Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

About that nepotistic pioneer

The Kansas City Star reports today and the Washington Post reported last week that former Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum refused to do a commercial for Sen. Pat Roberts. 

I sure as hades hope the Roberts campaign wasn't dumb enough to ask her. I am pretty certain they did ask. Otherwise, Kassebaum is senile in addition to being a traitor. 

Kassebaum says Roberts has moved dramatically to the right. Well, of course he's to the right of her. Pro-abortion, friend of Kennedy, Kassebaum has never been a conservative. She barely even played one in the U.S. Congress.

Kassebaum is a woman who worked with Clinton to stifle the First Amendment and lead a "bipartisan" committee -- with the help of liberal failure Walter Mondale. Her son William is currently the treasurer for the Paul Davis for Governor campaign. (Morris County, are you embarrassed yet?)

Since the day she left office, she has consistently served as a stooge for liberals, allowing herself to be named as a "Republican" for Whatever Cause of the Day.

Quite frankly, she's an embarrassment to the great state of Kansas, and a cautionary tale against electing people simply because they have the "right" last name. Yes, she was the first U.S. Senator to be elected to a seat without following in her husband's footsteps. But let's be honest: She landed in the U.S. Congress in large part because she had a man behind her -- her father, former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon. 

The Republican Party showed loyalty to her precisely because of her father, but she has never shown an ounce of fidelity to the Kansas GOP. 

It's ironic that a major complaint she voiced to the Washington Post about Sen. Pat Roberts is that Roberts didn't show loyalty to former Sen. Bob Dole. Roberts she j'accuse voted against a U.N. Treaty pimped by Bob Dole. 

"People thought, 'Gosh, why couldn't he have done that for Bob?'" Kassebaum whined to the Washington Post. "That just triggered an emotional disappointment with Pat. I think that carried on and has not been changed."


I've explained this before: Just because Bob Dole advocates for something, that doesn't mean it's right or that it can't be questioned. Or that the opposition is extreme. And the fact that he's in a wheelchair doesn't mean his support of an issue deserves additional credence.

The treaty Dole was advancing was extraordinarily problematic. It did not include a definition of the word, "disabled." The term was to be defined at a later date by U.N. bureaucrats. (Remember, these are the same bureaucrats who call Israel a terrorist state. They're judgment is not to be trusted.) 

The Dole-approved treaty declared the state in charge of determining what is in the best interests of a disabled child.  And when the U.N. finished determining the best interests of disabled children, they would start considering the "economic, social and cultural rights" of the disabled.

Just to recount: The U.S. is already the worldwide leader of rights of the disabled. The Dole-approved U.N. treaty did not bring other countries up to our standards.

(Let me drop a few words here and let you draw your own conclusions: quality of life. Limited resources. OK. I'll draw the conclusion for  you -- that treaty ends with a pile of disabled people in an incinerator. Sorry to be so blunt, but the seriousness of the issue demands it.)

Pat Roberts voted against that horrendous treaty, over the objections of Bob Dole. Dole, by the way, is campaigning for Roberts, because Dole is a man of integrity.

 Nancy, there are a few things more important than loyalty. One of those is principle. Unfortunately, Nancy has neither loyalty or principles.



Swartzendruber's War on Women

Oh, there's a War on Women Single Moms in Salina, and the Major General leading the charge is none other than Democrat Gary Swartzendruber.

I received an email this morning detailing how this so-called supporter of women did everything short of Susan Smithing in order to avoid paying child support. Gross.

You can read the entire release here. But here's the quick and dirty version:

Swartzendruber, a Democratic candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives in Salina, abandoned his family and attempted to avoid providing for the basic needs of his children. (I guess for women's lib. So, thanks?)

The Judge in his child support case was not impressed.

"It is clear that (Gary Swartzendruber) has consistently avoided financial contribution..." the Judge wrote. 

In a ghastly move, the Democratic candidate threatened to cancel government grants for his own son if the judge ordered that he pay child support. He threatened not to provide information for his daughter's financial aid applications.

"The Court is at a loss to understand (Swartzendruber's) apparently mean-spirited 'trade-off' that if he is ordered to pay support, he will someone retaliate through cancellation of his son's PELL Grant application and Stafford Loan and refuse to participate in applications for his daughter," the Judge wrote. 

Um. Grants and loans in his childens' names cost Swartzendruber nothing. 

Swartzendruber faces Republican J.R. Claeys in the general election. The House race in Salina is a dangerously tight, I hear, and as of this afternoon, I have yet to see the Salina Journal or any of the local media there reporting on Swartzendruber's War on Single Moms.  If Democrats manage to squeak this one out, I never want to hear another word about the so-called War on Women. Between this guy and Paul Davis' Strippergate, I think it's pretty clear which party values women and cares for the welfare of children.

Typical, liberal bias. They'll trample over their grandmothers to run dirt on a Republican, but when a Republican uncovers court documents that make a Democrat look like the slime ball he is, those journalists leftist shills can't be bothered to write or run a story.

Wouldn't you want Strippergate to go away?

You'd think gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis would want talk of his frequenting strip clubs to go away.  You'd be wrong.

