Editorial Commentary: Ken Ciboski

Political commentator Ken Ciboski stands just right of center and offers a common-sense view of politics today.

Ken Ciboski's editorial commentary is also available on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

Ciboski: We Have a $290,000,000 Hole to Fill

May 4, 2016

The state of Kansas has a $290 million budget hole to fill.

All 165 state legislators are up for election this year, so the Legislature adjourned without finding a more permanent fix to recurring revenue shortages and left it up to Gov. Sam Brownback to make necessary spending cuts.

Kansas made the the front page of The New York Times this past week as the fiery battle to reshape the Kansas Supreme Court and make it more accountable to a conservative-leaning public is heating up.

The Republican National Convention to choose a candidate for president will be held in Cleveland in July. There is no presumed nominee, and there has been no contested convention since 1948. Three candidates, Senator Ted Cruz, Governor John Kasich, and businessman Donald Trump, remain in the race. The Chairperson of the Convention’s Rules Committee, Bruce Ash of Tucson, Arizona, thinks that Cruz and Trump will most likely be the two candidates put forward as nominees at the Convention, but that could change.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the Senate Judiciary committee’s refusal to consider an appointment by President Obama to replace him is provoking ongoing debate.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has produced a more immediate and intense focus on the idea that elections have consequences. One consequence is the kind of federal judicial appointments a winning candidate for president is likely to make. This is why there is the issue of whether or not President Obama should make an appointment to the Supreme Court or leave it to the winner of the 2016 presidential election. 


Governor Sam Brownback suffered political defeat this past week. The governor wants the power to appoint Supreme Court justices with the approval of the Kansas Senate. The Kansas House of Representatives could muster only 68 of the 84 votes needed for the governor’s proposal to go to the Senate and eventually to the voters of Kansas.

The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is creating fears of long-lasting class divisions within the party that may be difficult to heal following the nomination of its presidential candidate.

The Kansas State legislature convened this week. 


A move is on the way to have a “Convention of States” meet to amend our Constitution. Article V of the Constitution states that on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states, Congress shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments which, if ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by Conventions in three fourths of the states, would then become a valid part of our Constitution. Of course, Congress may not honor a request for a Convention.

What is becoming of the middle class in America, and why should we care?

The Pew Research Center’s latest study of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors confirms that the American middle class is no longer the economic majority, a position it held for more than four decades.