Strippergate ’98 and Paul Davis: Observations from the Scene

Kansas voters will soon go to the polls and decide who they want to govern our state for the next four years. The question is what criteria will be used to fill this position? While economic issues such as business, jobs, and taxes always weigh heavily in our state, Kansans, more often than not, attempt to find leadership through people of faith and good moral values.

In 1998, I was a member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. One of several jobs I performed within this multi-agency group was that of serving drug search warrants. I was on location at the Secrets lounge near Coffeyville, Kansas, when a drug raid snared current Democratic nominee for governor, Paul Davis.

The Secrets lounge was very seedy strip club, the kind of place a person needed a tetanus shot just to drive by. Prior to serving the warrant, the Drug Task Force had conducted a methamphetamine sale in the parking lot with the establishment’s owner, a client of Davis’s law firm. Initial contact officers at the scene referred to Davis as “The a-hole attorney.” At least one police report describes Davis as initially noncompliant and more than one officer stated that he was extremely arrogant. As Davis addresses this past issue today, some might say things have not changed.

The Paul Davis strip club incident in 1998 could never be a “non-issue,” not in the Kansas Bible Belt. However, it could have been a less perplexing issue for social-minded voters if the 2014 Democrat Gubernatorial candidate had simply offered the people two things: a reasonable account of his actions and an apology for doing what is obviously wrong. Instead, when it came to picking between the high road and the low road for explaining the strip club incident, Davis picked an even lower road and thus reinforced the definition of the “scumbag politician.”

Davis gave an official statement to Politico: “When I was 26 years old, I was taken to a club by my boss – the club owner was one of our legal clients. While we were in the building, the police showed up. I was never accused of having done anything wrong, but rather I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” If we critically analyze the Davis statement, we find it lacking. First, Davis acts as though he were a child being placed on the school bus by the principal for an ill-fated field trip. Does this ring true? Davis certainly grew up fast amidst the strippers at Secrets.

Second, Davis frames his presence at the strip club as part of a professional visit by saying the club owner was a legal client. This brings about the obvious questions as to why he was there in a pullover shirt and shorts and not in a suit with his law books in tow. Davis was found in the VIP room, a room where patrons enter after paying extra for a flesh-on-flesh session with a pleasure-worker. This is an overt action, not something everyone who gets a ride to the establishment receives. The going rate for the VIP room at Secrets in 1998 was twenty dollars. Did he pay the pleasure-worker (stripper) this fee or was the cost deducted from his firm’s legal fees? Davis should clarify the point.

Lastly, and most important of all, Davis says, “I was never accused of having done anything wrong, but rather I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” These statements are painfully Clintonesque in nature and should anger all Kansas voters, treating us as if we are morally and intellectually inferior. Most Kansans are clearheaded enough to know one does not have to be handcuffed and end up in federal prison, as did Davis’s drug-dealing client, to have done something wrong. Simply put, there is criminal wrong doing and moral wrongdoing. Has Davis forgotten he lives in the Bible Belt?

Truth is the biggest challenger to Paul Davis in his current political race. He did wrong back in 1998, and he refuses to clarify his actions on that night. More importantly, Davis refuses to apologize to the same constituency he is asking for votes. If elected, will Davis display this same arrogance and lack of accountability at the voter’s expense? Davis’s own recent quote that says “The best example of future behavior is past behavior” may be foreshadowing things to come if Kansans treat Strippergate 98 as just another little innocent night out.

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association’s 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact

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Topeka, Kansas, Unified School District 501 Places Sexual Deviancy on its Curriculum

Paul A. IbbetsonWhat part should schools play in the personal development of our children? Most parents naturally expect teachers and administrative staff to assist their children in learning important skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic, but we now know a child’s development goes far beyond the basics at school. Upon closer inspection, most parents recognize that schools often teach children additional skills, such as how to interact with others, follow rules, think critically, and in many cases, develop career aspirations for what their Mom’s and Dad’s hope will be a bright and happy future. All this instruction is positive and benefits our children. However, there is more still that students will learn.

If we pull out the microscope of reality and aim it at the classrooms of America, we will see that teachers and school staff are now modeling and teaching ethical and moral values to our children as well. Teachers model ethical values they support and then hold them up as important, as well as the social issues they talk about and those they withhold from classroom discussion. So while parents should hold the dominant role and have the right and responsibility for their children’s upbringing, when students are in school, they are greatly influenced by what happens in the classroom and all other aspects of daily school life.

