Thursday, December 28, 2006

In Memoriam of President Gerald Rudolph Ford

This is an unusual second posting in 2 days, but it would be irreverent of me to not mention the death of our 38th President, Gerald Rudolph Ford. As the only president not elected by the American people, he served a brief 2 and half years, the rest of Nixon's term, before losing his own re-election to Jimmy Carter. Ford had the unfortunate task of serving during the most tumultous time in history--Vietnam, Watergate, hyperinflation, distrust in government, race riots, etc., which accounts for much of his ineffectiveness. His greatest accomplishment was probably his collegial nature and knack for compromise, which enabled his presidency to be a more smooth transition, which eventually paved the way for Reagan. This is best captured by his memoirs A Time to Heal.

Just 2.5 years ago, we had 6 surviving presidents (Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush) and now we're down to four. President Ford will be remembered for filling the leadership void during America's most difficult times.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Metsker will replace O'Malley; Jim Ryun sets the record straight...

With the holidays in full gear, apparently the press including the KC Star, has practically ignored the convention to replace Rep. Ed O'Malley (R-Roeland Park). There was just a brief mention of it in last saturday's paper. The GOP precinct committee members from Mission and Roeland Park met and narrowly voted in Ronnie Metsker over Mission Mayor Laura McConwell by a vote of 16-15. Metsker is the former chairman of YouthFront, a Christian Youth organization, and currently runs his father's ministry. The vote was somewhat suprising since many bloggers and area politicos said that moderates had complete control over the committee in the 24th District and McConwell was seen as the only viable candidate. Depending on how well he fulfills the rest of O'Malley's term in the legislature, Metsker could be become a new, powerful face for the GOP or another defeated Republican (either in the primary or in the general--esp. since Dem. Andy Sandler--with too much time on his hands--is already giving hints that he will run again in this strongly Democratic District.

Congressman Jim Ryun sent out an email to supporters today denouncing Nancy Boyda's attacks against his record on constituent service, touting the resolution of 10,000 constituent cases by his office staff. Ryun is able to do this brilliantly, without coming off as too defensive or attacking Boyda. Go Ryun! Ryun has been very gracious in his defeat, and for Boyda to continue taking these cheap shots after the campaign is over is really distasteful and over the line. Is this the end of Ryun's political career, or will he try to challenge Nancy again in 2 years? This email to supporters seems to show that he's at least not going out without a fight...

Monday, December 18, 2006

What is the future of the Kansas GOP?

Mixed news to report. As a delegate to to the 3rd District Republican Committee Convention the day after precinct leaders selected Phill Kline to be the next JoCo DA, the mood was very subdued and somber. Charlotte O'Hara quietly exited out of the running (her vocal support against Phill Kline secured her demotion from leadership) and the new leadership slate, which included one moderate--Sally Bibb (which is interesting since the 3rd District has an overwhelming conservative advantage--much more so than the county committee).

The New 3rd District Unity Slate:
Chairman: Ernie Straub
Vice Chair: Cory Kangas
Secretary: Sally Bibb
Treasurer: Domingo Soto

Bibb has been involved in county politics for a long time, and Straub is well-known by many. Cory is fresh, young and has extensive campaign experience, which is crucial--especially since the county and district parties have been lacking on leaders who know the ins and outs of campaigns. With her as vice-chair, hopefully the third district can step up and play more of a role in supporting candidates and campaigns in '08--something that has traditionally been left to the county parties. The 3rd District GOP could step up and be instrumental in funding, supporting, and mapping out a strategy for the 3rd District nominee congress against Dennis Moore--really that's what they should have been doing the last three cycles--especially since Kline and Taff came extremely close to knocking Moore out.

Wyandotte and Douglas Co's 6 combined delegates voted for state delegates and left after 20 min, while us 60 JoCo delegates survived through error-filled ballots, faulty printers, and confusion over candidates to finally vote for a slate of State delegates and alternates for the state convention--Kansas Days--in Topeka the weekend of Jan. 26-28. I have been elected to serve as an alternate State delegate, so I will attend Kansas Days, and attend my district committee meetings and serve if needed as state delegate--it will be interesting to see who gets the pic.

These last few weeks have been full of mixed news for the party. The unity slates at the county and 3rd District conventions are completely new and different from the way things are usually done and could be a harbinger of cooperation between both factions of the party, although Kline's appointment will obviously set that back some.

The fallout from the Kline episode cannot be understated. Most people don't know who their precinct committeemen and women are, or what they do, but I have received 3 calls in the last week from Republican constituents in my precinct asking about my vote and upset at the result. All current precinct committee members may see intense competition for their seats in '08, and those who supported Phill will be especially targeted.

Kline has made it known that he will not run for election in '08, so the question is will he step out and let an open primary occur, or will he try to push his own annointed successor into the spot? If so, and that person wins the primary, having Kline's endorsement may be the kiss of death and be the the redeeming issue of the democrat running for that office. Or Phill Kline can work behind the scenes to help a current attorney in the office seek the spot--like Steve Howe.

Either way, I hope Howe decides to run--I'll be one of the first to help him in the primary and general. Exciting times lay ahead. As fractured as the party has been over the years, it can't be much more divided than it is now, so the good news is we have two years for people like me and others to step up, bridge the divide and work on establishing the brand name of what it means to be a Republican. To quote the great Republican icon Ronald Reagan: "Someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is your friend." Conservatives who try to shut moderates out of the party should try to remember that, and moderates who use every opportuntity to tear down a conservative publicly should also remember that ("moderate" Republicans who support Democrats on a regular basis are not even Republicans--at best they're independents or liberals,, so the above advice does not even apply to them).

Monday, December 11, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Kline is JoCo's New DA

I just returned from the convention of the Johnson County GOP Committee. Former AG Phil Kline won. Candidates Rick Guinn and Scott Hattrup dropped out early and the race came down to Phil Kline vs. current assistant DA Steve Howe, a steadfast and committed Republican. The vote was close: 311-291, for Kline.

For those of you who know (and don't know), early on I struggled with this decision, but I increasingly became convinced that Howe had the right experience for the job and the record as a sitting DA. I believed that Kline, having lost JoCo with only 35% of the vote in his AG race, would be a constant scourge of the media and bring division. I still believe it will be increasingly tough for Kline, and it is very likely we'll lose the office to the Dems in 2006 (another casualty of the divisions within the KS Republican Party and the inability of some conservatives to look at the long-term picture), but the Party has made it's decision and we need to move on. We need to unify and support Kline as best as we can and work to strengthen our party even more. We are ONE party and I will definitely work in the upcoming years to make sure we grow and make gains in the next few years.

In other news...I won my race to be a delegate to the 3rd District Republican convention. I received 272 votes out of 485, so I will be at the convention tomorrow to select the new leadership of the 3rd District GOP and state delegates. More to come.
I would like to hear your comments, and what the party needs to do now in the upcoming years.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Vote for 2008 GOP Presidential Nominee!

