Archive for Thursday, September 3, 2009

Debunking ‘Baker vote’ myth

Our View Editorial

September 3, 2009, 1:00 a.m.

Updated: September 3, 2009, 2:23 p.m.

We’ve heard references to the “Baker University vote” over the years, but not quite like this past year when Baldwin City voters approved the $22.9 million bond issue for the Baldwin School District.

The measure passed by a slim margin, 2,087-1,775, and opponents of the bond issue have been quick to blame the “Baker vote” for its passage. It’s always easy to blame something on someone else.

But in this case, it just doesn’t hold water.

Voting data from the Baldwin City precincts was examined last week to see just how many Baker students voted in November. That was done by looking at addresses and names to determine locations and people who were Baker students.

The list totaled 182 names that were verified. The bond issue passed by 312 votes. Even if all 182 of those Baker students voted “yes” on the bond issue and those votes were thrown out, the measure still passes.

Although we’re not surprised by that, we’re glad to be able to know that it wasn’t the “Baker vote” that made the difference. We’ve always held the view that while Baker is always a factor, it doesn’t determine an election’s outcome.

Why did only 182 out of more than 900 Baker students vote here? It may look like a poor turnout, but it’s more likely because the vast majority of those students voted in their hometowns, either personally or by absentee ballot.

Why would that be when that election was supposedly the “coming out” of the younger vote because of the race for president? Easy. If those out-of-state voters wanted their vote to count in putting Barack Obama in the White House, they certainly wouldn’t vote in Republican-dominated Kansas. In-state students obviously had more interest in the races from their areas.

Of course, the review of the ballot data can’t reveal how those students voted or even if they went further down the ballot after checking off Obama. There have been claims made that students were urged at various gatherings to “vote yes” on the bond issue. We don’t know how much of that went on, if any, but we also know a thing or two about young adults. Tell them to do one thing and they’ll likely do the opposite. We don’t know if that’s the case here, but it could be. And it doesn’t matter too much since only 182 of them voted anyway.

For those who need more convincing, do you recall the spring election for mayor and city council where mayoral candidate George McCrary predicted victory for him because he was going to take the “Baker vote” and even appointed a Baker student as his campaign manager?

Result: Ken Wagner 422 votes, McCrary 231.

Comments

bruceanderson01 4 years, 11 months ago

I'd like to point out a few crucial errors in the editorial on the "Baker Vote". First, there was a pretty effective student-driven registration of Baker students prior to the last election; second, only a small portion of these votes were actually counted. The major problem was not in Baker, but in Lawrence, where late registration never made it onto the voting rolls -- or were incorrectly entered for students living in Baker living units, resulting in a mad scramble of student voters from polling place to polling place attempting to find their voting precinct. A total of over 400 new registrants were registered on the Baker campus during the drive; many of the new registrants used "home" addresses other than their Douglas county address to register -- registration drive captains did not catch these until fairly late in the game, and not all were corrected. Apparently at least 100 registrants were "past deadline" and were not officially registered until AFTER the vote -- and about 100 were held under "correction" problems. As a result, students turned out in great numbers, but only a fraction of their votes were actually counted.
It is wise to bear in mind, however, that these students that did not graduate or move on WILL be able to vote in future elections, and that efforts to register new students will be an ongoing feature of the programs of both the College Republicans and College Democrats. Students today are not the apathetic item of the past decade or so. Student voters from both parties are active, shrewd and engaged at a level unknown on recent years -- and are more than ever likely to view themselves as members of this community. These citizens spend 9 months and more of the year here, and many stay in the area past graduation. "Counting Baker Out" would be a very dangerous idea for recalcitrant xenophobes running for office or trying to pass issues. Baker students ARE a part of this community, and viewing them as "outsiders" of some sort, with no investment in Baldwin, misses a critical point: they work here, they live here, and they pay their taxes and spend their earnings here. To see them as anything but full members of the community is silly. And, they vote. When they can.

R. Bruce Anderson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science

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danielleweimholt 4 years, 11 months ago

This town is SO funny. The dynamics of Baldwin City drama are too much for someone who hasn't grown up here. What does that tell you about how unnecessary all of the gossip and trash talk is? I wonder if any of the regular mud flingers commenting all election long have ANY conscience at all. This must be your philosophy: "As long as it gets me what I want, it's acceptable." This includes slandering another individual to ridiculous extremes, huh? I can't believe that the maturity level of most of these outspoken ADULTS is WELL below that of any Baker student I have ever met. Either that, or some of you are merely using someone else's reputation as a means of entertainment as well as a means to whatever political end you feel fit. Is this okay? Can you honestly step back, outside yourself, and look at yourself through the eyes of, say, someone you admire without being DISGUSTED with your behavior? Just a little advice--even if some of you decide to change your ways, and even if you are able to make others believe that you have changed, only YOU know whether you truly have or not, and it's what you're doing when no one is looking that proves it.

