Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Ron Paul "Non-Factor"

Tom Tancredo has dropped out of the presidential race while throwing his support behind Romney. The only viable (i.e. candidates to watch) are Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain. Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, and Duncan Hunter are interesting if not entertaining non-factors in this race.

Speaking of Ron Paul, much has been made of ability to raise large sums of money. On social and economic issues, he strikes the right chord with the party faithful, but I believe he is gravely wrong on the greatest issue of our time. Superficially, his greatest liability and roadblock to the nomination remains his staunch rejection of a proactive military and intelligence approach to the war on Islamic terrorism and his unrealistic reliance on an isolationist foreign policy.

Beneath the surface, he has another liability. While trudging through rush hour traffic near Oak Park Mall last week, I noticed a Taurus in front of me with a "Ron Paul for President" sticker on the left bumper and on the right bumper, a sticker declaring "9-11 was an inside job" with a website address providing more info.

The fanatical and almost cult-like behavior of some of Ron Paul's followers was disturbing enough, including their intimidation and gestappo tactics they utilize when infiltrating even non-political events. But the fact that many buy into these deranged 9-11 conspiracy theories dooms Paul's candidacy--since he has failed to directly refute their claims. That type of lunacy has no place in civilized political discourse.

I'll handicap the race in Iowa in the next few days and make some predictions as to who will endure the chaotic primaries and caucuses on both sides.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Charlie Wilson's War" a rare holiday treat

Take a break from the ham and cranberry sauce to see "Charlie Wilson's War," in theaters nationwide. The movie details the real-life story of how a playboy Texas congressman (played by Tom Hanks) was moved and persuaded by a Houston socialite (Julia Roberts) to use his position in the foreign operations and appropriations committees to increase the budget and funnel millions of dollars to buy weapons to help the Afghans in their defense against the invading Soviets. Wilson's passion for helping the Afghan people became a major impetus for the dissolution of the Soviet Union, since the Soviets suffered their first major setback when they were forced to withdraw from Afghanistan.

The movie exaggerates Wilson's contribution (even leading the viewer to believe that Wilson provided THE catalyst for the fall of the Soviet Union--apparently, containment, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and other key figures and events such as the Solidarity movement in Poland had little or no effect).

However, the movie is solid and presents a glowing example of America minus the political slant of the slew of anti-Iraq war movies that have been featured recently (Lions for Lambs, Rendition, Redacted). No one doubts that this congressman made a huge contribution to the Soviet defeat while demonstrating America's commitment to self-determination, justice, and human rights. An argument can also be made that this interference had a direct effect on 9/11, Osama bin Ladin was one of those Mujahideen who was supplied with high-powered weaponry by the CIA through this covert action. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and the motives of all the key players in this movie were pure: back then, the perceived threat was the Soviet Union, not radical Islam.

Also to watch for: Wilson faces a crucial test when he is investigated for doing cocaine with a group of exotic dancers. The "little-known" (according to Wilson) federal prosecutor from Reagan's Justice Dept. investigating Charlie? Noneother than Rudy Giuliani.

The best line in the movie, which also serves as a parallel to the current conflict in Iraq: Wilson says "we go in there with our ideals, then we leave. But the ball keeps rolling." How true--winning the war can be easy sometimes--but providing stability, creating infrastructure and democratic institutions--these test our patience and committment to the cause. Americans can learn how the failure to stay engaged in Afghanistan and negotiate a stable transition for a new government after the Soviet withdrawal had consquences--the same type of consequences that we cannot afford if we were to yield Iraq to the dangers of a premature withdrawal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

KS Weekly Political News Roundup

Three different sources (two elected officials and one Topeka lobbyist) have indicated that based on what they have heard, Chris Biggs will be the next AG.

This is mere rumor and speculation, but it comes from knowledgable sources.

Roll Call has reported that Nick Jordan raised over $100,000 at his fundraiser with VP Dick Cheney two weeks ago. This blog reported a conservative amount of $30,000 raised, based on the minimum required donation and an approximate count of attendees. We always knew that the fundraising total would be much greater. All of the Democratic blogs who misjudged the success of this fundraiser will look foolish now for their attempts to downplay this event as a failure. Raising $100,000 in a low-key, small, and private fundraiser at a personal residence shows that Jordan has the momentum. Dennis beware!

Also, in the race to replace Nick Jordan in the 10th Senate District (covering most of Shawnee and Lake Quivira), Shawnee real estate agent Patrick Regan has dropped out on the GOP side. This leaves former 18th District state rep. Mary Pilcher Cook and Board of Ed. member Sue Gamble vying for the seat. Is Regan considering running in the 18th district against Mary? If anyone knows, feel free to drop a line in the comments section (you can post anonymously now)!

Who do you support in the 10th Senate District GOP primary? Now that the field been narrowed down to two candidates, vote now!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Rudy ad airs in Iowa

Rudy’s new intro ad is a savvy and sophisticated piece of political marketing. Very positive, patriotic, and professional. The ad has a Reaganesque quality and tone--it will remind voters of the Gipper’s famous 1984 TV ads.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

KS Weekly Political News Roundup

Paul Morrison Fallout Scandal
Morrison may have resigned, but this story isn't over yet. Our sources say that there is MUCH more to this than your typical sex scandal--ethical and illegal acts convinced Democratic leaders in Topeka to confront Morrison last Wednesday and Thursday with the evidence and convince the once resolute Morrison to give up and resign. We believe more details will leak out over the next few months, especially since the Johnson County Commissioners approved Phill Kline's request for a special prosecutor.

Rumors swirl that Sebelius will appoint either Chris Biggs (who was defeated by Kline for the AG spot in '02), Dennis Moore, or Mark Parkinson. The Konnection highly doubts that Sebelius would handover the 3rd congressional district seat to Nick Jordan on a silver platter by appointing Moore, so our best logical guess is Parkinson--he has the name ID and funding to run a successful re-election campaign in 2010. And Sebelius doesn't want to take a chance on an unknown candidate--the Dems' pool has been reduced greatly by Morrison's departure.

This scandal has scarred the KS Democratic Party and halted their momentum. The ramifications of this scandal are still unknown, but at the very least, this helps Steve Howe, who is running to replace Phill Kline as DA. His Democratic opponent, Rick Guinn, is a close confidante of Morrison, donated to his campaign, and works for him in Topeka. Howe had also solified his status as "favored to win" by uniting both wings of the county GOP behind his candidacy, and the fallout from the Morrison scandal serves to boost him even more and severely damage Guinn's chances.

As for the attorney general's race, could this be the opening for a bright, well-versed and energetic, constitutional attorney who currently serves as chairman of the Kansas GOP. No one can dispute that Kris Kobach is one of the most qualified individuals for the job.

3rd District--Dennis Moore vs. Nick Jordan
Jordan for Congress has revamped, redesigned, and re-ignited their website (www.nickjordan.com) with a slew of interactive features and links to user-generated content, as well as direct ways for citizens to become involved with the campaign. The website will receive further developments and additions in the upcoming weeks.

2nd District GOP primary--Jim Ryun vs. Lynn Jenkins
Jim Ryun is ready--his sleek website (www.jimryun.com) includes video links, a "training blog" highlighting Ryun's travels around the district, and user-generated emails to family, friends for fundraisers and events. Ryun has begun to energize grassroots supporters and has sent out consistent email updates to supporters for the past year, showing that he is engaged and ready.

Lynn Jenkins has updated her site as well (www.lynnjenkins.com). Like Jordan's site, it features user-generated content, links to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Jenkins is heavily courting conservatives--she pledges to vote to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, promising to hold the line on taxes. Jenkin's has also taken a firm stand against illegal immigration and against ANY form of amnesty. Jenkins' campaign theme: cut taxes, cut spending, reduce the expansion of government, and stop illegal immigration. Focusing on these core principles and less on some of her social views will help her garner conservative support.

Our sources say that Jenkins remains confident in her ability to win the primary and beat Boyda in the general, and that she has raised as much as Ryun so far and has spent very little with most of the money remaining in the district.