Who would you support in the 2008 Republican primary?
John McCain
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Duncan Hunter free polls

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Update on Johnson County GOP

Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to update you all on the Johnson County Republican Party Re-organization meeting last Monday. For the first time ever, there was actual party unity (gasp!) and the moderates and conservatives came together to endorse a single slate of candidates for the GOP Executive Board. They are as follows:

Chairman: Scott Schwab (conservative)
Vice Chairman: Arlene Krings (conservative)
Treasurer: Marvin Kleeb (moderate)
Secretary: Brad Seitter (moderate)

The meeting monday was very subdued--no fights over leadership, different factions actually talked to eachother and and people from both sides applauded at the same times. I don't think it can get much more unified then this. Now let's see if it will actually work.

BTW--I ran for election as a delegate to the 3rd District Republican Party, to help write their party platform, elect their exec. board, and nominate delegates to the Kansas state GOP. I should find out very soon if I was elected, and I'll let you know.

Also, the convention to choose JoCo's next District Attorney is next Monday, Dec. 11. Several candidates were at the precinct meeting monday to hand out information about themselves and lobby us precinct members for support. Three assistant DA's are running: Rick Guinn (Paul Morrison's #2 guy in the office), Chris McMullin, and Steve Howe. Reps. Lance Kinzer and Kevin Yoder are no longer considered candidates (Yoder hasn't been practicing law long enough).

There is a little controversy over Guinn, Morrison's #2 in the office. While he stated that he is a Republican and has every intention of remaining so, he did give a $1000 contribution to Morrison's AG run, which is creating a buzz in the central GOP committee concerning where his loyalties lie. However, having met him, he seems pretty genuine, but I don't know as much about him. I worked in the DA's office summer after my freshman year of college, and I know Howe and McMullin well, and I can say for sure that they are dedicated and steadfast Republicans.

Also, Phil Kline is actively trying to make a run at DA, but his support his fluid at best, and I've talked to many conservatives that are privately telling him to back out and that they cannot support him. We'll see what happens, but personally, I think he'd be more of a liability than anything, and we need to get somone fresh and new into the office who can build up a reputation and record and then run for higher office later on.
What say you? Start posting away!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

They're on notice

Well it's official. If Stephen Colbert says it, it must be true. He's put the Kansas Dems on notice. The Democrats have their largest presence in KS in years, and they will be held accountable in the next election. In 2008, we'll see whether Moore, Morrison, and especially Boyda will retain their jobs. The Kansas Republican Party did a horrible job in fundraising and supporting candidates this year. Ron Freeman--KS GOP director--is on notice and will probably be replaced.

Also, Johnson County GOP precinct committee members are on notice. Within the next month, they will choose a new JoCo district attorney and possible rising star to challenge the Kansas Democratic establishment. Point of advice: Pick a real Republican and not another opportunist like Paul Morrison.

The Konnection hears rumors that assistant DA Rick Guinn is vying for the job and touting his Republican credentials, despite his donation to Morrison's AG campaign. Other rumored contenders include Reps. Lance Kinzer and Kevin Yoder.

Yoder is young and a little inexperienced (it's only been about 3 years since he graduated from law school), but he someone who can unite the moderates and the conservatives, and he would make a great DA, and definitely grow into the office. Of course, the Konnection has been touting Yoder for a while now, and how he would make a great candidate for higher office (3rd district nominee against Moore in 2 years?). He's definitely our pick.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Getting past the shock and awe...

Many people will be speculating as to why the Republicans lost this Tuesday. Having just returned from Rhode Island, working for the RNC in the unsuccessful re-election of Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, I would just like to say this. We had perhaps our strongest field of candidates nationally than ever before, in states such as New Jersey and Maryland, and incumbents in states across the country that didn't deserve to lose (like Nancy Johnson in Connecticut, Jim Talent in MO, and Jim Ryan in Kansas). While the media may claim this election was a referendum on corruption, Mark Foley, the congress, etc., based on my experience on the ground and what I've heard from others, I think the Dems successfully nationalized this election to be about the Iraq war policy and Bush's overall foreign policy. I don't think the election was a referundum on the candidates or the party itself as much as it was about a rejection of Bush's handling of the war and uneasiness over Iraq. In Warwick and Providence, I talked to many people who said, "I love Sen. Chafee, he's done a great job, but I have to send a message to Bush about the war."

FYI--statistics show that this midterm had the highest turnout of the 18-30 demographic than any midterm election in history. Most analysts believe this "youth vote" was based entirely on anti-war sentiment.

The Dems do not have a large mandate (it looks like they have 29 seat margin in the house and a one seat margin in the Senate). 22 out of the 29 seats won were by a margin of less than 2 percent or less than 5,000 votes. The Dems would be well-advised not to view this as a mandate, rather as a default position for those who were unhappy with the war and Bush. This was more about voting against the Republicans, rather than an overall vote of confidence in the Democrats (kind of like the "Anybody but Bush" crowd who voted against Bush more than for Kerry, which cost Kerry in the long-run). After 2 years of endless investigations and gridlock, the American people will be ready to throw the Dems out, after seeing they don't have any real solutions.

In the meantime, our party must try harder than ever to convey the necessity of fighting the war on terror, stabilizing Iraq, and praise the booming economy (the administration has been severely lacking in PR these last few years). This will be especially important since the Dems and the mainstream media will use investigations and hearings to discredit everything that we've tried to do.

A national blog summed up the election this way:

The Democrats said: “Had enough?”
The Republicans said: “It could be worse!”
The voters said: “Let’s find out.”

We can and will come back. Americans will now see what it's like to have the Dems in control, and I predict that with liberal leaders in charge in both houses, Americans will be jerked into the reality of a Democratic agenda and will send the Dems packing in 08 and return congress to GOP hands.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A bit of comforting news for the GOP...

While large majorities of the American public blame the GOP leadership for allegedly covering up the Foley incident, 75 percent believe the Dems would have done no better and only 18 percent said the Foley incident will affect their vote. Of course, this was buried in a small AP article that didn't even run in most major newspapers. It can be found here.

That being said, the GOP should brace itself for huge losses in both houses and prepare to work more aggressively than ever before in its GOTV efforts

77% of Kansans for English as official language

According to a Mason-Dixon poll done of 625 voters Sept. 20-22, 77 percent of Kansans support making English the official state language--and both our current governor, Kathleen Sebelius and Jim Barnett, her GOP opponent are for it. Now what does the KC Star and JoCo Sun think about this? They bash it as fear-mongering, xenophobic, and the propaganda of "ultraconservatives." Never mind the vast majority of Kansans support this commonsense measure, and even our liberal Dem governor supports it. 27 other states currently have a similar law. The full story can be found here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Top 6 Kansas state house races

Back in the land of Oz (well, not exactly, but I do know someone with a dog named Toto) there may be some major changes come November. Jim Barnett is running against Kathleen Sebelius for governor, and newcomer Chuck Ahner is taking on four-term incumbent Dennis Moore (which is always interesting, because in this GOP-heavy district there is always a chance that Ahner can pull it off, although it's a longshot at this point given Moore's advantages of incumbency, money, and special-interest spending, which earns him the votes of far too many Republicans. However, all of these races are being overshadowed by the Attorney General's race between incumbent Phil Kline (R) and Johnson County DA Paul Morrison (D), which will be extremely close. However, the Democrats also have a chance to make some gains in the state legislature. These are the seats in danger (from most to least vulnerable) that Democrats are throwing money, fundraisers, and appearances by Sebelius into, while Republicans are sweating and working hard to keep these seats:

1. 39th District--Owen Donohoe (R) vs. Cory Mohn (D)
Incumbent liberal Republican Ray Cox retired and endorsed a moderate successor who lost in the primary, so Cox endorsed the Democrat, in a blow to conservative medical supply owner Donohoe. This is a tough district politically for the GOP, encompassing far western Shawnee (past Monticello Rd.) and parts of heavily-democratic Wyandotte Co. (KCK, Bonner Springs, Edwardsville) and Leavenworth in a district that is large in area but small in population. Corey Mohn is an extreme liberal, a supporter of Howard Dean who ran for U.S. Congress for Missouri but lost in the Democratic primary because he was even too liberal for the St. Louis area. Now, he is trying in Kansas under the guise of a "mainstream" candidate. He's slick and is receiving top consideration in funding right now, and this is a race that the Republicans can't afford to lose. Owen was underestimated in the primary and showed a conservative could win, so this race is a good opportunity for him to fight hard to get this seat.