Good luck! :) No one's perfect, but we can all join in the effort of improving ourselves. The inevitable result: community improvement. Focus on yourself! Not on everyone and everything that fuels all the ridiculous drama that envelopes our great country. If you were one of the mud-flingers and you feel no shame for the things you've said for the sake of argument or out of pure boredom, you know what you need to do. Join me in the endless walk of personal improvement, self control, and unshakable confidence, harmony and happiness.

Thanks for teaching me how much I have going for me, Baldwin! There are bigger and better things out there, but I hope that one day I'll return to a Baldwin City that is no longer so dramatic and hilariously childish--and maybe one that has more than one writer for the entire newspaper. Alternative perspectives ;). Let's not allow ourselves to be blinded!

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greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

danielle, What/who, in particular, are you talking about? I think you're talking about those that are blaming Baker students for their tax bills, but not sure.

Dr. Anderson, Great letter. Most students, I'm sure are voting absentee in their home precincts. That is, of course, where their permanent address is (at least when it comes to the bills Baker sends to their parents).
On election day last November, no one was turned away at the polls. If there are discrepancies with a voters eligibility to vote in that precinct, then they are allowed to vote provisionally. The county commissioners then decide whether or not to count their votes.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

grey,

Danielle was George McCrary's campaign manager. She's hacking on all the citizens of Baldwin City because they didn't elect her candidate.

Very mature, Danielle. That should improve the reputation of Baker students in our community.

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danielleweimholt 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm not going to start the tendency for these things to turn into endless bickering, but the people I'm talking about know who they are--naming names is (1) not my place, and (2) only creates defensive attitudes and conflict.

You're correct when you say that no one was turned away at the polls, but I would like to also point out that Bruce never referenced anyone being physically "turned away." There were, however, as he said, numerous ballots that DID NOT GET COUNTED. Placing the blame for WHY the votes did not get counted is unnecessary. The lesson to be learned is that voter registration should include personal, one-on-one interaction between the voter and the registration assistant. This way, the voter can be well informed about registration, how to check to see whether he or she is in fact registered (and WHERE), and also what the physical voting process will entail. Then we won't have these discrepancies!

For future reference to Baker students: do not trust provisional ballots. Get registered early, so that next time we vote, those 100 provisional ballots won't exist at all, therefore preventing the opportunity for them to be disregarded and completely UNCOUNTED.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

Danielle,

It wouldn't be fair to the readership if you didn't mention that Bruce called up the Douglas County Clerk and screamed at him, only to be explained how election laws work in the State of Kansas. You should also mention that Bruce advised students to vote both in Douglas County and in their home districts. That's a really great thing for a Poly Sci professor to teach.

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danielleweimholt 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you all for proving my point. Now I know you will think of whatever you will to turn me into something I'm not, but I respect every one of you, and if we really want to deal with anything publicly (ESPECIALLY politically), we should not remain anonymous when we make our statements. What are you afraid of? I know people will disagree; disagreement is extremely natural and healthy. But, it does not excuse slander and immaturity.

I would encourage every blogger who would like to make a real, positive influence on his or her community to refrain from anonymous posting. How can anything be productive this way? I guess it makes sense, though. Society fed into it like Zebra Muscles in the Great Lakes (thank you, Dr. Miller). It's the perfect place to attack people without risking ANY judgment. It's a shame, because we're all the same. Just people, and we have become a people who truly have been taught to believe that they are literally BETTER for some reason. No one chose birth! Come on, now!

Toodles! Good luck with everything, bloggers! I can't be a part of this because I hate being a part of something that encourages disrespect. If anyone wants to discuss things respectfully and openly please e-mail!! I love learning new things and meeting new people in Baldwin. daniellerweimholt@stu.bakeru.edu

"Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us." -Peter Taylor Forsyth

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greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, I guess I have my answer to my original question to Danielle. That is unless she chose not to answer it because I phrased it in a disrespectful manner (I did not).

According to Teabagger (love the name), "You should also mention that Bruce advised students to vote both in Douglas County and in their home districts." I would sincerely hope this professor of politics did not encourage anyone to do that, being that that would be seen as contrived election fraud. Intentionally voting more than once in a federal election is a third-degree felony in most states and probably also violates federal election-fraud laws. The punishment varies from state to state but is usually up to five or 10 years in jail and fine of up to $5,000 or $10,000.

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Baile5678 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger, I love how you comment on Danielle being immature, but your the one who's name is TeaBagger. I plaudit your immaturity.

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greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

I had to look at this map to find my precinct: http://www.douglas-county.com/depts/cl/ve/docs/pdf/baldwincity_precinctmap.pdf

Then I had to correlate that to the actual polling place: http://www.douglas-county.com/depts/cl/ve/ve_votingsites.aspx (Note Baldwin City's precincts are 60, 61, and 62)

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bruceanderson01 4 years, 10 months ago

I hesitate to continue this discussion past all useful purpose, but feel compelled to respond to the ludicrous notion that I - or any responsible person with an ounce of brains -- would encourage election fraud. The point of registering students in Baldwin is to have them be able to participate as full members of the community in which they live - a purpose I think few would disagree with.

