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Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kansas Democrats suffer major political damage

November 3, 2010

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— The Republican wave was no more evident than in the Kansas House, and that could mean a big lurch to the right in state government.

Before Tuesday's election, the GOP held a 76-49 advantage in the House. Now, it has a 92-33 advantage. That success goes along with a Republican sweep of statewide races from governor on down.

“It was not a pretty night for Democrats,” House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said Wednesday.

It was history-making election.

The last time the House Republican margin was so lopsided was in 1954 when the GOP held a 105-20 advantage. And the last time Republicans swept the statewide races was 1964.

The Democratic losses in the House means the end of a bi-partisan majority of Democrats and moderate Republicans that has fought for school funding, and passed a 1-cent state sales tax increase earlier this year to fend off what supporters said would have been devastating cuts to education, social services and public safety.

“It's gone,” Davis said of the bi-partisan group.

“The face of state government has changed significantly with this election,” Davis said. “You are going to see some very different things coming out of the Legislature. You have a very significant conservative majority in the House,” he said.

Davis said he believes there will be much more force behind attempts to put additional restrictions on abortion, make it more difficult to get a divorce, and prohibit domestic partner registries such as the one Lawrence has. All these issues have been in play during the past few years.

Republican Gov.-elect Sam Brownback emphasized fiscal issues during his campaign, proposing a “Road Map for Kansas,” which focused on improving the economy and student academic performance.

In his victory speech, Brownback continued that theme, saying, “We campaigned on the Roadmap. We won on the Roadmap. We will govern on the Roadmap.”

But Brownback and Attorney General-elect Derek Schmidt have called for repeal of federal health care reform, and Brownback and Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach have called for photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register to vote.

In addition, Davis said abortion opponents know they have a friend in the governor's office and will expect movement on their issue.

Kansans For Life put out a news release that said Brownback “will welcome, and sign, the many pro-life bills,” that had been vetoed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. And Kansans for Life said the Republican victories in the House further strengthened its hand.

“While he (Brownback) may not be actively promoting those kinds of issues, they are going to land on his desk. I expect he will sign most of those provisions,” Davis said.

Brownback has said he wants to impose a state spending freeze, while overhauling the school finance system, which accounts for more than half of state spending, and state tax policies.

He now has a larger majority to help him. The GOP advantage in the Senate was already 31-9.

Republican gains in the Kansas House occurred statewide.

In Johnson County, voters ousted five of six Democratic incumbents.

Republicans also picked up open districts that had long been held by Democrats, and toppled other incumbents across Kansas.

Davis said the Democratic losses were the result of Republicans making the elections a referendum on President Barack Obama.

“Republicans were very successful in executing a campaign strategy that clearly played well with the electorate,” Davis said. Davis said he doesn’t think the election results showed voter unhappiness with the sales tax increase.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, which worked to defeat legislators who supported the state sales tax increase, hailed the results of the election.

“As we work to grow the Kansas economy by promoting job growth and retention, we are looking forward to a new era in Kansas government, lead by Gov. Sam Brownback and bolstered by a more pro-business Legislature,” said Kent Beisner, chief executive office of the Kansas Chamber.

State Treasurer Dennis McKinney, a Democrat, who lost in his election bid against Republican Ron Estes, said Kansas Democrats are a resilient bunch.

“I’m going to predict that we’ll be back,” he said.

Comments

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

To borrow a phrase from the Campaigner in Chief, American voters went out and punished their enemies.

IndusRiver 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't want to hear it. Lawrence Dems have been given plenty of oppurtunity to listen, but they don't feel like they have to so I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT now.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

What do you have to celebrate?

Big media, big military and big business have tightened the noose around our necks. I, for one, am none too happy.

Set free to spend as much as they want without disclosing their spending, and in control of mainstream media so that the propaganda can flow 24/7, the powers of wealth and power are slowly grinding individual rights in to distant memories.

And the more foolish among us applaud the fascistic degradation of the country. Just what in the world are you celebrating?

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

You fools can't even claim what you've "won."

Are you embarrassed by that? You should be.

dlowell 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't know why anyone would celebrate this. We lost three excellent public servants last night in Chris Biggs, Steve Six, and Dennis McKinney. And we replaced them with an unqualified Attorney General with only politics on the brain, a Secretary of State that wants to expand the powers of his office to harass Hispanics, and another party politician for Treasurer.

