No Contest: Phelps gets his way with Topeka authorities

Topeka Capital Journal
December 20, 1995

You might say the Rev. Fred Phelps is exactly where he wants to be. He is on the front page and the editorial page with some regularity, and also at times on other pages, this one included. He and his followers are free to picket anything and anybody, whenever and wherever they choose. He has the city divided. This newspaper and some concerned citizens have laid the “Phelps problem” on Mayor Butch Felker’s doorstep, but he has responded defiantly, saying it’s not his fault the picketing outrage goes on unchecked.

Felker says he has ordered all laws enforced. Police chief Gerald Beavers says all laws are being enforced. Beavers says all laws are being enforced. Yet, some police officers say they’ve been told to ignore the name-calling by the Phelps gang, and have been warned the city won’t back them if they make an arrest.

So now an investigation of the police department is brewing, and the bickering has started. It could take years. Phelps must have one big belly laugh after another. Continue reading

Maybe This Will Be the Year

Topeka Capital-Joural
Jan. 1, 1996

The new year holds some promise, even though the Czars exhibit is gone and there will be no downtown building to blow up. My crystal ball says one big story will be Glen Mason winning the Republican primary for Senate, but then changing his mind and deciding to remain as KU football coach because he just can’s bear to leave all those wonderful folks in Lawrence.

But will those wonderful folks in Lawrence say, “Oh, go ahead, Glen. Don’t let us keep you.” Some day. Maybe.

The early news spotlight also will be focused on another one of your favorite newsmakers. You want to guess who? Fred Phelps will be heard demanding that the police officer who called his gang a “cult” be reprimanded. Continue reading