Archive for Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tom Holland makes it official, announces candidacy for Kansas governor

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters in Topeka in February. Holland recently took issue with a poll that said he was far behind Sam Brownback in the Kansas governor race.

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters in Topeka in February. Holland recently took issue with a poll that said he was far behind Sam Brownback in the Kansas governor race.

February 17, 2010, 12:59 p.m. Updated February 17, 2010, 3:23 p.m.


Holland kicks off campaign

Tom Holland kicked off his campaign for Kansas governor this week. He hopes to help solve the current budget crisis. Enlarge video

Holland announces gubernatorial campaign

Touting his experience as a businessman and legislator, state Sen. Tom Holland on Wednesday kicked off his underdog campaign for governor. Enlarge video

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters Wednesday in Topeka.

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters Wednesday in Topeka.

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters in Topeka in February. Holland recently took issue with a poll that said he was far behind Sam Brownback in the Kansas governor race.

State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, announces his candidacy for Kansas governor before a crowd of supporters in Topeka in February. Holland recently took issue with a poll that said he was far behind Sam Brownback in the Kansas governor race.

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— Touting his experience as a businessman and legislator, state Sen. Tom Holland on Wednesday kicked off his underdog campaign for governor.

“I lead through listening, and I am the only candidate who can put politics aside and bring people together — Republicans, Democrats and proud Independents,” said Holland, a Democrat from Baldwin City.

In his announcement speech, Holland emphasized his background as a small businessman who saw problems with state government and “answered the call” to represent his neighbors. In doing so, he defeated two incumbent Republicans, first in the House and then in the Senate.

He said his experience in the Legislature will help him solve the current budget crisis.

Holland said the lead Republican gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, has been part of a divisive Washington culture where partisan politics and lack of fiscal restraint led to policies that created the recession.

“Enough is enough,” said Holland. “We’ve seen the Sam Brownback way. During his 16 years in Washington, we’ve seen nothing but more debt, more gridlock and more partisanship. We won’t solve today’s challenges by bring Washington’s problems to Kansas,” he said.

Brownback's campaign issued a one-sentence response "regarding the Democrat gubernatorial announcement."

Sherriene Jones-Sontag said, "Senator Brownback remains focused on growing our economy and creating good jobs in Kansas."

Joe Aistrup, a political science professor at Kansas State University, said Holland faces an uphill struggle. Holland has little name identification outside his senate district, and he will face a well-financed Brownback, Aistrup said.

“It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but it’s a long shot,” Aistrup said of Holland’s chances.

Holland’s entrance into the campaign follows decisions by better-known Democrats to skip the likely contest against Brownback, which is just nine months away.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, who came into office when former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was selected to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, decided not to run for election. Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates also considered running but took himself out of contention. Retired businessman Tom Wiggans, who only recently moved to Kansas, jumped into the race with Gates’ blessing, but then bowed out after news reports about a legal settlement involving his drug company raised questions.

Holland has a history of being a hard-working legislator and campaigner. His announcement Wednesday, consisted of a 6-minute speech, and then he took some questions from the media.

About 75 people attended the event, which was held outside, across the street from Lowman Hill Elementary School.

Holland's campaign assistant said the location was chosen to emphasize Holland's support of public schools. The location also is about one block from a church that Brownback attends. In the crowd were several state legislators, their staff, and party officials. Attorney General Steve Six was the only statewide official at the announcement.

In 2008, Holland defeated incumbent Republican Roger Pine for the state Senate seat. In 2002, he defeated incumbent Republican Ralph Tanner for a House seat.

Both House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence and Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka issued news releases praising Holland.

“Tom Holland is an independent voice for the people of Kansas,” Hensley said. Davis also criticized Brownback’s attendance record in the U.S. Senate when he waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for president.

“Faced with a devastating budget crisis, Kansas needs a governor who will be at work early and stay late fighting for struggling families. This is not the type of work ethic Sam Brownback has ever demonstrated amid his perpetual campaigns for higher office,” Davis said.

Holland’s senate district includes part of Douglas County, all of Jefferson County and Leavenworth County, except the cities of Leavenworth and Lansing. It covers the northern third of Lawrence and the communities of Baldwin City, Basehor, Easton, Eudora, Grantville, Linwood, McLouth, Meriden, Nortonville, Oskaloosa, Ozawkie, Perry, Tonganoxie and Valley Falls.

Holland is owner and president of Holland Technologies Inc., an information technology consulting and professional services firm. He and his wife, Barbara, have four children.

