Wednesday, December 23, 2009

JCYR Board Positions Open for 2010

The Johnson County Young Republicans has several vacancies to fill on its Executive Board for 2010 (one-year terms), please join us Wednesday, January 6 at Old Chicago (119th and Metcalf) at 6:30 pm. The positions of Secretary, Treasurer, PR Chair, Membership Chair, and Vice - Chair of Membership are still open. We know that some of you have expressed interest, so if you were unable to come to the Holiday party, this is your chance. Likewise, if you know any interested parties, please spread the word! Hope to see you there, and contact us if you have any questions:

If you are interested in getting involved, 2010 is the year to start. This will be a banner election year both here in KS and nationally as all 435 members of the House are up for re-election and 1/3 of the U.S. Senate. We have a real chance to take back the House and make significant gains in the Senate.

Here in KS, we will be electing a Republican Governor in Sam Brownback and will finally put the 3rd District back in GOP hands after Dennis Moore's announced retirement. Additionally, Republicans have an open U.S. Senate seat to hold and are looking to retain the Secretary of State's office and Insurance Commissioner's office while taking back the State Treasurer position and the Attorney General's office. The races don't end there--here in Johnson County, we have 22 state representatives up for re-election, including 6 Democrats who need strong Republican challengers--3 of whom won with less than 5 percent of the vote in 2008. We have an explosive race for county chair and several notable county commissioner races.

Brandon Kenig
Johnson County Young Republicans

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jerry Moran: the Clear and Consistent Conservative

The Moran-Tiahrt race for Sam Brownback’s Senate seat will be the most expensive, high-profile primary race in Kansas next year. The inevitable battle lines have been drawn and the accusations have already started flying. Unfortunately, some activists have attempted to attach labels to both Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran based on the moderate-conservative divide that has fractured and paralyzed the Kansas Republican Party in the last few decades, despite the fact that both men have long and distinguished conservative records in congress.

Perhaps most perplexing is the contention by some that Tiahrt is the ‘real conservative’ and Moran is a “moderate.” When pressed on this, the Tiahrt supporters cannot offer any substance to back up this claim and instead propagate this unfounded line of demarcation between the two candidates based on the fact that Tiahrt constantly dials up the rhetoric by energizing the base with fiery speeches on abortion, gay marriage, and guns, or that Moran has garnered endorsements from several “moderate” elected officials, business, and civic leaders. Moran and Tiahrt agree on the major social, fiscal, and national security issues facing our country, but unlike Tiahrt, whose career and background indicate an infinite need for self-marketing and personal sales pitches, Moran hails from the western plains of the state and his plain spoken nature does not move him to arouse passions in his audience or conflate personal popularity with his principles—he believes that his conservative beliefs and principles, shared by a majority of Kansans, will sell themselves.

While both Tiahrt and Moran display remarkable conservative credentials and would represent Kansas well in the U.S. Senate, significant differences in their records and votes do exist—differences that supersede lofty rhetoric and grand promises. Actions speak louder than words and defying the opposition and even your own party and president to stand on principle speaks the loudest—a key distinction that only Jerry Moran can claim.

The Konnection believes that once you look past the headlines, rhetoric, and platitudes that come and go with every political campaign, and acutely analyze congressional votes and records, the choice is clear: Congressman Jerry Moran is the clear and consistent conservative.

Moran may not be as loud and as effective as Tiahrt in broadcasting his accomplishments, but when it comes to conservative—not Republican—principles, Jerry Moran has stood up to liberals, Democrats, and even his own party and president in the face of popular legislation that he knew would have disastrous consequences for the American people.

On fiscal issues, Moran has demonstrated that he will safeguard taxpayer money, scrutinize lawmakers’ pet projects, and combat bureaucratic waste and mismanagement. Moran has fought for a balanced budget and attempted to reduce the deficit through his votes—which included votes against the $54 billion dollar No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush’s massive federal intrusion into local education (which Tiahrt initially supported), and votes against the trillion dollar Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit pursued by President Bush and House Republican leaders (which Tiahrt also supported). Moran has consistently voted against excessive spending and growth in government—even when the spending and government expansion initiatives were supported by his own party. Is it any wonder that big-government Republican and former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is supporting Tiahrt and criticizing Moran? Hastert could not count on Moran to be a vote for business as usual in Washington—Jerry sided with taxpayers instead of the status quo. While Moran signed on to balanced budget amendments and initiatives to give the President line-item veto power to strip wasteful earmarks and frivolous spending measures from critical legislation, Todd Tiahrt was busy casting votes for bridges to nowhere in Alaska and a multi-million dollar airport named in honor of Democrat John Murtha to serve a handful of passengers in central Pennsylvania.

While Tiahrt has the endorsement of big-spending establishment Republicans such as Dennis Hastert, Jerry Moran has garnered the support of the Senate’s leading conservatives: Sen. John Thune (SD), Sen. John Coburn (OK), Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Sen. Jeff Flake (AZ), and arguably the Senate’s leading social and fiscal conservative, Sen. Jim DeMint (SC). These conservatives recognized that Jerry supported overhauling the tax code by co-sponsoring the FAIR Tax long before it was a popular position, and that Jerry has been clear in his support of fiscal restraint—he is one of only 17 Republicans who have voted against every bailout and every stimulus starting with the financial bailout last October—an independent and principled conservative stand that his primary opponent cannot claim. Jerry has not wavered and he has not waffled; his record is clear.

That record attracted the attention of the fiscally-conservative, limited government group Club for Growth, which gave Moran its second-highest rating in 2009 among the Kansas delegation for voting down earmarks—96 percent. In contrast, Tiahrt earned an abysmal 29 percent rating from the group, second-worst only to Kansas’ lone Democrat, Congressman Dennis Moore, who earned a 0 percent rating from the group.

And if Tiahrt’s management of his campaign is any indication of his spending habits when he reaches the other side of the capitol, the future does not bode well for our pocketbooks. Tiahrt’s campaign outspent more than it raised in the third quarter of this year, a harbinger of things to come and a reminder that old (spending) habits die hard.

Even now, Jerry continues the fight for limited government, leading the charge against the Obama healthcare plan and cap and trade. On illegal immigration, Jerry vocally argues and votes in favor of border control and the rule of law while Tiahrt sponsored the DREAM Act, which included amnesty and in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

We at the Konnection are discouraged by the fault lines developing in this race and the effort by some to resort to trivial labels and longtime divisions to gain traction in the primary. Truth be told, Kansas Republicans of all stripes---moderate and conservative—are more united than ever. While right-of-center Kansans have disagreed from time to time on a social issue here and there or a spending measure, we have always agreed on the basic principles of limited government, low taxes, and individual responsibility. The overwhelming Democratic majority in the federal government and the life-altering policies emanating from Washington have only solidified and amplified the concerns shared by moderates and conservatives in Kansas and throughout the country—unified opposition to a government-run intrusion into healthcare dubbed “public option;” opposition to economically damaging cap and trade environmental regulations; unease over massive federal spending increases; fear over the inevitable and impending tax increases; and a renewed call for state sovereignty and action through local government over escalating federal encroachment into our personal lives. We think Kansas Republicans and right-of-center individuals throughout our state recognize the ramifications of the Obama-Pelosi agenda and yearn for a check and balance on that power—now is the time to send a united message and ensure that whomever emerges from the 2010 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate has the full support of the party, grassroots activists, and concerned Kansans.