Again, to point out the problems with registration (as I have already done, above) - the issue was with the counting of provisional ballots, and the certification of those ballots, not with polling station workers in Baldwin. The lists needed to be updated, as they nearly always do, but the problem was more likely at our end: several sheets of new registrants were not submitted until after the deadline. These voters could not participate in the past election at their new polling place (Baldwin) but were still legally able to vote in their hometowns. When they vote in future, they will be registered in Baldwin.

Jeff's editorial made an excellent point: the outcome of the last election cannot be laid to the influence of Baker student voting. However, Baker students will play an increasing role in our community as they register and vote here in increasing numbers. Unless members of this community are contemplating withdrawing the legal franchise from these voters, they may very well influence future elections. But students, like any other undifferentiated group of people, vote all sorts of ways and for all sorts of candidates. Our purpose in registering them is and was to help them to participate, not frame how that vote is cast. Encouraging political participation is part and parcel of "what a good political science professor does".

R. Bruce Anderson, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Political Science.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

That's really interesting that you state your purpose for registering students wasn't to influence the outcome, Bruce. We have it on very good authority (several of your students) that you actively encouraged students in your sphere of influence to vote for George McCrary for mayor this last election. Perhaps all of us are aware of one of those students to which I refer, who happened to be very closely aligned with McCrary's campaign. She just couldn't help but brag about how all of Baker, including the faculty, was supporting George for Mayor.

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Baile5678 4 years, 10 months ago

Students who live on Baker's campus need to be registered voters in Baldwin because this is our HOME. What goes on where my parents live (14 hours away) has little to no effect on my life at the moment, but what happens in Baldwin City will for at least the next 3 years. Also, I have been in several classes with Dr. Anderson, and he's never ever encouraged students to vote for a specific candidate or party.

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

I am amused at the timing of this editorial. One can only conclude that the sentiments expressed on this site regarding the outcome of the school bond election has triggered the editor to write this editorial. Since the election was over 10 months ago I can only come to a few conclusions.

  1. More people read & talk about these postings than I originally believed. (I truly thought there were only about 20 of us regulars out there blabbing to each other.)

  2. This musing on the Baker vote has hit a raw nerve with some folks in the Baker Political Science department and they feel the need to defend their actions.

  3. Those BC residents (not fellow Baker students) who promoted the Baker kids to vote for the bond issue are "feeling the heat" so to speak. I guess they thought after 10 months they wouldn't be called out for it.

  4. Baker Univ. isn't thrilled with their name being linked to a local controversay (Can't blame them -I highly doubt the administration of the university encouraged the students to vote one way or another.)

  5. USD 348 is under increasing public scrutiny after the real dollar and cents consequences of this election is coming to light and they want to reinforce the notion that this was a fair and democratic election and the majority of Baldwin City taxpayers wanted this for our children. No manipulations of the system here folks, just a straight out democratic vote of all interested parties. (Must be a bit uncomfortable at the soccer games, football games, parents nights when you hear the grumblings about how much this whole thing is costing.....)

  6. The Signal staff loves this kind of controversay because it will stir up talk on the street and stir up more readership for the website. (Not a bad strategy since readership = $$$ and The Signal is a business that needs to turn a profit just like any other business.)

I believe one, if not all, of these factors are in play here. Otherwise why bring up a subject that would have been much more timely in November? Or even this spring during our local city council elections? I find the whole thing very curious and very entertaining.

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greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

3 September 2009 at 7:23 a.m.

Suggest removal

Permalink

bruceanderson01 (Anonymous) says… The major problem was not in Baker, but in Lawrence, where late registration never made it onto the voting rolls — or were incorrectly entered for students living in Baker living units, resulting in a mad scramble of student voters from polling place to polling place attempting to find their voting precinct.

Then later....

4 September 2009 at 12:13 p.m.

Suggest removal

Permalink

bruceanderson01 (Anonymous) says… The lists needed to be updated, as they nearly always do, but the problem was more likely at our end: several sheets of new registrants were not submitted until after the deadline.


Anyone ever hear of back-pedaling?

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greyghost 4 years, 10 months ago

There sure is a lot of hype about Baker students and their political capacities on this thread.

For instance: "Baker students will play an increasing role in our community as they register and vote here in increasing numbers" -- Bruce Anderson

"For future reference to Baker students: do not trust provisional ballots. Get registered early, so that next time we vote, those 100 provisional ballots won't exist at all, therefore preventing the opportunity for them to be disregarded and completely uncounted." -- danielleweimholt

"Students who live on Baker's campus need to be registered voters in Baldwin because this is our HOME." -- Baile5678


Let's see how many of the 900 plus Baker students you can get to vote in this election. The proof is in the proverbial pudding: http://www.baldwincity.org/pdf/CCAgendas/20090824_Special_CC_Mtg.pdf

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uapinochet 4 years, 10 months ago

Solo says.... "5. The Signal staff loves this kind of controversay because it will stir up talk on the street and stir up more readership for the website. (Not a bad strategy since readership = $$$ and The Signal is a business that needs to turn a profit just like any other business.)"