2. 18th District--Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook (R) vs. Cindy Neighbor (D)
In their third rematch, this time in a general election in opposing parties rather than the usual moderate-conservative battle, this race had been the top target by the dems this year, until recent developments in the 39th District. Most of Shawnee and Lake Quivira make up this district (this is my home district and my rep--whom I work for). Internal polling and Mary's travels throughout the district indicate that Cindy is losing steam, and this is becoming an increasingly safe seat for one of the most conservative reps in the house. Mary has an impeccable record in constituent service, and her strong positions on abortion, taxes, and gay marriage is often eclipsed by her thoughtful newsletters, town hall forums, and other outreach to constituents. This seat is still in play, but it seems that momentum is shifting to Mary. After all, although public education is a #1 issue, we cannot forget this is Phil Kline's old district.

3. 23rd District--Judy Morrison (R) vs. Milak Talia (D)
This district encompasses eastern Shawnee (east of Quivira and Shawnee Mission Pkwy) and all of Merriam. Merriam's proximity to KC gives this district a high number of Democrats, and before her election several years ago, Morrison's only political experience was serving as precinct committeewoman when she was chosen to serve the rest of Cliff Franklin's term and then run on her own. Morrison is a moderate conservative who does her best to stake out moderate, middle-of-the road votes on increased education spending and health care, while downplaying her otherwise conservative record. Two years ago, she narrowly won by only 5% against an unknown, underfunded Democrat. This year, her opponent has deep pockets and plenty of financial support from the state party (during the primary, his yard signs were everywhere).

4. 24th District--Ed O'Malley (R) vs. Andy Sandler (D)
O'Malley, a freshman in the house, is up for re-election for the first time, and despite being the son of a famous and well-known legislator, he is facing a tough battle in a district that includes the close-in KC suburbs of Mission, Northern Overland Park, and Southern Roeland Park. His opponent is new, bold, and a workaholic. O'Malley has walked a thin line, retaining his pro-life views while winning the support of Mainstream Coalition and other liberal-leaning groups due to his education and spending votes. This district is becoming increasing liberal, this may be the year O'Malley's in trouble. This race could go either way.

5. 20th District--Kevin Yoder (R) vs. Alex Holsinger (D)
Yoder, a lawyer and recent KU Law school grad is a freshman up for re-election, after being elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2004. This district includes a sliver of Leawood and a large portion of central Overland Park between 95th and Metcalf and 115th and Metcalf. This district is home to Sprint and Applebees, two largest corporations headquartered in JoCo. Yoder began as a moderate, but has become more conservative in four years he's been in the house, costing him the endorsements of several more moderate to liberal single-issue groups that have endorsed his opponent. Holsinger, is an avowed liberal, both socially and economically, and his major backing by the party, and Yoder's conservative leanings (as one of the more conservative moderates out of JoCo's moderate Republicans) put this race in play, but Yoder is heavily favored at this point.

6. 25th District--Terrie Huntington (R) vs. Missy Taylor (D)
This district consists of the cities of Fairway, Mission Woods, Westwood, Westwood Hills, parts of Prairie Village and Roeland Park, and the wealthy enclave of Mission Hills. Huntington, one of the most liberal Republicans in Kansas, represents this liberal-leaning district well, but is facing a tough challenge from former teacher Taylor, who is accusing Huntington of being an extreme, right-wing conservative, and doing the bidding of Bush. There is no question that moderates and even disgruntled conservatives will unite to vote in the lesser of two liberals, or rather keep out a far left liberal in favor of a moderate liberal, but the question is whether that will be enough. As liberal as the district is, they tend to vote for the R (even in presidential elections, although only slightly) and maybe the "R" next to her name will be enough to let Huntington squeak out a narrow win.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Iowa Governor's race is tight

Latest poll from Iowa from SurveyUSA shows Nussle(R) and Culver(D) tied at 48-48% support. This governor's race is going down to the wire!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

John Bolton understands the UN

This past week, as the newly-elected president of the Creighton College Republicans, I and some other members went down to Lincoln to see Ambassador John Bolton speak at the Univ. of Nebrasa about the UN. Great speech and one great point he made. The 50 or so member nations that voted for extensive UN reform to right the wrongs done by Oil-for-Food and other scandals (essentially the U.S., western and eastern European countries, Australia, and Japan) voted for the reforms, while 120 other nations voted down the reforms. These 120 other nations only contribute about 12 percent of the entire budget of the U.N., while the small group of 50 mostly western nations that voted for the reforms contribute about 80 percent of the U.N.'s overall operating budget. The numbers are just staggering. But of course, anyone who thought that reform in the UN would take place within a year is utterly clueless...

Bolton is doing his best to push reform through. Perhaps one of his greatest quotes during the speech occured when someone asked him why he thought he was always right. Bolton replied with a whiff of confidence, "I was one of the few philosophical conservatives at Yale. I was right then and I believe I'm right now."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brandon Kenig, Johnson County GOP Committeeman

My successful pushcard for my precinct committee race.
I didn't mean to publish this, but you guys might as well see some
great political marketing at work during these technical difficulties... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Balkanization of America

At a perilous time in history, when an underestimated, charismatic dictator with evil designs has the power and the insanity to threaten the civilized world, we have problems at home.

President Ahmadinejad of Iran represents the strand of radical, totalitarian Islam that is dominating Muslim circles at the moment. Here at home, as evidenced by this Washington Post article, we have a sect of extremely conservative Muslims who feel that to live their lives of faith, thy must cut themselves off from almost all contact with the modern western world, living in small groups and clustered around a mosque and several community-owned stores and services. It is this kind of self-segregated isolation that led to the radical, extremist elements in Britain, that attempted to blow up several airliners recently (Britain leads the world in radical imams and segregated Muslim communities where death to America and extremism is preached and cultivated daily). If the U.S. government does not take action immediately to halt this extremist ideology and coerce these Islamic communities in the D.C. area and elsewhere into integration, we will face the same danger as our ally across the pond. America, the great melting pot with a unified purpose and culture, will succumb to ethnic fragmentation as has been realized in the Balkans in eastern Europe.

Check out the article here:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Election Day Update!

