In my opinion, if a three-person election was held to determine Shawnee’s most controversial citizen, Mr. Kent Bush would finish First, Second, and Third! While controversial, Mr. Bush’s tour of duty is noteworthy and deserving of my best efforts to support my assessment. Here’s why:

1. As a conservative constitutionalist, free speech is front and center, not only in our history classrooms, but in our contemporary news rooms. Mr. Bush is a First Amendment poster child. In my view, he has frequently demonstrated in his editorials that in this great nation a person has a right to be wrong! After all, any position that cannot withstand opposition is hardly worthy of retention. To greatly take Thomas Edison completely out of context, “Ninety percent of inventing is finding out what won’t work.” ---Mr. Bush has helped News-Star readers to identify what ideas won’t work. While he has always attempted to provide information, he has also served as a catalyst for confirmation.

2. Print media, especially local newspapers, is on life support. Mr. Bush has served as a frugal vanguard to keep the News-Star coming to our driveways. He has personally assumed more and more additional duties and responsibilities. I confess, at times I have thought of the old childhood debate about how many legs could be removed from a centipede to keep it from moving. (By my criteria, he has served as a much better editorial writer than photographer or sports reporter!) That assessment notwithstanding, he boldly picked up the News-Star banner and marched to, not from, the challenges.

3. Against rising costs and reduced staffing, he has I think, with considerable courage, avoided the temptation to “tiptoe through the tithers” by not compromising his conscience for circulation and advertising revenue. While I do not know Mr. Bush or his family, I applaud and commend his openness and willingness to share some of their personal joys and heartaches. He has demonstrated the old axiom that making a living is important; however, making a life is most important.

For the record: “I am a non-attorney spokesperson” and I am not now or have ever have been employed by the News-Star.

Glenn C. Peck

Shawnee