuana? What do Kansans think about the Black Lives Matter movement? The Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University recently released its annual survey report on how Kansans view significant […]


Kansas City woman fights wrongful convictions, corruption in criminal justice system

HOSTED BY: and - October 26, 2020

The KC Freedom Project is a ministry fighting to exonerate individuals who are wrongfully convicted or accused. The organization is also actively involved in calling out corruption within the Kansas City community, be it in the police department or the prosecutor’s office. Latahra Smith founded KC Freedom Project using skills she acquired investigating and clearing […]


Kansas community colleges combat decreased enrollment amid COVID-19

HOSTED BY: and - October 19, 2020

After the Great Recession in 2008, community colleges nationwide saw an influx of nontraditional students and an increase in overall enrollment. Amid COVID-19, the opposite has occurred, and Kansas community colleges are facing a 14.1% decline in enrollment since last fall. Carter File, Hutchinson Community College President, has seen a 3.6% decrease in overall enrollment […]


Sarah Smarsh humbled by attention, finds ‘perfect model’ in Dolly Parton

HOSTED BY: and - October 12, 2020

Kansas writer Sarah Smarsh’s 2018 book, “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth,” was a New York Times best-seller and a finalist for the National Book Award. It earned her high-profile invitations, such as introducing civil rights icon Dolores Huerta at the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit in […]