Monthly Archives: March 2011

JCCC Candidate Hodge’s Meltdown *UPDATED*

Update April 4, 2011: Darla Jaye contacted me via Facbeook to ask me to remove this post. She contends the information was not meant for the general public but for a select few. I have declined to remove the post as I did not come by the information illegally and due to what I consider the newsworthy nature of the information.

I’m just going to let this email thread speak for itself …


from Anne Hodgdon
to Miguel Morales
date Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 4:17 PM

subject Endorsers abandoning Ben Hodge

Hi Miguel,

Nice to make your acquaintance.

This all began a week ago tonight.  In a nutshell, Hodge showed up at the Olathe Republican Party meeting, and instead of using his time to speak as a candidate to promote himself (as Darla points out below) he instead used his time for a diatribe against Sen. Julia Lynn (who had just spoken) – calling her a liberal Senator, which is far from the truth.  The reason for that venom was that Julia had allowed her name to be listed on Greg Musil’s short endorser list for his postcard.  The attendees were very embarrassed, because she’s much loved in Olathe, and although I was not there, I heard the story from several others who were.  After his speech, as he was walking away and back into the crowd, Julia put her arm out to shake hands with him, showing much dignity, I think.  Instead of shaking hands, he smacked her hand away in a gesture to indicate he didn’t want to shake hands.  After getting calls from several people, all telling me the same story, I put a posting about it on Facebook, which got many responses in favor of Julia and against Hodge.  (If you are on Facebook, Friend me and you can read it for yourself – some 28 or so comments.) While Hodge is not my FB Friend, he nonetheless learned about it and had a meltdown on his FB page (others have copied his commentary into emails for me – it’s ugly), expanding the “liberal corps” to include Julia, myself, and Mike Egan (Mike is a conservative activist).  As a result, someone (not positive who) withdrew his support for Hodge, and the letter at the bottom of this string is Hodge’s stinging retort to whomever withdrew his support.  That person forwarded Hodge’s email to Mike Egan, Mike sent it to me, and I saw he’d called me a liar.  The rest, as they say…. is history.

In addition to what’s included below (Darla Jaye, Kansans for Life PAC), there are a couple additional endorsers who have abandoned ship since yesterday afternoon – and they would be Currie Myers, Sen. Rep. Mike Kiegerl, and the NW Johnson County Republican PAC.  Sen. Kay O’Connor and Patricia Lightner still avidly support Ben (no surprise there), but there are a scant few others.

You have my permission to forward………..

Anne Continue reading



Filed under facebook, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, Trustees

Give a Book to Migrant Youth

Walking on the Ledge

brown like me

farmworker youth

2011: "Year of the Farmworker Child"

As many of you know, I grew up working as a migrant farmworker/child laborer. You also know I’ve fictionalized some of those memories as part of the Latino Writers Collective of Kansas City.

I’m proud to help LWC provide writers workshops to migrant youth on both the Kansas and Missouri side of the state line. In the workshops we work to identify, validate, and listen to the long silenced voices of migrant youth — voices that have been pushed down, hidden, ignored, and abused. For many of the youth in the workshops, it is the first time they’ve acknowledge the devastation migrant life has them and their families. Yet, it is also inspiring to see the youth realize the gift that comes from the fields and the power of their words and voices.

Cesar Chavez

Chavez would be 84 today

Today, Cesar Chavez’ birthday, is special for migrant youth. And that is why today, I ask — no, I beg you Latino authors to donate a book to LWC’s migrant youth project. Our writers workshops for migrant youth don’t just help students tell their stories, we help them learn about other stories, other voices, other lives. Last year, we gave out free copies of Sandra Cisneros’ “House on Mango Street” — many of them autographed by Sandra. We’d like to continue this tradition but we need your help.

If you are a Latino author, and believe in the message of Cesar Chavez, please consider donating an autographed copy (or copies) of your book (or books) to the Latino Writers Collective migrant youth program.

Perhaps you aren’t a Latino author but have a favorite or maybe you treasure a Latino-themed book, please consider gifting it to our program.

A book, a voice, a word can change their world — and ours.

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Filed under Diversity, Kansas, Latino, Latino Writers Collective

The Final Revolution: Hodge isn’t for JCCC

Earlier this month a conservative student at JCCC contacted me on facebook about JCCC trustee candidate Benjamin Hodge:

“I’m trying to take down Ben Hodge. I need your help. Please don’t let the fact that I’m a conservative, and you’re not put boundries between us. You don’t like Ben Hodge, I don’t like Ben Hodge. I don’t want him back on the board of Trustees. I have a blog site, which Ben discovered today. He messaged me claiming to ‘take me down’ should I not retract the article with a public apology. WE CAN DO THIS. We can both agree Ben Hodge is not for the JCCC Board. Left vs. Right aside, I like what you have to write, especially about Ben. From a conservative, for a liberal you could fool me. You keep things fair and unbaised. I hope you can help me keep Hodge out of JCCC.”