Davis' campaign complained late last week that Timothy Keck, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer's chief of staff, requested strippergate police reports from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office days before the news story broke.

The Davis campaign alleges that the request was s misuse of state resources.

Davis campaign spokesperson said, "This is a disgusting revelation that puts a public employee in the middle of a smear campaign and likely using taxpayer money to fund it."

I don't even. Since when did Democrats care about wasting funding?

And it also begs the question I asked at the outset. A person of high moral character would wish the strippergate story would go away. However, knowing Davis schleps around "funding" struggling single mothers will likely entice more Dems to the polls. (They are so weird.)

Since I do care about the misuse of government resources, I would have a problem if Keck was spending hours and hours on opposition research while on the public dime. However, I know from experience that when dealing with a public entity that isn't a complete abomination (ahem. Derek Schmidt's office), a KORA request takes about 15 seconds. Keck could have made the request on his lunch break, or even a bathroom break. Keck has the right, as a private citizen, to request whatever records he wants.

For what it's worth, the Brownback campaign responded that state law allows Keck to work on Brownback's campaign. 

The law, Kansas Statute 25-4169, reads: "The provisions of this section prohibiting the use of time of any officer or employee for such (campaign) purposes shall not apply to an incumbent officer campaigning for nomination or re-election to a succeeding term to such office or to members of the personal staff of any elected officer."

Politicians always protect their campaigning activities via legislation. 

Duh. As long as Davis has been in office and involved in politics, I'm shocked he didn't know this already.This is why political signs are always allowed, no matter particular covenants; why door-knocking for candidates is A-OK despite anti-solicitation laws; and why your phone number tied to your voter registration is released to candidates regardless of the no call list.

Friday, September 26, 2014

From the horse's mouth

Or at least his Facebook page:

"Sorry to disappoint the media, there’s no meeting with Greg Orman and I don’t have any plans to make an endorsement," Milton Wolf wrote on his Facebook page today.

I guess that solves that mystery.

Still, one must wonder when or if Wolf will go ahead and endorse Sen. Pat Roberts. It's time.


Proving his critics right

(Edit: After posting this, two trusted sources posted they had spoken or texted with Wolf and he said there is no meeting and no endorsement.)

I really hope this story isn't true.

Politico reports today that Milton Wolf, one-time Pat Roberts primary challenger, will consider endorsing Greg Orman in the U.S. Senate race.


According to the report, Wolf will only agree to make such an endorsement if Orman agrees to caucus with the Republicans.

This is just stupid. I don't know how much power Wolf believes he has, but why would Orman make that deal when whatever the Claire McCaskill and Harry Reid offered is probably so much sweeter. What can Wolf offer? Free x-rays for life?

If Wolf was wise, or if Wolf actually believed the stuff he campaigned on (pro-life, pro 2nd Amendment and other Constitutional principles), he wouldn't dare endorse Orman. 

Orman is pro-abortion. He is anti-Second Amendment. He voted for and funded Obama for heaven's sake. 

I am mildly hopeful that this story is so-much-ado about nothing -- that this is a liberal media ploy to give conservative street clred -- however, fleetingly -- to Greg Orman.

A man of principle wouldn't even bother meeting with Orman. There's no point. 

While I personally believe Wolf should have lost gracefully and endorsed Roberts, I also understand that human nature is an ugly beast. It was a horrible, ugly primary, and it was probably unreasonable to expect Wolf's immediate endorsement of Roberts. 

A man of high character and principle would have done so, but I recognize that's not everyone. I anticipated it may take time to battle those primary demons into submission, and I wouldn't fault Wolf if it took him until October to come around and do the right thing.

There is no "right thing" in endorsing Orman. That's simply sour grapes. It shows low moral character and lack of principle.

If Wolf endorses independent Democrat Orman over Roberts, Wolf will prove his worst critics absolutely correct.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Brownback campaign takes my advice... kind of

The Brownback campaign has obviously come to their senses somewhat. They've taken a page from Gidget's book and used a regular person (instead of Brownback in a sweater vest) to carry the conservative message. I wrote about the awful, awful Brownback campaign ads on Sept. 17.

In this ad, Becky explains how Brownback's policies have benefited her.

It's not quite what I had in mind. I would have preferred they use my exact idea -- the teacher with fewer students in her class, the business owner who could afford to hire more employees -- but this ad will work in a pinch. My proposed ads were better, but I understand the challenge in finding and vetting the specific people I suggested in a short time frame.

Once again, Brownback campaign, you're welcome.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Uniting with duds

Now see? I would love to support Jene Vickrey, and some of my absolute favorite legislators are on this list.

Unfortunately, so real duds are on this list too. A few of them pay only lip service to truly supporting individual liberty and free markets.

I understand why they do these group things, but I would greatly prefer that they be very segregated affairs. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I am a public, vocal supporter of any duds.

I'll leave it to you, readers, to determine which on this list are the duds and which are the studs.

Dick Kelsey isn't turning the other cheek

Dick Kelsey isn't supporting Paul Davis for Governor because he supports the Davis agenda or philosophy.

It's pretty clear from Kelsey's own words that his support for Davis is based solely on a personal vendetta against Gov. Brownback.