As with most Kansans, the Konnection has a clear preference in the 2nd District race, but we would like to reiterate that BOTH Jenkins and Ryun are well-qualified and impeccable candidates to defeat Nancy Boyda--wherever you happen to fall in the party, BOTH candidates share similar core views: limited government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility. The Konnection is glad to see both candidates refrain from attacking eachother and focus instead on defeating Boyda. Ryun is running a positive campaign, highlighting Boyda's bad votes. Jenkins is also highlighting Boyda's deficiencies and taking on Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic-led congress. We simply ask they keep this up--we don't need a bloody and bruising campaign--a positive but aggresive primary focused on the general election will go a long way towards helping the 2nd District GOP nominee secure victory in November.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

GOP adds big wins in VA, OH

Two off-year congressional elections were held today, one in Virginia and one in Ohio. Due to the national mood, the supposed anti-Republican mood in Ohio and the Democratic trend in Virginia, Democrats had confidence they could contest and win both these seats, and they poured in thousands of dollars and plenty of resources. Many of the pundits predicted doom for the GOP--Stuart Rothenburg stated that the Ohio contest would be the Democratic upset of the century (in a seat that has been held by the Republicans since the 1930s), citing the "toxic environment" for the GOP and the "spending advantage of the Democrats.

Well the results are in and they're not even close. Both Republicans won landslide victories. Despite having popular Dem. Gov. Kaine and former Governor Warner stump for him, Democratic candidate Phillip Forgit couldn't pull out a win. Republican Rob Wittman won with 61% of the vote in Virginia's 1st house district and Republican Bob Latta won in Ohio's 5th house district with a resounding 57% of the vote.

The voters are clearly in an anti-government mood. They are clearly unhappy with Bush but they are also unhappy with the Democratic congress. This bodes well for Nick Jordan and and the 2nd District Republican nominee who hope to take on KS' only Dem. incumbents.

Summing up the year, the Republicans gained the governorship in Louisiana (Jindal avoided a runoff by winning a historic 54% of the vote in the first round), they came within 5 percent of winning an open Massachusetts house seat, lost the governorship of Kentucky, and barely lost control of the Virginia state senate (by just 3 seats) while retaining control of the Virginia state assembly. Overall, a positive year for the GOP and net gain. Republicans have shown that they can successfully compete across the country, even in the bluest of blue states, while Democrats still have much work to do in the midwest and south.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jordan Fundraiser a Success


The Jordan for Congress campaign held a fundraiser this past friday at the Leawood home of Daniel and Diane Henry. Vice President Dick Cheney was on hand, and there was a $200 minimum donation required to attend the campaign kickoff. Sources tell the Konnection that at least 150 persons attended, meaning that the campaign raised at least $30,000+ for the event.

Well-known Kansas elected officials in attendance included Johnson County state representatives Ronnie Metsker and Sheryl Spalding, and 2nd District congressional candidate Lynn Jenkins, who is running in the primary against former congressman Jim Ryun to take on Nancy Boyda.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Earmarking: the Gift that Won't Stop Giving

A recent CBS story highlighted D.C.'s finest: the top spenders of our tax dollars on pork (pet projects and constituency-defined appropriations). Since our government wastes millions a year on everything from research on the mating habits of fruit flies to a Woodstock museum (nice try Hillary and Schumer!), due to new laws, these expenditures are becoming transparent.

No party has a monopoly on "pork," but the Democrats clearly have an advantage. 6 of the 10 top Senate earmarkers are Democrats, as well as 6 out of the top 10 House earmarkers. And what about those 12 courageous and principled U.S. senators out of 100 who did not request any earmarks? 10 of the 12 are Republicans--which leaves only 2 fiscally responsible Democrats out of 51 in the senate. Missouri's own Claire McCaskill is one of those two, and while the Konnection agrees with the senator on few issues, we give her kudos for following through on her campaign pledge. Most of her Democratic colleagues have not, just over a year after the Democrats pledged to restore fiscal responsibility. Apparently fiscal responsibility means spending more than the previous party in power. It's especially ironic that the Speaker of the House--Nancy Pelosi--ranks in the top 10 spenders, having requested a whopping $87,096,000 this year alone!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Greg Orman gives Roberts a Sigh of Relief...

Despite winning an extra congressional seat, the Attorney General's office, and retaining the governorship, the Kansas Democratic Party has clearly reached the peak of their electoral success. They failed to recruit former Rep. Jim Slattery, now a D.C. lobbyist, and must now settle on what I term a "placeholder" candidate--someone who can fill the blank space next to the "D" on the state ballot, but has no chance of winning.

Greg Orman is a young Johnson County millionaire. Other blogs mentioned his failure to vote in Kansas in 2004 and 2006, his voter registration in Florida and subsequent donations from there, and his donations to Hillary Clinton, Tom Harkin, Harry Reid, and Al Franken. In fact, in an embarassement for KS Democrats, Johnson County Elections still has Mr. Orman listed as having registered as an Independent--he's not even a Democrat!

Yet no one has mentioned that Orman donated to the National Republican Congressional Committee for the past 6 years--including a donation made just in 2001. Orman also donated $250 to Taff for Congress in 2002. Are the Democrats this desparate that they have to run with an unknown, registered Independent who has only recently began to support Democratic candidates? Here is a guy who spent 6 years donating to the Republican Party and even supporting their nominee for the congressional district in KS where he now lives.

From OpenSecrets.org

ORMAN GREGORY J., LEAWOOD,KS 66209
KLT INC./EXECUTIVE
9/21/2002
$250
Taff, Adam

ORMAN, GREGORY MR., OVERLAND PARK,KS 66211
CUSTOM ENERGY/C E O
12/18/2001
$500
National Republican Congressional Cmte

Considering that KS' junior senator received 69% of the vote in 2004, Pat Roberts, who enjoys greater popularity and is well-respected by members of both parties, including many Kansas Democrats and Independents, should receive 72-75% of the vote, now that we know he faces little to no opposition. Orman may have immense personal weath to invest in a campaign, but he will likely receive a cold shoulder from western Kansans (and by that, I mean all Kansans west of Johnson County). Orman's lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the state will not sit well with Kansans.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Driving down the law: a timeline of Hillary's changing position on licenses for illegals



This video explains it all. First, Hillary signaled support for Gov. Spitzer's plan to reward illegal immigrants with drivers licenses. That was Oct. 16th. Then came the Oct. 30 Democratic debate, where Hillary reiterated her support for Spitzer's plan, saying "it makes a lot of sense." Tim Russert called her out and within seconds, after Dodd expressed his disagreement with the plan and after Russert asked for a show of hands of all those opposed (Hillary did not raise her hand), Hillary backpedaled, protesting that "I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do..."

The next day, Clinton
modified her answer--her campaign stated that while she broadly supported the plan in theory, she did not support any specific plan. Her knack for ambiguity continued with a CNN interview with Candy Crowley, leading Crowley to remark, "but you see why people think … that you are not answering the question." And on Nov. 14th, Spitzer withdrew his plan, leading Hillary to do a 360 degree turnabout, announcing that she does not support licenses for illegals and supports Spitzer's decision to withdraw his plan.

Clinton's shocking inconsistency and apparent support for this proposal will hurt her immensely in the general election.

Reminds us of a certain governor who tried unsuccessfuly to push the legislature into accepting her plan to give licenses to illegals (
Sebelius previously supported a plan similar to Spitzer's).

Now that this issue is on the national radar, how will this affect Sebelius' ambitions for senator? Many insiders in the legislature believe she's jockeying for a cabinet position in a Clinton administration, which will provide a springboard for her foray into the 2010 open senate race when Brownback steps down.

Monday, November 05, 2007

KS-2 one of the best-funded house races

Congressional Quarterly released it's ranking of the "Best-Funded House Challengers of 2008" and the list includes 2 Kansas City area races: our own Jim Ryun in KS' 2nd House District and former KC Mayor Kay Barnes challenging Sam Graves in MO's 6th House District.

