Letters from the weekof September 10

Plog: “Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ health-care campaign contributions,” September 1

Great White Dope

I recently attended Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins’ town-hall meeting at the Dole Institute, equipped with information that I received from The Pitch‘s news blog. What I saw was a woman who thinks showing up to a public forum and smiling a lot is enough to convince her constituents that she cares about them. Jenkins seems to forget that she was elected to represent the people, not to defend her own personal agenda. She began her meeting 10 minutes late and continued to waste our time by spending the first 10 minutes discussing whatever she felt was important to us. When a few attendees pleaded for her to skip the filibustering and get to health care, she called them disrespectful and continued on wasting time that could have been used for productive discussion. Finally, she called for those with comments and questions to form a line at the podium. After a few people rattled off their take on what needed to be reformed, I was able to ask her flat-out, “How does the $33,000 you’ve received in funding from the medical industry impact the decisions you’ve made regarding health-care reform?” She stumbled a bit, then denied even being aware of who exactly contributed to her campaign and how much was donated. She felt she didn’t need to defend the motivations of the organizations that donated to her, and that was that.

The rest of the hour was filled with dodged questions and passive-aggressive remarks toward constituents. Almost everybody left feeling unacknowledged and belittled. The democratic process is failing in Kansas, and I, for one, certainly don’t think Lynn Jenkins’ “great white hope” is going to be what saves it.

Taylor Hirth
Kansas City, Missouri

Letters: “Picky reader 1,” August 20

Eats His Words

I couldn’t disagree more with Eric Flescher’s criticism of Charles Ferruzza in your August 20 Letters section. Fer­ruzza’s review is the reason that I pick up a copy of The Pitch every Wednesday. I find his writing entertaining and his descriptions of eateries spot-on. As a matter of fact, I enjoy his writing so much that I went to hear him read at the Writers Place awhile back. I still mourn the loss of his additional column in The Pitch. I’d go on singing his praises, if only I had his flair for words.

Renée Daniels
Kansas City, Missouri

Editor’s note: Readers who miss Ferruzza’s “Fat Mouth” column, which used to run in print every week, can now read him much more frequently at Fat City, The Pitch‘s daily food blog at pitch.com.

Martin: “Dunn Deals Done?” August 20

No-Labor Days

Regarding David Martin’s coverage of minority contracting problems: I’m in the Laborers’ Local Union 1290. I have worked two days this whole year — and, yes, I am a minority. They say there’s no work, but I see work everywhere and I see no minority women or men. I just need work to support me and my wife.

Zuberi Carr
Kansas City, Kansas

Feature: “Exit Strategy,” August 27

The War at Home

Thanks for Carolyn Szczepanski’s article regarding the suicide rate among American veterans. Oddly enough, we (Veterans of Modern Warfare Chapter One and Vietnam Veterans of America) have been battling with the Kansas City Vet Center about this. The VA in St. Louis recently hired someone for the team-leader position who is totally unqualified for the job. We contend that in the suicide-laden society we live in, there is no room for on-the-job training. One has to shake one’s head after observing what is taking place there. We vets are fighting back and with some degree of success so far. Thanks for your concern for veterans’ issues.

Pat Ratterman
Kansas City, Missouri

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