Kelsey, a former state Senator, was summarily primaried and tossed out of office in 2012. Kelsey says he was inaccurately lumped with the moderate liberal wing of the Republican Party because he spoke out and questioned some of Brownback's initiatives and policies.

I apologize for sending you here, the Davis page, but that's where Kelsey's announcement is. Anyway, Kelsey writes:

Compromise will be necessary instead of the present system of my way or the highway. We all want a healthy state government. A balanced government is much healthier than one that only focuses on a few people's narrow agenda.

For what it's worth, I think Kelsey is absolutely correct. I don't particularly want or expect the Governor to compromise with Democrats, but he should at least lend a respectful ear to legislators in his own party. But that's not Brownback's bag.

Ask Jerry Lunn or Charles Macheers just how decently the Governor treated them in the face of a rather mild disagreement. The Governor's right hand man went all red-faced and angry reading them the riot act. I guess that's better than throwing money at their primary opponents, but still, that was kind of low, shoddy behavior from leadership.

Brownback has shown no interest in negotiating with members of his own party. He's privately and personally stabbed many of his once vocal supporters in the back. Just ask Charlotte O'Hara. 

I often envision our Governor sitting at home sharpening his knives just waiting for the appropriate moment to slice a backside. I know that's not nice, but I don't think the Governor treats people who disagree with him very well. I can't find it, but I know I've written that I believe that Brownback's ego may be a real source of spiritual darkness for him.

And speaking of areas of spiritual darkness, Kelsey, a former pastor, ought to turn the other cheek

If he's truly committed to pro-life policies as Kelsey says he is, that should supercede his feelings about Brownback personally. I'm not saying that Kelsey has to vote for Brownback or even tell his friends and family that he supports Brownback. 

But it likely means not being a shill for Davis. The public announcement and endorsement screams vengeance. And that belongs to the Lord.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finally, a nod to conservatives

The Roberts campaign has finally, finally decided to woo conservatives.

Word on the street is that Sarah Palin will be a special guest at a breakfast in Independence on Thursday. If it is indeed Palin, I do not understand keeping it a secret. 

Roberts will also campaign with John McCain (gross) and Jeb Bush. (Also kind of icky.)


Paul Davis: Helping Ladies pay for Law School since 1998

Well color me surprised: Paul Davis is a man of questionable character.

Just kidding. Low moral character is pretty much a given for Democratic candidates and office holders.

The Dems' gubernatorial candidate was caught with a stripper on his lap during a 1998 drug raid at a "Gentlemen's Club."

It's hard for me to get all worked up about the fact that he was in a strip club 20 years ago, and I can't say I blame him for not putting that fact on his campaign literature. It's hard for me to think of a single person who didn't do some really super stupid stuff in their 20s. (And about those very select few who didn't do anything embarrassingly dumb? They're almost difficult for me to trust. Some people -- ahem, me -- need to make mistakes to learn. But kudos to those who never needed to.)

Davis' response: He was not married at the time and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While I can't get all bent out of shape about a single man in his 20s going to a strip club (one time that we know of), there's something a little fishy about the story.

I am going to paraphrase someone else's words here, because he said it better than I could. I'm not going to mention his name, because I don't have permission.

Anyway, a wise conservative activist wrote on his Facebook page that something about the Paul Davis strip club story strikes him as odd and deserving of more scrutiny.

The press and police reports that the strip club and a bar were both owned by Marvin Jones, who was under investigation for drug-related activities on his properties.

On the night in question -- the night where Davis just happened to have a struggling law student (or single mom or whatever) half dressed in his lap -- police arrested Jones for selling drugs.

The Kansas conservative activists asks: What was Davis doing in that particular club, 146 miles from his home, just after midnight on a Tuesday night?

 He wrote: "Are we being asked to believe that the man just has incredibly bad luck? Raids like that can’t possibly be a nightly occurrence in Coffeyville, a town of under 10,000 people. To me, it’s not a matter of 'wrong place, wrong time,' as Davis asserts. It’s more like 'odd place, odd time.'"

Davis lived in Lawrence at the time and chose to frequent a "club" several miles away from home. The conservative notes that Topeka and Kansas City likely had more such places and in much closer proximity than Coffeyville.

According to the police reports, Davis immediately began asserting that he was Jones' attorney once officers appeared in the VIP room. Fishy, as if Davis knew that Jones was the perp in the raid. 

The Activist Who Shall Not Be Named questions why Davis asked for the county sheriff by name during the raid.

"How many 26-year old attorneys out for a night on the town 146 miles from their homes know the local sheriff by name and ask for him when caught up in a raid?"

Good question. And here's his closing: 

"Why was Mr. Davis, the self-proclaimed attorney for the drug-dealing club owner, on site, in the middle of the night, during the middle of the work, week 146 miles from his home and office, partaking of the club’s “offerings,” while his client was selling illegal drugs in the other room?

Forgive me if I’m a little dubious that it’s all just an 'incredible coincidence.'"

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Told You So... Again

Remember when I said Democrats would use Brownback's tax increase against him? 

In 2013, I wrote:

"In addition to Democrats (and RINOs and naysayers or whoever) being able to say that Kansas Republicans broke a promise to Kansans, they'll also be able to say that the Governor and Senate's plans for the state budget places the burden for making up the shortfall on the lowest earners in the state.

