From Student Body President to House Minority Leader with Vic Miller, Kansas State Representative, 58th District


Scott Heidner: [00:00:00] welcome listeners to the QBS Express, the ACEC Kansas podcast. I'm your host, Scott Heidner, and I am excited to have with me today house Minority Leader Vic Miller, representing the 58th District here in Kansas. Mr. Miller, it is a pleasure to have you on the podcast, sir.

Thanks for being here.

Vic Miller: Happy to be here. Thank you.

Scott Heidner: And we're, this'll be, it'll be a little later before this goes out, but it's early February, at time of recording. So belated congratulations slash condolences on your election to the leadership position.

Vic Miller: Both apply .

Scott Heidner: We will we'll unpack that as we go.

Well, we always relish the opportunity to sit down with folks in the leadership positions in the Senate and the House and learn more about [00:01:00] you and your background and you know, you, the person as opposed to even you, the policymaker. So take us all the way back to the beginning and share with listeners if you would, where you grew up and what childhood looked like.

Vic Miller: I grew up on a farm. Northeast of, or in northeastern Kansas to the northwest bit of Topeka, just north of the tiny town Odelia. That town was small enough that the high school consolidated while I was spent one year at the high school, and then I attended Rossville High School. But growing up there were seven kids in our family.

The last year I was at my one room schoolhouse. There were only six kids in the school, but five of 'em were me, my brothers and sisters, . I had the privilege. Actually. I look back and I see it as a, a blessing that I got to go to a one room schoolhouse for first seven years in my education.

Scott Heidner: So all grades, same room.

Vic Miller: We didn't have enough of enough other than my first year. We didn't have eight [00:02:00] grades. First year there were eight grades slowly over the, the several years we lost kids until, like I said, the final year I was there was the final year of the school and there were only six kids in the school.

My biggest class was two. Wow. That was me and one other young man. That was as large as my class was in the last two years I was there. It was just me. Was

Scott Heidner: it a, a culture shock to go to the thriving metropolis of Rossville for school? Well,

Vic Miller: actually I went to Delia grade for one year first, and yeah.

I was academically prepared socially, not so much. That's the first time I'd been around that many others. What one year of eighth grade won the Jackson County Spelling Champ. By virtue of my one room school education, caused a little resentment among my classmates at Delia.

Went one year at Delia High School and then again through consolidation. I did end up in a huge class of 35 people at Rossville before I graduated from high school. Does it feel a little overwhelming? [00:03:00]

Not really. It was again my, as I look back, I don't regret my, my time at the one room schoolhouse, but I also cherished my time.

In high school when I actually got to socialize with someone that was, that was something very much missing in my early years.

Scott Heidner: So what excuse me, what both productive and, and wayward things occupied a young Mr. Miller's time

Vic Miller: Again, we were farmers and I often thought that might have been one of the reasons my parents had seven children was just to produce farm hands.

But it was definitely a large part of my growing up. And again, I look back on my days on the farm as, as a blessing. Although I did have to learn how to occupy my mind, sometimes 12, 16 hours sitting on a tractor can get kinda lonesome out there if you don't know how to fantasize about being a big league baseball player, and the like,

Scott Heidner: So I want to diagram your, your professional career before we get into [00:04:00] your public service, but let me deviate from that just long enough to ask. Did you come from a. that was intensely interested in public policy or is that something that came to you later?

Vic Miller: My dad was active on the school board. He was active on the water board. He was active in an organization that I don't think existed anymore, called the n o, the National Farmer's Organization. It wasn't anything that was discernible or anything that I necessarily thought about at the time.

So I don't know if that indirectly had an influence on my interest or not. My folks were Republicans, so that didn't that didn't wear off on me. . They were Republican precinct people, in fact.

Scott Heidner: But it sounds like there was an intense amount of volunteering or involvement and public office held. That you got exposed to growing up.

Vic Miller: On a small town scale yeah, I would say that's true. Yes.

Scott Heidner: I'll be darn. So, back to the professional career. You [00:05:00] graduate high school from Rossville, what happens next?

Vic Miller: I went to Emporia State to get my Bachelor's. While I was at Emporia State, I became involved with the student Senate there, and before I left I ended up running and being elected student body president.

