LETTER: Reelect Braun

Mike Stieben

To the editor:

As a Leavenworth County commissioner, I have learned it is important to have legislators in Topeka who keep in mind the local community they are representing. Kevin Braun is just such a senator and I thought it was important that I share with you a number of reasons why it is important to keep him in Topeka representing us.

1. Sen. Braun has seniority in the majority party (Republican) and that carries some importance. His seniority allows him to place items on the agenda like roads and bridges, highway funding and other infrastructure improvements for our community. Sending a new senator to Topeka from the minority party (Democratic) with no seniority could potentially cost our community millions of dollars in state monies simply because we cannot get on the agenda.

2. Sen. Braun serves our community on a number of important legislative committees in the Kansas Senate. Braun is a member of the important Ways and Means Committee which controls vast amounts of state spending. Kevin serves as chairman of two important subcommittees of that panel – the Veterans subcommittee and the Regulatory Boards and Commissions subcommittee. These committees allow Sen. Braun to put important local issues for Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties at the front of the line when consideration is made for spending that will benefit our community. Electing a Democratic state senator will mean we lose this important voice and seat at the table. If Mr. Pittman were to be elected, he would be a backbench member and Leavenworth County could lose out.

3. Sen. Braun has demonstrated leadership in working with local government to secure funding for the Centennial Bridge replacement, road and infrastructure development and numerous traffic studies. When I brought a concern of local constituents about the safety of the road intersection at Kansas 32 Highway and 158th Street in the southern part of the county, Sen. Braun worked with our county Public Works Department and issued a letter to KDOT requesting funding for a traffic light study at that location. I am happy to report the study is in process and should be completed by the end of November, according to KDOT officials.

5. Sen. Braun has supported pro-life values in Topeka. He supports passing the Value Them Both Amendment which would simply let the citizens vote on whether the Legislature should have the authority to make the law concerning late-term dismemberment abortion. The current Supreme Court ruling would likely take the authority away from the Legislature to make any restrictions and Kansas could become an abortion capitol. Braun wants you to decide and Mr. Pittman, after professing to be pro-life, buckled to the pressure from the governor and voted against the amendment.

For these reasons, I urge the voters in Leavenworth County who reside in Sen. Braun’s district to vote to reelect him and give Kevin the opportunity to continue serving us in Topeka.

Leavenworth County Commissioner Mike Stieben represents District 5.