Benjamin Hodge

Benjamin Hodge

Licensed insurance agent | Regular political contributor on 105.7 KRMR FM

Location
Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City, Missouri Area)
Industry
Public Policy

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Benjamin Hodge's Overview

Current
  • Licensed insurance agent at SelectQuote Senior
  • Regular political contributor at "The Conscience of Kansas" radio program on KRMR 105.7 FM
  • President at The State and Local Reform Group of Kansas
Past
  • Board member at Johnson County Mental Health Governing Board
  • Columnist at The Monitor
  • Trustee, Elected At-Large at Johnson County Community College
  • State Representative at Kansas House of Representatives, District 49
  • Chairman at Johnson County Special Committee on Eminent Domain and Property Rights
  • Staff member at Kris Kobach for US Congress
Education
Connections

500+ connections

Websites

Benjamin Hodge's Summary

I believe economic freedom & our Constitutional Republic are worth defending.

Education: MBA from UMKC. Bachelor's degree in electronic journalism at K-State. Shawnee Mission public schools.

Current work: Insurance; non-profit in education, research, and public policy; radio contributor and writer.



Public policy record & acknowledgments:

"Every governing body from top to bottom needs at least one member who will stand up for the taxpayers, and Benjamin Hodge is that person [at JCCC]." – The Gardner News editorial board

“A first-class political mind.” – Johnson County Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, 5th District

- "We applaud you..." -- Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a national First Amendment rights group

-“Mr. Hodge, thanks for being on the right side…” – Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor”

- A "Champion of the Taxpayer" -- Americans for Prosperity

- "Good job, Ben Hodge...." -- Kansas City Star editorial board member Yael Abouhalkah, after Hodge challenged JCCC’s leadership on following the state open meetings laws

- A “champion of open meetings and open records” and “committed to transparency” – Gardner News editorial board

- A "Pro-jobs Legislator" -- Kansas Chamber of Commerce

- “A” Rating -- National Rifle Association

- 91% Lifetime Rating -- Kansas Taxpayers Network

Benjamin Hodge's Education

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Master's Degree, Business Administration

2011

Kansas State University

Bachelors of Science, Electronic Journalism

19982003

Shawnee Mission East High School

19951998

Benjamin Hodge's Additional Information

Contact Benjamin for:

  • new ventures
  • getting back in touch

Benjamin Hodge's Experience

Licensed insurance agent

SelectQuote Senior

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Insurance industry

2011Present (3 years) Greater Kansas City area

Medicare-related insurance advisor.

Regular political contributor

"The Conscience of Kansas" radio program on KRMR 105.7 FM

March 2012Present (2 years 8 months)

Paul Ibbetson is the host of the program, which broadcasts daily on 105.7 FM “The Patriot” out of Central Kansas. Web site: www.IbbetsonUSA.com. March 2012 to current.

Educational Institution; 5001-10,000 employees; Higher Education industry

2009Present (5 years) Overland Park, Kansas

The State & Local Reform Group of Kansas represents the combined work of two groups that promote economic freedom in Kansas:
- The State & Local Educational Foundation of Kansas, an educational and research non-profit, whose motto is "Educating Locally about Limited Government"
- The Kansans for State & Local Reform state PAC.

Board member

Johnson County Mental Health Governing Board

February 2013December 2013 (11 months) Johnson County, Kansas

Appointed by 6th District Commissioner John Toplikar, a former State Representative, Majority Caucus Chairman of the Kansas House of Representatives, and a former Olathe City Councilman. Confirmed by a 7-0 vote of the full Board of County Commissioners.

Toplikar appointed Hodge to stabilize and reform the Johnson County Mental Health (JCMH) Governing Board, which had a new executive director, after the previous director retired after 25 years. For years, revenues were declining, and private donations were stagnating.

