Letters to the Editor

November 3, 2012

Letters to the editor on Brownback, Obama, GOP racism, Pompeo, fluoridation, Norton, Ballinger, Newton, Cubbage, Hicks, Hutton, Dillmore

If you think Halloween produced scary things, Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan tops anything. According to the Kansas Policy Institute, an ultraconservative Koch-backed group, Brownback’s plan will require cutting about $500 million in spending, which would be the largest one-year cut in state spending. State agency officials have been instructed to prepare spending plans that cut 10 percent or more.

Don’t vote against your best interest

If you think Halloween produced scary things, Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan tops anything. According to the Kansas Policy Institute, an ultraconservative Koch-backed group, Brownback’s plan will require cutting about $500 million in spending, which would be the largest one-year cut in state spending. State agency officials have been instructed to prepare spending plans that cut 10 percent or more.

With education having the greatest percent of the budget, where do you think the money to make up for the revenue loss is going to come from?

The plan eliminates income taxes for about 190,000 business owners. An attorney would have no state income tax, but the secretary and clerical staff – the lowest-paid positions – would pay income tax. Those who will suffer most from the new tax law are about 288,000 of the state’s poorest people, mostly due to the reduction or elimination of tax credits and services.

You have the chance to turn this around in the election on Tuesday. Consider candidates’ positions on Brownback’s tax plan. It is important that you are not voting against your best interest, and just because the candidates represent a particular party. A vote in favor of the tax plan is not in your best interest.


Council Grove



No standard

The attack in Benghazi refuted the theme of the Democratic National Convention: We have a great foreign policy.

Embassy officials sent messages months before the attack about growing danger. Instead of sending additional help, our State Department withdrew some protection. The anniversary of Sept. 11 was approaching. What was our president doing to protect America? He was campaigning. He needed to in order to protect us for four more years. Really?

What happens when moral standards are compromised? Truth becomes relative, not absolute. The end desired justifies immoral means to acquire it. Truth becomes whatever you say it is. No absolute standard.

This president believes only he and his philosophy can help America. He believes it so strongly he was willing to lie to America. I trust the leadership who most believes in God’s moral standards.



Devious pair

It is appalling to me that any intelligent voter would seriously consider voting for the ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan after all their flip-flopping, false advertising and anti-middle-class, anti-education, anti-woman, anti-elderly, anti-lower-class beliefs. Though they profess to be different from George W. Bush, they surround themselves with the same Bush men who delivered this country to the brink of a second Great Depression with their laissez faire, warmongering policies.

If the voters of this country elect such a devious, unqualified pair, they will deserve exactly what they get, and I doubt seriously that even the good Lord will deem it fit to save them from their own stupidity.



Video to blame?

Did you see all that damage to the Eastern Seaboard? Apparently it was caused by some YouTube video released six months ago.



Four more years

Republicans have been using the slogan, “We can’t afford four more years like the last four.” I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want four more years like the previous four, which saw 31 months of job growth, the stock market rebound that restored most of the losses in our 401(k) accounts, a rescued auto industry, a reformed student loan system, the end of the war in Iraq, the most sweeping Wall Street reform since the Great Depression, the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Then it hit me. When they said “we” can’t afford four more years, they were talking about themselves. Four more years like the past four, and the Republicans would not have a chance to win the White House in 2016.



Missed the point

Regarding Cal Thomas’ commentary “Obama’s record is the problem, not his race” (Oct. 31 Opinion): Just because there are racists of all types and ideologies does not change retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson’s point – the GOP has become a haven for nativists, xenophobes and closet racists. It’s no more the GOP’s fault for being the opposition party to the first black president than it is Barack Obama’s for being the first black president. But if you live in Wichita, you’ve met this particular type of Republican.

Not addressing the problem Wilkerson mentioned, and pointing fingers elsewhere, doesn’t deal with the long-term problem the GOP now has in attracting voters of color. It’s just another partisan ruse in a season full of such non sequiturs.