When I was serving as student body president, one of the things that occurred is there was a young fellow here in Topeka that was active in politics and he put together, The Sixth State University student Body Presidents. We formed an organization known as Associated Students in Kansas, which was in a nutshell, was a lobbying organization, lobbying the Kansas legislature on the behalf of college students.

Our interest at the time included faculty salaries. There was a, a common perception at the time that our faculty was underpaid as opposed to other states. We were active on that. We lobbied in support of the uniform residential landlord tenant Act. Back at [00:06:00] that time, and we're talking about the seventies, there was no statutory law regulating landlords and tenants.

We, that organization, ASK was the principal group, the champion, the enactment of it, and we got it enacted. Ron Hein was the individual. That put that group together. Ron, as you know, passed away just a few weeks ago. Yeah. But he certainly had a talent for organizing even just outta school.

Scott Heidner: It's pretty cool.

I would've never, ever guessed that if we had to speculate on the beginning of the landlord tenant's statutory framework in Kansas, it came from college student body leadership. That's wild.

Vic Miller: I, I, I think it's very, very easy to take credit for it. There were no other proponents at the time, and certainly there were landlords that were resistant to codifying the rights of tenants.

Yeah. So it was, it was quite a chore. That was my first job out of [00:07:00] college. Two years later after I graduated, I took Ron's place. There was one man in between, but I was in the third year of ASK. I was hired as the state director and that's how I ended up in Topeka as we were headquartered here at campus of Washburn.

That was my first full-time job. I'll be. My, my task wasn't nearly as challenging as getting the landlord tenant Act passed because the big topic when I was director was making sure the Kansas legislature didn't raise the age to purchase. Beer from 18 to 21 . So the challenge of getting college students enthused about that issue at that time was pretty easy.

We, we, our, our little organization beat that down year after year until finally the Feds threatened to withhold all their highway money and then legislature did cave. But before that there. There was an effort to raise the age and it was pretty easy to organize.

Scott Heidner: That's funny. I wonder how many drinking college students back in that day knew they owed a debt of [00:08:00] gratitude to you and the hardworking ASK people for the opportunity to have a cold one.

Vic Miller: Well, we had pretty active organization. It was the students themselves, that we were the network. We just put together the. The students with their representatives, and they were, again, very easy to activate on an issue like that.

Scott Heidner: So, is AK still around?

Vic Miller: No, they they weren't, they did last for a lot longer than a lot of people thought they might.

One year long after I was gone one of the student senates said we can do better by ourselves. They pulled out and just like dominoes the rest, it just broke up as fast as it was organized. Yeah. Which is too bad cuz in fact, I gave this lecture just not too long ago. I was visiting my alma mater and addressing a students senate and I told 'em that they would benefit by having representation, organized representation up here.

Emporia State recently underwent some very Dramatic changes in the curriculum down there affecting a number of people, and as I told the, the student Senate, then had they had an [00:09:00] organized effort that might have been different.

Scott Heidner: So what happens after a, well, first of all, how long did you stay with a sk and then what came next?

Vic Miller: One year. And then I went to law school, which was a, again, When I was in college, I never dreamt of being an attorney. That was not something a lot of people will very young in age say, I'm gonna be an attorney. I wasn't one of those people that thought never crossed my mind until after I started working at the capitol.

And became acquainted with the legislative process, the enactment of laws that I took an interest in the law. And so after one year here in Topeka working with a sk, I applied to law school and was fortunate to Be accepted at Washburn.

Scott Heidner: So I'm gonna interrupt the professional arc here because I'm afraid if I don't grab this moment now I'm gonna forget it.

You and I were talking before the podcast about the fact that the number of attorneys in the legislature has been descending over the course of many years, and it's, it's precariously [00:10:00] thin. And I think sometimes in the public's mind, the stereotype lives of a legislature full of lawyers. And there's even some cynicism about that, but as you and I know if anything, we are far, far too short of legal minds over the capitol.

And what I really wanna bring out to listeners is in, in my mind, and I would love to have you opine or agree or disagree, that makes it even more important yet for organizations to be engaged and have a voice. Because there is a void, you know, in that legal perspective, in that background here at the Capitol.

I think that only escalates the need to be involved and the, and the consequences.

