Something to Think About - keep (272)

          According to Wikipedia the Census bureau's primary mission is conducting the U.S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U.S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population.The Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, and businesses make informed decisions..

          The U.S. census is at the heart of our electoral process according to the TIME magazine article I read. It not only determines how political districts are drawn, but which Americans are counted and how federal dollars - allocated per capita are distributed. And a long list of important decisions rely on an accurate census.

          But soon, the U. S. Census Bureau will be leaderless!

          The 30 year Director of the Census Bureau is quitting the end of June. Colleagues suggest he was hobbled by pressure from Congress about cost overruns on a new Internet-based questionnaire and of course uncertainty about support from the new administration.

          TIME points out the Census Bureau being "rudderless" with the 2020 census looming creates a major concern. Without strong experienced leadership the 2020 census could lack the integrity American's have always demanded.

          Donald Trump is not responsible for the Director leaving, but he will be the person to appoint the successor. Our President's track record thus far for appointments has been shaky at best. This position might be as important as any he has ever filled.

          Congress had already indicated a desire to under fund the Census Bureau when in April it allocated less than half the budget increase requested. With the austere new federal budget being proposed under funding seems to be a certainty.

          Experts say if you under fund the census you get an under count and when you under count you lose the "hard to find populations."


          At a time when we need integrity and accuracy in our government we find the Census Bureau - an institution American's have believed in and respected all our lives in danger of becoming a political football.

          The United States needs a census we can trust. A compromised census will create even more chaos!

          I'm Steve Sauder and there's something to think about!

          They say imitation is the finest form of flattery, so here goes.

          Sunday in the Wichita Eagle Edward Flentje, a WichitaState professor and former interim president of Emporia State (he did yeoman work between Mike Lane and Michael Shonrock) wrote a piece titled Kansas GOP turned back on party history.”

          Today I’ll share many things Ed said that I believe to be accurate.

          Flentje started by claiming to have been a “card carrying Republican” all his life and listed his work history that includes many Republican assignments.

          He asks current leaders? ”What exactly do Kansas Republicans believe?”

          He thought beliefs included: “balancing the budget” and not “reckless tax cuts, reducing revenues while allowing spending to grow.”

          But, he points out “by their own account spending $320 million more than taken in during the current budget cycle.”

          Flentje also thought Republicans believed in “fair and balanced taxation.” He points out Landon campaigned for a state income tax in 1932 “as a way to reduce the reliance on the property tax.”

          Our current Governor has campaigned “to eliminate the income tax and shift the tax burden onto sales and property taxpayers. A tax policy that places more of the tax burden onto lower-income Kansans….”

          Professor Flentje also “thought Republicans believed in Reagan’s ideal of a “big tent” political party – with leaders who embrace Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shall not speak ill of any Republican.”

          Check that idea – “Gov. Sam Brownback joined with political allies in campaigning against legislators of his own party.”

          Flentje’s suggested “These Republican officeholders have turned their back on their party’s history and on those who have shaped that history.”

          The current leadership of the Republican Party in Kansas have created a foul taste not only in Ed Flentje’s mouth, but also in many others who claim they are Republicans.

          Ed’s answer was: “This year’s elections promise to be a watershed opportunity for Kansas voters to embrace or reject this radical “red-state” experiment with the future.”

          Well said my friend, I’m Steve Sauder.

Can’t think of anything that would make me happier than having something positive to say about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, but unfortunately his failure as a leader continues.

Two weeks ago I ask you to respond concerning Brownback’s leadership in Kansas. The results were 531 to 85 saying our governor was NOT an effective leader.

Last week I shared with you my letter to the Governor telling him about the results of the poll on KVOE. The letter and a CD with personal comments from 55 listeners were delivered to the Governor’s office. The Post Office confirmed delivery at 8:38 A.M. on May 13th.

As of Tuesday we have not received any response from the governor or his office. This is disappointing, but not surprising.

And, earlier this week Brownback’s problems increased slightly when it was disclosed he uses a personal e-mail.