1) Jim Ryun, R, Kansas’ 2nd, $880,000 (Nancy Boyda, D)
2) Sandy Treadwell, R, NY's 20th, $822,000 (Kirsten Gillibrand, D)
3) Francisco Canseco, R, Texas’ 23rd, $819,000 (Ciro D. Rodriguez, D)
4) Andrew Saul, R, New York’s 19th, $782,000 (John Hall, D)
5) Deborah Honeycutt, R, Georgia’s 13th, $708,000 (David Scott, D)
6) Kay Barnes, D, Missouri’s 6th, $656,000 (Sam Graves, R)
7) Jim Hines, D, Connecticut’s 4th, $618,000 (Christopher Shays, R)
8) Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, R, Texas’ 22nd, $607,000 (Nick Lampson, D)
9) Christine Jennings, D, Florida’s 13th, $592,000 (Vern Buchanan, R)
10) Dan Seals, D, Illinois’ 10th, $567,000 (Mark Steven Kirk, R)

As highlighted above, 6 out of the 10 best-funded challengers are Republicans seeking to gain GOP seats. Sekula-Gibbs seeks to regain Tom Delay's seat, which should be a GOP pickup in '08 considering Republican strength in the 22nd and Lampson's close win. Treadwell and Saul's strong fundraising in NY's 19th and 20th House Districts signal that the NY GOP will fight to regain these slightly-Republican seats in upstate New York won by Democrats in '06. The caveaat for the GOP is Hines' strong fundraising numbers in Connecticut's 4th against Chris Shays. Shays, a GOP moderate and Iraq war backer faced the race of his life in '06 and consistently defended his record--he needs and deserves a lot of help from the RNC and NRCC again in '08 to ensure he holds that seat and prevents the election of a liberal Democrat.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Lynn Jenkins has done exceptionally well--she's raised $420,000 by the end of September and had $361,000 on hand. Clearly, the voters of KS-02 are ready for change and have hand enough of Boyda--both Jenkins and Ryun have the experience and capability to defeat "Bad News Boyda" with her slew of broken campaign promises. CBS has also
highlighted Boyda's hypocrisy, noting her acceptance of a fundraiser with Nancy Pelosi despite previously rejecting financial aid from the Democratic party because she wanted "to run an independent campaign."

Lynn Jenkins has revamped and upgraded her site for the better, in line with Ryun and Boyda's sites. You can check out Jenkin's new website
here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hillary was for drivers licenses for illegals before she was against it

In what was the highlight in an otherwise lackluster Democratic debate in the "city of brotherly love," Tim Russert asked Hillary whether she supported NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer's proposal to give drivers licenses to all illegal aliens in the state. Hillary responded:
"Spitzer is trying to make up for the failure of the Bush Administration to address illegal immigration. He's filling a vaccuum... We need to get back
to comprehensive immigration reform."
Literally seconds later, Russert asked the Democrats for a show of hands of anyone who opposed licenses for illegals. ONLY Chris Dodd raised his hand, and then he proceeded to clearly and effectively articulate his opposition. As soon as Dodd finishes, Hillary speaks up to contend that she did not endorse Spitzer's plan personally but she thinks he has the right idea (whatever that means...more doublespeak). Dodd seizes on Hillary's flip-flopping and a verbal spat ensues and ends with Hillary pathetically accusing Russert of asking a "gotcha" question in one last, final act of desparation.


The best lines of the night came from Hillary's Democratic opponents.

Edwards: “Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes just a few minutes ago.”

Obama: he couldn’t tell if she is “for it or against it.”

Here's a simple question: if Hillary is "personally" opposed to licenses for illegals but "publicly" understanding of the position (as her convoluted answer seemed to suggest) why didn't she just raise her hand with Dodd when Russert asked the question?

Here's what Hillary said about the issue just weeks ago to the New York Times:

"I know exactly what Governor Spitzer’s trying to do and it makes a lot of
sense, because he’s trying to get people out of the shadows. He’s trying to say,
“O.K., come forward and we will give you this license.”
I think it's very clear where she stands--against the vast majority of New Yorkers, 72% of whom oppose the proposal according to a recent poll, and against 72% of all Americans, according to a 2006 poll.

Hillary continues to give ammunition to her critics and has now provided a signature issue for the Republicans in her public association with Spitzer's disasterous plan.

And with her convoluted answers, flip floping, and unease at tonight's debate, it is clear that Sen. Clinton is not driving her own policy--she has taken the backseat and handed the license to the liberal fringe of her party--just as she is willing to hand over our national security with Spitzer's wildly unpopular license plan.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jindal the new Governor of Louisiana!


In Lousiana's statewide gubernatorial election Saturday, GOP congressman Bobby Jindal soundly surpassed the 50% threshold needed to avoide a runoff, winning the race with 54% of the vote (In Lousiana's unique runoff system, modeled after France, there are no primaries--instead, all candidates run on a single ballot and if no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters face off in a November runoff election). In this case, The GOP managed to keep other Republicans out of the race: Jindal faced off against 5 Democrats and Independent among a group of 12 candidates in all).

Unhappiness with former Governor Blanco (who beat Jindal in 2003, 52 to 48 percent) and her lack of leadership during Hurricane Katrina, contributed to the Democratic rout. However, it is unusual for ANY candidate to surpass the 50 percent threshold--David Vitter, LA's first Republican senator since Reconstruction (electeed in '04) only received 51 percent in his round, so Jindal's 54 percent victory is even more remarkable.

At 36 years old, the young Catholic, Indian-American congressman becomes the youngest governor in the country and the first minority governor in Louisiana, where former Klu Klux Klan member David Duke lost in a runoff election in 1991. This significant victory follows the impressive, above-average showing by Jim Ognowski in his bid for a Republican house seat in Massachusett's congressional district, coming within 6 points of defeating Democrat Nikki Tsongas.

Both off-year races show momentum for Republicans who lead and inspire by running independent campaigns that emphasize core conservative values. Tonight's results, combined with the results from Massachusetts last week, show that American voters have not bought into the Democratic agenda. They wanted change in '04, but they do not want a radical restructuring of our nation and economy--sensible Republicans with core values, independent streaks, and a knack for acknowledging the failures of their own party and president while highlighting the dangers of a Democratic majority AND articulating a comprehensive, detailed, and positive vision for the future will be successful. Democrats get ready---Republicans are ready and willing to compete in all parts of the country.

Voter Values Summit

All Republican candidates appeared at the "Voter Values" Summit today in Washington, D.C. The Family Research Council, a reputable D.C. think tank and organization representing people of faith, sponsored the premier event for social conservatives and evangelicals.

Rudy Giuliani did well, receiving polite applause, and he was immediately followed by Mike Huckabee, who received rousing applause. Romney came out on top in the group's straw poll vote, followed by Huckabee, relegating Thompson to 3rd place--which shows that Thompson has not been as effective in consolidating the support of social conservatives behind his candidacy.

Interestingly enough, all of the Democratic candidates were invited, but all declined the invitation. One would think that with the recent attempts by Democrats to reach out to religious voters, some in their ranks would have seized this opportunity.

Of course, this is just one example of many contradictions. It's also interesting how Democrats classify a 70-80K earner as "wealthy" for tax purposes, but yet this same person would be labeled as "poor" and eligible for free health care under a taxpayer-subsidized health insurance program. The inconsistency is appalling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Massachusetts provides a strategy for GOP in '08

Yesterday, residents of Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District voted in a special election to replace Marty Meehan, who stepped down to become president of Univ. of Mass.--Lowell. Nikki Tsongas, wife of former Massachusetts congressman Paul Tsongas, claimed the Democratic banner, running as a Washington insider and bringing Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and other Washington Democrats to stump for her. Her Republican opponent, Jim Ogonowski, a local farmer, is the brother of United flight 93 airline pilot John Ogonowski, whose plane was hijacked on 9/11 and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Ogonowski ran a grassroots campaign, thumbing his nose to the Republican establishment and running to retain the 2003 tax cuts and end illegal immigration. Ogonowski was the quintessential, anti-establishment, outsider candidate with no previous political experience: his entire campaign was focused on running against congress and against the status quo: everything a former congressman's wife represented.

Ogonowski didn't win but he did shockingly well--coming within 6 points of Tsongas (45 percent to 51 percent) in a district that gave John Kerry a 16 point margin of victory in 2004 and in a state that hasn't sent a Republican to congress in over 20 years.
The fact that a Republican could do so well in the bluest of blue states at a time when voters are angry at the president and frustrated with the pace of the war gives Republicans an opening for 2008. They should follow Ogonowski's lead and embrace this three-tier strategy.

