Term-limit concern also has flaws
Davis Merritt was spot-on with his thoughts on term limits, at least in theory (“Term limits, at-large elections are bad ideas,” Feb. 5 Opinion). He correctly believes that if elected public servants only served one term, they would not have time to learn the ropes and would have to rely on their professional staffs and cabinet appointees. The unelected bureaucrats would be running things.
While it is true that a congressman or senator with tenure should be able to serve his constituents better than a newbie, we don’t often see this. Instead, we see those we trust with our vote become avaricious prima donnas who are more aggressive at winning re-election than solving the nation’s problems, and they get better at this each year.
As far as term limits existing in our ability to “unelect” a politician when we vote for his opponent, that theory assumes the public cares enough to vote, to study the candidates and issues, and to recognize the value of fresh ideas and an agenda that has not yet been corrupted by the office.
Surely in a nation of more than 300 million people, there are more than a few qualified men and women who, even in their first term, could get the job done. After all, governors and the president clean out their desks after no more than two terms. Why wouldn’t that work for all political offices?
I felt compelled to respond to the commentary by Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita (“Paycheck protections needed,” Feb. 15 Opinion). One would have to ask: What are the deep-rooted reasons why the Republican members of our Legislature are so concerned about how individuals wish to spend their hard-earned money? It’s certainly not the reasons Wagle noted.
Are our public employees really incapable of making a decision as to whether or not they wish to contribute to their union’s political action committee? I would think not. Then why do they? Could it be that, just like their private-sector counterparts, they have an interest that their children receive the best education possible, that they want fair taxation for all Kansans, have concerns for our environment, or any of the many issues that face Kansans today?
Wagle wrote that without paycheck-protection laws, unions often spend a portion of collected dues on political issues that their members do not support. This is just not true. Union dues cannot be spent on political activities. In fact, all monies spent by a local union are approved by the membership.
Just like the Koch brothers are allowed to fund Americans for Prosperity (for which Wagle has chosen to be a mouthpiece), the hardworking union members of Kansas should be allowed to continue to use payroll deductions to pool their resources to have a voice in our political process.
PATRICK J. McALLISTER
How is it that so many Wichitans seem to know what’s best for complete strangers, and are so terribly concerned? I read here daily not about “open arms” and love for one another but of hate and intolerance, especially as the opening of the essential South Wind Women’s Center nears.
To write that abortion is always the wrong choice for everyone is both shortsighted and deeply offensive. How do we know? We don’t. So should we be saying that we do?
Of course people have strong feelings about this issue and have the right to voice their opinions. But let’s not forget the importance of “I”-centered statements to this conversation.
Trying saying “I feel…,” rather than the all-knowing, all-threatening “You must….” Let others hear how you feel, and let us make our own decisions without judgment and intimidation.
And maybe think about that other difficult concept – acceptance.
BREON W. KRUG