Archive for Sunday, July 22, 2012

End may be coming for GOP moderates

Primary candidates face opposition from outside forces

July 22, 2012


Will Aug. 7 be the last stand for moderate Republicans in Kansas?

If Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative, has anything to say about it, it might.

“It’s pretty obvious that Gov. Brownback and the conservatives are putting on a major effort to absolutely gain control,” said Mark Peterson, political science professor at Washburn University.

Of moderate Republicans, Peterson said, “They’re in a constant state of erosion, and it’s clear that conservative values are a very big thing right now.”

Conservatives already rule the House and the executive branch. The last remaining toehold for moderates is the Kansas Senate.

Republicans hold a 32-8 margin over Democrats in the Senate, and of those 32 Republicans, conservatives hold a slight edge.

But moderate Republicans and Democrats have been able to team up to eke out majorities on several key issues.

If there’s a swing of two or three seats, conservatives would run the Senate, too, so a few hundred votes in a handful of key races could be the deciding factor Aug. 7, the day of the Republican Party primary.

Across the state, incumbent moderates are being taken on by conservatives in the GOP primary.

Brownback entered the fray, saying in a prepared statement: “Because of the alliance in the state Senate between Democrats and some Republicans that join together to promote a Democrat agenda, the primary election has effectively become the general. Therefore, I am going to be involved in a limited number of primaries.”

Brownback’s camp refused to provide a list of which candidates he was endorsing, but statements from some of the candidates and appearances by Brownback have revealed some of his picks.

For example, Tom Arpke, a conservative from Salina, got Brownback’s endorsement against Sen. Pete Brungardt, also from Salina.

Brownback has also endorsed Rep. Jim Denning for Senate District 8, who faces incumbent Sen. Tim Owens, and Rep. Greg Smith who is running for the state Senate District 21 in a contested primary. Both of those districts are in Johnson County.

Brownback’s allies, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, have also targeted moderate Republicans for defeat, such as Senate President Steve Morris, of Hugoton, Jean Schodorf, of Wichita, Vicki Schmidt, of Topeka, and Carolyn McGinn, of Sedgwick.

One of the key stated fears of moderates is that if conservatives control both the House and Senate, then Brownback will be able to ram through public school changes that were shelved during the last legislative session.

Brownback’s proposal would have eliminated state limits on local property tax increases for education and replaced a system that gives districts with large populations of at-risk students more money. But critics said removing property tax limits would have widened funding disparities between rich and poor school districts, and that replacing the at-risk weighting didn’t take into account how student populations change.

Some moderate Republicans also find the tax cuts that Brownback signed into law contrary to good governance. Brownback said the cuts will spur the economy and create jobs, but critics say the cuts will benefit mostly the wealthy while robbing the state treasury of needed funds for schools and social services.

“Kansas education cannot survive with the tax cuts that were passed and still manage to produce the kind of results that Kansans expect from their education system,” said Rochelle Chronister, a Republican who has been involved in state government and politics for decades.

Chronister is the spokeswoman for a group of 55 former legislators — all Republicans — called Traditional Republicans for Common Sense. The group has been highly critical of Brownback. Chronister said she hopes that moderate Republicans survive the primary.

So why don’t moderate Republicans join the Democratic Party if they feel under attack in their own party?

Chronister said that while some Kansas Democrats seem sensible — she pointed out Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka — the national Democratic Party is too liberal for many moderate Republicans.

Peterson, the Washburn political science professor, said the dominance of the GOP in Kansas is too much of a climb to entice moderate Republicans, outside of a few notable exceptions, to join the Democratic Party.

He said he has spoken with several moderate Republicans who tell him “there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of affecting policy in this state if you are not a member of the Republican Party.”


oyster 1 year, 9 months ago

Why do we keep calling them conservatives? Conservatism is called conservatism because its goal is to conserve the status quo. The "moderates" are the conservatives here. The "conservatives" are radical extremists. We need a more accurate name for them. Plutarchists?


Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 9 months ago

Conservative legislators just need to remember one thing:

When they were/are sworn in they place their hand on the bible and swear to uphold the constitution, not place their hand on the constitution and swear to uphold the bible.


Pat_Down 1 year, 9 months ago

The end has already come for moderate Democrats. The Obama's, Pelosi's, Wasserman-Schultz's and Al Franken's have taken over that party.


parco814 1 year, 9 months ago

The end's about already here for anyone in Kansas who doesn't want the poor to either drop dead or move out of the state.

This place needs a lot more John Brown and a lot less Sam Brownback.

Kansas is still a beautiful state despite the ugliness of its oligarchs.


ThePilgrim 1 year, 9 months ago

It is unlikely that the moderates will win the primaries. Voter turnout in Kansas is less than 25%, and most of those are die-hards and folks who feel strongly about something.


Richard Benson 1 year, 9 months ago

Rochelle Chronister certainly has been specter-in-chief for the ghost of Republicans past. But there is a new zombie sheriff in town: Bill Graves is visiting to Kansas carry the torch for “moderate Republicans.”

I readily acknowledge that Governor Graves is the best governor JE Dunn ever had. He is the man who sold us on a $300 million (and climbing) statehouse “renovation” project that will never end. It costs us $12,000 a day for Dunn to park a crane on the statehouse grounds on a year-round basis, year after year, in the apparent expectation that at some point the crane will lift something off the ground or to the ground. Well, cool. Actually (and here I correct myself), Governor Graves didn’t sell us a $300 million dollar project, he sold us a project he told us would cost a fraction of that (and would be long-since completed), but $300 million plus and no end in sight it is. How he is in a position to complain about Governor Brownback (lizard that he is) diverting money from schools is beyond me.

As attractive as conservative Koch Industries in Wichita, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce (considered controlled by the Koch brothers), and the organization Americans for Prosperity (also a front for the multi-billionaire Kochs) must be to a wealthy county-clubber like Governor Graves, Graves is nowhere near enough of a hater to survive in today’s Republican party. They won’t have him. The uber-silk-stocking crowd will never reconcile itself to but a role in the party of people who work for a living (the 26% who voted for his Democratic challenger in 1998), so I have no advice for him.

I do think he and his ilk are dead, and just biding time, waiting for the dirt to be thrown on their caskets after the August primary.


pace 1 year, 9 months ago

Enriching the Koch finance and power on the backs of the poor, children, the ill, the elderly and working families. Brownback should resign. He is destroying infrastructure and decades of work by decent Kansans.


JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 9 months ago

Sadly, the last of the great republicans is gone. The GOP will never be what it was during the Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan presidencies. Now, we are stuck with the legacy of George Bush II...people like Sam Brownback, Derek Schmidt, Kris Kobach and their ilk. Kansas may not recover.


Bob Forer 1 year, 9 months ago

For every godless commie that our dear leader chases off, we will have five good christians moving to kansas.


Centerville 1 year, 9 months ago

If you'd like to see this from a more adult angle, the Wall Street Journal covered the story on Friday.


mikekt 1 year, 9 months ago

if you want to see something interesting go to: & watch under Full Shows, CHRIS HEDGES ON CAPITALISM'S SACRIFICE ZONES, from 7/20/2012........go to: & scroll down to the Bill Moyers interview.

If your computer can't do video but you have cable or TV here is the schedule bellow.

I just saw it on KCPT Ch#19. Very interesting thought provoking show !!!!!

Wil be on KTWU Ch# 11, Sun. Bet. 5/Pm & 6/Pm.

Wil be on KCPT2, Sun. Bet. 6/Pm & 7/Pm & on Mon. Bet. 3/Am & 4/Am.

This isn't brownbeckistan:...... because sam could be replaced with a monkey that could speak....& no body would notice his departure ! Particularly, the unquestioning news media who just want to get a 15 second sound bite to boil it all down to something that is meaningless enough to be aired.

