Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stand behind Finch

8/1/2014

My family and I have recently returned to Kansas after leaving for a decade or so, and have chosen to make Ottawa our home. When our state was so shamefully portrayed by the national media earlier this year, I was asked ad nauseam, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” That question has weighed heavily on my mind, since this is not the Kansas I left 12 years ago.

I’ve received many campaign flyers lately. Some from state Rep. Blaine Finch, and some from Bob Fluke. The majority of these flyers, however, have come from various political action committees sending out flyers on behalf of the candidates they have endorsed. Some of these flyers simply say who they endorse and why. Some delve into the personal lives of the candidates with as much journalistic integrity as a supermarket tabloid. Often times, these PAC’s only consult members of the “inner circle” of the associations they lobby for before endorsing (or smearing) a candidate.

My family and I have recently returned to Kansas after leaving for a decade or so, and have chosen to make Ottawa our home. When our state was so shamefully portrayed by the national media earlier this year, I was asked ad nauseam, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” That question has weighed heavily on my mind, since this is not the Kansas I left 12 years ago.

I’ve received many campaign flyers lately. Some from state Rep. Blaine Finch, and some from Bob Fluke. The majority of these flyers, however, have come from various political action committees sending out flyers on behalf of the candidates they have endorsed. Some of these flyers simply say who they endorse and why. Some delve into the personal lives of the candidates with as much journalistic integrity as a supermarket tabloid. Often times, these PAC’s only consult members of the “inner circle” of the associations they lobby for before endorsing (or smearing) a candidate.

Take, for example, The Kansas Realtors Association. As a Kansas Realtor, I asked our lobbyist why we endorsed any candidate during the primary. It all came down to Finch’s views on the elimination of the mortgage registration fee. Finch wanted to see if realistic compromises could be reached without robbing Peter to pay Paul. Revenue that once came from a small fee levied only to people obtaining mortgages will now come from all homeowners, even seniors on fixed incomes who’ve paid off their homes. Finch’s moral compass led him to seek an alternative.

Unfortunately, “compromise” is a dirty word in Topeka, and his attempts to solve a problem have led to him being attacked. Fluke’s compass led him to the nearest endorsement and he says he would have voted to eliminate the fee and push the cost on to others.

As a Realtor, since I contributed financially to our PAC, I sincerely apologize to the taxpayers who have paid their fee and now will have to pay for everyone else’s in higher fees and taxes. For their attempt to tarnish the reputation of a legislator who was doing what we send legislators to do, solve problems, the Kansas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee will never see another dime from me again.

I can only hope Fluke’s support of the elimination of this nominal fee was the result of inexperience and unfamiliarity with the budget shortfalls we as Kansans face, rather than blatant disregard for the Kansans who are already paying their share. Finch doesn’t cast his votes to make friends in Topeka or collect endorsements. He casts his votes in the best interest of the constituents he represents. That’s why I stand behind Blaine Finch.

Jessica Christopher,

Ottawa

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