Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): I don't think so, Virgil

Monday, November 17, 2014

I don't think so, Virgil

I'm sure Rep. Virgil Peck is a super nice guy. He probably leads his church youth organizations and organizes golf tournaments for orphans.

But he's said some monumentally stupid and embarrassing things in public. So naturally, he's thrown his name in to challenge Rep. Ray Merrick for Speaker of the Kansas House.

I don't have any insider-y knowledge about this race, but if the vote for Kansas Speaker isn't 97-1 in favor of Merrick, we've got problems.

Unfortunately, the votes for House leadership aren't public. So, say Peck somehow manages to win or even come close, we won't know how members of the Republican Caucus voted. 

That drives me bonkers. 

Leadership roles are critically important, and as a constituent, I'd like to know that my Representative uses that vote in an appropriate manner. With anonymous voting, I really can't say that. The secret ballot certainly allows politicians to promise favors in return for leadership votes with absolutely no transparency. Not cool.

Anyway, Rep. Peck is infamous for saying Kansas could solve its illegal immigration problem by shooting illegals from helicopters like feral pigs. A very low moment for conservatives. I know it was a joke, but it wasn't funny. He said it in public, and Peck will never again be mentioned in the news without the information about his notorious gaffe seeing print. 

Conservatives don't need to be painted with that brush every time the Kansas Legislature gets a mention in the Topeka Capitol Journal or the Kansas City Star.

It's damaging enough that people are calling Peck's decision to seek the job a "challenge from the right." Just stop, media. It's a challenge from a guy who dresses like a clown. As far as I know, no conservatives are rallying to Peck's side. (I sure hope they aren't anyway. Peck hails from way, way down south. I'm from way, way Johnson County, so I have no idea what happens out by the Oklahoma border.)

Anyway, others seeking leadership roles include Randy Garber, Kyle Hoffman and Mario Goico, who each hope to serve as Assistant Majority Leader. They're all old white guys -- not that there's anything wrong with that. Garber is from Sabetha. Hoffman is from Clearwater, and Goico is from Wichita.

Travis Couture-Lovelady, so far, is the only person seeking to be Caucus Leader. Ron Ryckman, Jr. is the only person, so far, running for Majority Whip. (For what it's worth, Travis is young. Ryckman, Jr. is young-ish.)

Rep. Peggy Mast, Emporia, faces a challenge from Rep. Don Schroeder, Hesston, for Pro Tem. 

GOP will select its legislative leaders on Dec. 1.

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