Connect with us

Kansas

In the political shadow of Trump, a Kansas felon runs for Congress • Kansas Reflector

Published

on

In the political shadow of Trump, a Kansas felon runs for Congress • Kansas Reflector


Call it trickle-down politics.

On Monday, just hours before the filing deadline, a Topeka man with a violent criminal history submitted the paperwork necessary to run for Congress.

“The majority of Kansas is probably going to vote for a felon for president,” said the newly minted candidate, Michael Allen Ogle, as quoted by KSNT. “So I figured why not take my shot, and you can vote for two if you want.”

How neatly Ogle summed up a cynical — and dangerous — campaign strategy. What recently would have been beyond the pale is now embraced, after Donald Trump’s May 30 convictions in the New York hush money trial, as street cred for politicians. The bar just keeps getting lower in American politics. If it gets much lower, we’ll all be in the gravel pit with Cricket.

Advertisement

Ogle is among five GOP hopefuls vying to fill the 2nd District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, who is not seeking reelection. The district represents most of eastern Kansas, with the exception of portions of the Kansas City metro area and Lawrence. There are also two Democrats running, including Nancy Boyda, who held the seat for one term, until 2009.

Ogle pleaded guilty to aggravated domestic battery for choking a family member and interference with a law enforcement officer after a drunken Christmas morning domestic dispute in 2019 at his Topeka home, according to court records. Police had been summoned by a family member who said Ogle was inside with children, had access to a handgun, and was making threats. Police subdued Ogle with rubber bullets and in the course of the arrest, according to reports, fatally shot one of his dogs because it was deemed a threat to officers.

An Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and a member of the Kansas Army National Guard who retired at the rank of major, Ogle is the service officer of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1650 in Topeka, according to the organization’s website. In the KSNT interview, he blamed the drunken Christmas morning domestic dispute on his inability to adjust to civilian life following his overseas deployment.

Ogle did not respond to requests to talk with me about the incident.

But on a recent social media post, he disputed KSNT’s reporting.

Advertisement

“Yesterday KSNT news reported that I had choked my wife,” Ogle said in a video posted to Facebook on June 5. “I did not say that. What I said was the physical evidence did not match up with me choking anybody on Christmas morning of 2019 given the fact that I am, or was, a United States Army combative instructor.”

Does that mean if he meant to choke someone, they’d be dead? Or at least signs of major trauma? In the video, he doesn’t elaborate, but that’s sure what it sounds like. And where’s the remorse? He says he pleaded guilty only in order to settle the criminal case and be allowed to see his children.

“That is a choice I had to make during COVID and the suspension of the Constitution of the United States and the suspension of the Constitution of the State of Kansas,” Ogle said in the video. “These are realities when we depart, people have to make horrible decisions when our government departs from the Constitution.”

In the post, Ogle asserted “the courts are not just corrupt in New York, the courts are corrupt everywhere.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump walks to speak to the media after being found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024, in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. Trump has now become the first former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes. (Pool photo by Seth Wenig/Getty Images)

While he stopped short of declaring his own case was corrupt, he didn’t have to. The implication is clear. He pleaded guilty but, you know, he wasn’t really guilty, because he just couldn’t fight the system and he took the hit for his kids’ sake.

Advertisement

Court records indicate Ogle spent 55 days in jail and, after entering the guilty plea, was given a two-year suspended sentence. He was advised of the prohibition against carrying a firearm. He was discharged from probation a year early. He told KSNT he hopes for an expungement of his record.

Those convicted of state or federal felonies are barred from voting in Kansas, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, unless their civil rights have been restored upon completion of their sentence. Felons are not prohibited from running for federal office, however, because the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of a disqualification for criminal history. Article 1 says representatives must be at least 25 years old, have been a citizen for seven years and live in the state they seek to represent.

Ogle has run for office before. In 2013, he won 32% of the vote as a Libertarian candidate for Topeka mayor. Although Ogle lost, the Libertarian Party of Kansas considered his numbers a win.

“Mike, with the guidance of his campaign manager Bob Cooper, ran a highly professional, spirited and organized campaign,” state party chairman Al Terwelp said. “The Ogle campaign did the LPKS proud. Mike ran on a great platform of issues that expressed the positive solutions Libertarians can bring to local government.”

I’ll bet the Libertarians are glad Ogle switched parties.

