Letters to the Editor

Mystifying vote

October 25, 2009

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To the editor:

My jaw dropped when I read on page 3A of a recent Journal-World that both Kansas senators had voted against an amendment that would have given a young woman legal recourse for a rape she sustained while working for a private government contractor in Iraq.

Evidently the fine print of her employment contract stated that company mediation was the only option she had in seeking justice regarding the attack. The Journal-World article said the Republican party line was that this amendment was just another Democratic tactic to get more work for American trial lawyers.

Do Sens. Brownback (our supposed next governor) and Roberts think that a huge number of rapes are occurring under the aegis of private contractors? Why else would passing this amendment cause them grave concern over tort reform? If an increase in the number of rapes is indeed the case, isn’t that all the more reason to pass an amendment that would protect the brave women who sign up to work in a war zone?

How anyone in his right mind could vote against legal rights for rape victims is beyond me. Not only do I say “shame on you” to our senators for their votes, I also say “shame on you” to the Journal-World for not putting this story above the fold on page 1A.

Comments

KayCee 5 years, 10 months ago

"How anyone in his right mind could vote against legal rights for rape victims is beyond me." In all probable case it is because the senators are far more knowledgable as to what the admendment 'really' was. I don't know, neither do you. But for sure Senator Brownback and Sentor Roberts are NOT in favor of letting rape go unpunished. Get all the facts first, then make your comments.

Brent Garner 5 years, 10 months ago

Ms. Porter: Have you looked at the entire piece of legislation to which this amendment was attached? It is a common tactic to attach completely unrelated items to other bills in order to get them passed. Such was the case of attaching the "Hate Crimes" bill as an amendment to the DOD funding legislation. No logical relation between the two but one was an amendment to the other. Before you start flaming the Senators, you might research the ENTIRE issue first!

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Garner: Please get your facts straight. The vote was on whether or not the amendment should be attached to the DoD funding legislation (along with the "hate crimes" bill) and was not on the DoD legislation itself. Indeed, the Republican senators who voted against it were voting against that specific amendment. This is my opinion but the reasons given by the senators who voted against it don't hold water. It was a "pro-corporate" vote that ignored the needs of women (and men too but by and large most rape victims are women).working for the private sector in war zones. The treatment of Jamie Leigh Jones by KBR and Halliburton should have never happened. This legislative amendment to the DoD funding legislation will make sure it never happens again. And since this has to do with federal contractors, including DoD contractors, this amendment is apropos to the legislation to which it's attached. Bottom line, you do the math. In studying the amendment and it's vote (which I have done) I find it very telling that the 30 Senators who voted against it were all Republican and all male. The four female Republican senators (there's only FOUR? That's another topic for discussion!) all voted for it. Bottom line, you do the math.

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

The amendment only applies to companies that do business with the government. If they don't like these rules, then go do business elsewhere. Why should we give tax money to companies who protect rapists?

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

I understand that Senator Sessions stated that the amendment was singling out Haliburton, so I guess even he was admitting that this company condoned rapists. Too bad he hasn't the morality to do something about this company, like drop all government contracts with them.

JHOK32 5 years, 10 months ago

Brownback and Roberts are both Republicans. Republicans only care about protecting big business! Republicans do not care about the "little guys" or "average joe's" of this country. They have proved this over & over again. Bush vetoed a bill that would have given healthcare to kids living in poverty! Yet Bush had no problems sending our kids into Iraq so that Exxon-Mobil could make the biggest profits in U.S. history! Why should this vote surprise anybody? It only glaringly shows the ugly truth.

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