The letter from Doug Lawrence, a lobbyist for the gambling industry, was actually a response not to my votes on taxes, but rather to my stand against state operated casinos. It is underhanded for someone to falsely accuse me on one issue, when they are wishing my defeat so that they could succeed on a totally different issue. The action that I took on the House Floor during the debate on school funding was one that everyone in the House Chambers understood. I am confident that those in the gallery also understood that my intent was to send a message to the courts about the problems with the Augenblick and Myers study that had been done on education. You see, the study would have; forced consolidation of small schools, broken up the large school districts, and mandated huge tax increases to implement it. It also stated that teacher salaries were fine the way that they were. It had something ugly for everyone in the House chambers, but those who wanted the tax increases kept quoting it like it was something grand.
My motion was to implement the Augenblick and Myers study in its entirety. I knew when I went to the well to make the motion that it would not have any support. There were 125 votes against the amendment with mine being one of the first. It was the first time I have ever voted against my own amendment. Everyone laughed and we knew that we had sent a message to the Supreme Court that there was no support in the Legislature for the study that they were calling valid. It was the most bi-partisan vote I have ever seen!
I have been consistent in representing the taxpayers of Kansas. I am proud to be your legislator and will always keep taxes as low as possible. I have never been so disappointed in the action of a lobbyist as I am with the insincerity of Doug Lawrence. He knows the truth and has intended to deceive the people of his own county.
State Representative Peggy Mast