Letters to the Editor

August 2, 2014

Letters to the editor on Vietnam veterans convention, Tiahrt, Pompeo, GMO food, Howell, Avello, McGinn, Rhoades, Bunting, Kansas Values Institute

The Vietnam Veterans of America and the Associates of VVA will converge on Wichita next week for the National Leadership and Education Convention. Members of Kansas chapters from Hays, Salina, Topeka, Ottawa and the Kansas City area will come to our fair city, as will VVA national president John Rowan and representatives of his staff, state councils and national committees and membership.

Veterans converging on city next week

The Vietnam Veterans of America and the Associates of VVA will converge on Wichita next week for the National Leadership and Education Convention. Members of Kansas chapters from Hays, Salina, Topeka, Ottawa and the Kansas City area will come to our fair city, as will VVA national president John Rowan and representatives of his staff, state councils and national committees and membership.

Thousands of veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands more will soon be joining them at home – some with physical wounds, some with mental trauma. Many years ago the VVA took an oath that we Vietnam veterans would not forget any future generations of veterans who serve and sacrifice for the United States. We haven’t forgotten, and we continue to fight for the younger veterans, as well as our Vietnam veterans.

The convention will be at the Hyatt Regency Wichita. While some meetings are only for members of VVA and the Associates of VVA, some forums will be open to the public. Everyone is invited to a wreath-laying ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Wichita Veterans Memorial Park, and to a ceremony recognizing prisoners of war and those missing in action at 8 a.m. Friday along the Arkansas River below the Hyatt. There will also be an Agent Orange seminar open to everyone at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Wichita can be one heck of a convention hub, and our many venues will be a draw for the visitors and guests. We want them to enjoy their visit.



Tiahrt a leader

The fundamental difference between Todd Tiahrt and U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is leadership.

When private gun owner information was being shared, Tiahrt fought to pass the Tiahrt trace data amendment that protects the privacy of gun owners. When defense contracts were unfairly outsourced to foreign countries, Tiahrt rolled up his sleeves and got the contracts overturned, and jobs stayed in Wichita. When others gave up, Tiahrt stayed on the House floor for 12 hours fighting Obamacare.

In contrast, Pompeo has defended the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices. He has authored special-interest legislation that prevents states from requiring the labeling of genetically modified organisms. Pompeo voted seven times to fund Obamacare and supported military involvement in Syria.

Congressional seats are contract labor. The contract is up, and the bosses (the voters) must decide if we should keep the current guy or hire someone with a better track record and more experience.

Let’s show the lobbyists and special interests that despite all of the problems we face in our nation, people still matter.

Vote for Todd Tiahrt on Tuesday.



Ridiculous attack

The record of U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, on Obamacare is clear. He has never supported it. Pompeo ran for Congress to get rid of it. He believes it should be repealed completely.

What makes Todd Tiahrt’s campaign commercial accusing Pompeo of supporting it so strange is that he knows that Pompeo does not support Obamacare. Organizations such as Kansans for Life, FreedomWorks and Club for Growth would never have endorsed Pompeo if he supported Obamacare.

The Tiahrt campaign should be ashamed of this ridiculous attack – especially since Tiahrt’s recent statements on this issue are much less clear. In a recent article in the Butler County Times-Gazette, Tiahrt said that “some provisions in Obamacare should remain.”

Tiahrt is doing himself no favors in gaining the trust of the community when he tries to fool people with these wild claims.



Allow GMO labeling

Good grief. Could the debate about the food-labeling bill by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, be any more confusing? It’s simple. The bill prevents states from requiring information in food labels about genetically modified organisms.

Some people want to know what’s in their food because they won’t buy it if it was made from genetically modified ingredients. Some corporations don’t want people to know their food was made from this stuff for the same reason – because they won’t buy it. The bill orders the Food and Drug Administration to hide that information unless the food is determined to be unsafe.

I don’t think Kansas farmers want to hide what’s in their harvest. We are proud of it. We don’t need to hide behind a labeling law. Pompeo’s law doesn’t help Kansans. It only helps paranoid corporations.



GMO food is safe

A divisive issue in the Mike Pompeo-Todd Tiahrt primary is Pompeo’s labeling bill for genetically modified organisms. Statements and information being disseminated are not accurate.

Pompeo introduced a bill in April that would place the responsibility of labeling of GMO food products with the Food and Drug Administration, which already regulates food in the U.S. The alternative is a confusing batch of arbitrary GMO labeling regulations in states that enact them. The FDA uses scientific methods, not politics, to determine the safety of our food.

GMOs have been proved safe by years of credible scientific research. GMO varieties make up 95 percent of our Kansas corn crop, allowing growers to produce more corn more sustainably. New drought-tolerant traits show great promise for water conservation. Thanks to GMOs, our farmers are growing more corn on less land.