Hodge worked with a bi-partisan majority on the JCMH Board to investigate, and to protect the broad independence provided by law to the board (and by doing so, protecting the same with several other governing boards). They prevented the JCMH Board from illegal, heavy-handed actions made by County management and Commission Chairman Ed Eilert. For example, it was discovered that:

1) Eilert violated state law and the County Charter, by personally attempting to fire JCMH staff members. Legally, Eilert needed the explicit permission of the Commission to directly interfere with hiring and firing, which Eilert never received nor even requested.
2) County legal counsel led the full commission in illegally discussing general policy of the JCMH Board during a closed, in clear violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).
3) County management and county budget directors pressured the JCMH Board to approve knowingly-false budget numbers "in order to make the budget balance."
4) County management refused to answer basic budget questions asked by JCMH Board.
5) According to information given by outside law firm Spencer Fane, which was hired by the county legal department to independently investigate the following: County manager and County HR director were found to have committed defamation against senior staff at the JCMH Center, by falsely accusing staff of retaliation.
6) County HR encouraged insubordination of JCMH staff.

Columnist

The Monitor

February 2011July 2011 (6 months)

A premier print publication in Greater Kansas City for news and opinion about regional public policy. No longer in print, The Monitor covered state and local issues in both Kansas and Missouri. Web site: www.KCMonitor.com. February 2011 to July 2011.

Trustee, Elected At-Large

Johnson County Community College

Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

20052009 (4 years) Overland Park, Kansas

• At age 25, elected to four-year term. One of seven at-large board members, each representing the county’s 500,000 citizens. Youngest trustee in 40-year history. JCCC is the state’s largest college. In April 2005 election, beat an incumbent, a well-known Kansas City attorney.
• The Gardner News editorial board wrote: "Every governing body from top to bottom needs at least one member who will stand up for the taxpayers, and Benjamin Hodge is that person."
• After exposing illegal closed door discussions of the budget, I was recognized by the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Broadcasters Association, KMBC/ABC Channel 9, The Gardner News, and even The Kansas City Star (a paper that never endorsed me). A bi-partisan group of four legislators convinced the Democratic Attorney General to write an opinion regarding the application of the open meetings law.
• 2007: JCCC ran a high-profile investigation of scandal-plagued former President Charles Carlsen and hired an interim. I co-chaired a 16-member selection committee to choose the permanent president.
• Led effort to bring itemized expenditures online and viewable to public. Proposed effort to increase student access to copies of US Constitutions.
• I intervened to defend the 1st Amendment rights of a professor who criticized radical Islam, after he was reprimanded by the administration, and when the Kansas NEA refused to defend him.

State Representative

Kansas House of Representatives, District 49

20072008 (1 year) Topeka, Kansas

Elected in 2006 to an open seat of the Kansas House of Representatives. District 49, which included parts of Overland Park and Olathe (suburbs of Kansas City, MO).

Chairman

Johnson County Special Committee on Eminent Domain and Property Rights

December 2005March 2006 (4 months)

Appointed by Johnson County Commissioner John Toplikar. Examined eminent domain after the unfortunate Kelo decision, in which the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to expand the definition of “public use” to include “economic development,” and to allow state and local governments to seize land and transfer the land to a developer. December 2005 to March 2006.

Staff member

Kris Kobach for US Congress

20042004 (less than a year)

Benjamin Hodge's Languages

  • enough French to find life's basic necessities and someone fluent in English

Benjamin Hodge's Skills & Expertise

  1. Public Speaking
  2. Fundraising
  3. Government
  4. Nonprofits
  5. Public Policy
  6. Non-profits
  7. Event Planning
  8. Community Outreach
  9. Politics
  10. Policy
  11. Research
  12. Leadership
  13. Real Estate
  14. Strategic Planning
  15. Social Media
  16. Social Networking
  17. Access
  18. Public Relations
  19. Strategic Communications
  20. Budgets
  21. Volunteer Management
  22. Event Management
  23. Administration

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