Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss leading on principle, stolen campaign signs and chronic pain

Reward good faith

The increased partisanship over the last few decades, with political victory trumping respectful and honest debate, has become a truism. We all agree this trend is destructive in that it undermines an engaged citizenry and good governance.

Let’s occasionally remind ourselves that we are responsible for how this plays out. First, let’s do our best to hold our leaders accountable when they compromise the principle of respectful and honest debate to “get the win.”

But also, when we see our leaders go against party and stand for what they believe, such as when 30-some notable and respected Republicans recently endorsed Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly for Kansas governor (“Kelly is showing crossover appeal Kobach and Orman can’t match”), we need to be supportive, as some will incur political cost.

Short-term political sacrifices such as these can remind us what constructive politics look like.

Scott Cline

Overland Park

Purloined signs

Since before the August primary, a disturbing trend has emerged in Cass County: the vandalism and theft of campaign signs, in particular those for Renee Hoagenson, the Democratic challenger for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District.

This is an incredible waste of time and resources for the Belton Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department investigating each time it is reported.

The question that needs to be asked is why these childish acts are even occurring.

Are the individuals involved intimidated by a candidate who truly reflects the values of the working folks of Cass County? Are they afraid of an honest, fair election? Do they wish to stifle free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment?

I don’t know. What I do know is that this is a cowardly act, done under cloak of darkness, attempting to keep a candidate’s name from the public and prevent people from knowing there is a better choice for representation in the 4th District.

Marc Gagne


Pain management

In the months before my mom died of liver cancer, she was taking oxycodone in the form of Percocet, lorazepam in the form of Ativan and then morphine sulfate in the form of Roxanol. She didn’t like these drugs — the anti-anxiety Ativan in particular.

It was a major issue because when she didn’t take her pain and anxiety medicine, she was a basket case. But when she did take them, she was a zombie or just slept all the time.

At some point, she begged me to drive to Denver and get her marijuana. She believed she could stop taking the Ativan.

I refused to do it. It’s illegal. In Missouri and Kansas, it would have been a felony-level crime. To get caught would have been the ruin of me.

If a doctor prescribes heavy-duty drugs such as oxycodone, lorazepam or morphine, then how is anyone to say the patient can’t use cannabis? A prescription for these drugs should be automatically the same as a prescription for cannabis.

Right now, medicinal marijuana is on the Missouri ballot. Please keep in mind that not everyone wants it to get high.

These drugs that doctors prescribe when patients are dying have brutal side effects. If using marijuana can dial that back, it’s a good thing.

David Grider


Rush to judgment

In 87 years, I thought I had seen everything, but all of a sudden apparently the new norm is, “Guilty until proven innocent.”

I hope the folks who have made that a reality do not come into contact with the law themselves, as I’m sure they will find that a bit disconcerting.

Wayne Miller

Lone Jack

The wrong target

Republicans’ tactics: They haven’t met a lie they won’t tell. The current attack ad against state Sen. Laura Kelly in the Kansas governor’s race is just such a case.

Remember former Gov. Sam Brownback’s economic experiment exempting LLCs from state income tax? A huge economic segment was given a free ride without any planning to cover the lack of income the state would face. Brownback believed the magic hand of the free market would suddenly cover this huge deficit.

Well, the Legislature didn’t have an immediate plan. Raising income taxes was out of the question. Instead, it raised the regressive sales tax, which unduly affects people who can afford it least: the poor. Kansas has among the highest sales-tax rates in the region.

But what upsets me and should upset every reasonable and logical Kansan is that the Republicans are now blaming Kelly, not Brownback, for those tax increases. Secretary of State Kris Kobach wants to return to that plan.

I know Kansans have a reputation for voting for anyone with an R by his or her name. But I still believe Kansans are more logical and reasonable — especially when it comes to the pocketbook.

John Livengood

Benton, Kan.