Actually, this editorial has disappeared off of the online front page. Why can't the Signal make available to the viewer, the most discussed blogs, articles, and photos, like the LJWorld does? Sometimes I enjoy reading up on these discussions -- most of the time I don't know where to look.

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kermit 4 years, 10 months ago

Excellent suggestion uapinochet!

Jeff--why can't the Signals website have the "most discussed" feature that the LJW does? It is hard to follow any line of discussions in the format you have now.

For example--the only way anyone is going to follow this current discussion about Baker is by word-of-mouth or they are motivated after seeing it in print to actively search for it here on the website. Let's be honest that a lot of folks get their news online now and don't ever see a printed newspaper. It's not like you (Jeff) run an Opinion piece every week so I don't think the average online reader probably even checks the Opinion section on a regular basis so consequently they are going to miss out on this discussion.

Also--what's with the weathermen in the Speakout blog section?  Obviously no one is reading this or participating in that discussion. Frankly its boring and has resulted in me rarely looking at SO to see if anything of local interest is there.   Can't that be eliminated and return SO to something closer to its earlier format?

I think a lot of people in Baldwin would be interested in this discussion thread yet I fear few will find it because frankly this website isn't very user friendly to us in Baldwin because we use these online sites differently than most in a major newspaper. We chew over our weekly news for days where in KC, Wichita, NYC or even Lawrence the next days news brings new topics for discussion. So many times the real news is in the discussion threads the story creates.

Jeff, could you please see if anything can be done to make this more accessible and visible to everyone who isn't an online junkie like most of us who have already posted? I'd like to hear from others and I am convinced they simply can't figure out where to find the "good stuff".

**(I imagine this will generate a thread of discussion unrelated to the Baker topic--and I don't want to hijack the Baker discussion because it really is interesting. Can someone who is more savy than I am start a new Speakout blog about the format of this site so we can suggest ideas etc? I have no idea how to start a new blog because I already have an old, old one and I can't figure out how to start a new one under a different topic without changing my name . I guess I am just stupid--but another example of why this format needs a little tweeking to make it more fun for all of us) Thank you.**

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

You can blame the Baker political science department, but we all know that's not a valid excuse. Stop acting like little children who didn't get your way.

In 4 years of having Bruce Anderson as a teacher, he never once told any student how to vote that I was aware of. That being said, who cares if he did? He is entitled to his opinion and views the same as us. My parents (who are taxpayers in this city) encouraged me to vote for the bond issue. Are they in the wrong too?

Of course our peers at Baker who encouraged everyone to register to vote might also share their opinions about what would be on the ballot. Can you really say you never have encouraged anyone to vote in a way that supports your views? I highly doubt you didn't debate with your friends and family about who the better presidential candidate was. Ultimately the decision comes down to the voter. Dr. Anderson or Dani Weimholt didn't go into the voting both with any students. That's why there is a voting age restriction. Anyone over 18 hopefully has the maturity and intelligence to form their own opinions and thoughts.

Lastly, if you don't think Baker students have a right to vote here, you are out of your mind. Just because we don't share the same consequences (taxes, etc.), doesn't mean we don't have a high stake in the outcome. I for one am glad the bond issue passed, as a former Baker CC/Track runner, I hated sharing the track with the high school and junior high for practice each day. Now they finally will have their own practice facility.

Just because something doesn't affect you, doesn't mean it doesn't affect someone else. It's hard to get selfish people to see that however. Thank you Dr. Anderson for teaching me to NOT be another close-minded, ignorant Baldwin City resident.

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bruceanderson01 4 years, 10 months ago

Not that its anyone's business but my own; call me conservative, but after some thought and consideration I voted for then-Mayor Gary Walbridge. And, I have to say to some of the folks here that I DO live in Baldwin: I would not live anywhere else as long as I teach at Baker University. This is a great town with vibrant and colorful political discussions. The vast majority of the folks who live here are super people with a true investment in the community, its policies, and its economic structure. We do not always agree -- and we may agree on some things and not others -- that's democracy. That does not mean that I don't respect their opinions, and their contributions (material, political, and otherwise) to our town - and this includes some of the folks taking pokes at me (and at some of my students) here. Thank heaven for the first amendment! R. Bruce Anderson, Ph.D. ... and while I'm thinking about it, as I write my name, why do some of the folks here feel the need to be anonymous?

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kermit 4 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone else think that the battle ground that has taken over our Washington DC has unfortunately now spilled over at a local level?

Are we really that mad at our neighbors, be they Baker students or other BC residents, or are we really just venting our anger at an increasingly corrupt political system that makes us feel powerless and abused and we are lashing out at each other?