We at the Konnection recognize that we may have just added fuel to the fire in the intra-party debate between Tiahrt and Moran, but we felt it necessary to highlight the few, but significant issues of difference between Tiahrt and Moran—issues we believe will lead any reasonable Kansan to conclude that Jerry Moran is the clear and consistent conservative in the race. Again, we reiterate that both Tiahrt and Moran would represent Kansas well and defend our values against the far-left, ideology-driven policies that dominate Obama and Pelosi’s Washington, but Jerry Moran has the clear record of defending conservative principles without waffling or remaining neutral on key votes, and he consistently votes on principle, yielding not to opposition or party pressure—even from colleagues on his side of the aisle.

In the next election, Kansans will send a message to Washington opposing heavy-handed, trickle-down bureaucratic solutions to all of our problems, and as a conservative reformer, Jerry Moran is the best candidate to deliver this message—after all, he has already delivered this message clearly and consistently during his 12 years in the House.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Call These Senators Now!

The Senate is set to vote on Healthcare this Saturday night--when no one is paying attention (convenient, right?). Contact these senators NOW, no matter what state you're from--their votes will impact all of us, from California to Maine, from North Dakota to Texas.

If you live in the KC area, I'd add Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to the list, even though she is a supporter of the president's plan. It's time to lay on the pressure! Call Sen. McCaskill's offices here in KC: 816-421-1639 or in DC: (202) 224-6154.

From the RNC (

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Healthcare Protest: A Faceoff in Shawnee and Kansas Democrats organized a protest outside Shawnee City Hall this past Saturday morning to protest against the "Healthcare Freedom Amendment" proposed by state Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook (R-Shawnee), which would allow Kansas to opt out of any Federal takeover of healthcare and preserve the right of Kansans to maintain choice in healthcare. More than 18 other states have amended their constitutions to preserve their rights in this crucial debate, yet the far-left extremists who organized Saturday's rally oppose any attempt to provide real choice for Americans unless that includes a "public option" (which many of the protesters readily admitted as a trigger for an eventual single-payer system which would overtake private insurers in the long run).

Conservative groups learned of this planned protest and pounced, and within hours (via the blogosphere, emails, and Twitter), Obamacare opponents were alerted and made plans to attend.

From what I could see, there were about 50 Obamacare supporters there at maximum, and at least twice to 2 and half times that many opposing Obamacare, lining Johnson Drive, Nieman Road, and filling the parking lot of Shawnee City Hall. This was somehat ironic, considering that the KS Democrats had organized the protest and had been out-organized by the counter-protesters. I estimated overall turnout to be 150-200.

Police did not provide a buffer, so protesters from both sides confronted eachoter at times in somewhat heated debates.

The anti-Obamacare protesters included young, old, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and many seniors. The other side was very predictable: union workers, idealistic college students from KU, Young Democrats, and local liberal activists.

I shot this video of a local union thug yelling at an anti-Obamacare Marine and spitting at him. The union guy also confronted and intimidated some other counter-protesters at the rally, attempting to prevent them from taking photos and videotaping the liberal activists.

The pro-Obamacare protestors also sarcastically mocked those on the other side, exclaiming "welcome to Kansas" and "I hope you had a great trip." I found this humorous and mildly ironic considering that their side frequently busses in protestors ala ACORN and has done so for numerous "grassroots" pro-healthcare reform protests throughout the county

Here are some more clips of the two sides attempting to drown each other out. In the first clip, the fringe left begins yelling "It's our country too!" (Who said it wasn't?). In the second clip, the protesters shout "Pass the bill!" as the counter-protestors yell "Kill the bill!" The chants later morph to "Yes We Can!" and "No You Can't!"

When confronted with claims that the bill would provide taxpayer funding for abortion and access to illegal aliens, the liberals claimed that the bill would do nothing of the sort. Yet many of the protesters were sporting professionally-printed Planned Parenthood signs and a few wore Planned Parenthood apparel.

I snapped this photo of a young boy, not more than 7 or 8 years old, holding a "Students for Planned Parenthood" sign. I always hate it when any side or cause uses children to advance their agenda and this was no exception. I'm sure this kid had no idea what Planned Parenthood is or what he was supporting with his sign, but the presence of Planned Parenthood at the rally seemed to contradict the organizers' claim that the congressional bill would not fund abortion.

Here's one of those oh-so "civil" signs used by the Kansas Democrats/ crowd, which makes use of an explicitly suggestive and derogatory term.

Some of the usual suspects were also there. Kathy Cook, Executive Director of Kansans United for Public Education (KFUPE) proudly wore a branded support with a message reading "Support Candidates Who Fund Our Public Schools" and held a sign with a message thanking Congressman Dennis Moore for his support of the healthcare bill. Cook's group regularly hounds public officials and engages in personal political attacks against candidates and elected officials who do not support their agenda.

As of this writing, the House of Representatives passed the healthcare bill by the slimmest of margins, 5 votes with an uncertain fate in the U.S. Senate. Despite that, and KS Democrats' attempts to declare widespread support for the bill (at the protest, they ridiculously claimed that 82 percent of Americans support a public option) the real polling shows otherwise. The latest Ipsos/McClatchy poll from late October shows 49 percent opposed to Obama's healthcare plan and 39 percent supporting it.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Republican Resurgence in Suburban America; Dems lose newfound hold on nation's suburbs

Tuesday's elections proved that the GOP is on a major comeback and the party is vibrant and alive. The results of the NY-23 congressional race notwithstanding (the drama that occurred with the nomination of a liberal Republican, the entry of a Conservative Party challenger, and the Republican suspending her campaign and endorsing the Democrat led to a narrow Democratic win a district that should revert back to the GOP in 2010), Republicans made incredible gains in Virginia and New Jersey.

To repeat The Washington Post headline, the GOP reclaimed Virginia: Bob McDonnell was elected Governor in a landslide with 59 percent of the vote--much higher than Democrat Tim Kaine's 52 percentage win in 2005 and Democrat Mark Warner's gubernatorial win in 2001 with 53 percent of the vote. The Republicans swept all three major statewide offices--Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General--only the 2nd time in the last 40 years one political party has swept all three offices in one election.

McDonnell won 90 percent of Virginia's counties (Deeds only won 10 counties), a major gain over former Governor Tim Kaine's (D) 2005 victory and completely flipped the counties of Northern Virginia to the Republicans after Obama solidly won them last November 2008 (the transformation of Northern Virginia in Tuesday's elections--both in the statewide races and the House of Delegate races--will be profiled in an upcoming blog posting).

Additionally, the GOP posted a net gain of at least 6 seats in the state's House of Delegates (with one race still pending due to a possible recount), increasing their 53-45 majority (8 seats) in the state legislature to a 59-39 majority (20 seats). Bob McDonnell, a native of northern Virginia's Fairfax County, also recaptured that critical Democratic-leaning stronghold and won big in Northern Virginia, the state's population base, which also threw out several incumbent Democratic state representatives.

In New Jersey, Independent Chris Daggett's double-digit support in pre-election polls failed to materialize and even though both sides expected a close margin with the possibility of recounts and court battles, Christie won by over 100,000 votes (4 percentage points) in a race that was not as close as predicted (Corzine supporters were stunned and questioning the numbers all night long). Christie's win over Corzine is all the more remarkable when you consider that the last Republican to win NJ's governorship, Christine Todd Whitman, won in 1993 by only 1 percent, so Christie's 49-45 percent win is extremely significant--Republicans don't win in NJ period, and when they do, it's extremely close. While Obama campaigned with Deeds in Virginia, the president capitalized on his image to a much greater degree in the NJ election, appearing with Corzine five times before the election and lending his top pollster to the campaign. The message to Democrats in 2010: Obama's support is not necessarily an asset and may be a net negative if his approval ratings continue to fall and the economy is still faltering.