Advertisement

There is no hint of professionalism or a platform built on issues in Ogle’s nascent GOP run. Instead, he has latched onto the politics of grievance and hitched his star to the fall of democracy.

There are some courts and judges that are, without a doubt, corrupt, even in Kansas. Bill W. Lyerla, a magistrate judge in Galena, pleaded guilty in 2016 to embezzlement. But to say American courts are corrupt everywhere defames the institution that, while flawed, represents the best hope for justice we’re likely to find while still walking the earth. Such an accusation, from a candidate for Congress, also panders to the Trump cult, is intellectually lazy, and flirts with the kind of political chaos that plagues much of the world.

Nobody likes losing. Whether it’s an election or a court case, losing has consequences that range from the irritating to the catastrophic. It can be a growth experience, if you let it. But if we don’t agree to a shared set of rules — if our candidates declare that courts and elections are rigged, that the only fair contest is one in which they win, then they are undermining democracy itself. Democracy is in the details — the shared rules that we agree to follow in order to be self-governing.

“Stay tuned,” Ogle tells us in another Facebook post. “The powers that be want me destroyed and are grasping at straws.”

Who does that sound like?

Advertisement

There is a good chance Ogle will be defeated in the Aug. 6 primary, perhaps by former Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Trump toady and the best-known of the GOP 2nd District candidates. But the damage has already been done because self-pitying felons have become emboldened to run for federal office, even in boring Kansas. And there is the terrifying possibility, however unlikely it seems now, that Ogle could win the primary and then the seat.

You could vote for two felons, if you want.

I should make a distinction here between violent felons, those like Ogle, and the many individuals who have been convicted of felony charges based on nonviolent crimes with no victim, such as possession of marijuana, in the Sunflower State. Bring that Rocky Mountain high back with you from Colorado and you’re likely to lose your voting rights, too, if convicted.

There is also the matter of historical figures who were imprisoned for nothing more than stating their beliefs, and there is no better (or I should say worse) example of this than Eugene V. Debs.

Debs was a Socialist, a pacifist, a labor activist and a co-founder of the Wobblies. He was also a candidate for president five times. On his third try, in 1908, he gave a speech in Girard, Kansas, that became one of his best-known.

Advertisement

“When we are in partnership and have stopped clutching each other’s throats, when we have stopped enslaving each other,” Deb said, “we will stand together, hands clasped, and be friends.”

Socialist leader and labor activist Eugene V. Debs makes a speech in front of a crowd. He was later jailed. (Library of Congress)

Debs gave that speech in Girard because it was the home of the Appeal to Reason, a Socialist newspaper that had, in 1910, more than half a million subscribers. The Appeal’s writers included Debs, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Mother Jones and Helen Keller, among others. Its readership declined after the first world war, but it’s difficult to overestimate its influence on early 20th Century political thought in America.

He was also called a “traitor” by President Woodrow Wilson for his opposition to America’s involvement in World War I.

In 1916, Debs made a speech at Canton, Ohio, in which he urged resistance to the draft.

“They have always taught you that it is your patriotic duty to go to war and slaughter yourselves at their command,” Debs said. “You have never had a voice in the war. The working class who make the sacrifices, who shed the blood, have never yet had a voice in declaring war.”

Debs was charged with sedition and found guilty.

Advertisement

At his sentencing hearing, Debs delivered a moving plea.

“Your honor, I ask no mercy, I plead for no immunity,” he said. “I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never more fully comprehended than now the great struggle between the powers of greed on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of freedom. I can see the dawn of a better day of humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time, they will come into their own.”

Years before, Debs said, he had recognized his kinship with all living things and realized he was no better than the meanest among us.

“While there is a lower class, I am in it,” he said, “and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Debs was sentenced to 10 years in prison and disenfranchised from voting for life. He ran again for president, from his jail cell at the federal pen at Atlanta, and garnered about a million votes. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence to time served — and received Debs at the White House.

Advertisement

Debs died of heart failure in 1926, at the age of 70.

No matter what you think of Socialism — and in the early 1900s many Americans were talking Socialism, including here in Kansas — consider the power of his public statements while being prosecuted for speaking his conscience. He asks for no immunity, seeks no special favor and uses the opportunity only to plead his philosophy.