This last Tuesday was a big election day in here in Kansas First, I won my race for Republican Precinct Committeeman for Shawnee Ward 2, Precinct 4 against entrenched incumbent Tom Slezak. I won with 56% of the vote, and my mom, running for committeewoman, won with 52% despite a last minute mail blitz by a “Kansas Republicans for Education” group that endorsed the Slezaks. The group sent out a mailing the friday before Election day with a perforated list that voters could tear off and take with them to the voting booth. Walking every house in my entire precinct definitely helped me pull this off; without that, I could not have won. Also, the push-cards I handed out to everyone and my last-ditch calling the night before the election made the difference between having a couple-vote loss/win to a strong majority.

In other races, Conservative Jim Barnett squeked out a victory with 36% of the vote in the GOP primary to take a shot at Sebelius in the Fall. Ken Canfield followed with 26%, followed by Jennison with 22%. While I believe Canfield would have been a stronger candidate, Barnett/Wagle is definitely better than Jennison and the other fringe candidates, and hopefully, they will give her a run for her money.

My guy, Chuck Ahner, won the 3rd District GOP primary handily against state rep. Scott Schwab (51%-33%). Ahner was definitely the stronger candidate, and all the work I did for him paid off. Ahner won Johnson, Wyandotte, and Douglas counties. He’s the best guy to take on Dennis Moore in Kansas’ only Democratic-held congressional district (a majority Republican district, by the way, which has been held by Moore for 4 terms).

Conservative newcomer Eric Carter couldn’t beat incumbent Sandy Praeger for Insurance commissioner however (but oddly enough, Carter won in moderate-heavy Johnson County and the eastern part of the state but lost in rural, conservative-heavy western Kansas).

Ron Thornburgh held on as Secretary of State easily from a challenge by conservative state senator Kay O’Connor of Olathe (70%-28%). Thornburgh, embraced by both moderates and conservatives, was endorsed by both the liberal MAINstream Coalition and Kansans for Life.
Conservatives knocked off a few moderate incumbents in house races, and other seats were taken by moderates with no opposition from conservatives.

At least Phil Kline will be running statewide on a ticket with popular moderate Repubicans Sanday Praeger and Ron Thornburgh. Maybe, just maybe, it will be enough to put him over the edge and beat Paul Morrison for a second term as attorney general. He needs all the help
He can get…

Next week is the explosive Connecticut Democratic primary between Liebermann and Ned Lamont. Watch for an update.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm running for office

I'm sure all of you have wondered what I've been doing. My last posting was the beginning of June concerning the special election in San Diego. Well, I've been recruited to run for Republican Precinct Committeeman for Shawnee (ward 2, precinct 4) in the August primary election. My state representative, Mary Pilcher Cook, persuaded me to run for the position, which is so small that few people know what it is (even back in 2004, I didn't know what the office was or the names on the ballot, so I just picked the name that sounded best). As small as they are, precinct committee members are vital to the local county and state party apparatus and can affect the direction of the party for years to come. A precinct is the smallest political unit, and basically consists of a few hundred voters in a cluster of neighborhoods (state legislative districts typically have 10-15 precincts, U.S. Congressional districts typically have 500-800 precincts).

Each precinct elects one committeeman and woman from each party to serve a two-year term. Duties include:

1. Writing and voting on the county party platform and bylaws (in this case, the Johnson County
Republican Party (deciding whether the local party will be pro-life, against gun control, etc.)
2. Electing the executive board (president, VP, treasurer) of the county party. This is
important because the executive board decides which candidates to fund for public office, all
the way up to U.S. congress.
3. Appoint delegates to go to the state convention and help write the state party's platform
(hopefully, I'll get chosen to do this--it would be awesome to help write the Kansas GOP
4. Appoint replacements for state legislators and local elected officials who leave office abruptly
due to death or retirement.

The reason this is going to be such a big deal in Kansas is due to the Attorney General's race. Johnson County DA Paul Morrison is running against incumbent Phil Kline in the general election. If Morrison wins, the GOP precinct committee member in JoCo will have to appoint a replacement to the DA's office (because Morrison was elected as a Republican, he just now switched to the Dem. party). It could mean the difference between having someone like Kris Kobach or Phil Kline as DA or another closet Democrat.

Precinct Committee positions are seen as a stepping stone to higher office. Former Kansas GOP director Mark Parkinson got his start in politics by winning election as precinct committeeman at 19 years old. Current state legislator Rep. Judy Morrison (R-Shawnee), was a precinct committeewoman when a vacancy arose in her legislative district. Her fellow precinct committeemembers elected her to fill the remainder of the incumbent's term in Topeka and she has now successfully ran and won re-election twice having only held office as a precinct committeewoman before.

In 1996, it was one precinct committeewoman's vote that kept a clause supporting the right to life in the Kansas GOP platform.

So as you can see, the positions are vital, and with 6,000 precinct committeepositions across the state, they're also numerous. I encourage all of you to get involved in your local party, whether Democrat or Republican--Oh, did I forget to mention that precinct committee members are frequently chosen to represent the state party at events such as national party conventions in presidential election years?

Anyway, I will update this site when I have time. I'm running against entrenched incumbents, so I have an uphill battle, but I am knocking on every door and handing out a push card introducing myself to voters. Election day is just 20 days away.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What Happened to the GOP defeat?

The special election in California’s 50th Congressional District to replace disgraced Duke Cunningham was a chance for the Dems to defeat the Republicans in a heavily Republican San Diego district and send shockwaves throughout the nation that would portend a Democratic sweep in the House and Senate in November. Instead, Republican Bilbray beat Democrat Busby 49.3-44.6 percent. Now the Republicans didn’t do as well as they normally do (this is a district where Bush pulled 55% in 2004), but in a district where a GOP congressman resigned in disgrace after numerous scandals in the headlines, Bush’s low poll numbers, and unhappiness with the GOP nationwide, this result is actually pretty good for the Republicans. The Democrats only managed to increase their share of the vote 0.5 %. Of course, this story will be buried in the back pages of several newspapers and relegated to the bottom of several news sites (A Democratic victory would have been heralded by the media as a sign of the GOP’s troubles and we would never hear the end of it). Either way, these off-season elections prove nothing. When Dem Stephanie Herseth won her race for Congress in SD in 2003, it was seen as a bellweather for Democratic victory, yet the Republicans expanded their majorities in the Senate and House. If this election means anything, it is a sign that the Republicans are still powerful and don’t count them out yet. The Democrats better not get too arrogant. Nothing can be taken for granted. And it shows that voters will elect Republicans who are tough on immigration (like Bilbray).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Hard-Right Conservative?

I recently read an article in which my state representative was described as an "extreme right-wing conservative." Now she is a staunch conservative, but even she breaks rank on some very important issues. I think it is disingenuous how the media throws these labels around, especially in election season, without taking issues other than abortion, taxes, and gay marriage into account.

I suspect that many of you out there suppose me to be a hard-right conservative. I disagree. In fact, I would describe myself as a "moderate conservative" (80% conservative with one-fifth cup moderation--20 percent). I can name some issues right now on which I don't agree 100% with the conservative base.