The Kansas Republican Party was dismissive of Holland. Ashley McMillan, executive director of the state GOP, said Holland was likely “a precursor to the real Democratic candidate who will emerge in a few months.”

Holland responded saying, “I’m in this race to win. Sam Brownback may think this race is won, but the people get to decide who will lead the state through this budget crisis -- a career, Washington politician or a problem-solver with real business experience.”

Two other Democrats have said they are running in the Aug. 3 Democratic Party primary. They are Herbert West III of Paola, who lost a sheriff’s race in Miami County in 2008, and Marty Mork of Wichita, an unsuccessful congressional candidate in 2004 and 2006.

Kansas Democratic Party officials have thrown their support behind Holland.

In a news release, Kenny Johnston, executive director of the state Democratic Party, said of Holland, “Tom is a problem solver who has a record of bringing people together.”


Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Well financed Brownback = big time special interest dollars = Brownback is tied to his special interest donators.

16 years of the republicans did not bring a lot of jobs to the USA but a lot of jobs for China,Pakinstan and India. Millions upon millions of white collar jobs are on the way to india.

When I think of republicans a few things will always come to mind like 12 years of Reagan/Bush New World Order global economy sending millions upon millions of jobs abroad. Reagan/Bush definitely opened the floodgates that allowed south of the border jobless take over USA employment as their way of busting unions. How do republicans shut down unions? Put americans out of work = 7-8 million jobs gone.

Oh yes Reagan/Bush had their home loan scandal as well that cost many many many golden agers their retirement money. Which put lots of them out on street looking for jobs during a tanked economy.

Next comes Bush/Cheney = 8 million more out of work by way of home loan fraudulent activity.

Where was Sam Brownback? Blindly supporting the republican party no matter what.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 11 months ago

Somebody had to take one for the team! Good luck!

Jack Hope III 7 years, 11 months ago

Question of Mr. Brownback... you are a member of "The Family", a religious organization with a branch in Washington DC. Members of The Family are responsible for the "Kill the Gays" legislation in Uganda. Do you have any comment about this organization and your roll in it?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 11 months ago

Is that some new copy, merrill? Did you wear out that set of links you've been posting for the last 5 years?

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Just testing my avatar.

Oh, yeah, and go Tom Holland. You are on the last line of defense against the Kansas Taliban.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

No mention of platform, no stance on issues, just promises and "personality." And how do you know he is a moderate? I have had conversations with him that convince me he is of the Moveon persuasion.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

"No mention of platform, no stance on issues, just promises and "personality."

And entered the campaign minutes ago.

"I have had conversations with him that convince me he is of the Moveon persuasion."

Well, Godot, your personal conversations have convinced me (rolls eyes).

coldandhot 7 years, 11 months ago

Folks: Listen!!! This Holland guy is a phony. He cannot be trusted. He has not done anything. He is a good campaigner...Says one thing and does another once in office. He is a Pelosi liberal that tries to come off as a moderate. The media helps him in that. Don't be fooled Kansans. Holland doesn't have the qualifications to lead our state!

coldandhot 7 years, 11 months ago

No, I wish a qualified independent would run for the governorship. From what I can tell, Brownback is in bed with the Republican establishment.

leedavid 7 years, 11 months ago

Don't spend your own money Tom...your about to be unemployed. You don't have the money, the support or the background for success. You came from the legislators that put us in this mess.

leedavid 7 years, 11 months ago

Sure edjahawk....deny..good strategy..tell me this, what party is the governor in? The one that signs the bills...who is that person?

BigDog 7 years, 11 months ago

Representative Davis if Kansas needs someone there early in the morning until late at night working to solve its problems ..... does that mean Tom isn't the person or is he going to change habits?

And to the Democratic Party Director, Kenny Johnston, if Tom Holland is the person to lead with his experience and problem solving ability ..... please tell us know what problems he has solved and his proposal for solving the state's budget shortfall of $450 million.

The catch phrase used by several people is problem solver but Holland doesn't exactly have that history or reputation in the Kansas House or Senate.

Not a big fan of Sam Brownback but also have not seen much from Tom Holland.

leedavid 7 years, 11 months ago

Has anyone on the left checked his voting record? Where he gets funding from? How many speeches he has given? Anything?

