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.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who declined to seek re-election in 2020, chairs a March meeting in Washington, D.C., on agriculture policy. He says raw partisanship, the river of campaign dollars and erosion of personal relationships among House and Senate members damages the federal government's ability to resolve difficult public policy issues. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Sen. Pat Roberts reflects on career in politics, military, journalism

HOSTED BY: - September 7, 2020

Retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts shares personal insights into his 40-year career as an elected official in Washington, D.C., which was preceded by service in the U.S. Marine Corps and work as a journalist and congressional aide. Highlights from the conversation: “I have to admit that the state of politics — and going through a tough […]


KU professor reflects on reopening of K-12 schools

HOSTED BY: - August 31, 2020

Dorothy Hines, assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, says K-12 students can explore COVID-19’s impact on their lives through TikTok, Instagram and other social media. And, she said, children returning to school buildings that were suddenly locked down in March as COVID-19 took hold need to know they are […]


Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund, said more than $630,000 in federal COVID-19 funding will be used to improve internet service to families with young children in more than 80 counties. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Children’s advocates reflect on investments in quality-of-life programs

HOSTED BY: - August 24, 2020

John Wilson, president of Kansas Action for Children, and Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, outline concerns for more than 100,000 children living in poverty in Kansas. Wilson says thousands of kids would suffer protracted harm if spending were slashed on programs that feed, house, educate and promote quality […]


Senior reporter Tim Carpenter prepares to question political scientists during a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Political scientists reflect on primary results, prospects for November

HOSTED BY: - August 17, 2020

Election analysts from Kansas universities say U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier needs to clearly define herself or risk Kris Kobach’s fate. “Can she develop a message to get that kind of Trump voter to also vote for her?” said Patrick Miller, a political science professor at University of Kansas. “What I’ll be interested in seeing going […]


Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary Lee Norman says during a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast that he would prefer mask mandates to curtail the spread of COVID-19. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Lee Norman reflects on management of pandemic

HOSTED BY: - August 10, 2020

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, says boozy environments harbor perils of COVID-19 for anyone rejecting advice to social distance, wash hands and wear a mask. “They just immerse in virus when they do that,” Norman said. “There’s usually music. When people speak loudly, there’s airborne droplets. And they’re very […]


Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said she wasn't confident in the COVID-19 fatality figures released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She also expressed concern decisions about school openings are based on insufficient testing of the Kansas population. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Susan Wagle reflects on her ‘most difficult year’

HOSTED BY: - August 3, 2020

Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican with 30 years of experience in the Kansas Legislature, has never been mistaken for a shrinking violet. She took on an otherwise all-male Republican field to make the case she was best suited to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the dean of Kansas politics. As the primary campaign […]


Kris Kobach appears for a recording of Kansas Reflector's podcast on July 20. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kris Kobach warns GOP voters not to be fooled by general election oddsmakers

HOSTED BY: - July 27, 2020

Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s loss to Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2018 governor’s race has given rise to the view of Kobach as a hardcore conservative unwilling or incapable of moving to the center to broaden his appeal. It is part of the calculus of influential Republicans who have embraced U.S. Rep. Roger […]


Gov. Laura Kelly and David Toland, secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, are working to develop a low-cost alternative to the Main Street program helping to revitalize downtown areas in rural communities. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, commerce secretary David Toland plan recovery from COVID-19

HOSTED BY: - July 21, 2020

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and David Toland, secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, are working to retool state government’s investment strategy to expand the economy. It’s a difficult task made more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kelly says Kansas is better positioned to handle the economic fallout because of actions she took early in […]