Vic Miller: Not just because I'm an attorney or have been there really is a need for lawyers in the legislature. And I think the stereotype likely goes back to when that wasn't the case. I. I served with a fellow when I first got to legislature.[00:11:00]

It was the early eighties basically. But he had been there, he was a farmer. He had been there since the fifties. And I saw a description of his once that he had written about what the legislature was comprised of when he first arrived. And it was all attorneys and farmers. And so at one point there was a.

Disproportionate representation from the bar that, that had dwindled considerably by the time I got there. And has, as you say, dwindled considerably more to the extent that the Senate just a few years ago was without an nity to even serve as the chair of the judiciary Committee. And when we're talking about understanding the.

And the need for changes in the law the attorneys are some of the first ones to see that they'll, attorneys will encounter a void in the law that arises because of someone they represent. That was one of the best things the first six years I served in the legislature. I was a new attorney.

And one [00:12:00] of the best things about being a new attorney, And being in the legislature was all that I would actually learn about the law just by being a member of the judiciary committee because that committee basically looks at bills that that are attempting to address a problem that has just arisen in the legal field.

Scott Heidner: Yeah.

And I think even in the drafting, even before it comes down to encountering cases that expose flies in the ointment with statutory language, even in the drafting itself, it's just a more expert Base of experience to pull from. I think we get often a more polished product when we do have an attorney involved on the front side in crafting.

But I digress. I want to get through and, and move on to the public policy part of it, but get through your career arc. So when I interrupted you, you had just finished law school at Washburn?

Vic Miller: Actually, I hadn't finished yet. Okay. While I was in law school, I ran for the legislature [00:13:00] and I actually got elected before I was out of law school.

It was my third year. And in fact, the first year I was in the legislature, there were three of us who were third year law students at Washburn. You gotta be kidding. That's amazing. Yeah. Actually, when I got elected legislature, One of the people I first served with was 19 years old. So I don't have nearly the amazing story that others do.

But yeah, that's, and I think to this day, he may still have the record, but yeah, a 19 year old got elected in 1978.

Scott Heidner: So you're, 25 ish, give or take, whatever in your third year law school. How does that happen? Did somebody come to you and recruit you? Did you go out and create this opportunity? I mean,

Vic Miller: serving in the capacity I did as director of ASK I got involved in politics, if you will.

I I worked locally here as a democrat precinct person worked in a number of campaigns. But one of the people I met along the way, in fact he ended up being my realtor, was Jim Slattery. [00:14:00] And when Jim decided to take a break from the legislature, I was in his district and I sought election to replace him.

So I ended up getting his house seat and as it turned out, I ended up buying his house. It was kind of a package deal to this, to this day. We joke about that.

Scott Heidner: So when you did graduate law school, you were serving. As a representative, did that become your full-time job for a while or did you pursue another career arc right outta school?

Vic Miller: No, I began my own law practice. I tried. To juggle both serving in the legislature and beginning of practice. That was not the easiest thing to do. Judges were little understanding or somewhat understanding in terms of they they would accommodate legislators in terms of scheduling and whatnot.

But it became increasingly as the practice built, it became in increasingly a struggle. The voters took care of me though because in 1984 I ran for the state [00:15:00] Senate and they chose to give me a vacation . So I took advantage of that vacation. The governor at the time, governor Carlin I had gotten acquainted with him as a state representative and with he as governor, and he appointed me the director of what's known as the property valuation Division of the Department of Revenue.

I had served on the tax committee. While I was in the house, and that's where I got my background in tax law. And one of the reasons I got picked be PVD director. Another reason I took the job, a reason I took the job was because they'd been talking about reappraisal for 30 years and it had never happened.

And so I was unafraid of that issue, and yet it got passed that year. So I got a doubling of the staff. The responsibility of appraising 1.1 million properties across Kansas in 105 different counties with different appraisers in every county that I was in charge of supervising. And that was a growing experience.[00:16:00]

Scott Heidner: How long in that job

Vic Miller: About two years. And then governor Hayden gave me a break from that job, which was actually, I joke, but it was one of the better things to have ever happened to me professionally because I went from being an underpaid public servant to , developing a career in property tax appeals.

At that point I was out before reappraisal went on the books, but when reappraisal went on the books, there was a terrific need for representation, taxpayers needing representation, and I was one at that point, one of the few people that had the background that I did in property tax law. So I turned that into basically most of my career

Scott Heidner: I'll be darn.

