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Kansas: Moving Beyond Sound Bites and Stump Speeches

 

Eric Teetsel listens as Wink Hartman responds to a question.

By Eric Teetsel, President & Executive Director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies

Family Policy Alliance President & CEO Paul Weber prays with Dr. Jim Barnett before his 30-minute interview with Eric.

A common challenge voters face in an election is figuring out who a candidate is really. Politicians and their staffs are experts in communicating to different groups what they want to hear without boxing themselves in with meaningful commitments. This is most true when it comes to controversial topics, and those of us who care about the dignity of life, family, and liberty often have the most difficulty distinguishing between the champions and the chumps.

That’s why on Saturday, November 4th, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas hosted “Beyond Sound Bites and Stump Speeches,” an event featuring a series of 30-minute, one-on-one conversations with candidates for governor. More than 40 of our ministry partners listened as I asked each candidate specific policy questions. They were also given the chance to ask questions of the candidates, too!

Eric interviews Dr. Jim Barnett as the crowd listens.

Topics included the proper response to an impending state supreme court decision that might find a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution, whether to sign legislation allocating money to groups like Planned Parenthood that perform abortions, and preserving student privacy in public schools. It was refreshing to dig deep on policy, but perhaps even more illuminating was the opportunity to listen and watch as the candidates described their political philosophy and reasons for being pro-life. Our attendees could tell if the candidate meant what they said.

This was a first of its kind event for Family Policy Alliance, but with its success we hope to repeat the event in states nationwide. Be on the lookout for a similar forum in your state!