"I will tell the people what's going on at the statehouse. I'm going to treat the capitol as a borderline crime scene. ... If businesses don't have to pay taxes, the burden should not be on those trying to feed themselves." - The Valley Falls Vindicator & Oskaloosa Independent, March 3, 2016.

Across Kansas the top 1% are looting and on-the-loose, pitting us against each other. Communities in Jefferson County need to democratically prepare themselves for food and energy autonomy.

- MICHAEL CADDELL, Publisher

Feb. 18, 2016, REASON TO VOTE

Published Feb. 18, 2016 Valley Falls Vindicator and Oskaloosa Independent.

REASON TO VOTE


Last week’s front page article, “Realignment of districts opposed in House” (Vindicator & Independent, Feb. 11th) provided a look into how far the lawmakers in the statehouse will go to scuttle rural K – 12 public schools. The pigeon-holed HB 2504 is not dead, Jefferson County citizens should be wary of the cockamamie games that can be played with bills destined for Gov. Sam’s signature. It can come back, after Election Day 2016 passes and the current office holders are re-elected.
 
We were fortunate West County’s USD 340 Superintendent Pat Happer went to Topeka to testify against the state’s attempt to legally steal the county’s property, at least one building and force layoffs of school personnel.
 
Many here are poor, hard working and a few of us ugly, but we’re not stupid.

Damn their legal word games, school district “realignment” should be called “pillage.” These cornpone Republican extremists are trying to fatten a skinned down general fund they created. These crafty mafia accountants then hiked sales taxes on food.
 
When people tell me school consolidation is inevitable I say quit voting for dim-wits that lack any imagination, who owe favors to wealthy campaign donors and keep you in the dark.

Paraphrasing an article by Bryan Lowry, Wichita Eagle, Feb. 12, 2016 look no further than Gov. Sam Brownback’s plot to woo the American Royal across the river through an estimated $40 million STAR bond to use sales taxes collected to pay off bonds. How about Salina’s $100 million STAR deal? How about Wichita’s $31.6 million STAR deal? 

The Kansas Department of Commerce spokeswoman Nicole Randall wrote: “There are currently ongoing STAR bonds projects across the state. All of these projects are in various stages of progress and are subject to privacy laws. Commerce therefore cannot release the names or specifics of these projects.”

Plain speaking, STAR bond deals create secret slush funds for big shot developers to be pulled from speculated hauls in sales taxes. 

Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston described other legal forms of robbing all Kansans of tax revenues in his 2013 book “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ To Rob You Blind.” State income taxes are given in deals to large companies to move jobs across a border. The corporate headquarters to AMC Theatres moved from KCMO to Leawood, Ks. The company “will get to pocket $47 million withheld from their workers, a boon to its major owners: J. P. Morgan, Apollo Management, the Carlyle Group and the firm Mitt Romney cofounded in 1984, Bain Capital Management.” 

Kansas laws do not require these companies to tell the workers that their state income taxes go to their employer’s profits – they are in effect being taxed by their bosses.

This is corporate socialism for the wealthy, enabled by government, paid for by the hoodwinked unorganized workers.
 
We badly need an enlightened rural people to vote next Election Day 2016.

Mike Caddell
Radio Free Kansas
North Jefferson County 

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