Interesting. We're gonna weave in now, your professional life and your public service because they, you know, they overlap time periods. What was your next Office that you held?

Vic Miller: Well, throughout the time I was practicing law, I was in political office pretty much one way or the other.

Immediately after losing the Senate [00:17:00] race in 1984 that same election, the voters of Topeka adopted a new form of government known as the strong mayor council form of government. They created a brand. Council with nine districts. It just so happened that the district, one of the city council almost mirrored the same boundaries as the district that I had represented in the house.

What had happened, we had nine representatives in Topeka, nine state representatives in the fellow that drew the map started with. District, one being my representative district, and then he went around the city and as you got around the city, it changed a little bit, but where he started, like I said, it was almost a, a mirror image of my house district.

So I chose to run for the very first council in spring of 85 and was lucky enough to be elected and served eight years on the city council,

Scott Heidner: 85 to 93. I have to tell you a quick story. I'll make it as quick as [00:18:00] I can. So, You and I met first, my first job outta law school was working for the city council office in Topeka.

That job, it really was a good training ground. But probably the worst chapter for me of that job is that during my time there, during my three years there is when the city updated the maps for the nine districts, and that was the purview of the city council.

I was their only staff person, so it landed on my desk and I had just started, I was as green as a blade of grass. I had not only no idea what neighborhoods in Topeka or districts precincts may have commonalities or anything like that, I didn't even know that that was a policy goal, you know? And I basically took out a.

Ruler and some population charts and just drew a geographically consistent map. And oh my [00:19:00] gosh, holy cow.

Vic Miller: you forgot that politics might enter into such a process.

Scott Heidner: I tell you what, it it was a lesson it was in the newspaper and all kinds of criticisms of the council's draft.

And of course, , you know, that was a reflection on my bosses, the city council members. And so I just felt horrible and yeah, that was a, so anyway, you mentioned the redrawing of the maps and how it kind of paralleled your house district. That sparked a, a rough memory.

Vic Miller: Yeah. Once, once they got elected, then they had turf to protect.

Mm-hmm. , the very first drawing of the map there was, there were no embedded politicians. It was completely a fresh form of government. And so you didn't have people protecting the area they already represented Yeah. As you do on a redraw.

Scott Heidner: So, city council, up until 1993.

Vic Miller: And then I while I was on city council, I ran for a vacant county commission seat.

Shawnee County was lucky enough to win. Served four years as a [00:20:00] county commissioner. The voters gave me a four year vacation. From that I ran four years after being beaten, I ran against the fellow that beat me and returned then I ran against him again. This time he had switched parties and I won a, a second term, third term anyway, ended up serving 15 years on the county commission before I was appointed Topeka Monzy, administrative municipal judge.

Scott Heidner: And what, what year was that, your appointment to the bench?

Vic Miller: Now you're tricking me. I know when I left, I left in 2016, so it was a little over four years before that, so I think it was 2012. Okay.

Scott Heidner: And served how many years on the bench? Just a little over four. Okay. And anything in between that GA gap and coming back to the, to the house?

Nope. There was no gap or that I, I retired from the bench in the end of 2016. Excuse me, I'm getting my dates mixed up. I retired at the end of 2015. So I would've been appointed probably in 20. [00:21:00] 11. Yeah. But when I retired at the end of 2015, I needed something to occupy my time. So I that's when I ran again to return to the house.

Very good.

Vic Miller: 2016.

Scott Heidner: That is quite a diverse and rich career of public service, sir. That is.

Vic Miller: It's different. I tell this story a lot that when I was first elected to office, I was one of, I think 52 Democrats. A house of 125 members and being one of 1 25 is, is pretty small, but being in the minority on top of that makes you even smaller it as a bright-eyed kid.

Just leaving law school, I was all about what laws I could pass, but I soon learned that being in the minority. Best efforts were seeing which laws did not get passed. So without realizing it, I sort of became skilled at killing legislation as opposed to passing it . [00:22:00] And that was a personality after six years there that I had to get away from when I then became one of nine member, a nine member city council.

And little did, I realized how skilled I had become. Keeping things from happening that it did take me some adjustment knowing that I had more to say about getting things done. And then even more so when I became one of three county commissioners. Just the, the amount of influence that you have in a three member body versus.

