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Why Erik Seligman for State Representative?

It’s time for some change in Kansas State Representative district 83 .   Here are some of the key points that would drive my agenda if elect...

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Protect Children From Misguided "Gender-Affirming" Care

As I knock on doors, I’ve received a lot of questions related to my concerns about “gender-affirming” care taking place on underage children.    After all, how can anyone oppose being “affirming”?   But what is actually taking place is an extreme course of medical treatment:   drugs, hormones, and surgeries to alter the physical anatomy of a child’s breasts and genitals, and drastically interfere with their normal reproductive development.   These treatments often begin at very young ages, and have permanent effects on a child’s life:   sterilization, sexual dysfunction, non-reproductive side effects like bone weakness, and permanent wounds that require (sometimes painful) daily care.  Children are being asked, and encouraged, to commit to this treatment at an age when they aren’t even allowed to decide on a tattoo.   There are a few key points to keep in mind about these treatments:

  • There is no credible evidence that these treatments prevent suicide or have any other net benefits for children, which is why some European countries have backed off the “gender-affirming” care model.   The comprehensive Cass Review, commissioned by the UK’s National Health Service, argues persuasively that we simply don't have enough evidence for these drastic medical interventions.    For treatments with these kinds of permanent, irreversible effects, we need to demand a high standard of statistically significant, persuasive, positive evidence— a standard the medical community is nowhere near achieving.     And because widespread childhood gender transition is so new, it’s literally impossible to have reliable data on its long-term effects.

  • Parents receive extreme pressure from activist medical professionals to transition their children to “prevent suicide”.   If a pro-trans psychiatrist or doctor is treating a child and thinks they might be transgender, they commonly tell the parents that supporting the transition is critical to preventing suicide.   The Cass Review showed clearly that there is no credible evidence to support this claim.   Yet therapists regularly use the line, famously documented in Chloe Cole’s detransition lawsuit,  “would you rather have a dead daughter or a live son?”    How many parents, previously uninformed on this issue, would dare to question the therapist’s advice after that?     This is why I’m not swayed by the common argument that legislation on this matter is somehow interfering in a decision that should just be left to families and their doctors:  the families are often given extremely biased advice to terrorize them into unconditionally supporting their child’s transition.

  • Once a child is started on a gender transition, it is very difficult to stop the process, even if they start to have doubts.   The “gender-affirming” care model demands that once a child states they are transgender, the physical and psychological caregivers must consistently “affirm” their new identity, without ever questioning it or seeking other underlying psychological issues.    (How many other situations are there where a therapist is required to unconditionally affirm a patient’s initial self-diagnosis???).  Typically a child will build their entire social life around the new transgender identity, as well as receiving constant pressure from their new trans-activist friend group and the pro-trans medical professionals who are currently treating them.   For a child who is already uncomfortable and socially awkward, this can make it psychologically impossible to turn back if they later have second thoughts.    As one doctor wrote in a NY Post article, “I saw children being fast-tracked onto medical solutions for psychological problems, and when kids get on the medical conveyor belt, they don’t get off.   But the politicization of the issue was shutting down proper clinical rigor. That meant quite vulnerable kids were in danger of being put on a medical path for treatment that they may well regret.”

Thus, for these reasons and many others, I think it’s imperative that the Kansas legislature take action to protect children in our state from this dangerous and unwarranted medical experiment.   If elected, I will make it a priority to re-introduce legislation, like the bill that the incumbent recently voted against, to ban these treatments in anyone under 18.   

Monday, July 15, 2024

How You Can Help

Many thanks to those of you who have offered to help out my campaign, or may be thinking about doing so!    There are a number of ways you can promote my candidacy:

  • Tell your neighbors.   If you live in my district, this is the easiest thing to do— next time you are talking to your neighbors, mention me and this website (wichitaerik.com) .   If you think you’ll be talking to a lot of neighbors, email me and I can drop off some of my cards.
  • Host a lawn sign.    I have plenty of lawn signs ready to go!   Just email me with your address, and I’ll come by to place a sign on your lawn.
  • Arrange a meet & greet.   If you know a few people who would like to meet me or discuss my platform in more detail, I’d be happy to get together with them during an evening or weekend.   We could set up a time to meet at a local cafe, or I could drop by your house, whichever is most convenient.   
  • Invite me to an event.   If there is a local neighborhood, community, or political event that would be appropriate for me to show up at & discuss politics, please let me know.   I try to watch for such things, but it’s easy for me to miss one.
  • Donate.   If you have a few bucks to spare, I am going to raise funds to do some kind of promotion as the election approaches.   Just email me and I’ll stop by to pick up a check, or you can Zelle me at erik@wichitaerik.com .   (If you choose the latter option, also email me your address and employer, so I can comply with campaign finance rules.)

If you want to do any of the above, or help in other ways I didn’t mention, please email me at erik@wichitaerik.com with a way to contact you, and I’ll be sure to get back to you.    Thanks for your support!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Is the Incumbent "Good On Taxes"?

