Archive for Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bob Dole, Eisenhower’s granddaughter join Brownback’s re-election team

July 23, 2013


— Republican Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday that Kansas GOP icon and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole will serve as an honorary national co-chairman of his 2014 re-election campaign, along with a granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower.

Brownback’s campaign released a joint letter from Dole and Mary Jean Eisenhower, president of a Kansas City, Mo.-based humanitarian group formed by her grandfather. The announcement of their roles comes amid ongoing criticism that the conservative governor’s stances on taxes and social issues put him too far to the right of “traditional” Kansas Republicans embodied by Dole and Dwight Eisenhower.

Also, the announcement occurred a day after Dole’s 90th birthday, marked with a celebration at the Institute of Politics bearing his name at Kansas University.

“It just shows you that the traditional types are with Brownback, too,” said Clay Barker, the Kansas Republican Party’s executive director. “It turns off that argument that Bob Dole doesn’t like what’s going on.”

Dole served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 until he resigned as majority leader in 1996, during his presidential race. Mary Jean Eisenhower is president of the Board of Directors of People to People International, set up by her grandfather in 1956 to foster international understanding through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities.

Kansas Democratic Party spokesman Dakota Loomis dismissed the announcement of their honorary role in Brownback’s campaign as “dog bites man news.”

“What we have right now is circling the wagons by Republicans who are scared because the state’s going in the wrong direction,” Loomis said of Brownback supporters.

Brownback was elected governor in 2010, capturing 63 percent of the vote against Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City. Some prominent Democrats expect their leading challenger to Brownback’s re-election to emerge by Labor Day, and in GOP-leaning Kansas, the party’s nominee will have to woo disaffected GOP moderates and independent voters.

Brownback successfully pushed for aggressive personal income tax cuts as a way to stimulate the state’s economy. Critics, including Democrats and out-of-power GOP moderates, contend the tax cuts favor the wealthy and will endanger funding for education and social services.

The governor also is a strong abortion opponent, and the state has enacted new restrictions since he took office. Also, Brownback signed legislation this year saying the federal government has no authority to regulate guns manufactured, sold and kept in Kansas.

Brownback’s policies have inspired organized opposition not only from Democratic-leaning organizations but others such as Traditional Republicans for Common Sense and the Kansas Values Institute.

But in their letter, Dole and Mary Jean Eisenhower called Brownback “a good man with the right ideas and experience.”

“Seeing Kansas grow and prosper is one of the great joys of our lives, and we are honored to stand with Sam Brownback,” they wrote.


Bobby Burch 4 years, 10 months ago

Sad to see Dole associate himself with the Brownstain campaign. Regardless of who Sam faces in the general election, he'll have at least a $2 million advantage with already more than 500k in the coffers. If Kansas is to have a new governor in 2014, it will have to be a result of grassroots moderate thinkers.

Mike1949 4 years, 10 months ago

Yea, I had a lot of respect for him. Bob, you messed up, lost all respect for you!

Tom McCune 4 years, 10 months ago

".....honorary national co-chairman...." Isn't governor a state office? Why does he need a national chairman, "honorary" or "co-" notwithstanding?

Bobby Burch 4 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps a sign of future ambitions/plans?

James Nelson 4 years, 10 months ago

Its unbelievable to believe that Eisenhower's granddaughter thinks she can find a humanitarian leading Brownbackistan. Bob Dole should be ashamed of himself.

Bob Forer 4 years, 10 months ago

I have lost some respect for Bob Dole in light of this news.

oldexbeat 4 years, 10 months ago

senility, I can only hope -- but then Dole was a Koch lover in his presidential attempt. Damn. He could have just stayed out of the insanity that is now Kansas Brownbackistan politics. Why? Why? Why?

Bob Forer 4 years, 10 months ago

I've always thought that Dole was a decent person, but then again, we can't forget the fact that he was a career politician. And I have never met a professional politician--democrat or republican--who didn't have a strong streak of unmitigated opportunism.

