Letters to the editor on voter suppression, King amendment, DMV model

08/28/2013 5:45 PM

08/28/2013 5:45 PM

Who’s to blame for voter suppression?

Thousands of Kansas voters have been disenfranchised by the Kansas voter registration law penned by Secretary of State Kris Kobach and made law by our legislators. Kobach remains at the tip of the spear in a nationwide partisan effort that uses the non-issue of “voter fraud” as a dog whistle for anti-immigration proponents and pretext for voter-suppression laws.

Kansans should not be surprised by Kobach’s actions. His past record reveals a consistent pattern of extreme nativist positions, perhaps best illustrated by his association with the Federation for American Immigration Reform – an organization recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group.”

Kobach may have initiated the Kansas voting debacle but he isn’t exclusively responsible. That dubious distinction belongs mainly to the Legislature for passing the law and Attorney General Derek Schmidt for his acquiescence in failing to act on the constitutionality of the law. Ultimately, responsibility must be shared by Kansas voters for their choices in the voting booth.

Rectifying this wrong begins by holding our legislators accountable and ends at the ballot box in the next election cycle.

J. BRYAN MANN

Valley Center

Awful amendment

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on the farm bill with the King amendment included. Now many of the representatives realize the amendment is not good, and they are signing a letter to provide to the Senate.

The amendment by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, would put state laws in jeopardy, such as bans on puppy mills, dog meat sales, gestation crates, horse slaughter and shark fining. Some other laws the amendment would block include Iowa’s laws on artificial sweetener, Maryland’s ban on arsenic in poultry feed, and bans on spraying sewage on crops. We need the King provision removed from the farm bill.

The office of Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, said they are “watching” the issue. When does watching get the amendment removed?

This provision is a violation of states’ rights and could erase state laws protecting millions of animals. We must contact our senators and demand this awful amendment not be included in the final farm bill.

NONA VANDAMME

Wichita

DMV model

A commentary by Donna Shelite, director of vehicles at the Kansas Department of Revenue, was encouraging in that it was forward-looking, positive and reflected an openness to improve things rather than being defensive of the status quo (Aug. 27 Opinion). I would offer that she take a look at how Arizona does things. There, all things related to vehicles are handled in the same office, from titling to tagging to driver’s licensing. And when you walk out of one of their offices, you have your real driver’s license in hand.

LOREN MARTINDALE

Wichita

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