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.