Letters to the Editor

State damage

July 13, 2011

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To the editor:

This governor is hurting our state.

Mr. Brownback has put like-minded, out-of-state cronies in positions here, some of which are newly created, to make consequential decisions often without due process. Closing many SRS offices in Kansas, especially the one in Lawrence, was one too many lethal drops into his kettle of toxic, service-cutting brew. This was done behind closed doors with what appears to be very little proof of money saved, people hurt, appropriate solutions and with no communication with those affected until it was done.

This is total disrespect for the democratic process and Kansas citizens and disregard for the historical traditions of previous governors (Republican and Democrat) from Alf Landon on, who committed the Kansas tax dollars needed to care for our poor, ill and needy and all the things that make Kansas a community not just a place. To put the record straight, I am willing to pay more taxes to this end.

Comments

jayhawxrok 3 years, 9 months ago

Brownback is about Brownback and furthering his right wing extremist agenda. Sadly many in this state would vote for anyone with an R by their name. It's hard to think of a less suited person to be governor than Sam Brownback, zealot.

Peter Macfarlane 3 years, 9 months ago

Apparently, the concept that government is a social contract between those who govern and those that are governed seems to have been omitted from your education.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

What exactly is a "social contract" and where is it in the US or state Constitutions? What are the terms of this contract and have we all agreed upon those terms?

I suppose many can agree that government should provide some form of safety net, but I think "contract" talks break down when you try to define just how much is enough.

And you might as well get use to this form of governing because Brownback will be here for another 3 years and possibly another term since there isn't a dem on the near horizon that can whip him.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

BTW, I'm no Brownback fan so I'll share this idea. The dems need to find someone to run against him now and start grooming that person. They should find a sacrificial lamb in their party to switch to republican and run against him in the primary. Make sure he doesn't get a pass there, make sure he is forced to spend some of his war chest and force him to address some of the issues before the general election - in other words, soften him up a bit.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 9 months ago

At first glance, Fred, that seems like a good idea, but I will bet he will be running for president and doesn't need or want a second term. Our only chance to stop him is to recall him like they did others in other states.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

A social contract is real. Look at the writings of our founding fathers and you will find it. Look at the writers who influenced them. The Constitution is a living, breathing document. And many of our rights are not spelled out in ink on paper. The Constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy yet it has become a part of how we understand the Constitution. (and I won't even mention that abortion has been found within that right to privacy). Yes, there is a social contract. It lives and breathes. It evolves.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Why not list a couple of local charities that will do the same sorts of things as SRS?

People might in fact donate to them.

Sally Piller 3 years, 9 months ago

If you had been at the meeting at Plymouth Church you would have heard from leaders of those local charities who already work with the SRS and stated that there is no way they can absorb any more than they already do and that this is a disaster for Douglas County. SRS does more than you probably realize for abused children, the penniless and the mentally and physically disabled. Breaking up a longstanding functioning organization is not going to be replaced by throwing private money to local charities!

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

That's kind of the point I was trying to get at.

I oppose the closing, and I understand the problems it will create.

Sally Piller 3 years, 9 months ago

Retired Douglas County District Court Judge Jean Shepherd, well respected in Lawrence for her long career working with family issues and foster children, used her two minutes to talk about the relationships among the city's social service providers that would be fractured as SRS workers are moved to Kansas City, Ottawa or other locations.

"I worry about the loss of relationships," she said, "which is what makes all the systems work."

Shepherd said Lawrence social service agencies had worked well together for years because everyone knew one another and what resources were available where to help someone who needed them.

"I worry there will be some new social worker from Wyandotte County who doesn't know our services," she said, "and some kid will go into foster care who doesn't need to. I'm just very concerned we won't be able to recover these relationships."

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

You're preaching to the choir here.

My wife has worked with SRS (not for them) for many years, and I'm aware of the problems that will happen as a result of this change.

purplesage 3 years, 9 months ago

I suppose that's how we got Sebelius, and Finney before her? No one with an (R) beside the name?

After a string of mush middle governors, we finally have one willing to take on the building budget crisis. I don't agree with every decision Governor Brownback has made. However - when there's no money, there is no money. The state is constitutionally prohibited from carrying a deficit. Hard choices are inevitable. And, no one likes being involved in the hard part of the choice.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

How about not spending $3 million plus renovating the state house?

How about not spending hundreds of millions on the SLT?

Etc.

Why is it always social services, education and arts funding that takes the hit?