Abdu Omar 4 years, 10 months ago

I am deeply saddened to hear that Dole is part and parcel of the Brownback campaign. I hope people see Brownback as he is and will not reelect him under any circumstances. Those above me have said it better than me, but this state is in deep trouble and no matter who runs against him will certainly get my vote. I am deeply afraid for Kansas. We need, demand a change.

jesse499 4 years, 10 months ago

Sorry I'm A REP scares me to death to wouldn't vote for Brownbutt if there was no one else running!

Brad Greenwood 4 years, 10 months ago

You know, until I see and hear Bob Dole say the words that he supports Brownback, I'm not buying it.

63BC 4 years, 10 months ago

Any political community that reaches a point where it views those who disagree as 'senile' 'unethical' or 'insane' needs to take a deep breath and step back from politics for a while.

oldexbeat 4 years, 10 months ago

at his age, for dole to tie his reputation to a short dumb cult member owned by Koch brothers -- is either stupid or senile. I'm going for senile.

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

It's sad when people hope someone is senile, but easy to understand in this case. Senility can be forgiven.

LegendaryBeast 4 years, 10 months ago

I just lost all respect for Bob Dole. I guess his apparent ethics of years past were just a sham. Go figure! Just another GOP old, rich, white guy!

SDTPlant 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and Sam, what part will Douglas Lake (of Wittig and Lake fame) play in your efforts to get reelected? We understand that you've just made him an appointee?

Richard Payton 4 years, 10 months ago

Brownback wins by a landslide! The reason is this is Kansas. West of Topeka only votes (R) because it's a family tradition.

Phoghorn 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes, but not to the extent you might think. A few counties, Ellis in particular, have historically had large numbers of Democratic voters. Democrats are not exactly strangers to the Governor's Mansion.

Phoghorn 4 years, 10 months ago

Of course, Brownback may not get re-elected. There are plenty of Republicans who are disaffected by him - including myself.

I would happily vote for a more Libertarian-leaning primary challenger.

BUT...If the Democrats run the most far-left candidate they can find, they will not recapture the Governorship, even if the Republicans do not re-nominate Brownback. A far right candidate will beat a far left candidate in Kansas any day. That being said, if the Democrats can find a true moderate, then I believe that this race is theirs to take.

Keith 4 years, 10 months ago

I guess we can safely ignore all that Bob Dole has said recently about the Republicans, since he has now seen fit to endorse one that embodies all the bad things Bob Dole has been criticizing.

suzanne454 4 years, 10 months ago

Sad, Bob, SAD! I have always considered you a friend to Kansans. Mary Eisenhower, I am not surprised - heard rumors about her bad behavior before. A quick GOOGLE SEARCH shows she is also NOT a Kansan.... Not a good person. Very pro military. NOT a humanitarian, but just climbing the ladder for fame and another face lift.

But, BOB - Bob, you have you forsaken us?

ScatJes 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow - you are obviously a very angry, jealous, and misinformed person.

Mary Eisenhower has earned her stripes as the President and CEO of People to People International for the last 15 years - a philanthropic organization dedicated to youth education and the betterment of people around the world. Additionally, she is from Kansas City, albeit not Kansas, but still pretty dang close..... And lastly - your right, she cares very deeply about those who serve in our military - and I am sure very proud to do so.

suzanne454 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas City is pretty dang close to living in or being a Kansas? Sounds like some Palin/Russia logic.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 10 months ago

We, the people who love Kansas who want quality schools, good roads, safe water, fair taxes, must unite together. The history of Kansas is to vote straight R, but Brownback has taken over your party. It no longer exists. I think we have to become like the French resistance and be stealthy and fight back.

Richard Payton 4 years, 10 months ago

Remember, we celebrated Dole's birthday in Lawrence.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 10 months ago

I too used to hold Bob Dole is high regard. No more. He is just another "mi too" hanger on with the fat right tea bag requplican regime.

cowboy 4 years, 10 months ago

From wikipedia...

"Mary Eisenhower was born in Washington, D.C. during President Eisenhower's first term and was christened in the Blue Room of the White House. She grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the Eisenhower Farm, where President Eisenhower retired after his time in office. Ms. Eisenhower attended Westtown School in Pennsylvania until her father, John Eisenhower, was appointed Ambassador to Belgium. She lived in Belgium from 1969 to 1972. Eisenhower began her career working on Capitol Hill and then managed an engineering firm. She also has served as a Fellow at Stanford University."

