To The Johnson County Sun's credit, one thing the left-wing paper always does is to offer an opportunity for all candidates for major races to write in their own words why they're running for office. The Sun asks a few questions, and candidates can write almost anything they want, under a certain number of words.
The responses from candidates for Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees were published this week. Mine are below. Read other candidates' replies here.
JCCC BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Name: Benjamin Hodge
Occupation: Publisher, regional economic conservative news site KansasProgress.com. Columnist at other print and online sources.
Education: Bachelor's degree, journalism, Kansas State
Political experience: Past Kansas Republican Party delegate, state representative, JCCC board member, county property rights committee chairman, Kansans for State and Local Reform PAC chairman
Why are you running for this position?
To protect the academic freedom of both students and employees. United States Judge Eric Melgren declared that JCCC illegally expelled students. I personally witnessed a business professor being punished for criticizing some Islamic nations.
A respected attorney with the Thomas More Law Center personally observed JCCC suppressing free speech of students who criticize radical Islam.
Also, to make the budget and videotaping of meetings more open to taxpayers.
If significant cutbacks had to be made in the college's budget, where would you be most likely to cut?
The easiest source of administrative waste is in regard to the numerous scandals. JCCC wasted enormous amounts of tax money after four women accused former President Charles Carlsen of sexual harassment, and Carlsen suddenly resigned. JCCC wasted tons of tax money while losing in federal court, after expelling four nursing students without due process.
Meanwhile, JCCC continues to provide high salaries to the administrators involved.
What will be your primary goals and priorities if elected?
The JCCC motto is "Learning Comes First." Let's try doing that.
The administration must treat all employees and all students with respect. That's not happening.
JCCC must also respect taxpayers, through transparency and through the efficient use of tax dollars.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters,the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).