Kansas Common Sense

Dear Friend,

Welcome to "Kansas Common Sense." Thank you for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them. This week's headlines are:

  • Honoring Senator Bob Dole for Service, World War II Memorial
  • Common Sense Needed in Regulations
  • Addressing Our Nation’s Fiscal Crisis
  • Ending Hunger Requires the Dedication of Many
  • Upcoming Listening Tour Stops
  • "Coffee with Kansans"
  • Visiting with Kansas Interns Working in Washington, D.C.
  • In the Office

Honoring Senator Bob Dole for Service, World War II Memorial

On Tuesday, I attended a ceremony on the National Mall across from the World War II Memorial to recognize one of Kansas’ favorite sons, Senator Bob Dole, for his lifetime of service to our country’s veterans and his leadership in establishing the Memorial. Surrounded by family, friends from Kansas, and officials, the ceremony coincided with the anniversary of Dole’s injuries in World War II.  Sixty-six years ago this week, on April 14, 1945, then Lieutenant Dole was severely wounded in northern Italy while fighting for our country’s freedom.

During his nearly 36 years on Capitol Hill, Senator Dole was known as a leader who worked relentlessly to pass significant legislation that made a tremendous difference in the lives of many and in the success of our nation. Senator Dole achieved much during his service in Congress, but perhaps his most lasting legacy stems from his tireless efforts to build a memorial in Washington, DC to honor his fellow World War II veterans. At the request of Senators Roberts and Inouye, a plaque was dedicated at the ceremony to be placed at the entrance of the Memorial so that all those visiting the Memorial know of Senator Dole’s service and pivotal contribution in making the Memorial a reality.    

Senator Dole in his remarks on Tuesday concluded by saying: "I’m the most the optimistic man in America today." We ought to be optimistic because we have individuals like Bob Dole who have served our country.  Thank you, Senator Dole. Click here to view remarks I made this week on the floor of the Senate paying tribute to Senator Dole, and click here to view a photo from Tuesday’s ceremony.

Sen. Dole Being Honored for His Work Establishing WWII Memorial      

Common Sense Needed in Regulations

It is a terrible development when hometown bankers find it is no longer worth the regulatory hassle and cost to loan to small businesses and families. The federal government is increasingly getting in the way of our economic recovery. There is a lot of talk in D.C. about treating community banks differently than the Wall Street giants, but I am not convinced that this talk will translate into results. I am committed to keeping the pressure on our regulators to make prudent decisions when examining community banks; that is why I recently introduced and sponsored legislation to help credit flow to small businesses and families in our communities. Click here to watch a quick video with footage from committee hearings and witness testimony on this important topic.

Addressing Our Nation’s Fiscal Crisis

On Wednesday, President Obama outlined his proposal to address our annual deficit – the difference between what the government spends and takes in each year. Under the president’s plan, taxes would go up significantly to pay down the deficit. But the reality is money raised by Washington D.C., results in more spending in Washington, D.C. – not saving. Even if all Americans earning over $100,000 were taxed at 100 percent, those funds would not cover the annual deficit this year.

The president’s proposal falls short of addressing the reality of our fiscal crisis. We can no longer afford "business as usual" in Washington. The best way to get our spending under control is to pass a responsible budget and stick to it. In coming weeks, we will begin work on the 2012 budget and I look forward to working on a commonsense plan that reduces our deficit this year, next year and well into the future.

Ending Hunger Requires the Dedication of Many

Many Kansans across our state are working to end hunger at home and abroad. On Tuesday, I thanked these individuals and groups who are making a difference in the lives of others when I accepted the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award from the Congressional Hunger Center. As a member of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I am committed to raising awareness about hunger and look forward to continuing my work with Kansans and others who share the goal of ending hunger.

