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A creative passion for music

Charlotte is a musician

O’Hara is much more than a Kansas legislator and public policy advocate.

She’s also a talented composer and recording artist.

She grew up with music. Her dad was the song leader in their little country church and her grandparents played for local dances when they were young. Her grandfather continued to play the harmonica all of his life.

“That inspiration from my grandfather is why I always have a harmonica in at least one of my songs on each album,” she said. “I’ve played piano since I was very young and picked up the guitar in my late 20’s, was in a local rock and roll band for a few years (The Door to Door Band) and then for 20 years pretty well just coasted with my music.”

Five years ago she decided to improve her piano skills and took lessons from Denny Osburn, a very talented local keyboard player. After about a year, she started writing music and hasn’t stopped. To date she has written approximately 70 songs, completed 2 CDs (the first was a double album), and is working on her 3rd with five songs written for her 4th.

“Obviously, music is my passion and I’m having a ball!” she noted.
More on her music

Free Download of Charlotte's song: "Where's My America?"

Download instructions: Right click the above link, click "Save target as..." from the drop down menu and then click "save." This will download as an mp3 music file.


Note: Sunflower background photo was taken near 175th and Quivira Road in Overland Park. (Photo by Jim Sullinger Strategies LLC)

Law eliminates time limit on rape cases

   TOPEKA | Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law April 1 abolishing the statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape cases.
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House measure would lower tax on Kansas boats

   TOPEKA | Boat owners haven’t been left out of the Legislature’s efforts to cut taxes.

The Kansas House passed overwhelmingly a bill that lowers the current local property tax rate for boats from the current 30 percent of market value to 5 percent over a two-year period. The vote was 107 to 15. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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Major prolife bill passes Senate 29-11

     TOPEKA | The main prolife legislation of the 2013 Kansas Legislature was approved today April 2 by the Senate affirming that life begins at conception and prohibiting the use of tax money for abortion.

The bill, HB 2253, was approved March 20 by the House but in a slightly different form.

It would prohibit the use of tax dollars, credits, preferences and state-provided public health care services from being used in any manner to facilitate abortions or in facilities where abortions are performed.

The bill also would prohibit any school district, its employees, agents, and education service providers, from offering abortion services. It would prohibit an abortion services provider from offering, sponsoring or furnishing schools with course materials or instruction related to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases.

In addition, printed material must be made available informing pregnant women about the development of an unborn child, legal responsibilities for the unborn child, and organizations to assist the pregnant woman.

It would allow abortion to be performed at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., in cases of a medical emergency as defined in the bill.

Those speaking in favor of the bill during hearings were Rep. Lance Kinzer of Olathe and representatives of the Kansas Catholic Conference and Kansans for Life.


Special session ends after “Hard 50” law is fixed

TOPEKA | A bill fixing problems with the Kansas “Hard 50” sentencing law passed both chambers of the Legislature this week, ending the two day special session that began Sept. 3.

The measure was originally contained in a preliminary report by the Special Committee on the Judiciary and will change the way the sentence is imposed.

The Kansas House approved the measure Tuesday by a vote of 122 to 0 and the Senate followed suit Wednesday Sept. 4 in a 40-0 vote.

A judge can hand down a Hard 50 sentence under current law. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that method unconstitutional in June and stated that the sentence of 50 years without parole must be determined by a jury.
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Preservation of Religious Freedom Act

TOPEKA | The Kansas House passed and sent to the governor today March 25 a bill protecting a person’s exercise of religion from government interference.

If local or state governments were to seek to such a restraint, they would have to prove a “compelling governmental interest” and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.

The measure was approved by the House 109 to 12.

The author was Rep. Lance Kinzer of Olathe. Co-sponsors: Representatives Alford, Boldra, Bradford, Brunk, Christmann, DeGraaf, Dove, Edwards, Esau, Ewy, Garber, Goico, Gonzalez, Grosserode, Hedke, Henry, Hermanson, Hildabrand, Howell, Huebert, Kahrs, Kelley, Macheers, Mast, McPherson, Meigs, Montgomery, O'Brien, Osterman, Pauls, Peck, Petty, Powell, Rhoades, Rubin, Ryckman Jr., Ryckman Sr., Schwab, Siegfreid and Sutton.

The bill was opposed in committee by the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri.

Expanded conceal-carry bill wins nod from panel

TOPEKA | The Kansas House could vote soon on a bill to expand places where citizens with state conceal and carry permits could legally carry a gun.
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House panel okay’s gun rights bill for Kansas

TOPEKA | A House committee approved a bill Wednesday Feb. 27 that exempts a “personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition owned or manufactured in Kansas” from federal regulation.

The action was taken by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican is the bill’s chief sponsor. The measure now goes to the full House for debate and a final vote. If approved by the House, it will move to consideration by the Senate.
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Senate sends drug testing bill to Brownback

TOPEKA | Welfare recipients suspected of drug use would be tested and could lose their benefits under a bill approved today April 2 by the Kansas Senate.

