Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dignity and Equality

Here are the remarks I deliverd at the Dignity and Equality Rally at the Kansas State Capitol on Friday, June 26, 2015.

I spent the past 3 years working to protect the RPS. We lost it this year, but it had become a bit of an grind. Can you imagine a government of Kansas that wouldn't do everything it could to attract wind energy to this state? Yet the chairs of the committees in both houses have done all they can to destroy Kansas' wind industry. It's like Vermont not supporting its maple syrup industry, or Georgia not supporting its peach industry. “Here in Newcastle, we don't support coal.” It's absurd.

There's something you can get involved with now. How many people are Westar customers? Westar is trying to raise fixed rates to undercut distributed solar and energy efficiency. There are hearings in July.

Because you know what? (look L R) Climate change is real. The other thing we worked on this year were a number of laws to undercut the EPA's clean power plan. I sat in hearing about the clean power plan for 2 weeks, and finally I got up and said, It's not just about this thing called the CPP, it's about climate change, and the committee chair, Olsen, ran me off. Olsen is the chair of the Utilities committee, who on the floor last year opposed the RPS on the floor on the Senate because he thinks wind turbines are ugly. And when the bill on the CPP finally past, at the signing ceremony he said he doesn't believe carbon dioxide contributes to climate change.

But it's not just climate change. It's Medicaid expansion, it's the budget and taxes, it's reproductive health, it's guns. How many major issues is the radical conservative majority in the KS Leg on the wrong side of?

Do tax cuts on the rich raise revenue?
Is it fair to raise the sales tax on everyone to support income tax exmpetions for the wealthiest among us?

These people are hostage to an ideology. It doesn't matter how many times their talking points are proved wrong, they just keep spouting them. Supply side was disproven in Ronald Reagan's first term. Yet here we are.

There's a truth deficit here. Look at yesterday. Is there anything more immoral than hoping and praying that more than 6 million Americans will lose their health insurance? Yet what's the quotes from our legislators? (Swanning) “Obama care's a disaster, we have to repeal it...”

Let me ask you: Is Obamacare a disaster? How many people are on Obamacare?
Do people on TANF go on cruises?
Do wind farms raise your electricity rates?
Do abortion laws need to be loosened and gun laws tightened every ...single ...year?

There's a truth deficit here.

On the other hand, I ask: Is climate change real? Is it human caused? Should we do something about it?
Should we support and expand our renewables industry?
Should we expand medicare?
Should we raise the minimum wage?
Should we fully fund our schools?
Should we respect a woman's right to choose?
Should billionaires pay their fare share?

To the radical majority in the KS leg I say: You've had your fun. But it doesn’t work. That dog don't hunt. Come back to reality. Accept empirical fact. Moderation is the only way to govern this state.

And if these legislators won't choose sensible government, then I hope we'll soon have some new legislators up here who will.

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