Kansas City - New conservative newspaper, "The Citizen," debuts in print and online

My recent Email.  Click here to read the following message as a Web page.

Benjamin Hodge

Kansas GOP Delegate, 2009-’10
Kansas Representative, 2007-’08
JCCC Trustee, 2005-’09
Web site: BenjaminHodge.com
Phone:  (913) 259-4236
Email: [email protected]

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Citizen, Kansas City:  “We are a much-needed balance to the regional media landscape and a provocateur.  We are not passive — nor should you be.”

The 1st edition: Available online and in print

A great new source for news just arrived in the Greater Kansas City area:  The Citizen, a monthly print newspaper that will be distributed at many of the same places where you will find papers suchasInk or The Pitch or The Metro Voice.  An estimated 35,000 Kansas Citians will read the print edition.

You can read all the articles at the great-looking Web site:  KC.Citizen-Publications.com.

KCPT’s Nick Haines (right) talks about The Citizen on this weekend’s “Kansas City Week in Review.”  Click here to watch “Week in Review” atKCPT’s Web site (scroll about 23 minutes into the show).

If you want to see exactly what the print edition looks like,click here or on the image at right to view a PDF version of “the real thing.”  You can “right click” and choose “save as” to download the document to your computer.

Its mission, from the “About” page:

Our Mis­sion:

  • The Cit­i­zen pro­vides news, opin­ion and a voice for read­erscom­mit­ted to lib­erty and freedom.
  • We are a much-needed bal­ance to the regional media land­scape and a provo­ca­teur.  We are not pas­sive – nor should you be.
  • We think for our­selves and under­stand that inde­pen­dencecar­ries respon­si­bil­ity – to help cre­ate a more edu­cated, more active civic con­ver­sa­tion. We want our read­ers to read, to learn, and, ulti­mately, to act.
  • Finally, we report using all the facts avail­able, but we don’t stop there. We intend to moti­vate our read­ers and our electedoffi­cials to action. We are in this to change things.

I encourage you to connect with The Citizen on Facebook by clicking here or on the image at right.

In this edition of The Citizen, I’ve written a column about the newly-formed Johnson County Charter Commission (think of the county charter as a Constitution for Johnson County).  You can click here to read the column online.

Here is part of my column:

“Thir­teen peo­ple may dra­mat­i­cally shape a county of 550,000 res­i­dents in the com­ing months. Thir­teen is amajor­ity of 25, the num­ber of peo­ple on the John­son CountyChar­ter Com­mis­sion, which begins to meet in February.

The county char­ter – think of it as a con­sti­tu­tion for the county – was put into effect by vot­ers in 2000. A 25-member Char­ter Com­mis­sion is legally required to meet every 10 years. After a series of pub­lic meet­ings, the group can vote on vir­tu­ally any idea. Char­ter amend­ments approved by amajor­ity vote are placed on the bal­lot – in this case,Novem­ber 2012.

The com­mis­sion is a mixed bag for tax­pay­ers, with a lot ofpoten­tial, both good and bad. Among policy-makers andpoliti­cians – I’ve been one – there’s a com­mon ten­dency “to do things for the vot­ers,” whether these things need to be done or not. I doubt this group will choose to keep the char­ter exactly how it is today.

ben hodgeThe ques­tion, then: Will char­ter changes make county gov­ern­ment more account­able to voters?


Good news: My under­stand­ing is that all Char­ter Com­mis­sionmeet­ings are sub­ject to the pro­vi­sions of the Kansas Open Meet­ings Act. Also, the com­mis­sion is required to hold at least one pub­lichear­ing to receive input from cit­i­zens. Con­tact the John­son Countygov­ern­ment at 913-715-0450 for con­stituent services.”

You can click here to read the rest of the column.

Once again, here is the link to the Web site, and here is the link to the PDF version of the print edition.  Thanks for letting me tell you about this great new publication.

Hodge’s goals at Johnson County Community College:

  1. Protect free speech and other student rights, including privacy rights.
  2. Change the election format to seven districts, from the current at-large method.  State law allows community colleges to choose their methods of election.  It merely takes a majority vote by the seven-member board to change to seven districts (six districts and one at-large).  This would provide for better representation for voters in this populous county.
  3. Restore the college’s regional and national reputation.
  4. Open budgets and open bidding.  This is the taxpayers’ college and the taxpayers’ money.

What Others Are Saying About Hodge

“We applaud you…” — Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a national First Amendment rights group

“Mr. Hodge, thanks for being on the right side…” — Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor”

“Hats go off to Ben Hodge for having the courage to not back down in the face of elitist criticisms and for pressing forward.” — Regional editorial news site ” Kaw and Border ”

A “Champion of the Taxpayer” — Americans for Prosperity

“Good job, Ben Hodge….” — Kansas City Star editorial board member Yael Abouhalkah, after HodgechallengedJCCC’s leadership on following the state open meetings laws

“A first-class political mind.” — Johnson County Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, 5th District

A “champion of open meetings and open records” and “committed to transparency” — Gardner News editorial board

“Benjamin Hodge deserves support” — former JCCC employee Tammy Clem

A “Pro-jobs Legislator” — Kansas Chamber of Commerce

“Every governing body from top to bottom needs at least one member who will stand up for the taxpayers, and Benjamin Hodge is that person [at JCCC].” — The Gardner News editorial board

91% Lifetime Rating — Kansas Taxpayers Network
About Hodge:

Hodge served a four-year term on the JCCC Board after receiving in April 2005 what remains a record high total number of votes for the community college election.  2005 was the year in which the typical 10% voter turnout in April elections expanded to 30%, and on the ballot were the state-wide marriage amendment and Overland Park Mayor’s election (without former Mayor Ed Eilert, for the first time in 25 years).  He narrowly lost re-election in 2009, when the voter turnout was 9.4%.  Hodge has also served in the Kansas House of Representatives and as a delegate to the state Kansas Republican Party.

Hodge graduated from Shawnee Mission East high school, Kansas State University, and has completed the Master’s Degree in Business program at UMKC.  You can learn more about Hodge at the “Background” section of his Web site.

You’re encouraged to connect with Hodge online:


Connect with Benjamin Hodge at FacebookTwitterLinkedInThe 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 NRAKansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).


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