Shardwurm 4 years, 1 month ago

Gee...you think those three were 'excellent public servants'? lol

dlowell 4 years, 1 month ago

I think you would have a hard time proving otherwise. Chris Biggs streamlined the Secretary of State's office, saving YOU, the taxpayer, money. Steve Six went after child pornographers and consumer fraud. What about any of that would cause you to "lol?"

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

The loss of Steve Six as attorney general is a travesty. This former district judge was an excellent legal professional and this horrible loss in this Republican party bloodbath hysteria will come to haunt us as the past vision of Philllll Kline emerges in the future.

The voters are truly sheep following the wolves into the trap of more shrubry.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Not to mention a zealot who has his eyes set on running for President.

Bob Hechlor 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes and we got a governor who is beholden to the Koch Industries who underwrote his campaign and will now come to collect their coal fired plant that we don't need, but taxpayers will have to subsidize. He will also start wasting more time on abortion issues, which will not help our unemployment problems, which will lead to more abortions, which can then take place in the back alleys where they used to get done before it became legal. So, not only do we go back 50 years, we continue to lose ground in the world at large, wasting time due to the dark age mentality that exists in this forlorn state and others around here. Wonder if Kansans will ever connect the dots instead of just hyperfocusing on a few of them.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

I found it most interesting that after the takeover of the government by the Republican Terrorist Party that the History Channel chose to run a past program on the German-American Bund of the 1930's and the American Nazi Party. Something to think about and ponder on.

Shardwurm 4 years, 1 month ago

No...actually I'll think about and ponder on your sanity.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

I'll think about stocking up on Godwin flags.

Shardwurm 4 years, 1 month ago

If there's only one Democrat left in the House after the next election would he/she still be the Minority Leader? Can you be a Leader when you're the only one left?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't hold your breath on this one, Shard. As soon as the voters find that they have replaced the old scoundrels with new scoundrels, as soon as they discover that the Republicans have as many liars, drunks, jerks ad infinitum, as the Democratic Party the pendulum will swing back. This was the result of media hysteria, and I expect to see Rush Limbaugh make a run for a$$-hole-in-chief in the next election.

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

Seeing as how this one went, why do you assume there will be one after the next election? It could well be all Republicans all the time. They might just have to pick a minority leader from among those few Republicans in office who believe in evolution or don't think The Flinstones was a documentary of early mankind. They might have to pick a minority leader based on who has the fewest guns.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

An estimated $4 billion was spent on the election. An estimated $3 billion went to the media. No wonder the media never checks campaign ads for truth.

As far as I'm concerned Washington D.C. democrats have been too busy compromising and trying to build bridges that have not been there to build for 30 years or more.

I'd say they shot themselves in the foot.

They could have moved forward in 3-5 different areas instead they worried about filibusters. And they kissed the butts of the medical insurance industry who then turned around and financed republican wins.

Republicans will not change and the country will only see more stonewalling against jobs and a strong economy,will waste a ton of time undoing Obamacare and try to keep the multi trillion dollar war going.

Oh yes keep a close eye on financial institutions because repubs have an established pattern of financial institutions being involved in fraud under their watch. Remember Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney. Big time negative impact on jobs,retirement funds and the overall economy.

As for our own local democrats we need about 500 of them in Washington D.C.!!!!

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Go easy on merrill. Don't you see how subdued his post was (relatively speaking)? He must not be well. I'm sure he has ulcers, and is most likely not sleeping well since last night.

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

Blue Dog Democrats had a hand in screwing us over, too. True healthcare reform should have been,

"A healthy population being necessary for the continued success of our Nation, the Medicare System will now be the sole payer for all necessary medical treatment for all Citizens of the United States."

The details of how to implement single-payer could have then been left up to Medicare administrators, who know a heck of a lot more about healthcare than Congress does. There was no need to spend a year herding cats, trying to cram every possible bit of nonsense into an impenetrable fog of legislation, only to have the end result be so watered-down that there was effectively no reform at all. Even the one good thing to come out of reform, no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, was done in such a way that insurance companies can still get out of providing coverage. Idiots.

