The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 30, 1998 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 30, 1998
Page 4
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A4 SATURDAY. MAY 3O. 1998 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL TTAXES Tax group seeks pledges to avoid new taxes New highway program could be victim of plan to avoid tax increases By SARAH KESSINGER f/arris News Service TOPEKA - Candidates for state office soon will open their mailboxes to find a pledge card asking them to sign away any thought of raising taxes. The pledge cards, like the giant- sized one displayed at U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback's campaign headquarters in Topeka, come compliments of the Kansas Taxpayers Network. This election year presents more of a challenge to the network's pledge campaign. A record tax cut of $246 million in the '98 legislative session was made possible by a booming economy. But state residents are calling for better highways, which would take a chunk of future budgets and require some kind of tax package. Concerned about the highway plan, Rep. Ralph Tanner, R-Ottawa, urges candidates not to sign such cards. Legislators should decide an issue on its merits, "rather than be handcuffed by a pledge," said Tanner, who is known for his conservative tax record. Highways are just such an issue, he added, and he worries that much- needed road work might not pass if too many legislators have signed. The Kansas Taxpayers Network is a spin-off of a national conservative campaign begun in 1970s New Hampshire. State members began asking legislative and congressional candidates to sign "taxpayer protection pledges" during the '94 election cycle. ! The campaign has made legislators more aware of how the public Views taxes, said Karl Peterjohn, the Kansas group's lobbyist and executive director. And it has stirred public awareness of how candidates view tax issues, he added, separating the "fiscally responsible from the tax-and-spend candidates." » But critics say it's simply a push for lawmakers to bend to the will of one small special interest group. .'. Peterjohn plans to begin a mass mailing of the taxpayer pledge af- fer the June filing deadline for upcoming elections. A separate pledge for candidates for governor will be distributed then too. ;; "Once we get a list of all the can- (lidates, we'll send them out," he said. "That way, everyone's got an equal shot at it." , During 1996 campaigns, about 38 legislators signed. Most were Republicans, a few Democrats. •• "I have noticed this: It's more common for a candidate with no opponent not to sign the pledge," Peterjohn said. ;: The director has given the governor a pledge form already, but fiasn't seen it since. * "As far as the governor's concerned, we will not dance to the tune of a for-profit, special interest lobbyist," said Mike Matson, the governor's spokesman. "Gov. Graves' record of tax relief speaks for itself with four consecutive years of tax cuts." '; David Miller, a tax-cut advocate and Graves' only opponent so far, is. considering signing the pledge, lafd Miller campaign manager Kris Van Meteren. * The Kansas Taxpayers Network also intends to encourage local taxpayer groups to use the pledge, or something similar, for city and county elections. "So far, here in Kansas it's been pretty easy. We haven't had any 'read my lips' incidents," Peterjohn said, referring to former President George Bush's failed pledge of "No new taxes" in the 1988 election. Such special-interest efforts may have a point in prodding candidates to take a stand, said Burdett Loomis, political science professor at the University of Kansas. But that can pose a problem if the economy turns sour and funds fall short. "In terms of policy making, boy, do you really want to send out the message that you won't raise taxes for anything?" Loomis pointed to the Bush campaign promise as the irony of such pledges. The president offered modest tax increases that led the country toward a balanced budget. But because of his earlier pledge the move lost him a second term. Sen. Stan Clark, R-Oakley, signed the group's pledge before CARROL HAMILTON Roofing company Since 7962 Free Estimates, All Work Guaranteed L800-864-4637 • 785-452-9224 As ofJune 1 Looking forward to seeing you at our New Location 724 Washington Studio located on Phillips Street \Vc arc (ii.stoni Work -Business & Residential Call 825-8253 for appointment. Salina • Kansas Signing the pledge "is no different than voting for any special interest group — such as labor unions, the KNEA (Kansas National Education Association), the chambers of commerce — and pledging that you're going to carry out their agenda." Ben Vidricksen Salina senator the 1996 election. It hasn't been hard living up to that promise, he said, but he figured fewer legislators would sign in the future. "The highway program would be the big question mark out there," Clark said. Gov. Graves, who will announce a new highway task force soon, has said he is not sure how much a highway plan could cost. The last plan, passed in 1989, cost $3 billion. The state funded it through a mix of bonds, taxes and federal and local funds. The price tag on the next one could be significantly higher con- sidering growing construction costs and the fact that officials are eyeing railroad and airport needs as part of the plan. Peterjohn asks legislators to dig deeper into state pockets rather than raise taxes for highways. "If (legislators) can fund $30 million to $40 million for a NASCAR track, then they can surely come up