LETTER: ‘Conservative’ candidates

Doug Darling

To the editor:

Organizations backing candidates in federal elections must identify themselves in their ads and their treasurer who is paying for those ads. I recently received a full color flyer in your paper purporting to inform me of who are the “conservative” candidates for the Leavenworth City Commission and the USD 453 (Leavenworth) school board in this November’s elections. On Oct. 19, that same organization scotch taped a piece of paper to my front door providing that same questionable information. I was home and did not hear my doorbell ring. I question their designation of these six individuals as being the only “conservative” candidates in the race and wonder if this is an example of what the cancel culture looks like from the right. Anyone not totally in lockstep with the collective is being cast out as unworthy.

Truth in advertising, I am also a candidate for the USD 453 school board. I will stand my conservative credentials against anyone running for the school board. A reasonable person can hold individual votes against me, but my life philosophy is conservative. I helped my parents hand out presidential campaign literature in 1960 as an elementary school student in Iola, Kansas, for Nixon. Did the same for Goldwater in 1964. I sought out an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. I watched the names of deceased graduates get added weekly to the display in Thayer Hall during my four years attending West Point. I have honored similar memorials in other locations and times during my 48 years of federal service as either an Army officer or a Department of the Army civilian. Locally, for over 30 years, I have voluntarily taught citizenship and Revolutionary War history to the youth of this community as part of different organizations. I don’t specifically mention those organizations because they have policies against endorsing candidates. I have also regularly contributed money to conservative causes and candidates since becoming an adult.

I hope your paper will inform me (and other Leavenworth residents) prior to the election of who the organization or individuals are that have spent thousands of dollars to place their slate of candidates on Leavenworth’s local governing bodies. That was an unasked question at the Chamber of Commerce candidate forum on Oct. 5. Please remember that school board members in Kansas don’t get paid anything so it isn’t logical to spend a lot of money on getting elected to that office. Required campaign finance reporting after the election is over will be too late. The people of Leavenworth need to know exactly what the agenda of these “conservative” candidates is. And please don’t tell me to use social media to find out because, in my opinion, social media is a cesspool and largely controlled by the far left and I don’t use it.