This is KOCHISTAN or KOCHINDUSSTAN & when their finished with brownie, they might just give us the first talking monkey governor, just to prove that they have the power to do it & pull it off !


bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm printing this out and taking it with me on election day (Aug. 7) we need to keep our moderates in office !


bobberboy 1 year, 9 months ago

The only way to fight back is to get out and vote !


leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

What brownback and his ilk are doing is to close fascism. It amazes me that he can get away with such tactics in this day and age. Im tired of being called un american because I dont subscribe to a certain faith or set of beliefs. It shocks me these "americans" can disregard the founding document which this country stands for, to me this is unamerican. Also, why are so many people so eager to do this? We are not a nation of christians and those of us who arent shouldnt be subject to those beliefs. Why have so many "americans" forgot about the separation of church and state? The framers included it for a reason fellow americans


KSWIND 1 year, 9 months ago

TerriLois is in my district. I need info on her past years as a rep. Does anyone know where I can find it?


JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

The future of Kansas is TerriLois Gregory. Have I scared you yet?


verity 1 year, 9 months ago

If Brownback's picks lose, hasn't he alienated the ones he wanted to lose? Seems like this is maybe not a winning strategy for him.


JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

Who is going to want to live in a state with these people? There can't be more than 40 million of these wackos in this country and those have to be spread around the South, Utah and a few places in Arizona. Will that leave enough people willing to live in Kansas?

I know what you crazy right wing extremists will say to this, but I'm getting the heck out of here as soon as I have my nest egg fully funded. If I can find a way to move my business out of here it will be sooner.

"Good riddance" you say? The felling is mutual.


lawrenceguy40 1 year, 9 months ago

Governor Brownback is doing a great job despite the backwards thinking of the liberal wing of his party. After November, with God's will, he will have more authority to carry out the wishes of the majority of Kansans. Yes the liberal whiners in Lawrence will squeal as they lose their entitlements, but most of the State will cheer as our Government returns to God's ways, embraces hard work and freedom. It will happen and I cannot wait to hear the likes of merril whine as they go to collect their handouts that the rest of us pay for.


sourpuss 1 year, 9 months ago

“there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of affecting policy in this state if you are not a member of the Republican Party.”

And this is one of the many reasons that Kansas is politically irrelevant. Scared + poorly educated = GOP votes.

People should move out of Kansas. There's a bigger, better world out there.


verity 1 year, 9 months ago

Myself, I'll wait and see (meanwhile doing a lot of campaigning).

It could also be that the end of the extreme Brownback wing of the Kansas Republican Party is at hand. We'll know after the election.

I would not call Gov Brownback a conservative. One of the definitions of conservative is resisting change. Going backwards is called reactionary.

Which brings up another problem---the definition of words that we throw around until they become quite meaningless and our conversations become the same.

I've heard rumblings from the rural population about the fact that their bridges are crumbling and may not continue to hold up under the farm equipment. Citizens will see more and more how cutting taxes and government actually affects their lives. You can cut education and the effects may not be seen clearly for some time, but when the bridge you need to drive over to get your combine to the field or your crops/livestock to market, you see it clearly this minute.


KSWIND 1 year, 9 months ago

Can someone PLEASE make a list of the conservatives for both the House and Senate and provide a link. Redistricting has caused a lot of confusion because former elected officials you knew about no longer represent your area.


question4u 1 year, 9 months ago

At least everyone seems to know that fascism is bad, but beyond that....

It's like calling 104-degree summer days "temperate". Everyone is free to use words in his or her own way, but the way in which you use words sometimes says more than the words themselves.