BigDog 3 years, 9 months ago

jafs

Over the last several years, the Governor Sebelius and Parkinson have "borrowed" over a $1 billion from the KDOT budget. Funds collected from gasoline taxes to pay for construction and maintenance of highways. Everyone knows those funds will never be paid back to KDOT as initially discussed. Under the dome it is ofte referred to as "the bank of KDOT"

Just this year Governor Brownback took another $200 million from the KDOT fund to cover the Medcaid budget shortfall. He has publicly stated that this is a one-time event.

The funding for SLT will come from these funds as well as lots of federal funds.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

What's your point?

We have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on a highway, but have to cut education and social service funding?

It's a matter of priorities.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

I think that we're pushing up on $300 million on the capitol. $60 million dollars was spent for the new underground parking garage, which will help keep the legislators from contact with the public. They used to walk a half block from a parking lot across the street.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

You do realize that "no money" is a situation that can be fixed, right? We chose to not raise more money and cut services for the poor rather than inconvenience the rich.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

The state of Kansas employs approximately 40,000 Kansans. So, I guess those 'rich' people are providing all the jobs.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

Those jobs don't count, silly rabbit. We all know that teachers don't spend money in local economies or educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

notanota 3 years, 9 months ago

That's right. Sacred cow is sacred. It doesn't matter if they've been providing fewer of those jobs and getting more in tax cuts, we can't make the wealthy sacrifice when we've got perfectly good poor people to squeeze.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 9 months ago

That is the problem with Repugs, They say there is no money because they don't want to tax their constituents at a higher rate. If we raised taxes on those who made more than $500,000 we could offset SOME of the deficit and they know it. We could then offset more by closing other tax loopholes. But no one wants the income, they want to shutter programs and entitlements and leave needy people to fend for themselves. This isn't right and it won't stand. Somehow this governor will pay the price and I hope his political future is destroyed because of this one decision.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

There's plenty of money...don't believe the hype. If the state was bankrupt, how could a good 'christian' man justify spending tax dollars on a new state logo? A NEW STATE LOGO! GET IT YET!?! We're not broke. We're governed by evil psychopaths who don't care about anything but themselves, their cronies and the agenda.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 9 months ago

Brownback had no problem sticking us with the legal bill for his Koch Bros lawyers in the Planned Parenthood suit....could have used the AG at no extra expense to us taxpayers but Nooooooooo, he's got to have his right wing extremist buddies and stick us with the bill. He closed PP on religious grounds, no conflict existed with them using state money for abortion, it didn't happen, never happened, and he had to be a weasel about it in getting it done no matter what. Cut the arts, cut SRS in blue Lawrence, but work to push thru not so disguised racist laws under the guise of battling voter fraud - even though there's been like 7 cases in the entire history of the state. He's a train wreck.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

Hey! Give the guy a break, he somehow scrounged enough tax dollars to get us a new state logo.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

"or I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

What's with you cons? Cheer up, we have a new state logo! No money for poor people tho.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

Bwhahahahaha! You silly rabbit! You actually think you count in the eyes of the cons! A working person voting republican is like a chicken voting for colonel sanders. Get a clue, sheep.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

See above for other examples of saving money by reducing unnecessary expenditures.

deec 3 years, 9 months ago

Clearly some posters have reading comprehension issues. Ceasing the capitol renovation has been mentioned repeatedly, as has placing a moratorium on new highways. Using in-house employees rather than private contractors. Not firing experienced agency administrators and replacing them with incompetent cronies at higher wages. Direct your fellow travelers in the legislature to stop passing laws that will absolutely need to be defended in court, such as laws modeled on other states' laws that are already in the courts. And yes, repeal the tax cuts from the last decade that were passed with the promise of creating vast numbers of new jobs. The jobs have not materialized, so the cuts should be repealed.

jayarch 3 years, 9 months ago

interesting how the editor edited the title. pretty low key compared to the first sentence of the letter.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

Some of us told you all so.

It sure ain't pretty trying to feed your kids on the lies Faux "News" and the republicons told you, is it?

jayhawxrok 3 years, 9 months ago

It's not a tax increase ya Rep moron, it's just reversing a pererse credit that did NOTHING to stimulate jobs. The rich did just fine under Clinton, no reason to think they won't with the same rates they had then. Why do you Reps defend such obviously idiotic notions? Just to be opposite? LOL, how mature.

NOT.

jlw53 3 years, 9 months ago

If the writer is so willing to pay more taxes, she is free to send a check to the state for as much as she wants. Those willing to donate can save the SRS office if they desire it strongly enough.

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