In these times of outrageous inflation, every one of us is worried about our personal expenses, and tax cuts are more critical than ever for average Kansans.   Some neighbors have told me that I shouldn’t challenge my opponent on the tax issue, since he’s known to be relatively conservative in this area.   It is true that he eventually came around and supported some of the watered-down compromise tax reduction proposals this year.  I also appreciate and agree with his criticism of omnibus spending bills that are too big to properly understand or debate.   But overall, there are still a lot of problems with Kansas taxes.   A few key points to keep in mind:

  • The incumbent voted to sustain the governor’s veto of the tax reform plan passed in January.   According to media reports, his argument was that equivalent budget cuts needed to pass before tax cuts.   Of course I agree that spending cuts would be great— the legislature should work on these too.   But in any case, typically these arguments that we “can’t afford” tax cuts derive from the static analysis fallacy:  the idea that every reduction in tax rates will reduce revenues by an equivalent amount.   This ignores the fact that lower tax rates spur increased economic activity, often increasing revenues— as seen at the national level by presidents including Kennedy and Reagan.
  • Kansas is a severely overtaxed state, and this is causing us to miss huge opportunities created by the West Coast exodus. According to some calculations such as those at wallethub, Kansas’s overall tax burden ranks as high as 12th in the nation— extremely high for a “red state”, and making it much less attractive to potential new residents and businesses.   Many of my old friends have left Oregon in the past decade in search of more reasonable government, but I haven’t seen any others choose Kansas, and this issue has been an important factor.   We need a major tax reduction plan in order to become a truly competitive destination for the many people currently relocating within the country.   
  • The incumbent has been in Kansas politics since the 1980s, and is a ranking member of the appropriations committee— so must bear direct responsibility for our current highly-taxed state.   These discussions tend to drown in minutiae related to specific rates on property, social security, etc— but you need to keep the big picture in mind.   Overall Kansas citizens suffer an unusually high tax burden, and my opponent has consistently been part of the government that helped to create this situation over the past four decades.

Thus, if you are concerned about your family’s budget and our state’s overall tax burden, it’s time to vote for a change:    Erik Seligman in district 83.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Lawn Signs Are Here!

Hi everyone-- my campaign lawn signs are now available.   If you live in district 83, or in a visible location nearby, you can email me to request a sign for your lawn!   I also have campaign buttons and business cards now, if you would like either of those.

I know it's a bit early, but given that I'm new to Kansas politics, it's important to get my name out there and let people know there's a challenger for our district's election this year.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, June 10, 2024

Keeping You Informed

As mentioned in my opening statement (the first entry in this blog), one key difference between me and professional politicians is:   I promise to keep you continually informed of the reasoning behind my votes.    In my blog, I will explain each major vote I make in detail, not keeping you guessing about hidden motivations or backroom deals.    You can see how this works based on my previous term in office, when I served on the board of one of Oregon’s largest school districts; that blog is still available at https://hillsboroerik.com .   As you will observe there,  I continually updated this blog over my four years on the board, covering every contentious vote that occurred.

But then I considered:   maybe this is not a differentiating issue.   Perhaps my opponent is just as open and communicative, and thus I shouldn’t emphasize this issue too much.   Maybe his website also does a great job of keeping constituents informed.   So with a bit of googling, I found his website (rephenryhelgerson.com).   It’s certainly a nice looking website, with graphical flair and animation.  Clearly reflective of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has raised for his various campaigns.   But then I went to look at the substance- the actual text provided there.

In a section marked “About Henry”, I was a bit confused by the mention of COVID-19 affecting this year’s session.   Is that still affecting our legislature this year?   But then when I went to the “News” page, things became a little clearer:    

Notice how each piece of “Latest News” is from 2020?   It looks like he has not updated his website in four years!    Apparently his major concern behind providing updates is to assist specific election campaigns, not keeping the public generally informed.    I guess since he didn’t have a challenger in 2022, he had no motivation for an update then.

Now to be fair, I’m sure he has newsletters, etc, that he sends out to supporters, and probably has done some of those more recently.     And he does have his official page on the KS legislature website, but that’s just a basic summary of his bills & responsibilities, with little detail about his reasoning or positions.     (Also, IMHO, it’s rather poor design that neither of these are linked or visible on his main page.).   In any case, I don’t think the existence of either of these is an excuse:  an officeholder’s web page is the first place people will look for information, and the one place you can get this kind of knowledge without having to sign up for a mailing list or give up any personal data.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, prodded by this post, he finally has his staff update his page.  But do you want to vote for a candidate who gives you information when forced by an upcoming election, or one who will be constantly keeping you informed?

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Why Erik Seligman for State Representative?

It’s time for some change in Kansas State Representative district 83.   Here are some of the key points that would drive my agenda if elected:

  • Reduce the tax burden on average Kansans.   When my family moved here in 2021, we were disappointed to learn that Kansas has an exceptionally high tax burden for a “red state”.     The small tax reductions passed in the June 2024 special session were a start, but there is much more to be done.
  • Educational opportunity for children at all income levels.    Every child is a unique individual, and deserves a variety of educational options, even if their parents cannot afford private school.  We need to strengthen Kansas charter school laws, and expand school choice programs throughout the state.
  • Protect children from unnecessary medical interventions with lifelong consequences.  It has become increasingly clear that “gender-affirming” medical care allows children— many too young to get a tattoo— to decide on medical treatments that will affect the rest of their lives, and are not truly necessary.   The incumbent voted against outlawing these treatments.

In addition, I will provide open and transparent communication at a level rarely displayed by any officeholder.   When I previously served in elected office, on the board of one of Oregon’s largest school districts,  I published a detailed blog describing my reasoning behind every major vote.   You can still read it at https://hillsboroerik.com.    You will always know exactly how I voted, and what my reasoning process was— and be able to meet me at monthly Constituent Coffees to share your view, whether you agree or disagree.

Please contact me if you have any questions, and I’ll look forward to receiving your vote!

[Sponsored by Erik Seligman for State Representative.   Erik Seligman, treasurer.]