Home/Topic: Abortion/
Refine Your Results
  • Interviewee

Topic: Abortion

lana oleen kansas senate

Interview of Lana Oleen, October 14, 2019

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
Lana Oleen, who represented Riley and Geary counties in the Kansas Senate, discusses her four terms in the Senate (1989-2004). Oleen focuses on the leadership approach she developed working within a closely divided caucus and during periods of divided state government. She cultivated her natural inclination to bring people together to find solutions to constituents’ problems and built upon skills first developed as a classroom teacher to rise through the ranks to become Senate Majority Leader.
women then and now project interviews

Steel Magnolias – Conversation with former Representatives Martha Jenkins, Ginger Barr, Nancy Brown, October 18, 2019

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
This conversation among four female legislators describes their experiences as friends and colleagues in the Kansas Legislature in the 1980's and early 1990's. The climate of the Legislature at that time encouraged women to make friendships across the aisle without worrying about political party. Republican women had formed a group called the Steel Magnolias, saying "we're all different but we come together when we need to get something done." The particular incident described in this short conversation was an attempt to defeat a budget proposal in retaliation for an abortion amendment. News coverage of the incident stated, Show More"GOP Women's gang of Eleven shows men their chauvinism can be costly." The conversation concludes with memories of their legislative service and favorite issues. Show Less
Dick Bond, Kansas

Interview of Richard (Dick) Bond, September 6, 2019

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
Former Senate President Dick Bond candidly discusses his 14 year career in the Kansas Senate which followed a 25 year career in Washington DC as chief of staff for 3 congressmen. Well known in Kansas Republican circles, Bond was appointed to fill a vacancy when Senator Jack Walker became Lieutenant Governor. Bond compares the politics of Washington to Kansas. He saw the passage of liquor-by-the-drink as a boon to economic development. Bond is most proud of the renovation to the Kansas Capitol which was started under his term as President of the Kansas Senate. He Show Morereflected on the changes in the Republican party in recent years and the role the Right to Life movement played in those changes. Show Less
Rochelle Chronister

Interview of Rochelle Chronister, January 22, 2015

Interviewed by Burdett Loomis
Rochelle Chronister quickly rose to a leadership position after her election in 1978. She was responsible for recruiting many Republican women to the legislature. She talks in the interview about her job as Assistant Majority Leader and recruitment. Her description of how the Appropriation committee works shows how she became interested in SRS from handling their budget, and that led to becoming Secretary of SRS under Governor Graves. There is one example of her research skills in developing a new program on mediation. She downsized SRS as Secretary and worked on changing the culture of Show Morea highly bureaucratic organization. She worked to ensure that her female colleagues were included and worked across the aisle on numerous measures. She concludes the interview by talking about her family and how they responded to her being away so much. She once chartered a plane to get home in time to attend her daughter's tea. That Chronister was an effective legislator and politician is clear from reading this interesting interview. Show Less
Christine Downey, Kansas

Interview of Christine Downey, August 2, 2019

Interviewed by Dale Goter
Former State Senator Christine Downey recalls her three terms in the Kansas Senate (1993-2004) during her 2019 oral history interview. With her background as a teacher, education issues were important to her as the era of school-funding litigation continued. She was involved in water-related policy making, in particular at the nexus of water quality and agricultural practices. She recalls her service in the Senate and on the Kansas Board of Regents first developing the policy and then implementing fundamental changes to the postsecondary education system. Ms. Downey discusses numerous instances of working across the aisle Show Moreto accomplish policy objectives that did not break on strict party lines. Show Less
tim emert kansas

Interview of Tim Emert, October 4, 2019

Interviewed by Jim McLean
Tim Emert's interview covers his Senate career in the last decade of the Twentieth century, following passage of a markedly different school finance bill in 1992 and with a divided Republican caucus in the Senate--a time of big change. Emert stepped into the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary committee immediately and later moved up to Majority Leader by a one-vote margin. The interview is filled with descriptions of coalitions he formed to get legislation passed. As Judiciary chair Emert dealt with both the death penalty, which he personally opposed, and a bill restricting late term abortions which Show Moreno one liked but passed. He worked with Christine Downey to get a major policy change regarding community colleges. There are also descriptions of his work on the State Board of Education and later, the Board of Regents. Emert describes himself as neither moderate or conservative, but "a realistic Republican." As Majority Leader he talks about the "juggling act" trying to keep communication with the conservative House Speakers (Shallenburger and Jennison) and the Senate. He explains the tension in having both the poorest and richest counties in his district and trying to provide equalization of school funding. The interview touches on the renovation of the Capitol and also renovation of Cedar Crest. Show Less
Mike Hayden, Kansas

