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.

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 […]


Kansas resident, Brennan Center attorney address false claims of voter fraud

HOSTED BY: - October 6, 2020

President Donald Trump, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and race-baiting think tanks like the Heritage Foundation use the myth of voter fraud to justify laws and tactics that make it more difficult to vote. Research and court records show voter fraud is extraordinarily rare, but Kobach and Trump have influenced public opinion by […]


Advocates of elderly, disabled argue for deeper COVID-19 cluster report

HOSTED BY: - September 28, 2020

Four of five COVID-19 fatalities in Kansas were people at least 65 years of age, but that group is a mere 11% of the population. Vulnerability of medically challenged people in large residential facilities makes public disclosure of outbreaks a “life or death” public service. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment offers a weekly […]


Finney, Haley optimistic for marijuana reform in 2021

HOSTED BY: - September 21, 2020

Despite action to legalize medical marijuana in more than three dozen states, law enforcement and factions of the medical community have succeeded in deterring comparable reform in Kansas. That could be about to change. Rep. Gail Finney and Sen. David Haley are optimistic the 2021 Legislature can advance a bill legalizing medical marijuana, something they […]


De La Isla reflects on Black Lives Matter, health care, COVID-19

HOSTED BY: - September 14, 2020

Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, the Democratic nominee for the 2nd District seat in Congress, says the police department is full of heroes, “but for us to say with a straight face that there is no room for improvement is crazy.” Her campaign is focused on expanding access to preventive health care, and she […]


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 […]