To those approaching 18
I’m sure there are many who share my excitement at seeing such a large number of young people demonstrating publicly nationwide for positive change. Given the necessarily slow pace of change in society, we need this highly motivated generation of new voters to start making changes now.
The good news: 11,000 people reach age 18 every day in our country. This means that between May 1 and Nov. 5, there will be well over 2 million potential new voters before election day.
The bad news: traditionally so far, the youngest of potential voters have by far the lowest participation rate of the various age groups. In 2016, 46.1 percent of adults 18-29 voted, the only age group below 50 percent.
To start the needed change here is what all age categories, especially the younger voters, need to do: 1. Get to the voter registration office with required identification and get registered. 2. Investigate your personal thoughts, feelings and political beliefs. 3. Research the personal thoughts, feelings and political beliefs of the candidates. 4. Make decisions. 5. Vote on election day.
And speaking of change, to increase the participation of all voters, how about making national election days a national holiday?
Steve Kimball, Belle Plaine
Kansas government has had ethical issues concerning the effect lobbyists may have on contract decisions. Senate Bill 394 addressed that by creating lobby reporting standards “ensuring transparency in contract and other decisions.” It passed the Senate 40-0.
Another issue is the legislator/lobbyist revolving door that allows a legislator leaving office to immediately begin lobbying. The ethical issue is whether the legislator may sponsor bills or vote with future employment opportunities in mind. Two years ago, a legislator who pushed through bills favorable to a special interest group resigned before his term was up and went to work as their lobbyist.
When SB 394 reached the House, Rep. Vic Miller, D-Topeka, added an amendment to create a one-year cool down period before legislators leaving office could lobby. It passed 64-59. After the recess, Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, asked the amendment be reconsidered as “some people may already have plans,” presumably plans to become a lobbyist.
Reps. Becker, R-Buhler; Blake Carpenter, R-Derby; J.R. Claeys, R-Salina; Lonnie Clark, R-Junction City; Tom Cox, R-Shawnee; Anita Judd-Jenkins, R-Arkansas City; Jim Kelly, R-Independence; and Whitmer changed their votes from yes to no, killing the amendment and leaving the revolving door open.
Remember them when you vote this fall.
J.C. Moore, Clearwater
A sorry start
I wasn’t born Royal, but I’ve been a loyal Royals fan for years. I’ve loudly cheered their victories and quietly grieved their losses. Now at the beginning of a new season, my demeanor is one of dismay.
The Royals are a good team; they should be winning ballgames. I thought that perhaps a reminder from Skip, the manager of the Durham Bulls, might be helpful. Have the Royals become a team of lollygaggers? Have they forgotten that baseball is a simple game?
“You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball!” They seem not to be doing any of these. Some sort of return to the fundamentals seems called for.
Fr. Bob Layne, McPherson
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