1) The Death Penalty. I tend to be moderate, middle-of-the road on the death penalty. Although this seems to be a difficult position, it really is not. I think the death penalty should remain on the books as law, but it should not be used frequently. I don't think every murder should be under consideration for the death penalty (I see a difference between a Charles Mansion serial killer--who should die, and the husband who in a rage strikes at his wife, causing her to fall down the stairs and die--this is very brutal, and in cases like these, life in prison would be sufficient). The extenuating circumstances of each case and whether the homicide was premeditated--1st or 2nd degree murder--makes all the difference, and the same penalty cannot be ascribed to every case despite the variances in the crimes. The death penalty should only be reserved for the most horrendous, evil cases. And this extends to terrorists, both those who carry out attacks and those who are planning attacks but have yet to carry them out. Islamic extremism is a scourge upon society, and it is a national security risk to even let an Islamic terrorist remain alive in prison (this is the only circumstance in which I find it justifiable in every case to kill the purported terrorist).

2. Sex Education. Sadly, I must part ways with the religious right on this issue. While I feel that abstinence should be at the forefront of all youth education on this subject, I feel that it is detrimental to leave out the teaching of "safe sex" (birth control methods and condoms). It is a fact that even with "abstinence-only" teaching, most teenagers succumb to their natural instincts and have sex before marriage--around 70 percent of teens. And those that take abstinence pledges are more likely to have oral or anal sex instead of intercourse. Because of this, I think teens must be given all the facts on this issue. Abstinence can be at the core of teaching, but birth control methods need to be mentioned (just in case that urge is too strong, or that girl in the miniskirt is just too tempting). I am very much against abortion, and many abortions could be prevented if people used sound methods of birth control (that's why I don't understand the religious right's opposition to comprehensive sex education--it would prevent abortions). The U.S. has one of the highest murder (i.e. abortion) rates in the world. The Netherlands has one of the lowest rates--the Dutch also use birth control more than Americans. The ABC method currently being promoted in AIDS-ravaged African nations (Abstinence, Be faithful, Condoms only if A and B fail) should also apply to our nation's education standards.

3. Guns--I am a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, but at the same time, I would probably vote for the assault weapons ban and the addition of safety locks on guns. At the same time, I am strongly against the litigation brought against gun stores and gun companies for crimes committed with certain types of guns. I also am a strong believer in concealed carry, as I think it makes society as a whole much more safer and reduces crime--it gives citizens the right to defend themselves while scaring criminals from committing crimes. I would hope that I could get at least a grade of "B" from the NRA, and hopefully they would still endorse me. What do you think?

4. Gambling. Another issue where I disagree with the religious right. Gambling does cause debt and breaks up families, but this is a matter of individual responsibility, and we can not ban something just because of the bad choices of some individuals. Gambling brings in a lot of taxable revenue, money for schools, and jobs and economic growth into local economies. The good outweighs the bad, I think, and the freedom to gamble should supersede the possible negative consequences of someone's personal decisions (should we ban all alcohol and return to prohibition just because some drunken men beat their wives and drunk drivers kill innocent people)?

5. Gay/lesbian recognition. I don't entirely disagree with the religion right on this issue (I agree with the religious right on abortion and gay marriage). While I disagree with their lifestyle, I think that gays and lesbians should have the rights to access their partner's medical records, have joint insurance benefits, and be able to speak on the other's behalf in medical and legal proceedings. Of course, this must be limited somewhat, because I oppose gay marriage as detrimental to the bedrock institutions of our society, but giving these options to gays in the form of "domestic partnerships" or some other designation outside of marriage would be appropriate. Even Dr. James Dobson of "Focus on the Family" has recently come out in favor of this moderate, reasonable stance--for gay unions/domestic partnerships, against gay marriage.

6. Evolution--Let me just say that I'm Catholic, and I believe in evolution somewhat and that the Christian belief in God can go hand-in-hand with evolution. I think evolutionists have done a poor job by trying to leave God out of the equation (I don't think the earth's 6 billion years old--more like 10 or 15 thousand years old). The theory of evolution should be taught in classrooms in a very objective way. Holes in the current evolution theory should be taught and discussed, and alternative theories (such as intelligent design) should be mentioned but NOT taught. This isn't about teaching the Bible in the classroom, it's about examining scientific evidence, critiquing it, and looking at alternative evidence. Science isn't perfect and we should be prepared to examine all the evidence and not try to ignore obvious problems in current evolutionary theory and the opposition to it. Having said that, attempts by school boards and politicians to downplay evolution or ban it entirely are also ridiculous. The classroom is an open forum. And I believe that evolution and the Christian belief in creation can co-exist (In fact, I personally think they're both compatible).

I could probably continue with some other issues (such as my support for prescription drug re-importation, expansion of generic drugs, and government-run, full health plans and insurance for low-income Americans only) but this sufficiently shows where I digress with my party. I am firmly for lower taxes, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, for tort reform, free-markets, increased privatization, strong foreign policy (unilateral if need be), and anti-affirmative action. Overall, I am more conservative than moderate, but moderate enough not to be just a hardcore conservative. Hence, I'm a "moderate conservative."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

All eyes on New Orleans

New Orleans voters are off to the polls in a their first election since Katrina. This historic event (with residents pouring in by bus from all over the U.S.) will determine whether "New Orleans is a chocolate city--God wants us to stay black" Nagin will lose his job to one of a variety of more competent and resourceful candidates.

French say "Adieu" to globalized economy--and their future

This is old news, but I felt the need to comment on it. The French have again rejected practical, rational measures intended to spur economic growth. The outpour of anger and protests by youth over reforms such as making it easier for employers to fire youth in the first two years of their employment is astounding. This is what I say--Grow up and quit complaining! The French are have remained trapped in time, in their imaginary, utopian bubble of socialism and welfare-state economics, while the rest of the world has become more integrated with supra-national economies and globalized markets. The French have the longest paid vacations--8 weeks--and if you are under 30, it is impossible for an employer to fire you during your first two years on the job. And people wonder why France has recorded zero economic growth, a stagnant GDP, and unemployment over 10 percent. These same youth who complain about the lack of jobs don't seem to understand that employers are extremely relunctant to hire workers when the government regulates their ability to fire unsuitable workers. Chirac gave it to these whiny brats and while some other European nations are at least inching forward, France has gone several yards back in economic competitiveness and modernity.

These European nations are facing large aging populations nearing retirement age and fewer workers. Their welfare states are at the point of collapse, but they are hesitant to take bold reform. Germany's population is also refusing to recognize the remedy for their economic ailments. Both Germany and France still have failed to privatize their massive, government-controlled steel and lumber industries, and even private corporations such as Airbus (rival to American Boeing) are heavily subsidized by European nations such as France. The effort to move towards free trade and end tariffs will not work as long as some nations, especially those in Western Europe, refuse to make much needed reforms in their outdated workplace and labor laws and stop giving preference and funding to their home-based companies.