I was honored by the presence of Rick and Caleb McNary of El Dorado, who run an international hunger-relief organization called Numana at the ceremony. I was also humbled to be joined by Stan Stark of Haviland and Myron Voth and Phyllis Regier of Walton, who were in our nation’s capital representing Land O’Lakes, Inc.; and Jon Hixon of WaKeeney representing Cargill. Congresswoman Betty McCollum of Minnesota also received an award.

Thanks to Ed Cooney, the Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center, and U.S. Representatives Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts – who serve on the Congressional Hunger Center Board – for this recognition. Click here to view a photo from the event.

Hunger Leadership Award Presentation

Upcoming Listening Tour Stops

This month and next, I will be continuing my statewide listening tour. Please find more information about my upcoming town hall meetings below. If you’re nearby, I encourage you to stop by to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Wabaunsee County Listening Tour Stop
Location: Grandma Hoerner’s Foods
Address: 31862 Thompson Road
Time: 9:45-10:45 AM

Shawnee County Listening Tour Stop (hosted by Topeka Chamber of Commerce)
Location: Holiday Inn
Address: 605 SW Fairlawn
Time: Noon-1 PM

Namaha County Listening Tour Stop
Location: Centralia Community Building
Address: 106 John Riggins Avenue
Time: 2:30-3:30 PM

Brown County Listening Tour Stop  
Location: Horton Blue Building
Address: 716 1st Avenue West
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.

"Coffee with Kansans"

It was a pleasure to once again welcome Kansans at my weekly Wednesday morning coffee in Washington, D.C. The number of attendees at this week’s "Coffee with Kansans" doubled since last week’s inaugural event, and I am eager to visit with even more Kansans in the future. Click here to view photos from the event.

Coffee with Kansans - 4.18.11

I will be back in Kansas while the Senate is not in session, so my next "Coffee with Kansans" event will be held on May 4th, 2011. I am excited to host the next coffee in my new official office location, Russell Senate Office Building, Room 354, at 9:30 a.m. If you plan on being in Washington during the first week of May, I would encourage you to RSVP by clicking here. I look forward to visiting with you.

Visiting with Kansas Interns Working in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, I met with 18 students who are participating in the University of Kansas’ (KU) Washington Internship Program. This program began in 1984 and since then, more than 400 students have participated in the semester-long internship experience. During their semester in Washington, D.C., students work in a full-time internship and have the opportunity to attend a weekly seminar to hear from a variety of speakers. The students I met with this week attend classes at KU, Kansas State University and Wichita State University. Click here to see a photo from their visit. Click here to learn more about KU’s Washington Internship Program.

Visiting with Kansas Interns Working in Washington, D.C.

In the Office

This week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C. office from across the state. Click here to view some photos of these groups.

Stuart Hoffman of Kansas City
 ONE Campaign
Cassandra Myskiw of Manhattan

Kansas Venture Capital, Inc.
Marshall Parker of Leawood

Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association
Scott Redler of Wichita
Bill Goodlatte of Wichita
Linda Goodlatte of Wichita
Al Hinman of Overland Park
Hugh O’Reilly of Kansas City
Erin O’Reilly of Kansas City
Michael Phipps of Wichita
Ann Marie Phipps of Wichita
Gene Suellentrop of Wichita
Sabrina Symns of Hays
Bob Symns of Hays
Ron Oberg of Wichita
Don Sayler of Wichita

R Woods Consulting Group, Inc.
Ron Woods of Overland Park
Alicia Hooks of Kansas City
Donna McCullough of Overland Park

Military Officers Association of America  
Dilbert Hill of Topeka

Vietnam Veterans of America
Ron and Virginia Zink of Topeka

Land O’Lakes
Myron Voth of Moundridge
Stan Stark of Haviland 

Royal Dairy Farms
Kyle Averhoff of Garden City

Greg McCormack of Junction City

National Farmers Union
Donn Teske of Wheaton
Nick Levendofsky of Republic
Lauren Clay of Windom