Interview of Mike Hayden, June 13, 2018

Interviewed by H. Edward (Ed) Flentje
This 2019 oral history interview of former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden focuses on his service in the Kansas Legislature and his development as a politician and policy leader. Hayden shares anecdotes about his seven terms in the Kansas House, beginning with his quest to get then-Speaker Pete McGill to appoint him to the Advisory Council on Ecology and his speech on the floor of the House to kill the "mad dog" bill which did away with county welfare departments. The interview includes a discussion comparing the styles of various legislative leaders and what they taught him. Hayden's interest in water Show Morepolicy, conservation, and environmental education extended into his term as Governor. He championed public lands, an issue which he carried into his nine years as Secretary of Wildlife and Parks under three different governors. Hayden discusses the death penalty and many of the issues that were the basis for constitutional amendments under Governor Carlin and which Hayden handled as House Speaker. He also discusses the rising interest in abortion as the start of a more conservative, far-right movement. The interview includes many examples of how leaders with whom Hayden served framed the debate to their advantage. He concludes the interview by discussing the constant need to balance the state's interests with the those of local constituencies. Hayden saw his service in the Legislature as good training to run for Governor. Show Less
Jerry Karr, Kansas

Interview of Gerald (Jerry) Karr, May 11, 2017

Interviewed by Janice Huston
This interview of Senator Jerry Karr by Janice Huston for the Lyon County Historical Society is lengthy, but gives great insight into the 18 years Karr spent in the Kansas Senate. It also covers his academic career which preceded his election and delves into rural life in Kansas. It begins with his Sierra Leone experiences teaching agricultural economics and other teaching jobs in the Midwest. Karr was elected to the state Senate in 1980 which is the time the farm crisis started boiling over in Kansas. During those first 10 years he developed legislation addressing Show Morethe farm crisis, including changing the method of selecting the Secretary of Agriculture, altering the classification and reappraisal of land, and regulating corporate hog farming. His service on the Joint Rules and Regulations Administrative committee helped him shape agricultural policy. He became Minority Leader ten years after his first election. Redistricting in 1991 ended up in the courts and spelled the end of many rural Democrats. There are numerous examples of policy making, particularly the details about the 1992 school finance legislation that amplify others’ accounts of that legislation. His examples of effective leadership and effective campaigning will be of interest to many. The interview also covers communication with constituents in a large district and has anecdotes about issues leaders have to deal with. Karr covers just about all aspects of leading a caucus and life in the Senate in the 1980s and 1990s. Show Less
Audrey Langworthy, Kansas

Interview of Audrey Langworthy, October 18, 2019

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
This 2019 oral history interview of former Kansas State Senator Audrey Langworthy covers her first race to unseat long-time State Senator Norman Gaar, a race she won in 1984 and her four subsequent terms--a total of 16 years. Some of her new colleagues in the Senate steered her to the Assessment and Taxation Committee which she ultimately chaired and loved. Langworthy's tenacity comes through in the interview as she talks about the steep learning curve when she got to the Senate and to the Tax Committee. She received death threat letters after her vote on capital punishment which she sent Show Moreto the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. This interview includes an interesting discussion of strategy developed to pass the 1999 transportation plan and Langworthy's role in it. Her depiction of her views on leadership, her "personal first bill" on the Oregon Trail, and the Bi-state Cultural District bill are worth reading for insight into how Langworthy operated in the Senate and how the increase in the number of women Senators changed the culture of the Senate. Show Less
Janis Lee, Kansas

Interview of Janis Lee, October 14, 2019

Interviewed by Joan Wagnon
Former State Senator Janis Lee's 2019 oral history interview covered her 22 years in the Kansas Senate as well as several years on the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals (formerly the Board of Tax Appeals and later returned to that name). The interview covers many topics, including how she campaigned in a rural district that increased in area over those 22 years, driving as much as 45,000 miles in an election year. Lee developed expertise in tax issues that was important to the agriculture community and in funding rural schools. Water supply was an important issue in her district, Show Moreas was adapting federal regulations so they would work in rural communities. She witnessed the shift to a more conservative legislature and more anti-abortion legislation. Funding for schools dominated most sessions. Show Less
Go to Top