1. Run against Hillary Clinton. With a 48 percent disapproval rating, Hillary will drive Republican turnout in '08 and turnout among Independents and new voters cringing at the prospect of continuing a 20-year revolving reign between the Bush and Clinton dynasties. Republicans should seize on this, as Hillary's polarizing persona will hurt Democratic incumbents and challengers alike in down-ballot races, especially in the south and midwest (A recent internal Democratic poll leaked to the press confirmed this effect: Rudy Giuliani leads Hillary in 31 swing congressional districts won by Democrats in '06).

2. Run against Congress. Only one person/entity has lower approval ratings than President Bush and that is the Democratic-controlled congress. With congress at record low approval ratings (currently at 23 percent, far lower than the ratings of the GOP-controlled congress before the '06 midterms), Americans are apathetic and ready for change. Run as an outsider, challenge the establishment, hammer away that Congress is not working and failes to represent its constituents and that we need independent, honest leadership not beholden to party politics and special interests. From politically-motivated hearings to an impasse on Iraq and passing meaningless resolutions upsetting allies like Turkey in the Mideast, Nancy Pelosi has not led. Run against Pelosi and run against congress--we can do better. Tie your opponent (most likely an incumbent) to the unpopular congress and Washington establishment.

3. Illegal Immigration. Relegated to 4th or 5th in importance in previous elections, immigration is now a top-tier issue if not the #1 issue not only for residents of the southwest border states but also for farmers in the heartland. The economic and social impact affects the entire country, and voters are tired of the rhetoric and want action. Republicans must run to the right of Bush on this issue--and not hesitate to criticize him for it--while promising to seal the border, punish employers who hire illegals, and deport all criminal illegals back their countries of origin. This issue was central to Ogonowski's campaign and enabled him to gain 45 percent of the vote in a district where Republicans only comprise 14 percent of the electorate. Illegal immigration is now the third rail of politics--seize it and propose bold, reformation-like solutions.

Many say the 2005 special election in Ohio where Democratic challenger Paul Hackett came within 4 points of beating Republican Jean Schmidt in a GOP-leaning district was a bellwhether for the Democratic rout in '06. Maybe the GOP's close margin this year in one of the bluest districts in the county could signal a change in '08--the Democrats cannot take anything for granted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't criticize Islam at K-State, where censorship is alive and thriving

Chuck Armstrong, a columnist for Kansas State University's newspaper The Collegian, reported that his recent column refuting comparisons between Islam and Christianity and condemning Islam as a violent religion will not be published. Also, as of yesterday, he was fired from his position on the newspaper and is appealing.

You can decide for yourself--Read his column on his blog: http://www.trtksu.blogspot.com/

Whether or not his column is appropriate, this continues a general pattern of intolerance when it comes to criticism or satirism of Islam, although every other religion is fair game.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Poster Child of Democratic Radio Address not so poor after all...

How would you like to qualify for SCHIP and attend this exclusive private school?


Graeme Frost, the 12-year old chosen by congressional Democrats to give their radio address and rebuke Bush for not expanding the SCHIP child health care program does not fit the profile of a child in need.
In fact, The Free Republic investigated the story and discovered that the boy and his brother attend an exlusive private school in Baltimore that costs $20,000 per pupil a year in tuition. The photos of the school's athletic center and performing arts center above demonstrate the exclusivity of this highly-selective school.
The Frost family also claim that they are raising their children on a combined income of $45,000 a year, but neglect to mention that in addition to Mr. Frost's carpentry job and Mrs. Frost's work for a medical publishing firm, Mr. Frost also runs his own business and owns a substantial piece of commercial property in Baltimore. Incidentally, the Frosts themselves live in a 3,000 sq. ft. home in a neighborhood where the average home is valued at between $400,000 and $500,000 dollars.

Between paying $40,000 to send their children to an exclusive private school, working two jobs, owning a business, driving a gas-guzzling GMC Suburban, owning a 3,000 sq. ft home, and owning commercial real estate in Baltimore and possibly earning income from renting out property, one would think the Frosts could cut back somewhere to provide health insurance for their children. Could they consciously be choosing not to provide their children with health insurance?

Democratic efforts to re-package SCHIP as a safety net for the working poor and not an expansion of government-run healthcare to the middle class seem to have backfired. Do they want to make it that easy for opponents to say "Democrats want to use your tax dollars to fund health care for middle-class families who don't want to spend their own income on their own children"?

Friday, October 05, 2007

KS 10th District State Senate Race Update

Well, 17 votes does not make an official poll but the results so far from the Konnection's online poll for Nick Jordan's 10th district state senate seat:

Mary Pilcher Cook 53%
Sue Gamble 24%
Bob Bibb 6%
Patrick Regan 18%

Only Pilcher Cook and Regan have publicly indicated they are running. The Konnection's sources indicate that Gamble is on the verge of making a commitment to enter the race. It will be interesting to see if Bibb goes ahead with a bid or decides that the field is already croweded enough. One thing's for sure: the 10th district primary will be the most exciting in JoCO.

Mary Pilcher Cook is already hard at work. Her website,
http://www.pilchercook.com/ has been updated to reflect her announced run at the senate seat and includes her new slogan "I'm with Mary: Experience. Integrity. Reason."

This now opens an interesting question: with all the Republicans scrambling for Nick's seat, who will challenge Cindy Neighbor for Mary's old state rep seat in the 18th District? The Republicans would be foolish to give this up without a fight. In fact, the Konnection is surprised that Bibb hasn't turned his attention to the 18th district, instead of trying to throw his hat into the state senate primary. Neighbor is a first-termer who barely won by a few hundred votes. With the right Republican (translation: almost any Republican!) she could be beaten, especially in an election year with Hillary on the ballot.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Public School bans niece of MLK from speaking...

The Des Moines Register has reported that Dr. Alveda King was scheduled to speak at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa. about civil rights, morals, values, STDs, and relationships. Dr. King is a supporter of Brownback's presidential bid and a frequent guest speaker around the country, and she has appearances slated for Iowa State and Drake universities. Yet we cannot have a open forum on "morals" in our public schools. Listen to what the school's principal said:

Danielson, who previewed King's presentation, said that
"quite a bit of it does talk about civil rights, but there is a connection to
morals. ... It was scheduled to take place during the school day, cutting into
class time, and we just thought it was best to cancel it."


Oh no, a connection to morals! Whatever happened to free and open debate? Open forums? The president of the school's PTA stated that there would not be an opposing viewpoint, naming that it would be unhealthy because there would be no one giving the opposing view: namely, the joys of promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies, and multiple abortions. But since when is there a mandate that an opposing view be given every time a speaker is invited to talk? I was unaware that our public schools instituted a "fairness doctrine" requiring speech codes and "eqaul time" for opposing viewpoints.

Whether or not you are pro-life, this is a disturbing situation. Dr. King is a civil rights activist, and her talk emphasizes her experience in the civil rights struggle and how it is informed by her moral and religious views. When schools cease to become generators of knowledge and ideas and instead become fixated on propagating just one ideology or viewpoint, we all lose out. Open those classroom doors: allow any and all discussion on issues on which we can disagree within reasonable bounds. Sadly, many high schools seem to be following the example of universities who seek to silence those who disagree with the establishment line.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jordan making waves; scramble for KS senate seat

Have any news tips or leads? Feel free to report them anonymously--email them to bkkenig@gmail.com and notice the new link on the right sidebar that has the email for this web blog. Send us your news!

Sources have told the Konnection that Nick Jordan is off to a good start in fundraising for his congressional race against Dennis Moore. He's done so well, in fact, that the National Republican Congressional Commitee has already promised to direct funding to his race, based on his preliminary fundraising numbers thus far.

