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Dear Joy:

What an amazing welcome I’ve had in District 28! I had underestimated the extent to which this district was clamoring for real representation and accountability. The people I meet are excited to have a sensible, moderate person represent them in Topeka. It’s amazing what happens when someone offers public service as an alternative to politics-as-usual!
Thank you to Bank of Blue Valley CEO Bob Regnier for agreeing to be the Treasurer for my campaign and to the Blue Valley Post for writing an article about my filing and posting a photo of me with my grandson Arthur and granddaughter Iola Mae. They were with me when I filed at the election office and were so proud of their grandma!
Let’s bring some Joy for Kansas:

Joy for Kansas is on a roll: 
  • Attended the Stand Up Blue Valley Community Forum: How Does Your Vote Impact Our Schools?
  • I attended a BV school board meeting and plan to go to more in the future. 
  • Blue Valley School District informational meetings with:
    • Interim Superintendent Al Hanna
    • Deputy Superintendent Mike Slagle
    • Finance Guru Jenni Newell
    • General Counsel John Vratil
  • I have been meeting with principals and touring schools, which will continue in the coming weeks. This month I visited with Principal Doris Moore at Overland Trail Elementary School, the most diverse school in the Blue Valley district where students come from all over the world and speak 22 languages. This complex diversity adds richness to our vibrant schools that should be fostered and supported on all levels.
  • I’ll be at the Blue Valley Educational Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration at Prairie Fire Museum on March 3rd.

About the 28th District

Voter Resources

Legislative Information

Contact Joy
3310 W. 137th St
Leawood, KS 66224
Save the Date! 
Please join us at a meet and greet in your neighborhood. If none of these dates work for you and your friends, consider having your own meet and greet at your home. I travel well! Just give me a shout and we’ll get something on the calendar (
  • Monday, Feb 29, 7 pm: Judie Becker, 4800 W. 138th St., Leawood
  • Mar 1, 7 pm: Erica & Chris Massman, 5101 W. 129th Street, Overland Park
  • Mar 2, 5:30 pm: Barb & Ron Bronstein, 3608 W 122nd Terr, Leawood
  • Mar 9, 6 pm: Dr. Kim Kimminau, 4433 W 130th St, Leawood
  • Mar 30, 7 pm: Jay & Ellen Portnoy, 9615 W 116th Pl, Overland Park
  • Sunday, April 10, time TBA – David & Linda Cooper, 3513 W 128th Street, Leawood
Blue Valley Schools are always on top!
  • Congratulations to Blue Valley Northwest “We The People” team who won the Kansas WTP competition this week!
  • BV North and Northwest students make up one-quarter of the state’s U.S. Presidential Scholars!
  • Jill Holmes, computer science teacher at Aubry Bend Middle School was given Special Recognition from the New National Board Certified Teachers. She earned her certification in early adolescence through young adulthood: career and technical education.
  • Stefanie Hagemann, 5th grade teacher at Prairie Start Elementary School and Andrew Hulse, a science teacher at Blue Valley High School were presented with the 2016 Kansas Horizon Awards.
  • Amy Rogers, the principal’s administrative assistant at Blue River Elementary School and Janet Rousch, the principal’s administrative assistant at Blue Valley North High School were presented Distinguished Service Awards.
  • Linda Eagleton, an English Language Arts teacher at Blue Valley High School and Kala Pelate, the school counselor at Blue River Elementary School were both presented with the Excellence in Education Award.
Legislative Update
Judicial Selection
When Kansas became a state, all judges were elected. Due to rampant cronyism and corruption, Kansans voted in the 1950s to amend the Kansas Constitution to install a merit selection system for Supreme Court Justices. The Kansas Nominating Commission is required to be geographically diverse and include five attorneys and four citizens who review applicants for the Kansas Supreme Court.
  • The Commission submits three candidates for consideration by the governor, who appoints a new justice from that list.
  • If the governor is not satisfied with the options, s/he can return the list for further consideration.
  • When a justice is selected, they are held for retention election every six years, just like U.S. Senators.
This week, the legislature attempted to overturn the people’s vote for merit selection in favor of a return to the days of political patronage. The amendment to the Kansas Constitution would have allowed the governor to make a direct appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court, with confirmation by the Kansas Senate, a body which currently includes only two attorneys.
  • When I oppose direct gubernatorial appointment in this year’s elections, here’s what the opponent’s postcard will say:
    • “Joy Koesten won’t allow the people to vote!”
  • Don’t be fooled by this ruse. The reality: The People chose this process and said NO to corruption decades ago - it’s the current power structure in Topeka who wants to repeal the will of the voters!
Public Education
The K-12 Student Success Committee, of which my opponent is a member, issued a report at the beginning of the legislative session. It read like a campaign template for further eliminating local control and reducing our public schools to ashes,  supporting the concept of privatizing our education system.
The bulk of the report was lifted nearly verbatim from white papers developed by the radical think tanks Kansas Policy Institute and Americans for Prosperity. In fact, the report was so obviously biased, that House Appropriations Chairman Ron Ryckman asked for the report to be sent back for further consideration and a rewrite. Among the most egregious recommendations laid out in the report:
  • Legislative approval for every school district bond issue and required use of a state building architect. Can you imagine if Washington, DC had approval over when Kansas issued bonds? (See “Record Debt” below)
  • Consider alternatives to “mainstreaming” special needs students as their presence in the classroom may negatively impact other students.
  • The Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas School Superintendents Association, and the United School Administrators responded with a joint statement, which goes through the important points of the report.
Record Debt
The Governor continues to rob Peter to pay Paul during this session, taking funds from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and the Kansas Retirement System for Public Employees (KPERs) to fill the giant fiscal hole that has been made by giving senseless tax cuts.
You may have also heard that the Governor basically went down to the bank and applied for a $20 million loan to replace the Capitol area power plant, using the State building as collateral. We’ll pay interest only on these loans for years to come. By the time the legislature found out what he had done the construction contracts had already been signed! Now, delays cost the state thousands of dollars. This is how business is run now in Topeka. NO! There is nothing fiscally conservative about the way things are being managed in Topeka today. Won’t you help me change what's going on in Topeka? VOTE on August 2nd (or before by mail ballot).
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or comments about these or other legislative issues. I look forward to the opportunity to represent you!

At your service,

Dr. Joy Koesten, Candidate
Kansas House of Representatives
Serving Leawood and Overland Park
Copyright © 2016 Paid for by Joy for Kansas, Bob Regnier, Treasurer, All rights reserved.

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