Protect kids — Extremists' off-base goals cannot be taken seriously

6/1/2014

Another Tea Party attack on select state lawmakers came from a group with many of the usual goals embraced by radical-right Republicans.

Another Tea Party attack on select state lawmakers came from a group with many of the usual goals embraced by radical-right Republicans.

Wichita-based Kansans for Liberty recently put out a call for challengers to a number of lawmakers in the Kansas House, including Rep. John Doll, R-Garden City, and Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton.

The agenda of Kansans for Liberty tells us plenty about their effort to sideline reasonable legislators, and other misguided endeavors.

In a November 2013 interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal, the group's president, Craig Gabel, outlined a legislative wish list for 2014, one featuring radical ideas on such issues as taxation, immigration and education.

Another topic centered on families, as Kansans for Liberty sought to change the capacity of the state's Department for Children and Families (DCF) to remove children from biological parents.

The Kansans for Liberty website actually states the DCF should work to "preserve families not protect children."

And Gabel even told The Capital-Journal: "In my opinion, the worst family in the world is better for a child than the best foster home."

Enough said. Anyone affiliated with extremists who would dismiss children's welfare in such a way should be ashamed.

While no system is perfect — foster care included — Gabel's astounding indictment ignored the many success stories for foster families, especially in cases where children were removed from exposure to drugs, violence and other abusive situations.

The attack on foster care would be just one of many off-base ideas from the GOP faction. Another disturbing pursuit called for cutting state dollars for the DCF if it failed to reach family reunification targets — as if something as sensitive as family relationships should be subjected to quotas tied to funding.

Sadly, such outlandish goals are no surprise from Tea Party extremists more interested in slashing spending than people's well-being.

Moving forward, any statehouse candidates interested in pitching Kansans for Liberty's radical agenda cannot be taken seriously.

Kansans who care about the welfare of all youngsters also should find it easy to dismiss a group targeting state legislators who would never fall in line with such a disgraceful crusade.

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