This is simple math. The Governor's plan calls for lowering the highest income tax bracket. It's a tax break that lowest income Kansans will not see. Meanwhile, the lowest earners are hit hardest by sales tax increases, which the sales tax extension would be. "

As uncomfortable as it is for me to say, I told you so, it needs to be said. I was right. 

Here's the Kansas Dems Twitter during the gubernatorial debate in OP right now:

Sam Brownback already raised taxes on people making less than $15K thanks to his

By the way, I feel like Keen is winning the debate. Not enough people are going to see the debate for it to matter, but...

Ewwwww. John McCain

Will Sen. John McCain sell in Kansas?

I don't think so. Seriously, have the people running the Roberts' campaign talked to any actual Kansans?

Their latest campaign plans include flying in presidential candidate flop and amnesty supporter John McCain. He'll be in Kansas next week stumping for Roberts.

Who in the Republican Party would be a big draw and inspiration to support Roberts?

The top of my list would probably be someone who isn't a politician. Dana Perino, maybe? 

From the politician ranks, I'd be jazzed to see:

Sen. Ted Cruz (I know. I'm dreaming.)

Maybe Rand Paul? Tim Scott? Scott Walker?

Instead, Roberts brings in McCain, and Brownback brings in Chris Christie. 

I don't get it.

Ruh-Roh, Shaggy

A recent Rassmussen poll suggests that without Chad Taylor on the ballot, Orman wins the Kansas U.S. Senate seat, 45 percent to 40 percent.

I really hope Sen. Pat Roberts' campaign has a better plan to paint Democrat Greg Orman with the liberal brush. For whatever reason, the liberal label doesn't appear to be sticking.

From where I'm sitting, it appears the Roberts' campaign strategy hinges on getting a Democrat on the ballot. It may be time to get busy with Plan B -- making the liberal label stick to Orman as it should.

Evil clowns advance bid to disenfranchise voters

Political operatives damaged Kansas Republicans yesterday. And by operatives, I mean Kansas Supreme Court justices.

The state court decided yesterday that Democrat Chad Taylor can be removed from the ballot for U.S. Senate. 

Somehow, the Democrats who spent money, blood, sweat and tears, campaigning to get Taylor elected during the primary don't give a single care at all that their candidate wants to be removed from the ballot.

Weirdly, they don't even care if Taylor is replaced on the ballot. They really are evil clowns. Taylor should be outraged that he wasted time and resources running for election only to be pushed off-stage by an independent a Democrat without the decency to admit he's a Democrat.

And now the Democrats are screeching that Kris Kobach politicized the decision to leave Taylor on the ballot in the first place. (Kobach's initial decision is what drew the Supreme Court into the situation.)

So, Kobach's decision was politicized, but the Court's decision wasn't. And somehow Taylor's decision -- and that of the Democrats' -- to run side-step the two-party system wasn't political or questionable.

The Dems live on some planet where the rules really, really don't matter. There's no such thing as fair play, reasoning, or law. Winning is the only thing that counts, and if you have to do it by cheating? Well, winning. And they cheat, lie, steal, politicize, get in bed with some people (ahem, George Soros) while attempting to assassinate the character others (ahem, the Kochs). Meanwhile, they take the moral high ground. 

They should be ashamed. They aren't. But they should be.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

We're Number 5! We're Number 5!!

State officials are touting their latest achievement today. We're number 5.... in highway performance and efficiency.

Honestly, I am a little embarrassed when we cheerlead these sorts of accomplishments. In the 21st Annual Highway Report, Kansas ranked number one in the category of rural interstate pavement condition, third in urban interstate congestion and fifth in rural arterial pavement condition.

So, the people at the Kansas Department of Transportation are doing their jobs? If anything, we should probably be offended that we aren't number one in urban interstate congestion -- we kind of have an advantage with our limited number of urban areas.

As much funding as KDOT receives every single year and as often as our roads are covered in orange barrels, we ought to be near the top of the list. 

And let's be honest, KDOT funding is kind of a slush fund. We spend buckets of money improving rural roads that see three vehicles per year just to keep the peace with western Kansas.

I'd be happier if we were in the top five in efficiency in schools or public safety, or something Kansans genuinely care about. Being tops at highways seems like applauding the table scraps.

As an aside, somehow, the Wichita Eagle,  Liberal Wichita Rag, managed to turn this story into a snide quip about Brownback. The rag writers aren't impressed that we're number five. They're discouraged that we aren't number two. Whatever.

The Train Wreck in Chief

I don't typically write much about national politics here. I just don't think I can say much that hasn't already been said by much better writers than me. 

I can't stop myself today. I read dozens of headlines each morning, and there are typically one or two that make me slap my forehead. But is it just me or are the headlines getting worse and worse each day? It's to the point that I wear a red mark on my forehead from slapping myself. 