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

kermit,

I think people are grabbing their ankles and steadying themselves for when the property tax statement comes in the mail. I guess the 2nd Baker student is simply too special to share his/her track with others, so now the property owners have to dig deeper into an ever-dwindling paycheck to fork over another $500 (in my case) or so each year for the next many years.

THAT'S why people are angry.

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Peabody 4 years, 10 months ago

kermit,

Thank you for your post! I appreciate you taking a stand for more civility toward our neighbors. I hope your message is persuasive to other folks on Speakout.

Tony Brown

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Baile5678 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger, I was unable to register in Baldwin for the November election because I was still 17 at the time.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger,

It has nothing to do with being "too special." But I pay a lot more than the $500 each year you're complaining about to go to Baker. It'd be even more for many students if we weren't on scholarships for sports. A lot of us turned down other schools offers to accept Baker's. That being said, it's very frustrating when we can't get good practices in occasionally because the track is too crowded.

I'm all for sharing, and being a former Baldwin runner as well, appreciated being able to use the track. But when I had a chance to vote for them to get their own, I took it. I'm sure they are looking forward to having their own facilities too.

It was worth your $500 to me, and nothing you can say will change that.

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

kal110386 says..."It was worth your $500 to me, and nothing you can say will change that"

My question is would it be worth it to kal if it were HIS/HER $500 PER YEAR and not someone else's money???? Would kal cough up two grand out of his/her own coffers (not mom & dad's) for 4 years to not have to share the facilities?

It always easy to vote in a tax when it is someone else's money who is going to pay for it. This is the mentality that votes in exorbinant sin taxes on cigarettes for example. The theory being hey, it's ok, I don't smoke so it doesn't affect me. Let someone else pony up.

kal's argument would be much stronger if he/she said that MY PARENTS (the actual property owner/taxpayer)voted for the bond issue because they didn't want kal to have the share etc.

kal, I might point out to you that your justification that you "pay a lot more than the $500 each you are complaining about to go to Baker" is a weak one and one that will get you soundly reprimanded by many on this website. So I am going to say this as kindly and as I can since you are young, inexperienced and still quite naive about how the world works---

You CHOSE to attend Baker. You KNEW the practice field situation at the time. Your tuition and your ability to pay your tuition has absolutely nothing to do with this argument and simply is not my problem. It is not anyone else's responsibility to provide you or any other Baker student a decent practice field nor feel your pain about high tuition levels. It's called taking personal responsibility for the choices you make.

kal--I am not trying to humiliate you or put you down in anyway. In fact I think it's great to see Baker students on this site. However I will be honest with you. Your argument sounds like you believe you are entitled to our money to pay for your pleasures. Not a great way to win friends on this forum but a good way to get soundly blasted.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

my family actually owns a second house for me to live in since I don't live on campus anymore. That means they're paying even higher taxes, and they still encouraged me to vote for the bond issue. They pay the taxes I would pay for me because they want me to focus on my education.

Also, you have nothing to do with my tuition you are right. But I also didn't make the choice for you and your family to move to Baldwin, and also, to stay here. If it's that expensive, move to Edgerton. The argument works both ways. Don't expect someone to care about your situation if you don't care about theirs.

That being said, if I personally paid taxes here, I'd have still voted for the bond issue. The price of educating our youth must be paid by everyone. It's one of the basic rights everyone should be entitled to, and not just if you have kids or not. I went through Baldwin School systems and they really needed new facilities. Maybe we'll also be able to keep good administrators and teachers? Since my time there I know we've lost several good ones.

Every person in this town helps make it what it is. I'm sorry if you have to hold the burden for making our schools a better place, but it's a decision that HAD to be made to better our town and give our children a better opportunity. Just because you're the one that had to hold the majority of the burden, doesn't mean I shouldn't get to speak my mind by voting. Didn't your mom teach you life isn't fair?

One more thing, to consider. Without Baker, this town wouldn't exist. If Baker has to close it's doors, who knows what will become of Baldwin. So yeah, me paying my tuition is completely relevant. People making the choice to come to Baker, helps Baldwin. Having our own facilities that we don't share could potentially persuade those extra few athletes to attend Baker instead of the other schools they were considering. In these tough times, Baker needs every student. Maybe you should look at both sides of the coin. I've considered your side, time to consider ours.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

Also, the "I only care what's good for me" mindset is what is wrong with our country. You asked if I would have voted the same if it was my money.

I also support free health care. I already have health care, and that would likely mean higher taxes for me in a few months when I enter the workforce full time. But my small sacrifice makes the biggest difference to someone else.

In the case of our bond issue, it's even more of a must for me. These kids didn't get to choose where they went to school, they haven't made any decisions in their life yet that would make me think they don't deserve nicer facilities or a better education. What kind of message would our town be sending if we said "no, we don't care if you get a better education because we only care about ourselves."