Now, free trade and reduction of tariffs ARE the answer and much needed, but these methods only work with nations that are willing to work with us (while western Europe still has a long way to go, their leaders recognize their problems and they are starting to reform--however extremely slow that may be). Yet China continues to undervalue its currency to give its industries a massive trade advantage over our counterparts, and allows its companies to counterfeit and produce goods stolen from the concepts and designs of American companies (clearly contrary to WTO laws). China joined the WTO, but has consistently defied its laws and refuses to play by the rules. The punishment should be a series of tariffs designed to hurt the sale of Chinese goods here in the states. We can only play fair when others are also willing to play fair.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The War on our borders and assimilation

With the immigration debate heating up (or, as I would call it, the illegal immigration debate) I think most people know where I stand. On this issue, I am very adamant and on the opposite side of the president, the Chamber of Commerce, big business, immigrant groups, and the Catholic Church (talk about a coalition!). I am not against a guest worker program, but I think that's it's premature to even consider one until we secure our borders, increase border patrol, and effectively stop all illegals from coming in. Then, the congress can take up a separate bill on a guest worker program and easing VISA requirements, not only for Mexicans for for Eastern Europeans and Asians, who really want to come here, but are blocked by our outdated and antiquated immigration system that is too slow and bureaucratic.
However, the unceasing flow of illegals is putting a strain on our resources--education, healthcare, etc. We are getting many of the people we don't want--such as the flood of criminals and gang members escaping Mexico's lax enforcement, instead of the Mexican immigrants who want to contribute to our success and raise families in the U.S. They are applying legally and prevented from coming by outdated, bureaucratic entry requirements.
We must also be careful to make sure all immigrants assimilate. Europe has clearly had a rough time assimilating its immigrants, as the riots by poor Muslims in France last year clearly demonstrated. Immigrants are relegated to ghettos away from the rest of society and nothing is done to make them learn the native language, history, and understand the laws.
We in the United States, having always looked with scorn on Europe's left-wing experiment with "multi-culturalism," instead, we have embraced the "melting pot" concept where all immigrants adapt into American culture, while still retaining some pride and knowledge of their roots, but at the same time recognizing they are Americans first. This quote from one of the protesters at a recent immigration rally troubled me:

I've always been proud to say that I'm Hispanic," said Rafael "Ralph" Tabares, 17, a Marshall High School student and an organizer of his school's walkout. "But on Saturday, I thought: Whoa. We can do something. And we can do it right." from LA times

This kid should see himself as American first, not Hispanic. These hispanics are coming in faster than we can integrate them into American society, and that spells trouble. The states are not helping matters by printing ballots in Spanish and giving customer service instructions in two languages. Any nation that tries to establish a dual-language system faces integration problems and civil unrest (think Canada--english and french, China, India, etc).

I can think of a very simple yet troubling example when I was working as a phonathon caller on campus calling alumni. I called an older woman in San Jose, California, asking for contributions to the university. I was working on Halloween night and I asked her if she had many trick-or-treaters at her door.
"Actually, we have'nt had one," the woman said, in a slow, almost surprised voice. "But this neighborhood has a lot of Vietnames immigrants, and I don't think most of them know what Halloween really is. I don't think anyone has ever told them. It's kind of sad, really, if you think about it. Not one trick-or-treater."

I was astonished. Now you may say 'who really cares, it's just Halloween. But Halloween is a distinctly American tradition. Until recently, it wasn't even celebrated in Europe. If immigrants are not learning about simple American customs such as trick-or-treating and American holidays, how can we expect them to learn our laws and values? The failure of some immigrants to celebrate Halloween symbolizes the larger failure of fully integrating into our democracy. It could mean the beginning of the end of America's melting pot society and our downfall as superpower of the world. Our laws, religions, customs, and holidays shape our ideas on democracy, freedom, represenation, free speech, and the power of the individual. If this message is not being transmitted to immigrants through simple practices such as Halloween, how can we expect to keep the fabric of our nation from tearing apart across racial and ethnic lines?

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Democratic Culture of Corruption?

Democrats planning to use the Jack Abramoff scandal to tie all Republicans to a "culture of corruption" as a strategy for victory in this year's elections may have to re-think that plan. Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana is the subject of an ethics complaint filed against him by the group Citizens for Responsiblity and Ethics. The charges, some which date back a few years, include bribery and conspiracy that have already tarnished several of his aides and former staffers. The new complaint also includes misuse of federal resources appropriated as disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Democrats up in arms about the federal response to the hurricane now must look to see if one of their own misused funds that were supposed to go to the victims.

Detroit Congressman John Conyers, top Democrat in the Judiciary Committee, apparently made his staffers baby-sit his children, work on campaigns, and do personal chores for him, according to revelations from several former staffers. Conyers, under investigation, refuses to say anything until he has consulted his lawyer.

And the third case, Rep. Alan Mollohan, ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee (yes, the Ethics committee, of all things) has been very unethical by slipping earmarks in legislation to benefit corporations and individuals who contributed to his fortune as a multi-millionaire. Even as he faces investigation by federal prosecutors, even more alarming is the $250 million he funneled to non-profit groups he helped set up. The people who received jobs from him than gave him thousands back in political donations, and then it seems he returned the favor with earmarks, in a seemingly roundabout patronage system that he created himself. Democrats are sticking by him for now, but the question is how long can the Dems let allegations of corruption linger around their guy on the ethics committee, who oversees and investigates others for similar acts? The New York Times is already warning the the Dems that if they don't force Mollohan to resign, they risk losing their edge over the Republicans and could face defeat in November.

All of these cases, still developing, weaken the Democrats claim to be a force against corruption. And apparently, unlike the Republicans, winning elections doesn't seem to matter as much as inter-party loyalty. The old line "Do as I say, not as I do" summarizes the current Democratic house and senate leadership very well.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Hail to the Chief or Hail to the King? (strong, principled leadership = king in Feingold's playbook)

The Judiciary committee hearings on Feingold's censure motion against Bush begin.

From the New York Times:

Under Mr. Bush's theory of government, Mr. Feingold said, "we no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government. We have a monarchy."

This is unbelievable. Good ole' Russ Feingold basically says GWB is a tyrant for using his wartime powers to spy on Islamic fanatics who want to destroy our way of life. Whether or not you agree with the legality of the acts, Bush did inform congress beforehand and many presidents have also exercised similar powers (George Washington intercepted and opened British mail going in and out of the United States). To call President Bush a monarch for this, when it is really the Supreme Court that has overstepped its constitutional bounds of power, and is the real threat to the division of powers/three branch system of government, is not only laughable, but ignorant and insanely out of line of reasonable discourse and dialogue. Russ, you just don't know how much you're helping the Republicans. Keep going down that path (for our sake) :)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Faith, values, and compassion in action can unify GOP says the Man from Kansas

Last night, I was privilged to accompany my boss and his closest aide to George Washington Univ. for a speech that he was giving to the College Republicans. I left with them straight from the office and had the privilege to get some insight as to how the senator discusses strategy, his thoughts on the legislative agenda for that day (hot item: immigration) and his preparation for his speech. Who would have thought that a quiet, humble humanitarian farm boy-turned-senator from Kansas could receive so much recognition and applause from D.C. college kids! Sam talked about faith, values and compassion as the unifying and winning themes for the GOP in this election year. AIDS, helping the victims of genocide in Sudan, prison programs, poverty awareness...all of these have been priorities of Sam Brownback's and may be key examples of outreach to all Americans to help stretch out our big tent into a stadium-sized, GOP majority coalition. Sam still has a lot of work to do to get his name out across the country, but this event, like so many others, showed how Sam's humble demeanor and quiet sense of duty gain are slowly but surely gaining him a following heading into the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hangin' with the governors

This past Monday I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Republican Governors Association, the big event that all the GOP governors across the nation attend and major donors. Over $9.6 million was raised at this $1000 a plate dinner for the campaigns of the governors up for re-election later this year. For us volunteers, free food, free alcoholic drinks, and getting up close to President Bush as he gave the keynote address made this night all worth it. Being able to converse with many governors, from Ehrlich of Maryland to Romney of Massachusetts was also a plus (sidenote--I chatted with Gov. Hoeven of North Dakota for 15 minutes before I even knew who he was--he's such a humble, inconspicuous guy! Gov. Mike Huckabee of Ark. also talked to us volunteers for a long time--prez in 2008 anyone?)

