Archive for Sunday, January 29, 2006

State GOP seeks unity

Republican leaders approve ‘inclusive’ platform preamble

January 29, 2006


— At least for a few moments Saturday, Kansas Republican officials appeared unified after adopting a party platform that supports overturning abortion rights and banning embryonic stem cell research.

State Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger also got a resounding vote of confidence and cheers as he called for unity.

"Whatever side you want to be on in the primaries, when the primaries are over : we stand behind our candidates," Shallenburger said after a sometimes feisty 2 1/2-hour GOP state committee meeting.

But warfare between the so-called moderate and conservative wings continued to plague Kansas' most dominant political party.

As the meeting ended, conservative Doug Patterson, who is chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party, confronted Andy Wollen, chairman of the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority, a group of moderates.

Patterson challenged Wollen to put on a sticker that read "Loyalty." Wollen declined.

"Are you refusing to put that on?" Patterson asked.

Nancy Hanahan, of Overland Park, explains changes she wants to make to the Kansas Republican Party bylaws. Hanahan spoke Saturday at a GOP meeting in Topeka.

Nancy Hanahan, of Overland Park, explains changes she wants to make to the Kansas Republican Party bylaws. Hanahan spoke Saturday at a GOP meeting in Topeka.

"I am refusing to take that from you. I am not loyal to you," Wollen said, noting that Patterson has posted critical comments about Wollen on the county party's Web site.

"Every word of that is true," Patterson said.

Room for diversity

The new state party platform fulfilled many wishes of conservatives.

The platform supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

It also seeks a ban of embryonic stem cell research. The platform also invites criticism of evolution in science classes and declares that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.

Wollen said the platform represented "extreme positions."

"Zero support for embryonic stem cell research is excluding 200,000 Kansans who can benefit from cures of diseases," that could be made through such research, he said.

But State Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger of Lawrence, also a moderate, said she could accept the platform because in the preamble it allows for differing views.

"As long as there is the statement that says we respect diversity and that we can agree to disagree," Praeger said. "This 'big tent' discussion today was very healthy, and I was happy to see it."

House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, successfully added language to the state GOP preamble from the party's national platform that said, "This diversity is a source of strength, not a sign of weakness, and so we welcome into our ranks all who may hold differing positions."

Attempts to water down or omit the "big tent" language promoting unity were rejected.

Much of the early fighting was about party operations.

Conservatives won a proposal that will require a new party platform be written every two years, with Atty. Gen. Phill Kline being one of the key votes to get the measure passed.

But they lost a measure that would have allowed changing the party's national committee representatives in the middle of their terms.

Conservatives sought to increase the size of district committees from 27 members to 98 members, saying more grassroots Republicans needed to be included. The state committee approved increasing the number to 37.

The committee also adopted a party constitutional amendment that keeps the Republican Party primaries closed to only registered Republican voters.

Conservative Dwight Sutherland of Olathe, a former national committeeman, said he believed Republicans were united.

"Sane conservatism prevailed. The very divisive sort of antagonistic impulses were squelched," he said. "I don't think there's anything in the platform that will come back to haunt us."

Focused on victory

Party Chairman Shallenburger has long been considered a conservative, but he recently had been under attack from anti-abortion advocates because he has supported Republican Party members who believe in a woman's right to an abortion.

He said he was pleased with Saturday's results.

"We're focused on winning elections and not beating each other up," he said.

He said the party's main goal is to oust Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who defeated him in 2002, in part by winning the support of some moderate Republicans.

"We should not have elected the last governor," Shallenburger said. "We should not have lost that election. But the Republicans for Sebelius and the Republicans who put her into office - we can remedy that problem this year. I pledge to do everything I can," he said.


Richard Heckler 12 years, 4 months ago

Blind loyalty has become the republican party's threat to other republicans. A republican cannot have a differing viewpoint without the republican party having that republican possibly replaced in the next election cycle.

If you asked me that is dangerous narow thinking...anything but inclusive.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago

"State GOP seeks unity".

More like "State GOP seeks uniformity".

I sympathize with moderate republicans' attempts to take back their party, but let's get real. The republican party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, heck, even Bob Dole, is gone. The party has been subsumed by the radical populist right wing, much as the democratic party was by civil rights and social progressives in the mid-20th century.

Relics exist, such as Lincoln Chafee, but they are just that, relics.

The moderate republican mantle of conservatism, reason and moderation, like it or not, has been transferred to the democratic party.

Politics should be about realism. The reality is the GOP no longer represents many who cling to it, just as the democratic party no longer represents people like Zell Miller.

I dare any moderate republican out there to distinguish Dennis Moore from a moderate republican. There is no difference.

Jamesaust 12 years, 4 months ago

distinguish Dennis Moore from a moderate republican? easy.

