BY DONNA WESTFALL
UPDATES SUBMITTED BY MARK GIETZEN
House Bill No. 2372 was submitted to the Kansas legislature last year but did not get a hearing. This past February 5th, Dr. Paul Connett from the Fluoride Action Network and Dr. Yolanda Whyte, primary care pediatrician and environmental health expert, were scheduled to testify before the committee, but it was canceled due to a snow storm. That has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 19th. Although Dr. Connett cannot make the new meeting, Dr. Whyte will still testify.
Mark Gietzen writes, “We are a Republican Ancillary Group; but we are NOT part of the Republican Party whatsoever. We get no funding from any Political Party. We are simply a group of like-minded people who have joined together to achieve our goals. In all things related to the Fluoride-fight, the KRA is completely non-partisan. We worked well with Democrats and Independents in 2012 to win the Wichita Fluoridation Referendum, and we will do that again now to win passage of HB-2372.”
Who is funding the opposition? Geitzen writes, “We do not know, but based on our experience in the 2012 Wichita Fluoridation Referendum, we presume that it is the PEW Foundation. Their funding appears to be unlimited. We would not be surprised if they end up spending five or ten times the amount that we spend, in their effort to defeat HB-2372. However, as was shown in 2012, even though we were out spent by the proverbial 10-to-1 odds, we won by a margin of 60%-to-40%. This legislative work is a different game, working with individual law-makers, not on the streets. Nevertheless, we do not need to match them dollar-for-dollar in order to win. Since the truth is on our side, we are approaching this with confidence and optimism… just like we did the Wichita Fluoridation Referendum in 2012.”
Right now they have an immediate need for $20,000 + to be spent as follows:
$6,000.00 for travel, hotel, rental-car and fees for our expert witnesses to speak at the committee hearing. We plan to bring in Dr. Yolanda Whyte, which will be just over $3000, and Michael Connett or his replacement which may cost less. However, if we bring in a 3rd out-of-state witness, this amount will have to grow a bit. Note that Dr. Paul Connett will be in New Zealand until after Feb-19th and is simply not an option.
$4,500.00 for printing and direct costs of about $25 per Legislator for binders, dividers, other office supplies; 125 House members + 40 Senators + 16 others, i.e., Governor, Lt. Gov. and various leadership Chiefs-of-Staff, etc = 181 x 25 = $4525.
$800.00 for Special HB-2372 work and presentations from Declan Waugh in Ireland, because his work is such good reinforcement of the Harvard School of Public Health findings on I.Q.
$3,000.00 for lobbying expenses. Note that our lobbyists are NOT paid; they volunteer their time, but the KRA pays their expenses …if we have the money. If not, we raise our own money to pay for our fuel, hotel, toll-fees and travel expenses. I would rather have the lobbyists working on HB-2372 than to have them fundraising for our own next trip to Topeka. Every hour counts! The amount is $1000 each for Deborah Sanders, Tracey Armstrong, and me. If we have any $ left over from the House effort, the remaining money could be used for the Senate effort. We stay at Motel-6 or equivalent and do not eat extravagantly. Depending on how it goes, $1000 each may not be enough. This is just an estimate.
$10,000.00 Radio and / or Newspaper Promotional Advertising. This amount could change significantly, but I do not think that it will get smaller, unless we are very, very, lucky. We spent more than that in Wichita alone on Radio during the Wichita Fluoride Referendum.
$700.00 for T-Shirts and miscellaneous stuff that comes up, like the $125 Bank Equipment one-time charge for Credit card acceptance that showed up on our account this morning.
If you can donate, please cut and paste the following address into your browser: http://www.kansasrepublicanassembly.org/fluoridedonate.htm
Note: KRA stands for Kansas Republican Assembly. Mr. Gietzen is President of the KRA.