with the money for highways," Peterjohn said referring to the state-assisted development of a Wyandotte County speedway. Sen. Ben Vidricksen, R-Salina, said it really is a test of which candidates "sell their souls to a spe- cial interest group." Vidricksen "violently" opposes such pledges. Candidates who sign them, he said, have no business in public office. If budget needs exist for critical projects, he asked, what do legislators intend to do? "When problems come up, then you don't have that option (of taxing)," Vidricksen said. Signing the pledge "is no different than voting for any special interest group such as labor unions, the KNEA (Kansas National Education Association), chambers of commerce and pledging that you're going to carry out their agenda." Vidricksen views a sales tax to fund highways as a user's fee. Peterjohn, he said, sees it as simply more taxes. "That's ridiculous," the veteran senator said. "That organization is about as anti-American as any." But Peterjohn said the state could improve and build roads through private funds, using a tolling system similar to a turnpike authority. He also would support a proposal, introduced last session, to set aside a trust .fund for highway upgrades. For Hay • Hogs - Machinery 24', 30', 36' or 42' wide by any length 15 Year Warranty on 10 oz. Cover NORTH CENTRAL STEEL - MINNEAPOLIS, KS Call I-800-382-0106-Anytime "" Salina Journal MAURE WEIGEL Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Rome Awnligs • Carports Business Awnings • Lateral Arm Awiligs Entrance Canopies • Tarns. Sun Shades Patio cmrs • Unstick Curtilis Free Estimates ,,„„„,„ .„,. , < ^-^ 1100W. Grand Bldg. I /t Toll free 1-888-825-5280 . /t 7 Ann -B-Que k For the love of an oral presentation, when a atu- alhonora, a ilap toward the naming "I can think of no greater eer- aciiuui UIVIRUUM_ uuuuuiui, «u«w dent laya. 'So, lhafa how you do of the Kanus Teacher of the Year, vice to the world than Introducing Macbeaatudwilalnaljalmienlary K, 1 and *hen_n||inlcnt laya, 1 Bolh will bo honored at 6 p.m. lu children lo the Job of mualc. a achoola. She »oriu wiltlaomeeru. >uld. Tuesday by Ihe Sallna School Board lifelong JIB." aha aald. . 2 ,? r "^f Se °™,'^SSiS!' , an elemen- at the dUtrlcl oglcM. 1511 OypKim. HUbce Hurled playing Ihe calto la ™. V"" *™S" to "?."???• jehlng rendl- klnkte-onUu 'Ithi i atari of a Ex Initi f hundrada of awlt e. Twinkle,' " caua I miulc to my her Iwnenaam- aim I how you do ofU *•—t aaya, '1 B an eletnen- lng rendl- lkl«" on the Ltart of a utlc to my d about hen a itu- you do , '1 I elemen- rendl- form a and schoo "11... chudrail Hltteeai dent who' anoralpli dent tayi, It,' and J naedi' For tary &. tlonot .. cello coull Beethoven "I nave children pw: Hlgbeeaald. "1 teach fo, dent who i< aaoralpra dent saya,'! It,' and wb need a hug,' For Suian „ tary student's' tlonofTwU" cello could Beethoven '1 have i_, children play Hlgbee laid." 'IteacbforUiel dent who Is shy 1 an oral presentatl dent says, 'So, (•' J_^ LVV-'- *~r — — between •s by using tne tn develop skilled readers, newspapei to oeveivy ^^ lead sassSsssss; t" on the 'I th Irt of a Inlll i of swlt .—J.' " cam •c to my her | about The] iaetu- alhi '"u«o otth i, 'I Bo Tu« . at Ih Jundl- •nthe • of a and •III theValinfl IUU'""' ._ NtE •"* Bft Salina Charter Coach, Inc. "ylrross Tbuinor Across fte ATad'oii" ^^^" ^ 785-825-4410 1-800-536-4410 ^^^^^^^^^_ •!»• i» grei tt^mes^fp^-a, P.O. Box 1507 dPB^TOciffoftheYear vice to the world than Int ^\a>—«r— Salina, Kansas Both .mh. nonfat5 ».m. itschlidrentotiieiobof DallasLUes, Owner --' Blue Ribbon Car Wash Out on a Limb Massage Center Reynolds Real Estate & Auction Diehl Construction First Choice Support Services Fuller's fluto & Truck Recycling Center KASA Industrial Controls Kleppinger Funeral Home Jewell CONSTRUCTION . First j^ National T Bank Abilene Coronado Engineering Western Auto Jean Curry Shelter Ins, Greek's , 67W1 ** Salina Journal HOME _ , STYLE COOKIN" CAFE DESIGNS by OYAL TIRE CO. CtALTY 1325 18TH STREET BELLEVILLE, KS 66935 KOBLER Hays, KS Hassman Termite & Pest Control Central National Bank lidland iuffler ADM Pioneer Farm It Ranch Supply, Inc. Abilene INLAND TRUCK PARTS COMPANY Computer Consultants of Central Kansas Bailey Truck Line Abilene, KS 785385-2150 7I545ZBK7 R & R Plumbing SALINA STEEL SUPPLY. JNC: : Lorenson Weldin 3 Creative Landscaping Ash Enterprises Chubbuck Grain Concordia dajattia tmai imOtn'm stu- be«"stld.-My ctaiTlialmoitlliui iwMe fcnti lam until OKU. cry Ml read church. We .hire cacb ottor'a ictoii, she worka wllh totn their papen about Important pao- joyi and concerna." ri en u A^. nine years bains a pKandliUBhaiiwaahanatoriea.- Hannah Ainilao.ulal. a May trad- RE//VKK le WAL-MART ALWAYS LOW PRICES. ALWAYS WAL-MART. Auto Parts Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. Ranger's Steakhouse Jcgcott RYAN MORTUARY a CREMATORY 137 North Eighth Street/Salina LA CASITA JLSON Co. Stamfwd FIRE Triangle Trucking Holmes Construction Architectural Services Plus, P.A. College Park Village WATERS B A N . K America's StrongestBanhs Bethany College BmkUudktonET-CJOS The Clock Shop Allstate Insurance Adam Healv Silver Ball Game Room Mr. Windshield Superior Supply Co., Inc. Heartland Bank Dave's Conoco ALLEN INSURANCE grandma. «ax' restaurant mi (taaan 913-823-7200 • 800-391-7201 1216 S.Santa Fe THE SAINT FRANCIS ACADEMY INCORPORATED SALINA Mr. OfKansas Kansas Cellular n, sm-i tatea cvato- TUpta, j>»™ Eldorado National Inc. TVCN of Kansas Bert & Wetta Sales Abilene Landmark Surueying

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