Kansas State University
Kirk Schulz of Manhattan
Ron Trewyn of Manhattan
Gary Pierzynski of Manhattan
Ralph Richardson of Manhattan
Kent Glasscock of Manhattan
James Guikema of Manhattan
John English of Manhattan
Sue Peterson of Manhattan
Dennis Kuhlman of Salina
Carol Shanklin of Manhattan
John Blair of Manhattan
Bancroft McKittrick of Manhattan
Philip Harner of Manhattan
Fred Cholick of Manhattan

Kansas Psychiatric Society
Donald Brada of Lawrence

American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association
Byron Whitaker of Lake Quivera

Kansas Hospital Association
Chad Austin of Topeka
Tom Bell of Topeka
Kenny Boyd of Girard
David Bradley of Junction City
Karen Endicott-Coyan of Fort Scott
Amy Fluke of Topeka
Leonard Hernandez of Elkhart
J.V. Johnston of Wichita
Fred Lucky of Olathe
Cheryl Miller of Abilene
Mark Miller of Abilene
Susan Page of Pratt
Randy Peterson of Wichita
Jim Reagan of Council Grove
Cynthia Smith of Lenexa 

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
Jan Lewis of Topeka

American Cable Association
Patrick Knorr of Lawrence

Hawker Beechcraft
Doug Scott of Wichita
Bob Blouin of Wichita

Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Joe Conroy of Emporia
Christel Burke of Junction City
Kendra James of Goddard
Donna Vierthaler of Wichita
Rebecca Boust of Wichita

National College Fraternities and Sororities
Courtney Hallenbeck of Manhattan
Nate Spriggs of Manhattan 

David Schmitz of Topeka 

Emporia State University
Joe Yanik of Emporia
Qiang Shi of Emporia
Yuchen Chen of Emporia
Yuying Cao of Emporia

University of Kansas Cooperative Education Exchange Program
Bret Mock of Kansas City
Nadia Kardash of Lawrence

University of Kansas
Alice Bean of Lawrence

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Amber Bourek of Kansas City
Catherine Linden of Kansas City
Kirsten Bruce of Kansas City
Peggy Johnson of Wichita

American Heart Association
Vicki Worrell of Emporia
Kevin Walker of Olathe
Kevin Harker of Leawood
Willie Lawrence of Leawood

Sedgwick County Department on Aging
Annette Graham of Wichita
Julie Govert-Walter of Manhattan

Dawn Veh of Hutchinson
David Beck of Topeka
Angela Daily of Topeka
Jerry Carley of Wichita
Jean Bryant of Cimarron
Willie Novotny of Manhattan
Chris Osborn of Olathe
Debra Harmon Zehr of Topeka

Patrick Doran of Topeka

Bruce Barry of Manhattan

Kansas Association of Insurance Agents
Mark Lowry of Stockton
Bob Wood of Parsons
Greg Renn of Willington
Cindy Hower of Holton
Lou Smith of Wichita
Ross Hendrickson of Chanute
Amy Hendrickson of Chanute
Bob Fee of Hutchinson
Scott Stuckey of Junction City

American Rental Association
Phillip Kelling of Shawnee
Lynne Kelling of Shawnee
Tom Fouts of Olathe
Debbie Fouts of Olathe
Pierre Pereira of Leawood 

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Sandy Queen of Overland Park

Kansas Wildlife Federation
Troy Schroeder of Albert

University of Kansas Internship Program
Genesis Mercado of Wichita
Dima Hammouri of Wichita

Many Kansans stopped by this week for a tour of the United States Capitol including Matt, Krissie, Piper and Sandra Kiehne of Prairie Village; Reba Lucky of Lenexa; Zach and Mark Lowry of Stockton; Hazel Hodgson of Little River; Pete and Rosemary Brungardt of Salina; Cole and Ross Brungardt of Lawrence; and Steven and Debra Mitchell of Olathe. Kansans in from Topeka included David Schlosser; Vicki and Chris Bell; Melissa Ebbert; and Amy Fluke.

Contact Me

It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Please let me know how I can be of assistance. To send me an email, click here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,


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