That vote sends the bill to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback, where approval is expected. The drug tests would begin after Dec. 31.
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Judicial Reform Approved by 2/3rds of Kansas Senate

TOPEKA | The Kansas Senate voted 28 to 12 Wednesday Jan. 30 to change the way Kansas currently selects justices to the state’s Supreme Court and court of appeals.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1601 would adopt the federal model in which the President nominates someone to the U.S. Supreme Court subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
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Senate passes “Suitable Education” amendment

TOPEKA | The Senate approved legislation Wednesday Feb. 20 to give Kansas voters the final say as to who makes spending and taxation decisions for the state of Kansas. The vote was 27-13.

SCR 1608 proposes to amend Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution by adding the following sentence, “The financing of the educational interests of the state is exclusively a legislative power.”
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Cronyism in the Tax Code

By Bob Weeks
April 6, 2012

Why is so much money spent on lobbying government? In a short video, Professor Randall G. Holcombe explains: “The reason you have so much lobbying and so much special interest activity in Congress is because government is so big. Government taxes a lot, government spends a lot, and so as a result there’s a lot of reward to people from going to Congress trying to get a piece of the action."
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Governor vetoes raffle bill

TOPEKA | Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed House Bill 2120 Thursday May 23 because of concerns regarding the constitutionality of the legislation.
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Parents, Will You Care? Common Core and Your Children

April 25, 2013

I know how busy we all become. And when my good friend, Larry Halloran, a Wichita area Tea Party Activist, first brought the issue of Common Core Curriculum (nationalization of K-12 curriculum/death of local control), I thought I didn’t have time to deal with one more issue.

However, because of my deep respect for Larry, I became involved in the fight to stop the implementation of Common Core Curriculum in the State of Kansas.

(Read this thoughful response to Charlotte's column)

(Also, click on THIS LINK to see the model for the 400 data points to be collected on every child PK-12 attending public schools.)

First question: What is Common Core Curriculum? Simply, it is the nationalization of K-12 standards (ultimately curriculum) that will impact every aspect of our children’s education.   

Second question: Why is Kansas implementing Common Core Curriculum?  The answer is very simple: To escape the draconian (in many educators’ opinion) requirements of academic benchmarks (achievement) in No Child Left Behind to ensure Kansas’ compliance required for federal dollars from Washington’s Department of Education (only 7.5% of our total education budget. It’s amazing that our freedom is sold for so little?)
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The Massacre of Free Enterprise

February 28, 2013: The massacre of free enterprise in the State of Kansas.

In an unbelievable turn of events, both the Kansas Senate and the Kansas House turned away legislation that would have slightly eased the burden of alternative energy mandates, which currently requires 20% of Kansas electric power to be produced by alternative energy by 2020.

This 20% mandate will, according to Kansas Policy Institute, increase the average household electricity bill by $660 per year; commercial businesses by an average of $3,915 per year; and industrial businesses by an average of $25,516 per year. These are real dollars out of YOUR pocket.

The Senate Committee of the Whole passed SB82 for final action, only to defeat it in emergency final action with a vote of 17 yeas and 23 nays. This represents 15 Republicans joining with Democrats (the Senate is made up of 32 Republicans and 8 Democrats) sending a message that Kansas will continue to embrace crony capitalism/government control of industries through energy mandates, burdening consumers with ever increasing utility rates.

Kansas currently has the highest utility rates in the Midwest region. Our industrial rates are 36% higher than Oklahoma, 47% higher than Louisiana and unbelievably slightly higher than the State of New York!

Wind energy advocates state wind is the cheapest form of energy.  If that is true, then let’s repeal the mandates.  However, facts do not and will not back up wind advocates’ assertion as rates continue to rise, subsidies from the federal government continue to cost all taxpayers and property taxes are abated FOREVER on all alternative energy  production plants/wind farms.

On the House side HB2241, a stronger free market bill extends the timeline of mandates and caps it at 15%, was sent back to Utilities committee to die without debate on a 63-59 (there are 92 House Republicans) unrecorded vote.

According to leadership, Rep. Richard Carlson, who was chairing the House Committee of the Whole, purposely rushed the vote and ignored the call to record the vote to “protect our delegation from the wind energy industry.” Really? What happened to transparency, the right of the people to know how their Representative votes on ALL issues?

Calls from conservative leaders across Kansas to Speaker Ray Merrick requesting that he reassign the bill to an exempt committee were fortunately heeded. According to his Chief of Staff, the Speaker has reassigned HB2241 to the Appropriations Committee, which hopefully will give conservatives time to marshal the votes needed in the House to pass this important piece of legislation.

One last question:  Where was the governor on this important reclamation attempt for free enterprise in Kansas? Was he behind the scenes manipulating the process to reflect his strong support of green energy in Kansas?
     Pray for our leaders to find the courage to stand on conservative principles while representing the good people of Kansas.

The Green Energy Scam

Sept. 7, 2012
Dear Friends,

Several people have inquired about my plans following my unsuccessful bid for the 37th District Senate seat. The answer, I’m not certain. Definitely, I have learned many lessons, one of which is when you have a differing view (read Early Innovator Grant) from the governor, don’t be surprised at the level of his power and influence.

What I will greatly miss is having a voice (directly) in the conversation on developing policy in Topeka, but life goes on. I’m attempting to quiet myself to the point of being able to hear what the LORD has planned for my next adventure. At times, that is a difficult goal. Currently, research has kept me busy on the issue of green energy policy at the state and federal level. So far, here are the results.
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