Jordan's announcement has created a scramble among Republicans seeking to run for his 10th district state senate seat. Former Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook of Shawnee, Bob Bibb (former Johnson County GOP chair), State Board of Education member Sue Gamble of Shawnee, and Shawnee realtor Patrick Regan have all voiced interest in the race, while current Democrat Rep. Cindy Neighbor of Shawnee has also announced that she is considering a run for the seat. While rumors are circulating around the blogosphere that Board of Ed. member Sue Gamble may change parties to run as a Democrat, our own conversations with Mrs. Gamble and our sources indicate this is very unlikely, and that Mrs. Gamble has every intention of running in the Republican primary. The 10th Senate District includes parts of Lenexa, Shawnee, Lake Quivira, and Bonner Springs. The competitive GOP primary that will ensue for this seat may be the hottest state legislative race to watch, so let us know who you would vote for:

Who would you vote for in the GOP primary for Nick Jordan's state senate seat?
Mary Pilcher Cook
Sue Gamble
Bob Bibb
Patrick Regan
pollcode.com free polls

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hollywood opening up to the GOP...

Hillary, Obama, and the rest of the Democratic field enjoy lopsided support among the Hollywood crowd in terms of official endorsements and donations.

However, some very well-known Hollywood A-listers are opening their mouths and their wallets in support of Giuliani--some of whom have been uninvolved in politics up until now.

Adam Sandler, Ben Stein, Melissa Gilbert, Kelsey Grammar, Kevin James, Tony Sirico, producers Joel Surnow and David Zucker are publicly supporting Rudy Giuliani. Ron Silver recently signed on with Rudy's campaign as an official advisor and respected actor Robert Duvall shocked Hollywood with his first foray into politics--announcing that he plans to host a fundraiser in support of Rudy. Says Duvall: "Rudy has consistently proven he’s ready to confront tough challenges. I don’t normally get involved in politics, but I think the stakes are too high this election."

No other GOP candidate has attracted sizable support from Hollywood. Maybe this is a sign that Hollywood Republicans are more willing to come out of the closet now, especially since the stakes are so high in 2008.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Will Never Forget

courtesty of 3Dflags.com

On this sixth anniversary of 9/11, let us never forget that Islamic terrorism remains the #1 threat against our security here at home. As we commemorate and remember the 2,997 victims who perished at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we would be wise to shake off our complacency, partizan divisions, and polarizing moods that have enveloped our society in the past six years and come together to fight this threat head on.

For those who ignorantly view 9/11 as an isolated incident, take note of the foiled terrorist attacks against our country below, all since 2001:

December 2001: Richard Reid, a British citizen and self-described follower of Osama bin Laden, foiled an attempt to blow up a Paris-to-Miami flight with explosives hidden in his shoes.

May 2002: Jose Padilla is arrested in Chicago on a return trip from Pakistan. Initially held as an enemy combatant and accused of planning to build a “dirty bomb,” he was formally charged with aiding foreign jihadists in a Miami court in 2005.

September 2002: The “Lackawanna Six,” American citizens of Yemeni descent living near Buffalo, N.Y., are arrested for allegedly having attended an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks. The six pleaded guilty in 2003 to providing material support to a terrorist organization.

May 2003: Iyman Faris of Columbus, Ohio, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kashmir, pleads guilty to supporting al-Qaida. He was accused of planning to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.

June 2003: In Virginia, the FBI charges a group of men with being part of a conspiracy to support holy war overseas. In all, 11 men eventually were convicted in what the government described as a “Virginia jihad network” that used paintball games as a form of training.

August 2004: U.S. authorities issue alert, announce evidence of a years-long plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. They later accuse plotters of also planning attacks in England. Eventually, five men pleaded guilty in London, where alleged ringleader Dhiren Barot was convicted.

August 2004: Two men are arrested on the eve of the Republican Convention in New York for allegedly plotting to blow up a busy subway station. James Elshafay, a U.S. citizen, eventually pleaded guilty and testified against the other man, Shahawar Matin Siraj, a Pakistani.

August 2004: Authorities arrest two leaders of a mosque in Albany, N.Y., and charge them with aiding in a purported plot to buy a shoulder-fired grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. The former imam of the Masjid As-Salam mosque, Kurdish refugee Yassin Aref, and Mohammed Hossain, a mosque founder, were later found guilty to counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy.

June 2005: A Pakistani immigrant and his American-born son in Lodi, Calif., are arrested for allegedly lying to the FBI about the younger man’s training at a jihadist camp in Pakistan. Hamid Hayat, the son, was found guilty of supporting terrorism and lying to the FBI. He is seeking a new trial.

August 2005: Four California men, one the founder of a radical Islamic prison group, are indicted for allegedly conspiring to attack Los Angeles-area military bases, synagogues and other targets. The men have pleaded not guilty and await trial.

February 2006: Three men are arrested in Toledo, Ohio, for allegedly providing material support to terrorists. One of the men is accused of downloading videos on the use of suicide-bomb vests.

April 2006: Two Georgia men are charged with material support of terrorism after allegedly videotaping buildings in the Washington area, including the Capitol and the World Bank, and sending the video to a London extremist active on jihadist Web sites.

June 2006: The FBI announces the arrests of seven men in Miami and Atlanta in the early stages of a plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, and destroy FBI offices and other buildings. All pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

July 2006: U.S. authorities announce the arrest of Assem Hammoud, a Lebanese man they claim was plotting to bomb New York City train tunnels to flood the financial district.

March 2007: A Pentagon transcript is released indicating that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed to that attack and a string of other terror plots, including that of Reid, during a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

May 2007: Six men were arrested in an alleged plot to unleash a bloody rampage on Fort Dix in New Jersey. Five are charged with conspiring to kill military personnel and could face life in prison if convicted. The sixth faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of weapons charges.

June 2007: Four Muslim men planned to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through residential neighborhoods. Three men were arrested and one was being sought in Trinidad.


*from WCBSTV.com (http://wcbstv.com/local/local_story_153193902.html)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Want "More" from Washington? Then get "Moore" out of Washington

Dennis Moore has a folksy persona, natural likability, and great consituent service. He has remained in power by giving voters the impression he is fairly moderate, independent, and willing to buck party leadership. Despite his liberal views on social issues, he has maintained a mainstream voting record on economic and security issues. Until now. The last few years, Dennis has moved to the left on these issues as well, and with the Democrats in control of the house, Dennis has faced pressure to vote with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on most of the party's agenda, and Moore has obliged with little to no resistence.

In 2006, National Journal ranked Dennis Moore as being 64.8 percent more liberal than his fellow house colleagues (see here). In fact, 43 Democrats in the house ranked as less liberal than Dennis Moore. Perphaps most startling, Moore ranked as 64 percent more liberal on economic issues than his house colleagues--which is surprising considering that Moore has forged his reputation on economic issues and as a member of the Dem. Blue Dog Coalition, making his supposed "record" of fiscal restraint the centerpiece of every campaign.

American Conservative Union (ACU) has him ranked at only 20.4. Now no one expects Dennis to be conservative, but a score of 20.4 is not even in moderate territory (that would be 35-50).

This just confirms Dennis' recent tendency to vote against the values of Kansas constituents:

  • Moore voted for the House's large, over-inflated, deficit-inducing budget, which included 36,000 earmarks--millions for peanut farmers, a tire museum, and studies traking gender-change operations

  • Voted to dismantle long-standing law affirming employees' right to secret ballot in vote to join a union (this has been in place since the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948). Now employees may face intimidation, threats, and harassment by union bosses for a nay vote

  • Moore voted against warrantless wiretaps on suspected terrorists in the U.S. making calls to the Middle East. Even Sen. Claire McCaskill of MO had the good sense (kudos, Claire) to vote for this important national security measure. Dennis opted to vote with the liberal power base in the house

If we want real reform in Washington, we need Moore out...He's been in the house for 10 years now, and is a little too comfortable voting with liberal special interests and ignoring the Kansas constituents who helped elect him.

Light Rail: What part of "Yes" does the City not understand?

Light Rail: What part of "Yes" does the City not understand? Whether you love him or hate him, Clay Chastain finally succeeded in convincing the voters of KC to support his light rail plan, which passed with 53% of the vote last November. And it's still clear that the people of KC support light rail. Acc. to a KCTV 5 Survey USA poll, 71 percent would retain Chastain's plan while 28 percent would overturn it.

