Letters to the editor on racial profiling, Tiahrt, Pompeo, Avello, Morgan, Bunting, Legislature

07/20/2014 12:00 AM

07/18/2014 5:29 PM

Racial profiling exists in Kansas

I’m a white male blessed with a wonderful rainbow family. I have a lovely African-American granddaughter, and three delightful African-American great-granddaughters. I also have a beautiful Hispanic granddaughter. It truly is a joy to share the multicolored world God created for us.

The shameful racial profiling that is still being practiced by some law enforcement agents, even in our communities, is appalling (“Guard against profiling,” July 9 Eagle Editorial). The citation and arrest records for traffic violations reveal a sharp preponderance of people of color. A Wichita State University study verified this disparity. The city manager of Wichita expressed his commitment to achieve in the future a more equitable application of the law. I truly hope and pray such will happen.

That profiling exists was made sadly clear in a recent incident experienced by my granddaughter’s other grandfather. He is an elder African-American. During a family fishing outing at a farm pond in Reno County, on a drive to a nearby town to purchase drinking water, his car carrying several black men was spotted by a local police officer. The officer followed the car to the store, kept it under surveillance while the men shopped, and again followed these peaceful citizens until their car and its black passengers crossed the town line. That blatant racial profiling incident angered my family members, though they made no response.

Some say arrogantly that racism isn’t in Kansas. Sadly, such an assumption is naive and ignorant.



Address profiling

How ironic that in a city with an African-American police chief, racial profiling would even be an issue (“Guard against profiling,” July 9 Eagle Editorial). You would think things would be a little bit more fair or even, instead of what we are dealing with now.

Wichita City Manager Robert Layton is the only official I see so far who wants to dig a little deeper and try to get more facts. I truly commend him for that.

If there is something rotten, it needs to be addressed and resolved quickly so we can move on to other issues and put the ugly practice of racially profiling American-American drivers in our rearview mirror.



Tiahrt’s character

Todd Tiahrt has strong character. My husband and I have met him, and we have trusted him to represent us in Congress. He has never let us down. We can count on Tiahrt to act with kindness, humility and virtue, both in Congress and in everyday life.

Our current Congress has had ample opportunity to provide checks and balances to the Obama administration. Instead, members of Congress focus on their own political ambitions. That is not Tiahrt and never has been. Right now, politicians fill airtime by telling us what we want to hear. I am ignoring that noise and paying attention to the 16 years Tiahrt showed me what I want to see – that I can trust his character.

I am voting for Tiahrt to represent my family, backed by a fervent hope that he can provide the leadership we need to turn America around. He has done it before. I know he will do it again.



Pompeo leads

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, has done great things for Kansas and the 4th Congressional District.

By authoring legislation that enabled streamlining of the manufacturing of aircraft, Pompeo has ensured continued prosperity in the primary industry of our economy. Using his extensive armed forces connections stemming from his experience at West Point and in the Army, Pompeo helped secure the selection of McConnell Air Force Base as the first KC-46A tanker base.

America stands to gain energy production advantages because of the legislation Pompeo introduced to speed the permitting process for natural gas pipelines. He safeguarded the rights of all Americans by passing the Pompeo Amendment to prohibit the National Security Agency from storing a citizen’s phone calls and e-mails.

Pompeo is a brilliant leader because he understands the critical issues and champions real solutions. Serving another term in Congress will enable Pompeo to do more for Kansas and for America.



Choose Morgan

Kansas Republicans have an alternative to part-time Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and his name is Scott Morgan.

Unlike his primary opponent, Morgan believes the secretary of state office is a full-time job that requires total focus on the state of Kansas, not a part-time job in which your attention is divided among different states. Morgan believes that voting is the right of every Kansan, a view that Kobach doesn’t seem to share. Morgan also views 19,000 Kansas residents, including many fellow Republicans, unable to exercise their constitutional right to vote as a major issue, while Kobach views this number as insignificant.

Morgan’s many qualifications include serving on the staffs of both former Sens. Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole, serving as chief counsel to Dole’s 1988 presidential campaign, and serving on the Federal Election Commission. He has a keen understanding of our voting system and how it can be repaired from the damage Kobach has inflicted upon it.

It’s time for Kansas to hire a full-time secretary of state. Choose Scott Morgan on Aug. 5.



Need Avello

I have known Dion Avello since 1999 and have had the distinct pleasure of working with him as a member of the Derby City Council. I am supporting him in the upcoming Sedgwick County Commission race in District 5 for many reasons.

Derby has experienced both steady and significant growth over the past 15 years. While government does not create jobs, it can create the atmosphere for private business to succeed, and we have done that in Derby. Quality-of-life policies, maintaining our infrastructure, operating a balanced budget and creating a reserve balance, all while keeping taxes in check, are qualities Derby is known for. Let’s help Avello use his knowledge and experience as Derby mayor and a former City Council member to help the county do the same.

We need a Sedgwick County commissioner who will move our community forward. Avello will devote his efforts to job growth, maintaining a balanced budget and streamlining spending, protecting local control of government, and making Sedgwick County an extraordinary place to live, work and play. He’s exactly the person we need on the Sedgwick County Commission.



Support Bunting

I would like to ask the voters of the 72nd District to support Barb Bunting for the Kansas House.

As a USD 206 school board member and parent, I feel it is important to have representation that values education, listens to all of the concerns of constituents and will pursue responsible tax policy. Bunting understands the challenges our community and schools face. Her time on the USD 373 school board and as president of the Kansas Association of School Boards gives her unique insight into the issues affecting education. Her extensive community involvement and membership on various boards give me the confidence to say she has the rare qualities to serve as a representative for the 72nd District.

Please vote for Barb Bunting in the Aug. 5 primary.



Change Legislature

Many prominent Republicans are now openly vowing to cross party lines and vote for Democrat Paul Davis as our next governor (July 16 Eagle). That is a powerful indication of the anger and dismay they feel toward the crippling destruction Gov. Sam Brownback has dealt this state. But it is doubtful that a change in governor alone will stem the tide. The Legislature has faithfully endorsed Brownback’s requests.

A resounding message needs to reach state lawmakers. We need a return to a more evenly balanced Legislature. We all must work together to heal our state.



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