My response:

“the first thing that popped into my head was that this is a set up. But then I realized that saying I don’t like ben hodge isn’t really something that I have to be tricked into revealing and I’ve said it on many occasions so it’s not much of a set up.

the second thing is that I found it ironic that ben always blasts the college lawyer for sending him emails to cease and desist whenever he “goes public” with information about JCCC yet here he is telling you that he will take you down if you don’t acquiesce to his demands to “cease and desist.”

Also ben wants to frame himself as the defender of the first amendment. If he’s willing to make these threats now — especially to a student — what will he do when he gets on the board?

What would happen to any other politician who made a similar demand of a blogger?

If this happened to me, I’d take a page out of ben’s book and post the email threat (or whatever it was) on my blog. That’s what he does with those emails from the college lawyer.

I wouldn’t post the link on any of the college’s facebook pages because they will delete them. They can’t allow themselves to be pulled into anything that seems like endorsing or opposing any candidate. I’d do what you are doing now which is trying to contact as many people who would be willing to at least read your blog post.

Also on Wednesday the board candidates are going to meet of a debate. You might show up and if there is an opportunity to ask a question, go for it.” [Hodge did not attend the trustee forum]

Here is his blog posting with a link:

Continue reading

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Filed under facebook, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, Trustees

JCCC Trustee Hodge Supported Perilla

Less than a month after the allegations of sexual harassment against JCCC President Charles Carlsen came to light Trustee Benjamin Hodge offered his support to Board of Trustee Chairperson Elaine Perilla.

Documents cited in the student newspaper investigation, named Elaine Perilla as having been made aware of the alleged harassment but instead of reporting it, she did nothing.

As a result, the JCCC Faculty Association requested Perilla recuse herself from involvement in the investigation as a trustee.

Hodge went public with his support of Perilla:

“There may be a misconception among some that our role is to find the guilt or innocence of various people,” he said. “I don’t see that as our role.”

He said he would not ask Perilla to recuse herself and would respect her decision.

As Hodge predicted, Perilla refused to recuse herself. And months later, Hodge happened to find himself as Perilla’s co-chair on the search committee tasked with finding JCCC’s permanent president.

Read The Kansas City Star article below Continue reading

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Filed under JCCC, Kansas, KC Star, NEWS, The Ledger, Trustees

Hodge/Carlsen Bromance Continued

It seems Trustee Benjamin Hodge had quite a bromance with former JCCC President Charles Carlsen as another article published in The Kansas City Star dated April 21, 2006 reveals.

The board’s newest trustee, Benjamin Hodge , praised Carlsen’s vision, boldness and perseverance, saying, “I respect Dr. Carlsen and think he’s a good man.”

Hodge voiced his admiration for Carlsen’s after a special JCCC Board of Trustees meeting on April 20, 2006 where Carlsen resigned as president of the college following allegations of sexual harassment.

Read the article below: Continue reading

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Filed under JCCC, Kansas, KC Star, NEWS, Trustees

Trustee Hodge Defended Carlsen

Walking on the Ledge

Ben Hodge: FOC (Friend of Carlsen)

Benjamin Hodge thinks you’re an idiot. In fact, he’s counting on it.

JCCC Carlsen

Hodge’s latest attempt to rewrite history in his favor of his campaign for a seat on the JCCC Board of Trustees has him focusing on the 2006 sexual harassment allegations against the college’s former president, Charles Carlsen.

However an April 14, 2006 article in The Kansas City Star reveals the truth. Hodge actually went public to his support Carlsen even after learning of the allegations.

“Trustee Benjamin Hodge also said he had no reason to believe the allegations had any merit. ‘I’m behind Dr. Carlsen,’ Hodge said. ‘I think he’s a good man.'”


Hodge also would like to frame himself as a defender of freedom of speech and the First Amendment. However, once again, Hodge’s history contradicts his new image.

While a member of the JCCC Board of Trustees, Hodge approached The Campus Ledger staff wanting to review article that caused Carlsen to step down and then retire BEFORE it went to print. That is called prior review and is something an advocate of the First Amendment would know is unconstitutional.

Yet, Hodges’ violation of the First Amendment continued. Continue reading

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Filed under JCCC, Kansas, KC Star, The Ledger, Trustees, Walking on the Ledge

JCCC Trustee Candidate Forum

Featuring Greg Musil and Richard Van Buskirk. Unfortunately, Benjamin Hodge did not participate in the forum


Featuring Richard Schroder, Jon Stewart (incumbent), and Don Weiss (incumbent)


Featuring James Nelson, Ron Platt, and Doug Wood


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Filed under JCCC