The county-by-county comparisons in NJ in 2005 (when Corzine was first elected over Doug Forrester) and this year is striking. In 2005, Republican Doug Forrester only carried 8 out of New Jersey's 21 counties. In 2009, Republican Chris Christie carried a majority of Jersey counties--13 out of 21, posting a net gain of 5 "blue" counties previously won by Corzine, including the highly-populated, Democratic-leaning suburban county of Middlesex while increasing Republican margins in right-leaning Republican suburban counties of Monmouth and Ocean.

The critical story of the night was the Republican recapturing of the suburbs in races across the country. In Northern Virginia and New Jersey, Democratic-leaning suburbs turned red, but a Republican resurgence in the suburbs extended to GOP victories in other states.

Some other victories last night that may have been missed:
1. A special state senate election in Michigan resulting in a GOP pickup
2. Republicans won almost all seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (justices are elected there) and the suburban counties near Philly (Bucks, Montgomery, etc.) voted for the Republican candidates for the state supreme court, signalling a troubling trend for Arlen Specter in 2010--if Republican Pat Toomey improves Republican margins in the critical Philly suburbs, Arlen Specter has no hope of retaining his Senate seat.
3. GOP won back majority control of the Nassau County/Long Island NY county government after 10 years in the wilderness
4. Westchester County, an inner New York city suburb, elected a Republican to the county government over a longtime Democratic incumbent.

Overall, a great night for Republicans and proof that that despite the warnings of naysayers and pundits, the party is not dead or confined to the south. We can win the highly-educated, populated suburbs of the country (Northern Virginia), and we can win in the northeast and New England, in places like New Jersey and Long Island NY with the right candidates, a focus on local issues that matter to voters, and applying specific conservative policy solutions to voter concerns.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Election Day 2009: An Obama Referendum and Republican Resurgence?

In three states tomorrow, voters will head to the polls to and vote in off-year elections viewed to be a referendum on Obama's policies in the first 10 months of his presidency. The elections in Virginia and New Jersey, where voters will elect new legislators to their statehouses and choose new governors in seats currently held by Democrats, could provide insight into a possible Republican resurgence in 2010. In 1993, Republicans re-captured the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey before going on to gain control of congress in the 1994 Republican revolution.

Attorney General Bob McDonnell is expected to handily win the governor's race in Virginia after 11 years of Republican control. Additionally, Republicans are expected to win the lieutenant governor's seat and attorney general's seat (based on recent polling) as well as increase their margins in the House of Delegates and State Senate. McDonnell, a native of northern Virginia, is expected to even perform well there--in the state's most urban and populated suburbs of Washington, D.C., which had been trending strongly Democratic until recently: just this year, Fairfax County elected a Republican to a formerly Democratic-held county commissioner's seat, a Republican came within half a percentage point of winning a county commission chair election, a Republican came within 16 votes of winning an Alexandria-based state house seat, and two Republicans actually won positions on the Alexandria city council.

New Jersey, one of the most Democratic states in the nation, is on the verge of throwing out incumbent governor and Goldman Sach's millionaire Jon Corzine in favor of U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. This race will be a bitter fight to the end, but despite recent appearances by Obama, campaign momentum had remained with Christie in recent days.

Voters in New York's 23rd congressional district are going to the polls in a special election to fill John McHugh's seat after his appointment by Obama to be Secretary of the Navy. Republican leaders chose liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava as their nominee but faced a revolt from conservative activists when Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman entered the race. Scozzafava saw her support plummet in the polls in this very rural and strongly Republican upstate New York district as Republican heavyweights from Sarah Palin to Fred Thompson to George Pataki endorsed her Conservative Party opponent, so she suspended her campaign this past weekend and true to form, endorsed the Democrat in the race. Polls show this to be a tight race, but conservative Hoffman has the edge in most polls and now has the backing of the Republican Party establishment.

Lastly, although not as high profile as the other 3 races, voters in California's 50th district in the ultra-liberal San Fransisco bay area will choose between Democrat John Garamendi and Republican David Harmer after Democrat Rep. Ellen Tauscher was appointed to a federal position by Obama. Tauscher won this district with 65 percent of the vote in 2008 and Obama won the district 65-33 percent, but recent polls give Garamendi a lead of only 7-10 points. If the Republican comes within single digits in a liberal district just outside San Fransisco, this will be yet another sign of public unease with Obama and Pelosi's Washington.

As far as New Jersey, Virginia, and NY-23 are concerned, if Republicans win 2 of these 3, a major case can be made for the impending Republican gains and possible takeover of congres in 2009.

Here are my predictions:

McDonnell (R) – 58%
Deeds (D) – 41%

Christie (R) – 47%
Corzine (D) – 44%
Daggett (I) – 9%

Hoffman (C)– 47%
Owens (D) – 40%
Scozzafava (liberal R) – 13%

Friday, October 30, 2009

BREAKING: Ethics investigation, scandal involving several congressmen, including Tiahrt

The Politico and The Washington Post are breaking a major story--the Department of Justice and the house ethics committee are investigating whether a former Appropriations Committee staffer and employee of PMA (a prominent consulting/lobbying firm) used "straw man donors" to improperly funnel money to members on the house appropriations committee, including Congressman Todd Tiahrt.

More as this story develops and its ramifications for Tiahrt's campaign for the U.S. Senate here in KS...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ed Eilert to speak to JoCo Young Republicans

The Johnson County Young Republicans will be meeting this Wednesday, Oct 7th at 7 pm at Old Chicago at 119th and Metcalf. Former Overland Park Mayor and current Johnson County Commissioner Ed Eilert will be their guest speaker. Eilert is running for JoCo Commission Chairman against current incumbent Annabeth Surbaugh in what is predicted to be the most high-profile race locally in next year's general election. Eilert served as an Overland Park city councilman for four years before becoming the city's major for 28 years during its rise as Kansas City's leading suburb in population growth, business relocation, and economic development. Eilert was elected to the Johnson County Commission in 2006 and continues to serve on the boards and committees of many local civic and community organizations.

This race for the county's top post pits two well-known JoCo establishment politicians against each other. Surbaugh, a longtime commissioner prior to being elected commission chair, has always maintained a cadre of endorsements from Johnson County's movers and shakers and retains savvy political skills--she cannot be underestimated. However, Surbaugh has faced increasing criticism in the past four years for county budgetary woes, decisions to participate in cross-state tax initiatives such as bi-state, and the county's relationship with the cities and municipalities. Conservative activist and reformer Charlotte O'Hara came within a single percentage point of knocking off the well-funded, well-known Surbaugh in 2006.

Eilert brings star power and his longtime record and tenure as Overland Park mayor, fueling the growth and development of Kansas City's largest suburb in the '70s, 80s, and '90s. Eilert is running on a fiscally conservative platform and can match Surbaugh in fundraising abilities, name recognition, and crucial endorsements. Surbaugh's supporters would argue that she maintained stability and steered the county through some of its greatest economic challenges and a debilitating recession, while Eilert's supporters would argue that with her somewhat brash management style and her focus on bi-state initiatives, she has alienated municipal leaders and neglected the needs of the county, while refusing to take the difficult but necessary steps to reign in spending. Surbaugh's supporters charge that running a city, however large, does not compare to running a county and that Eilert is a novice compared to Surbaugh.

I would rate this race as favoring Eilert, but it would be a mistake to ever count Surbaugh out. However, Surbaugh is in the race of her life and this unusual matching is giving many of Johnson County's civic and municipal leaders headaches as they attempt to choose between two leaders they like fairly well.