There are many head slappers from which to chose: 

1. Obama plans to tightly control strikes on Syria  (WSJ, subscription required.)
In a nutshell, the article says that President Obama will require the military to obtain presidential signoff on every air strike in Syria. I don't like to constantly disparage our President, but Obama deserves it. I wrack my brain almost daily to come up with one policy decision -- one moment of insight -- from our President. It's been six years, and truly, I can't come up with a single one. He's that bad. 
So far, in this ISIS fight, I have yet to hear one military advisor or expert suggest that Obama's plan of limited airstrikes is going to work. The President is ignoring them.
And now Obama is going to somehow take personal command of the airstrike campaign? 
He's an idiot. More frightening: He's an idiot that always believes he's the smartest man in the room. It's dangerous and it borders on insanity. (Actually, "borders" may be too kind of a word.)

2. Panel Urges Overhauling Health Care at End of Life
Or: Just Off Yourself Already, Old People

So the National Academy of Sciences is firing up the ovens, err, the death panels. It seems to be an innocuous story about a 21-member panel who just want to end the suffering of the sick.
Smart people will recognize it for what it really is: greasing the wheels of death panels. 
I can barely read through the entire story. In my heart of hearts, I know where this line of thinking leads. The end game is a dark and godless place that I hope I can somehow never visit. Unfortunately, I think that awful landscape is rushing towards me and I am not quick enough to outrun it. 
This story frightens me.

3. Koskinen: 'Hard Drive Crashes Continue As We Speak'
So the IRS, which will follow you like a hound released from the depths of hell if you don't return the correct forms and information, continues to conveniently lose emails and communications that may prove the tax collecting agency illegally targeted conservative groups. 
I understand why the IRS destroyed emails and continues to lie about it. The baffling part is that there are tons of people who believe them (or, I guess, don't care. Or believe conservatives had it coming).
Either way, what happened to my countrymen? 

4. US to Send 3,000 Troops to Ebola Danger Zone 
That's more troops than we're sending to Syria and/or Iraq to fight ISIS -- actually, that's 200 percent more. ISIS is building an actual army with weapons and soldiers, and we're sending 1,000 troops, or boots on the ground,  in a "forward deployment." (I personally believe we are already formulating plans to send more than 1,000 troops, but our leaders lie to us at every turn.)
We're sending 3,000 to fight Ebola. This shouldn't need to be said, but apparently, it must: YOU CAN'T KILL EBOLA WITH BULLETS.  

Unlike Obama, I'm not an expert on the military, but I'm pretty sure that vast majority of basic training had little or nothing to do with fighting infectous diseases. It's stunningly irresponsible to send troops trained to build bridges to a hot zone, where they may contract Ebola and/or bring it home with them. 

I could keep going all.day.long. Here's why this matters to Kansas: In order to slow -- not stop -- the Train Wreck in Chief, we must do everything possible to turn the Senate Red. 

I'm talking to you, Milton supporters. I know how you're feeling. Heck, that race is the reason I left the Republican Party. That said, in my lifetime, this country has never been at such a precipice. We have to do what we can to throw the country a lifeline. That lifeline is a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate and a conservative, Republican-controlled U.S. House.

Do I think Sen. Pat Roberts will save the day? Of course not. He's had approximately 40 years to do it, and look at where we are. But he won't actually put his foot on the gas to drive us off the cliff as Greg Orman so obviously will. Roberts is cold comfort and undeserving, but he's what we've got.

It's time for conservatives to put their grievances aside and do the right thing. I know it's been asked of us over and over and over again. It reminds me truly, of the military. They are asked to do some crazy things, and they do it because they're called.  For conservatives, I know it gets more difficult each and every time. One day, we aren't going to be around to get kicked by the Establishment. I am hopeful that day is not Nov. 4. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These people are hilarious

I am kind of regretting not attending the Women 4Kansas Convention in Wichita a few weeks ago.

Way better than any stand-up comedy. 

That's the "special song" written for the event, which was basically a Democratic rally. 

I will never understand how the general stereotype of Republicans  can be wrinkly, old white guys, while Democrats are somehow younger and hipper.

Um. That song -- and this -- suggest otherwise.

(And just so it's out there: In my mind, the general stereotype of the everyday Democrat is a middle-aged, bitter, divorced hippy woman -- typically wearing Birkenstocks with socks and a dress.)

Brownback Campaign: Let me help

This ad stinks. Look at the fake, but adoring faces of the Brownback supporters listening to a few inspirational words from our fearless leader.

And then there's his most recent ad, in which the Governor sits on some hay bales on a farm and attempts to wax poetic about farming.

I think it's supposed to help people identify personally with Sam Brownback. It begins, "I grew up on a farm..." It fails so completely. I will attempt to embed it later. (On a personal note, I'm having technical difficulty. But, you can go to YouTube and watch it here until I am able to embed it.)

Against my better judgement, I am going to help the Brownback campaign right now. For Kansas' sake, I hope they take my advice. Next time, I'll expect a small stipend, but for the good of state and country, here goes:

Under no circumstances should Sam Brownback himself attempt to be the messenger for his ideas. He's just not very good at it. In the campaign ads, he looks stiff and politician-y. I don't know what world his campaign staffers are living in, but that slickster, politician look/attitude isn't really selling anymore. It just isn't. People are thirsting for REAL people. (This is why Bill Clinton was so successful. As much as I despise Bill, he comes off as a kind-of ornery every man.) 