The City Council has neglected to really look at the cost and implementation of the plan up to this point, and while they recently stated that a repeal will not be on the november ballot, they refused to rule out a repeal measure on the February ballot. KC will need a regional transit system eventually, and if the KC Council follows Chastain's lead and starts implementing a system now, if will be far easier and less costly to taxpayers than 30-40 years from now, when KC metro area population is 2.5-3 million people. One of the reasons this is needed is due to the poor planning by city architects back in the late 1800s and through the early 1950s. The airport's distant and inconvenient location, the placement of Kemper Arena away from downtown, and the Zoo's location in south Kansas City complicates plans for tourists and visitors who are required to have access to a car and efficient GPS device to just find their way around town. Between Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS, and North Kansas City, MO and Kansas City North, it's a wonder that visitors even bother trying to partake in any of KC's regional attractions without succumbing to insanity. A regional transporation system would alleviate the ever-increasing traffic congestion on the I-35 "snail" corridor, augment the existing implementation of Sprint Arena and downtown revitalization, increase tourism and economic development, and aid residents in the close-in suburbs.

This is a cost and tax worth bearing now rather than later. Maybe the council will look to cities like DC, Chicago, and San Fransisco for ideas and realize that wasteful subsidization of a few unreliable bus routes is not the answer to the transportation woes of a major midwestern city.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nick Jordan Makes the Plunge

The Star has reported that Sen. Nick Jordan has publicly announced he is running for the 3rd District seat. Jordan has been in DC making the rounds with Republican officials and getting schooled in the art of campaign managment from NRCC officials. House Minority Leader John Boehner was in KC this week stumping for Jordan. It seems that the NRCC wants to clear the primary field for Jordan and prove that they are 100 percent behind his campaign. This will prove valuable, as neither Kris Kobach nor Chuck Ahner could completely get the resources needed from the NRCC after the organization poured money into Taff's race only to lose by 3 points in 2002. All eyes will be focused on Jordan's fundraising numbers for the end of this quarter--that will determine how much support he'll receive from the NRCC, and his level of support among big time conservative and moderate donors in Johnson County. Jordan is undoubtedly the best, most likable, most experienced, and most formidable candidate the party could put up against Moore. Check out his new website for any campaign updates:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Obama Self-Destructs

Barack Hussein Obama has ignited more controversy this week with his latest comments:

From ABC News:
Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

Does Sen. Obama honestly believe we are recklessly killing innocent civilians? This guy is unraveling faster than Howard Dean on crack. And the latest national poll now shows him 30 points behind Hillary. He's derailing his own campaign. Of course, this comes after he said that unlike Bush, he would sit around around a camp fire singing "Kum Ba Ya" with the leaders of Iran and Syria; he would attack Pakistan; and he would never use nuclear weapons to defend the U.S. On domestic policy, he said he would institute mandatory sex ed. for kindergarteners. Sex ed for kids in kindergarten? You've got to be kidding.

So Obama threatened to attack a nuclear power (whose leader is an ally of ours) yet in the same week swore never to use nuclear weapons to defend our country (but he has no problem provoking an attack, right)? Apparently, we are causing too much death and carnage over in Afghanistan and not enough in Pakistan (where, if Obama had his way, we'd be air-raiding villages and killing civilians). Can these blatant contradictions be explained away?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Clarification on the KS Loyalty Committee

The Rule: ''County, district or state (party) officers, who by any documented public action donate, contribute or endorse a candidate other than the Republican nominee in a contested, partisan campaign for public office in the state of Kansas, shall forfeit their official title and all rights associated with it under the rules of the Kansas Republican Party.''

This only affects PARTY officers who PUBLICLY endorse or support a Democrat (how they choose to vote or whom they support privately is not even an issue. This will affect moderates who flee from conservatives to endorse Democrats and conservative activists (such as some pro-life activists) who publicly endorse pro-life Democrats.

Even KS GOP Committeeman Steve Cloud thinks this is a good idea.

"When we passed this amendment, we finally took the step of becoming the Republican Party. Not the moderate party or the conservative party nor a party of a particular ideological group. But rather we became the Republican Party, with the singular goal of seeking to enact the wishes of the Republican electorate in general elections regardless of ideological beliefs," stated Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Christian Morgan.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bad News Boyda Runs from the Truth



First term KS Dem. Rep. Nancy Boyda has said and done a lot of stupid things, but this may be her most inept move yet. Last week, when Retired Gen. Jack Keane was giving his honest assessment before members of congress, describing both the successes and failures in Iraq thus far. Well, the news was a little too positive for Nancy, so she rudely just walked out of the committee hearings.

Said Nancy: "Those kinds of comments will, in fact, show up in the media and further divide this country," Boyda said, adding, "I hear over and over again that the Marines are at war, the Army’s at war and this country is at the mall."

So now we're at the point in our country where positive news out of Iraq will just "divide us", and should be avoided, rather than praised and assessed? We seem to have also reached the point in time where a congressional member can claim to have more knowledge of the "reality" of the situation on the ground than an experienced military general, despite having just taken a week trip to the battle-torn country while staying mostly in the confines of Baghdad's "safe zone."

Memo to Lynn Jenkins and Jim Ryun: One of you please save us from this case of complete ineptitude! For someone representing a district with 2 military bases, Boyda isn't that cognizant of her constituents.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Political Opportunism or Sincere Belief?


As most of you already know, MO state senator and former Cass County Prosecutor Chris Koster has announced his switch over to the Democratic Party. This news is disappointing and devastating to the Missouri GOP as Kris was a rising star within the party, and now he will be pursuing the nomination for attorney general as a Democrat. This situation is different from Morrison's party switch in Kansas to run as AG. First, Morrison knew he couldn't win a GOP primary, so he made the switch early on and ran as a Democrat from the beginning. Koster entered his race as a Republican, and so far, he has outraised all other Republicans in the AG primary. There was no doubt that Koster would emerge as the winner of the primary. And furthermore, Koster could be described as a "moderate conservative." Yes, he supported embryonic stem cell research, and he received backing from many unions for his economic votes, but he is mostly pro-life, tough on crime, supports the death penalty, and has fought to fight illegal immigration and pass tougher penalties on employers who hire illegals.

Despite the the nasty rhetoric and charges of "extremism" and "toxic" that he levels at the state GOP, Koster was never treated as an outsider, or even challenged on any of his views by anyone in the state party. And in the Kansas City Star, the only concrete reasons he can give is his anger over the opposition by conservative Republicans to collective bargaining, an economic stimulus package, and stem cell research. So he's going to change parties over just 3 issues, despite the fact he hasn't so much as hinted at any deep ideological rift before this sudden announcement? There's something we don't know here. Koster is highly ambitious, and this has more to do with career advancment than ideological disagreement. Don't be surprised if Koster's AG run is just a step on the ladder to a future gubernatorial run.

Paul Morrison, Mark Parkinson, and now Kris Koster. Maureen Murphy, a former GOP state rep from Illinois and the first Republican elected to the Cook County Board of Review (that's the liberal bastion of Chicago for all you midwesterners down south) described opportunistic politicians best when she was asked why she was the first and only woman elected to the commission:
"The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Islam in America

In its latest issue, Newsweek has run an interesting piece on American Muslims, in which writer Lisa Miller focuses on the "vulnerability" of American Muslims to prejudice and how they feel excluded from American society. This is mainly a puff piece, but I do agree that American Muslims are much more financially and academically successful than their counterparts in Europe, and they are also much more integrated into American culture and much less radical (to our credit as a nation and their credit as well for adapting into our culture). However, although Newsweek exagerrates perceived attitudes and instances of anti-Muslim behavior in the U.S., even they recognize the troubling results of a recent poll that shows that young American Muslims are susceptible to radicalization. A recent Pew study shows that:

  • 26 percent of U.S. Muslims age 18-29
    believe suicide bombings can be justified
  • 38 percent of U.S. Muslims age 18-29
    believe that Arabs did not carry out 9/11

And confirming what I've said all along, poverty and social inequality can not be used to justify terrorism or labeled as the root causes of radicalization. As Miller says:

These data, combined with the rising religious conservatism of young Muslim Americans, have led some experts to argue that differences between Europe and America have been overblown, that affluence and education do not inoculate a society against radicalization. "This idea that all those who are middle class are exempted from extremism has always been false," says Geneive Abdo, author of "Mecca and Main Street." "The leadership of the extremist movements have always been highly educated Muslims."