Contrast that with the whining, self-serving, grievance-filled utterances of Trump. The trial was rigged, the election was stolen. “I’m a very innocent man,” he sputters, as if there are degrees of innocence. His wailing is that of a political Grendel seeking to undo us with chaos, misdirected anger and vengeance. Horrible decisions must be made, the Trump chorus murmurs, ignoring the overwhelming evidence of his guilt. All is corrupt.

“Felons, Donald Trump should be an inspiration,” Ogle posted Thursday on Facebook. “Sometimes you have to stand tall and assert your self-worth no matter who would disparage.”

An inspiration?

Advertisement

Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from a Birmingham Jail is an inspiration. So are Aleksei Navalny’s final letters from a Russian prison. Nothing Trump has said or done comes close to being moving, profound, or exhibiting a hint of original thought. His Tweets are an embarrassment, his speeches incoherent, and his actions abhorrent.

We must free ourselves from the monsters that have come creeping from the political shadows. To drive them out, we must embrace the disinfecting sunlight of fact. The 2020 election was not stolen and Trump’s trial was not rigged. As for Ogle — well, I hope he finds some peace from whatever demons he brought back from his deployment. But nobody who has pleaded guilty to the felony of aggravated battery for choking his wife deserves a place in Congress.

Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. Through its opinion section, the Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own commentary, here.



Source link

Advertisement

Kansas

Chiefs React at Red Carpet and Super Bowl LVIII Ring Ceremony

Published

on

Chiefs React at Red Carpet and Super Bowl LVIII Ring Ceremony


The Kansas City Chiefs remain focused on chasing a potential three-peat, but the franchise took one final moment on Thursday to celebrate yet another successful season.

Following the conclusion of mandatory offseason minicamp, Kansas City held its second straight red carpet ceremony. They also revealed their Super Bowl LVIII rings, forever commemorating a historic moment in team history. While this event is nothing new to Andy Reid’s club, it’s something no one takes for granted given the challenge of routinely winning at the highest level.

Speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon, Reid shared his message to the team regarding the ring ceremony and the club’s mindset once it passes.

“I said that at the first minicamp or the first OTA, whatever you want to call it,” Reid said. “It goes by fast. Once you get through that parade, you’re kind of off and heading in the direction of the new season. But I don’t want to slight tonight, because there’s a lot that goes into that and there’s a lot of hard work that’s gone into it, and this is kind of the reward for it. But I think the guys know it’s going to be nice to get the ring, but they’ve moved on.”

Advertisement

Friday is for turning the page, but Thursday was for painting the town red (and gold). With that in mind, let’s take a look at some highlights from the red carpet and subsequent ring ceremony.

Travis Kelce shows up in style (and silence)

Reids on the red carpet

Chiefs brass chimes in on Kansas STAR bonds (THREAD)

Patrick Mahomes flashes his championship bling

Justin Reid shares an up-close look at his Super Bowl LVIII ring

Trent McDuffie has only known winning championships

Read More: Andy Reid Provides Mixed Update on Joe Thuney’s Injury Recovery





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Kansas

Kansas City mayor says impending sale of Country Club Plaza ready to happen

Published

on

Kansas City mayor says impending sale of Country Club Plaza ready to happen


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Business owners are excited about the impending sale of the Country Club Plaza. The Kansas City mayor said the sale is ready to happen.

Some store owners have been located on the Plaza for years, others are thinking about filling a vacant storefront with word of the sale.

Mayor Quinton Lucas calls it one of the most exciting things bound to happen in Kansas City this year.

In spite of being well beyond the Dallas based buyer’s original goal of closing the deal by the end of 2023, Lucas said it will happen soon.

Advertisement

“It is imminent, it is impending and it’s exciting,” Lucas said.

“Everybody’s excited about this sale,” owner of Larissa’s Plaza Tailor Shop Michael Naumov said.

For more than 20 years, Naumov and his family have owned Larissa’s Plaza Tailor Shop. He said several vacant store fronts now plague the plaza.

“I don’t think I’ve seen this many empty stores, since Houston’s closed and Zacolo’s closed, and Chuy’s closed, “and a lot of restaurants closing and leaving,” he said.

He hopes the impending sale of the Plaza means new life and more foot traffic.

Advertisement

“We’re a small independent family-owned business. So, for us it’s a little easier,” Naumov said. “for more corporate bigger stores, restaurants it’s a lot hard, it definitely affects it.”

