Opinion Columns & Blogs

Seiwert doesn’t think relationship is relevant

Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, and his son-in-law did not disclose their relationship when they separately provided testimony last week in support of a bill that would forbid employees at state universities and colleges from using their official titles when writing opinions in newspapers about public policy issues or elected officials, the Hutchinson News reported. Heath Weninger, an agriculture diesel lab technician at Hutchinson Community College, identified himself only as “a part-time instructor at a community college” in testimony that was read to the House Education Committee by Seiwert’s legislative intern. Seiwert said in a statement to the News that the fact that he and Weninger are related was irrelevant to the bill. “I do not feel it is necessary to disclose any relationship between myself and any person who chooses to contact me on proposed legislation,” he said. – Phillip Brownlee