The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 25, 2006 · Page 7
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 7

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Page 7
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SUNDAY, JUNE 25,2006 IMRoflO THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A7 Hlspanics favor soccer, not eloction By SARAH KESSINGER HARRIS NEWS SERVICE GARDEN CITY — It was "fut- bol" and Jared Borgetti's goal- making potential on Mexico's national soccer team that kept clerk Sergio Ortega anxiously checking the clock at Mi Rumba, a popular southwest Kansas variety store, on a recent Friday. Waiting for the 2 p.m. World Cup broadcast, Ortega had little interest in the store's TV blaring news reports of Mexico's other hot contest — the presidential race. The hard-fought campaigns south of the border haven't scored much interest among Mexican nationals living in southwest Kansas. Those interviewed said even with a different president, Mexico wouldn't see its economy improve enough to stem emigration to the United States. "Politicians — they always promise a lot, but never deliver anything," Veronica Morales said while slicing cheese and doling out packages of fresh tortillas at the local Tortilleria Mexicana. "Who ever wins, so be it. It won't make a difference to me; wages aren't improving," said Morales, who comes from Chihuahua to work occasionally for relatives in Garden City. Over at Mi Rumba along U.S. Highway 50, clerk Gerardo Arroyo mused that he'd like to vote in the Mexican election. Mexican law now allows certain citizens, including legal U.S. residents, to cast ballots while living outside the country. Presidential candidates send staff to work for votes among migrant communities in U.S. cities. But Arroyo said he didn't By SARAH KESSINGER and CHRIS GREEN HARRIS NEWS SERVICE Awbrey'sexit State Department of Education spokesman David Awbrey left his job this week and headed back to -^- tv ^ -- will . ',, page eti- BRAD NADING / The Garden City Telegram Sergio Ortega, left, and Gerardo Arroyo, employees at Ml Rumba variety store in Garden City, prefer to discuss Mexico's soccer team in the World Cup rather than the country's July 2 presidential election. know where to register to vote. The Mexican consulate in Kansas City, Mo., hasn't made it easy. "I think people would love to stay closer to their families," he said of the economic opportunity to return to Mexico. "And the country wouldn't lose so much of its skilled labor." Arroyo is intrigued by the campaign of Manuel Lopez Obrador, the presidential candidate touting a "Mexican New Deal." The proposal seeks to slow the northward diaspora of workers by creating millions more jobs on public works projects in Mexico, including high-speed railroad lines, housing developments, ports and a timber industry. Lopez Obrador appears this week to have a slight edge over the more conservative candidate Felipe Calderon, of the same party as current President Vicente Fox. But politicians' promises aren't really the hot item in Garden City, Arroyo noted as he helped a co-worker fix a colorful display of pinatas. "People talk more about the mundial (World Cup)." Mexico's team — known as "el tri-color" for Mexico's red, white and green flag — played soccer giant Argentina on Saturday, losing 2-1. "The store usually clears out when they play," he said. A Home Depot ad sporting a World Cup theme played in Spanish on the TV behind him. Across town at a bakery known as Rosita's Panaderia, employee Tina Holguin encouraged visitors to try some whole-wheat rolls, empanadas and croissants warm from the oven. Many immigrants are in a tough spot when it comes to elections, she said between customers. "One can't vote here and one can't vote there." Capitol notebook itor at The Wichita Eagle and the Burlington Free Press in Vermont, spent about six months in the job. "It basically came down to a family situation," he said. "For once, I'm putting my family ahead of my career." Awbrey had been commuting on weekends to Springfield where his $ Hewiflj taKSneaftlfli mo* p|fp ? [ cut from h'is l&SJXJb state salary;" ' Empty chair When the Kansas Supreme Court took up the school finance lawsuit again this week, Justice Lawton Nuss' chair in the courtroom sat empty. The former Salina attorney removed himself frgm the case earli- n ejc this yjeacaf ' «3 *fe* 88 . '•*(**• .-., nc nsid. Qiscviss .. , ; tipn in March with two senators. The justice faces a judicial ethics complaint for talking about matters related to a case outside court. His hearing before the state's Commission on Judicial Qualifications is scheduled for Aug. 10. The court's other six justices heard arguments Thursday over and end a 1999" lawsuit. ECONOMICS: Jennison doesn't credit Sebelius CONTINUED FROM PAGE A1 What's needed, Barnett says, is for the state to slow its growth in spending and reduce taxes to spur more economic growth. "The leading reason business does not come into the state is high taxes," Barnett said. "We need to control our spending and live within our means so that we can become more attractive for businesses to come and stay in Kansas." DOING WELL' Ernie Goss, a Creighton University economics professor who tracks regional conditions, said the Kansas economy is continuing to expand after the downturn earlier this decade. But that progress isn't uniform, he said, and the state has tended to lag behind the rest of the region in growing jobs. "The economy is doing well altogether although the rural economy is doing less well than the urban part of the Kansas economy," Goss said. Yet tax collections to the state's general fund have surged in the last two years as corporations have been profitable and workers have been earning more money. According to revenue estimates, the state's gross product and personal income levels are growing by more than 5 percent. The governor's office also cites figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce showing that a 4 percent growth in the state's output of goods and services ranked 18th nationally, ahead of Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska by 1.1 to 2.3 percentage points. The state trailed Colorado's growth rate by 0.2 percentage points. The percentage of unemployed workers also has dipped to 4.1 percent, the lowest level in nearly five years. The state's growth is expected to level off some in the near future, but Sebelius said that she expects continued prosperity and hopes that recently passed legislation will bolster the state's po- '^Tlilsl^l^ession, Sebelius proposed and the Legislature passed a bill that would eliminate taxes on new business machinery and equipment purchased after July 1. "Kansas' economy is strong, and it should continue to grow now that we've given employers another great reason to create jobs in Kansas," Sebelius said in a written statement. SPIN OR PROGRESS? Robin Jennison, a Healy Republican running for governor, doesn't give Sebelius credit for the state's economic successes. Jennison, a former House Speaker, said the Legislature and former Republican Gov. Bill Graves did the heavy lifting by passing tax cuts in the 1990s. "There's no question that good things are happening in Kansas," Jennison said. "The question is who's responsible for them?" However, Jennison said the state's rural economy still needs a lot of help. And he contends that state officials need to get serious about reducing the property tax burden on citizens and businesses. "I firmly believe that the most onerous tax we have today and the tax my administration will concentrate on is property taxes," Jennison said. Ken Canfield, an Overland Park Republican also seeking the nomination, plans to unveil his proposed income and business tax cuts Tuesday. He said the state's economy looks to be improving, but the state needs long-term progress. "We are significantly below the national growth rate," Canfield said. "That's where we need to focus." Barnett said he's outlined a plan to eliminate the state's inheritance tax during his first year in office, as well as phasing down income tax rates and providing an investment tax credit to stimulate business. He said Sebelius' claims of a strong economy are more about public relations than effective policies. "It's her spin on an economy that has been slow to recover and hasnlt kept up..witli.the-rfist_. of the United States," Barnett ! 'said., , . TIGER, VIJAY, ERNIE AND PHIL, THERE WAS PALMER. THE KING STILL REIGNS. Heard the news? Arnold Palmer is coming to the 2006 U.S. Senior Open. See him and other legends of the game including Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange and more. It's a rare opportunity to see golfs legends right here in Hutchinson. 2006 U,S, SENIOR OPEN * JULY 3-9 * PRAIRIE DUNES COUNTRY CLUB TICKETS AVAILABLE ATi * • 877-325-GOLF CHILDREN 17 AND UNDER ARE ADMITTED FREE WITH A TICKETED ADULT

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