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gallup Poll: Government doing too much to solve our problems

57 percent of Americans, the highest number in more than a decade, think the government is doing too much to solve our problems--becoming involved in actions that should be left to individuals and businesses. 45 percent believe there is excess government regulation of businesses. A majority of Independents share these views as well as one-fourth to one-third of all Democrats.

Americans have always preferred local control and governance that is closest to them. The massive expansion of the federal government in all sectors and industries after the financial crisis has only reinforced Americans' cynicism and skepticism towards corrupt, inefficient, and unaccountable federal bureaucracies.

Is Congress listening? Are you listening Mr. Moore? You supported the stimulus, cap and tax, and government-run healthcare against the wishes of your constituents. You have also co-sponsored union card check legislation to intimidate employers and employees alike. Congressman Moore is no blue dog, but he should be blue in the face from swallowing all the deceptive and fabricated claims of moderation and fiscal responsibility he rattles off to constituents at home while voting against their interests in D.C.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Upcoming Political Events...

Townhall with Sen. Sam Brownback

Sen. Sam Brownback, the next governor of Kansas, will be holding a townhall at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe this Monday, Sept. 21st from 6-7 pm at the Bell Cultural Events Center (2030 E. College Way). Brownback will discuss healthcare reform and other public policy issues at the forum.

Join the Johnson County GOP/YRs at the Overland Park Parade

Next Saturday is the Overland Park Fall Festival Parade, one of the largest parades in Johnson County. You can bet all local elected officials and candidates for 2010 will be there, including candidates for statewide and federal office from all over Kansas. Join the Johnson County Young Republicans as they team up with the county GOP to march in the Overland Park Fall Festival Parade Saturday, Sept. 26th at 2:00 pm in historic downtown Overland Park. The county party and YRs will be marching alongside a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner and need volunteers to walk with us, wave to the crowds, help carry our JCRP banner, and hand out cards. Are you a candidate for office in 2010 or an elected Republican official? If so, please join us!If you would like to walk with us, please email for more details.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

House votes to defund ACORN; Cleaver backs sex-trafficking enablers

Ever since young journalists Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe went undercover and did the type of seasoned, investigative reporting that the mainstream media no longer does, we have learned that not only is ACORN shady and corrupt in their voter registration practices, they also encourage tax fraud, prostitution, and sex trafficking of minors.

Even the White House, which relied on ACORN to propel Obama to victory in the '08 primaries, is calling for investigations of the radical and corrupt leftist community group.

Led by Nebraska's great senator Mike Johanns, the Senate voted 83-7 to cut housing funding for ACORN, after the U.S. Census severed all ties with the group, which was to have an oversized role in the 2010 population count.

And now the U.S. House of Representatives has voted 345-75 to cut all funding to ACORN (Roll Call Vote. 718). It seems that Democrats are running for the hills and can't distance themselves enough from ACORN and these damaging revelations. All Democrats that is except for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri's 5th District. Kansas City's congressman voted with 45 of his vacuous and corruption-prone colleagues to retain funding for this criminal outfit. Cleaver should be ashamed and the citizens of the 5th District should be outraged.

Even liberal Dennis Moore of KS' 3rd District had the common sense not to cast an outright vote supporting corruption--Cleaver was the lone congressional voice in KC supporting the politics of corruption.

If you live in Jackson County, call Congressman Cleaver or email him and ask why he supports taxpayer funding for encouraging sex trafficking of minors, prostitution, and tax fraud. Demand answers for his indefensible vote to continue the funding of corruption-as-usual.

Contact Cleaver and let him know ENOUGH is ENOUGH! You do not want your hard-earned taxpayer dollars going to an organization that encourages tax fraud and the sexual abuse of women and children.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

DC Office: 202-225-4535
KC Office: 816-842-4545
Independence Office: 816-833-4545

Friday, September 11, 2009

9.11.01: We Will Never Forget

As we remember the lives lost and sacrifices made on this tragic day, let us not forget the ongoing, persistent threat of Islamic terrorism against U.S. and Western interests around the world.

Our government, to their credit, has thwarted at least 21 large-scale terror attacks against Americans since 2001, including the most recent discovery by the FBI: planned attacks by a 39-year old North Carolina contractor and home-grown terrorist who converted to Islam and travelled to Pakistan to train for jihad.

We witnessed the violent bombings of a hotel complex in Mumbai, India last November, which resulted in the murder of 300 civilians including 5 Americans. This year, we witnessed the bombing of a hotel in Indonesia popular with westerners. And so the war on our values, our culture, our democracy, our entire way of life--continues.

With our faltering economy and the increasingly contentious debate about the government's takeover and intervention in healthcare and private industry, it is relatively easy to become disillusioned with our domestic problems and lose focus on the serious foreign policy threats we still face, from the emergence and mobilization of strengthened terror cells to the provocations of state supporters of terrorism like Iran. We live in a dangerous world that is increasingly destabilized and in the midst of major geopolitical power struggles among ever-changing nation states. We must therefore remain vigilant and always on the defensive.

9/11...We can and must never forget.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two Events This Thursday

Rep. Jerry Moran, 2010 candidate for U.S. Senate, will be the guest speaker of the Johnson County Young Republicans at a special meeting this Thursday.

Date: Thursday, Aug. 27th

Time: 7:30 pm

Place: the new Johnson County GOP headquarters (JCRP) at 12663 Metcalf in Overland Park (127th and Metcalf, next door to The Peanut).

The JCYRs will be meeting at The Peanut for happy hour and social at 6:30 pm and then head over to the JCRP offices to hear from Congressman Moran. Moran will speak and take questions on his campaign, Obama's healthcare push, the out-of-control national deficit, and other policies.


Former Overland Park state representative Patricia Lightner is running for congress and hopes to replace Dennis Moore and become the first Republican to take back the 3rd District since 1998. She's holding her first meet-and-greet this Thursday.

"Perk up the 3rd District" with Patricia Lightner

Date: Thursday, August 27th

Time: 5-8 pm

Place: Mr. Toad's Pub & Perk
NW corner of 135th and Quivira
Overland Park, KS

Come here Patricia talk about her background, her campaign, and her vision for bringing a message of liberty and fiscal restraint to Washington

Questions? Email

BREAKING NEWS: White House predicts $9 trillion deficit

That's $9,000,000,000,000 over the next 10 years--more than the sum of all previous deficits since America's founding. The White House also says that our debt will encompass 75 percent of our entire economy by the decade's end.

Yet the president continues to spend money on a stimulus of destructive spending and government healthcare that will cost trillions of dollars. Is it any wonder his approval is at 49, 50, and 51 percent in most polls (average: 51. 8 percent) and he's actually polling below 50 percent in Ohio and Florida? The percentage of Americans who disapprove of Obama has doubled since his inauguration. And Republicans now have a chance at gaining control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and taking out Harry Reid in NV while possibly taking Senate seats in CT, NY, DE, IL, PA, and CA just to name a few?

Since the stimulus has failed miserably at stimulating the economy so far, maybe the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ERRA) should be renamed the Enduring Recession and Retracting Economy Act (ERREA).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Patricia Lightner for U.S. Congress

Former state rep. Patricia Lightner has hit the ground running in her campaign to oust liberal representative-in-name-only Dennis Moore and return a Republican to congress from the 3rd District. She's launched an introductory video and website, and she's on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Check out her website at: and sign up for her eNewsletter and Twitter updates.

Battle for the 3rd District

Dennis Moore's unquestionable support for socialized medicine and his refusal to engage constituents in a town hall format (due to some perceived "death threats") are causing angst and anger throughout the 3rd District. There is solid evidence that Moore could be very vulnerable in 2010, this year, for the first time in his 11-year career in the House.

