Shawnee Dispatch

Letter to the editor: Shawnee resident responds to Jan. 17 letter

January 23, 2018

To the editor:

I’d like to respond to the letter from Michael Kalny, Republican Precinct Committeeman Ward 4 Precinct 02.

As a fellow member of Ward 4, I distinctly remember the partisan campaign materials from Lindsey Constance’s opponent that the letters Kalny responded to referenced.

I also remember how Constance ran as a candidate who represents her constituents rather than a political ideology.

Given this, and concerned about the facts that Kalny presented in his response, I also reviewed the campaign finance reports on file with the Johnson County Election Board and spoke with Councilmember Constance about her reports.

From my review of the reports on file, 42 percent of Constance contributors lived in Shawnee and 91 percent either lived in Shawnee or the metro area.

Her opponent had nearly 38 percent of funds coming from outside the metro area.

Noble’s total campaign contributions were $19,579 coming from 36 total contributions, yielding an average contribution of $543.

On the other hand, Constance’s total campaign contributions were $12,271 coming from 154 total contributions. This is an average of $79.68 per contribution.

It seems the average citizen of Shawnee could come much closer to the contribution of $80 than that of more than $500.

Kalny specifically calls out contributions from London, England, and San Francisco.

I asked Councilmember Constance about these funds. Constance tells me that these contributions came from two close friends — one she attended college with, and the other she taught with during her first year as a teacher.

Both wanted to support Lindsey’s passion to improve Shawnee even though they weren’t residents.

While the Johnson County Democratic Party and affiliates contributed to Constance’s campaign, it does not sway her commitment to listen to all constituents.

During her campaign Constance spoke with every possible political persuasion- Independent, Republican, Democrat, and others. This drive to represent all sides has only grown since her election.

Kalny ends his letter asking how “these so-called non-partisan council members truly represent the residents of Shawnee when they are financially beholden to interests outside of Shawnee?”

This question insinuates that campaign contributions will purchase the votes of our elected officials.

After coming to know Constance very well, I strongly believe that she is not a person who’s vote would be swayed by a financial contribution.

For those in our Ward who share Kalny’s concerns, I encourage you to reach out to Councilmember Constance.

Never have I met anyone more willing to listen and consider multiple viewpoints than our councilmember.

She truly has the best interests of Shawnee residents in mind and will do all she can to improve our city.

Bethany Hahn

Vice President of Chanderin Courts Homeowners Association

Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2018/jan/23/letter-editor-shawnee-resident-responds-jan-17-let/