IndusRiver 4 years, 1 month ago

Scott -

Each party runs the country into the ground so that the other party gets control and then they run the country into the ground so back to the other party it goes and on and on it goes.

Blame the Republicans for governing like idiots that gave the country back to the Dems and blame the Dems governing like idiots that gave the country back to the Republicans.

Not Socialism nor neoliberal economic policies are working so why do THEY stay stuck on stupid like they do? And why do WE stay stuck on stupid like we do?

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

"Ain't life great? LMAO!!"

Sure, if you like goose-stepping down the road to rousing patriotic marches under the watchful eye of your overlords. Big Smile! Big Smile!

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

kubacker, won't the AZ law have to be proven constitutional first? Thus far, that hasn't been the case and it isn't looking like it will be. The parts of the law that did pass -- well, so far ZERO people have been arrested as a result of it. ZERO. http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/10/29/20101029arizona-immigration-law-three-months-later.html

I'm thinking you should check into the things that get you revved up before you start dreaming big.

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

At one time I had hopes that Kansans were waking up to the reality of Republican rule and would finally boot them out. I see that decades of underfunding education have instead led to a majority of Kansas voters who happily grab their ankles in the voting booth. I won't be surprised if some of the companies that recently announced plans to move to Kansas instead pull the plug and set up shop somewhere that doesn't hate children or the environment.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

What really sticks in your craw, gcc, is that the people DID wake up to the reality of Republican representation - and found that it wasn't as bad as the Democrats'.

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and invest in a good gas mask. I'm sure Brownback is warming up his rubber stamp for that f'n power plant out west.

lllwll 4 years, 1 month ago

I guess we blame it on Bush. Ha Ha Ha.

Where are you bashers today?

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 1 month ago

Business never had it as good as they had it over the last 8 years.

The real fun will now begin, as rank and file businesses across Kansas end up crushed by local property tax burdens while the major corporations who direct the Kansas Chamber and Americans for Prosperity laugh all the way to the bank.

Personally, I'm excited. In another paper I seriously read an AFP lackey saying Kansas needed to catch up to Oklahoma.

Ah, Kansas... we wish we were Oklahoma!

mr_right_wing 4 years, 1 month ago

These weren't all republicans voting for republicans; these we fed up people voting against who was in power and doing a bad job. (I have no doubt there were even cases of 'democrats' voting against their own party.)

Republicans can go ahead an celebrate for now; but there is some very serious work ahead. All of us can, and should expect a lot out of each one of these newly elected officials.

The people have given you another chance republicans; you better live up to it our you're right back out the door come the next election. Don't blow it.

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

It's crazy to do the same thing (elect Republicans) over and over and expect different results. What could possibly be different this time from every other time Republicans have been in office over the last forty years? You'd have better odds betting on Lucy to actually hold the football for Charlie Brown.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"What could possibly be different this time from every other time Republicans have been in office over the last forty years?"

Nothing, hopefully.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

The tea party is an interesting phenomenon.

I am sympathetic to some of their ideas, like fiscal conservatism and paying attention to the constitution.

If that means we can get some balanced budgets in Washington, repeal the Patriot Act, get the government out of the business of "defining marriage", etc. it will be a good thing.

On the other hand, they want to establish a 40 year agenda of moving our society in a conservative direction - if that means re-writing history books (a la Texas), etc. it will be a bad thing.

We'll just have to wait and see.

gccs14r 4 years, 1 month ago

The Tea Party reminds me of another vocal radical minority party led by a person who said things the people wanted to hear that one day found itself swept into power in a fit of frustration on the part of the electorate. A few short years later, their nation lay in smoldering ruins after they tried to export their brand of patriotism. Pray to the deity of your choice that the Tea Party doesn't get ever that kind of traction here.

Bob Hechlor 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes and we got a governor who is beholden to the Koch Industries who underwrote his campaign and will not come to collect their coal fired plant that we don't need, but taxpayers will have to subsidize. He will also start wasting more time on abortion issues, which will not help our unemployment problems, which will lead to more abortions, which can then take place in the back alleys where they used to get done before it became legal. So, not only do we go back 50 years, we continue to lose ground in the world at large, wasting time due to the dark age mentality that exists in this forlorn state and others around here. Wonder if Kansans will ever connect the dots instead of just hyperfocusing on a few of them.

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