This happened to be only the 2nd time in 40 years my home state of Kansas happens to have a Dem. governor in office, but I met and had my pic taken with Matt Blunt of Missouri, the next best thing. And I was recruited to come and work on Jim Talent's re-election campaign this summer. That's going to be fun. God knows that the Republicans are going to need all the help they can get this time around...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Will we let our ports go? HELL, no!

The recent decision to hand over port operations of our 6 major ports--in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia--to Dubai Ports Authority, a state-owned United Arab Emirates company--is ridiculous. President Bush is completely tone deaf on this issue. This is one issue, along with illegal immigration, that the President just does not get it. He can't even defend it without resorting to a "liberal" time-honored tactic of implying his critics to be racist bigots. "There is no difference between a British company and an Arab company running the ports," Bush says. Yes, Virginia there is a santa clause and there is a difference between an ally like Great Britain running our ports and an "ally" in the middle east, where 2 of the 9/11 hijackers are from, where Bin Ladin has operated, where transfers of nuclear and biological weapons have taken place, and where a majority of the population believe the U.S. is an evil, imperalist nation (according to recent polls). But the point is NO foreign country or company should be allowed to control our ports, British or Arab, period. Especially a state-owned company like Dubai Intl. American companies should be put in charge of American ports. And those who use the free trade argument--don't give me that. I am perhaps one of the staunchest free trade advocates in my circle of Republican friends, but national security trumps free trade any day. Anyone who's taken Econ 101 knows that certain areas of our life (such as defense, government, police, emergency) are not effective when subject to the laws of the marketplace--they require special rules and regulations (although, I believe that there are still certain government-controlled industries that would be more efficient if privatized, such as Amtrak and the post office, should have been privatized long ago). If Bush is so willing and trusting of this company, why not put Dubai in charge of airport security for our country? How come Bush went so far as to nationalize airport security under one new government agency, the TSA, yet he won't budge when it comes to control of our ports? Can you say inconsistant? And a veto threat from the president who hasn't used his pen in 5 years? I say bring it on...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

DC local politics/Election 2008

Seeing as how I'm in D.C. interning on Capitol Hill, I'd thought I'd comment on D.C. politics. the District of Columbia is a Democratic bastion (it has given every democrat for president all 3 of its electoral votes). Kerry got 90% here, Bush got 9%. Republicans are such a rare breed in this city, that when I saw a small Ford Focus with D.C. plates and a George W. Bush sticker, I had to snap a picture. The Maryland Suburbs (Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, Rockville) are also very Democratic (both Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, which surround D.C. You have to go an hour north of D.C. to Frederick, Maryland before you get some Republican representation and a GOP congressman. DC's inner suburbs in NOVA (Northern Virginia) such as Arlington and Alexandria are also very democratic, but not by as much as D.C. and Maryland. You can go just 15 minutes south into Fairfax County and be in some GOP territory, although the Dems are gaining ground quickly in this last Republican stronghold in the DC area. Bush lost Fairfax County in 2004 (the first time a Rep. running for Prez has ever lost the county) an the county went for a democrat, Tim Kaine, for governor by wide margins. George Allen, the current GOP senator from Virginia, while a conservative, has the ability to make some gains in Virginia if he ran for president. I met him here in the halls of congress and he's very likeable. I would prefer to see Condi Rice at the top of the ticket, but an Allen/Rice ticket would also be very attractive...

GOP nominess for KS 3rd District

Besides West Point grad-businessman Chuck Ahner, state rep. Scott Schwab of the 46th District (Olathe, KS) has entered the primary to take on 4th term Dem. Rep. Dennis Moore for congress. Which has the advantage? Ahner's website is more developed, but Schwab just entered the race, so he has a lot of time left. Ahner is also getting early backing and financial support from GOP bigwigs like Bob Dole. Ahner already has over $100,000 in his campaign, so in the race for dollars, he's ahead.
Here are their sites:

Where have all the moderates gone?

What irks me most about this Danish cartoon controversy is the timidity of these so-called "moderate clerics" to condemn the violence. Oh yeah, they come out and criticize the media for running the ads and provoking the extremists and say they are even to blame for the resulting violence--and then they may make some soft statement about how "violence is not the answer." These "moderates" are trying to play both sides and personally may disagree with the means (violent riots, torching of embassies, etc.) but they don't disagree with the ends (a world where Islam is not only respected, but where the press has no freedom to question or criticize it--a world devoid of our modern freedoms). So in essence, the means justify the ends, even if they don't come out and say that.
And somebody explain this to me. If Muhammad is such a revered prophet by Muslims that his image cannot be painted, drawn etc. (apparently, it's wrong even for non-Muslims to portray him in any way) why do so many Muslims take his name as their own? Isn't that disrespectful or sacriligious in some way?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The New, Intelligent Government

I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend in Washington, and everyone from Rick Perry to Sean Hannity to Dick Cheney was there. The last speaker was Newt Gingrich, who was greeted with chants of "Newt, Newt" and rowdy applauding. It was like being at a Cardinals game. If there is an indication of Newt running for president, this may be it. Newt criticized the government's handling of Katrina, the Capitol Hill corruption probe, Homeland Security's failures, and spoke of his idea of a New, limited, intelligent government which he referred to many times as the "New Intelligent Government." Newt is a great speaker and he outlined a broad, far-reaching plan for government reform and consolidation of federal agencies (along with more funding, transparency, and outside oversight) that no one else has come close to emulating.
You have now heard it from me: This speech was Gingrich's entry into the 2008 GOP presidential primaries. It was the most energetic, uplifting yet critical speech I have heard from any candidate so far, covering everything from taxes to health care to Iran. McCain is not the only reformer. If anyone can bring us a "New Intelligent Government" in 2o08, it will be the man who gave us the "Contract with America."
The revolution continues...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Scenes like this only reinforce my perceptions that the Middle East has a LONG way to go towards democratic reform and progress

The publication and re-publication of offensive cartoons to Islam in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and France has met with violent reaction throughout the Middle East. Imagine if Christians or Jews reacted to offensive material on TV and print by rioting, burning embassies, and taking hostages? And Middle Eastern nations who demand an apology or that the Danish government force a retraction or shut down the newspaper only draw attention to the the fact that there IS no freedom of the press in those nations, and no democracy among any nation in that region (except for Israel). More power to the those newspapers, keep printing those offensive cartoons until the fanatics learn the democratic way of showing their dissatisfaction: by boycotting the paper and writing letters to the editor, not rioting and demanding government censorship. With Muslim protesters in Britain chanting pro-Osama slogans and Danish Muslims burning Danish flags, the question must be asked: As Europe's Muslim population continues to grow, should there be some cause for alarm if the Muslim minority grows large enough, say in France, to influence public policy to a point of reversing Europe's proud heritage of freedom of speech, religion, and press? A point to ponder...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let's see what happens to Kerry's filibuster...
I was reading an article today on the split in the Kansas GOP between the moderates and conservatives. I think that unless the whole party gets its act together--and that means that conservatives accept moderates into the party without bashing them and moderates accept that they are not the majority and cannot dominate the party leadership-we can take back the governorship and the 3rd District congressional seat. Other states don't have this problem to the degree Kansas does.
Not much going on today...Creighton Bluejays won 57-55 against Wichita State with a basket in the last seconds of the game. Spectacular!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My first words...

