Letters to the Editor

Koch brothers, Kansas sports, Lyft ride share

Patriotic Koch brothers

I keep hearing a daily lament about the undue influence of the “evil” Koch brothers, who have actively worked to communicate the truth about Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid takes to the Senate floor to denounce the Koch brothers. Major media led by MSNBC are obsessed with the Koch brothers.

But let’s look at the actual record. The Center for Responsive Politics’ list of top donors from 1989 to 2014 ranks Koch Industries No. 59. Above Koch are 18 unions, which collectively spent $620,873,623 more than Koch Industries.

Organized labor, especially public-sector unions that are bankrupting local communities via incestuous deals with pols they help elect, are major players of this game. Meanwhile, a floundering President Barack Obama, influenced by Marxist mentors, is surrounded by an inept cabinet.

Sadly, our nation must now confront international challenges caused by flaccid foreign policy, on top of domestic disasters such as Obamacare, Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency.

The Koch brothers are patriotic philanthropists, sounding the alarm against policies that could turn this country into a national version of Detroit.

Michael T. Murphy Prairie Village Kansas sports excess

In the sports section of The Kansas City Star, would it be possible to go just one day without reading articles about the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Bill Self?

Howard C. Warner Independence No immigrant policy

For those who are rigid on our immigration policy, I wonder whether they would be here today if several hundred years ago, the Iroquois and Algonquian tribes had a Department of Immigration.

Jim Siress Olathe Tea party focus

The tea party message seems to be: “No rules for me, but I want all government benefits but have lots of rules for them.”

John Bishop Atchison, Kan. Lyft needed in KC

An attempt by local politicians to crush the Lyft ride-sharing service could harm the community (4-26, A10, “City on lookout for ride sharing”). Ride sharing provides an opportunity for local drivers to create transportation businesses with a low cost of entry.

At the same time, riders can obtain convenient, safe rides at a reasonable cost. The driver and safety standards are as good as or better than taxi companies. As an additional benefit, the competition should improve taxi service.

Cities across the country are making accommodations for ride sharing. It is a significant benefit to the average person living in a metropolitan area who needs a convenient, low-cost ride. Any program that helps the working taxpaying people is surely a plus for Kansas City. I will applaud the city leaders who endorse the concept.

Ed Geither Overland Park Lyft insurance issue

I have read the articles on the Lyft ride-sharing service for which the customers pay a fee (4-30, Editorial, “Give KC a lift by expanding ride options”). The city is saying that Lyft is not complying with existing regulations for the taxicab industry, which seems to be the main objection to allowing this service.

However, I have never seen any mention of the insurance implications. Such owners/operators of the Lyft cars probably have a personal or “family” auto policy for liability coverage.

As a retired insurance agent, I know that such policies have a specific exclusion for using their insured vehicle to carry persons or property for a charge. Do such drivers realize that if they have an accident while using it in this capacity, the claim could be denied by their insurance carrier?

Does Lyft advise them of this? I'm sure the city requires a “business auto policy” for Yellow Cab and similar companies.

Just a thought.

Tom Sell Overland Park Spirit Airlines at KCI

Spirit Airlines coming to Kansas City International Airport is like payday loans or pawn shops moving into vacant strip-mall space (4-24, A10, “Spirit to start at KCI on Aug. 7”). In a recently published survey, Spirit was the winner as the airline customers hate the most for its terrible service.

Spirit’s presence in Kansas City will only highlight the lack of interest by major airlines and the pitiful state of KCI. The business community better get cracking if companies want to market this town and get positioned for metropolitan growth in the next 50 years.

Build a new airport, and they will all come.

Bill Swift Leawood Brownback unfair

Once again, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his Republican-dominated Legislature have seen fit to bestow a new round of tax breaks on the already super rich. If you are big corporate agriculture and can afford to spend $50,000 or more on a new dairy or piggery, welcome to Kansas. You are exempt from sales tax. But if you are a small family farmer and can only afford a lesser amount of new construction, it’s “Sorry, pay up.”

Fair has become an unfamiliar word in Topeka. There is one tax break that would benefit every Kansan, every day. Remove the sales tax from food — a necessity for life — and we all share in the elected officials’ political magnanimity.

Stephen Anderson Alma, Kan. State ‘wacky’ award

Missouri and Kansas legislators seem to be fighting for the Most Wacky award. Whatever the folks in Kansas dream up, Missouri tags along.

Now they want to make it illegal to obey the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid. We can’t allow gay citizens the same rights as the rest of us, and we certainly all need to be openly packing pistols on our hips.

I would like to know what happened to my right to not be around paranoid people packing guns. These people are so scared of the world around them, they can’t leave home without a gun.

Maybe we can go back to the smoking section concept. If you want to sit in a restaurant without the danger of secondhand bullets, you will have a separate area.

We are subjected to these exhibitionist lawmakers who want to be Fox News darlings because of apathetic citizens who don’t get out and vote. Come on, people!

I can’t believe the majority in Missouri or Kansas believes this is the right way to go.

Linda Christian Greenwood Big presidential lies

Please, people, quit talking about presidents lying — mostly targeting President Barack Obama. For some reason, these people skip right over President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — the architects of the Iraq war, which was started on nothing but lies.

These lies got thousands of our men and women killed and maimed. The Republicans think that if you quit talking about Iraq, it will go away. That is not true.

That war destabilized the Middle East. Look at the Middle East before the war, and look at it now.

The Republicans say quit blaming Bush. He is out of office. That is true, but the damage he did will always be there.

The sad thing about the people in the Bush administration is that they lied to the American people and to Congress about weapons of mass destruction when oil was the reason for the Iraq war. Bush should be required to tell the American people the truth about Iraq, whether Republicans want to hear it or not.

Art Frye Lawrence Free speech, Clippers

Our precious founding documents guarantee Americans freedom of speech. There is much uproar over the racial comments made by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling (4-28, B1, “Clippers protest Sterling”).

Granted, these comments are not politically correct in the 21st century, and most Americans feel they are offensive. However, the remarks were made in privacy, between two people. Our freedoms guarantee a citizen can say whatever he or she wishes in private. The girlfriend sold the tape in a monetary grab.

Strictly speaking, who is at fault here?

Amy Brown Leawood