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

The far left nutjobs are having orgasms over this guy. All we need to know.

jayhawk166 7 years, 11 months ago

Tom Holland should have thought this out a little better hes going to run for govenor when the previous democrate who was a much better canadate said it would be impossible and a waste of money to run against Brownback! besides Tom is as far left as you can go he doesnt stand a chance of winning the state. sure he'll win Lawrence but thats just a small portion of the vote. Not to mention he barley wins his distric even if no one else runs against him.

Sulla 7 years, 11 months ago

Good luck Mr. Holland and hope that you can save Cedar Crest from being occupied by a freakazoid Xtian nutjob... now someone viable needs to step up and prevent one of the two Family members -Moran, Thiart - from taking Cardinal Brownie's Senate seat.

Be Against The Family all ye Kansans!

Ann Hamil 7 years, 11 months ago

Too bad Roger Pine, state senate incumbent in this seat until Nov 08 is considered "no one else" by jh66--could be why he lost to Tom.

Sulla 7 years, 11 months ago

@coldandhot - what's a "Pelosi liberal'?? How is it different from a 'Al Franken liberal'?( So does Holland dress in drag to try to look like Nancy Pelosi as he reads from 'The Quotes of Mao Zedong'? )

You just heard the term on FOX or DittoRadio and repeat it without giving it any thought and couldn't define one characteristic that differs a Pelosi lib from any other left - of - Pat Robertson person.

situveux1 7 years, 11 months ago

Brownback or Holland?

I'll take none of the above.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 11 months ago

Is either Holland or Brownback going to resign their elected postions while running for governor. If either one of the two thought they would win, why don't they resign their seats instead of running for office and using their current office to campaign.

ozzynbn 7 years, 11 months ago

Not sold on Holland yet, but does it matter? Minus 2 democrat counties in Kansas and you have 103 that will go with Brownback. Sam will trounce Tom. Won't even be close.

Thats_messed_up 7 years, 11 months ago

Dang I was hoping Merrill would run and cut and paste us into liberal utopia-Dang!

wastewatcher 7 years, 11 months ago

Tom Holland is a tax and spend Obama LIBERAL, if in doubt check his voting record and see just how LIBERAL he is.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Yup. It was the summer of 2008, and I recall observing Holland as he was absorbed in his reading of, "An Inconvenient Truth." With Holland moving his lips as he read, alternately nodding his head up and down and then swaying side to side, sweat beading on his furrowed brow as he fervently highlighted the passages that moved him, I felt I was witnessing a religious conversion.

feeble 7 years, 11 months ago

Tom Holland offered an amendment to 2009 Senate Bill 119 (Authorize community improvement taxing districts) to require the special districts' sales tax to automatically expire when the project bonds or pay-as-you-go costs have been paid. The amendment passed in the Senate by voice vote on February 18, 2009.

Quite the tax and spend lib, requiring his taxes to expire once the spending obligations are fullfilled.

Looking over his record, I'm seeing a fair number of votes for increases in local sales taxes to pay for local law enforcement and county jails. Oh, the horror.

He opposed an amendment for 2009 House Bill 2222 to Increase Judiciary budget by relying on Federal Stimulus dollars. Way to grow government, Tom!

Looks like he's done 416 things in state government since Jan 1, 2009:

You want to attack the man? His record is right there, you can cite specific votes and resolutions. Of course, that' probably too much to ask of the instapundits on this pundits on this board. Either you're with Bible Spice or you're a feckless communist, amirite?

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Holland announced his candidacy for governor just a few hours ago, offering no platform, no position on the issues, just platitudes and promises. Nearly instantaneously, the Far Left Nutwings on this forum declared their support for him based on the fact that he is not a Republican, and that he has a good "personality" and that he should be able to connect with the locals in small towns.

Then the same lefties claim that people who point out that Holland's personal statements and procilitivies show that he is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal are somehow attacking him! Are they saying that it is wrong to be a liberal? Are they saying that telling the truth about Holland is attacking him? Are they saying that Holland must hide his true beliefs in order to be elected to the office of governor?

If Tom Holland wants to be governor, he, and his moveon supporters, should be proud that he is who is he, and not hide his identity behind the faux label of "moderate." If Kansans want a liberal governor, then let it all hang out. Let them choose.

Dan Edwards 7 years, 11 months ago

Godot your post might have worked had it not directly followed one that actually highlighted Mr. Holland's voting record. If you would like to paint him as a liberal democrat, perhaps you could, you know, pull out some examples from his record that support that. Otherwise you're just bloviating.

Brent Garner 7 years, 11 months ago

From what I understand Holland is pro-abortion. That's a no vote from me!

