Letters to the editor on negative campaigns, campaign spending, voter fraud, home schools, sustainable living
08/17/2012 6:03 PM
08/17/2012 6:03 PM
Campaigns should focus on strengths
Now that the primary election ads are over, and before the general election ads begin, let me say that I am outraged how things have been going. It doesn’t matter who you are for, just look at how the candidates are vying for your vote.
Candidates shouldn’t tell me why not to vote for someone; tell me why I should vote for them. Don’t make me choose between the “lesser of two evils”; make me choose the best candidate.
Candidates, special interest groups and the media seem to be trying to divide not only parties but the country as well. Then after the election is over, the winner doesn’t understand why we all can’t get along or why so few voted.
I’m tired of the way this process is tearing down our unity and jeopardizing our defenses. Don’t divide Americans just because that’s the way elections have been run before.
If we allowed ads for elections in our children’s schools to be run the way ads are for adult elections, we would be appalled. Candidates should show our children why America has the best elections, by explaining their strengths, not their opponents’ weaknesses.
Level playing field
I’m a little surprised that I haven’t read more stories regarding all the third-party money being spent to influence our elections. The new super PACs are bad enough, but worse are the political groups that pose as non-profits to avoid reporting contributors. Corporations can give big bucks to these “non-profits” without fear of reprisal from customers, because no one knows they’re doing it. The gridlocked Federal Election Commission of three Democrats and three Republicans continues to do nothing to rein in these abuses, and voters are left to fend for themselves in an Old West shoot-out between attack ads.
It is way past time for federal officials to place more regulations on these practices. Normal campaign contributions are regulated in that the amounts contributed are limited and the names of contributors are reported under campaign finance laws. Political action committees, super PACs and 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s should all fall under the same guidelines.
This isn’t about free speech; it’s about playing fair. Campaign laws were enacted to level the playing field so the little guy could stand a chance against big corporate donations.
What is even more irritating is that these various PACs can put out mailers and TV ads full of half-truths, innuendos and lies, and no one is held accountable because the names of these backers don’t have to be revealed until later, if at all.
The fundamental flaw with term limits is that the idea presupposes some innate moral failing in the politician, or that they are corrupted only after being elected. Before Citizens United, politicians were corrupted the moment they took the money necessary to get elected. Now, the moneyed interests can legitimize even the most fringe candidates while staying unseen, like the great and powerful Oz behind the curtain. What hasn’t changed is that they expect something for their money.
For some politicians, straying from ideological lines serves as a self-imposed term limit. As Sens. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, and Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, discovered, the same money that supports you one day can and will be turned against you the next.
More and more it seems as if the financiers on the right are choosing to keep their members in line by supporting only those with the most hardened ideological dogmas.
It’s amazing that Kansas was once the home of populism. The big swing to the right that gave us Eisenhower Republicanism now seems like a long lost warm, fuzzy and romantic memory of a middle ground.
No voter fraud
With the recent primary over and votes tallied, it’s time to check on the voter ID law passed in this state. Two recent studies done by separate organizations found that from 2000 to now, there has been a fraud rate of 0.000002 percent. News21 found a grand total of 33 voters convicted of actual voter fraud since 2000. The study also found the voter ID laws would have caught none of them.
So here’s the real problem as I see it: How many eligible voters didn’t vote or were turned away for not having proper ID? How many voters were disenfranchised because of the voter ID laws? A report from Ohio stated that of the more than 7,000 voters on their “super-voter” list, more than 25 percent needed IDs to vote in this election.
It seems the laws have turned away eligible voters by attempting to enforce a law that wasn’t needed in the first place. And guess who most of those disenfranchised voters vote for? You guessed it: Democrats and so-called RINOs (Republicans in name only). It really doesn’t get much more un-American than that. This is one law the U.S. Supreme Court should take a serious look at.
JOHN D. EKSTROMER
Several states are attempting to reduce voter fraud by such measures as requiring photo IDs and by purging voter registers of the names of non-citizens. However, Attorney General Eric Holder inexplicably obstructs these efforts. A person almost has to suspect that Holder, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, actually favors unlawful voting by non-citizens.
Purge efforts are directed not only at living non-citizens but also at identifying dead persons whose names are sometimes used to criminally vote. So far, no one, not even Holder, has been known to openly defend the “right” of the dead to vote.
Not BOE’s job
I am concerned that members of the Kansas State Board of Education have made comments regarding home-school students needing to be better monitored. My husband and I have no school-age children, but we know many home-school families. I was home schooled for 10 years, along with my four siblings.
Board chairman David Dennis’ statements shed a poor light on all home-schooling families. His intention to “beef up reporting requirements” is truly an infraction on the privacy and rights of parents to see that their children receive adequate education. Kansas children are not the responsibility of the State BOE but of the parents.
I realize that there are home-schooled students who are perhaps receiving a substandard education, but the state courts have consistently found that many public school students are receiving inadequate educations, too. Perhaps Dennis should address deficient public education before attacking private education.
It is not the duty of the State BOE to police those who sit outside the walls of government classrooms. May I also point of that national studies have shown that the majority of home-school students test better than public school students in many areas.
ELLEN HATHAWAY JANOSKI
Everything in this world is interconnected, and it has a price. Hard decisions need to be made. How much cheap Chinese junk do we need?
Put down that iPhone. Turn off that iPad. Talk to someone instead of texting. You’ll feel better, I guarantee it.
Much of that stuff made in China will be in a landfill three years from now. But the effects of making it will linger for decades. Let’s make some sustainable choices.
China has no Environmental Protection Agency. The carbon China puts into our atmosphere is unregulated and is heating our planet. That is why we have not had a good corn crop around here in two years. That is why food prices will skyrocket next year. That is why Kansas is slowly turning into Arizona.
We must all embrace a simpler, more sustainable way of life before it is too late.