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Topic: Department of Labor (KDOL)

Ardena Matlack

Interview of Ardena Matlack, April 8, 2021

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
Ardena Matlack describes the Kansas House of Representatives in the 1970’s when so few women were in the Kansas Legislature. Additionally, her second term she experienced being in the majority as a Democrat—something that seldom occurred. While in the majority, she started on the Federal and State Affairs committee as Vice-Chair, and moved up to chair the committee the second year of her term. The committee dealt with the ERA, abortion, liquor and a host of controversial issues. She also served on the Judiciary committee. Her discussion of gerrymandering shows the difficulty in dealing Show Morewith reapportionment that led to her husband losing his Senate seat and encouraging her to run for the House. She also dealt with environmental issues and water issues, particularly in Sedgwick County. Matlack worked with Treasurer Joan Finney to get the first Unclaimed Property law passed. Show Less

Interview of Mike O'Neal, April 16, 2021

Interviewed by Alan Conroy
Former Speaker Mike O'Neal's interview covers his 28 years in the Kansas House and his impact as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee on the Kansas legal system, both criminal and civil. In fact, O'Neal chaired the House Judiciary Committee three different times totaling 13 years and also served as Chairman of the House Education Committee and a redistricting committee in 2002. He has been involved with workers compensation issues and medical malpractice. O'Neal explains his own evolution in thinking as he, and his constituents, became more conservative. He candidly discusses his race for Speaker of the Show MoreHouse and compares the leadership styles of other speakers with whom he served. O'Neal left the House in 2012 after finishing his second term as Speaker to take a position with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce as its chief executive officer. After four years with the Kansas Chamber he retired to open his own legal consulting and governmental relations firm, O'Neal Consulting, LLC. Show Less

Interview of Gary Sherrer, October 15, 2021

Interviewed by Mike Matson
Gary Sherrer was a debater and it changed his life. His reflections on growing up in Topeka, winning a debate scholarship to Kansas State Teachers College and then teaching for eight years are the perfect backdrop to his later achievements. His association with the Graves Trucking Company and soon-to-be-Governor Bill Graves paved the way for him to become Bill Graves' Lt. Governor. Sherrer won the respect of many Kansas leaders, including Henry Bubb and Jordan Haines, two preeminent bankers who recruited him to the banking industry as chief marketing officer, and later, lobbyist when multi-bank holding company Show Morelegislation was pending. His debate skills served him well as a lobbyist, enabling the controversial bill to pass by one vote. He developed the Leadership Kansas model to train leaders. He knew how to solve community problems and displayed those skills as Secretary of Commerce for Governor Graves. One of his proudest accomplishments was the STAR bonds project in Wyandotte County, with Mayor Carol Marinovich. The interview is replete with examples of programs he developed or guided to fruition. It is interesting to read all the anecdotes about the political scene. Show Less
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