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

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taxed Enough Already--Tea Party Day!

Grassroots "Tea Parties" to protest the exploding national debt, runaway, wasteful spending, never-ending corporate bailouts, and rising taxation are being held across the nation this April 15th-Tax Day, with over 2,000 tea parties planned across the country.

Check out this link to view a map listing the details of the 2,000 tea parties nationwide:

Here are the details for the local tea parties scheduled in the KC metro area:


City: Kansas City
Time: 4:00 pm, speakers begin at 5:00

When: April 15
Where: Liberty Memorial


City: Overland Park
When: April 15, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Guest Post by Rob Wasinger, Candidate for U.S. Congress, 1st District of KS

The Konnection is pleased to publish the following guest post by Rob Wasinger, congressional candidate for Kansas' 1st congressional district, which will be vacated by longtime Rep. Jerry Moran, who is running for Sam Brownback's senate seat. So far, Mr. Wasinger faces Tim Huelskamp, Tim Barker, and Sue Boldra in the GOP primary.

A Message from Rob Wasinger, candidate for U.S. Congress

I have been busy travelling across all 69 counties in the 1st District of Kansas recently, meeting Kansans, renewing old friendships and making new ones. I hope I will see many of you on my journey, but I want to take a moment to introduce myself to the Kansas blogosphere, as well.

I want you know what I stand for, and I hope you will stand with me.

My name is Rob Wasinger, and I believe I am the right person to succeed Jerry Moran to represent the people of the First District of Kansas in Congress. Let me tell you what I would fight for as a Representative, and explain why I am uniquely qualified for fight for it.

Many boomtowns across America are experiencing for the first time the despair that comes with seeing once-promising communities emptied out before their eyes. What some of these big cities are feeling as a sudden shock, rural America has suffered as a slow bleed for far too long.

The good news is that while the boomtowns were built on sand, our homes were raised on good land and solid foundations. But under the old, failed policies of high taxes and burdensome regulation, our communities have fallen into disrepair.

I have a vision of how conservative values and policies will refresh our country, allowing rural and small town America to build upon our strong foundations and lead the way to a thriving and competitive economy. I believe in a set of policies aimed at breaking down the barriers to prosperity for rural America, unleashing the ingenuity and productivity of the American worker.

Central to this vision is a New Homestead Act, a spiritual successor to the Homestead Act that Abraham Lincoln signed and which helped to populate the rural areas of the Great Plains. Today, it is clear that we need bold new initiatives to reinvigorate our heartland.

Where growth and opportunity have been choked off, we should cut back the weeds of government, allowing skilled individuals, small businesses and new investments to plant roots and thrive.

With some simple but well-targeted measures for our rural communities, we can help existing businesses to survive and develop while attracting new businesses and high-tech ventures. We can reward hard work and responsibility by making it easier to build savings and gain access to credit. We can make it easier for the next generation to return to their rural roots after they graduate.

I know the value of this. After finishing college, I returned to my home in Kansas. I want my children and yours to stake their future in the heartland, as well. In order to accomplish that, we must have policies that ensure prosperity for rural America, not just policies that create prosperity for Washington, DC.

I believe that I am uniquely qualified to fight for Kansas from day one, to make this positive vision a reality. I have worked for representatives of the people of Kansas for almost 15 years - both in Kansas and in the nation’s capital. I have become well-versed in how the federal government affects all our lives, and especially those of the rural communities we have in Kansas. I have seen first-hand how Washington works, and I have seen why it fails.

More fundamentally, I am a husband, and a father to 9 wonderful children to whom I hope to leave a vibrant heartland and a better country. I am a conservative, because I believe it is the conservative values of freedom, responsibility and virtue that will make our world a better place for my children.

That is who I am and why I am here. I hope you will give me the chance to prove my values, my conviction and my vision as the Representative from Kansas. I hope you will join me in the fight we have ahead.

For more information, to donate, or to sign up as a supporter, please visit my website.