Daily Archives: Oct. 13, 2010

Congressional candidates Pompeo and Goyle differ on U.S. support for charities





Fourth District Congress candidates Mike Pompeo and Raj Goyle expressed divergent views on federal support for charities in a forum today sponsored by Wichita nonprofit groups.

Goyle promised to use the power of a congressional office to actively assist charities in their dealings with government. Pompeo said he’d prefer a more limited federal role in social services — but acknowledged practical difficulties would make that almost impossible to achieve quickly.

The candidates appeared together briefly at the forum sponsored by the Nonprofit Chamber of Service, an organization of local charities. Following the chamber’s forum format, the candidates spoke and answered questions separately with the opponent out of the room — although they were asked mostly the same questions.

One of those questions had to do with how the candidates view the relationship between the federal government and local charitable organizations.

Pompeo, a Republican national committeeman, said that he would like to move toward a system in which charities wouldn’t need to lobby Washington for funds to operate in their communities.

“I would truly love to put charitable organizations in a place where they could get much closer to where the resources they were relying on and that the demands, the services, the customers they were trying to meet the needs of, were more local,” Pompeo said.

However, he said he also recognizes that it’s unrealistic to expect nonprofits, many of which have built their systems and policies around federal funding, to go “cold turkey” and try to raise all their money locally.

“It’s neither possible nor proper,” he said.

Goyle, a Democratic state representative, promised to take a more activist role toward charities.

“As a member of Congress I would view my job as to be your champion in Washington to get things to make your organizations succeed as much as they can,” he said. “If there is information that you need, you need to call us and we’ll get that to you right away. If there’s red tape to be cut, I’d view that as my job. If there are pieces of legislation or regulations that are being implemented that need help from a member of Congress, that I view as my job.”

He said charities “not only provide great services, but they help grow a diverse and wonderful community and they also help grow our economy.”

The chamber members were polite to both candidates but clearly more sympathetic toward Goyle, who advocates public-private partnerships to get things done, than they were toward Pompeo, who advocates a smaller government.

After the forum, June Huie of Advocates to End Chronic Homelessness said she wanted more specific plans from both the candidates.

She said they mostly talked about what they’d like to do, but “the bottom line is, I’m waiting for the ‘how.’”

Reform Party candidate Susan Ducey was introduced at the event and sat with Pompeo and Goyle at the candidate table during the preliminaries, but did not get to present her views in the forum.

Jeff Longbine picked to replace state Sen. Jim Barnett

LongbineEmporia Republican Jim Longbine will serve as state senator for the 17th District until January.

Longbine, 48, who is running for the seat, will replace Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, who stepped down recently to focus more on his medical practice.

Precinct committee members from Marion and Lynn counties appointed Longbine to fill the position.

Longbine will be formally sworn in to his interim appointment in a brief Senate Chamber ceremony to be scheduled soon.

Kansas lags in energy efficiency efforts

A report released Wednesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Kansas one of the worst states for energy efficiency efforts.

Kansas came in 46th out of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Missouri and Oklahoma were tied with West Virginian at 43 and Nebraska ranked 47th.

Colorado came in 19th in the list. The state’s efforts include spending about $60 million on efficiency programs for electricity and natural gas.

Colorado electric utilities saved 203,344 megawatts hours in 2008 according to the Energy Information Administration.

Conversely, Kansas utilities save 13,900 megawatt hours in 2008.

The council is a non-profit which aims to improve energy independence and security through efficiency. This is the forth energy efficiency score card the council has produced since 2006.

The full report, including a break down of all the states, is available at http://www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/scorecard

For more, read Thursday’s Wichita Eagle.

Commissioners: Remember to sign your advance ballot

When Sedgwick County voters vote by advance ballot, they’re asked to sign their name on the envelope.

Some people forget that task, required by law.

That means commissioners have to throw out those ballots, which is unfortunate, board member Kelly Parks said, adding that everyone’s vote should count.

Commissioner Karl Peterjohn agreed with Parks, saying the number of ballots that must be thrown out each election is distressing.

The return envelopes for advance ballots contain a signature line that must be filled out.

The upcoming election is Nov. 2.