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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • State legislators show hypocrisy in dealing with local governments

  • One of the most important pillars of classic conservative ideology is the idea of small government and local control. It seems the far – right conservatives in Topeka have forgotten this in their zeal to exert control over local government and school boards.At the same time you can hear them moan and groan about ove...
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  • One of the most important pillars of classic conservative ideology is the idea of small government and local control. It seems the far – right conservatives in Topeka have forgotten this in their zeal to exert control over local government and school boards.
    At the same time you can hear them moan and groan about over-reaches on the federal level, especially by the president who they hate without limit.
    This is just blatant hypocrisy in its purest form.
    Here are some examples currently being considered in Topeka.
    • Changing local elections from spring to the general election. On the surface it makes sense to have all elections at the same time. However, far – right conservatives admit they want to make local elections partisan, which means they want to exert control over local elections with their ideology. For 150 years school boards and city councils have been non-partisan, and they have been held apart from the regular election. We have not heard anyone at the local level saying this is a good idea, and we have not heard the state politicians asking whether anyone at the local level wants this change.
    • There is a bill that would require fluoridated communities to post a warning on their water bills about the harms of fluoride. This is a controversial matter and most health officials in mainstream medicine support the use of fluoride in water.
    • Yet another bill currently active in Topeka is a measure that would require schools to add storm shelters to some building projects. Storm shelters are a good idea, but the state is not apparently ready to help pay for this even though they want to require it.
    None of these have passed yet, but there are others already on the books.
    One bill does not allow cities and counties to ban concealed weapons from public buildings such as courthouses, unless they put in expensive security measures. The state also requires cities and counties to allow employees to carry concealed weapons at work.
    There are a couple of state legislators who “get it,” and are not so eager to micromanage local government.
    In a hearing on the fluoride issue, Rep. Leslie Osterman, R-Wichita, said “My feeling it’s not my job up here to direct municipalities. I felt like people that want this fight should take it to the municipalities.”
    On the election issue Rep. Tom Phillips R-Manhattan said “I’m not sure why we have to change it here in Topeka.”
    He said people would be wondering why elected officials in Topeka are getting involved in local elections. That is indeed a question that should be asked, and answered.
    There are a couple who are not so eager to micro-manage local government, but it seems the majority of the far right conservatives who rule Topeka now want all the control they can get. That is not being true to real conservativism.

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