Translation is she knows nothing about Kansas , has never lived here , and her endorsement means nothing , nada.

Secondly , why drag poor ole Bob into this thing. , He hasn't lived here forever either.

whathe 4 years, 10 months ago

you are misinformed, Ms. Eisenhower lived in Kansas for several years in the 2000s.

globehead 4 years, 10 months ago

This comes as more of a disappointment than a shock as far as I'm concerned. I'm old enough to remember when Bob Dole first ran for national office as a Representative and as a Senator. He was a ruthless and dirty campaigner. His minions did a really filthy hatchet job on Bill Roy, a very decent man regardless of his politics. His tactics would have fit in quite well with the Shelbys and Cruzes of today and their like. After retirement, he became a bit of a statesman for the party, a voice of reason and sanity in the Republican Party. Sadly, this appears to have been a charade. I'd come to develop a lot of respect for the guy the past few years. He had the kind of clout to call these extremist Cretans out. Instead, he appears to have either joined them or was in the closet with them the whole time. Shame on Bob Dole.

fiddleback 4 years, 10 months ago

Hear, hear.

I'm tired of all the soft-focus veneration for Dole simply because he's come to represent a certain down-home humility and a more civil, cooperative era in politics. He's just a Koch shill of an earlier and slightly less pious variety (

And people talk about Eisenhower in hallowed tones like he's in the running for sainthood. Ever hear of the "Bonus Army" of unpaid WWI veterans that he helped to assault into dispersing in 1932?

They're hack politicians, and the only thing more ridiculous than electing them is feeling betrayed when they act with naked self-interest, like we didn't see that coming. They're all in that crooked closet together, increasingly immune to shame.

fiddleback 4 years, 10 months ago

I should say I still think Eisenhower is probably among the top 5 presidents in terms of steadfast leadership and least-compromised integrity, but that's kind of like saying he's one of the cleanest chimney sweeps -- it's a dirty and often bloody business.

I think that the most thoughtful descendants know better than to risk scratching the patina of honorability by publicly endorsing current polarizing figures, as if to suggest that their famous ancestor would offer the same endorsement. The move telegraphs a certain hackish aggrandizing by the granddaughter and a pathetic strain for vicarious credibility by Brownback.

JuanValdez 4 years, 10 months ago

Poor Ike is probably turning in his grave while his family name is being dragged through the mud by fringe far right radicals.

The folks who run the Republican party in Kansas today are not very far from the McCarthy clan he had to contend with.

Jonathan Fox 4 years, 10 months ago

Nice to know that a great politician isn't buying into the rumbling, hooting, and hollering of the tax and spenders.

Kansas is the 15th ranked economy in the US as of end of 2012. Lower taxes to pull in some jobs and industry is what we need.

daviskan 4 years, 10 months ago

Bob Dole refers to bipartisan. The far righteous john birch money boys call it. Buy a Partisan.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 10 months ago

Hate to say this, (I too will meet his fate), but does Bob even know what he's doing? Personally, I 'd rather know what "the" Eisenhower and Alf Landon would have thought.

Beth Ennis 4 years, 10 months ago

how disappointing to hear that Bob Dole has joined forces with Brownback. It's a very sad day for the state of Kansas

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Nah. It's a sad day for liberals that deluded themselves into thinking they had a shot at getting more than a pittance of the moderate republican vote.

libertylove4 4 years, 10 months ago

Eisenhower is dragging her grandfather's name through the mud once more. She isn't interested in continuing his legacy. She is scrambling to hang on to his coattails while the legend rolls over in his grave. Maybe Kansans can call on Susan to help us find a suitable candidate?

Dick Sengpiehl 4 years, 10 months ago

I have really been a Dole Institute supporter. I will rethink my support. It's hard to believe that Bob Dole would support such a terrible governor. And Mary Eisenhower? She's been progressive I thought. Sad!!

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 10 months ago

Dear Bob;

Don't worry about it. You gave us 90 years of a life that makes us all very proud.

I don't like Governor Brownback but you put in your time and it will never be forgotten. What would this country be without men like you?

Thank you sir.

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