Pompeo available

The people of the 4th District of Kansas are lucky to have a congressman like Mike Pompeo, who is so readily available to all of us. He comes back to Kansas nearly every weekend. There are plenty of other congressmen who aren’t willing to be so available.

There is no one else I trust more to represent my interests in Washington, D.C., than Pompeo, who has a background in both military and business. I strongly encourage everyone in the 4th District to give him your vote on Tuesday.



Doing nothing

Why vote for Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita? He voted against Obamacare more than 30 times. At no time did he have the two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto, and none of these bills was ever voted on in the Senate.

I believe it was Einstein who said that doing the same thing time and again was insanity.

Pompeo has been a part of the most useless Congress in history. The only legislation that came out of it was that which was necessary for the continued operation of the nation.

So either the Republicans in Congress are crazy, or by voting against an unpopular program they hoped to hide the fact that they were doing nothing. If you had an employee who did the same thing more than 30 times and accomplished nothing, would you keep him employed? Meet Pompeo.


Bel Aire

Don’t fluoridate

The best guide to fluoridation comes from comprehensive studies. We who oppose fluoridation agree with the 14 Nobel Prize winners in medicine and chemistry who oppose fluoridation.

Even without fluoridated water, the rate of cavities in Europe is no greater than ours. Also, many health ministers say fluoridation violates the human right to refuse a treatment.

More fluoride is not needed. The average diet contains more than enough fluoride now. And using fluoride toothpaste is more effective than drinking it, and much, much safer.

Biochemists say that fluoride interferes with enzymes in our bodies. They also rate the kind of fluoride we’ll drink as toxic. Adding insult to injury, fluoride builds up in our bodies. This alone increases the likelihood of fluorosis that damages the tooth enamel of our children.

Following the advice of scientists and experts, I don’t want my kids and grandchildren to drink more fluoride.



Fluoridation safe

Fluoride opponents like to claim that fluoride additives are dangerous. Nonsense. Fluoride used in drinking water is tested for toxins, monitored and certified annually. It must meet American Water Works Association and National Sanitation Foundation standards for purity. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates fluoride additives in drinking water.

Wichita’s water has a naturally occurring level of fluoride of .3 parts per million. All we need is a little boost to get to optimal levels.

Don’t believe the anti-fluoride hype. Community water fluoridation is safe and low-cost, and it is the right choice for Wichita.



What dosage?

When my kids were little, the doctor prescribed fluoride and gave me a prescription. I was carefully informed as to what dosage to give them. Now we are taking the power away from a doctor and giving the job of prescribing medication to normal people.

If the fluoride vote passes, all the pro-fluoride folks should leave the pro-fluoride signs in their yard. I’ll have to knock on their door and ask what dose they recommend.

A doctor can’t even force us to take a prescription without informing us as to the side effects and problems. Yet we are at a position in which voters may be prescribing medication for an entire city.



Questionable logic

The opposition to fluoridation seems to be centered in three areas: the cost to an already high water bill in a cash-strapped city, the lack of choice of what goes in one’s body, and the potential harmful effects on the human body. The logic behind each of these is questionable.

As to cost, it is very difficult to convince many people of the truth that dollars spent on care and upkeep can save hundreds of dollars later on.

Lack of choice or forced medication is very mystifying, as we have accepted such several times before to everyone’s advantage and no one’s harm. Examples include iodine in salt and the addition of vitamins A and D to the milk.

The last reason would be a good one if there were anything to prove it is a real threat. The studies that suggest harmful effects were done in areas where fluoride occurs naturally at a much higher level than is proposed. Fluoridation has been used for decades in most, if not all, of the major cities larger than Wichita. For me, there is no better proof of fluoridation’s harmlessness than having not seen a single ad on TV from any lawyers asking to be contacted by those who have been harmed from fluoridation or whose family members have died from it.



