JimRusso (Jim Russo)

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Police PAC issues statement against Soden; Board of Realtors PAC gets nearly $15K from national organization; SLT concept plan could create major changes near Clinton Parkway

Well, you certainly can't accuse the National Association of Realtors PAC of being overly partisan. Nationwide, they gave heavily to liberal and conservative bogeymen (Nancy Pelosi, Ted Cruz, etc.), but in Kansas they only contributed to Republican congressional candidates (Jenkins, Pompeo, Roberts, etc., probably because they tend to support incumbents).

Similarly, their advocacy issues cover a range of conservative and liberal positions--weaken the Endangered Species Act and strengthen marriage equality.

As their website states, "The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support their interests."

Now that three candidates have essentially been handed a megaphone by an outside national group while other candidates use primarily local donations to speak through the equivalent of cupped hands, I hope citizens of Lawrence will repudiate such election spending. Whose interests should the commissioners serve?

April 4, 2015 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Police PAC issues statement against Soden; Board of Realtors PAC gets nearly $15K from national organization; SLT concept plan could create major changes near Clinton Parkway

The article probably should have noted that Michael McGrew of Lawrence is Treasurer of the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee.

April 3, 2015 at 4:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New campaign finance reports in City Commission race; Rasmussen apologizes for accepting Crossland donations and returns funds; City Hall details projects to delay if police HQ moves ahead

Kudos to Mr. Rasmussen for hearing the concerns of the citizens and returning the money. It was the right thing to do.

March 31, 2015 at 1:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawmaker defends use of state plane to fly back for vote

The dollar figure is just my ballpark estimate based on preliminary research (in fairness to Ms. Hawley, a recent article places the cost between $500 and $700, although it's not clear what is included in that cost: http://awin.aviationweek.com/portals/.... However, a much more detailed report issued by Aircraft Cost Calculator accounts for maintenance, fuel, pilot salary and cost of the airplane to yield a total closer to $2,000 per hour).

I hope that the reporter will look into how much the state has been charged by the Highway Patrol for similar flights in the past and if such costs are accurate.

March 30, 2015 at 10:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawmaker defends use of state plane to fly back for vote

I'm no expert on calculating the hourly cost of operating an airplane (and I doubt Ms. Hawley is either). Ms. Hawley "estimates" a total cost of $410 to fly round trip from Topeka to Coffeyville. I assume that cost includes fuel, salary for the pilot(s), and the appropriate percentage of maintenance and ownership costs for the plane.

But a website for a company that sells King Air airplanes estimates the hourly cost of operating a King Air 300 at $1,467, with fuel cost alone of $752 and not including any salary/benefits for pilots. So, even if the governor's plane was magically flying itself and using fuel as water, the operational cost would still be much higher than Ms Hawley's estimate. (See http://www.cjjets.com/resources/compa...).

There's no shortage of aviation experts in Kansas who can do a better job at pinpointing the cost than me, and I'll gladly admit to being wrong if that's the case. Whatever the amount, the taxpayers of Kansas are due a complete refund.

March 29, 2015 at 2:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawmaker defends use of state plane to fly back for vote

Would the plane have been made available if Peck had been planning to cast a "no" vote? This is clearly a misuse of state resources.

March 29, 2015 at 8:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Senate passes budget that includes cuts to KU and student financial aid

Mitch, you seem like a student who is engaged and votes. I hope you encourage your fellow students to do the same in coming elections
.

March 26, 2015 at 9:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Candidate funds

I read it: the city reached out to Crossland, and it seemed like Lawrence would have been better off going with Crossland, based on their bid.

However, Crossland is one of the bidders for the new sewage treatment plant (http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2015/feb...). I don't know the status of the bid or what role the commission plays in selecting a contractor, but I think this is the type of outside influence that the letter writer was addressing.

March 26, 2015 at 9:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Candidate funds

Where does one access this memo?

March 25, 2015 at 3:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Candidate funds

The issue here isn't one of character or competence (Mr. Rasmussen seems to me like a person of integrity with a good grasp of the issues facing Lawrence).

I think that as individual voters, we are better served by first focusing on the candidates' proposals and then questioning how those proposals align with our interests and perhaps those of their campaign contributors. (I can guarantee that every candidate has received at least one donation that will raise somebody's eyebrows.) For better or worse, this is the system we are stuck with for now, and it's up to us to make decisions based on the information we have available to us.

March 25, 2015 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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