The Governor tried to minimize this issue by saying “Most of the time I call people or I just go over to their office.”

Nice try Mr. Governor, but that doesn’t wash. Most of the time doesn’t count – it’s those few times when private stuff is done we need to know about. Open Meetings Laws would seem to have been violated even if there is minimal usage.

This won’t be a big deal for Brownback because he won’t be running for office again – at least in Kansas, but it is another example of his willingness to govern behind closed doors.

We all need to be worrying about “behind closed door deals” as the answer to the current revenue mess in Kansas is sought. You can bet the final plan will come from a private meeting including the governor sprung on us at the eleventh hour.

Speaking of the revenue mess and Topeka it seemed curious to me that in a KVOE interview on Monday Representative Peggy Mast used “they” to describe people making decisions in Topeka. Why not “we”? Representative Mast ran on a platform touting her leadership position in Topeka, so my expectations are she take responsibility for what’s going on, not suggest “they” are not finding a solution.

Finally, if a revenue solution can be found that doesn’t cut into Emporia State’s budget the search for a new president will be made much easier.

There are a couple of things to think about.

I’m Steve Sauder

May 2, 2016

November 29, -0001

Community Comments Edition of Something to Think About


This year’s presidential race is like going to a giant smorgasbord with steak, lobster and crab legs. It is difficult to pick a single topic so today a couple of random thoughts.

          First, this Trump campaign reminds me a little of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater served 5 terms in the Senate so he was a politician, but he brought fear to the race with the thought of the Arizona Senator having access to the nuclear trigger.

          Speaking of The Donald – I heard an interesting thought about him – it suggested Trump never goes on defense – that he is always on the offensive. Think about it – when someone attacks Trump he immediately strikes back, never with an excuse or explanation but with an aggressive response. He often uses Twitter and his Twitter Army jump in and attack the opponent like a swarm of locusts.

          Another story I heard was that Trump said he’s been aggressive since the second grade when he punched his music teacher in the eye because he didn’t think the teacher knew anything about music!

          Think about this – Trump’s aggressive behavior has been effective in the political campaign arena, but how will it work as President of the United States.


          Now a few thoughts about Mrs. Clinton.

          A Time magazine article suggests she might beat Trump by being boring rather than engaging him. I couldn’t agree more. It takes two to have an argument so maybe Hillary just ignores Trump and especially his crude remarks and if she does it well she might just drive him crazy?

          My wife and I used to have a code when any discussion got too hot to handle – we’d just say “How about those Royal’s?”

          I’d love a debate where Trump rips into Mrs. Clinton and she responds “How about those Mets?”

          Clinton’s other ploy might be to avoid campaign mode. She’s not good at campaigning. During husband Bill’s race in 1992 her approval rating dropped to 38% only to rise to 66% as First Lady. As a candidate in 2008 her approval rating dropped to 48%, but went back up to 66% as Secretary of State.

          Hillary’s best strategy might just be - to be boring and let Trump be the boor.

          Are we having fun yet?

          I’m Steve Sauder.

Our friends who reside in the Flint Hills seem to have controversy concerning the environment on an ongoing basis.

Forty or more years ago there was a major discussion about preserving the Tallgrass Prairie with many people from outside coming to the Flint Hills to express their opinions.

More recently and ongoing is the debate about burning the tall grass in the Spring on a regular basis because the smoke from the massive fires cause pollution in far away places like Omaha and beyond.

Now the area is involved in the debate over the injection of salt water from oil wells back into the ground.

Evidence is present that blames the oil and gas industry for the increases in seismic activity in the area.

Amazingly there are an estimated 5,000 Class I saltwater injection wells in Kansas and another 16,600 Class II wells. Morris County and its' six surrounding counties have 121 of these wells.

Oil producers started putting the saltwater back in the ground years ago. It has to go somewhere. My dad was pioneer in using pressure in this process to change the formation underground to make oil pool up and be easier to find and pump. It was called "water flooding" back in the 60's.