  1. Moderate Republicans agree on the need for tort reform. Moore has voted against such reform.

  2. Moderate Republicans support a ban on partial birth abortion. Moore opposes. Likewise, child interstate abortion limits.

  3. Moderate Republicans are sceptical about the UN and agree that US taxpayer money should be used as a weapon to force reform. Moore has voted otherwise. (Indeed, Democrat attitudes to the UN seem to be a proxy for a range of positions that lead most Americans to question their trustability on security issues.)

  4. Moderate Republicans believe in low capital gains taxes. Moore has voted against such reform. Indeed, while Moderates are not obsessive about further lowering taxes, I'm unsure what tax decrease Moore has voted for (lately at least).

  5. Moderate Republicans take offense at recent changes that water down eminent domain protections in our constitution but when Congress recently passed legislation to limit the practical occurence of such 'revenue enhancing' action, Moore voted against it.

Now, before the radical right reposts this 5 obvious differences, it should be noted that Moderates could easily list similar differences with them.

Occasionally, on election day, Moderates get a moderate to vote for. Often in Kansas, they must attempt to measure whether the radical or the Democrat would be a more painful alternative. (The last Ryun-Boyda race must have been excruciating.) It is the fondest hope of the radicals that if enough of these similarities can be emphasized that Moderates will ignore the extra Dixiecrat items added in the last twenty years (Abe Lincoln must be rolling in his grave).

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 4 months ago

I appreciate the list. These are indeed differences between Moore and some republicans. However, it is my suspicion that such variation could be found within republicans themselves.

1) Tort reform. Not an expert, but Lincoln Chafee does not support the most restrictive versions of tort reform. It is my understanding that he supports some.

2) Partial-birth abortion. Olympia Snowe voted against bans on PBA as well as on bans restricting overseas and military abortions.

3) Many moderate republicans are very close to Moore on the issue of the UN. Certainly many mods were skeptical about John Bolton.

4) Agreed. Capital gains is a difference.

5) I don't know much about this and I'm not sure what you are refering to. The seizure of property by the government for commercial development?

I still maintain that Moore is closer to moderate republican views than are right-wing republicans.

christie 12 years, 4 months ago

The speeches were good, but they're best when heard in the Original German.

Jamesaust 12 years, 4 months ago

Hermann, if you want to keep trying to make failed arguments in your internal echo-chamber, keep at it. Given the poor state of public education, I'm sure there must be some feeble-minded types somewhere who will be fooled into thinking spewed vomit is just spilled oatmeal.

Jamesaust 12 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...I'm sorry. I assumed you had some idea who Arminius was. (Sort of like being named "Timothy McVeigh".)

As to the Dixiecrat incorporation into the GOP, I can't believe you are quite so ignorant of its influence. Its been remarked upon extensively for decades now. Quite the devil's bargain its proved to be. Lee Atwater? Strom Thurmond? Jesse Helms? Zell Miller? Ring any bells?

American eduation not being what it once was (sigh), I suggest Google.

Jamesaust 12 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm...I did catch Frist's appearance. A sad outcome to a promising public servant. At some point, this physician developed a hunger for the Presidentcy and promptly sold his soul. Unfortunately, Frist turned out to not be a leader for even the Senate let alone the Nation.

I would have thought the saddest moment of the interview was "and the law of governing FISA itself says unless there is another statute. And the statute I would argue is the constitution." Okay. I realize that its civics 101, but the constitution isn't a statutue. What's more, a constitutional provision - and an unclear one at that - does not trump a statute unless the statute is arrived at by unconstitutional means. In other words, the statute in question was passed under the express powers granted by the constitution to the Congress and was duly signed into law by the executive. The only way around that statute is either (a) the facts don't apply to the statute, or (b) the statute is unconstitutional. (Believe it or not, the President's action may not have been constitutional (directly) but still have been illegal.)

No! My favorite line was that he: "took an oath to our Constitution as a United States Senator to protect life." Really? what oath is that??????? Methinks he confuses the Hypocratic oath with his oath of office.

I believe the oath in question is to defend the constitution of the United States - something attacked directly by Congressional action in this fiasco. (It was a painful thing to watch the federal judges go all pro forma in avoiding doing anything in the case rather than refer to the Congress as a bunch of Jack-a//es.) Goodness, we execute people every year in this country who've had only 1/10th the due process done in that case.

Of course, it wasn't Frist's actions that week that doomed his ambitions. That came on a different Sunday news program with Stephanopolous, questioning a government-funded program that said that tears and sweat would spread AIDS.

George S: "Do you believe that tears and sweat can transmit HIV?"

ANSWER: ""I don't know, I can tell you."

And thus, a bald-faced liar, mesmerized by personal ambition, was documented for all the world to see.

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