You will never convince me that I made the wrong decision, and I highly doubt anyone posting on this online forum is on the fence about what we should have done either. We all have strong opinions.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

I think this priveleged little brat has aptly demonstrated that she has not earned a place at the grown-ups' table. Let her spout her idealism now. I guarantee she'll be singing a different tune the first time she wants to buy a house and she can't afford the mortgage payments, insurance, and taxes. Lest she think she is somehow enlightened in a way that us 'ignorant' Baldwin City residents are, I've heard all this before. And in every case it's always coming from the kids that had everything handed to them.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

First off, I'm a male.

More importantly, I've held a job since I was 14 years old and legally able to work. As of right now, I'm taking 19 hours this semester, while also working 32-36 hours per week at an internship. I also work for our campus media programs and get work study money from that. I pay my own bills at my house outside of the mortgage, I bought my own car and pay the insurance on it as well, which is only possible because I worked my butt off during the summer to save enough money. Don't make judgments of people you don't know "TeaBagger".... not sure how you think you're qualified as a grown up with that name and even less mature comments.

You think because my parents pay my tuition and support me that I have everything handed to me? I still have to put in the work, my parents don't go to class for me, they don't go to my internship. I'm the one preparing my future, they just gave me the tools like a good parent should. You don't think I'm grateful for what they've done for me? I am, that's why I support their opinions on stuff like the bond issue.

Not caring about you doesn't qualify me as a brat. Keep your comments coming, this is why I labeled you as ignorant, so far you've proven me right. You were wrong about absolutely everything you just said.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

Pay no nevermind to kal's assertion. There's no doubt whatsoever that kal is a female. She is one of Danielle's friends. If you want to find out her name, just go to Baker and look up the student with the student number of 110386. It's right there for the taking, in case you feel inclined to know who has called all of us 'close-minded[sic], ignorant' Baldwin City residents.

Or, kal could do as Bruce has commanded and make herself non-anonymous. I'm guessing after her petty little tirade she will be too cowardly to do so. After all, then Mommy and Daddy can't protect her anymore.

And let me go ahead and spare Tony Brown from getting involved in this discussion. Tony, no one wants any of your milquetoast "why can't we all just get along" hogwash. Kal decided she wanted to pick a fight with the grown-ups in this town. Just stay out of the way while our ignorant little cluster of angry citizens delivers her the lashing she deserves. By the way, don't you have work to do in Topeka, or do they not like you there either?

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger, you're providing no points or any sound arguments... you're name calling like a little kid, I'm proud not to associate myself with you and your kind. Thanks for continuing to prove my point. Have a good day little one.

Tony, keep making Baldwin proud!

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Peabody 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger,

The Kansas legislature convenes from January to April each year. This schedule is mostly historical so that farmers who serve in the legislature can return home to plant and harvest crops.

Although I am not a farmer, I still do not have business in Topeka during the summer or fall months. I think this is a good thing -- the legislature does not need to meet all year.

I am currently teaching a course at Baker. So I am in town should you wish to harass me in person.

Tony

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

TeaBagger I am not big on "outing" those who wish to remain anonymous on this forum. Half the fun is trying to figure out who these folks are. That is why I am pretty sure kal is telling the truth when he states he is male. Assuming all the info he gave about himself is true (and I have no reason to believe that it is not) then it's pretty clear who kal is and not at all surprising why he voted the way he did. I imagine it was pretty much all their family discussed around the dinner table in the weeks leading up to the election. Let's just say they had a dog in that hunt.

Also Mr. T. I think you might want to clear up a misconception about your rather interesting name. I think many need to get their minds out of the gutter and consider that the name came from the nickname given the tax protestors at this spring and summer's Tea Parties. The fact that it also stands for a revolting fraternity prank played among college boys just makes it even funnier.

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

kal Where does one begin? You make so many statements that I respectfully disagree with that it's hard to know where to start. 1. Yes, I did choose to live here in Baldwin and I choose to stay. However I choose to let others know I am not happy about the cost of this and think it is ill-advised in the hopes that USD 348 will always remember about 50% of the population did not agree with this vote and they will be very circumspect in the future when it comes to our tax dollars. 2. I could ask you to show me exactly where in the Constitution does it state you have a "right" to an education funded by others money? But let's not go there because I am not opposed to funding public schools and want a good educational opportunities for all. But please don't start in on me about your "rights".
3. this bond issue was not about keeping better teachers and administrators. If he had been about rewarding and retaining excellence in teaching then I might have considered voting for it but this vote was about brick and mortar and lighted ballfields. I doubt those will do anything to retain good teaching staff. 4. Yes, Baker Univeristy is an intregal and important part of Baldwin. Baldwin would be an entirely different community if Baker wasn't here. I want Baker to thrive and succeed but it is not my responsibility to fund a new track and practice field so Baker can attract a few more students because there is a scheduling problem. You seem to ignore the fact that there are a few perks Baker derives from being in Baldwin too. Ask any taxpayer in the city limits about that. 5. Free health care------again, why is it my responsibility to provide you with free health care? News flash--it isn't free and whoever is telling you that is woefully misinformed.

