In his Sunday column, “Why should JCCC election become a partisan brawl?” Michael Ryan implies a concerted effort within one political party to turn a race partisan. (15A) The column leaves out significant pieces of information to make a one-sided case.
He refers to a “$10,000 Democratic Party contribution to a (Johnson County Community College) trustee candidate back in 2017,” implying the party invested that amount. This is completely untrue. He came up with this figure by taking personal donations of individuals registered as Democrats. This standard is not applied to other candidates.
Although races are nonpartisan, and should remain so, we cannot ask those who donate to campaigns to change their registrations when they give. I would not ask that of anyone running, and I would not imply that a party backs them because of the registration of their donors.
In the race for trustee this year, the Johnson County Republican Party has issued email blasts promoting candidates in numerous races. This has gone on since long before 2017. To imply that things are suddenly different denies reality.
Ryan makes his case to imply some nefarious conspiracy. This paranoia is unfounded, especially when the candidates running for JCCC come from education backgrounds and carry the endorsements of organizations such as Mainstream Coalition, the JCCC Faculty Association and others. These are also nonpartisan entities that have backed members of both parties. They are educators and veterans.
The public deserves a discussion about the direction of the future of every office on the ballot, from city council to JCCC board. Ryan’s framing mirrors President Donald Trump: Everything is a plot against them.
Free and open elections where anyone can run for office, and anyone of any registration can donate is the way our government works. Elections are not conspiracies.
- Angeliina Lawson, Shawnee