To the editor:
This letter is in response to letters written by Dr. Darrel Ray of Basehor to the Leavenworth Times. Dr. Ray makes many insulting assumptions and many demands in his letters. He assumes that I saw his letter in the weekend edition of the Times on Nov. 17-18. He assumes that he knows the hearts and minds of most if not all Republicans in the Leavenworth County Republican Party. He assumes that his loaded questions deserve answers and that he is the arbiter of the truth or the quality of any answers provided.
Dr. Ray continues in this vein in his letter to the editor of Nov. 30 with additional assumptions and allegations thrown around at will. His hubris is outstanding. He knows things. Did he know that I was out of town when his first letter was printed? Did he know that I didn’t read his open letter until I found his most recent letter to the editor in my junk email folder as I was cleaning it out? Did he know that no one even felt it was important enough to mention his letter to me once I returned to Leavenworth? Hence the “deafening silence.” I reject Dr. Ray’s assumptions throughout his letter and I am offended that he impugns my integrity as well as that of the entire Republican Party of Leavenworth County.
The Leavenworth County Republican Party doesn’t need to respond to Dr. Ray’s insulting claims of racism because we demonstrate our beliefs by our actions. During the last election, the Republican Party supported two black men in their races for the Kansas statehouse – Rep. Willie Dove and former Rep. Tony Barton. From early 2017 through the primary we also supported Councilman Vernon Fields’ race for the 2nd Congressional District. At no time did these men express anything but admiration for the people of the Leavenworth County Republican Party and gratitude for their unqualified support. Your cries of racism and white supremacy are not supported by facts. The Republican Party believes in the value of all people and their right for individual liberty, economic freedom and personal responsibility.
As for Dr. Ray’s most recent letter, he continues his ignorant assumptions and branches out by declaring that Janice and David Van Parys are “very influential in the Leavenworth Republican Party.” I’m not sure how he comes by this information, specifically since it is incorrect. As far as the shopping around for a candidate for county commissioner, that is also laughable. There were three delegate-nominated candidates for Commissioner Graeber’s open seat and several other interested individuals who were unable to secure nominations. Clyde Graeber recommended Louis Klemp as his replacement, both publicly and privately. The delegates to the convention each received a letter from Mr. Graeber expressing his desire that Louis Klemp be selected to the County Commission, specifically because he ran against Mr. Graeber, but also because of Mr. Klemp’s experience as a county commissioner. A sufficient number of delegates believed that honoring the wishes of the outgoing commissioner was the right thing to do, but it still took three ballots for Mr. Klemp to win. I will leave it to others to describe the “many and complex” details of any lawsuits, as they do not pertain to me or the Leavenworth County Republican Party. I do know however that all but one lawsuit was dismissed as having no merit. We will see how the remaining lawsuit is resolved.
This is the first and last time I will respond to anything Dr. Ray has published or will publish in the Leavenworth Times. I place him in the categories of conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed “truth” evangelist, but I think everybody knows that already.
Editor’s note: Rett Rogers is the chairman of the Leavenworth County Republican Party.