The liberal Food Policy Action has spent $40,000 on online ads attacking Pompeo’s GMO labeling bill. Funded by environmental activist groups, FPA is no friend to farmers or Kansas. These activist groups oppose production agriculture, a leading economic driver in Kansas.

There are real issues to debate in this election. But enlisting environmental activists to spread misinformation is not good for the election, and it’s not good for Kansas.



Kansas Corn Growers Association


Elect Howell

State Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby, is now in his second term of serving the people of his district and the state of Kansas with distinction. Soon after being elected to the Legislature, he quickly created his own niche and ultimately sponsored more than a dozen bills and resolutions, including Second Amendment bills. He adapted to the difficult procedures of state government and achieved a very high National Federation of Independent Business evaluation. As he served, he traveled throughout his district asking questions to find out what most concerned all Sedgwick County voters.

If we wisely elect him to the Sedgwick County Commission in District 5, I know he will come equipped to apply a fresh vision and understanding to directly serving the people of Sedgwick County. That will include knowledge of how our county can best benefit from the laws enacted by the Legislature.

Howell has a great deal of faith in this country’s hard-fought constitutional principles and will faithfully vote a conservative stance. He will protect your property and taxes.



Support Avello

Join me in voting for Dion Avello for Sedgwick County Commission District 5. I’ve known Avello for 15 years through our work as elected officials in Derby and Mulvane.

He has a good understanding of our area and has always been supportive of Mulvane, including our work to grow new jobs. It is important for our new commissioner to know and understand how local issues are affected by state law. Avello has that knowledge, while his opponent has proved that he simply does not.

Voting on Tuesday is crucial to the future of Sedgwick County. Every vote will count, and I urge voters to support Avello.



Choose Rhoades

My job has taught me much in choosing a candidate. I have worked 14 years at my company and see many correlations of why I would choose state Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton.

When our payroll exceeds sales, the red flag is raised immediately. We cut the fat, not the muscle. Rhoades has not only proved to work within the budget but helps cut income taxes for all taxpayers and uncovered millions in duplicate state programs.

Our company has experienced an increase of lawsuits. This affects our bottom line. It saddens me to think that his opponent has voted to support schools suing the state.

When employees fail to comply with company guidelines, steps are taken to correct the situation. Businesses have to stay focused on real outcomes. Rhoades has focused on measurable outcomes and proven results for government.

Working for a large company means you don’t get to know everyone well. I appreciate how Rhoades is always accessible and easy to talk with. Experience tells me that Rhoades is the clear choice for state representative. He has my support, and I hope he has yours.



Bunting qualified

We believe qualified governmental representatives are people who participate in multiple community boards and committees. They are knowledgeable of issues, ask lots of questions from contemporaries and do much issue research.

Barbara Bunting is a very qualified person. She has served on numerous community boards and committees, including the Community Corrections Advisory Board, giving exemplary service to all of them. On the USD 373 school board and the Kansas Association of School Boards, she has researched the issues and communicated her understanding of them to others. She has been a member of the KASB for more than 12 years, serving a term as president.

The women of Newton conferred their appreciation of her community service by selecting her as one of three Women of the Year in 2013.

Please join us in voting for Barbara Bunting for state representative of the 72nd District in the Tuesday Republican primary.



Need McGinn

I support Carolyn McGinn for Sedgwick County Commission District 4 because I like her approach to the issues. I know that she makes decisions based first and foremost on how it affects the taxpayers in her district.

McGinn has been involved in politics from her early work in her local school district through today. As a co-owner and co-operator of a family farm, she gets the big picture when it comes to small business and the local economy.

McGinn understands the need to keep government trim and efficient, and she has led by example. As chairwoman of the Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee in 2011 and 2012, she helped the state cut $500 million from its budget while maintaining essential services.

We need someone who understands the need for balance on the Sedgwick County Commission. We need Carolyn McGinn.



Mailer misleading

I got a political mailing this week from the Kansas Values Institute that wanted me to call Dennis Hedke (the incumbent state representative from the 99th District) and ask him why he took a bonus at our expense. Being the incumbent, he would be the “elected official” in the race between him and Randy Banwart (private citizen challenger). The next day I got another mailing from the Kansas Values Institute telling me that Banwart had earned a 100 percent Kansas Values rating as a Kansas House of Representatives “elected official.”

How can that be? He’s a private citizen. Is the Kansas Values Institute trying to mislead me in both mailings? Can we believe anything it says? All it has is a post office box in Topeka and a lot of money for printing mailers with false statements. Kansans deserve better than that. Do your homework and don’t be deceived.



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