Suspicions about radicalization here at home can also be traced to whether U.S. Muslims see themselves as Americans first or Muslims first. Many adhere to the former, but as Newsweek discovered, there are young Muslims out there like Autri , a 21 year old pharmacy student who says about 9/11: "it sounds bad to say, but I remember thinking that I didn't care that it happened. A lot of my friends didn't care. I think it's because we're Muslim."

This disturbing reality, which even Newsweek could not ignore in its puff piece, reminds us of the need for vigilence and even greater scrutiny of Muslim youth in the U.S. Many of these youth are integrated, but they are seeking ways to rebel, and radical Islam is the prime way to rebel against parents who are fully integrated and part of U.S. mainstream society.

Mainstream, moderate Muslims such as Dr. Khaleel Mohammed of San Diego University and women's rights advocate/author Irshad Manji have been warning us about this for years. America needs to realize that suicide attacks are not confined to the land of the Tigris and Euphrates; unless we seriously start infiltrating the networks within our own country, these types of attacks will soon begin manifesting themselves on American soil

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quigley is in!

17th District precinct committee members voted for Jill Quigley over Titus Bond by a vote of 18-12. Both candidates gave good, well-prepared speeches--Bond stressed his core principles, ties to the area, and legislative experience as an aide to Congressman Sam Graves, while Jill stressed her community involvement and activism in the local schools. Stephanie Sharp gave a speech on behalf of Quigley.

The Quigley family's questionable and controversial donations to Howard Dean and Dennis Moore were not brought up by anyone at the meeting, nor questions about Bond's recent move to Kansas from Missouri.

The controversy over the mysterious letter sent out to precinct committee people (alleging that Bond was Hispanic) was only referenced vaguely by Scott Schwab, who said he had no idea where it originated but he believed it came from across the state line, stating 'that kind of politics has no place in Kansas'.

Speaker of the House Melvin Neufeld, Majority Leader Ray Merrick, and various state reps and senators were in attendence (Kevin Yoder, Sheryl Spalding, Terrie Huntington, Ron Worley, Ben Hodge, Nick Jordan). KS National Committeeman Steve Cloud, KS GOP officials Corrie Kangas and Christian Morgan were also in attendance.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Convention to Elect Rep. Sharp's Replacement

As many of you know, Rep. Stephanie Sharp is vacating her seat. The special convention to appoint her sucessor will be held next wednesday and will be open to the public.
Jill Quigley is running for the position, and a young newcomer, 23-year old Titus Bond, will also be vying for the votes of committee members. There may be other candidates that arise on the night of the convention. I went to school with Jill's son, Andrew Quigley (a very nice and bright guy), so I knew him fairly well, although I never met his parents. Hearing from the candidates should be enlightening, as both candidates are relatively unknown and new to politics.
Here's the info for the convention:

When: Wednesday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Four Colonies Clubhouse #3
8100 Monrovia (1 blk West of 81st & Quivira)
Lenexa, KS 66215

Friday, July 13, 2007

KS-2 top target of NRCC

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post recently confirmed seats that are being targeted by the NRCC as part of their ROMP (Regain Our Majority) program and KS District 2 makes the list.
You can read the whole story here.

I've provided a partial list below of currently-held Democratic seats that are being targeted, because although we have territory that will have to be defended, we also need to be on offense, and that means targeting seats currently held by the Dems. Jim Ryun's fundraising numbers for this last quarter are incredible and it demonstrates his seriousness in winning his old seat back. Lynn Jenkins is also an incredible fundraiser (her numbers should be out soon) and she would beat Boyda as well. I just hope our great Republican candidates remain civil and avoid the temptation to spend thousands of dollars attacking eachother in primary squabbling.

Democratic-held House seats being targeted by the GOP:

1. CA 11th--held by Jerry McNerney
2. FL 16th--held by Tim Mahoney (Mark Foley's old seat)
3. GA 8th--held by Jim Marshall
4. IL 8th--held by Melissa Bean
5. KS 2nd--held by Nancy Boyda
6. PA 10th--held by Chris Carney
7. TX 22--held by Nick Lampson

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Terrorism = poverty and injustice?

Moral Relativists and their leftist symphathizers have long rationalized the use of terrorism by concluding that injustice, poverty, and disempowerment are the root causes rather than a belief in a deeply-held, Islamist ideology (although wealthy terror czar Osama bin Laden and the educated British-born Muslims behind the 7/7 bombings already debunked that theory). If only they were free of their corrupt governments and had adequate housing and employment, there would be no terrorism. The recent Glasgow plot contradicts that line of thinking. British investigators have implicated physicians in the plot and are searching for four other Muslim doctors believed to be involved in the planned attacks (see Forbes article).

When will the elites wake up and realize that this ideology supercedes race, sex, and socio-economic status. Are poor, young uneducated men more susceptible? Definitely, but the common denominator here is the embrace of radical Islam, rapidly in recent years by men and women of all backgrounds and cultures. Fundamentalist Islam is the root of the problem, not poverty, and until we recognize that and demand moderate Muslims to speak up and take back control of their religion, we can expect larger and more deadly attacks to come. Unfortunately, western leaders continue to bask in sunlight of blissful ignorance and self-destructive political correctness.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Lieberman Factor

Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman is hinting once again that his vote cannot be taken for granted.
Says Lieberman: "I'm not going to make my selection of who to support for president in '08 based on party. I'm going to choose to support whichever of the candidates I think will be the best president of the United States to protect our security against the threat of Islamist terrorism and to rebuild America's economy, health care system, environment and education system."

Lieberman made the comments on ABC’s This Week while praising McCain and Giuliani. Lieberman also said that Hillary, Obama, and Edwards are opposing the war due to the power and pull of “vested interest groups within the left.”

Lieberman has remarked that he remains open to endorsing the Republican candidate for president in ’08 and is even candid on rumors that he may join the Republican party and switch control of the Senate over to the Republicans.

"But the big issue of differentiation is on security," he says. "I want to stress that I don't have any desire or intention to leave the Democratic caucus and go to the Republican caucus. On the other hand, it's not impossible. And if it would happen, it would be around questions related to Iraq and the war on terrorism."

Look for Lieberman to be an influential factor in the ’08 race—his endorsement may help make or break the Dems in key battleground states like NH, MO, MN, WI, IA, MI, NJ, and PA.

When I was working in the Senate for Brownback, Lieberman once joked how most of his interns were Republicans (and this was before his party abandoned him). Lieberman’s principled leadership, independence, and refusal to tow the party line (Lieberman was one of the few Dems to vote for Clinton’s impeachment) demonstrated the far-left shift of the Democratic party, their inability to tolerate any dissent in their ranks, and the power wielded by a statesman who is courted by both sides.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Carter: Average American basher or terrorist enabler?

Jimmy Carter, who had one of the most disasterous presidencies in recent years, is spewing vitrole again. Apparently, his innacurate, libelous, anti-Semitic work Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid is not the last we we hear from him.

In a speech in Dublin Ireland, Carter criticized the U.S. and EU for marginalizing the Hamas-led goverment in the Palestinian territories, going so far as call the Bush administration's refusal to accept the '06 Hamas victory a "criminal" action. Carter even goes on to praise Hamas as "shrewd," and having "superior skills and discipline." Carter continues to blast U.S. policy completely, stating that the U.S. and EU is seeking to divide Palestinians.

There was once a time when a former U.S. president would have thought twice before blasting his country's policies when speaking before a foreign audience. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Jimmy Carter's opposition to the administration and U.S. foreign policy is his unconditional support for the Palestinians, and more specifically for the Hamas goverment, and his refusal to acknowledge that they are part of the problem. When a former American president seeks to legitimize a ruthless terrorist organization that clings to a fascist-like ideology and has no respect for life--a clear line has been crossed.

Carter's failed presidency resulted from his appeasement and capitulation of the Islamic terrorists who who stormed our embassy in Tehran, and his overall adversion to military force in defense of the United States. Now, we see that he is not only an appeaser, but an emphathizer and enabler of our enemies.

It's truly disgraceful and disgusting, and in one passage, Carter seems to condone suicide bombings for the time being, stating that they should end when Israel accepts the goals of the road map to peace with Palestinians (Carter has already instructed his publisher to remove this outrageous statement from future editions of the book).

