To the editor:
How ironic that a recent article written by Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer for the Kansas City Star about preventing a medical catastrophe in South Sudan shows no compassion for Kansas mothers and children “who are on the edge" everyday here in Kansas.
How ironic that another article by columnist Steve Rose took time to investigate the education of several Kansas state legislators in leadership positions. Although Kansas meets the national average of 25 percent with just a high school diploma, many of the representatives in powerful positions do not have education levels to match the importance of their jobs.
Should we be surprised then that the funding to educate our children to the highest level possible is not as important to some of our representatives? The old adage, “I made it without a degree,” won’t get us very far as the next generation tries to make it on the world stage.
What is most ironic is that many of the changes put in place by Gov. Sam Brownback to “shake up Kansas” were dreamed up and implemented by groups of advisors who accompanied Brownback from Washington, D.C.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people with very little knowledge of the heartland would come up with ideas that are not working here.
Kansas is a pioneer state, renowned for its friendly, neighborly, helpful and compassionate citizens. I personally experienced many helpful folks when I arrived here in 1973. Even the school bus driver came up to my front door and introduced herself, stating that she would be picking up my daughter at the end of our driveway.
What has happened to Kansas?
How is it that 25 percent of children in our public schools are eligible for free, federally subsidized lunches?
That our small famers have quit farming as larger and larger federal subsidies are transferred to the factory farms, with which they can’t compete. We have become a state of corporate subsidies and tax credits.
Why is it OK to plunder our state highway funds so we can give $57 million to move AMC (now owned by the Chinese) 10 miles around I-435?  One of many subsidies the last three years.
How is it that our church food banks are always out of food, and St Vincent’s Clinic is seeing more and more patients? And, you can catch a free meal, provided by nine local churches, more than once a week somewhere in Leavenworth. This is a dismal reflection of inequality and lack of suitable jobs in our own communities.
I believe we are going in the wrong direction. It’s time to reinstate education funding so Kansas kids can continue their high standard of education that we have been known for in the past. It’s time to expand Medicaid, so the thousands of people falling into the gap of no medical care can be treated.
As a registered Republican since 1984, I take issue with the term RINO. This name should apply to those party members who have kidnapped the Kansas Republican Party and are using this name as a detriment to those of us that remain true to the principles and fiscal conservatism of Eisenhower, Dole and Ronald Regan, none of whom would get elected in today’s climate.
It’s time to have a real economic development plan that will attract businesses to come and grow in Kansas. It’s time to find jobs for the untrained and those less skilled by offering subsidies to companies to start apprenticeship programs, not give millions away in corporate welfare. It’s time to put money back in the pocket of the lower and middle class by eliminating taxes on groceries.
It’s time to stop pushing unfunded mandates down the throats of our cities and counties where taxes will have to be raised to cover some of our basic needs, while our representatives tell us they are not raising taxes.
It’s time to ignore the big spending, single mindedness of those who wish to buy our elections and turn us into an oligarchy. Take note of the recent primary election in Virginia — $5 million versus $125,000.
It’s time to educate the next generation of parents on how to take care of their children, feed, clothe and love them.
It’s time to step up and say, “I’ll pick up your son or daughter,” and help them on their way.
It’s time to step up and elect officials who have a plan, not a dictate. Encourage your neighbors, friends and family members to vote.
Let’s show a little of the Kansas pioneer spirit that is hidden below the surface and let the rest of the U.S. know there’s nothing wrong with Kansas.

Janette Labbee-Holdeman