A bicameral system being one of 1 25. It's a huge difference in terms of responsibility. I was just gonna use that word you said, the amount of influence and I was gonna add and also responsibility. Absolutely. Yeah. There aren't, there isn't another majority that's gonna come along. But you can

make big mistakes when you're one of 1 25, and it has little impact on the total process.

Right. You make a mistake being one of three people responsible for. All of county government, it can be dramatic.

Scott Heidner: Well, [00:23:00] let me ask you this. We always like to give folks an opportunity to say good things about people you know that they've encountered over their career. Do you have, and if you don't, that's okay, but do you have.

A person or two or three or four that either mentored you or even just watching them, maybe they didn't mentor you actively, but you were impacted by the way they served or the brightness of their mind or whatever it may be. Do you have some folks that you would credit with being that kind of influence on your career?

Vic Miller: I do, and I could I could go all afternoon. Naming people. I've already named a couple Ron Hein. Even though Ron and I were of different political parties I learned a lot from him in terms of, organization how the process works how to influence. Jim Slattery was one of those that, as you described, one of those people who if I was to be somebody I would wanna be Jim Slattery.

And the third one I would single out is Marvin Barkas. [00:24:00] Marvin was a state representative that came into the legislature in 1979, the same year that I did. So we were freshman, if you will, together. He too was an attorney. And he after I left the, the lead legislature, he went on to be speaker of the house.

But Marvin and I were good friends. We were, I think politically a similar mind and I would single him out.

Scott Heidner: Yeah. This is. Indelicate question to ask on the podcast, but is, is Marvin still with us or is he passed?

Vic Miller: Yes, he's he's up there in age. He's Going through a lot of what people do at our ages.

He's a few years older than me, and, but he he's fighting some things in his chest, but in fact, just this Thanksgiving, he had an episode, but he's doing well. Good.

Scott Heidner: I I never got a chance to meet him. He was, Just, just before my time,

Vic Miller: he's a different fella. Very bright, went to Stanford for his undergraduate.

His father was a state senator before he so he, he grew up in a political household himself, but he probably one of the. I hope he doesn't listen to this podcast, , because I wouldn't want him to hear this. [00:25:00] Probably one of the smartest guys I ever served with in terms of just brain power and, and applying that to good public policy.

Scott Heidner: Another random story, I'll try and keep short, but did you ever know or work with a representative named Nile Dillmore from outta Wichita?

Vic Miller: Nile came after me. I did meet Nile I was still in public office and I would, after I left the legislature, I would still often socialize with legislators. And, and yes, I know who Nile is

I served with two people whose surname was Nile, so I remembered Nile that's the first name.

Scott Heidner: You mentioned that Representative Barkas went to Stanford. How Bright, he was, there was a member of the house who I will not name back in Nile Dillmore's time who went to Harvard and was exceptionally proud of it.

And would mention it with great regularity. And after coming down to the well to opine on a bill and he must have dropped at least three times. The fact that, you know, [00:26:00] Gotten his student training at Harvard and you know, collectively the body was in one big eye roll by this point. And but nobody, nobody ever told the emperor that he had no clothes.

You know? And Nile Dillmore was next up on the light and he. Marched up there full of sound and fury and he said, ladies and gentlemen of the body, I want you to know that I too went to Harvard. That was one of the most interesting damn tours I've ever been on. , I'll tell you what, that's quite a place, you know, just, just broke the whole chamber up.

Vic Miller: You know, I'll have to remember that story. I once spent a few days in the dormitory at Harvard. It was a conference in Boston, and it just happened that they housed us there. So I'll have to remember to use that.

Scott Heidner: Yeah. It was, it was just the levity called for mm-hmm. , in the moment. . Well, what about so you have served in the legislature in a, what, what I'll call traditional capacity, and now you're in his house, minority leader.

What's, you know,

Vic Miller: you know what? I forgot what, I spent two years in the state senate along the way after.

Scott Heidner: I [00:27:00] wondered if you were gonna mention that. Forgot about that. Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of the last piece. Yeah.

Vic Miller: Ran in 19, everything else ran in 1984 and 30 some years later I got to finally serve. It was a long campaign.

Yeah. Took for those who don't know it, I, I, I took the last two years of Governor Kelly's Senate term. I was in her senate district, and when she was first elected governor, she still had two years left. And I was yeah, fortunate enough to take her place for two years.

Scott Heidner: for those that know you, it makes perfect sense, but you are one of those rare ducks, at least in my perception that frankly relishes the slightly more chaotic nature of the house as opposed to the senate.

Vic Miller: They, they both have their pros and cons. I, they do, I get that question a lot. You know, what, what did you like better? The, the house or the Senate And what, what I will tell people is the best thing about the Senate is that you each get your own microphone. So for those that like to talk, that's quite an asset.[00:28:00]

Scott Heidner: It's quite an asset for those who like to talk and at times somewhat of a burden for those who get to listen at. I'm sure that is . Well, what is the difference between you know, just being a legislator and being the leader of one of the caucuses?

Vic Miller: Well, I understand I've only been the leader now for a few weeks.

I will say it's. A lot more work. When I came back to the house in 2017, I, at that point had retired from my full-time job. And serving in the legislature truly is a part-time job full-time for part of the year, but they're, it's much easier. Much less stressful, much less work to serve as an individual member.

as leader, and again, I'm just a few weeks into being leader, but I can already tell now that I'm unretired that truly it's a full-time job. You've heard the phrase [00:29:00] herding cats. It's very much like that. I only have 40 members in my caucus. But marshaling the different minds that come from 40 different people who come from 40 different walks of lives is is not easy.

And I would hate to be, actually, I was about to say I'd hate to be speaker and have to manage 85, but I wouldn't mind being speaker. Actually,

Scott Heidner: you said it's hard to manage 40 different minds. Also 40 different personalities. I mean, the truth is, For the most part, you don't get shrinking violets that run for statewide office, maybe now and then, but for the most part, pretty gregarious folks and a lot of personality to manage.

Vic Miller: And on the other hand, it, it's not all that bad. It's good to get to know. , different people that come from different places. We talked before the program started, I have 11 new members, 11 freshmen if you will. And just. Getting to know all of them and, and see the diversity that they [00:30:00] represent in terms of where they come from, who they are.

It it keeps me young actually. I'm, I'm enjoying getting to know the new people. I'm getting to know the folks I've served with better in this position. And That helps me get up in the morning knowing that there's something new every day.

Scott Heidner: You see some of yourself earlier in your career in these folks?

Vic Miller: I wouldn't say that because I don't have any that I can think of that are particularly young which is something I hope we can address. We need more young people. I was only 27 when I got elected, and as I said, one young man was 19, but there were several people that were beginning their productive lives.

Economics of it today are such that it's very difficult for young people with young families to leave home and to serve, and that that's not good. We need we need. , better representation in terms of our diversity. Ethnically I'm very proud of [00:31:00] my caucus. We have several members that are Hispanic, several that are African American.

We have one Native American Democratic caucus, I think is very reflective of our diverse population as far as age. However we could do. Well, to have more young people in both parties.

Scott Heidner: Difficult to do without raising the salary, obviously.

Vic Miller: Well, the salary salary's not a problem for me. I'm retired.

I have a good pension. But it is for the group of people that I just described that we are lacking. It's hard enough. Coming up here and, and walking away from your job, your family, what have you. But when it's cutting into your ability to make a living to provide for your family, that that's just added adding to the problem of attracting quality people to serve.

Yeah. And it, it gets to be well, there's just, again, there. A [00:32:00] disproportionate number of people that are serving only because they're, they've reached their retirement years and. They don't have all those things that get in their way, but I don't think that's, that's healthy for the Kansas population to be underrepresented by any group.

Scott Heidner: Well, let's change gears and ask you some what we like to call the, the lightning round or get to know you questions. To wrap things up today, what on the off chance that you might actually have a free day, what would we find you doing to occupy your. For your own enjoyment?

Vic Miller: Well, I'm in fantasy sports.

I am a little embarrassed to confess the degree at which I'm in fantasy sports, but I will, I will give you an anecdote that tells you just how bad it is. . I have one son. He is grown now, but back when he was probably in about the third grade the teacher talked to my wife and she said, we. So I wanted you to know we were going around the classroom today [00:33:00] asking all the children what their parents did.

And when we got to Riley, my son he said, my dad does the scores . He, he thought, he thought, he thought that was my profession was back in the day when I had to buy hand, calculate the fantasy scores. That that's what I did for a living. So, I do nascar, I do baseball, I do football. But yeah, I got addicted to fantasy sports.

Probably been 30 or more years ago, one of the pioneers back before it was all on the internet. But yeah, embarrassingly, that's a lot of what I do.

Scott Heidner: Well, I think that's awesome. I'm a fellow addict and I, when I started, it didn't last very long. Statistics were kept on spreadsheet. If you had one and they were pulled from the sports page.

Yep. Somebody would pull out the newspaper and flip to the box scores. And if the game was on the West coast and it was reported too late, you had to remember to get that in the next day's paper.

Vic Miller: Yep. Yep. In fact back in the day we used to talk about how you could make a good living if you could [00:34:00] figure out a way to, to get it.

Oh man. The way it is today, and somebody's making a lot of money that that passed us by. We didn't have the the the IT expertise to do what we knew was out there, but somebody did. And yep. It's an industry. It's truly an industry now.

Scott Heidner: We missed the boat, I can't remember what word you used, but you know, somewhat embarrassing hobby or whatever, I'll, I'll double down with you.

I will say that when people use that old phrase, Do what you truly love and you'll never work a day in your life. And I ask myself with any kind of honesty, what would that. Something involves fantasy sports, absolutely.

Vic Miller: One of the reasons I liked the musician meatloaf, cuz I heard that he was a fantasy, fantasy nut.

In fact, he had like 30 teams posted in his basement.

Scott Heidner: Oh my gosh, I can't believe he said that. I have to tell you this true story. I, oh man, this is many years ago. I think it still exists though. There is a fantasy league, it's national. They do one for baseball, one for football, [00:35:00] and they take 300 teams nationwide.

But you have to physically go to the draft. And they had one in Vegas, one in New York, one in, somewhere in Florida, one in Chicago. And you know, expensive enough that it's just unjustifiable, but. Junkies like you and I I went to one, I did it one year. Tremendous experience. Just got beat like a rented mule cuz at that level that cost, you know, some pretty bright people in there.

But the, each of the four sites had 75 people and they were leagues of 15. So there were five drafts going on in this large event space. Guess who? He wasn't in my league of 15, but guess who was present drafting at another table? Meatloaf.

Vic Miller: Meatloaf. . Yeah. I I have a friend, one of my Compatriots in my leagues, but he goes to Vegas every year just before the football season.

So he's, he's serious about it. I do it for fun. Yeah. But he's serious [00:36:00] and he does, he does quite well. I miss the days where, all the time that you spent researching before the draft paid off. It's different world now. Any dummy can get on the internet and be up to speed in a couple hours time just by hitting a few buttons.

Scott Heidner: Meritocracy is over. Mm-hmm.. Yep. It is commoditized now. Isn't that the truth? Well, that's awesome. I'm glad that's that's, that's the most interesting thing for me. Yeah. We've got lots to talk about. . Well,

Vic Miller: I'm sure we know, we know people in our, in our respective leagues, which is I bet's and I'm always.

I've got one going on right now that will end with the Super Bowl and I have 70 participants. It's the one that I, that I run. Holy cow. It's a, it's a format that I created a few years ago and it's now grown to where we've got 70 entries this year.

Scott Heidner: That's awesome. Yeah. I did last comment and we can, we can wrap up the podcast here, but I, I've done fantasy football and baseball both for years and years and years, but six, seven years ago I got into a.

Dynasty football [00:37:00] league. Oh my gosh. Just changed my life. I'd always preferred baseball. I liked football, but really preferred baseball. This is, well, we'll take that up offline. So listen,

Vic Miller: I've never, I've never ventured into Dynasty.

Scott Heidner: Oh gosh. It's incredible. Yep. It's It's life altering. Well, with that , we'll leave our listeners with four minutes of our fantasy ramblings at the end.

But Representative Vic Miller what a pleasure to have you on the show. So very much appreciate you making time to be with us. It's been a delight to have you.

Vic Miller: Well, thank you.

Scott Heidner: Absolutely, listeners, hope you've enjoyed stay tuned for the next


Scott Heidner: episode and we will talk to you again soon.

From Student Body President to House Minority Leader with Vic Miller, Kansas State Representative, 58th District
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