Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sebelius satirized on "The Daily Show"

Well, as if Sebelius' dry, monotone delivery of the Democratic response with nauseating and repetitive overtures of "join us, join us Mr. President" weren't enough, now John Stewart has an excuse to make fun of Kansas. Does anyone else find it ironic that under Sebelius we've lost more private sector jobs, leading us to rank 49th of all the states for our business climate, although we rank third in the number of government jobs--added courtesty of Sebelius! And she tried to raise sales and property taxes, increase cigarette taxes by 50 cents a pack, and allow illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses. Meanwhile, our insurance market is one of the most uncompetitive and anti-consumer in the country thanks to burdensome state regulations. Yet she is the one trying to educate the president on economic policy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kansas Days, presidential endorsements

Kansas Republicans traveled to Topeka for the annual Kansas Days celebration. Republicans heard pep speeches from Sen. Roberts, Sen. Brownback, Treasurer and congressional candidate Lynn Jenkins, Ron Thornburgh, and others.

Kris Kobach and his staff have transformed the party into a well-oiled organization with a solid foundation, a great and hardworking staff, and a message and mission of winning races for Republicans while setting aside on divisions in favor of a coherent and unifying message of our party's principles.

Examples of change:

  • The party's email membership list stood at just 800 when Kobach took the reigns of the Kansas GOP. Now, the membership is 88,000+ strong and the party sends out several weekly emails highlighting the follies of our governor and elected Democratic officials while touting Republican solutions to the 21st century problems Kansans face
  • The Kansas GOP now provides a centralized database of voters and voter info. for candidates to access--now the candidates can trust and rely on the support of the party, instead of trying to support the party while running their own races
  • Kansas will hold its first-ever statewide presidential caucus in 20 years--the last one was in 1988. The party is organized and ready, with several voting locations in each congressional district. For the first time ever, Kansas will matter as the candidates will most likely look towards Kansas to solidify their standing since the race is currently close and unsettled
  • The Kansas GOP (once a lifeless, practically useless organization) is now responding vociferously to damaging Democratic proposals and blunders in Topeka through newspapers, blogs, websites, television, and radio, and highlighting our great lineup of Republican candidates in 2008 to bring real reform and change back to Topeka and Washington

National Committeeman and Committeewoman race

Incumbent Commiteewoman Alicia Salisbury lost to Dr. Helen Van Etten, former director of the Kansas Republican Assembly. Salisbury, who fulfilled her duties diligently without controversy or upseting anyone in the party, only garnered 37 votes to the over 100 votes for Van Etten. Van Etten gave a heartfelt and moving speech that addressed when her family immigrated to the states from North Korea, and her own success story as an immigrant who achieved the American dream. Dr. Etten's addition as KS' national Commiteewoman will add diversity to our delegation and reminds voters that only the Republican Party promotes individualism, respect for life, and the opportunity for everyone to succeed and achieve the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There was no contest for the National Committeeman race. Tim Huelskamp did not compete, and a consensus candidate--Mike Pompeo--faced no competition, which is good news for the party and the state of Kansas leading into 2008.


Nick Jordan's campaign reception was well-attended, and the Senator announced the addition of a seasoned and nationally-renowned campaign veteran to his staff.

Lynn Jenkins gave a rousing speech, taking a page from David Letterman's "Top Ten" list, read off the "Top 10 Reasons why Democrats cannot be trusted with power," eliciting laughter and then excitement as she called for new Republican leadership and promised to bring Republican representation back to the 2nd District. Kansas is fortunate to have such a seasoned, tested, and principled candidate to take on Nancy Boyda and the Washington establishment in 2008.

Jim Ryun's campaign was also active and on-hand to energize supporters, ensuring that no matter whom Republicans choose, they will have an enthusiastic candidate and campaigner challenging "Bad News Boyda" in the general.

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh spoke to each congressional district committee, giving what seemed more like a campaign stump speech (albeit a really good one) than just a simple party pep talk (the governor's office may not be open until 2010, but it is never too early to start campaigning).

Presidential Endorsements

In a rare display of unity, former KS GOP Committeeman Steve Cloud and Sen. Sam Brownback are teaming up to form a "Kansans for McCain" committee.

According to the Kansas City Star, KS GOP chair Kris Kobach has endorsed Mitt Romney.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Florida Predictions

McCain will win Florida in one of the closest votes so far. Rudy will come in second (don't forget--up to a third of Floridians have already cast their ballot--absentee voting has been occuring for weeks and Rudy is the prime beneficiary of those votes since he was the lone campaigner in the state for so long). Romney (who would have been 2nd or 3rd if Giuliani had dropped out) will come in at third, within a point of Rudy. Romney's 3rd place finish will cripple but not end his candidacy. McCain will be the heavy favorite going into Super Tuesday in states such as California, New York, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Predicted Vote Total:
McCain 27%
Giuliani 25%
Romney 24%
Huckabee 14%
Ron Paul 6%
Thompson 4%

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Voter ID essential to voter security

The KS Legislature has recently convened for its '08 session and one of the items on the House Republican agenda is Voter ID at the polls. This is much-needed, and the outcome of Indiana's disputed Voter ID law (which the Supreme Court is expected to uphold) will reinforce the current Voter ID legislation in Topeka.

Interestingly enough, an old woman used and cited by voter security opponents in the Indiana case as an example of someone likely to be "disenfranchised" under the current law is (ironically) actually registered to vote in 2 different states--Indiana and Florida, proving the point of voter ID proponents that our current system is fatally flawed.

Americans overwhelmingly favor Voter ID as a method of increasing voter security at the ballot box. According to a Rasmussen poll from last year, 77 percent of Americans favored an ID requirement; an ABC/Wall Street Journal poll similarly found 80 percent support for the idea.

Since the Federal government has been slow to act, the states have addressed potential voter fraud themselves. 25 states require some form of ID, and more are expected to follow suit. Missouri's voter ID requirement was signed into law by Governor Matt Blunt but found unconstitutional by the state supreme court. A major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could invalidate the Missouri court's ruling and boost efforts in other states.

And contrary to opponents' claims, voter ID doesn't reduce turnout, according to a study co-sponsored by Rutgers Univ. and Ohio State Univ.

And voter fraud is not a trivial matter or "urban legend" as liberals would like to think. A few of the numerous instances of voter fraud:
  • The Justice Department discovered that 8 out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were registered to vote.

  • At least 440 illegal aliens voted in a 1996 California house election.

  • 543 non-citizens were registered to vote on the island of Oahu in Hawaii ("Illegal Voters," Honolulu Advertiser, Sept. 9, 2000).

  • ACORN Community organizers were indicted here in Kansas City of submitting false voter registration forms of dead voters and such civically-minded Americans as Bugs Bunny and Mary Poppins. Similar investigations against ACORN took place in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Colorado.

Right now, Kansas only requires ID for first-time voters. That needs to change. Kansas house members will hear testimony soon from Sec. of State Ron Thornburgh's office. According to information obtained by the Konnection, representatives from Thornburgh's office told house committee members that illegals ARE voting in Kansas, and a representative from the Sec. of State's office related a personal story of an illegal who ran for school board in the representative's district and was found not to be a citizen even though he was registered to vote. The government employee claimed that many illegals in Kansas register to vote, believing it will help them gain citizenship quicker. Of course, this testimony is unverified, but is disturbing nonetheless, especially since the Secretary of State's office is willing to concede that a problem exists and that non-citizens are registering to vote.

Monday, January 14, 2008

KS Political News

Everyone will be talking about the Governor's State of the State address and the Republican reaction, but here are some other stories that have received little attention:
  • Former 2nd District Rep. Jim Slattery's son, Michael Slattery, has filed to run against Ronnie Metsker in KS' 24th house district. Former Democratic opponent Andy Sandler has also filed to run again, setting up a Dem. primary battle, but he has only raised a few thousand dollars compared to the $25,050 balance Slattery reported to the KS Ethics Commission on Jan. 10th. Incumbent Ronnie Metsker (R-Overland Park) has raised nearly $18K but only has a little over $7K on hand. He'll have to pick up the pace in what will be a hard fought race in an increasingly liberal district that includes part of Mission, northern Overland Park, and part of Roeland Park. Metsker has support from everyone in the party though, and a wife who serves on the Shawnee Mission School Board. This is definitely his race to lose.
  • In late December, Titus Bond filed a termination report, ending his candidacy for the 17th district. Does that mean that freshman Rep. Jill Quigley (R-Lenexa) will go unchallenged? We'll see. She's raised nearly $18K, has a website up and running ( and sent out her first online newsletter today (Jill's Journal), following in former Rep. Stephanie Sharp's footsteps. Quigley outlined most of the issues very well and provided a lot of good info for her constituents, but she gave away her bias on immigration, saying that the "Republican agenda for 2008 calls for penalizing illegal immigrants who knowingly register to vote, businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants, and those involved with false documentation. The key word here is “knowingly.” Without a reliable national data base, secure borders, and funds/procedures for large numbers of deportations, it is unlikely that state policies will be effective..." When you penalize someone, you take away an existing right or a privilege, essentially punishing them. I don't think you can refer to voter ID requirements as "penalizing" since illegals don't have the right to vote in the first place--these measures are intended to just enforce existing law, not create new law--Quigley's choice of words implies that new law or punishment is being utilized, which is simply just not the case.
  • These first few months will be crucial for Quigley. If she doesn't reach out to the right, she may face a primary challenge. We at the Konnection hope Rep. Quigley will be a uniter and not just another intra-party divider.
  • Dr. Helen Van Etten, current president of the Kansas Republican Assembly, announced she's running for the position of national KS GOP committeewoman to the RNC, being vacated by Alicia Salisbury. Etten sent out a letter to supporters, promising to help the GOP win in '08 and unite the party, pledging to support all Republican nominees and resign her position with KRA if she wins. Sen. Tim Huelskamp is running for the GOP Committeeman nod.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hillary achieves unexpected victory, McCain defeats Romney

Despite a dozen weekend polls that all showed Obama leading by upwards of 10 percent and exit polls pointing to a rout over Hillary, New Hamshire voters proved that THEY (not the media, polling firms, and spin masters on FOX, MSNBC, and CNN) determine the election.

Something to notice: Hillary's concession speech in Iowa was analyzed and noted for the supporters standing behind her in the background shots: General Wesley Clark, former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright, and other "old" persons who represented a presidential administration of the past--unlike Obama who surrounded himself with young people.

Clinton with the "Old" establishment in Iowa, Jan. 3:

Clinton surrounds herself with youth of America in NH:

Tonight, Hillary filled the stage with young voters and signs stating "Ready for Change," in an attempt to borrow from Obama's powerful and resonating campaign theme.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Presidential Predictions

As Iowans begin caucusing, a few observations:
  • I predict that Hillary will win Iowa by the slightest margins. In the end, popularity does not determine a winner--whoever has the best campaign structure, organization, and method of organizing and galvanizing supporters will win. Many parallels exist between Howard Dean's meteoric rise and fall and Obama's popularity. Remember that Iowa has a caucus--voters can enter with predetermined decisions but be swayed and persuaded by other voters in the town hall-style forums to switch their loyalties. In 2004, voters opted to ditch the poll leader and wildly-popular Dean in favor of the establishment candidate--John Kerry. I predict they will do so again.
  • If Edwards somehow pulls off a win in Iowa, the symbolic victory will be devoid of any substance or promise. It won't carry over to any other state (polls show he can't even win his home state of NC) and he doesn't have the money, organization, or resources to compete across the U.S. and over the entire primary calendar
  • However, the closeness of Iowa will ensure that the race won't be over after Jan. 3rd. Hillary will have to fight through Super Tuesday.
  • I won't predict whether Huckabee or Romney comes out on top in Iowa. However, the Huckabee-Romney tug-of-war only helps Giuliani as they fight each other for the social conservative vote. Giuliani can lose Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina but remain viable if he comes out on top in Florida. Giuliani won't make the top 3 in Iowa (but I predict he comes in at #4). Giuliani needs to come in at #2 or #3 in New Hampshire. I predict Giuliani comes in at #2 in New Hampshire and #3 in South Carolina, ensuring his viability before Florida. Michigan is also a test for Giuliani. Romney has strong ties to the Great Lakes state, but Giuliani has led in the state for most of the year. He needs to win the state outright or come in at #2. That's my prediction (if Huckabee fails to win Iowa, Giuliani's chances at gaining in Michigan and South Carolina become more likely).
  • McCain must win in the top 4 in Iowa and win New Hampshire or he's done. A 3rd place finish in New Hampshire dooms McCain's candidacy. If this happens, I predict that he drops out and throws his support behind Giuliani, enabling him to solidify his position and win big on Super Tuesday. If McCain shows promise in the early states and stays in the race, we may not be able to definitively identify the Republican nominee until after Super Tuesday at the earliest (and maybe not until Convention).