Editorials

New Year’s resolutions for Josh Hawley, Andy Reid, Pat Roberts and more

Political consultants’ role in Hawley’s AG office raise concerns

Consultants worked to raise Josh Hawley's national profile and helped direct the state office's work, records show.
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Consultants worked to raise Josh Hawley's national profile and helped direct the state office's work, records show.

Not content to make only our own resolutions for 2019, we had a few thoughts for New Year’s resolutions for several well-known Kansans and Missourians, too:

Missouri Senator-elect Josh Hawley should resolve to come clean about the political consultants who handed out assignments to and ran workday conference calls for state employees in his attorney general’s office. Before 2019 dawns, he should apologize for describing The Star’s original reporting on this potentially illegal abuse of public office as “one of the most absurdly false stories that I’ve ever read.” As emails have since confirmed, what he no doubt meant to say is that it was true in every detail. And that despite his words and actions to the contrary, he intends to make his promise to fight to protect insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions a reality in the new year.

Gov. Mike Parson should resolve to continue serving all Missourians, as he’s done so far. That means avoiding the mean-spirited, punish-the-poor approach that too many of his fellow conservatives continue to mistake for strength. That also means outlawing job and housing discrimination against LGBTQ Missourians, both as a matter of simple fairness and recognition that a lot of companies would never choose to locate in a state where some but not all employees are protected from discrimination under the law. It also means being open to new ideas, such as accepting the Ameren donation of a 144-mile hiking and biking trail that would be enjoyed by generations to come.

Kansas Republicans should resolve to forget all about adopting a new school funding scheme, since starting over from scratch would be a giant waste of time and a disservice to Kansas kids.

Missouri Republicans should resolve to heed the will of the voters when it comes to cleaning up state government. That includes a new way of drawing state legislative districts that will reduce the impact of political gerrymandering.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts should resolve to call it a career and go out on something of a high note with the passage of the farm bill. That he worked with Democrats to accomplish this has infuriated conservatives, of course. But he should consider that a sort of commendation.

All of those running to succeed Kansas City Mayor Sly James should resolve to come up with comprehensive plans to reduce violent crime, address the affordable housing crisis and rein in spiraling utility costs.

UMKC’s new chancellor, Mauli Agrawal, should do everything possible to right the wrongs that happened on campus before he started his new job, including a professor’s reported use of “slave labor” from Indian graduate students afraid of losing their visas. A good leader recognizes that the fact an offense predated him doesn’t mean it’s erased from history.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid should resolve to take a good, hard look at his loyalty to defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.

And all of our sports teams should resolve to do whatever it takes to impress on players that violence against a partner — or a stranger, for that matter — will no longer be winked at, hidden, played down or written off. Enabling an abuser doesn’t help anybody.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this editorial referred to children sleeping in Kansas child welfare offices. The Kansas Department for Children and Families no longer permits that practice.

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