816 Opinion

Letters to the editor

Politics Chicago-style

Well, Chicago amateur baseball officials, you have learned a lesson the hard way. What is clearly wrong, yet legal for your state legislators, is not an equally legal model for kids playing baseball.

The unethical tactic is called “gerrymandering” in politics and “enlarging the residential boundaries,” where kids can live and play on a Little League team. If this is a violation of ethics for kids, why is it legal and ethical for adults, because our legislators do it all the time to gain a better voting advantage over the opposing party (team).

Gerrymandering is why a majority of House of Representatives voting districts are no longer competitive. Both parties do this, although Republicans have been more aggressive — and successful — in shamelessly creating safe and winning districts for their “team” by drawing such odd-shaped partisan voting districts.

My question is this: Where is the outrage in a democracy that says such action is a “no-no” for kids playing baseball but a clever and easy way to win the game (or election) in politics?

Harold J. Schultz

Kansas City


Gerrymandering is the drawing of congressional district maps to favor one party over another. Democrats in the last election in Pennsylvania accounted for 44 percent of the vote but won only five House seats out of 18. Does this add up to you?

Maryland and Illinois are gerrymandered in favor of Democrats. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee and others are gerrymandered to favor Republicans. A number of these states were under oversight of the Voting Rights Act of 1984 until U.S. Supreme Court decided differently.

In Virginia minorities have been concentrated into one district. A panel of federal judges has ruled the maps to be unconstitutional and they must be redrawn by April.

Isn’t it annoying to hear Republicans remark, “the people spoke loud and clear in the last election.” Presidential elections cannot be gerrymandered — notice a Democrat won the last two, and don’t say the “black vote did it.”

No, the vote by minorities was a small percentage. Minus gerrymandering, “the people spoke loud and clear in the last presidential election.”

If all maps were honestly drawn, Congress would more accurately reflect the “will of the people.”

Marlene Cooper


Keystone XL pipeline

The massive oil spill in West Virginia is a strong argument to get the Keystone XL pipeline approved to prevent a similar disaster from recurring. I do understand that President Barack Obama is protecting Warren Buffett’s BNSF railroad trips to the Gulf.

Everyone needs to know this. It looks like Chicago politics and Chicago at its finest.

Bob Patterson

Lee’s Summit

Right to work benefits

The Missouri House is doing its best to strongly represent our interests by pushing for a worker freedom law, also known as right to work. Legislators know what can happen to a state with such a law because almost half the states in our country already do have such a law.

Those states see greater economic success, something we strive for in Missouri. We can make Missouri competitive with them by supporting right to work.

The fears about what it will do to unions are baseless. Unions will see growth just as the entire state will see growth.

We can prevent jobs and workers from leaving. We can raise our wages.

Everyone will see the positive effects from this.

Shelby Hughes

Kansas City

Islamic State threat

I am not a religious person, but after reading of the latest beheadings coming from Libya and the threat to conquer Rome and knowing that everywhere the Islamic State militants are, there is extreme ugly violence against nonbelievers, I think we have a major problem on our hands.

The Saracens are marching upon our gate, and we need to realize the danger the Islamic State is causing.

John J. Martin

Kansas City

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