Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

 

3/13/2014

Dear Governor Brownback,

I just need a quick moment of your time.  There is a bill on the way to your desk that just passed the KS Senate – HB 2210.  From the KC Star –

“House Bill 2210 would prevent voters who have a party affiliation from switching after the June 1 filing deadline until after primary results are certified in August. It would allow unaffiliated voters to change registration.”
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/03/12/4884659/kansas-moves-toward-limiting-pre.html#storylink=cpy

 

Now there are some rumors floating around that people in one party switch parties to vote in the primary election to either 1. vote in the moderate candidate to beat the conservative in the primary election OR 2. vote the conservative in for hopes of an easy win come the general election (a la Missouri’s Todd Akin and Claire McCaskill race)

 

I’m asking you to please veto the bill.  Let’s not make it any harder for Kansans to participate in the election process. A bill like this would only drive more people away from voting versus actually keeping the integrity of the election process.  I mean really, just stop and think about the facts:

 

Toothbrush

 

  • In the last general election 66% of the population came out to vote.  
  • In 2013, 67.3% of the adult population of Kansas went to the dentist. (America’s Health Rankings)

 

Let that sink in for a moment.  MORE people went to the dentist last year than came out to vote in the last election.  We all know the jokes about hating going to dentists.  Heck, I hate going to the dentist – no offense to any dentist reading this, however, it is pretty telling how hard it is to get people to vote in an election when going to the dentists wins by percentages.

 

I know…I know…there is a crazy rumor floating around that I switched parties from a Democrat to a Republican in order to stop some of the…how shall I put it…more radical legislation coming out of Topeka.  I will own it.  I did change parties, BUT I am just one Kansan.  HB2210 didn’t stop me. I did it early, because I know that a moderate has a tough race in my district without any solid Democratic candidate and I want the moderate to win.  

 

If your point is to stop people like me from doing it once the candidates are announced, it’s a long shot at best.  I also think we can both agree that we shouldn’t be putting any stipulations around getting people to the polls.  At this point, any Kansan who wants to come out to the polls should personally get a high-five from you Governor after they leave the polling booth just for showing up.  

 

 

The point is we want to engage more voters with good candidates running on strong platforms not isolate those who choose to vote by forcing them to declare a party before they even know who the candidates are.  You can’t tell me that there aren’t going to be some people who just throw up their hands and decide not to participate in the election if they are forced to declare a party so early.

 

You and I would both love to think that the election process is as clean and pure as the driven snow; however, strategic voting tactics have gone on ever since pro-slavery Missouri, border ruffians invaded Kansas in an attempt to make Kansas a slave state.

 

If the point of the bill is to stop shady campaign tactics, I call on the KS legislature to come up with a bill to stop negative campaign ads.  You know the ads that run constantly during campaign season.  These ads are usually pretty soft on facts and high on fear tactics.  I think a bill like that would have Kansans singing “hallelujah” instead of HB2210.

 

So let’s just forget about my motives for changing parties and know that at least I’m INVOLVED in the political processes in Kansas.  Keep more Kansans involved by vetoing this bill.  Now I’ve got to run and call my dentist for a teeth cleaning.  Turns out – I’m overdue.

 

Yours in participating in the political process,

Aimee

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “HB2210 – An open letter to Governor Brownback

  1. Agree 100% with your open letter.

    1. I’m glad to hear it! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Clay Barker says:

    Aimee – you miss the key concept – the primary belongs solely to the party. It is the party’s method to pick its candidates. That is civics 101- this is not open to the general public- both Ds and Rs have closed primaries in KS. If you want to join a party and participate great- if you don’t, then don’t, but do not claim some right to participate in a private organization’s candidate selection process.

    In March 1908, the state of Kansas agreed to pay for the party primary by allowing use of its election system if the the two parties used the same rules and dates. In contrast, for the presidential races, both MO and KS opted for a caucus not a primary- it is the party’s choice.

    People who are not Republicans but change their registration just to tilt the process are gaming the process. When this process was adopted in 1908 US Senator Long predicted party-hopping would occur and was told no one would be so lacking in ethics as to falsely claim party membership. Guess he had a better understanding of human behavior.

    So we crafted a narrowly tailored bill to reduce the practice and, given the howls of outrage, it looks like it is working. And the best part- most of the democrat party operatives like the bill (they will never ever admit that in public) because it makes their voter data analysis more accurate, which is a vital benefit in close districts; and because it somewhat reduces the power of dark money 3rd party groups (the ones that urge party hopping) in comparison to political parties.

    We should get together sometime & discuss this stuff.

    Clay Barker

    1. bobarmi says:

      Clay, you are right on target.

    2. Clay,

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. There are some point I don’t agree with – shocker! I’m sure both parties like the bill, but do the Kansas voters? What’s great for the “party” isn’t always necessary great for the voters. I guess we need to evaluate what is more important – party affiliation or candidates. The bill puts all of the emphasis on the party affiliation and none of it on evaluating individual candidates.

      If we ever want to get away from this polarization of American politics, we need to shift our focus away from party loyalty and more on evaluating individual candidates and voting appropriately. These are my initial thoughts, but I want to think about your response more so I may follow up again later. I welcome an opportunity to get together to discuss.

      I guess ultimately it’s in Brownback’s hands.
      Thanks again!
      Aimee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: