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"