Several prospective candidates have emerged: Jason Mara of Olathe, Biotech industry businessman John Rysavy, Iraq War veteran Sgt. Dan Gilyeat, former state representative Patricia Lightner, and Overland Park City Councilman Terry Goodman.

It remains to be seen whether more candidates jump in the fray (as they smell blood in the water) and when some of the candidates already in the race drop out.

At this time, Patricia Lightner seems to be the strongest candidate. Lightner has name recognition, having served in the Kansas state legislature from 1999-2004 as the 29th district state representative for Overland Park and chairing the house Insurance Committee. Lightner, a former contender for the congressional seat in the 2004 GOP primary, currently serves as Vice President of State Government Relations for HSBC.

Lightner recently spoke to the Johnson County Young Republicans:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

3rd District Republican candidates for congress to speak at JoCo Young Republicans meeting

Join the Johnson County Young Republicans this Wednesday, August 5th at 7 pm at Old Chicago (119th and Metcalf) as they welcome two Republican candidates planning to take on embattled, unpopular incumbent Democrat Dennis Moore. Two declared Republican candidates running for the 3rd District congressional seat in 2010 currently held by Dennis Moore--Patricia Lightner and Daniel Gilyeat--will be speaking to the group.

Patricia Lightner served in the Kansas state legislature from 1999-2004 as the 29th district state representative for Overland Park, chairing the house Insurance Committee. Lightner, a former contender for the congressional seat in the 2004 GOP primary, currently serves as Vice President of State Government Relations for HSBC.

Sgt. Daniel Gilyeat is a single father who served two tours in Iraq and was given a new home by the television show Extreme Home Makeover. Come here how these candidates plan to defeat Dennis Moore and return the 3rd District to Republican representation.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!


Amid the fireworks, food, and family fun, let's reflect and remember that what we are celebrating: that we are the most free, most democratic, most open society and country on earth. This country and system of government did not happen by accident--the vision and principles of our Founders were grounded in the beliefs of God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--principles that are not subject to interpretation or to the whims of those who yearn for a "living," "breathing," constitution. Our Constitution has endured for 220 years with just 27 amendments. Contrast this to France, which has had over 5 Constitutions or Germany, or a number of other countries like the United Kingdom which do not have constitutions to specify the liberties and rights of the individual and the limitations of the power of the state.

Only in the United States could Charles Carroll, a Catholic from Maryland sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 alongside of Thomas Jefferson, a Protestant, at a time when religious wars were waging in Europe. Yet the delegates to that first continental congress found common agreement in the belief of God-given rights and liberties--the foundation for a new type of government by the people, of the people, and for the people.

Friday, July 03, 2009

BREAKING News: Sarah Palin Resigns as AK Governor

Lt. Governor Sean Parnell will take office later this month. Palin resigned before finishing her term; shocking the political establishment, and gave no indication of her future plans except to successfully outline her administration's accomplishments while stating that she wanted the state to get back to business and she was tired of the distractions and ridiculous ethics complaints--efforts by her opponents to stymie her administration.

Will Palin go into private life? Is she gearing up for a run for the presidency in 2010? If so, it would be more practical to finish out her term. I happen to think she may be gearing up for a Senate run in 2012, possibly challenging fellow Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary (unless Murkowski chooses not to run for a second term).

What do you think? How does this affect the Republican presidential field for 2012?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tax and Trade: a vote to destroy the American economy

Cap-and-Trade (which I call Tax and Trade, since that is what the bill really does) passed the House yesterday evening by only 7 votes. Eight misguided and ignorant Republicans joined the 83 percent of House Democrats in supporting the bill. 44 Democrats joined 95 percent of House Republicans in opposing the bill.

Fortunately, the legislation faces a good chance of defeat in the U.S. Senate, as 60 votes are needed to prevent a filibuster and several Democrats from rural, energy-producing states could be persuaded to vote against the disaster--Landrieu from LA, Nelson from NE, Tester and Baucus from MT, Specter and Casey from PA, Udall from CO, Begich from AK, Lincoln and Pryor from AR.

Perhaps most remarkable, environmental group Greenpeace and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have joined forces in opposing the bill--the Chamber correctly condemns the bill for killing jobs and economic growth; Greenpeace argues that the bill will do nothing to help the environment and substantially reduce pollution.

What are the provisions of this gargantuan 1,000 page bill with a 300 page addendum?

  • The bill will implement an arbitrary and corruption-prone system of doling out a limited number of carbon credits or usages to businesses. Any attempt to use energy beyond the government allowance will require higher fees, a.k.a. taxes
  • This scheme will result in higher utility costs--electricity, heating, oil--for all Americans. Estimates range from an additional $175-$1000 a year for the average American family, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
  • This disasterous bill will hurt all U.S. businesses, especially small businesses which are the backbone of our economy (since they do not have the money, lobbyists, and clout to bribe the bureaucrats for exemptions and additional credits). Unemployment will soar and GDP growth will slow dramatically or possibly go negative
  • Also included in the bill: new federal zoning mandates for all property owners. Now, when buying land for commercial use or making simple adjustments and renovations to your own property, you will be required to apply for a federal permit to ensure environmental compliance in addition to complying with local county and municipal zoning regulations. A bureaucrat in Washington will decide what constitutes an "acceptable" and environmentally-compliant use of undeveloped land in western Douglas County, Kansas

KS' own congresswoman Rep. Lynn Jenkins sent an email newsletter to her constituents highlighing the disasterous and indefensible aspects of this bill, the purpose of which is to lower global temperatures just several hundredths of one degree in the next 20 years. Jenkins has also produced a short series of videos called "Cap and Trade 101" where she succinctly summarizes the legislation and its impact on families, businesses, and agriculture, along with the FAQs--you can view them here at her House website.

Numbers from the CBO (most likely on the low side) are profiled in this recent NY Times article.

Pelosi was able to lock in support from members with an unprecedented blitz of deal-making and pork-barrelling. It is too soon to tell if the same strategy will work on members of the Senate.

Despite numerous protestations and appeals from residents of the 3rd District, Rep. Dennis Moore ignored his constituents and voted with Nancy Pelosi for this disasterous bill--he couldn't bring himself to join the 44 moderate Democrats in the House who opposed it. His constituents are watching and will not forget. Moore will not have Obama on the ballot to pull him across the finish line in 2010, but he will have his countless controversial votes that go against the majority of his district. Fiscally responsible he is not. Independent he is not. A liberal lackey for the most extreme elements of his party's agenda--he is.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

News Highlights...

I've been extremely busy lately, so not much time right now, but here are some points to ponder:

Obama's approval is down to 57 percent acc. to Gallup, which has always had his approval rating higher than other polls. Rasmussen (the only pollster to accurately poll the percentage outcome of the 2008 presidential election), has Obama at a mediocre 53 percent approval, with 46 percent disapproving. Could his insistance on rapid passage of his nationalized healthcare proposal and the fear over its price tag and implementation explain the president's fall from grace? Or is it his tepid response to Iran and relunctance to stand with Iranian dissidents who support democracy and reform? Or is the fallout from North Korea's saber-rattling? Or the fact unemployment continues to climb and the effects of the stimulus seem to be nil? Discuss.

It's almost certain now that Brownback will be our next governor. Thornburgh saw the reality and accepted it--however, I think our secretary of state still has a bright future in politics if he wants it. Brownback has managed to unite the party behind him like never before--he has Moran, Tiahrt, Jordan, and Jenkins leading his campaign in each of their congressional districts, and he has the backing of prominent moderates and conservatives throughout the state--Pat Roberts and Bob Dole are leading his statewide campaign team and Overland Park lawyer John Petersen (former Gov. Bill Graves' finance chair) is chairing Sam's campaign in Johnson County.