Let's stop for now. My fingers are tired.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

Solo,

To address your points. I'm not saying anyone has no right to oppose the bond issue. I see exactly where you're coming from. I'm merely defending the Baker students' right to vote on this issue.

I wouldn't have voted yes if it solely meant a new track for the high school to get them out of our hair. I was merely stating one reason why the bond issue played a role in the lives of Baker students.

You have all the right to disagree and make your opinion known, I didn't want it to seem like I was attempting to take that from you. I do disagree, however, with the way certain people make their opinion known (TeaBagger).

The health care statement was not intended to spark another debate. But my character was questioned about what kind of ideals I stand for when my own money would be on the line, so I mentioned supporting something that benefits others at the cost of myself.

All in all, I hope the bond issue turns into a greater blessing than you expect, and it's worth the extra burden in the end. I'm sure the students in the school district appreciate it.

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TeaBagger 4 years, 10 months ago

solo,

Your politeness, ability to communicate ideas, and writing style is very admirable. I especially agree with your point about funding of brick/morter versus excellence in education. Where, along the lines, district administrators got those two things mixed up is truly beyond me.

I went to school in a non-air conditioned building, played baseball on a grass, rock, sand, and sticker-infested field without lights, and somehow felt at the time (as I do now) that I was very blessed.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm under the belief that the nicer the facilities, and happier the students/parents, the more excellent teachers would want to teach in our district... maybe it's not the biggest deal to teachers about the condition of their schools, but I'm sure it'd be some sort of factor.

Not that I've scientifically researched that theory, but it's a thought.

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

kal--gotta commend you. You have been able to defend your position pretty articulately. I still disagree with you on most of it but admire your spunk. You are a worthy sparring partner for one so young and idealistic. Just suggestion: You became much more effective in your arguments when you toned down the rhetoric about how "ignorant and close minded" some us BC residents are. Welcome to this forum and I hope we will hear more from you on local issues.

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hellothere 4 years, 10 months ago

The reason that kal is so fired up about all this is because his Dad is on the school board. I know who he is.

You're out of your league here and are just making yourself look like a spoiled brat. I can appreciate that you are trying to improve your quality of life and you should be applauded for that but your comments are causing you to lose credibility amongst us adults.

Until you own a home and have to actually pay taxes that are lifestyle altering, (sales tax doesn't count) leave this to the big boys and girls. In the meantime go back to your parents house, mow their grass, cook them dinner and tell them thank you because it seems like they do pretty much everything for you. Hopefully we'll see you again when you're living on your own dime, not Mom and Dads.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

hellothere,

I don't care if I lose credibility with an anonymous online forum troll. In all honesty, just because you know who my dad is, doesn't mean you know a thing about me.

I actually supported myself for over a year when I lived in Florida finishing my first degree. That was on my own dime, not my parents. I paid rent, utilities, food, etc.

I'm not running for political office here, trying to call my character into account does nothing for your argument. You don't "win" anymore or less on this issue by insulting me personally. I honestly just laugh that some of these self-proclaimed adults stoop to such childish levels.

My point still holds water, regardless of my parents or my own financial situation. How many 18 year olds do you know that own homes and pay taxes? Probably not too many. Yet the voting age is 18, not 22 or 25 or whatever you consider an "adult".

Taxes have nothing to do with being allowed to vote, and that was my entire point. I'm mature enough to make my own, informed decisions, and that is all that matters.

Since you know who I am, feel free to stop by and have an adult conversation with me in person. I'm all for anonymous posting. But you can't call someone else's credibility out while hiding behind a screen name.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

Solo,

This country wouldn't be what it is if people didn't disagree. I didn't mean that everyone in this town is ignorant and close minded. This is the only town I've lived in where people know my business even before I tell them. While that's not the greatest thing all the time, it's good to have people interested in your future! I have met many people here that are remarkable. Unfortunately, being such a small town, I find it hard to avoid people that seem to lack all sense.

We're fighting for the same goal, just on different teams!

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hellothere 4 years, 10 months ago

kal, I was probably a little too harsh on you in my last post so I appologize for that. You do make some good points that I think should be heard but you have two things going against you. 1) Because you are a Baker student you're being lumped in with this Danielle girl that came off as a complete idiot. I for one just checked this, read all the threads and blasted into you when she was really the one that made the outrageous comments. 2) Your comment to the tune of "I don't want to spend my $500 dollars but I'll spend your $500" is going to push A LOT of people the wrong way. In an earlier post somebody asked if we thought this was just spillover from what is happening on the Federal level and I believe that it is. People are just tired of being taxed for every little thing. When property taxes are going up a new track doesn't seem like a good use of money. Though you might think that a new track is a great idea you have to understand that a lot of people don't.

