Rep’s rhetoric inflamed casino discussion

This letter is in response to three points made by State Rep. Don Dahl in a letter to the editor in your Oct. 26 issue.

First, Rep. Dahl refers to a “Gambling Casino”in his remarks. I would like to point out that this enterprise also includes a 300-room hotel, convention center, several restaurants, a day-care center, a water park, and other attractions.

Although he stated his letter was not to discuss the morality of gambling, his failure to acknowledge any of these other attractions causes me to doubt this.

Second, Dahl states Kansas is not a referendum and initiative state, which means any such action is non-binding. I do not disagree. However, I feel obligated to ask: Why is Kansas a non-referendum or initiative state?

We are a “republic” where in citizens elect representatives to speak for them in government affairs. A referendum or initiative is a valuable tool for citizens to be polled as to their feelings on sensitive issues.

One would think elected officials would welcome such a system so they can fairly represent their constituents rather than their own personal views.

Rep. Dahl goes on to state that if the referendum passes it does not mean anything. I take exception to that statement. It certainly does mean something to the voters if not their representatives.

His third point concerns Wyandotte County and is related to Point 2 above. So much for the concept of the Republic form of government.

Rep. Dahl, the Marion County Commission does not have a line item for “betting money” in the treasury. Speaking for myself, the commission is aware how expensive it is to have a referendum and does not take this lightly. We are trying to make the best possible decision and fairly represent the desires of our citizens.

Although I welcome comments both pro and con on this issue, I have a problem with a person in your position making the comments you did concerning Bob Knight. He has done nothing illegal, and is representing himself and others he is associated with.

It is up to the citizens of this county to make a decision based on the merit of arguments on both sides of this issue, not on accusation and inflammatory rhetoric.

Commissioner Daniel F. Holub


Why spend tax dollars for meaningless vote?

A political activist, I am not. But I have had an interesting weekend learning a little about the political process and I am still a long way from understanding it.

A week ago Monday, I went with several others to the Marion County Commission meeting in hopes of bringing facts to light and influencing them to rescind the referendum calling for a vote (opinion poll), on casinos in Marion County. I left the meeting not knowing if we had been heard.

There is a zero percent chance of a casino coming to Marion County. The commissioners are willing to spend $10,000 to $15,000, whatever it takes, for a meaningless opinion poll.

The only thing we will be doing is helping the casino promoters, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe of Connecticut (the investor) and the Iowa tribe of Kansas, further their case for a casino in Sedgwick County. This would be another Indian-owned casino.

If we are so strapped for cash, as Commissioner Dan Holub said, then why spend money for nothing?

I know the commissioners feel a lot of pressure to “do something” to bolster the economy in our communities. I’m glad the commissioners are looking at ideas, but we need to get the whole story when we do.

It scares me when we start grasping at straws instead of doing a little research to make an informed decision. Is Mr. Knight’s proposal truly a viable one for Marion County?

I’m wondering why the commissioners feel compelled to push forward with the vote after hearing the information and solid advice given by our state representative. It appears that we are experiencing government waste firsthand at the local level. I have no problem with a vote if the casino promoter pays for it.

What’s the hurry? If it is so necessary to get a vote of the people, why not put this issue on the ballot during the normal election cycle in November 2006. The cost would be minimal.

Linden Thiessen


It’s wrong to win money you don’t earn

I am shocked Bob Knight is interested in a casino in Marion County. When I taught school in Wichita, I highly respected him. Now I am disappointed.

The pros and cons concerning the building of a casino are interesting. I will add another negative, Gambling is wrong! It is wrong to win money you did not earn. If you do not think so, you are a victim of our society that believes wrong is right. In other words, it is greed in the heart.

An individual is never blessed by doing wrong. Neither is a community. The children of Marion County would be the losers. Parents who gamble would lose money which should be spent on the family and their education.

Gambling is addictive; what is won, the casino wins back. It all ends in failure. Besides, a gambler is a bad role model for children or a young person.

That a casino will bring prosperity is a lie directly from the Father of Lies. Instead it will bring many types of corruption and loss. Are you ready to pay for it? Do not believe the lie. Join with Don Dahl. He is a good, upright representative in Topeka.

Don’t allow money to rule. Let us make Marion County a wholesome place for families to live.

Mildred Karnowski


NDS gift would have benefits for giver, too

In November my mailbox begins to fill with charitable requests. As a member of the Northview Developmental Services Inc. board of directors, I believe that our “Moving Forward Capital Campaign” deserves a careful review.

It is not your typical Christmas appeal and you can receive a financial benefit.

Until I took a tour of Northview and learned about the 130 people who use Northview’s services, I had no idea what Northview really did. Most people don’t really think about it, unless they have a family member who is affected.

Not only does Northview serve children, it serves three generations of people. I had no idea that people with disabilities lived into their 70s. The new building has to meet a wide range of needs.

But, for most community members, we become hardened to charitable requests since we receive so many. The difference with donating to Northview is that we donors can get 50 percent of our gift back. This is done on a person’s Kansas income tax return.

At first, I thought it was a deduction, but then I learned it was an actual credit subtracted from the money I owed the state.

When I heard I could still declare my gift as a charitable deduction on my federal tax return, I realized what a savings this is.

I would rather reinvest in our community, helping people in need, than give all my tax money to Topeka or Washington.

Howard Wohlgemuth


KAWG influences change for farmers

It’s not often that Kansas food producers can see the positive results of their efforts in visiting the members of their congressional delegation in Washington, but that experience did occur for leaders of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, who had traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to visit congressional offices.

The Kansas wheat group, which included KAWG officers or directors Jerry McReynolds, Kendall Hodgson, Joe Kejr, and Jay Cook, as well as staff members Dusti Fritz and Dana Hoffman, learned Wednesday afternoon that Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback had signed on as a sponsor of the Grassley-Dorgan Amendment on Payment Limitations, based on information he had received that only a tiny handful of Kansas producers would be affected negatively.

The Kansans met with the senator late Wednesday afternoon, and explained to him how this amendment would drastically cut direct payments to many Kansas wheat producers.

Sen. Brownback then pulled his sponsorship from the amendment.

The good news for wheat producers is that the Senate then voted to defeat the amendment by a 46-53 margin. Sen. Pat Roberts voted against the amendment.

The direct payments are where wheat producers get the bulk of their support compared to other crops, and those payments would have been reduced by 50 percent under the amendment.

Sherman Reese, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said Thursday, “This is a terrible time to be whacking away at the remains of our farm safety net.”

And, he said, “This fall, farmers are facing debilitating cost increases for fuel and fertilizer, and unlike other businesses, we can’t pass on these costs through surcharges. In fact, everybody else’s surcharges are passed on to us.”

John Morris

Director of communications

Kansas Assoc. of Wheat Growers

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