This shifts the focus on the blockbuster battle between Tiahrt and Moran for Sam's U.S. Senate Seat. Thoughts?

The Johnson County Republican party is organized and ready like never before--the county party has prominent new offices at 12651 Metcalf (127th and Metcalf, next to The Peanut) and th county party will have a presence at the Lenexa Days Parade. Their new office Grand Opening is Saturday, July 11th from 11-2 pm. Join them for free food, socializing, and meet local GOP candidates running in 2010.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sen. Reid: Sotomayer's judicial record does not matter--no plans to read any of her past decisions

It's bad enough when our representatives in Washington assume we do not care how much they are spending or insult our intelligence by wasting time on the taxpayer's dime by calling in a speed-reader in an apparent mocking gesture and insult to the vast majority of Americans who naively expect their representatives to actually read legislation before they vote on it.

But now we have this from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

He sidestepped questions about her past decisions, telling reporters that he's never read any of the hundreds she's written during her 17 years as a federal judge. And, he added, "if I'm fortunate before we end this, I won't have to read one of them."

Is this a joke? With a salary of $174,000 a year, gold-standard healthcare plans that are unmatched by any other employer or profession, and over 4 months of taxpayer-subsidized, paid vacation a year, I guess expecting senators who will be voting on Sotomayor's nomination to actually study and read her judicial record is just expecting too much. Maybe our elected body should be content with judging whether she meets racial and gender quotas for the court and ignore her legal opinions and decisions--after all, why pay attention to details? Supreme Court Justices only serve for life anyway and are never subject to a public vote of confidence or approval.

For the record, Sotomayor has an impressive legal background and history, and I'm sure she herself would agree that she should be judged by her legal body of work and opinions--after all, professors up for tenure are judged by their research, surgeons are evaluated based on the procedures and operations they have performed, and entire corporations are judged on past earnings and profitability ratios. Shouldn't we expect a judge to be "judged" on her past work?

Sen. Reid is an embarrassment--it's no wonder nearly half of Nevadans have an unfavorable opinion of Reid and 45 percent say they would definitely vote to replace him. Reid may follow in Dascle's footsteps in 2010.

Presidential Positioning

Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today he will not run for re-election to a third term as Governor of Minnesota, fueling speculation that he's setting up a presidential run for 2012.

Coincidentally, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) was making the rounds in Sioux City, Iowa today, greeting voters. Ensign claims no presidential ambitions, just a desire to demonstrate leadership and propose solutions (code speak--he's running for president, folks). Ensign heads the Republican Policy Study Committee in the Senate and would be an interesting contender in 2010--a strong, affable leader from a critical swing state.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gov. Parkinson denies military easy access to ballots

We here at the Konnection have been pleased with Gov. Parksinson so far. He demononstrated the type of bipartisan, centrist decision-making we so admire when he compromised to allow for the building of a coal-fired plant in Holcomb, a welcome development that enables our state to move forward with a comprehensive energy policy and address other issues, such as the looming spending cuts. As a former moderate Republican who changed parties not out of ideology but out of self-interest and self-advancement, Parkinson has proven to be a maverick who seems more willing to compromise and find bipartisan solutions rather than scoring points with the Washington liberal elites and far-left blogger community (as Sebelius did).

Well now we must part ways with the new Governor. Today, Parkinson vetoed election reform legislation that would have allowed our military men and women easier access to the polls by registering to vote and casting their ballots online. The entire legislation was vetoed by Parkinson due to the inclusion of a provision which would add a signature and affidavit line to advance ballots--a needed addition to prevent and combat election fraud. Unfortunately, Parkinson found this requirement too burdensome and confusing. It seems that Parkinson's commonsense, centrist pragmatism is giving way to desire to placate the liberal base of the Democratic Party, especially after Kansas Democrats' angry reaction to his compromise on the coal plants and his failure to choose a viable, 2010 contender for governor as his Lieutenant Governor.

The U.S. military turnout in 2006 was an abysmal 17 percent, due in large part to the onerous regulations and requirements that our servicemen and women mail their ballots weeks, even months--in advance, and even then, military ballots are routinely rejected due to technicalities.

Our many thinks to J.R. Claeys, Republican candidate for Kansas Secretary of State, for bringing this story to our attention. As Secretary of State, Claeys will implement crucial election reform to prevent voter fraud and expand voter access, especially to our military men and women. To find out more about Parkinson's veto and J.R.'s candidacy, read J.R.'s blog entry on today's veto: and visit his website:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Elephant Club Luncheon Tuesday, May 19th

The Johnson County Elephant Club has their first event scheduled for this Tuesday, May 19th. The Elephant Club. The primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the Johnson County Republican Party to become more fully informed on issues facing our elected officials and to provide support to our candidates. The county party hosts a luncheon or dinner forum for Members of the Elephant Club, and Johnson County Republicans. The Elephant Club is a select group of Johnson County Republicans who have demonstrated a commitment to our party. Elephant Club events are scheduled at different times and dates to provide maximum participation of Republicans and Elected officials. The Elephant Club Events also provide candidates an opportunity to meet with Elephant Club Members, Party Leaders and Republican voters.

Annual Membership is $100 per year and includes this first event. Prices per event, including this luncheon, are below.

MAY 19 - LUNCHEON - 11:30 - LEAWOOD HERFORD HOUSE Annual Elephant Club

Registar & Pay Online! Cash or Check at the Luncheon!

Elephant Club Member Luncheon: $25.00 Non- Member: $40.00

Table of 8: Member: $175.00 Non-Member: $300.00

PROGRAM: JCRP Update ; Ronnie Metsker, Chair What's NEW for YOU!

Featured Speaker: Steve Howe, JOCO District Attorney

Legislateve Update: Sen. Karen Brownlee, and Rep. Pat Colloton

Reservations, PLEASE: e-mail Marearl at or JOIN ONLINE!

Hereford House · (913) 327-0800 5001 · Town Center Dr, Leawood

YOU will also receive our NEW JCRP logo lapel pin so you can proudly show your support of the Johnson County Republican Party. Please join the JCRP Elephant Club through our website, online through PayPal. Click on the Donate tab in the upper right hand area by the Calendar. Or mail your Elephant Club Membership to: JCRP, PO Box 12446, Overland Park, KS 66282-2446

Elephant Club members will also receive Club e-mail notices and links to State and National Party Events. Elephant Club Members receive the JCRP discount for our events.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Republican Resurgence in Alexandria?

OK, I must take a break from KC Metro/Kansas/Missouri politics to comment on recent developments in Northern Virginia. Since I lived in D.C. for six months while interning for Sen. Brownback, I developed an extensive knowledge of the Capitol region and really love it, despite it's liberal politics--and I still go back to visit whenever I can. I love the entire area, including the District, Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County in Virginia and and the suburban counties and enclaves in Maryland.

The deepening Democratic trend of politics in Northern Virginia in the the past several election cycles seems to have peaked in 2008 with Obama winning the state of Virginia for the Democrats for the first time since 1964. Yet, the recent off-year elections show Northern Virginia, and particularly, Alexandria, taking on a slight-red hue.

Earlier, we chronicled the special election for Fairfax County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, where the Republican came within 0.5 percent of winning. We also commented on the Republican takeover of a vacant Board of Supervisors seat held by the Democrat who ran for chairman of the board, which opened up her seat for a special election.

