Clay Wirestone has written columns and edited reporting for newsrooms in Kansas, New Hampshire, Florida and Pennsylvania. He has also fact checked politicians, researched for Larry the Cable Guy, and appeared in PolitiFact, Mental Floss, cnn.com and a host of other publications. Most recently, Clay spent nearly four years at the nonprofit Kansas Action for Children as communications director. Beyond the written word, he has drawn cartoons, hosted podcasts, designed graphics, and moderated debates. Clay graduated from the University of Kansas and lives in Lawrence with his husband and son.
Last year’s Kansas elections previewed results this year. Voters want abortion rights, less drama.
By: Clay Wirestone - November 10, 2023
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. Kansas showed the way. A year ago in August, the Sunflower State stunned the nation by voting down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Legislature to ban abortion. A year ago this month, voters in this Republican-dominated state re-elected Democrat Laura Kelly to her […]
‘Committed to preventing every preventable’ child death? I asked about trans kids.
By: Clay Wirestone - October 23, 2023
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. I was excited to hear the Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach had turned over a new leaf. In announcing the latest report from the State Child Death Review Board, Kobach was quoted as saying: “My office is committed to preventing every preventable death of a child.” What […]
Police chief embarrassed Marion with newspaper raid. His resignation was necessary, but not enough
By: Clay Wirestone - October 4, 2023
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. Former Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody violated a prime commandment for small-town officials: Don’t make waves. That’s why Cody now finds himself without a job, having resigned Monday after leading an unconstitutional raid on the Marion County Record newspaper in Kansas. He and his department seized computers […]
Joan Meyer, Marion newspaper owner, gave cops a piece of her mind. Honor her righteous indignation.
By: Clay Wirestone - August 30, 2023
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. Joan Meyer, the 98-year-old co-owner of the Marion County Record, finally had her say last week. Boy, did we get a talking-to. Meyer’s previous silence was sadly excusable. She died of cardiac arrest Aug. 12, a day after unconstitutional police raids on her home and beloved newspaper. […]
Kansas newspaper raid draws plenty of attention, but journalists defy threats across U.S.
By: Clay Wirestone - August 20, 2023
The commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. After Kansas Reflector reported on the ignominious and unconstitutional raid of the Marion County Record on Aug. 11, news outlets and commentators from across Kansas and the nation followed suit throughout the weekend. The voices of those who value a free press and free expression were overwhelming […]
A Kansas woman killed her abuser. At every level, in every instance, the system failed her.
By: Clay Wirestone - February 6, 2023
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. The story of Sarah Gonzales-McLinn is one of incomprehensible abuse and personal redemption. It’s also one of baffling, and repeated, institutional failure. At every step, those who might have been expected to care for and protect a victim of grooming and human trafficking looked the other way. […]
Anti-trans sports bill sprouts from ignorance. We owe Kansas kids respect and support.
By: Clay Wirestone - March 11, 2022
This commentary originally appeared in the Kansas Reflector. The world is a big, complicated and majestic place. There’s a lot we don’t understand. But just because we don’t understand every single bit of the world, that doesn’t mean we should hate the parts we don’t. That doesn’t mean we pass laws against them. Likewise, the […]