Dan Eyler 1 year, 9 months ago

I am getting lots of exercise walking my neighborhood supporting a good conservative for state senate. I love it and I am really liking the feedback I am getting from neighbors who traditionally don't care or may not agree or understand the out of control spending at the local, state and federal levels of government. They want jobs and security. Not government security but individual security and liberty. They don't want to pay for others who are not working as hard at they are. So we will see. As for those republicans teaming with democrats I am fine with this. It is part of the governing process and a healthy part of legislative process. But some of these republicans have crossed the line and are now supporting failed policy and we are going to defeat them out of principle. I like the idea that larger cities fund more of their educational costs leaving more state aid for rural areas and smaller communities. Lawrence for example because of it's public school system, Haskel and the University of Kansas is receiving a disproportionate amount of state educational aid and if the city thinks our schools need more we should pay for it. Many communities want it both ways. More state aid so they don't have to make hard choices about funding schools and roads and other community services and still attract businesses who pay close attention to their overhead and especially their tax bill. Because the pockets of the taxpayer are now empty local governments are running scared. The state funding is falling and the taxpayer is broke. If we don't fight to create and recruit business Lawrence is in deep trouble moving forward. The Lawrence city commission still hasn't figured this out as they fund recreational centers and an outdated public library at the same time we have schools and a chief of police demanding 40-60 million in increase spending. We have a water plant that needs another 50-70 million dollar fix and the list goes on. Like other cities around the country Lawrence will not be able to maintain this spending and will collapse if we don't change course. In the past 20 years Lawrence ran off Walmart and American Eagle Outfitters because of a stupid argument on a living wage. We don't hear that argument today. Lawrence demanded something like 8 bucks and hours form Walmart. Walmart said screw you and moved down the road to Ottawa where they are paying 12 bucks or more an hour. The small city of Ottawa knew better and is laughing all the way to the bank. I hope we have learned our lesson, but I won't bet on it.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

After 'exhaustive' research', it is apparent that DRD4 Genies have enhanced "bitter clinger" in the morning hours central. Their diversity "civil discourse" is lacking complex nuanced fortitude, inclusive.

& Lawn Boys are silent during these temperate summer days.

'Driftwood' otherwise known as "moderates" still float aimlessly


Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

RINO's = Sam Brownback/The Walton Family(WAl-Mart),Koch brothers which in effect is removing republicans from the republican party. These Neocon extremists do not believe anyone should challenge their decisions. Sam Brownback should be the ruler of Kansas no questions asked.

These RINO facist thinkers do not like democrats,green party thinkers or republicans. They are RINO facists through and through.

When will the nation and Kansas wake up and vote democrat or Green Party to get rid of these RINO facists?

The nation,state and city governments can live without RINO facists. In fact people would be working again and the economy would begin moving again like a powerful locomotive.


jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

The idea that only very conservative Republicans are "real" Republicans means that the R party will eventually just marginalize itself, and become less of a political force.

Seems like a silly idea to me.

KS has had moderate R and D representation for a long time, and has done just fine with it - why change something that's working?


Centerville 1 year, 9 months ago

Most of the RINOs are acting astonished that that they are being accused of selling the state down the river. Their votes are on record - they have proven they can't be trusted - even if , during election years, they try to fake being sensible.


woodscolt 1 year, 9 months ago

The wacko radical takeover of the republican party will meet its end one day but by then they will have destroyed the state of Kansas and Kansas will have to bring in moderates to rebuild and if they can't fix the problem the wackos took years to inflict fast enough then the wackos will be raring their ugly heads again. In the mean time the corrosion will continue. Therefore it is necessary to run these wackos out and destroy them.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

The conservatives may be able to win elections as a fringe party this time, but as the majority of Kansans, who tend towards moderation, not extremism, recoil at the petty and mean-spirited nature of their governance, the Republican Party might just push themselves into irrelevance.


Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 9 months ago

Yep, the radicals in my party would rather see me vote Democrat than dilute their conservative fervor on the state level. We see it happen on this board even. Their tent simply has no room for those who refuse to march lock-step with the conservative agenda. Funny thing, though, they may need a few of us moderate Republicans on the national level come fall....


Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Need for Voter ID based on voter fraud is fraudulent in and of itself

Voter ID is A Fraud

All of this voter ID/voter fraud chit chat is a bogus approach to convince voters that republicans are concerned about voter fraud which cannot be further from the truth.

According to radio news on Thursday voter fraud has been available to the republican party for several years. It is accomplished by way of paperless voting.

