More letters to the editor on Norton, Newton, Ballinger, Dillmore, Cubbage, Donovan, Hutton, Hicks, Wetta, Social Security
11/04/2012 12:00 AM
11/02/2012 5:50 PM
Images and stories of Hurricane Sandy have shown the importance of working together when times are hard. Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton’s commitment to public service was forged in a rain-filled basement, huddled with other leaders and neighbors responding to the Haysville tornado.
Over time, I have come to know Norton very well. I have watched his commitment to Project Access, a program that provides health care for the uninsured. I have watched his leadership to create new jobs through aviation training. I have watched him work tirelessly with other leaders to help plan a health care simulation center that will set new standards for health care education and patient safety. At every moment, I have seen a leader who cares deeply about our community and wants the best for it.
We are fortunate to have public servants who give their best every day so that all of our lives may be better. Norton is one of those special people. The life of my family, and of our community as a whole, is better because of Tim Norton’s dedication, wisdom, service and leadership. I admire and appreciate him, and hope that he will be re-elected.
Newton deserves vote
Zoe Newton will be a great Sedgwick County District Court judge and deserves your vote.
Newton is an accomplished trial lawyer and committed to the community. Her career represents the American dream. As a young legal immigrant from Jamaica, Newton worked her way through college to graduate magna cum laude. After attending Cornell Law School, she worked in the litigation departments of two national law firms and for the Illinois attorney general.
Newton has conducted this campaign with decorum, and she will bring that same decorum to the bench. Zoe Newton is committed to serving our community and providing fair and impartial justice to our citizens as a Sedgwick County judge.
Given the large number of District Court judges in Sedgwick County, we’d certainly expect that understanding of corporate and business structures and operations is common knowledge for many of them. We do not, however, have enough judges in place who fully understand how to deal effectively with crisis situations, both in civil and criminal cases, involving individuals in our community who desperately need legal assistance in managing their lives.
Judge Richard Ballinger is such a judge, and has worked diligently and passionately over many years to build the specialized legal expertise required to help our community understand and apply effective approaches that decrease incarceration and hospitalization for many individuals in our community. He has never stopped working within our legal system to address our general safety, and also appropriate behavioral health treatment for those who desperately need it.
The commitment, compassion and expertise of Richard Ballinger contribute significantly to our community life. I encourage you to support his re-election as District Court judge.
I urge the help of fellow residents of District 92 to re-elect state Rep. Nile Dillmore. As a retired classroom teacher with more than 35 years of public school service, I know the difference between a candidate who professes to care about our schools and one who has actually proved himself. Dillmore has an excellent record in support of education funding and of getting as much money into Kansas classrooms as possible.
Dillmore has consistently made his legislative decisions based on what is in the best interests of his constituents. He seeks our input and is responsive when it is received. He has refused to march in lockstep with anyone – not with other legislators, not with special-interest groups, not with extreme elements of either political party, not with multibillionaires who offer bankrolls, and not with the governor himself. Dillmore is in Topeka to represent us.
PAM JOHNSON TAVERNER
Vote for Cubbage
Diana Cubbage, candidate for Kansas Senate District 27, is a strong advocate for education, family values and our quality of community life. She is a professional who has years of experience in education and is active in our community.
I believe the state’s plan to reduce income taxes over the next few years will have a devastating impact on the ability to maintain core state services such as education, public infrastructure, public safety and safety-net services for individuals with disabilities. I do not believe the claim that this tax cut will lead to increased employment, in turn resulting in increased revenue. In my opinion, the result will be an increase to property taxes and cuts to core services.
I support Cubbage because I know she would work hard to represent the interests of families and our community.
Our state and nation need our best experienced, effective people to represent us. Please vote for Kansas Sen. Les Donovan.
Donovan is a practical conservative. He has not only represented our area in the Legislature for 20 years but has also helped many individuals in the area during that time.
Donovan is among those with the highest percentages of attendance and votes in the Legislature. His opponent, Diana Cubbage, has accused Donovan of spending less time in Topeka than in the recent past. But that was because his wife was in the final stages of dying from cancer.
Keep Les Donovan. He has proved what he can do and what he will do for our district.
Mark Hutton is the clear choice to represent the citizens of Kansas House District 105. If he is elected, the Legislature will benefit from someone who has devoted his life to the pursuit of effective leadership.
Hutton and his wife are lifelong Wichitans. They educated their children in public schools, and Hutton has an appreciation and understanding of the importance of public schools. He has the business skills to work intelligently on solutions to fiscal challenges.
Hutton believes in giving of his time and talent to improve the lives of others. He has assumed meaningful roles in both civic and professional service organizations, serving as president of Associated General Contractors of Kansas, past elder chairman for Pathway Church, and current chairman of the government relations committee for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few.
Hutton built his own company from a rented three-room office into a successful and respected construction company, and he did so without compromising his integrity or principles. It is this type of principled leadership that is so desperately needed in public service. If Hutton is elected, his thoughtful, considerate and intelligent perspectives will encourage collaboration to achieve the best possible outcomes for Kansans.
Hicks works for all
I urge those who live in House District 105 to vote for Liz Hicks for representative. As an artist, I appreciate Hicks’ creative approach to problem-solving, an approach that would be useful in the Kansas House. When Hicks is faced with a problem to solve, rather than say, “We can’t do that,” she says, “Let’s see how we can work together to fix this in a way that is best for everybody.”
Hicks uses fact-based rather than ideological-based information and ideas to solve problems. If she doesn’t know about an issue, she does research and talks to those who have expertise on that issue before she makes up her mind.
Right now, Kansas needs the positive, informed voice that Hicks would bring to the Legislature. Liz Hicks wants to work and will work for all Kansans.
I live in House District 116. For the past two weeks, the Kansas Republican Party and its backers have been sending out fliers against Rep. Vince Wetta, D-Wellington. Four fliers have tried to tie Wetta to everything that President Obama has done in Washington, D.C. Two have insinuated that Wetta had something to do with Obamacare and cutting Medicare to support it.
Apparently, the Republicans think that Kansas voters are dumb enough to believe such mindless fliers. All have been filled with half-truths or misleading information.
One flier implied that Obama wanted a robot so he found Wetta. Wetta was elected to the Kansas House before Obama was elected president. Enough already, Republicans.
Research, then vote
AARP Kansas volunteers and staff have been delivering reports to Kansas members of Congress and congressional candidates with information about what Kansans are saying about Medicare and Social Security.
Numerous Kansans have paid into Medicare and Social Security, and it is our opinion that they have earned a voice in the debate about the future of these programs.
Varied and self-reported responses to a 2012 survey have been collected at diverse events in Kansas, through the AARP Bulletin and by telephone interviews.
We should clarify that the AARP hears from people of all ages (not just individuals older than 50). It also hears feedback from citizens of all party affiliations who believe Medicare and Social Security are critical to the health and retirement security of seniors.
The results of the 2012 reports demonstrate that Kansans want Medicare and Social Security to be strengthened for their children and grandchildren, and that Kansans want to know the long-term plans that candidates and lawmakers have to put Medicare and Social Security on stable ground.
Before you vote Tuesday, check out where your Kansas candidates stand on Medicare and Social Security. Go to the AARP’s voter guide at aarp.org/ks.