Letters on ‘People’s Pledge,’ marijuana petition, college costs, take back state, take back nation
09/01/2014 7:07 PM
09/02/2014 12:07 AM
Take pledge on outside money
The “People’s Pledge” is an agreement between two or more candidates to ban outside money from their contest. The candidates agree that if an outside group purchases any broadcast, print or online ad, the candidate the ad is designed to help will donate 50 percent of the ad’s cost to a charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.
Voters love it. In a poll released last month, voters said they are likely to vote for candidates who favor the People’s Pledge – Independents by 5 to 1, Republicans by nearly 4 to 1, and Democrats 8 to 1.
Polled voters said they like the pledge because it makes politicians more accountable to voters.
“Outside money” is money spent on elections by groups not associated with candidates. This includes super PACs, trade associations and nonprofits set up to funnel money from corporations and wealthy donors. Outside groups do not disclose donors.
As Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said: “Outside money enables corporations and the wealthy to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens and makes elected officials more beholden than ever to the corporate interests that helped get them elected.”
Democracy took another hit in Kansas. The marijuana decriminalization petition has been stifled, and the will of the 6,500 people who signed it has been ignored by those who are supposed to serve us (“Marijuana petition short 47 signatures,” Aug. 9 Eagle).
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach claims the Sedgwick County Elections Office got the petition count right. He points out how painstaking and meticulous the Elections Office was in its review of the submitted signatures. But the staff did the review behind their closed doors. Were they trying to reject as many signatures as possible?
Kobach has proven he has no interest in serving the will of the people. There has been no transparency in this process, yet Kobach shows no accountability or respect to those he is sworn to serve.
It is inconceivable that they couldn’t find a few dozen more good signatures out of the 3,600 they rejected. I don’t think they wanted to.
Kobach’s new election rules thwart democracy and will eventually be found unconstitutional. In the meantime, we get stuck with a short count.
I’d like to follow the commentary by John Richard Schrock of Emporia State University (“College textbook prices: Read them and weep,” Aug. 21 Opinion) and the letter “Can’t a college degree cost less?” (Aug. 25 Letters to the Editor) on the unaffordability of college.
Much discussion of late has regarded players of various sports and whether they should receive a stipend. If that is deemed appropriate, then what of the athletic trainers?
Students in this field aren’t attending on full-ride scholarships. They do, however, attend practice in the assigned sport, are involved in therapy and rehab, practicums, doctor appointments for the athletes, all on top of regular classes and lab time. They will spend about 14 hours per week just in the additional required time, whenever that may be. Those hours come in such a way that even part-time work is nearly impossible to schedule. It deprives them the chance to pay for the growing debt they incur, unless they do so at the expense of study time necessary for success.
Tuition increases every year. Students have to buy a book or other material for the class, $260 for one, already knowing from others that it was scarcely used and worthless afterward. It’s demoralizing. It’s wrong. It punishes today’s youth for the benefit of the education establishment.
State for us all
Many of us – all ages, genders, races, financial and educational levels – have felt extreme frustration at how our governor and radical legislators have impacted our residents’ basic values.
We need to elect a moderate, independent governor and secretary of state and legislators who understand the importance of health care, public education, a fair and progressive tax system, a judicial system free of extreme politics, opportunities that will enhance everyone’s dignity.
Only through acknowledging efforts such as “Take Kansas Back” can we hope to wrestle back from the current self-serving politicians our rights and values for a better functioning state for us all.
It’s almost biblical the way the United States is receding as the pre-eminent world power. And with our decline, chaos follows.
As darkness coalesces around our “shining city on the hill,” feckless self-serving cowards inhabit the seats of power in Washington, D.C. Our enemies’ fear has turned into laughter as this stranded giant can’t even stop foreign children from crossing our border in broad daylight. Deviant lifestyles are taught as if they were normal in our schools and left-wing disinformation is passed off as truth.
Day by day the agencies responsible for maintaining order are being used as tools to spy on and persecute honest citizens because of their political views. As free American citizens, it is time that we reassert our constitutional sovereignty and take back our government from leftist usurpers who are determined to save us from ourselves whether we like it or not.
GREGORY H. BONTRAGER
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