According to the news story it has been successful for the republican party because democrats do not pursue the fraud which it seems to me is anti American. Then again so is this nonsense voter ID law. The need for voter ID has been based on fraudulent information that there is voter fraud taking place but it has nothing to do with voter ID and never has.

Voter ID cannot protect the voters from electronic fraud at the computers no matter if voters have a dozen ID's each. Computers are set up to vote wrong in favor of the republican party.

This has been going on for years. The new RINO repubs which began the over throw of the republican party in 1980 do not believe in democracy. They admire Chinese Communist Government or Iraq/Afghanistan style democracy.

The republicans have dreamed up this scheme for voter ID to cover votes that do not take place on computers. How many ways can republicans keep voters away from the voting booth is the objective. Just saying use a drivers license,existing state ID's or a medicare card would defeat their purpose and shoot themselves in the foot.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Gov Sam Brown is in Kansas doing this:

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at


AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China.

When this tax deal was cut AMC and Cordish Co. of Baltimore were partners. As of 5/25/12 this partnership is becoming history.

As with many buyouts/mergers people lose jobs sooner of later due to the expense of purchase. Is all of the above legal as far as the $47 million tax dollar give away is concerned?

Where is the $47 million tax dollars?


Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

RINO's = Sam Brownback/The Walton Family(WAl-Mart),Koch brothers which in effect is removing republicans from the republican party. These Neocon extremists do not believe anyone should challenge their decisions. Sam Brownback should be the ruler of Kansas no questions asked.

This removes democracy and sensible spending of tax dollars, funding public education and keeping people employed which means a strong economy.

Sam Brownback was in Washington D.C. for this:

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • ENTITLEMENT - Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • ENTITLEMENT - Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

ENTITLEMENT - Starting in 2003, George W. Bush destroyed the world economy by encouraging U.S. banks to make loans to those who could not afford them, through schemes such as the "American Dream Downpayment Initiative". This is the fraudulent home loan game that has put the USA economy where it is as we speak. An orchestrated event such that Reagan/Bush executed.

Also through the destruction of oversight, such as lawsuits to prevent state securities laws from being enforced on Bush's watch.

Once Bush's policies led to their inevitable result of economic collapse, the United States found itself in a situation where it had to take on debt in order to restore the economy.


Patricia Davis 1 year, 9 months ago

I register as a Republican just for the primaries. Have done this for over 30 years. Now more than ever, we must preserve moderation whatever the name of the party. Kansas has become Brownback's "lab". We don't want to be his monkeys.


kuguardgrl13 1 year, 9 months ago

I am not at all surprised that moderate republicans in Kansas reach across party lines to get the dems to vote with them. Kansas democrats (as compared to dems in other states) are also moderate. Sibelius is actually somewhat conservative compared to members of the national party. That being said, I think several of us dems are willing to vote for some moderate GOPers if only to keep a majority away from Brownie. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Dems and moderate republicans both dislike Brownback and his uber-conservatives, so we stand a better chance if we work together. The democrats did abysmally at the state level in 2010, so maybe we'll learn something. Stay strong for democrats for local, state house, and national, but consider voting for those moderates for lower level state. Obviously registered democrats can't vote in the republican primaries, but encourage your GOP friends to vote moderate! Keep funding for our schools and prevent our state from going under! Nothing about Brownback and his goons is good. He needs to be ousted in 2014!


traveler12 1 year, 9 months ago

Call me weird, but I'm starting to like Brownback.


lunacydetector 1 year, 9 months ago

i'm glad the conservatives are trying to kick out all the democrats who lied and ran as a republican to get elected...thus the name, RINO (republican in name only).


Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 9 months ago

Why do we continue to call them the relatively placid "conservatives" ?? They are extrimists, and facists. Let's call a spade a spade. Our governer has made a very careful study of politics in Germany in the 1930s. This news rag has supported this facism. They are clearly out to bring down the lawfully elected government of the United States of America and replace it with their facist adgenda learned from the overthrow of the Weimar Republic.


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