Alexandria, a historic port city that has figured prominently in American history and served as home to many of the nation's founding fathers, remains a premier D.C. bedroom community and a liberal bastion in Virginia. Typically, the vote ceiling for any Republican candidate in local, state, or federal elections in Alexandria is 35 percent, which makes it extremely difficult for any Republican to win the city. Obama captured the city easily with a landslide 72 percent of the vote. The last Republican presidential candidate to win Alexandria was Ronald Reagan in 1980.

When Brian Moran vacated his state legislative seat, based in Alexandria, to run for governor, no one gave Republican Joe Murray a chance, but the Republican rocked the political establishment and gave Democrats a heart attack when he only lost to the Democrat by 16 votes in this heavily-Democratic city.

Well, Alexandria Republicans have more to celebrate. The two candidates the party backed in this month's city council elections both won (Frank Fannon ran as a Republican, but Alicia Hughes, as a federal government employee, could not run with the party label, although she had the party endorsement). For the first time in several years, the Alexandria City Council will have Republican representation, and not just one Republican, but two! The city is not carved into districts, so all candidates ran citywide and the top 6 candidates received spots on the council. Fannon, running as a Republican won with the 3rd highest vote total citywide out of 10 candidates total (mostly Democrats) which makes his win all the more remarkable (maybe Alexandrians are ready for some real change)! Fannon's success ensures that he will remain a Republican to watch. Alicia Hughes, a young African American and federal employee who works for the U.S. Patent Office, ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and sound budget management--as a young, minority woman Republican, she also represents the future of the party and it is not to early to speculate on higher office for her as well (state assembly? congress?)

All in all, these signs point to a trend, not just an anomaly, and Democrats are on notice--their stranglehold on Alexandria and Northern Virginia is not permanent, nor should it be taken for granted.

More Americans pro-life rather than pro-choice

For the first time in more than 15 years of polling, more Americans self-identify as pro-life (51 percent) over pro-choice (42 percent), according to Gallup. Almost an equal number oppose abortion in all circumstances as those who support abortion in all circumstances, with the vast majority in the middle, although this survey shows a significant increase in the percentage of Americans who oppose abortions in all circumstances.

So if the extreme positions on abortion are relatively equal and compare to past surveys, what has changed? Well, the change in self-identification can be attributed to the vast moderate middle; Americans who have always been uneasy with abortion and favored every restriction possible, except for an outright ban on the procedure.

The Obama administration's radically pro-abortion policies have probably contributed to this shift in self-identification, as this polling is supported by other recent polling, including a Rasmussen survey that found strong opposition to Obama's reversal of the Mexico City policy, which allows taxpayer funding for abortions overseas, and the 42-39 percent lead for Republicans as the party whom Americans most trust on the issue of abortion.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rep. Lynn Jenkins delivers the weekly Republican address...

Kansas' own Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins was chosen to give the weekly Republican radio address, commenting on spending, taxes, President Obama's first 100 days, and Republican solutions to curb spending, create jobs, and control the debt.

Poll: Sebelius unpopular with majority of Kansans...

Probably due to a combination of issues: her opposition to the coal plants, inability to compromise with the legislature on a variety of issues, her inability to lead on the state budget debacle, her focus on finding a job in Washington, and her long absences away from Kansas during the 2008 campaign.

Survey USA says that 50 percent of Kansans disapprove of Sebelius' job performance while only 46 percent approve.

Maybe Sebelius saw the writing on the wall and opted for the cushy HHS job in Washington over possibly losing a bruising 2010 U.S. Senate campaign.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jack Kemp, RIP

A conservative legend passed away yesterday. The Hon. Jack Kemp, a celebrated football player, and New York congressman of 18 years, was an instrumental player in the Reagan Revolution and one of the co-sponsors of the Reagan tax cuts, which brought a close to the Carter recession. Kemp served as HUD secretary in George H.W. Bush's cabinent and ran for vice-president as Bob Dole's running mate in 1996. Kemp's legacy is secured through the establishment of the Jack F. Kemp School of Political Economy at Pepperdine University, a center and program that will advance Kemp's unique commitment to American democracy, free markets, and Judeo-Christian values.

On a personal note, during my participation in George Washington University's Semester in Washington program, I had the opportunity to take a campaign management class at the lobbying offices of Whitmer & Worrall with instructor and firm co-partner Mr. Tom Worrall. Tom and Jack Kemp were great friends, and my classmates and I were introduced to Mr. Kemp during one of our classes and had the benefit of discussing the state of modern-day politicals and political messaging with Mr. Kemp.

Kemp's legacy and contributions to the conservative movement will not be forgotten.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who will Mark Parkinson pick as Lt. Governor? Probably not a Democrat who likened Tea Party protesters to Nazis

Mark Parksinson was sworn in yesterday as the 45th governor of Kansas. Now, speculation swirls as to who he will pick as Lt. Governor, although the bench is relatively thin now without Mr. Morrison, and the choice will make little difference in next year's gubernatorial race, where Sen. Sam Brownback is virtually assured of becoming Kansas' next governor with little Democratic opposition. The names being mentioned are State Sen. Laura Kelly, Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs, Board of Regents member Jill Docking, and Wyandotte County State Senator Chris Steineger.

Now, Steineger had long been mentioned as a Democratic candidate for governor, and the only Democrat who could give Brownback an iota of competition in what will still be an uncompetitive race. Steineger is a centrist Democrat who is relatively fiscally conservative and appeals to culturally-conservative, blue collar Kansans as well as some Republicans, although he does propose foolish and questionable legislation at times, such as his universally derided proposal to combine Johnson and Wyandotte counties into one county--WyJo--which was disliked and mocked by officials from both counties.

Steineger suprised Republicans and outraged some in his party by attending and speaking at conventions and summits sponsored by the tax reform group Americans for Prosperity, and appearing at a recent anti-tax tea party earlier this month.

Feeling the heat from his liberal base, Steineger sought to alleviate concerns that he's going soft on his party and ideology by providing a response on the blog Kansas Jackass. Here is an excerpt of Steineger's response:

When Democrats don’t show up to compete with right wing hate mongers, we forfeit the chance to win over the many Americans who ARE NOT hard core right wingers, but more precisely, are economically and financially

During WWII, Eisenhower, Churchill and the other Allies knew that we couldn’t beat Hitler and the Nazis by staying at home. They knew that the only way to win was to invade the Nazis’ turf and take it from them and that’s exactly what happened. Indeed, on the campaign from Normandy to Berlin, the Allies also learned that thousands of German troops no longer believed in Hitler’s message, were willing to surrender, and find a better system to live by. Those who changed their minds built the modern Germany which provides universal health insurance at a sustainable price, and will soon be the first nation to close all coal-fired power plants and make the upgrade to clean, renewable sources of electricity.

Barack Obama has reached out to Cuba and Venezuela by having conversations with Castro and Chavez. Barack Obama reached out to Iran by delivering a congratulatory message on a recent Iranian holiday. Indeed, certain partisan extremists label him a traitor for doing so. As a follower of American foreign policy, I am glad Obama reached out to countries and leaders who previously were thought of as “off limits”. Obama understands that people don’t always agree with their leaders. Although seen shaking hands with leaders who have spoken hate towards us, Obama shows their followers, their people, that we Americans are likeable people and that we would like their friendship.

