We have two items of interest from Kansas — the flat Earth state. The first involves a long-time favorite of this blog — Kathy Martin. You remember her from the Kansas evolution hearings back in 2005, when the Kansas State Board of Education, led by Kathy Martin and Connie Morris, actually decided to re-define the meaning of science in Kansas so that it would also include supernatural phenomena — thus allowing creationism to be taught in science class.
Kathy has been running for the Kansas House of Representatives 64th District seat, which is being vacated by retiring state Representative Vern Swanson. As we reported here — Kathy Martin Has Another Opponent –Vern’s wife, Susie Swanson, had entered the Republican primary and was running against Kathy. Susie is a social worker, and we don’t know what she thinks about evolution — or anything else.
The primary was scheduled for 05 August, and although we’re a couple of days late in finding the news, we can now report what happened. The results are in the Clay Center Dispatch of Clay Center, Kansas, where we read Primary wins. It’s a one-paragraph story that covers two different elections. Only the first sentence interests us:
Susie Swanson posted a narrow win over Kathy Martin for the 64th District Kansas House seat in last night’s primary contest.
So long, Kathy. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
But wait — there’s more Kansas news. The Lawrence Journal-World of Lawrence, Kansas has this headline: Moderates keep control of Kansas state education board. They say, with bold font added by us:
A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans is almost certain to keep control of the Kansas State Board of Education following Tuesday’s primary elections, education groups say, which means the board will likely stay on its present course of implementing new national standards for reading, math and science.
In Kansas, a “moderate” is someone who isn’t totally insane about issues like sex and religion. The “conservatives” are not only creationists, they probably also want to mandate chastity belts on all females, to be briefly unlocked on rare occasions by the local preacher if he’s persuaded that it’s for a good religious reason. Then we’re told:
Moderates currently hold a 7-3 advantage over conservatives on the state board, although some of the conservatives support the new standards as well. Five of the 10 seats are up for election this year — two held by moderate Republicans; two held by conservatives; and one held by a Democrat.
Yes, Kansas has been experiencing a brief period of educational sanity. What happened in the recent primary election? They say:
There were contested primaries in both of the moderate Republican seats, and moderates won both races. The two conservatives face no opposition for re-election this year. The one Democrat up for re-election, Janet Waugh of Kansas City, had no primary but faces a Republican challenger in the general election. As a result, observers say, the moderate coalition is guaranteed to keep at least a 6-4 advantage even if Waugh were to lose her general election. Otherwise, the split will remain 7-3.
Okay, that explains the headline — moderates will retain control. There’s a lot more information in the story, including some discussion of the Common Core education standards — which seem secure in Kansas for now.
What do we learn from all this? For the next couple of years, we won’t be seeing any wars against evolution in Kansas — at least not launched by the State Board of Education. But there’s always another election, so the forces of lunacy may take over again. When it comes to creationism, Kansas is just like Louisiana — but without the Southern charm.
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