An Important Stand
ARE YOU GOING TO PUT UP WITH THIS?
Recently on social media, a conservative political consultant advised clients that, unless an issue could be explained with a crayon, it was too complicated for the voter. Well, I’m getting out my large Turquoise Blue Crayola crayon to explain issues that are tearing apart the political, social, and economic fabric of the State of Kansas.
Think about the community where you live. Would you put up with a local governing body that:
Politicized enforcement of local laws by establishing an elected justice of the peace to hear cases instead of a judge appointed based on his or her legal qualifications? In 2013, the Kansas Legislature ended merit selection of Court of Appeals judges. Are you going to put up with politicizing our higher courts?
Repealed anti-discrimination local laws to permit religious beliefs to determine who could receive publicly available services? The Kansas House of Representatives passed a law to deny same-sex couples services depending on whether the server’s religious belief condoned the couple’s marital status. Are you going to put up with State Representatives who enact blatantly discriminatory laws?
Prohibited residents from having test-tube babies? A Kansas Senate committee considered a law to make a surrogate birth mother a criminal and the contract that paid her for her services illegal. Are you going to put up with State senators who would deny a biological off-spring to a woman who could not otherwise give birth to a child?
Issued an exclusive franchise to a cable TV company to give them monopolistic rights to provide telecommunication services? A bill to prohibit competitive cable TV services in communities was introduced by a Kansas legislator at the request of cable TV companies. Are you going to put up with legislators who put business profits ahead of the public’s interest in free markets?
Passed a local law prohibiting state law enforcement agencies from enforcing state laws within your community? In 2013, the Legislature passed and the Governor approved a law which prohibits federal agents from enforcing certain federal gun laws in Kansas. In 2014, the same officials are attempting to prevent enforcement of the federal Endangered Species Act. Are you going to put up with elected officials who enact unconstitutional laws to nullify federal laws and that will waste your tax dollars to defend a lost cause in court?
Established requirements beyond the state law that would increase the cost and time required for a driver’s license? An Olathe legislator, Keith Esau, has introduced a bill to add extra steps to void a state-issued marriage license. The bill would require a spouse to prove fault on behalf of the other spouse to get a divorce. Incompatibility would no longer be grounds for divorce. Are you going to put up with legislators who want to impose their religious beliefs about divorce on others?
Numerous other proposed laws equally repugnant to our governmental traditions are being considered by the legislature. One would usurp the State Board of Education’s power to set educational standards. Another would restrict the speech of local government employees who wish to comment on proposed legislation. Who knows what other equally poor public policies are being plotted by legislators intent on pursuing a misguided concept of state government not shared by the vast majority of Kansans.
I have almost worn out my crayon explaining that there is no reason you should accept behavior by state legislators that you would not tolerate by elected local officials. This isn’t complicated. You can do something about this sorry, embarrassing state of affairs in the capitol building. Contact your legislator about your dissatisfaction, even if she or he is an instigator of bad laws. Register to vote and , above all, vote. Support candidates who will use common sense when legislating by money donations and word of mouth. Let’s not put up with bad behavior by zealots who pursue their own agenda and ignore the common good.