With the amount of influence that teachers and school staff have on today’s children, is the school setting the proper place for exposing kids to the modern liberal’s pro-homosexual agenda? Should sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and all their expressions be placed front and center and included within the learning scheme of anti-discrimination discussions?

Well, liberals within the Topeka, Kansas Unified School District 501 have decided that sexual practices, including those considered deviant by the overwhelming majority of Americans should be part of each Kansas student’s educational experience. The Topeka School Board’s 6-1 vote to add sexual orientation, gender identity and its expression to its anti-discrimination policy does much more than simply make an attempt to dissuade bullying. It validates the activities. Their policy change makes a public statement that homosexuality and transgender activity is part of the same immutable qualities as those that define a person as being short or having black skin. I, for one, believe homosexuality and gender identity are life choices. The Judeo-Christian foundational belief system was for much of America’s history a common standard within academia.

From the lips of these Topeka School Board members, it is clear that they actually believe that introducing deviant sexual behavior to their list of actions protected by school policy is an act of compassion instead an act of academic debauchery. In the Topeka-Capital Journal District Attorney Cindy Kelly says recommendations for this policy change came from information obtained from the Board of Education that stated that bullying due to sexual orientation and gender identity are on the rise. Kelly supplies no statistics or percentages to quantify her statements of this specific “rise” in bullying. If the claims of bullying in Kansas schools based on sexual orientation and gender identity have the same credibility as the assertions already submitted in attempts to garner support for radical alterations in the anti-discrimination ordinances in Manhattan and Lawrence, Kansas, then it is likely that actual documented cases of discrimination based on the criteria are almost non-existent.

I would challenge Cindy Kelly to statically show an epidemic of homosexual and gender identity bullying that is taking place in Kansas schools. As reported in the Topeka-Capital Journal, School Board member, Peg McCarthy said, ” The bottom line is that it (the new policy) sends a message that we won’t tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind.” Her statement demonstrates a rather naïve view of reality. Bullying is wrong for any reason, and there is no possible way to list every situation that might spark a bully into action. For the School Board to select deviant sexual behavior and lift it up above the endless list of possible bully triggers makes it special and unique and part of the educational curriculum. Moreover, that choice implies that deviant sexual behavior is okay and indeed socially acceptable within this particular Kansas school district.

Chairwoman Stephanie Mott, formerly Steve Mott, of the Topeka chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition told the Topeka-Capital Journal that, “Your lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students are counting on you,” and “You’re telling students that they have a safe place to go to school.” I believe that the Topeka School District is instead creating an environment of moral confusion where more and more students will find themselves falling prey to deviant lifestyles Apparently, the Topeka School Board wishes to make their school district a God-free zone and a morally relativistic environment where sexually deviant behavior is promoted under the guise of protective compassion and made part of the educational process for today’s youth. Parents must now decide if this “lesson” should be taught to their children and if they are willing to accept the long-term consequences of it.

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Tea Party Numbers Grow as Presidential Election Nears

Paul A. IbbetsonBarack Obama has clearly earned his day of reckoning with the American people. That should happen at the polls on Election Day 2012. Yet one important question appears, will the American people actually show up to send this President packing? The growing dissent over the President’s initiatives and programs are now reflected in most American opinion polls. For example, the September 2011 CBS/New York opinion poll showed Obama’s public approval rating at 43%, the lowest of his Presidency. However, opinion poll percentages by themselves won’t fill voting booths nationwide, so the fundamental question remains. Has such unpopular disapproval of Obama’s grand sweeping vision of America’s future created the voting numbers needed for his removal?

Rambunctious and ready conservatives, like me, who are anxious to see this President become a one-termer, need to swallow hard and taste the bitter pill of reality. The voting numbers needed to do this task are not yet attained, so we cannot be sure yet that Obama will absolutely positively be defeated in 2012.

Realistically, what assets are in the President’s corner? There are several that are important, despite his being the worst President in modern times. The Obama campaign coffers will likely fill to the tune of $1billon. The liberal media will continue to support Obama to the point of senseless overt water carrying of his destructive programs. The President also has the bully pulpit of the White House, which he has used with reckless abandon with little likelihood there will be any decrease in his pronouncements as election time nears. Hollywood will continue to be Hollywood, and too many actors will continue to kneel at the ideological feet of the progressive liberalism Obama espouses. When we get right down to it, the only unflinching factor that will derail another four years of destructive liberalism being implemented across this country is the power of the conservative majority in America. Enter the Tea Party.