The actual statement: “It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel” (p. 213).

As long as Carter continues to act despicably and outrageously, the Democrats will struggle to distance themselves from the loony former president and member of their party.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Race is On!


Johnson County will have it's most competitive race for District Attorney in years with political opportunist and Republican-turned-Democrat Rick Guinn (D) running against Steve Howe (R) in a blockbuster matchup. Both are former prosecutors from within the DA's office and both have a wealth of experience.

When Guinn campaigned for the job to the GOP precinct committee members back in January, in his letter he said that he and his wife "were loyal Republicans" and "had every intention of remaining so." Yeah, and as soon as he loses, he goes to bat for the opposing team.

Howe, meanwhile, lost, and despite being fired by Phill Kline, has acted graciously and has worked to build up support among all factions of the party.
Despite this blockbuster election being more than a year and a half away, both candidates already have their campaign websites up and running:




Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jordan leaves open possibility of congressional run

Last week, the Konnection had the opportunity to meet with state Senator Nick Jordan (R-Shawnee) and discuss area politics, issues facing Kansas, and the 2008 elections.

Jordan commented on his success in passing $140 million for early childhood education through the Kauffman Foundation, and the funding for a new science and math initiative to make Kansas competitively nationally and internationally.

Jordan has also been a leader in helping to build the bio-science indursty in Kansas. He says that more conservatives need to realize that embryonic stem cell research accounts for only 1% of the innovative research taking place in the biotech industry, and that they need to be out front in their support of growing that sector, despite being morally opposed to embryonic stem cells, because most of the development and research taking place in KS is unrelated to stem cells and not morally questionable.

Jordan confirmed that he has no intention of leaving the state senate to take a job in the state tourism industry, but he did leave open the possibility he would step down to run for congress against Dennis Moore. Although he called this scenario "unlikely at this time," in his later conversation, he frequently uttered the statement "If I would run..." in describing what he would do on the federal level. He was also candid in what he thought were the mistakes of Phill Kline, Adam Taff, Kris Kobach, and Chuck Ahner in their attempts to take Moore down, and Jordan was remarkably specific in his analysis of how he would raise money, recruit volunteers, and stay on message.

So to recap: Jordan will definitely either stay in the senate or run for congress...the rumors about retirement or a job in the tourism sector have no basis in fact. And Jordan is strategically leaving the door to a congressional run open, while downplaying the likelihood of a bid.

Sounds like someone has been approached numerous times and has really thought about this.
The Konnection has to wonder if Jordan is waiting to see the caliber of the other GOP contenders vying for the nomination, and based on that, will make a final decision.
The Konnection believes he could be one of the most formidable candidates we could put up against Moore in '08, due to his support among both moderates and conservatives in Johnson County. We hope Jordan seriously considers a bid.

Monday, June 11, 2007

City GOP organizations form in JoCo

Your correspondent is back from Europe, ready to report on the news (and catch up on everything he's missed in the U.S.)!

First, I want to say that Rome was beautiful, and I'm thinking about posting a link to some of my photos. I have learned a lot though and I have much to say about Europe's problematic population trends (the continent's inability to integrate immigrants, esp. the large Muslim population, which is growing at exponential rates) and the lack of shared cultural values with the U.S., but I'll save this personal insight for a post later this week.

I've been in discussions with Scott Schwab on re-forming the now defunct Shawnee Republican party. Forming city party organizations for every major city in the county remains a priority of our county GOP leadership, and Shawnee, which once had a vibrant party apparatus, should be at the center of these efforts. Those of you who are Shawnee committee members: watch for flyers in the mail on the upcoming convention to nominate officers. As chair of the Shawnee GOP, I hope to revitalize our grassroots ahead of the '08 election, defend out sitting incumbents (esp. targets such as Reps. Judy Morrison, Owen Donohoe, and Sen. Nick Jordan) and re-claim the 18th district, lost by Mary Pilcher Cook to Cindy Neighbor. We have a lot of hard work ahead, but having city parties will enable close coordination with the county and state parties to provide a much larger and more-integrated network of activists, volunteers, and forums for elected officials and candidates.

And from our own JoCo GOP chair Scott Schwab, a list of the current city GOP clubs being formed (volunteers have approached Scott about heading up organizations in these cities) :
  • Shawnee

  • Lenexa

  • Overland Park

  • Prairie Village

  • Leawood

  • Mission

  • Mission Hills

It's worth mentioning that Olathe is the only JoCo city that has had an active and vibrant Republican party organization for many years now. Our party has struggled to remain as developed and prepared as the minority county Dems, but this is one major step towards bridging that gap.

Last item: Rep. Pat Colloton of Leawood is considering a run for congress against Dennis Moore. What are your thoughts? I have my own thoughts on her chances, but what do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The mood in Rome


Your faithful correspondent here at the Konnection is completing a study abroad course in Rome, Italy and will not be returning to the states until June 4th, so this will probably be the only posting until then (so don't fear liberal bloggers--this blog has not died, and will be up and running regularly again in a few weeks).

This is my first experience in a foreign country, but despite the strong anti-war tide here in Rome (I've alreay seen numerous anti-war messages scrawled acrosss walls and witnessed an anti-war march near the Colosseum), unlike other parts of Europe, the Italians don't seem to hold any hostility towards Americans. All of our group's encounters have been extremely cordial. A street vendor asked if I was Australian, and I replied ''No, sono Americano,'' to which he replied, ''Oh, Americano! Amo Americani (I love Americans). And then in English, ''God Bless You.''

Having read out the immigration problems, I have noticed the large immigrant (mainly West African and Middle Eastern) populations are segregated in their own neighborhoods and shops here in Rome. Integration does not seem to be occuring--at least not like we are accostomed to in the U.S.

I'll report more when I return.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Deja-"Nouveau" reforme in France

Wow, what a shakeup. With 85% turnout, the French have elected Nicholas Sarkozy their president over Socialist Segolene Royale by a convincing 53-47%. The most conservative candidate in decades, Sarkozy, the son of Hungarian immigrants, has promised to lower taxes, repeal the estate and inheritance taxes, extend the national workweek from 35 hours to 40 hours, and allow nontaxable overtime pay.

Most importantly, Sarkozy is pro-Israel and is the most pro-American French leader in decades. When he visited the U.S., he lamented on how he wished for France to become more like it's neighbor across the Atlantic. Normally, this would have been the end for any French politician, but it seems that the French are tired of the constant American-bashing in their own country, and after having successive presidents who have worked to erode American power and influence around the world, the French people are tired of the rhetoric and want to work with the U.S. In his acceptance speech, Sarkozy declared that the United States can once again "count on our friendship" and the statement was met with enormous applause from the French crowd! In interviews with reporters, several French supporters of Sarkozy said they loved the United States and many said they were tired of their media and government's policy of bashing the U.S. and wanted change...many of these supporters and voters are France's new generation--21-35 year olds--who are replacing the old, obstinate old ways of thinking. Indeed, it was primarily Sarkozy's message of tough, labor reforms (reducing the socialist legacy that makes up the welfare state) and limiting immigration (while mandating that immigrants accept and integrate into France's social and democratic culture) that won the most votes and that the next generation turned out in droves. Sarkozy won among business interests, blue collar workers, and he won a majority of the women's vote, despite the presence of the first major party woman candidate on the ballot (could this be a precursor to the 2008 election and the women's vote in regard to Sen. Hillary's bid for office).

This recent election result continues a general shift in the West towards more conservative, pro-American governments. Steve Harper's win in Canada, Shinzo Abe's victory in Japan, Angela Merkel's win in Germany, and John Howard's re-election in Australia. Britain will be the stage for the next election as Tony Blair steps down in July and is succeeded by chancellor of the executor Gordon Brown. Brown is not as hawkish as Blair on Iraq, but he is a firm supporter of the U.S. and Israel, and Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives, who, barring any new twists and turns seem to be in position of gaining power in Britain for the first time in a decade, are led by David Cameron, a solidly pro-American leader. So we can hedge our bets easily on the premise that Great Britain will remain our staunchest ally for the considerable future.

It seems that vox populi has ruled the day, and France will no longer be a "provocateur" of the U.S. Bring on the french fries, croissants, and baguettes!