Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride-Fighting Update #1 from Kansas

Source: By Mark S. Gietzen, President, Kansas Republican Assembly | February 7th, 2014
Location: United States, Kansas

This is a follow-up to a letter you should have gotten from us yesterday or two days ago, about our effort to pass a bill in the Kansas Legislature that many people see as the first step toward making Kansas the first fluoride-free state in America!

In case you did not get the 1st letter, here is a link to that bill, HB-2372 .

Again, l ask that you please forward this message to all of your Fluoride-fighting friends.

1.    The big news is that the Committee Hearing scheduled for February 5th was postponed due to a snow storm.  Michael Connett was already on his way to testify at that committee hearing, when the meeting was canceled on February 4th.  Thanks to cell phones, Michael was able to avoid getting on the last leg of his flight to Kansas.  Dr. Yolanda Whyte was also preparing to leave Atlanta when the cancellation came about.  Later that day, February 4th, the entire legislative day of February 5th was canceled, just like cancelling a day at school.  Storms are not rare in Kansas, but shutting down the legislature is.  We need to be ready for a new hearing date on short notice.

2.   We are off to a good start on raising the $25K that we estimate we will need to get this bill through the Kansas House of Representatives.  If you have already donated, thank you for being generous.  So far, we have taken-in $1,725 from ten donors, which means that we need $23,275 to meet our funding goal of $25K.  Please consider becoming a generous donor.

3.   Four of the ten donors were people whom we never met or heard from before, so thank you for forwarding the e-mails.  That seems to really work!  The more we share the burden, the less each of us will have to carry.

4.   As explained in the first letter, if we pass this bill in the Kansas House by a wide margin, which I think is possible, 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.  If we fail – even by one vote, in this all important first committee hearing, our fate will be sealed, and we will be out of the running until 2015.

5.   Now I want to answer some of your questions, and we welcome any question that is on your mind:

a.    First, 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, by design, have only one goal, and that is to win elections.

b.   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.

c.    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) convention, and have a Presentation/Training Session scheduled in Iowa in May 2014, and two others with no date yet in southeastern states.  The 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 Treasurer’s Report sample link, (scroll to the bottom).

d.   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, but 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.

e.    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 amount.

$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 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 may come instead of Michael, depending on our new Committee Hearing date.

$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 a 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 Springhorn, and me.  If we have any $ left over from the House effort, the remaining 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.  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.

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!

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.

Our most urgent need now is the $800 for Declan Waugh.  (Yes, we have taken in $1725 already, but $1500 of that was specifically designated by the donors to pay for the travel costs of those who will speak to the committee.)

If you want your funds “ear-marked” for a specific task, please send that request via e-mail.

Please donate generously now, so that we can get DeClan’s report in ahead of the House Committee meeting… (Date is unknown as of today).

NOTE that the Credit Card Acceptance software seems sensitive to name and address errors.  Please enter your information exactly as is shown on the statement for the credit card that you are using.

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
POB 16514
Wichita, Kansas, 67216-3631
EMAIL: mark@gietzen.us