Just how conservative has Johnson County become when it comes to elected officials?
We’ll find out a bit more about that on Nov. 4, when voters decide who will be the chairman of the Johnson County Commission — incumbent Ed Eilert or former state representative Patricia Lightner.
Eilert actually is the less conservative choice, even though he has decades of fiscal prudence on his side, first as Overland Park mayor and now after eight years on the commission.
It’s Lightner who’s the hard-right choice in this contest. How do we know? Because she says so.
In a recent Star interview, Lightner said one of the reasons to elect her over Eilert was because she would get along with the conservative state legislators who dominate Johnson County’s delegation these days.
“It will be very, very important and beneficial to the county that we have leadership that gets along with the delegation, as opposed to opposing them and running and organizing against them,” Lightner said.
That’s just nonsense.
The ultra-conservatives in charge of Topeka have passed irresponsible tax cuts that are draining the state of revenue it could use to provide basic public services. Meanwhile, the policies in Topeka are pushing tax increases off to counties and school districts, which are having to raise more money to make up for the loss of state assistance.
As for Eilert, he hasn’t been so much of an opponent to what’s going on in Topeka as a person trying to make sure reasonable steps are taken to protect the county’s interests.
The Star has recommended the re-election of Eilert, partly because he is fiscally responsible, as opposed to Lightner, who appears to want to kowtow to demands of legislators in Topeka.