Chamber sponsors forums for Congressional candidates

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., left, faces a challenge from Amanda Adkins, right, Republican nominee. (Candidate photos)


Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

The two candidates for U.S. Representative, Third District in Kansas, attended separate forums via Zoom sponsored by the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce.

The challenger, Republican Amanda Adkins appeared Thursday, Oct. 15; the incumbent, Democrat Sharice Davids, appeared Friday, Oct. 16, the usual time for the monthly meeting of the Congressional Forum. The chamber sponsors the Congressional Forum. The chamber had hoped that the two could come together for a debate.

Stephen Duerst, a lobbyist for the chamber, asked questions of the candidates. It was obvious that the candidates have political differences based on the responses to Duerst’s questions and other recent interviews.

Adkins wants the Affordable Care Act repealed, but favors saving the provision that allows keeping the pre-existing condition coverage. Rep. Davids favors Medicaid expansion; she has introduced legislation that would help people avoid large out-of-network costs.

Adkins favors well-funded police departments; Rep. Davids favors a ban on no-knock warrants and choke-holds. Adkins favors making the 2017 tax cuts permanent; Rep. Davids said the tax cuts favored the wealthiest and special interests.

Political ads that support Adkins tie Rep. Davids to the very liberal wing of the Democratic party including U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who is the speaker of the House. Political ads favoring Rep. Davids tie Adkins to the “failed administration” of former Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican.

Both candidates said they agree on one thing—they both favor the Kansas City Chiefs winning the 2021 Super Bowl.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.

Congresswoman favors infrastructure funds

by Murrel Bland

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., said she hopes the U.S. Senate will take up a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed – $500 billion for infrastructure. This would provide funds for such things as roads and bridges. The House is controlled by Democrats and the Senate is controlled by Republicans.

Rep. Davids spoke to members of the Congressional Forum, via Zoom Friday, Aug. 21. The forum is a committee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Smallwood, the legislative chairman for the chamber, said he hopes Congress could provide more help for small businesses such as another round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Rep. Davids said, although she is the lone Democrat in the Kansas Congressional delegation, she communicates with her fellow Republican legislators when it is in the best interest of the state of Kansas.

Rep. Davids said she favors federal legislation that would provide funds for state and local governments that have suffered a loss in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Davids voted with the majority Saturday, Aug. 22, to provide extra funds for the U.S. Postal Service so there would be no delay in processing mail ballots in the general election this fall. However, the bill will face opposition in the U.S. Senate; President Donald Trump said he would veto such legislation.

Louis DeJoy, the recently appointed postmaster general, said the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t need the money. DeJoy raised campaign funds for President Donald J. Trump and other Republican candidates.

In other matters, Dr. Jane Winkler Philbrook, a Unified Government commissioner, reported that a little more than $37 million in federal funds has been designated for various nonprofit organizations in Wyandotte County because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The money is provided through CARES — standing for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The amounts and the agencies still have to be approved by the state of Kansas government. These organizations include various local social service agencies that serve the poor.

Murrel Bland is former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.