I was disappointed when I read about former Republican House speaker John Diehl’s sexting scandal, but not surprised (5-17, A1, “What’s the cost to be an intern?”).
When I was a senior in college, I served as a legislative intern in Jefferson City. There were no cellphones, so there was no sexting. But there was plenty of inappropriate behavior.
Although my college experience had taught me how to deal with drunken frat boys, I was at a loss as to how best to politely rebuff the advances of men who were at least 20 years older than me and usually married.
Although most were eventually willing to take no for an answer, there were a few for whom avoidance was the only safe bet. If I saw them first, I quickly went the other way.
I began eating lunch in my office rather than frequenting the Capitol cafeteria. I stopped going to happy hour unless I had a male friend to accompany me. Going alone or with another female intern was just asking for trouble.
These legislators were my father’s age, but the similarity ended there.
Their unwanted overtures would be labeled sexual harassment today. But in 1978, no one called it that.
It seems like the only thing that has changed is technology.
Your story about CEO compensation (5-20, A1, “CEO pay: Too much?”) was both interesting and timely considering the ongoing discussions regarding minimum wages in the state houses of both Kansas and Missouri.
CEO compensation was listed in the millions, and the only way a person can understand a million would be to have a million.
The Washington Post recently listed the states and the earnings required to be in the top 1 percent, and none of the states required a million dollars.
A person earning $308K in Missouri and $358K in Kansas made it to the top 1 percent. This suggests that more than 99 percent of the readers in these states would have difficulty understanding a million dollars.
Let’s try hourly pay to quantify just what CEO pay means in understandable terms.
By using the 40-hour week and the 50-week year (I call it the 40/50 rule) we come up with 2,000 hours. The top listed CEO in the story was paid $10,795,025 per year, or $5,397.51 per hour.
The American Association of Political Consultants has an ethics code, “I will treat my colleagues and clients with respect, and never intentionally injure their professional or personal reputations.”
Yeah, but what about the clients of your colleagues, whom your client is opposing?
There’s practically no respect in politics. Political consultants make careers out of poisoning our political process.
We need publicly financed elections. That way, candidates could not raise private money to pay political consultants to keep politics in the gutter.
How are ordinary voters given any respect in this system? They’re not, because the only way you get any respect in this system is to pay for it.
It’s not even debatable that our political system is corrupted by money. The only question is whether we have the will to fix it.
Voter ID laws
A May 14 letter writer infers that Missouri Sen. Will Kraus’ “weak-kneed logic” is not “adequate justification to knock down core constitutional protections that prohibit restrictions on voting.”
But I have read that the U.S. Constitution has no provision guaranteeing the right of every citizen to vote.
In the days of the Founding Fathers, of course, voting was essentially restricted to the property-owning elite. The Citizens United ruling by U.S. Supreme Court has many talking about a constitutional amendment to cement into law what many of us consider patently obvious — that corporations are not people and that money is not speech.
Perhaps while we’re at it, we might want to add a provision plainly stating that every citizen has a constitutionally protected and inalienable right to vote.
The letter writer further states that such a bill would ensure that fewer non-Republicans are eligible to vote in statewide and federal elections. Does he infer that more Democrats are without the resources to obtain the required identification?
It seems ludicrous to believe that the same folks who buy beer, drive cars and purchase lottery tickets cannot afford voter identification.
Charles M. Gonzalez
Kansas City, Kan.
Kansas’ wrong moves
The 2012 Kansas Legislature exempted from taxes all income from partnerships and similar firms, self-employment, trusts, rents, royalties and farms, with $400 million in tax losses per year. About $150 million goes to the rich having incomes of at least $1 million, while wages of ordinary workers are all taxed.
Supply-side tax cuts have failed, causing large federal deficits. Gov. Sam Brownback and his friends now bring these deficits to Kansas. Having sold their souls to Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers, they are lost.
They refuse medical care for the poor under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Jesus wouldn’t give the rich tax breaks and deny medical care for the poor.
One must conclude that Brownback and his allies are Christians in name only, also encouraging more guns against Christ’s teaching of non-violence.
If Brownback controls the courts, the schools will have less money and produce even more stupid voters to vote for these voodoo economics.
The federal evils of tax cuts for the rich, deficits that reduce social programs and political judicial selection have come to Kansas. What was wrong with Kansas is now even worse.
People are well-armed to overthrow this tyranny of greed exerting power over Kansas government.
David Prager III
George Stephanopoulos gave $75,000 to a charity that supports global initiatives in underdeveloped areas of the world (5-15, A2, “TV’s George Stephanopoulos apologizes”).
That’s a good thing.
Stepanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton political associate, is now a broadcast network talking head and commentator. Dick Cheney is a former CEO of Haliburton Corp., a worldwide conglomerate involved in every facet of global commerce and strife.
Cheney manipulated himself into the vice presidency of the United States and bamboozled an intellectually challenged president and an uninformed Congress into invading Iraq. Then he profited from the post-invasion chaos through his ties to Haliburton.
The question is, Which is an acceptable scenario: George Stephanopolos giving to a charity for world betterment or Dick Cheney’s behavior while vice president?
Memorial Day, safety
Instinctively, it’s urgent to recall ...
The purpose, devotion ... commitment ...
Of each, individual person ...
And the wonder of it all ...
That such as these would unerringly
Protect, guard and defend...
So that ...
It’s them, that I commend.
For, sacrificing everything
For a nation such as this ...
Where liberty was bought
And paid for ...
So that others live in peaceful bliss.
For every price, no matter what
How big, or even small ...
That was made for everyone ...
I commend you ...
One and all.
With gratitude that ...
“I’m safe ...”
And so is my family!
For those who’ve bled
And even died ...
I salute, each one ...
Dee Ann Foley Doxsee