Kansas Common Sense
Aug 22 2011
Kansas Common Sense
By U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
August 22, 201
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.
Americans Need Jobs NowEarlier this week I was on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom” to discuss with Bill Hemmer what I’ve been hearing from Kansans: frustration with the President’s leadership and Washington’s inability to work together on a commonsense plan to grow our economy and create jobs. And this frustration isn’t just in Kansas – it’s being felt nationally; the economy needs help, Americans need jobs and we shouldn’t have to wait any longer.
But President Obama says it’ll have to wait because he won’t unveil his new jobs plan until September. We’ve had an unemployment problem across the country for a long time. This isn’t a new development, and Republican and Democrat leaders both know there are some commonsense things we could agree upon today. The President ought to work with Congress and get us back to work now – not wait until September.
The government is not a creator of jobs, but Washington does have the responsibility to create an environment where businesses can grow and start hiring again. This means cutting wasteful spending; reining in burdensome government regulations; replacing the convoluted tax code with one that is fair, simple and certain; opening foreign markets for American manufactured goods and agricultural products; and allowing the development of our country’s energy resources. Yet none of these things are getting done in Washington. Click here to watch my full interview.
Welcoming Students Back to School
It is that time of year again when Kansas students are headed back to classrooms across our state. On Thursday, I joined the students of Roosevelt Elementary School in Hays and welcomed them back for the 2011-12 school year. Roosevelt’s theme for this school year is “dream big,” so I challenged the students to work hard so they can build the skills needed to pursue their dreams. I thanked the many hard-working teachers for their perseverance and dedication to their students.
During the assembly, I also had the opportunity to introduce the school’s new principal, Lee Keffer. Principal Keffer was the former principal at Kennedy Middle School and accepted this new position upon Janci Krugler’s departure. Thanks to Principal Keffer, Kim Lyon and the administration for the invitation to speak to the students on their first day of school. I wish all the students across Kansas the best for this upcoming year and encourage them to dream big. Click here to view a photo from my visit.
Remembering Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols
On Friday, Robba and I attended funeral services for Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols at Thomas More Prep-Marian (TMP) High School in Hays. Nichols, 31, was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month when the helicopter he was flying was shot down, taking the lives of 30 American service members in the single deadliest loss of U.S. forces in the war in Afghanistan to date.
Nichols grew up in Hays, was a 1998 graduate of TMP, and moved to Kansas City, MO to fly Chinook helicopters as a member of the Army Reserve’s 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment in Gardner. His colleagues describe him as a skilled pilot who loved to fly, an exceptional officer and a selfless friend.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Nichols family, including Bryan’s wife Mary and his son Braydon, and his parents, Doug and Cindy Nichols of Palco. Our nation is forever indebted to Chief Warrant Officer Nichols and the other young men who perished for their service and sacrifice on our behalf. Special thanks to the hundreds of Patriot Guard riders who showed their support for this fallen hero.
Congratulating Earl Watkins on His Retirement from Sunflower
This week, I had the opportunity to congratulate Earl Watkins on his retirement as President and CEO of Sunflower Electric Power Corp. Sunflower is a Hays-based electric cooperative that provides electricity for thousands of Kansas residents. Earl first joined Sunflower nearly 30 years ago, but when he became President in 2004 – the cooperative’s future was uncertain. Thanks to his tireless work ethic and perseverance, Sunflower was able to overcome many challenges and has become the success it is today. Earl’s leadership over the past 7 years has enabled Sunflower to fulfill its mission: to provide Kansans with an affordable, reliable energy supply – which has strengthened the Western Kansas economy.
I’ve known Earl for more than two decades and not only is he a hard worker – he is highly respected and a man of integrity and character. In our community, Earl has set a strong example of what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself” through his service to others. Congratulations Earl on your well-deserved retirement. I wish you and Karen all the best in this new chapter of life. Also congratulations to Stuart Lowry, former executive vice president and general counsel of Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., who will now become Sunflower’s new president and CEO. I look forward to working with you in the future. Click here to view a photo from my visit.
Meeting with Kansas City Association of Realtors
This week, I had the opportunity to meet with members of the Kansas City Regional Association of Relators in Leawood to discuss the economy and issues affecting the housing market. One important issue we talked about is the long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, which the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will likely consider in September. Thanks to Luke Bell and Jeff Carson for the invitation to attend. Click here to view a photo from the meeting.
Listening Tour Continues
This week I continued my Statewide Listening tour with town hall meetings in Cowley, Chautauqua, Montgomery, Cheyenne, Rawlins and Lane Counties. The folks I met with were asking good questions and proposing ideas to solve the tough challenges our country faces. They continued to ask why Congress and President Obama are not coming to the table to work on a commonsense plan to grow the American economy and put Americans back to work. I shared with them the request I made of President Obama to work with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill now to come up with responsible solutions to our fiscal crisis, and not push it off for another day.
I started the week with stops in southeast and south central Kansas on Monday. In the morning I was in Arkansas City at CornerBank, in the afternoon it was Sedan at the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau and I ended the day visiting with folks at the Coffeyville Community College Technical Campus. On Thursday, I spent time in northwest Kansas. My first stop was visiting with Atwood residents in the back of Williams Brothers Supermarket. Thank you to Mike Braxmeyer for allowing us to use his store for the meeting. I spent Thursday evening in St. Francis with Cheyenne County residents at the St. Francis Community High School. Thank you to the Cheyenne County Farm Bureau for hosting my listening tour stop at their annual meeting. My final stop last week was in Lane County where I walked Main Street in Dighton. I visited the courthouse, library, farm bureau, Post Office, City Hall, American Family Ins., and the Kwik Shop. I also visited Dighton Drug, where I learned there is a great opportunity for a new pharmacist to buy the store. If you would like to view photos from this week’s stops click here.
Upcoming Listening Tour Stops
In the weeks ahead, I will be continuing my statewide listening tour. Please find more information about my upcoming town hall meetings below.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Stafford County, Macksville
Location: Main Street
Time: 9:00-10:00 a.m.
In the Office
This week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office from across the state, including the Kansan listed below.
Hays City Manager
Toby Dougherty of Hays
Several Kansans stopped by this week for a tour of the United States Capitol including Therese Miller of Manhattan; Barbara Karr of Lawrence; Brent Backus of Wichita; Josh Brungardt of Salina and Kirk Demuth of Abilene. Kansans visiting from Hutchinson included: Sam and William Leiker; Mario and Connie Morales; and Jerry and Clareen Olson.
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,
My email address is only equipped to send messages. I encourage you to send me a message through my website: https://www.moran.senate.gov
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