Wow, where to begin? Steineger seeks to express solidarity with average Kansans concerned about taxation, rising spending, and the amount of debt placed on the shoulders of their families and children, and Steineger has the audacity to call them "right-wing hate mongers"? Even more disturbing, he draws an analogy between engaging tea party attendees with the Allies invading Europe and combating Hitler and the Nazis. But he doesn't stop there--after comparing thousands of average Kansans to Nazis, he compares engagement with these citizens to engaging Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Ahmadinejad in diplomatic relations--all are draconian dictators responsible for the deaths of thousands and the loss of freedoms of millions of their citizens. Yet engaging peaceful, concerned Kansans of all political stripes is equivalent to engaging Hitler's Nazis and some of the most totalitarian and extremist dictators currently in power?

Steinger's comments failed to placate liberal outrage, and the state senator now faces the wrath of those in the middle and right whom he libeled in his blog response, those who took him for an honest and credible voice of reason when attending these events.

In a rare event, Steineger has angered his base and offended the moderate-conservative Independents and Republicans he would need to win over in a statewide election to remain semi-competitive.

This abominable, offensive rhetoric has now damaged Steineger's prospects of being the Democratic standard bearer for Governor and wiped out any chance that he would be a relevant, slightly-competitive candidate against Brownback in next year's gubernatorial race on the rare chance he is the Democratic nominee.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Latest Polling: Americans may vote for a check in 2010 on Democratic power

Rasmussen's new polling on the generic congressional ballot finds that 41 percent of Americans would vote for their district's Republican candidate while 38 percent would support the Democratic candidate. Republicans trailed in this poll for the better part of last year and only recently have started to tie or lead the Democrats on this critical measure of voter preferences in the next midterm election. Now, based on these numbers, the Republicans would certainly gain seats, but the GOP needs those numbers to rise to a 7-10 point spread to have any hope of regaining a majority in the House of Representatives.

53 percent of Americans now believe the next president will be a Republican.

Confidence in how the government is conducting the war on terror (or as the Obama administration has now decreed, "overseas contigency operations") is at an all time low. Only 42 percent of likely voters believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terror. This number has steadily dropped from 50 percent a few weeks ago and 62 percent in February.

Hmmm...could it have anything to do with the Obama administration's decision to release CIA memos on enhanced terrogation techniques, giving our enemies our playbook, and announcing that those critical techniques are no longer allowed and that photos of CIA agents performing these techniques will be released to the public, leaving the CIA demoralized and in disarray, incapacitating the CIA and hindering the ability of the agency to protect us and recruit younger, more savvy members to the agency.

I don't know...I'll let you decide that one for yourself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GOP leads on several issues, closes the gap on others

The recent Rasmussen survey on partisan trust on major U.S. policy issues provides some surprising insight and demonstrates that the GOP has narrowed its credibility gap with the Democrats substantially on several issues. Shockingly, on the issue of the economy, where the Dems held an advantage for the last few years and a double-digit advantage leading into the 2008 November election, the Republicans only trail the Democrats by 3 points, 42 to 45 percent, essentially a tie when you factor in the margin of error. Americans now trust the Republicans more on the issues of taxes, abortion, and immigration (the Democrats had held single digit leads on all three of these issues for the last several months) and Republicans increased their advantage on national security to an 8 point lead. As the new administration's lurch to the left has led to the enactment of new policy on social issues and implementation of massive spending, it seems that the American public has responded by moving more towards the GOP on these issues, probably as a response to the Dems moving too far too the left and overreaching.
Unbelievaly, the GOP is now tied with the Democrats on the issue of social security, a pet issue and advantage for the Democrats for the last 3 decades. Democrats only hold a two point advantage on Iraq and a 2 point advantage on government ethics (the follies and corruption scandals of congressional Democrats like Charlie Rangel and the failure of Obama appointees to pay their taxes probably contributed to this new polling dynamic). Republicans have even managed to narrow their deficit on reliably Democratic issues such as healthcare and education to the single digits.
What does all this mean? While Obama remains relatively popular, congressional Democrats are not (as witnessed by this poll on the issues and the approval ratings of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi). Americans seem to be tiring of one-party rule and 2010 could be a very good year for Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives.

Obama's approval drops to 56 percent

And the percentage of Americans who disapprove is at an all-time high, 44 percent, according to Rasmussen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wasinger announces campaign leadership team...

Wasinger Announces Leadership Team
Business and community leaders

across Big First to lead team

COTTONWOOD FALLS -- Today, Rob Wasinger announced 14 members of his Kansans for Wasinger Leadership Team, led by Co-Chairs Dick Friedeman and Bill Halvorsen.
The Kansans for Wasinger Leadership Team will play an instrumental role in expanding support across the Big First for the Wasinger campaign. Members will be added as the campaign progresses.

"I am honored to be supported by a great group of business and community leaders across Kansas," said Wasinger. "Together, we will work to spread my message of bringing economic prosperity to Western Kansas while ensuring our way of life."

Kansans for Wasinger Leadership Team Co-Chair Dick Friedeman said, "I am pleased to support Rob Wasinger as co-Chairman of his campaign for Congress. Representing the Big First is a big job, but I know Rob is up to the task. He's a good family man who has his priorities in order and will fight to preserve our way of life. Rob knows small business owners and farmers across the the Big First work hard everyday. He'll take that same work ethic to Congress on our behalf. I am proud to support Rob's efforts to be the next Congressman from the 1st District."

Added Kansans for Wasinger Leadership Team Co-Chair Bill Halvorsen: "Rob combines an understanding of our state's people with insight into the issues of our time. We can send this good man to Congress with confidence that he knows what we think and how to look out for us. With his experience he knows his way around and how to protect our interests when Congress makes the important decisions in the years ahead. Rob will do us well in Congress."

Wasinger is a native of Hays and has served Kansas as a former staffer to then-State Senate Majority Leader Jerry Moran, Governor Bill Graves, and most recently as chief-of-staff to U.S. Senator Sam Brownback. Wasinger has been endorsed by former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Wasinger is amidst a 69-county tour of the "Big First."

Kansans for Wasinger Leadership Team:

  • Dick Friedeman, Great Bend -- Partner, Watkins Calcara, Chtd.; Chairman, Barton County Republican Party

  • Bill Halvorsen, Cottonwood Falls -- Member, Chase County School Board; Kansas Law Enforcement Official

  • Finance Chair Jim McVay, Great Bend -- Trial Attorney, Watkins Calcara Chtd.; Deputy U.S. Special Counsel, Bush Administration

  • Treasurer
    Marilyn Wasinger

Hays Steering Committee

  • Mike Spinden, Cottonwood Falls -- Partner and Manager, Maddog Cattle Company; President, Chase County Farm Bureau; Member, Kansas Livestock Association (KLA)

  • Phil Guries, Salina -- Executive Director, Salina YMCA

  • Mike Johnson, Courtland -- President and CEO, Swedish American State Bank

  • Lynda Fort, Ulysses -- Executive Director, Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association; Regent, Daughters of American Revolution; former Chair, Grant County Fair Board; Member, Grant County Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Mac Griffin, Sublette -- Small Business Owner
  • Kit Griffin, Sublette -- School Teacher

  • Terry Nelson, Norton -- Vice Chairman, First State Bank; member, KLA; Nelson Farms, Inc.; Valley Feeds Mill, LLC; Husky Hogs, LLC; Almena Agri Services

  • Andrew Murphy, Great Bend -- Chief Operations Officer, Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.; Member, KLA

  • Richard Chambers, Hutchinson -- Executive Vice President, Central Bank and Trust Co.; Board Member, Hutchinson-Reno County Chamber of Commerce; Board Member, Hospice of Reno County; Board Member, Hutchinson Town Club; former President, Hutchinson Rotary Club

  • Lynn Peterson, Abilene -- Small Business Owner; Abilene City Commissioner; former Mayor of Abilene