9070811 7 years, 11 months ago

No one is pro-abortion Brent. Good try, no one is yelling "abort your fetus!"

But of single issue voters are just that, single issue voters who do not consider other important outside the womb issues.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm moderate, and do not like Brownback. He is an empty suit. But this guy Holland,.........hope and change, and no specifics. another Obama.....that's just what we need. I can't remember the last election where I could pull the lever without holding my nose.

Brent Garner 7 years, 11 months ago

9070811, No, for many of this it is a very high moral issue. Abortion equals murder. Those supporting it are wrong and we cannot support them regardless of what other "redeeming" quallities they may have. If you don't like that position, that is your privilege, but respect my and others right to have a position that disagrees with yours.

getreal 7 years, 11 months ago

Sam Brownback has been in the race for months, and yet he is completely silent on all the issues facing our state. What is his answer to getting us out of the mess created by a legislature where his party is the majority? More of the same.

9070811 7 years, 11 months ago

I still think its effed up for you to call anyone pro-abortion.

Tulip 7 years, 11 months ago

But bkgarner...for many of us "pro-abortion" otherwise known as pro-choice it is a moral issue also. I believe in a woman's right to choose that that is a moral issue to me. In other words, being anti-abortion does not make it more of a moral issue or above those who are pro-choice. On another note, I think 9070811 has a point--one issue voting can be dangerous. There is probably an issue that Brownback is pro on that you highly and morally disagree with. However, it is only the "popular" issues like abortion that people pay attention to when issues such as education are equally important but get overlooked.

Tulip 7 years, 11 months ago

TopJayhawk--what is wrong with hope and change? It is better than keeping things as is that are not working. Don't we want someone to come in and attempt to make important changes? I also think all this anit-Obama stuff is getting a bit old. He has been in office or say how many months? What did we expect? A total turn-around the minute he entered office? There are bound to be some snags in the way and hope and change takes time...especially because of the pieces that are needed to be picked up. I know I would never want his job.

Sulla 7 years, 11 months ago

Brownback assumes he will have an easy ride into Topeka and being a Republican Governor increases the odds of him scoring the national GOP Nomination in '12(GOP Senators historically do not do well in Presidential elections), and Kansas is just a mere stepping stone for this ..uh.. you-know-what.

Kansas: Just Say No To The Family

Brent Garner 7 years, 11 months ago

Tulip: Your's is the way of compromising principles. If you truly believe that something is right, you do not compromise on it. Your argument is that other things may "outweigh" the issue raised. Sometimes that is true, but not where abortion is concerned. You wish to be pro-abortion. Fine, that is your privilege and I would expect you to vote for and support candidates you agree with your views. Similarly people like myself will not support candidates who do not agree with our views. Your posting, though, suggests that your position is right and that mine is somehow wrong. That, Tulip, is arrogant beyond belief and borders on tyranny and is precisely why we have the sharpening divide in this country. Some of us are tired of the left telling us that we are not worthy human beings and that we must submit to their "enlightened" views. That attitude has reached a point where we are approaching bloodshed in this country. Why? Because large portions of the population are sick and tired of the arrogance of the left and are not going to take it anymore. If that results in a new Civil War, then so be it!

Tulip 7 years, 11 months ago

bkgarner--you got this completely wrong. I am far from arrogant and in fact am quite open-minded. In fact my point was to suggest that our views are different. Not that one is wrong and one is right. I was merely pointing out that what is a moral issue for you is also a moral issue for me. In other words, pro-life does not equal morality because for me pro-choice is a moral issue. That is all I meant. I also believe for voting for people who stand for issues I do. And yes it is the case that some outweigh the rest for me, however, I was simply making the point that there are many issues not just one that should inform your vote. Tyranny! Civil war! Really? If anything your comments just now seem very divided...are your comments not sharpening the divide? You are suggesting civil war...remember us "enlightened folks" usually vote for peace. Seriously I was not attacking you and I'm sorry you read it that way. Civil discussion is all I was going for...but I guess you want a civil war.

zbarf 7 years, 11 months ago

The term Pro-Choice is a lie. The debate is not about choice. It is about abortion. If it were about choice, why wouldn't we try to take away other choices besides abortion? Such as hair color, or breast implants. Those are a woman's choice, killing a baby living inside of you is not a choice.

What really amazes me is how the liberals/progressives/democrats claim to be for the little guy, yet they fail to protect the most frail and helpless humans on earth.

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