Despite being demonized by the Democrat Party and minimized by liberal media, the Tea Party movement has not declined since its inception. It has instead increased in numbers. Over the last year, I have visited more than 50 cities in the state of Kansas. As unemployment numbers have increased, so has interest in the Tea Party. With each edict issued from Obama’s White House perch, a new group of Tea Partiers has formed in heartland communities. The recent liberal Occupy groups of course tried to emulate the grass roots appearance and focus of the Tea Party with a contrasting anti-American, anti-capitalistic flare, but this group has done nothing but make Tea Partiers even more appealing to mainstream America. Despite being framed as radical events run by angry racists, the Tea Party’s orderly patriotic weekend gatherings are now seen as benign in comparison to the rapes and thefts happening within the stench-filled tent cities of the Occupy movement. The line between conservatives and liberals is becoming clearer and clearer to more and more people.

What is also becoming clearer is that the once feared Tea Party is now seen by the voting public for who they truly are — the American middle class. In visiting a large part of the state of Kansas one town at a time, I’ve seen that the Tea Party numbers are growing for two important reasons. The first is that once a person attends a Tea Party rally, that person is hooked. People understand their conservative values of adhering to the Constitution, controlling spending and having a working, but limited, government. All these relate to love of country and values that are easy to support. Second, the majority of voters now see that the nation is in a true fix, and they are looking for a positive, non-violent alternative to Obama’s goal of a fundamental transformation of America. Once people move past the lies of the liberal media, more and more citizens are finding that their local Tea Party is a very nice fit with what they believe.

So, for all the rambunctious and ready conservatives, those who are anxious to see this President be a one termer, the blueprint to victory in 2012 lies in coordinating the ever expanding Tea Party numbers and maximize the number of voters who do go to the polls and vote next November. Doing that will make Obama’s defeat and removal from office a certainty.

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What Ray Stevens Told Me

Paul A. IbbetsonIt was in the mid-1970s on a typical summer evening that I first learned about Ray Stevens. I was with my family in the Southeast Kansas town of Independence, and we were preparing to enjoy a nice leisurely dinner at the local Pizza Hut. The pizza pie was delivered to our table and a hot juicy slice had just made it to my plate when it happened. A commotion started at the east side of the restaurant. I looked up and saw a young man, probably in his twenties, sprinting past the cashier’s counter. He was wearing no clothes! Yes it’s true. The only item this fleet-footed fellow of tomfoolery had on was a set of sneakers and one of those gasoline station bathroom keys, the kind with a chain connected to a piece of wood which most likely had the inscription “Men’s” written on it in black magic marker. The naked man ran across the street, but soon he made his way back for what my Dad called “an encore run.” I would never be one to say that there are no interesting people here in the state of Kansas, but for the most part, the majority are always clothed. As the runners “cheeks” faded into the distance, I remember asking my parents the “under-ten-year-old equivalent of “why is this so?” to understand this nude-running-man. The answer was quick and to the point. This guy named Ray Stevens had written a song about streaking. In my last bit of full disclosure, it is only fair to add that we got our pizza for free that night.

That was when I first learned about Ray Stevens, and years would follow in which I enjoyed his humorous and obviously creative songs. Whether Stevens was lamenting about adventures with out-of-control Shriners or deep breathing phone stalkers, his language was always clean, his content funny, and one never had to worry if grandmother was listening too. That would be enough for most people to buy Ray Stevens’ albums. This singer-songwriter-comedian has stayed successful with his unique product for decades. However, Stevens has one more quality that has been made public in recent years. He is without a doubt an American Patriot.

In October 2011, I had the opportunity to interview Ray Stevens on my radio show, Conscience of Kansas. Stevens was gracious and funny, but also very candid about his concern for the future of America. He told me that as he has got older, he pays more attention to what is taking place in America. The comedian is unhappy about the current direction the country is heading. Stevens said a certain amount of blame should be shared by the liberal media who, he believes, lies repeatedly to the American people about the news. He also places blame on many teachers who, Stevens feels, are not teaching children accurate history of our country. This comedian was very serious when he spoke about his rude awakening to the problems this country is facing. He contributes much of his current knowledge to listening to Fox News and conservative talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh.