Brownback simply doesn't have that quality, and I believe his campaign ads are a really bad effort at square-pegging him into a round hole. It's not going to work. 

Brownback's strength, well, I don't know what his strengths are. I am continually underwhelmed. Still, he's managed to get elected and elected and elected again, so he obviously has some. One strength is his ambition. It will take a person places, but this time Sam may need a little help crossing the finish line. (A Sept. 11 PPP poll showed a 4-point Paul Davis lead in the Governor's race.)

Hopefully, one of Brownback's (yet unproven) strengths is accepting advice from people outside his circle, because here goes:

Ad 1: Find a teacher, probably one from Johnson County, who can tell a personal narrative about how their classroom has improved thanks to Brownback's efforts. 

 Something like this: 

"In 2009, I had 40 kids in my XXX Elementary fourth-grade classroom. (Shots of teacher and some kids raising their hands in a bright colored, chaotic classroom.) Gov. Brownback signed legislation that increased K-12 education funding by $176 million. And my school was able to hire more teachers. There are 680 more of us in Kansas schools since Brownback was elected. And my class size has dropped from 40 students to 21. Thanks, Governor Brownback."

I'm Sam Brownback, and I approve this message.

I probably wouldn't even use Brownback in the ad, except for maybe a photo of him at the end. (A still. Do not show that wooden guy walking around and pretending to interact with elementary school students. DON'T.) To its credit, the Brownback campaign has one ad that shows a pastor from Leavenworth giving a list of reasons why he supports Brownback. It's close, but no cigar. The pastor finishes with: "I'm Tony and I'm a Brownbacker." (NO! NO! NO!)

Ad 2: Find a small business owner, one who started his or her business in the last few years.

"I was thinking about starting my (ag marketing/logistics planning/bio firm) business for years before I finally did it. Gov. Brownback's policies that lowered the tax burden and created a stable regulatory environment were the catalyst I needed to create NAME OF SMALL BUSINESS in (SOME GREAT KANSAS TOWN). Since Gov. Brownback took office Kansas has added 55,000 jobs to the state's economy. Ten of those jobs are in my office! Thanks, Gov. Brownback."

Paid for by Brownback/Colyer for Kansas. T.L. Anderson, Treasurer.

And again, Brownback in person, and/or his voice should be used SPARINGLY. 

Ad 3: A former student, who has completed a career and technical career education course. 

"When I graduated from high school last year. I was determined to start a career and go to school without getting buried in debt. Gov. Brownback's career and technical education initiatives helped pay my tuition to learn (HVAC/Plumbing/Auto mechanics) while I was still in high school. I graduated from XXXX High School with a certificate in WHATEVER and was able to start full-time work immediately. I'm making enough now that I can help fund courses at XXXX University while I continue to work. College wasn't in the cards without the certificate I earned while in high school. Thanks, Gov. Brownback."

I'm Sam Brownback and I approve this message.

You get the drift. Find actual people who have been helped by Brownback's policies and let them carry the message. That will resonate a lot better than Brownback with his top button undone sitting on a hay bale.

I'm Gidget Southway, and you're welcome, Brownback campaign.

Friday, September 12, 2014

This won't end well

The Kansas Supreme Court will take-up Chad Taylor's lawsuit requesting to be removed from the ballot for U.S. Senate.

This isn't going to end well for Republicans. 

Best case scenario: Taylor is removed from the ballot and Democrats are forced to replace him with another Democrat on the ballot. Worst case scenario: The (liberal-loaded) state Supreme Court allows Taylor to be removed without requiring that the Democrats replace him. That is supposedly not legal, but anyone who pays a lick of attention knows that the Kansas Supreme Court is legend (wait for it) dairy in making stuff up to suit their purposes. (See state vs. Montoy and Gannon vs. State).

 Kansas' Supreme Court is no friend to Republicans. Secretary of State Kris Kobach requested that the case be heard by a district court, but alas, the liberal Supremes decided to step in. 

Should Taylor be replaced on the ballot, some savvy conservatives need to be hot on the trail to create a political action committee -- Kansas for Children, maybe? -- and that PAC should immediately begin sending mailers to Democrat likely voters touting the accomplishments of whichever Democrat is listed on the ballot. 

It appears the Roberts-Orman race will be uncomfortably close even with Taylor on the ballot.  

Do we believe this??

A recent CBS/New York Times/You Gov poll shows Gov. Sam Brownback ahead of Rep. Paul Davis by 7 points.

It's a dramatic swing from polls a few weeks earlier, which suggested a Davis lead of 7 points. (Another poll, taken shortly after the CBS/NYT poll, shows a 7-point Davis lead.)

I'm no good at parsing polling numbers, but my gut feeling says this poll is closer to reality than the ones showing a big Davis lead. After all, we are in Kansas, and no matter how hard Davis tries to paint the Brownback experiment as a disaster, Davis must be hard-pressed to find any actual examples. I mean, I live in Kansas, and the job market isn't the best one I've seen in my lifetime, but it does appear to have turned a bend. And I think if individuals truly sit and consider how their friends and neighbors are faring today versus how they were faring three years ago, there's been improvement. (And anyone who wants to blame a slow recovery on Brownback rather than on Washington should take a lap.)