Today this process of disposing of saltwater is given a lot of the blame for increases in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas.

The current issue in the Flint Hills is concern over a proposed new injection well in Morris County about 15 miles from Strong City. The owner has filed for a permit to put more waste water than normal back into the ground and at a slightly higher pressure than any of the other wells in the area.

The Kansas Corporation Commission is holding a hearing and will decide how to handle the request. Local folks have organized and hired an attorney.

The Oil and Gas Association of Kansas is asking for common sense especially in light of evidence there are acceptable ways to control this process that are safe without completely denying the application.

KIOGA points out Oklahoma and Kansas officials have been proactive and have a good track record for regulating saltwater injections with positive results in reducing seismic activity.

Hopefully the demands for a complete denial of the application versus allowing it as requested can somehow be compromised.

Common sense has always been a strong trait in the Flint Hills.

This all makes me wonder how ranchers who desire to burn their grass despite existence of pollution feel about the injection process and its effect on the environment.

Guess life in the Flint Hills is not all that simple.

I'm Steve Sauder and I'm betting on a good outcome.

Emporia State Baseball Coach Bob Fornelli is my topic today because he represents a positive attitude most of us would love to possess.

          Bob came to Emporia Statehoping to play for Dave Bingham, but  Bingham took the KU job and Fornelli ended up playing for a different coach.

          Next, Fornelli was the pitching coach at Butler County Community College. The first three years he lived in a room about the size of his current office and showered with the kids. He was promoted to Dorm Director the last two years with an apartment in the dorm. He and new wife Jill lived in the dorm their first year of marriage.

          Bob worked at coaching baseball 24/7/365. Summers inElkhart and Liberal and less exotic places and then Ft. Hays State called. After seven years in Hays the ESU job opened up and Fornelli eagerly took over. This is his eleventh year atEmporia State. His teams have twice been national runners up.

          The Hornets made it into NCAA post season play in both 2010 and 11, but did not advance. 2012 and 2013 were not good years for the Hornets. Winning records yes, but post season action was limited to losing in the first round of the MIAA tournament.

          It may not have been so much ESU having slippage as much as other schools in the MIAA and Region starting to throw money at baseball.

          Fornelli has been offered at least two other MIAA jobs, both with larger salaries and promises of lavish budgets. Fornelli’s response has been “I’m a Hornet and if we can find a little more support I’m not going anywhere.”

          At the mid point of this past season Coach Fornelli had to be questioning those decisions. In early April with an almost entirely new team and one he really liked Washburn handed ESU three straight losses and a season record of 19 & 14.

          Fornelli’s response to Greg Rahe on KVOE was “this is not a time to pout.”

          That so impressed me I traveled to Topeka for the final game of the Washburn series. ESU won starting a 15 game winning streak. The Hornets have now won 21 of their last 24 including 4 in a row to win the MIAA Post Season Tournament. They start play in the Central Regional tomorrow.

          Bob Fornelli is all about playing hard, doing things the right way and having fun. He is the Dean of ESU coaches and someone many other coaches go to when their chins are dragging.

          Fornelli makes his living in a sport where you can be successful even when you fail 7 or 8 times out of 10. Maybe he read Thomas Edison who once said “People are not remembered by how few times they failed, but by how often they succeed.”

          Bob Fornelli is a text book example of never letting failure become permanent. He’s always looking for the next opportunity for success.

          Fornelli is a role model family man too. Jill and delightful daughters Emma, Rylie and Addison are seldom missing when the Hornets are playing.

          Look up positive attitude in the dictionary and you’ll see Coach Fornelli’s picture.

          I’m Steve Sauder

Governor Brownback

241-S Kansas State Capital Building

10th & Jackson

Topeka, KS 66612


Governor Brownback,

My name is Steve Sauder and I am President of Emporia’s Radio Stations, Inc. in Emporia.

I do a weekly commentary called “Something to Think About” on KVOE. Last Wednesday you were my topic.

