Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Commence caterwauling in 4..3...2..

Friday, February 6, 2015

Commence caterwauling in 4..3...2..

I am not sure where to even start with this article in the Wichita Eagle.

Um. Mr. Lefler, your bias is showing.

In this "news" piece, Lefler writes about some teacher's union people hyperventilating because a legislator, Sen. Mitch Holmes of St. John, suggested that moving spring municipal and school board elections to the fall would reduce teacher-union influence in local elections.

In a press release, Holmes said, "The teachers unions do not want to give up the majority they currently enjoy in low-turnout, off-cycle elections. But this act is not about protecting incumbency or special interest groups. It is about giving community members representation in local issues."

The state's largest teacher's union is opposing the bill, the Help Kansas Vote Act. (These bill names. Whatever.)

What interest do teachers unions have in legislation about the timing of local elections? There really shouldn't be any. However, the fact that they're opposing the bill, which would likely increase voter turnout, pretty much proves Holmes' point.

Of course, Lefler doesn't bother to make that connection in his hit piece against one of the most rational pieces of legislation in play this year. (That's one reason, I'm doing it for him here, reader.)

For what it's worth, the teacher union mob leader, Mark Desetti, said the union opposes the bill because in addition to changing the date of local elections, it would make local elections partisan.

Again, I have to ask, what interest is that of teachers? (I think we know the answer, because Holmes gave it to us.)

The bill, which hasn't yet been assigned a number, is a good thing -- especially the timing piece. 

My stomach turned when I started hearing about local 2015 candidates approximately two minutes after the 2014 General Election. There was no time for a victory lap or just a rest from the constant barrage of campaign nonsense. Personally, I could use the breather.

You know who else could use a few days between a general election and a spring, local election? The folks who work in the county election office. 

As an added bonus, the consistency of a November election every year would result in more consistent voters. 

Leave it to the people who throw a temper tantrum about how challenging it is to show an identification at the polls, to screech like banshees about making voting easier by establishing a consistent date. I don't get liberals, and on the off-chance I ever start "getting" them, please, direct me to the nearest mental institution for observation.

Now, the partisan election piece: I do prefer to know from which side of the aisle my representatives on all taxing bodies hail. I have voted for Democrats for local office. It's not necessarily my preference, but I have seen far, far too many conservatives on local bodies who are, for example, awesome on social issues but can't pull their heads out of their behinds where finances are concerned. Socially, they're Republicans, but fiscally, they may as well be tax collectors for the welfare state.

Local governments and school boards are rarely required to set policy about social issues, and in the rare instances when they are or attempt, the state legislature has the authority to make them see the light. A good example is the conceal and carry legislation that is (not quickly enough) requiring city halls to remove those stupid "Gun Free Zone" signs. (Because nothing scares a criminal out of a violent act faster than a sign.)

Most voters are wise enough to pick their candidates based on their stances on issues -- especially local candidates and issues. Joe Schmoe may be the greatest conservative the right has ever seen, but if he wants to run in Small Town, Kan., he probably ought to be very supportive of the sales tax plan to build a new park. (Or whatever.)

According to the abhorrent Eagle story, there's a third provision in the proposed legislation that would revoke a state law requiring candidates' names be rotated on ballots. 

My feelings won't be hurt if they toss that particular portion of the bill, but otherwise, this legislation is a much-needed improvement, regardless of what the mouthpiece for the teachers union says.

(Apologies to Bryan Lowry, whom I originally said wrote the article. It was Dion Lefler.) 

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article9366713.html#storylink=cpy

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