As hard as the Brownback campaign appears to be trying to botch the race for Governor, the political winds are at their back, and they're going to have try harder if they really hope to lose the race. (They don't. But wow on the campaigning efforts so far. They have been la-ah-ame.)

RealClearPolitics continues to call the Kansas Governor's race a tossup, and when all polls are averaged, Davis maintains a 3.7-point lead. 

I'm just not buying it.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Just two guys sitting around the airport thinking about the most effective ways to tax and spend. At least, that's what I think when I see this picture.

I am going to vote (very reluctantly) for Pat Roberts, but stuff like this photo doesn't make it any easier.

If it weren't an election year, I'd just think, oh nice. These two tax collectors for the welfare state ran into each other at the airport.

Since we're mere months away from a heated Roberts' election, this reads like tone deafnesses from the Roberts camp.

Here's what the campaign posted along with the photo:

Great to see my good friend Bob Dole today. Bob's endorsement meant a great deal to me. He wrote that, "When the world is in distress and there is chaos here at home, we must have proven and experienced leadership to safeguard our national security and get our economy back on a sound track. Now, more than ever, we need Pat Roberts in the United States Senate."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chris LaCivita

So, Chris LaCivita, the "seasoned" political consultant, began following me on Twitter a few days ago. BEFORE the Roberts' campaign shake-up. (There's a reason I never throw any emails away.)

Anyway, here's what I can say about our political infiltrator who may or may not be a member of the team leading the Roberts campaign:

First, he's a former U.S. Marine. So that speaks well for him.

Second, he's from Pittsburgh. That's with an 'h.' So of the Pennsylvania version. This does not make me feel good. 

Third, he did have the good sense to follow me on Twitter. So there's that. Welcome, Chris.

Corry Bliss??

The Kansas City Star's Yael Aboulhalkah reports on Twitter that the Roberts campaign will now be run by Corry Bliss.

Yael links to a blog that doesn't have very nice things to say about Bliss. 

For what it's worth, I believe the Roberts campaign is saying that from here on out, the campaign will be run by "a team." 

Is Bliss the quarterback? Is he as nasty as the blog suggests? Let's hope not. 

As projected, Roberts' campaign shaken up

This strikes me as a terrible omen: The Roberts' campaign has fallen apart, and now the NRSC is sending in its "consultants."

The whole thing makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. Republicans shouldn't be fighting for their political lives in Kansas. 

Though Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran runs the National Republican Senate Committee, that club shouldn't even be able to point out Kansas on a map. They should never, ever need to come here. If the NRSC called Kansas a flyover state, I wouldn't even be offended. 

Go turn Iowa blue. Or spend your time and money in New Jersey or Michigan or Illinois, or even Missouri. I can't speak for all Kansans, but I don't want NRSC operatives here. 

It's a stunning irony that Roberts is in trouble, almost precisely, because he doesn't actually live in Kansas, and so to calm the political waters, the people from Washington, D.C. are coming to town to bail him out.

It's a disaster.

It's never a good idea to just react, react, react to situations. That's apparently what's going on at the Roberts campaign. There's no forethought. No consideration. Just reaction. How else to explain a Roberts campaign leader telling the media that Roberts had gone "home" to Virginia to rest after the primary? How else to explain why Roberts would hang up his campaign sneakers after winning the primary instead of actually continuing to campaign? It just reeks of Roberts feeling entitled. 

I feel badly for Roberts' former campaign manager Leroy Towns. He's a nice enough guy, and the campaign consultants aren't really the problem in the Roberts race. 

The political winds were blowing against Roberts long before he committed to running for a billionth Senate term. A savvier, less egotistical politician would have stepped aside and thrown support behind... well, someone. Instead, Roberts dug in his heels and ran again.

I don't really know anything about the new crew in town to rally the Roberts campaign. I am familiar with Alan Cobb, who at one time served as the Americans for Prosperity state director of Kansas. 

And then there's this Chris LaCivita, a "seasoned consultant," according to the news story. I'm too lazy to look into where this person got his seasoning, but I am not comforted by some outsider coming to town to "fix" the Roberts' mess. The Roberts' mess was actually CAUSED by people who lost touch with the citizens of Kansas. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Taylor to remain on the ballot

Sec. of State Kris Kobach says Chad Taylor will have to remain on the ballot, because Taylor did not say he was incapable of the office if elected.

The remedy for Dems? They can file a lawsuit. Do you hear circus music? Because I do. 

Send in the lawyers.


Roberts -- the Most Vulnerable Republican Senator

The Rothenberg Political Report is calling Sen. Pat Roberts the Most Vulnerable Republican Senator in the Country.

 Well, that's a hot mess.

The report makes a leap that may not actually come to pass, suggesting that Democrat Chad Taylor's name will definitely NOT appear on the November ballot and that the Kansas Senate race will feature only two candidates -- Independent Greg Orman (Democrat) and Roberts. 

"Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the race on Wednesday leaving independent Greg Orman as the Senator's main challenger and completely changing the math of the race," the report reads.