Support Norton

I encourage voters in Sedgwick County District 2 to re-elect Tim Norton as commissioner. Norton is a voice of experience and reason. He does his research.

I have known Norton for 30 years. He is a phone call away. He listens to suggestions. He wants the best for our community at the lowest cost possible without sacrificing quality. His forward thinking for the future has saved dollars and attracted businesses to the south side.

Norton has made tough decisions and thought outside the box. He works across party lines to achieve what is best for all. I am proud to call him a friend and a great commissioner. Please support his re-election.



Ballinger cares

I have worked in Wichita as a health care administrator for more than 23 years, and in 2010 I started working with the probate court serving as an independent guardian and conservator for individuals who are impaired. During that period, I have had the privilege to work closely with Judge Richard Ballinger on a regular basis.

Ballinger’s activities and contributions extend far beyond his work on the bench. He regularly volunteers his time at both Via Christi and the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, educating staff on the proper handling of guardianship and conservatorship cases. His actions protect the welfare of many of our citizens who have no family or means of financial support.

I have seen how Ballinger genuinely cares and has compassion for those individuals who are in the hands of the state. I have seen him at work at midnight when the hospital needed a judge’s order to treat someone.

Ballinger is a Kansan and has represented our community well for more than 20 years. He’s done an outstanding job. Please consider his history when you vote.



Look at Newton

Look at who Zoe Newton really is. A hardworking mother, wife and professional. She put herself through law school with the work ethic she learned growing up on her family’s farm.

Newton knows the law and is committed to legislating as a fair and impartial judge.

It is time for fresh insights. We need Newton’s knowledge, life experience and work ethic as a Sedgwick County District Court judge.



Cubbage understands

Since her college days at Friends University, Diana Cubbage has been a champion for the less fortunate. She has been a schoolteacher and school administrator, and has run her own successful small business. She understands the needs of our schools, and that many children and adults need special attention.

Since retiring from school administration, Cubbage has filled her schedule by helping many community causes, mostly involving children. We need her voice in the Kansas Senate speaking up for projects that build a better community, including the arts.

I urge your support for Diana Cubbage for Senate in District 27.



Hicks concerned

Liz Hicks is running for Kansas House District 105 out of concern for the citizens in her district and the state. She is a bright and articulate spokeswoman and has the ability to represent her district with wisdom. She has been a pharmacist for 40 years, primarily for a locally owned pharmacy, and understands the legislative impact on small businesses. But more than that, Hicks has served in many public service capacities over the years that give her a greater understanding of the unintended human costs of well-meaning legislation.

Hicks will not be a rubber stamp for one point of view. She would be a great asset for both her district and the city of Wichita in Topeka.



Hutton committed

We urge the voters in District 105 to vote to send Mark Hutton to the Kansas House. We have known Hutton and his wife for many years. He has proved through the years to be an astute businessman, with an excellent work ethic. He is a man of his word, a devoted family man, committed to this community and compassionate for others.

Hutton would work hard for his constituents and the state to lower taxes, better our schools, promote more efficient government and fight for the traditional family values that have been the foundation of our state.

In days of uncertainty and confusion, we need leaders in the Legislature who bring a steady hand, balance and wisdom to provide an environment supportive to business growth, individual liberties and opportunity. Please join us in supporting Mark Hutton in District 105.



Follow the money

Let’s follow the money to see which Kansas House candidate will represent District 92 residents’ interests, Nile Dillmore or Brenda Landwehr.

Dillmore’s Oct. 29 campaign-finance report showed that the vast majority of the people who contributed to his campaign live in District 92. On the other hand, Landwehr’s campaign-finance report showed that nearly all of her campaign finances came from outside District 92. Many of her donors were connected with the health care industry.

So in following the money, voters find that Dillmore is well-supported and trusted by the residents of District 92. He will represent District 92 constituents’ interests, ask tough questions and use reason. Vote for someone who truly reflects the people’s choice for District 92. Vote for Nile Dillmore.



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