Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:25
Cut the state budget, pay our own bills
Several weeks ago, I received a brochure from Cheryl Green concerning her bid for the Kansas Legislature for the 70th District.
Upon reading the brochure, I knew this is a person I would vote for. Her first reason for entering the race is fiscal responsibility; her second reason is to preserve Kansas values of pro-life and pro-family. I e-mailed her and asked what I could do to help.
I have since found out that the 2010 Legislature passed a projected $466 million deficit budget, plus the 1 percent sales tax increase Brookens voted for. She’s right; that is fiscally irresponsible. We should not be running in the red like the federal government and mortgaging our children’s future. We should decrease the state budget and pay our own bills.
Readers speak highly of incumbent’s work
As concerned citizens of Marion and our great state of Kansas, we want to thank Bob Brookens, our state representative, District 70, for his outstanding performance in representing us.
Bob is true to his word, he keeps us informed of his thoughts and is conservative in his values. We aren’t concerned about who is the most conservatives, we care that he responds to us, talks to us about the issues, and follows through.
Thanks for the good job during your first term, Bob. We hope the voters will support you at the polls Aug. 3.
Bill and Feebie Holdeman
Increasing sales tax was not spontaneous
When “courting” voters, it is easy and popular to criticize a tax increase. And, yes, incumbent Kansas 70th District representative Bob Brookens voted in favor of an increased tax on sales.
But it was not done without considerable research, information from many sources and input from his constituency.
And certainly a great amount of time was spent crunching numbers and evaluating outcomes if additional revenues were not provided. It took courage, but it was the right vote.
I supported and encouraged an alternative to more cuts in aid, which would directly affect the education of our young people and health care of our aged population, the most vulnerable and less vocal members of our citizenry.
We, as a family have been deeply involved in both of these fields for many years and believe the 1 percent tax increase was imperative.
The suggestion by Don Dahl that the Brookens family would not understand the financial struggles and sacrifices of an average working family or business person is exceedingly lame.
Brookens and his family have multiple reasons for comprehending these situations.
J. Robert Brookens deserves to be elected to a second term in the Kansas House of Representatives.
John and Sue Gutsch
Peabody resident disagrees with letter
This is in reference to James Meier’s opinion letter dated July 14.
As a 70th District voter, I feel that I cannot ignore Mr. Meier’s letter anymore than he could ignore Bob Brookens’ open letter—for reasons similar to those cited by Meier.
I do not need a government report listing supporters of the candidates when I have in my hand a very slick and expensive mailer supporting Cheryl Green (Brookens’ opponent) that prominently lists Americans For Prosperity—Kansas as the sponsor of the mailer.
Americans for Prosperity is a political action committee; obviously Ms. Green has a PAC connection herself.
It is easy to list PAC contributions; however, the critical question is did these donations have an influence on any official actions?
I suspect that if any such influence existed, Mr. Meier would have cited it in his letter criticizing Brookens.
As for the alternate state budget that Meier noted, which was rejected by the legislature, we have already seen the results of one of these smoke-and-mirror balanced budgets this year.
Gov. Mark Parkinson had to do the legislator’s dirty work to make that budget balance, to the detriment of some of the state’s least influential and least vocal citizens.
On the budget passed this session, Brookens voted for a realistic budget, for fiscal responsibility and for the interests of the people of the 70th District, not for political positioning and PAC support in the upcoming election.
Mr. Brookens has a successful career and is not beholden to anything or anyone, other than his conscience and his constituents.
Mr. Brookens has done what he was elected to do—represent the people of the 70th District, and not be intimidated by moneyed special interests from outside the district.
Leroy A. Wetta
Voter says state rep doing a good job
Over the past two years, I have found Bob Brookens to be a very approachable, honest and hard-working representative in our state legislature. On multiple occasions, I have contacted Brookens regarding issues that were of special concern to me. Without fail, he was always quick to respond and provide me his thoughts on those issues.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Brookens’ term in office has been the regular updates he provided regarding the current activities in the Kansas Legislature. In my 60+ years, I do not recall any elected official doing this, or anything evenly remotely similar. He has made every effort to keep the electorate informed of the issues and ongoing legislative activity.
We had quite a discussion when it came to the highly controversial sales tax increase. I could tell quite easily that this was a very difficult process for Brookens, and he did not make his decision lightly. While none of us want to see taxes go up, it was inevitable that revenue had to go up. It was a matter of where. Sales tax, income tax, sin tax or property tax, something was going up. The only fair tax to increase was the sales tax. Every person who purchases anything within the Kansas borders “participates.”
Don’t smoke, drink or own property? Doesn't matter, you get to help out also. I, too, am retired and on a fixed budget. I favored the sales tax increase.
Overall, I have been very pleased with Brookens as our representative to the Kansas Legislature. I support him in his re-election bid. I urge each of you to support him.
Incumbent is best choice for state rep
Bob Brookens is running for his second term as our representative to the Kansas Legislature.
I believe he has done an excellent job of representing this district, which includes all of Marion County. He has gone out of his way to listen to his constituents and kept us informed with regular public meetings and newspaper articles.
Former Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker recently endorsed a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
As quoted by the Wichita Eagle, she said she was particularly concerned “by the assertion by candidates that our country’s problems have simple solutions, that being an outsider is an asset and that an inflexible partisan posture is a successful approach to government.”
“Complicated problems often require complex solutions,” Baker said. “Being a stranger to the process is not helpful. The ability to collaborate with members of Congress from both political parties has always been a key to successful and effective legislation.”
Sen. Kassebaum was one of our finest senators and surely knows what it takes to successfully represent Kansas. Bob Brookens does understand the issues and is willing to work with all members of the legislature to move Kansas forward. Over and over, people say that whether in Topeka or Washington, we wish the politicians would just work together and do what is right for our state and country. Sometimes, doing what is right requires making very difficult decisions that upset powerful organizations. Bob made one of those decisions when he chose to support the school children and future of Kansas over the objections of a strong special interest. They threatened any representative that voted against them and are now supporting Bob’s opponent. Evidently, they feel we are not informed enough to make our own decisions about a longtime Marion County resident.
Bob promised in his first campaign that he would study the issues, listen to the people of his district and do his best to make the right decisions. In my opinion, he did that and more.
I have worked on various projects with Bob for more than 24 years and know him to be an honest fair-minded person of high integrity.
Please join me in voting for Bob Brookens in the upcoming Republican Primary.
Robert L. Watson