Something to Think About


Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

January 13, 2016

Good morning.Today I would like to tell you about a gentleman that I met many years ago. I would like to share some of the stories that he told about how he grew up and raised a family on a farm in S.E Kansas. His first name was Fred. Fred was born April 26 1922 and was the oldest son and second oldest in a family 9 children. He was born ½ mile south of South Mound Kansas, assisted in birth by a doctor who came in a buggy powered by a horse. Total cost of the birth including everything was $20. He was born during the depression and any luxuries were often nonexistent. Life started off rough. At the age of 2 he caught the measles and had a measles spot on one of his eyes which left him blind in that eye. During his school years he had to take off many times to assist with keeping the farm going.  He met his wife Marjorie at a box supper. This was a school event where the young single ladies would bring a box lunch and the young single men bid on this lunch. The winner of the bid would share the meal with that young lady.  He later scraped enough money together to purchase a farm. On that farm he milked cows, raised hogs and farmed. He and his wife had three children at that time. Life was a challenge in those early years. Shortly after purchasing the farm he broke his leg in a fall. Without the help of the nearby neighbors he wasn’t sure how he would have survived. They later had two additional children. Most of the food that the family consumed was raised on that farm. Clothing was often made at home and handed down from one child to the other. Any outings Fred and Marjorie took, those five children would always be with them.   Later he acquired several more farms and both are still living at that location. Through his years of farming he earned about every agriculture and soil conservation award that were. They will be celebrating their 70 wedding anniversary this year. By the way I forgot to mention that gentleman is my father.   I’m Danny Giefer and that’s something to think about.

May 27, 2015

          One definition of paradox is: “A person or thing that seems to possess contradictory qualities.”

          Can you say the Clintons as in President Bill and former First Lady Hillary?

          So many qualities in both these public figures, but also contradictions!

          Michael Gerson in his column in the Cap Journal on Tuesday said it well in his title: “Clinton stands, standards fall……….”

          The New York Times once wrote this about President Bill: “he gambled the moral, political and historic reputation of the presidency – “

          Gerson says, “But Clinton saved himself through a display of brazen combative defiance against his accusers and the media. There must be some ancient Greek word for this tragically impressive human attribute. It might be translated “shameless fortitude,” or maybe “sleazy grit.”

          The columnist concluded about our former president: “In the end Clinton stood; and standards fell.”

          With that as a backdrop we turn our attention to Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, U.S.Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and now announced candidate for President.

          About candidate Clinton, Michael Gerson wrote: “This attribute of backbone in a dubious cause – in a very different moral context – has been on full display in Hillary Clinton’s presidential launch.”

          There are many questions for Mrs. Clinton, but so far she’s managed these well enough to remain unchallenged for her party’s nomination.

          Some democrats wonder if she can win in a general election suggesting Mrs. Clinton might be “plausible as a president but mediocre as a candidate.”

She first tried the silent treatment, but has recently started to open up; Gerson suggests “Her silence has often been an improvement over her availability.”

          Hillary’s performance thus far are raising doubts about her “honesty, trustworthiness and transparency.”

          Yet, I see her as Gerson does, “tough, disciplined and knowledgeable.”

My paradox is Hillary Clinton may the best prepared person available to lead our country.

          “If Clinton stands; standards fall.”

          I’m Steve Sauder and There’s Something to Think About!

May 20, 2015

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 13, 2015

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 kvoe.com 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

May 6, 2015

  Today is listener participation day on KVOE so you can be involved.

            Governor Sam Brownback is in the news almost daily. Earlier this week he made news because a waitress in Topeka decided to send the Gov a message. She X-ed out the Tip line on his bill for some bar be- que and then wrote in “Tip the Schools.”

            The waitress was upset because her sister is in “special education” and budget cuts have forced good teachers to move on.

            The waitress used Face Book to ask how best to send a message to the Governor. The rest is history.

            Governor Brownback was asked Monday about the incident. He said “I’m out in the public a lot and I get a lot of people saying they agree with me and I get a lot of people saying they don’t.”

            I applaud the Governor for his honest response.

I further think now is a great time for Governor Brownback to hear from Emporia or maybe more correctly what KVOE listeners think of his leadership.

            Here’s the plan. We are providing 2 ways to send a message to the Governor. We will see that he gets the final results.

1.      Go to www.kvoe.com and answer this question:


            Straight forward and to the point. This Poll is about as fair as we can be because it limits each device to one vote.

2.      The second way you can participate is by calling 620-208-6316. That’s 208-6316.

At the tone leave your message for Governor Brownback

concerning his job performance. Your comments will be limited to 1 minute and we urge callers to prepare their thoughts in advance and also to stay away from inflammatory comments.

            The opportunity to express your satisfaction for or against our Governor’s performance will stay open until midnight tonight. Results will be discussed on Thursday morning and be transmitted to the Governor’s office.

            OK listeners it’s your turn to be heard. www.kvoe.com and/or 620-208-6316.

April 29, 2015

Two weeks ago we discussed the departure of Michael Shonrock as President at Emporia State and the momentum he had created for the school and our community and how his ability as a “Pied Piper” had brought some really talented people to town.

          This may shock you but three of the four people I mentioned plus Jim Williams, ESU Vice President over enrollment have been identified as taking actions that could cause them to leave ESU.

          These news flashes were shocking, but given time to think they all make sense. None of the four can be tied to Shonrock’s departure. All can be tied to unique opportunities and were not associated with a problem with Emporia State.

          Jim Williams has been a loyal ESU administrator for a number of years and with the recent success – six or seven straight semesters of enrollment growth – the time for Jim to move up is now. He had a great story to tell and Wayne State, Nebraska thought enough of it to make him one of three finalists for their top job. He interviewed on campus yesterday. We wish him well!

          Kristie Ogilvie, Dean of the School of Business, applied for the same job at Wichita State. It would be a nice step up and put her even closer to family. She told us last week she was a finalist, but the position had been offered another candidate.

          DenaSue Potestio shocked our ESU Foundation meeting last week with news that she was resigning to attend Union Theological Seminary in New York City. This is unfortunate during the Now and Forever campaign, but fund raising has been strong and appears to be in good hands.

          The final news was Werner Golling, V.P. for Administration who had interest in a presidential opening in his home town in Minnesota. Not sure if he even interviewed, but I do know he bought a house in Emporia last Thursday and will be moving his family here this summer.

          Provost David Cordle is the only person mentioned two weeks ago without a rumor unless we conclude he might be a strong candidate to replace Shonrock.

          None of these stories are negative for Emporia State. Everyone’s application received attention and why not?

          Things are good and getting better at ESU. These folks are all simply “riding the wave!”

          Someone told me how enjoyable it was composing the Request for Proposal for finding the presidential search firm.

He said, “ESU can now be described in the most positive terms  – enrollment growing, outstanding Master Plan, fully engaged faculty and a community that really supports the school.”

          Changes are going to happen, but when you have a vision and a solid foundation you embrace change and just get stronger.

          It’s a great day to be a Hornet.

          I’m Steve Sauder.