No evidence of voter fraud
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was interviewed on National Public Radio by Neal Conan about two years ago. Kobach was there to make his case for his laws restricting voting rights to those with evidence of their right to vote, even though some legal voters did not have those documents.
Conan asked questions regarding the need for such laws. Kobach stated strongly that the need was obvious because of attempted fraudulent voting, which was getting worse with noncitizens voting. Conan asked how many of those detected had been charged, and Kobach continued his rant about how bad it was, citing a case in Missouri. Conan asked again and again how many were charged. Finally, Kobach answered: none.
In a recent commentary, Kobach scolded The Eagle’s editorial board for criticizing his effort to suppress the voting rights of some would-be voters (“Kansas is safeguarding integrity of elections,” Oct. 26 Opinion). He began by making the case for the need for such laws. The third sentence stated: “Our first territorial legislative election saw 4,908 fraudulent votes cast (mostly by Missourians).”
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Wow – finally, some detail about the need to stop fraudulent voting. But there was nothing more recent about Kansas’ history of voter fraud, nor any reason given in support of a need for these laws.
Role of oaths
It has been awhile since I have seen an official taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. Few know that an oath is a verbal covenant between a person and God. Because of the eternal consequences of violating this covenant, we feel confident that it will be honored.
A recent report indicated that Air Force Academy cadets, in swearing their cadet oath, no longer have to include “so help me God” (Oct. 26 Eagle). This is unsettling to students of history who are aware of the sacramentum, which is the oath that Roman soldiers made vowing to die if necessary when fighting for their centurion. After the oath, the soldier would exchange his white cape for a red one, indicating that he made this oath.
How safe will we feel sending our military out to fight for us wearing a white cape? How delighted would an enemy be if this were the type of military we fielded to defend us?
We should re-evaluate the role of oaths in assuring that our government is representative and effective.
Worth the battle
I had the pleasure recently of meeting gubernatorial candidate Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, and his running mate, Jill Docking. If elected, they will fix an income-tax system that has benefited a few at the expense of so many. Not only have the tax cuts not grown jobs, but they will lead to deficits that guarantee more cutting of services on which so many of our vulnerable citizens rely.
Davis and Docking want education put back on the front burner, including restoring the funding cut from higher education. Now, our young people are coming out of school so far in hock they can’t buy the houses and the things that go in them – the very activity that truly stimulates the economy.
No doubt they are aware of the uphill battle they face as they confront an electorate that has been convinced by the party it put in power that government is bad, even as many of those same voters – particularly the elderly – get medical care and a floor under their income provided by the government. But those of us who know better – who understand that government has a vital role to play, and is at its best when run by the best – will be in Davis’ and Docking’s corner all the way come 2014.
KATHLEEN C. BUTLER