Lucas said the deal will be signed soon.

He went to Dallas in the spring to mee with the owners of Highland Park Village, the potential buyers. Lucas said people can expect the ownership group to bring back unique brands and local businesses, along with more office space and housing.

“I think exciting for us to be able to say how can we look at a regeneration of retail opportunities, dining opportunities, or public safety, which the group, Highland Park Village in Dallas, has spent a lot of time working on, and I really think it really will be a public private partnership.”

He also believes public safety will be a priority.

Advertisement

“I think it really will be a public-private partnership, not just in funding and looking at any type of support that they may look at from the city of Kansas City, but also, in how we can do safety better, how through more private security, working closely with KCPD, to make sure everyone can feel safe when they’re on the Country Club Plaza,” Lucas said. “So I think this is one of the most exciting things that is bound to happen in Kansas city this year.”

Domhnall Molloy is a co-owner of the Summit Restaurant Group. They just opened a ninth restaurant in the Kansas City metro and own eateries like 3rd Street Social and Summit Grill.

He said they’ve looked at the plaza a few times, but never made the jump due to expensive hurdles that worked against them.

Molloy said he’s hopeful that could change with new ownership of the Plaza.

“Hopefully with the new ownership, maybe they’ve got a better deal, and they’re able to make rent more aligned with the market and hopefully we can get some more independent restaurants back on the Plaza,” Molloy said.

Advertisement

“I definitely just want to see more businesses,” Naumov said, “less empty stores.”

He’s looking forward to a change in ownership of the Plaza.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Kansas

The 5 NFL teams with the worst record ever against the Kansas City Chiefs

Published

on

The 5 NFL teams with the worst record ever against the Kansas City Chiefs


The Kansas City Chiefs have dominated a lot of teams in recent years, but who have they played the best against?

Let’s look at who they have the best records against, according to Pro Football Reference.

Younger Chiefs fans might not remember this but for 25 years, the Seahawks resided in the AFC West and therefore played the Chiefs frequently. In 2002 when the Texans entered the NFL, divisions had to be reworked and the Seahawks were sent to the NFC West.

None of that changes the fact that the Chiefs have had tremendous success against the Seahawks during their history, owning a .642 winning percentage against Seattle. The Chiefs have won four of their last five match-ups against the Seahawks with the most recent win coming on Christmas Eve in 2022 (a 24-10 victory), which was the only time these two had ever played each other on a Saturday.

Advertisement

The Chiefs don’t play the Falcons very often since they’re in different conferences but when they have met up, it’s been all Chiefs. KC holds a winning percentage of .700 against the Falcons and have won 70% of their match-ups against Atlanta.

The Chiefs are riding a two-game win streak against the Falcons with their latest victory coming in 2020. It was a narrow 17-14 win. The last time the Falcons took down the Chiefs was in the season opener of the 2012 season when Atlanta blasted KC to the tune of a 40-24 victory. It’s been all Chiefs ever since though.

Sticking in the NFC South, the Chiefs have had plenty of success against the Panthers, posting a .714 winning percentage and a 5-2 record over Carolina. The two have only played each other seven times due to the Panthers entering the league in 1995 and residing in the NFC.

The Chiefs are riding a three-game win streak over the Panthers, which started in 2012. Every win has been by six points or fewer though so it’s not like the Chiefs have just demolished Carolina every time the two have met up.

Second on the list is the Cardinals, who the Chiefs own a .750 winning percentage over and have won 10 games against while only dropping three (and recording a rare tie, which oddly enough happened in the two franchise’s first-ever meeting against each other). The Chiefs have won two in a row against Arizona with the most recent win coming in the season opener of the 2022 season.

Advertisement

The last time the Chiefs lost to the Cardinals was in the 2014 season and it was a close 17-14 defeat. The Chiefs ended up missing the playoffs by one game that year so a lot of fans circled that game as the reason why KC didn’t make the postseason that year.

The team that the Chiefs have had the most success against in the NFL is none other than the Washington Commanders. They own a .909 winning percentage against the Commanders franchise and have only dropped one game to them ever and that happened in 1983 when Washington was good and the Chiefs were bad.

Since that loss, the Chiefs have won eight straight games against Washington. The most recent win came in 2021 when Kansas City handled the Commanders with ease, winning 31-13.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending