Waiting list – Kansas has cleared a third of the names on its long waiting list for people with physical disabilities, but that doesn’t mean the state is providing services to that many more people. Kansas still has a big problem, not the least of which is being scrutinized by the U.S. Justice Department for neglecting to provide services to people with disabilities as required by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Budget cuts – Douglas County officials should be forgiven for expressing some skepticism during a visit by the secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families. When Secretary Phyllis Gilmore was asked whether there would be a renewed effort to close the local office of what previously was known as the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Gilmore said, “Nothing has been put on the table related to office closures.” It’s probably the best answer she could give, but it’s easy to understand why local officials would take it as less than definitive.
Get along – We’ve tried calling our politicians names; we’ve exaggerated their faults and spread stories about them that have no basis in fact. We’ve spent, in fact, billions, at least $2 billion, on negative campaigning for the presidential candidates this election season. Just for this little bit, these next few months, let’s try treating our elected officials kindly, listening to them as we want them to listen to us. Let’s try to look at the bigger picture. Yes, let’s even try to get along, even if we don’t agree.
Focus on middle – We believe 25 percent of Americans inhabit the far left of the political scale and 25 percent are on the far right. They will not budge. That leaves 50 percent somewhere in between. President Obama needs to work with and lead the 50 percent in the middle to build a consensus on how to get us through this tough time. History has shown our country can go through tough times and come out of them stronger than ever. We think Americans are capable of getting it done again.
New reps – Let’s task our new western Kansas representatives with something that seems common sense on our western prairie – be the voice of reason and do not act without just cause. Gov. Sam Brownback has plenty of yes-men to go around in Topeka. Be our eyes, ears and voice. Be a reflection of the people who sent you to Topeka, not a shadow of those you meet there. Be with us.
Hays Daily News
More candidates – Democrats in Kansas could help themselves and their allies by challenging Republicans in every possible electoral contest. If GOP right-wingers knew they would face a Democrat in November, they would not be able to appeal so recklessly to their radical conservative base in the primary. Elections in Kansas would be more balanced, money would have less influence, and primary voter turnout would increase.
Winfield Daily Courier