The story about you and the waitress at bar be que place caught my eye. I was especially interested in your statement about being in public and having people telling you they agreed with you and the opposite.

Seemed to me like a good time to find out what people who listen to our three radio stations in Emporia think of your leadership.

We gave our listeners from seven thirty in the morning until midnight to respond in two ways.

They could go on-line at and answer this question:


The results were as follows:

There were 81 YES responses and 531 NO responses.

This was a fair poll as listeners were limited to one vote per


Listeners were also given the opportunity leave a recorded


We recorded 55 verbal responses. They are enclosed on a

CD. Nine said you are doing a good job and 46 didn’t think so. You can listen to them if you like.

          I’m not sure what you will do with this information, but my hope is you’ll at least consider that the direction you have our state headed isn’t that popular. At least that’s what a majority of folks from Emporia think. 


                                                Steve Sauder

It is graduation time. I know this because I saw President Obama giving an address to graduates at Howard University. He will also talk to the graduates at Rutgers’s and the Air Force Academy. His message was good, positive and political urging grads to not only vote this time, but every time.

If I was speaking at a graduation my message would be more direct. One idea would be to use the Post I’ve seen recently on Face Book suggesting there some things anyone can accomplish that require absolutely no talent. That means there is no excuse to not practice these traits.

Zero talent is required to:

1.     Be on time.

2.     Have a strong work ethic.

3.     Give effort

4.     Display positive body language.

5.     Exert energy.

6.     Have a good attitude.

7.     Show true passion.

8.     Be coachable.

9.     Do the extra things.

10.   Be prepared.

Great advice because all these things are traits we see in our best employees, co-workers and leaders. God gave each of us the tools to do all those things if we desire to do them – no talent required.

Now let me simplify that list for you. Back in my youth coaching days and especially when I coached youngsters on the baseball field I had just 2 rules. I’d tell the boys – if you can say “yes sir, when asked these questions we’ll never have a problem.

My two rules were: “Hustle and Do Your Best.”

Pretty simple and I believe they pretty much cover all ten ideas from before.

Son, were you hustling? Were you doing your best? If you can say “yes” then we won’t have a problem.

Either way – the ten things you can do that do not require talent or “Hustle and Do Your Best” those who try hardest will succeed.

I’m Steve Sauder

My plan to today was to help clarify some of the questions about health insurance, but as I compiled ideas it became obvious there is so much information available it is almost impossible to offer anything factual without an opposite idea being available.

So, let me discuss one major facet of the healthcare debate – pre-existing conditions. This is not an endorsement of any plan or change, just something to think about!

ObamaCare addresses pre-existing conditions, but not without difficult questions.

Herman Cain ran for president four plus years ago and now writes a blog. Not sure Cain is an authority, but his thoughts were at least interesting: He wrote:

“One thing that will help a lot is if people realize what a bunch of bullfeathers they’re being fed with this whole business about pre-existing conditions. ObamaCare requires that people with pre-existing conditions who don’t already have insurance be allowed to sign up for it, and be charged premiums no different than those who are totally healthy. While this sounds wonderfully compassionate, it goes completely against everything that makes the economics of insurance work – which is why it’s been one of the leading drivers of soaring premiums since ObamaCare took effect.”

Cain likes the “high risk pools” idea, letting the states be involved and funding the losses by taxpayers.

While my understanding is admittedly limited the strategy here is to carve out those who are sick, but without insurance and let taxpayers finance their care rather than it being a burden on people who already were paying for health insurance.

There are arguments both ways, but for me if we as a nation truly desire to provided insurance for people with pre existing conditions it makes sense to have tax payers cover the losses rather than penalizing those of us who already pay premiums.

Yesterday I heard Senator Bill Cassidy a Republican from Louisiana tell  the Morning Joe just the opposite – that pre-existing costs should be spread over all who purchase health insurance!

My question is this: If paying for pre-existing condition coverage is “the leading driver of soaring premiums” why wouldn’t we choose a different path?

          I’m Steve Sauder


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