This is intended as a 2nd follow-up letter. In case you did not get the previous letters from us, here is a link to the bill that we are hoping to get passed in the Kansas Legislature, HB-2372. Many people see this bill as the first step toward making Kansas the first fluoride-free state in America, and we pledge to stay fully-engaged in this fight until America is Fluoride-free!
Again, we urgently ask that you please forward this message to all of your Fluoride-fighting friends.
1. Our original Committee Hearing date was canceled due to a snow storm. Our new hearing date is February 19, 2014, just one week from today!
2. We are off to a good start on fundraising, with $3,005.00 raised so far, from just 19 people. A big THANK YOU to those who have already donated. You are helping people whom you do not even know, and future generations too. Thank you again for your altruistic help of others. You have every right to feel good about helping us try to do something that will be truly beneficial to all people… even the misguided people who are working against us.
3. We estimate that we will need about $25,000 to get this bill through the Kansas House of Representatives. (Updated budget details are below.)
4. The average donation size so far is just above $150, because of three large donations given to get us off the ground. We urgently need $21,995 to meet our funding goal of $25K, which will likely be a fraction of what our opponents are spending to stop HB-2372. Please consider becoming a generous donor of ANY amount, and urge your friends to do the same. Donations of $10, $25, $50 or $100 add up fast.
5. This is no less than a direct life-saving mission, AND a quality-of-life-saving mission. By ending fluoridation, the life and lives you save may be your own and your own loved ones. We need more generous donors, or the hard-fought progress that we have already made thus far could be in jeopardy. I trust that you and other Fluoride-fighters will not let this rare opportunity slip through our fingers.
6. On February 4th Michael Connett was already on his way to testify at the February 5th Committee Hearing when the meeting was canceled. However, Michael will most likely NOT be able to come on February 19th, and we are looking for a replacement.
7. Thankfully, Dr. Yolanda Whyte, who planned to testify at the Committee Hearing on February 5th, WILL be able to come on February 19th.
8. We originally did NOT plan to “PACK THE COMMITTEE ROOM” during the hearing, because theatrics such as that appeal more to “emotion” than the intellect, and create a carnival atmosphere that is not generally favored by legislators. HOWEVER, we recently have gotten word that the opposing side plans to pack the room with Fluoridation-supporters, and in that case, we MUST have a presence of as many or more, who are “as polite and well-mannered or better” than that of the opposition.
9. THEREFORE, if at all possible, we ask that you consider traveling to Topeka, Kansas, February 19th, to be present at the Committee Hearing. Of course, we want well-behaved and mannerly people who would also help us visit all 165 Kansas Legislators, appealing to their intellect, before and after the 1:30 pm hearing. We are working on a matching T-Shirt and Billboard design and if you have any comments, let us know immediately. Note: The design is intentionally “non-emotional.” It is intentionally designed to combat the idea that we Fluoride-fighters are a bunch of conspiracy theorists who cannot even spell the word ‘science’. The words are intentionally thought-provocative and serious, not cute nor artsy. Nevertheless, your thoughts and criticisms of the design are welcome. (If you have a comment, please comment immediately.)
That concludes the UPDATES. The information below is for the new readers who did not get the previous mailings:
A. As explained in the first letter, if we pass this bill in the Kansas House by a wide margin, which we think it is possible, that we could end up getting through the Senate on “pocket change”. However, if the vote of the 17 members on the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee is split anywhere near 50-50, than we could need an equal or greater amount to push this bill through the Kansas Senate.
B. If we fail – even by one vote, in this all important first committee hearing, (now scheduled for February 19th) our fate will be sealed, and we will be out of the running until 2015.
C. In 2015 we have NO GUARANTEE that a similar new proposal would pass the steps that HB-2372 already has passed. We also have NO GUARANTEE that any future bill will EVER get a committee hearing.
D. In answer some of your questions, 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. We are to the Republican Party, what something like ACORN may be to the Democrat party. We indeed try to influence the Republican Party, because we are “Issue Oriented”. That means that sometimes …like in Primary Elections, we may be directly opposed to the Republican Party. Groups like us push and promote issues, whereas the political parties, both Democrats and Republicans by design, have only one goal; and that is to win elections.
E. 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.
F. As explained in the first letter, we have set up a separate account, the KRA FLUORIDE Account. Any money in that account will only be used to help pass HB-2372, and to help make Kansas the first entirely Fluoride-free State in America. We also reserve the right to use the KRA Fluoride Account funds to help Fluoride-fighters in other states, and eventually in other countries, to get rid of water fluoridation. We already did a Fluoride presentation in Dallas, Texas, at the NFRA (National Federation of Republican Assemblies). We are scheduled to do a Fluoride Training event in Davenport, Iowa on May 17, and have two other possible future locations for Fluoride-fighting events in Oklahoma and South Carolina.
G. All money in-and-out of all KRA accounts is open to public scrutiny, and is reported monthly. However, we do not publish the names of our donors. Here is a sample Treasurer’s Report, (scroll to the bottom).
H. Who is funding the opposition? 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.
I. What do we plan to spend the $25K on? First of all, the $25,000 is an estimate, certainly not set in stone, but here is how we arrived at that anticipated need.
$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.
J. Notice that the $25K does NOT include alcohol or food. Wining and dining legislators may or may not be wasteful spending, but that is not where our $s are going!
K. The $25K does not include wages; we are only asking to have our expenses covered. It does not include wasteful spending on anything, and you get to see exactly where your money goes.
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Our most urgent need now is travel & hotel money for the experts who will testify at the Committee Hearing. Airline tickets are cheaper when purchased sooner, so we would appreciate your early financial help.
Please donate generously now, so that we can wage a successful battle, without having to fundraise when we should be lobbying. If you want your funds “ear-marked” for a specific task, please send that request via e-mail (just hit reply).
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Thank you for all that you have already done in the Fluoride-fight and THANK YOU in advance for your financial help in this important battle!
Mark S. Gietzen, President
Kansas Republican Assembly
5575 South Mosley Street
Wichita, Kansas, 67216-3631