Hello all. This is my first posting to my first blog ever. All these years of thoughts, of anger, of joy, of annoyance, of aggravation, can now come out on type. And in this week, I am away from my beloved midwest and in the thick swamp of down-and-dirty politics...our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. I am interning on Capitol Hill for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and working for Americans for Tax Reform while taking classes in this second week of my semester long experience here in D.C. This week witnessed new remarkable elections with both incumbents losing after decades in power. In Canada, Stephen Harper's Conservatives wrestled the government back after 13 years of liberal rule. Finally, Canada can implement some commonsense domestic and defense policies and form a closer relationship with the U.S. In the Palestinian territories, Voters through out the PLO and elected Hamas, in what could be the end of any roadmap to peace in the middle east. I personally think this is the end, Bush cannot work with a Hamas government, even one that claims to want peace and give lipservice to the goal. This will not last. Does anyone else see the possiblity of a CIA-funded coup in the near-future? Maybe in the manner of the democratic, Orange Revolution and swept Victor Yuschenko to power in Ukraine last year?

How it all started...

How this started...
I am a 20-year old sophomore at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, double-majoring in economics and political science. I was born in Kansas City Missouri and lived in Shawnee, Kansas for 12 years, a place I still consider my home. In my spare time, I like to read, travel, play tennis, and add to my collections of Star Wars and Oz memorabilia.
How did I discover my passion for politics and government? My passion developed gradually, and I remember watching a few of President George H.W. Bush’s speeches on television, and watching Bill Clinton sign NAFTA, but I must say that in eighth grade social studies, we began to discuss the presidential primaries and the candidates, and I should have known that something was different about me as I was the only one who was genuinely interested in the primaries and researched the candidates. The catalyst, or turning point of my self-realization for my love of politics occurred early in the 2000 election. As we discussed the Democratic and Republican primaries in class, I was enamored and captivated by the process--I couldn't understand why my friends didn't feel the same way! As the election neared, I watched every debate and realized the importance of public policy and the sharply contrasting positions of Bush and Gore. I could not yet vote, but with each passing day I became more interested in the election and political process in general. On Nov. 7, 2004, I rushed home from school, turned on the television, waited for the election returns, and saw Florida go first for Bush, then for Gore, then Bush again, then to the undecided column. I devoured every scrap of news for the next 30 days as I learned more about the political process and the way our government works than I had in all my years of education.
From the moment Bush was sworn in as president, I knew my future was in politics. I discovered my moderate conservative roots and joined my school’s newly-formed Law and Politics Club that spring. I did enough fundraising to travel outside the Midwest for the first time with a group from school to participate in a model United Nations in Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital struck me with awe, and I took three more trips to D.C. to perform model U.N., researching the policies of the European Union, and the nations of Somalia and South Africa, and representing those nations and entities in national security crisis and simulations. In my senior year, I became Vice-President of Law and Politics Club and hosted the speakers program. I invited renowned Kansas City Star political columnist Steve Kraske to my high school to talk about the issues in the upcoming election and answer questions from students and others in an event that was open to everyone in the Kansas City area. As front page editor of my high school newspaper, I worked to increase coverage of national and local politics and be the “conservative voice” of the predominantly liberal paper.
September 11th changed my world forever. As I walked to my next class, I heard murmurs and whispers in the hall about a plane crashing into a building. As I entered my computer applications class, Mr. Wilhite had the projector on, showing footage of the World Trade Center in flames as he frantically began taping up white construction paper on the wall to make the picture more visible, although it was already clear to all of us what was happening. As other confused and fearful students poured into the room, I saw the second plane hit and I knew this wasn’t an accident. America was under attack. A plane hit the Pentagon and there were rumors of another hijacked plane still in the air. As I waited for my mom to arrive at the end of the day, I couldn’t help but notice the complete and utter silence that is unusual for a school yard where you have students talking and laughing, teachers yelling. Nothing. Just silence. As long lines of cars full of parents approached the school to pick up their sons and daughters, the first sounds reached my ears. Each car had the AM radio on and news of the attacks and possible responses to it filtered out into the seemingly-normal and misleading sunny, suburban, Shawnee day. These voices rang in our ears, their mixture creating a strange and incoherent uncertainty and doubt, the only noise that pierced the surrounding stillness. My world had changed in an instant, and I knew that public policy would also have to change, and that would require a new kind of leadership. And if anyone could deliver that leadership, it was President Bush.
In Spring and later August of 2004, I worked as an election worker in those elections for Johnson County, Kansas. I was able to witness the process of democracy firsthand in this job. Before the August election, I volunteered on Republican Kris Kobach’s congressional campaign for the 3rd District, in my first active effort to affect the race in my own congressional district. In my freshman year of college, I became actively involved with the College Republicans and I helped out at a campaign event for the President in Council Bluffs, Iowa and had the honor of shaking hands with the president, first lady, and NY mayor Rudy Giuliani. I even chatted with the first lady, Laura Bush, for a few minutes. As important as the 2000 election was to me, the 2004 election was even more important for America’s security and continuing the war on terror. I volunteered for 15 hours in Iowa, going door to door reminding people to vote and handing out absentee ballots. My work for the Iowa GOP paid off, as President Bush won the election with a commanding 51% of the vote and became the first Republican president to win the state of Iowa in twenty years.
I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. in Feb. 2005, the nation’s largest gathering of young conservatives. I listened to speeches from Sen. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Col. Oliver North, journalist Sam Donaldson, and many other politicians and pundits on the right.
Currently, I am Vice-President of the College Republicans chapter here at Creighton and I am also a student representative in Creighton’s College of Business Congress (CUBAC). I'm also active in the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Pre-Law Society, and the Anna Tyler Waite Leadership program in the Business school. I also work in the law offices of Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison and on the campaign of my local state representative, Mary Pilcher Cook. This semester, I am taking classes in DC at George Washington University and interning on Capitol Hill for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS). As I wandered among politicians and political players of all stripes, I had the idea to start a blog to explain my views, get out my message, and start a dialogue with my fellow Americans that is free from all the spin, propaganda, and politically correct garbage that is so prevalent in Washington, D.C. With this blog, I hope to continue to spread the Republican message, remain active in politics, and encourage others of all sides--right, left, middle, front, and back--to get involved.