Gov. Sam Brownback’s campaign committee has a $300,000 debt, with $200,000 owed Brownback and $100,000 owed Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer (7-22, A9, “Donation request is an issue”).
Essentially, when they are asking for donations to retire campaign debt, they are asking for money for themselves. There are no re-election campaigns to run.
The debt they want to retire will go straight into their pockets.
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It is not that they ask Westar for money that is the problem; it is that they ask anybody for money.
It is nothing more than a bribe gussied up to look like something else. How else do you present “Give my campaign committee money so I can reimburse myself”?
It is one thing to ask for money when you are campaigning and could lose, quite another to double down on the winner afterward.
St. Francis Xavier
This is about the plans for the faith-based dormitory that is to be located on the grounds of St. Francis Xavier parish (7-16, A4, “Panel backs student housing”).
I was baptized at St. Francis Xavier. I work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
I can personally attest to how bad the parking situation is in this neighborhood, to say nothing of the plans to remove parking spaces from the parish. There are no street parking options. It is all being used by residents, their visitors or students. That is why I have to pay $600 per year to park at my job. There are no other options.
So where are the parish members supposed to park if this plan passes? Most of the neighborhood is against this, and I have noticed that in other city districts, if there is any hint of opposition among community members for building/zoning plans, those plans are shot down by the City Council.
I’m having a hard time figuring out why the residents of the 4th District (St. Francis Xavier, UMKC, Rockhurst) aren’t being given that same consideration, despite their very open resistance to the building plans. Is it because of their race or their economic status?
Shameful battle flag
Some years ago, just after the release of the movie “Malcolm X,” I saw in a flea market a collection of Confederate flag clothing. Among the items offered was a hat bearing the flag with a caption underneath: “You Wear Your X, I’ll Wear Mine.”
It was an obvious jab at the “X” clothes that some folks were wearing because of the movie. Since that time, I have never yet heard a satisfactory reason for plastering the battle flag of a lost rebellion all over stuff.
The very reason the South seceded, and later fought, was not states’ rights but one right in particular — the right to own other human beings. Google South Carolina’s secession document.
The state’s main complaint was that the Northern states did not return the Southerners’ runaway “property.” Now, who would want to be reminded of such shameful days, unless some people actually wished for those days to return?
Sure, there were brave, honorable men who fought under the Confederate battle flag, but the cause it represented was still an evil one, and I for one think it’s high time the Stars and Bars disappear forever from anything except Civil War museums.
Let it be remembered, not with pride but with well-deserved shame.
Recently, a committee in the House of Representatives put forward a funding proposal that would eliminate financing for Title X, the nation’s premier family-planning program, and would cut almost all federally funded teen-pregnancy prevention and sex-education programs. This proposal would be disastrous.
Reduced funding for sex education would halt progress made in reducing teen pregnancy and birth rates, which are at a historic low. Research shows that well-designed and well-implemented sex-education programs decrease sexually risky behavior among teens.
Additionally, Title X health centers provide family-planning services, well-woman exams, lifesaving cancer screenings and sexually transmitted illnesses testing/treatment.
For many patients, care would be impossible without Title X. Eliminating Title X would leave more than 4.6 million Americans without care.
Thus, for the health and safety of our country, this proposal cannot pass. It is imperative that we urge our legislators in Washington, D.C., to vote against this funding proposal.
Kansas City rubes
Here’s the picture: A bunch of grinning country rubes are standing around, oblivious to the “kick me” signs recently slapped on their backs by the slick city boys beside them. And the rubes are saying: “This time it’s different. This time we got a great deal.”
Why is this the image that comes to mind when Kansas City officials and developers announce great new projects?
Probably because the scenario, as with the proposed convention hotel downtown, is depressingly familiar:
▪ The developers produce glowing studies, with pie-in-the-sky projections.
▪ The City Council swallows them, hook, line and sinker.
▪ Taxpayers are eventually stuck paying millions in unanticipated expenses.
So which phrase best describes how developers feel after negotiating with Kansas City officials?
1. Piece of cake.
2. Like taking candy from a baby.
3. Laughing all the way to the bank.
New KCI terminal
Surprise, surprise. The city government has finally found a consulting group that has amazingly concluded that a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport would be cheaper to build than renovating and enhancing the existing terminals (7-22, A1, “Study group backs new single terminal for KCI”).
And wonder of wonders, it won’t require any new taxes from your right pocket.
They would just take the money out of your left pocket because Kansas Citians who travel (greater than 60 percent of passengers) would pay the increased fees that the airlines would pass on to us and the higher costs of all the new concessions that would be available.
But not to worry, citizens will have a say through focus groups and public meetings, where the results will have been determined before the meeting in private sessions among the mayor, City Council and consultants.
But wait, they say, the people will have the final vote. And if it doesn’t turn out like the politicians want, they will simply overturn it as they did with the public rail system because the public doesn’t understand what is best.
Only the city leaders are smart enough to make these decisions.
There are a number of ways to renovate the existing terminals. City officials just don’t want to do it.
Robin Hood took from the rich to give to the poor. Our Kansas governor and Legislature are taking from the poor to give to the rich.
Does that make them robbing hoods?
Cycles of life
Cicadas are back
Whirring through the air
In a spiral
Of waking, flying, mating, dying,
Burrowing into the ground
But not until they fill the sky
With a deafening sound
That rings in ears
And sears the brain
Almost to the point
Until they regress and return
To the rain-soaked earth
To await rebirth
Seventeen years from now.
How is it that nature
In its unpredictability
Harbors such creatures of habit,
Cycles of life and death
That seldom miss a beat,
Discretely come, noisily stay
And then just go away,
Remnants of shells, empty sounds
And time that moves on
They come again
And again and again.