Interview of August (Gus) Bogina, February 6, 2018
Interviewed by H. Edward (Ed) Flentje
In this 2018 oral history interview, former State Senator August (Gus) Bogina discusses his service in the Kansas Legislature, focusing on his 14 years in the Senate. Bogina reflects on his relationships with Senate leaders and governors during his 11 sessions as Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Bogina also describes his storied ride with the Highway Patrol when he was brought back from Johnson County following bypass surgery to cast the deciding vote on the water plan funding. A version of this interview is also posted on KansasMemory.org, the website of the Kansas Historical Society.
Interview of Darlene Cornfield, October 9, 2020
Interviewed by Patty Clark
Former State Representative Darlene Cornfield reflects on her six sessions in the Kansas House representing the 90th House District (Sedgwick Co.). She describes the issues that come back year after year and the challenges faced by a new legislator. She identifies the difficulties faced by conservatives at a time when the Republican party was undergoing an ideological change. Cornfield observes that the citizen legislature is most effective but did not favor term limits.
Interview of Jack Euler, April 22, 2015
Interviewed by Burdett Loomis
Jack Euler talks about his ten years in the Legislature and the formal and informal leadership dynamics he witnessed. Euler notes the changes in the Legislature that began with initial implementation of the one person, one vote principle as the basis for legislative districts rather than the county-based system that had existed since statehood. He describes how redistricting gradually changed the urban-rural dynamic of the House. Euler also reflects on the influence of lobbyists on both legislation and leadership in the House.
Interview of Robert (Bob) Miller, November 9, 2017
Interviewed by H. Edward (Ed) Flentje
Former Speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives, Robert (Bob) Miller recalls his many years of service to the State. He describes his involvement with the Young Republicans at K-State, his first campaign to represent his area of Sumner County, and moving up through the ranks in the House despite not having ambition for any other elected position. Miller reflects on his sometimes arms-length relationships with fellow House members and with lobbyists. From his position as chair of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee he oversaw the development of implementing legislation for liquor-by-the-drink, parimutuel wagering, and Show Morethe State Lottery by building subject-matter expertise within the committee. Miller describes instances when legislators' positions on policy issues did not break along purely partisan nor on purely urban-rural lines. He also witnessed the early development of what eventually became the conservative movement in the Legislature. A version of this interview is also posted on KansasMemory.org, the website of the Kansas Historical Society. Show Less
Interview of Jene Vickrey, September 11, 2020
Interviewed by Alan Conroy
Jene Vickrey talks candidly about his first campaign (where he narrowly defeated then-Speaker Marvin Barkis) as having not much money but "a lot of shoe leather." He discusses his political mentors, Melvin Neufeld and Tim Shallenburger and the advice they gave him in the early years, about lobbyists and handling hot-button issues. He learned not only from his mentors, but other colleagues who helped him, some of whom were Democrats. The interview covers bills he sponsored, many of which were pro-life legislation. He describes the "tough challenges" such as foster care systems (he was a foster Show Moreparent), school finance and taxes. He didn't support casino gambling although his constituents were in favor of it. The interview concludes with Vickrey reflecting on the changes he saw in 28 years, the growth in the number of conservatives and a loosening of the control of the House from leadership to the body itself by rules changes for more transparency as well as becoming more partisan. Show Less
Interview of Carolyn Campbell, March 25, 2022
Interviewed by Eric. Sexton
Mrs. Campbell, as she is known around the Statehouse, has experienced an important part of state history in Kansas government. Following her 1991 retirement from Southwestern Bell, she has served countless numbers of elected legislators; then using that experience , she became an elected official in her own right in local and state school board positions. becoming the first African American to serve on the Kansas Board of Education. Mrs. Campbell started her interview with this: "I am a proud product of segregation. I tell that because folks sometimes think, “Oh, that’s too bad,” Show Morebut I want everybody to know that as a black child in Topeka with the four all-black elementary schools that we had, we got excellent education, and we were told that we could be whatever we wanted to be, and we were valued every day. " This interview covers her experiences as a 12 year member of the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education, and later her eight year term as a member of the State Board of Education where she was the first African American elected to this post. Show Less