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.

Rachel Sweet, campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, smiles Aug. 2, 2022, at the Kansans for Constitutional Freedom watch party after Kansans vote to preserve a constitutional right to abortion. (Lily O'Shea Becker/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Reflector’s year in review: 2022

HOSTED BY: - January 2, 2023

The year 2022 was like few others in Kansas politics. Journalists at the Kansas Reflector began by covering a breakneck legislative session. Toward the end of the year, we followed a bitter midterm election contest. And in the middle of it all, August, we saw a landmark vote on abortion rights. Our staffers make sense […]


Preserving the Kansas water supply

HOSTED BY: - December 26, 2022

For generations, the aquifer that supplies western Kansas with water has been in decline, largely due to over pumping for crop irrigation. Parts of the state have just 10 or 20 years of water left. Rep. Lindsey Vaughn, who served as the ranking Democrat on the Kansas House Water Committee, joins the Kansas Reflector podcast […]


Historic preservationists sound alarm on demolition of Docking

HOSTED BY: - December 19, 2022

The iconic high rise Docking State Office Building, which now sits largely unoccupied, could soon be demolished. Work to take the building to the ground could begin as early as January 2023. On the other hand, a preservation group called Plains Modern has gone to court to halt full-scale demolition. Read more: Historic preservationists pressing […]


In the past nine months, hundreds of books across dozens of states are being banned at an alarming rate. A majority of the bans feature books written by authors who are people of color, LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous, and feature characters from marginalized groups. (Getty Images)

What Kansans can learn from challenged books in their local libraries

HOSTED BY: - December 12, 2022

Libraries hold a conflicted place our collective imagination. To many of us, they’re magical. We were first exposed to worlds of imagination and ideas on the shelves of our local libraries. To others, these buildings serve as indispensable community gathering spots, places to learn and meet and share. But to a small and vocal group, […]


Spencer Duncan sits in a red chair next to a microphone in podcast studio

Kansas cities want these things from the Legislature next year

HOSTED BY: - December 5, 2022

Spencer Duncan, director of government affairs at the Kansas League of Municipalities, talks about the league’s policy agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Read more: Kansas coalition of cities flex muscle at Capitol to influence tax, water, housing reform Auto-generated transcript of this episode


Scott Rothschild and Leah Fliter, who represent the Kansas Association of School Boards in the Capitol, say the 2023 legislative session is likely to delve again into controversial issues of vouchers, trans sports, special education and a parental bill of rights. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

KASB lobbyists on special education funding, vouchers, trans sports, parental bill of rights

HOSTED BY: - November 28, 2022

Leah Fliter and Scott Rothschild of the Kansas Association of School Boards dive into K-12 education issues likely to be on the agenda during the 2023 legislative session. Read more: Kansas education policy reform in upcoming legislative session likely to mirror 2022 bills Auto-generated transcript of this episode


Oversight committee examines Kansas foster care problems and looks for solutions

HOSTED BY: - November 21, 2022

A joint committee of the Kansas House and Senate convened for two days to explore concerns about the state’s foster care system. During 15 hours of testimony and questioning, a diverse collection of foster parents, academics, lawyers, contractors, state officials and others delved into their experiences with a system responsible for 7,000 children in need […]


Laura Kelly appears on stage at election watch party

Kansas Reflector staff recaps and analyzes election results

HOSTED BY: - November 14, 2022

Senior reporter Tim Carpenter leads a discussion with editor in chief Sherman Smith, opinion editor Clay Wirestone and reporter Rachel Mipro about campaigns for governor, Congress, attorney general and the Statehouse, as well as votes on constitutional amendments and judicial retention. Read more: Kansas voters deliver thundering midterm message: Underestimate women at your peril Auto-generated […]


The impact of the February 2021 natural gas price hike on Kansas consumers

HOSTED BY: - November 7, 2022

In February 2021, it got really cold in Kansas. It was about 15 degrees below zero for more than a week. Natural gas prices shot up, in terms of BTUs, from $2.54 on Feb. 1 to $622 by Feb. 17. Then, as if the market had been manipulated again, it dropped back to $2.46 by […]


Podcast guests appear via video conference on laptop screen

Political scientists discuss Kansas Speaks survey

HOSTED BY: - October 31, 2022

The new Kansas Speaks survey of public opinion generated by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs is out. It checks the pulse of Kansans on dozens of issues — a list that ranges from views on public officials, the economy, abortion, election security, housing, marijuana to health care. Here to mine some of the numerical […]


Lynn Rogers with podcast microphone

Kansas Treasurer Lynn Rogers interested in banking duties, not Congress

HOSTED BY: - October 24, 2022

Democrat Lynn Rogers says the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office has the ability to help Kansans in their day-to-day lives by providing economic recovery loans, administering the college savings plans, and returning unclaimed property. He hopes to hang onto the job of treasurer by defeating Republican state Rep. Steven Johnson, a farmer from Assaria, in the […]


Tiffany Muller on big money politics, threats to democracy, and returning to Kansas

HOSTED BY: - October 17, 2022

Tiffany Muller returned to Kansas, where she made history in 2004 by becoming the first openly LGBTQ public official in Kansas, to campaign on behalf of Democrats. Muller — now president of End Citizens United, an organization that wants to get big money out of politics — says Republican candidates Kris Kobach and Derek Schmidt […]