I think its great that the youth of America is getting more involved with the political process and yes if you're 18 you have every right to vote. My problem is that, unlike you, most of the Baker Students will come to Baldwin, get their degree and leave. There vote is equal to somebody that is 40 years old and will live here for the rest of his/her life.

When I was in school I obstained from voting on local issues as I wasn't planning on being in that city for long. Why should I have a vote that will decide something for members of the community that were there before I arrived and still there after I left? By all means vote for president, thats something that everyone deals with, no matter where you live, but my thought is leave the local elections to the locals.

Kal, this doesn't apply to you. You grew up in Baldwin, you have family and a vested interest in the city. Though I don't agree with your vote I'm happy you took the time out of your day to excersise your right to vote. I know your professor is going to be mad and complain that Baker students are part of this community and he's right but most of them won't be part of the community in 5 years.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

Hellothere,

I understand where you're coming from, and agree to some degree. I believe everyone should be an informed voter, which means that if there is something that doesn't apply to them, restraining from placing a vote. However, most Baker students are here 4-5 years, and most local issues will at least affect their lives during that window of time. I know we have focused on the bond issue, but the editorial also touched on the vote for mayor. There is no reason a Baker student shouldn't be interested in who the major of Baldwin is.

Younger people and older people are in two different stages of life generally, while the older generation is usually worried about taxes, that's not typically a concern for the younger crowd. It's hard to walk in each other's shoes.

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solo 4 years, 10 months ago

Alert: Minor change of focus

This opinion piece implies that all Baker students voted for Barack Obama for President in November and that is what drove them to the polls. Any chance that some of these kids were motivated by McCain--I know---highly unlikely but after all this is Kansas. Surely there are one or two conservative students in the student body.

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kal110386 4 years, 10 months ago

I knew several students who were for McCain... in fact one of the political science majors was interviewed for our campus media saying she supported McCain/Palin. Now I'm not sure how many of the McCain supporters voted here, if any.

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Baile5678 4 years, 10 months ago

I was/am a McCain supporter (not so much Palin), and I was interviewed for the Orange. So it may be you you are referring to, but being 17 prevented me to vote. Also, College Republicans is being brought back as we speak. Last night student senate just approved to give the organization senate voting rights.

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AncientBaldwin 4 years, 9 months ago

I have dubious feelings about students voting on city issues involving city level taxation in particular. I voted against the measure, not because of those evil taxes that will kill us all (sarcasm). I voted against it because I saw the plan as an unfocused, scatterbrained scheme that seems to be preparing for a population influx that I seriously doubt will happen anytime soon.

I have no issue at all with students voting. I want every eligible citizen to vote, but I would like to see what the statistics are regarding how many Baker students make their home here after graduation. From some of the earlier statements, you would have the idea that so many stay that we will be pushing a population of 20,000 in 4 years. I do not believe this is the case. I have no stomach to disenfranchise anyone eligible to vote

The only bone I have to pick with Baker students would be their willingness to take jobs in the community, with the side effect of BHS students having quite a difficult time finding employment, but that's competition I suppose. What exacerbates this for me is that since my first year here in 1974, I have rarely seen Baker students supporting community businesses, if they would give a little bit to the economy they earn from, imagine how vibrant downtown could be. Remember having a Movie Theatre?, Bowling alley? The Flipper Dipper? It seems back then students from the University did spend more dollars and free time here. Heck yes Lawrence is fun for students, but if you are eager for political involvement in the community, get eager to contribute to it as well as earning from it, its a 2 sided coin.

I will even put my chips on the table and say as a renter, I have dubious feelings about voting in property tax issues, but then again, Ive been here 35 years, and am only likely to move to Olathe Cemetary when I do move again. Plus Im certain the tax will get passed on to me via rent increases.

Please someone tell me how a meaningful amount of tax revenues come from Baker Students. I have 2 sons in College on the East Coast, and other than sales tax, they pay squat because they are not property owners and they are dependents.

Baker may wish to decide whether they want the $11,000 a year lease USD 348 pays for use of Liston Stadium, or enjoy the gouging added since the improvements (though the sound system was evidently downgraded to Kraco Speakers) and live with some inconveniences that come from a shared facility.

Tony, do you recall our discussion at the candidates forum at Baker last fall about casting pearls before swine? I know its cryptic, but I hope you remember. I for one am a very private person and I will remain anonymous regardless of opinions. If I ever cast personal aspersions upon anyone, I will not do it anonymously, but thats not my mode. I am not keen on internet pi$$ing contests anyway so, Au revoir, Aloha and Goodbye Signal Blog.

Play nice, Kids.

AB

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AncientBaldwin 4 years, 9 months ago

One clarification. I do not want Baker University to go anywhere. It is a huge part of the beauty of this town, culturally as well as visually. Without it, we would be Edgerton, cultural sinkhole of Johnson County. In many ways Baker is one of the Jewels in the Crown, so I do not wish to sound like a Wildcat basher, Id just like to see some things improve for the community as a whole.

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