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.

Kansas Reflector opinion editor Clay Wirestone prepares for a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Examining the Kansas political issues of this summer of discontent

HOSTED BY: and - July 11, 2022

Now is the summer of our discontent. The end of Roe vs. Wade has shaken the nation. Kansas has been gripped by an amendment vote on just that subject scheduled for next month. Political candidates circle one another like irritable peacocks, knowing that weeks or months of conflict await. Nationally, inflation has stressed households and […]


From left, Rep. Christina Haswood, Rep. Brandon Woodard and Rep. Rui Xu prepare to record a podcast at the Kansas Reflector office in Topeka. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Young Kansas House Democrats running unopposed

HOSTED BY: - July 4, 2022

The 2022 election cycle for the Kansas House is unique in the sense that 55 of the 125 seats are already decided. That is because only one candidate filed to run for election to the state Legislature in those districts. Three young Kansas House Democrats — Christina Haswood, Brandon Woodard and Rui Xu — who […]


Lily O'Shea Becker, left, and Margaret Mellott are summer interns for Kansas Reflector. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gun laws, education and civic engagement with Kansas Reflector interns

HOSTED BY: , and - June 27, 2022

You may have noticed two new names making regular appearances on Kansas Reflector story bylines recently — Margaret Mellott and Lily O’Shea Becker. They joined Kansas Reflector this summer as interns and are tackling topics ranging from gun laws to teachers leaving the field to youth civic engagement. Mellott, a recent graduate of Emporia State […]


Ton Miras Neira, far left, said community health workers provide culturally competent and financially beneficial care, often ensuring treatments are successful where they otherwise might fall short. (Submitted)

Kansas certification for community health workers

HOSTED BY: - June 21, 2022

Health care is often a difficult system to navigate, with concerns of costs, access or finding the right fit to address your intimate needs. The challenges are amplified for uninsured patients or those who don’t speak English as a primary language, but a new Kansas certification will establish the widespread practice of community health workers, […]


Paul Buskirk, an athletics administrator at the University of Kansas, is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the August primary. He's competing against five other Democrats. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Paul Buskirk seeks Kansas Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate

HOSTED BY: and - June 13, 2022

The U.S. Senate Republican and Democratic primaries are less than two months away and the eight candidates in the running must bear down to lock away votes in those competitive primaries. The incumbent, Kansas Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, is a known commodity, but the six Democrats in the contest are still introducing themselves to […]


The Rev. Jay McKell and Ashley All, of Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, said on the Kansas Reflector podcast they oppose stripping from the Kansas Constitution the right to abortion. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansans for Constitutional Freedom opposing abortion amendment

HOSTED BY: and - June 6, 2022

Kansas voters head to the polls Aug. 2 to nominate Republicans and Democrats for all sorts of political offices in preparation for the November general election. Another issue on the August ballot is a proposed amendment to the Kansas constitution. The amendment embraced by a conservative state legislators and lobbyists would essentially reject a 2019 […]


Kansas Action for Children staff members Jessica Herrera Russell, left, and Adrienne Olejnik welcomed several policy changes by the 2022 Legislature, but urged lawmakers to look closer at the need for childcare, health and food assistance helpful to kids. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

How the Kansas Legislature impacts Kansas children

HOSTED BY: and - May 31, 2022

Kids can make the most hardened person smile. In the Statehouse in Topeka, there is a lot of debate about policy and funding aimed at Kansas children. Influencers in this process include Kansas Action for Children, a nonprofit that works to improve the health, education and welfare of the state’s vulnerable youths. Jessica Herrera Russell […]


Secretary of State Scott Schwab's reelection campaign threw water on complaints leveled by Republican primary opponent Mike Brown, a former Johnson County Commission member (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Secretary of State Scott Schwab talks Kansas elections

HOSTED BY: and - May 23, 2022

Scott Schwab has served as the Kansas Secretary of State since 2019. Before election to be the state’s top elections official, the Republican served in the Kansas house for 15 years, representing part of Johnson County. Schwab joins senior reporter Tim Carpenter for the Kansas Reflector podcast to break down recent election law, the safety […]


The state of Kansas water, now and in the future

HOSTED BY: - May 16, 2022

Parts of western Kansas have just a decade or two of water left. One city’s drinking water was contaminated with uranium. For years, the state hasn’t been paying its bills to the federal government to store drinking water in dams in eastern Kansas. Last year, a state House committee started studying the water situation. They […]


Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Republican-turned-Democrat, lower left in the photo, was sworn into office as governor in 2009, but declined to seek election to the post in 2010. His career is documented in a lengthy article in the journal Kansas History. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Bob Beatty on the legacy of former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson

HOSTED BY: and - May 9, 2022

As a politically active college student in Wichita, Mark Parkinson audaciously ran for a seat in the Kansas House at age 20. He didn’t win, but he learned the value of sweating through a door-to-door campaign. He went on to serve in the Kansas House and Senate, lead the Kansas Republican Party and made friends […]


Gov. Kelly signs bill extending postpartum coverage for mothers in Medicaid to 12 months, up from two months. The Kansas Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System says one in five mothers reported experiencing depression during pregnancy and one in seven mothers exhibited symptoms of postpartum depression. (Getty Images)

Improving postpartum health outcomes in Kansas

HOSTED BY: and - May 2, 2022

The birth of a child is a blend of anxiety and joy, but it can also give rise to a feeling of malaise in mothers that often dissipates in a couple of weeks. A longer-lasting form of this condition is referred to as postpartum depression. Prompt treatment can help moms manage symptoms and bond with […]


A sign in downtown Hesston notes the city's roots in the Mennonite faith and highlights the legacy of prominent businesses. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Inside the special report: Kansas Reflector editors and columnist talk TEFFI

HOSTED BY: , and - April 25, 2022

Few in the Kansas Legislative or investment world understood what a TEFFI was when lawmakers approved a bill last year allowing the launch of a so-called technology-enabled fiduciary financial institution. Founder Brad Heppner’s vision includes investments in rural Kansas and attracted support from local and state officials. But a three-month Kansas Reflector investigation spearheaded by […]