Ray Stevens is not a Barack Obama supporter, and his highly successful 2010 album, “We The People,” as well as his new release “Spirit of 76,” both reflect his concerns over issues such as out-of-control government spending, border security, national security, and in many ways, the arrogance and incompetence of the current President in the White House. During our interview, Stevens was gracious, humble, funny, and very honest about who he is and who he is not. This song writer made it plain that he is not a politician and made no assertions about being a specialist or an expert in the world of politics. What he did make clear was that as an American he needed to do something, and so he decided to take his song writing and singing skills and take his stand. I think he is accomplishing more than even he knows.

The truth is that taking back this country will be a long, frustrating, and protracted battle. To win in the end, conservatives must keep their morale up as well as have a strong spine. Humor has always been the conservatives’ ally but sometimes it’s in short supply. That is where conservatives with a true funny bone like Ray Stevens come in and re-energize the Americans who continue the struggle to keep conservative values. Indeed it is something worthy of a Nobel Peace prize though that award is now reserved for those who have not yet accomplished anything. That’s not to worry, however because in the greater scheme of things, Stevens will leave a much more beloved legacy to more Americans than will Obama. For me, the interview with Ray Stevens was a pleasant journey over the years, beginning with hot pizza and a naked runner and ending with an insightful, indeed delightful exchange with a comedic, patriotic icon.

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The True Killers of School Spirit: Notre Dame and the Whining Irish

Paul A. IbbetsonThere are times in life when it must seem that one just cannot get a break. The city of Chapman, Kansas, and its school district must very well feel that way today. This small Kansas school was devastated by a tornado back in 2008. Despite the overwhelming destruction to the school wrought by the massive tornado, students and officials alike rallied behind school chants of the “fighting Irish!” depicted by their fighting leprechaun, and worked to rebuild their beloved school and future. Three years later their long hard rebuilding project was complete, and it appeared that at long last, the sun was about to shine again on a town and school that refused to die in the face of hard times. Then, even before the “new smell” was gone from the school, a second more devastating storm returned to Chapman, Kansas. This time it was not a tornado but the powerhouse college of Notre Dame. It cast its own dark shadow on the little Kansas town. Ironically the major college, as had the tornado of 2008, was determined to strip the school of its identity and morale once again.

As reported by the Associated Press, Notre Dame claimed that Chapman’s long used leprechaun mascot was too similar to the college’s famous trademarked image. Chapman high school, Principal Kevin Suther, told media officials that the school had received a letter over the summer from Notre Dame after the Kansas mascot was observed on the school’s website. Superintendent Lacee Sell stated it was cruelly apparent that Notre Dame was serious about getting Chapman to cease using their fighting leprechaun. Instead of entering into a long, costly court battle with the college, the newly rebuilt Kansas school has decided to change their identity and hope that Notre Dame, like their destructive tornado, will blow on by and spare the school a second annihilation.

From a legal perspective, Notre Dame has the right to trademark and protect their images. The university has its own legal standing to protect itself and the funds it acquires through the sale of university apparel and other images that reflect their particular university name. With that said, none of these concerns appear to apply to the school in Chapman, Kansas. Readers should ponder the validity of such concerns. Is there really a valid concern that the small Chapman school with its similar leprechaun posted in a fighting stance will actually be confused with the well-known University of Notre Dame in Indiana? Can an argument be truly made that this Kansas public school, if it retained its long standing mascot will actually drain economic resources from Notre Dame? The answer is a resounding “No!”

The reality is that the little school in Chapman will be forced to change its longstanding identity because some Notre Dame official happened to stumble upon a little Kansas school website, and a university founded on the virtues of the Blessed Mother Mary, decided that compassion is best served through making threats with lawyers. The truth is that many small town schools across the nation have mascots that could be challenged as trademark violations by powerful universities who may hold trademark privileges. But don’t worry small towns out there, I will never give you up to anyone. Still, you may someday have to face the same understanding and compassion that Chapman, Kansas has received from Notre Dame. Officials of the Chapman School District have decided to sponsor a contest to create a new mascot and logo. On my radio show, “Conscience of Kansas” I submitted that the Kansas school should create its own unique leprechaun doing the “one finger wave” to the mascot trademarked by Notre Dame. While that might not be the proper precedent or lesson to set for school children here in the heartland, I’ve kept my paint and brushes ready in case they are called into action.

Notre Dame in this situation is the heartless bully, and it is a sad and frustrating characteristic to observe. However, the town and school of Chapman, Kansas will endure as they have already with a pride that transcends logos. Notre Dame’s selfish nature may end up erasing this newly rebuilt school’s mascot, but they will not kill the school’s spirit. Here we are all shown a truly important lesson. What a tornado in Chapman, Kansas could not destroy, neither will Notre Dame.

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