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!

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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!