Kansas Legislators condemn political vandalism, urge residents to vote Aug. 2

The Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, located near 127th and Antioch, was targeted with...
The Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, located near 127th and Antioch, was targeted with pro-abortion messaging.(Submitted)
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 1:49 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A bipartisan group of Kansas Senators has condemned recent acts of vandalism against political signs for the upcoming vote on the Value Them Both amendment but have still encouraged residents to be diligent in their civic duty.

A group of Kansas Senators says on Tuesday, July 19, they have come together to condemn recent vandalism and have urged Kansans to participate in the democratic process during the upcoming primary election.

“Elections are often understandably contentious, particularly when the issues at stake involve deeply-held views on all sides of a particular question, such as in the case of the Constitutional Amendment on the august 2nd primary ballot,” said the Senators.

On Aug. 2, Kansans will either vote yes or no to add the Value Them Both amendment to the Kansas Constitution. The amendment would add a new section to the state’s constitution which would read that there is no constitutional right to an abortion. This would allow the state legislature to regulate abortions through new legislation.

“However, for our political system to function, all Kansans’ First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech must be respected,” the Senators stated. “This means individuals and organizations must be able to participate and express their views without fear of intimidation, theft or vandalism.”

Recently, Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay reminded residents that the theft or vandalism of campaign signs is illegal. Meanwhile, a host of signs at churches and in residents’ front yards in the Capital City have been stolen or vandalized. This is an issue that seems to persist around the state.

“Recently, Kansas made national news when a Catholic church was vandalized in Overland Park. The vandalism included a statue of the Virgin Mary on the church’s premises being covered in red paint,” the Senators noted. “This type of vandalism and intimidation has no place in Kansas. In the strongest possible terms, we condemn this act of cowardice in all forms of vandalism, theft, or other acts that break the law.”

The Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, located near 127th and Antioch, was targeted with...
The Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, located near 127th and Antioch, was targeted with pro-abortion rights messaging.(Submitted)

The issue can also be found on both sides of the aisle with vandalism and thefts reported for both “Vote Yes” and “Vote No” signs. While the law applies equally, all Kansans have been encouraged to get out and vote on Aug. 2.

“As we close in on August 2nd, we encourage Kansans to participate in the process by displaying signs, respectfully sharing their views, and most importantly, voting,” the Senators concluded.

Those who signed the letter include Sens. Ty Masterson (R-Andover), Dinah Sykes (D-Lenexa), Rick Wilborn (R-McPherson), Larry Alley (R-Winfield), Renee Erickson (R-Wichita), Richard Hilderbrand (R-Baxter Springs), Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita), Pat Pettey (D-Kansas City), Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence), Jeff Pittman (D-Leavenworth), Molly Baumgardner (R-Louisburg), Rick Billinger (R-Goodland), Elaine Bowers (R-Concordia), J.R. Claeys (R-Salina), Ethan Corson (D-Prairie Village), Brenda Dietrich (R-Topeka), John Doll (R-Garden City), Mike Fagg (R-El Dorado), Beverly Gossage (R-Eudora), David Haley (D-Kansas City), Tom Hawk (D-Manhattan), Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park), Dan Kerschen (R-Garden Plain), Rick Kloos (R-Berryton), Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia), Carolyn McGinn (R-Sedgwick), Rob Olson (R-Olathe), Kristen O’Shea (R-Topeka), Virgil Peck (R-Havana), Mike Petersen (R-Wichita), Ron Ryckman Sr. (R-Meade), Mark Steffen (R-Hutchinson), Alicia Straub (R-Ellinwood), Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita), Mike Thompson (R-D-10), Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), Mary Ware (D-Wichita) and Kellie Warren (R-Leawood).

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