Archive for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sloan, Pierce face off in Republican Party Primary for House District 45

July 29, 2014


Jeremy Ryan Pierce

Jeremy Ryan Pierce

The Republican Party race to represent western Lawrence neighborhoods and rural, western Douglas County townships in the state House features a clear choice for voters — veteran legislator Tom Sloan and political newcomer Jeremy Ryan Pierce.

The two differ on nearly all major issues facing the Kansas Legislature.

Tom Sloan

Tom Sloan

Since there is no Democratic candidate for the House seat, the winner of the Aug. 5 GOP primary will represent the 45th House District.

Sloan, seeking his 11th two-year term, is a moderate Republican. Pierce, who briefly ran for the state Senate in 2012 before dropping out of the race, holds more conservative views.

Sloan voted against the tax cuts championed by Gov. Sam Brownback that reduced income tax rates and eliminated state income taxes for nearly 200,000 business owners.

To avert looming revenue shortfalls, Sloan said he would support freezing or restoring some of the tax cuts to preserve funding for core functions of government, such as education, safety-net programs, corrections and infrastructure.

"Raising taxes is never popular but that it is essential if we are going to maintain the quality of life for our state and our people going forward," Sloan said.

Pierce said he supports the tax cuts and said state government spending should be cut further.

"Within the government can be found programs that are redundant and things that could easily be eliminated or streamlined to keep core services running without raising taxes," Pierce said.

On the question of renewable energy, Pierce, who is backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, said he would vote to eliminate the state's renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Sloan supports the renewable energy standards and has voted against moves to repeal them.

On school funding, Pierce says he would allow the use of tax dollars by parents to send their children to the school of their choice, including private schools.

"I would set up a program that funds all schools like colleges get funded, and take that to all levels of education," he said.

Sloan said using tax dollars to send children to private schools was unfair. He said the state needs to properly fund the education system from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary. "Every time you reduce state aide, you are forcing local property taxes to rise," he said.

Pierce opposes the Common Core standards for reading and math, saying that the federal government is trying to impose it on Kansas.

Sloan supports Common Core and notes that it was not imposed by the federal government but developed by a multi-state group.

Sloan, 68, a farmer and strategic consultant, is chairman of the House Vision 2020 Committee, which tackles long-term issues. He has long been involved at the state and national level with energy, water resources, health care and higher education issues. He is married and has three grown children.

Pierce, 31, works as a facilities assistant at Veritas Christian School and as an administrative assistant for a music education company called Joyful Noise Music Academy. He is single.


Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

"Pierce opposes the Common Core standards for reading and math, saying that the federal government is trying to impose it on Kansas." THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has always participated in educational guidelines just as it did with No Child Left Behind which was a "failed conservative experiment" initiated by a very conservative ALEC Party. The ALEC Party posing as the GOP. Pierce will support defunding of our public education system….not too smart.

This a perfect example of how Koch,ALEC and the consulting firm Aegis Strategic have been handpicking local, state, and federal candidates who share the Koch/Walton’s/ALEC One Party Agenda politics. This is how republicans are chased from the republican party.

Tom Sloan is definitely the fiscal responsible fiscal conservative REPUBLICAN in this run off and the candidate who will support public education because it is the best bang for the tax buck. And delivers quite a respectable education.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

I will start with teachers’ 12-month salary contract. You state, “teachers are in the classroom maybe eight months out of the year, what with vacations, holidays, school breaks, summers off, etc.” Teachers report for duty during the first week of August and check out the last week of May. Those are our “contract days.” Many of us are working long hours before and after what our contract requires, at home or school, making plans and getting units/lessons ready in July for the August onset.

Our salary is divided into 12 months and in the two months we have “off,” most of us are taking classes (at our own expense) to either attain our master’s or doctoral degree, taking college classes (at our own expense) for the eight hours needed to recertify our teaching license every five years, teaching summer school, or actually having a family vacation! (Yes, many of us have families of our own!) And many take on a second job just to make ends meet.

On days students have off during the school year, many of those days, (not holidays), teachers spend having in-services to receive instruction on how to better educate and meet students’ needs. During our duty days, we come in early and leave late — no time cards involved as that would go into overtime that would be insurmountable. We are the ones that are there for the morning greetings and at the evening programs after school to support the students whose parents couldn’t make it.

We use our own money to buy hats, coats, gloves, supplies, food, incentives, books, etc., etc., etc., for students so no child feels less fortunate, or goes home unfulfilled. Even if I wanted to calculate the total dollars spent by teachers in one year for these items and so much more, I would not. We do it for one reason only: We do it because we care.

And then there are the hours of grading papers, making plans, worrying about the students’ home lives and what we can do to make it safer or better, educating parents with phone calls, notes, etc., to keep them informed of what is happening in the eight hours we spend with their child each day (except for our 27-minute lunch time) as opposed to the limited time parents have with them. (I apologize for the run-on sentence. I could still go on and on!)

WOW what a awesome comment!!!

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