That actually remains to be seen. The Secretary of State's Office (lead by a very conservative Kris Kobach) is examining the legality of removing Taylor's name and if it is withdrawn, whether he must be replaced on the ballot.

So the report may be the victim of some bad math.

However, it draws some frightening conclusions about Sen. Roberts and his ridiculous campaign. 

Here's a taste:

Roberts’ long-time campaign manager LeRoy Towns told The Wichita Eagle after the race was over: “He went back home for two days or three to rest. I think he’s going to come back here the first of next week,” said Towns, referencing Roberts’ home in Virginia. Towns’ comments seemed tone deaf considering Roberts was dogged by residency questions throughout the race up to that point and the general election was not completely certain with the threat of a well-funded independent candidate.
And then there's this nugget:

Roberts has not been actively campaigning for about a month now. 
The report says Roberts is in "severe danger." I have to ask: Is the Roberts campaign trying to lose? 

And I think I'll just leave my words from a post a few weeks ago here:

 I sincerely wish Roberts would have done the right thing a year ago -- and that is decide against running for a fourth Senate term. We would have better candidates to choose from had he done so, and it's been obvious for quite some time which direction political winds were blowing. Kansans (and many around the country) have had enough of long-term federal legislators in Washington. 

I contend that had Roberts really, truly cared about Kansas, the state GOP and the country, he would've bowed out this year. He's a nice man, but his ego may be out-of-hand if he truly believes he's one of only two people in the state of Kansas who can fairly, accurately and reasonably represent the Sunflower State in the U.S. Senate.

If Roberts messes around and loses the U.S. Senate to the Democrats, he and his campaign should spend the 40 days and nights following the November election on a Great Apology Tour. They’ll have been a large cause of major, possibly irreparable, damage to the entire country – not to mention the damage to the Kansas GOP.

KS Dem Insider Wannabe

I have no inside scoop as to what the Kansas Democrats are doing, but someone at The Hill, a publication that covers Congress, obviously does.

Democrat Chad Taylor is trying to withdraw from his U.S. Senate race against incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. The Dems' goal, according to The Hill, is a two-way race between Roberts and independent Democrat Greg Orman.

“What most Democrats know is that Orman would be better than Pat Roberts, and we want Roberts out. We wanted to win, this is the year to win, and Chad Taylor couldn’t be that candidate,” Chris Reeves, a Kansas Democrat, told The Hill.

Taylor requested to formally withdraw from the race yesterday. But, Kansas Republicans are saying, Not So Fast, my friend.

 The state GOP is calling the withdrawal request, "an attempt by liberal Washington Democrats to disenfranchise Kansas Democrats and invalidate their primary election," Party Chair Kelly Arnold said in a press release.

Taylor beat Patrick Weisner in the Democrat primary in August.

 It appears Taylor, the Shawnee County District Attorney, can't withdraw from the race unless he is "incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected." That's not the Republicans talking. That's state statute.

"The people of Kansas demand to know what changed in the last few days that made Mr. Taylor suddenly incapable of serving... Is he now incapable of serving as the Shawnee County District Attorney?"


Whether Taylor's name is removed from the ballot, there will be a Democrat candidate listed in November. Kansas statute requires that if a major party candidate withdraws, the candidate "shall" be replaced.

I don't know which Dem insiders will be making that selection, if it comes to that. For what it's worth, Weisner said he'd be willing. He did receive 47 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. The crowded ballot -- there are at least four people currently running for the Senate seat -- should help Roberts, especially since it appears Orman and Taylor (or insert name here Democrat) are likely to split votes.

Still, there are a few uncomfortable takeaways from The Hill story:

First, story notes that there are indications that the National Republican Senatorial Committee "is facing pressure to send resources down to support Roberts."

And, the story continues, "there's talk of a campaign staff shake-up."

If the NRSC has to defend an incumbent Republican Senate seat in red Kansas, that may spell disaster for the uber goal of the 2014 election -- taking back the Senate from the Donkey Party. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Like a Derelict with a tin cup

National GOP organizations and the Brownback campaign are either broke, desperate or both. 

No matter the time of day or night I open my inbox, it is overwhelmed with requests for funds. Truly, it's out of control. 

Seriously, their blegs for money have gotten out-of-hand. They are like a derelict shaking a tin can for change outside the liquor store -- ever present, kind of smelly, and shaky for a fix.

The emails are relentless, and really, I've had enough.

Yes, I want the Republicans to win the Senate. No, I don't want Paul Davis to be Governor. That said, if I don't trust the government to spend my money (Ahem. I don't.), why would I trust government officials to spend my money effectively on their campaigns?

The Brownback campaign is a train wreck. If (HUGE IF) they manage to keep that locomotive on the track long enough to reach destination victory, it won't be because of money.

I don't trust the RNC, the Republican Governor's Association or the NRSC that Jerry Moran is running. I don't trust them. Any of them. No offense, Moran, but in your current position, you're nothing but a tool for the Establishment.

When I donate money to political candidates and causes, I am very, very discerning. Most candidates and virtually all Republican groups don't make the cut.

If I wasn't receiving a half dozen emails a day from the same groups, I might consider a donation. I don't like being pandered to. I'm not your friend. Right now, the relentless emails are serving only to irritate. Just stop.