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Huelskamp's uncompromising positions well-known in Kansas

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Recently, U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, has received a lot of national media attention for his uncompromising positions on the budget and gun control.

But those familiar with Kansas politics have long known about Huelskamp's refusal to budge.

Let's review Huelskamp's December.

Just one month after running unopposed to a second term in Congress, Huelskamp was in the middle of a political firestorm when House Speaker John Boehner kicked him off two crucial committees. Huelskamp lost his position on the House Agriculture Committee, a key assignment for someone representing the ag-dominated Big First district, and the House Budget Committee.

Huelskamp called the move "petty, vindictive politics."

Washington observers said Boehner was exerting discipline against Huelskamp and several other tea party Republicans who had voted against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP budget blueprint that passed the House in March and against the 2011 deal between Republican leaders and President Barack Obama for extending the debt ceiling.

As Boehner and Obama negotiate a deficit-reduction plan, Huelskamp has said he will not vote for any deal that includes a tax increase. Huelskamp cheered last week at the failure of Boehner's "Plan B," which would have prevented tax increases for all Americans but million-dollar earners.

Then last week, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough got angry with Huelskamp during an interview when they talked about the mass slayings at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Huelskamp said some were using the shootings to politicize calls for gun control. Scarborough resented that implication.

Nothing new here.

During his 14 years in the Kansas Legislature, Huelskamp was known for getting cross-ways with leaders, even those in his own party.

In 2003, GOP leaders kicked him off the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Then-Senate President Dave Kerr said at the time, "Sen. Huelskamp has been unwilling to apply constructive criticism and positive solutions to the myriad of budget problems of the state. We have no time to deal with anyone who is unwilling to be part of the solution."

But while he was angering Senate Republican leaders, Huelskamp found favor on the national stage.

In 2005, anti-tax leader Grover Norquist named Huelskamp "Hero of the Taxpayer" for fighting against taxes and trying to reduce the authority of the Kansas Supreme Court after the court declared the school finance system unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to increase school funding.

Norquist even came to Topeka for a news conference to honor Huelskamp. At that press conference, Norquist illustrated the no-tax, no-way philosophy, saying, "Republicans who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle. They damage the brand. They don't just hurt themselves."

Huelskamp was often critical of Gov. Bill Graves, a Republican, and then in 2008 went after Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' son John for creating a prison-themed board game called Don't Drop the Soap.

Last year, some Republican leaders in Kansas voiced concern for putting the city of Manhattan in the 1st Congressional District during redistricting negotiations because they said Huelskamp would have trouble protecting congressional appropriations for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility. Huelskamp has said he supports funding for NBAF, but his philosophical desire for smaller government has some worried.

In addition to NBAF, the 1st District depends on Medicare reimbursements for rural hospitals and farm subsidies. And while the potential for more wind farms is great in the 1st District, Huelskamp opposes extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind farms.

In June, several people at a town hall meeting in Hutchinson told Huelskamp that he should support the wind tax credit, but Huelskamp replied, "there is no money tree in Washington, D.C."

Comments

none2 1 year, 3 months ago

I wonder if his family would still vote for him if he voted to end Agricultural subsidies. His family has received over a million dollars since about 1995 thanks to those generous programs.

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Ray Parker 1 year, 3 months ago

How odd to find a Congressman who refuses to abandon the traditional American principles upon which he campaigned and was elected, a politician with an actual spine. We may sincerely hope that stands like this will bother some in the opposition.

Obama Doh!

Obama Doh! by parkay

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verity 1 year, 3 months ago

This article and the comments bring up some hard questions.

When does a politician vote for what s/he believes is the right right thing even when a majority of their constituents are on the other side of the issue?

When do they vote for what is good for the country rather than what is good for their constituents?

Do they not have some obligation to educate their constituents? This is not something we see much of anymore---more likely it's obstructing any understanding of issues and the repetition of untruths.

Of course, the problem is that if they do what they believe is right rather than what their constituents want, they are probably not going to stay in office long.

Would you vote for a political representative if they voted against what you wished, but had a reasonable explanation for what they did?

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SouthWestKs 1 year, 3 months ago

Whine, whine & more whine. You got to love Lawrence & Douglas County as the only Blue in the Red state of Kansas. If you need a good laugh come here. Y'all stay warm & drive safely.

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oldexbeat 1 year, 3 months ago

Dr. Timmy ("I"m the brightest person in Fowler") Huelskamp is a non-thinking fraud. He has no positions. That's the fraud part. Voting NO to everything isn't a position. It is leaving the field and taking your ball home.

He is a professional politician, spending all of his adult life in paid political positions. He will have a fine bonus when retiring. That's the taxes he would cut if he was a true conservative. He hasn't. Garrett Love also wants to be a professional politician, and like Sam Brownback, will stay one until he drops.

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wastewatcher 1 year, 3 months ago

Huelskamp is true to his campaign promises, his values, and the citizens who elected him by such a wide margin. Those who criticize him must not know him, because he believes what he talks about and does not check his values and promises at the lobbyist counter when he goes to the capital. You may not like his positions, but you are not surprised by them. As far as Dave Kerr, we know that he did not have the guts to take on Huelskamp at the polls and Huelskamp won a highly contested primary among 5 or 6 candidates in 2010.

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msezdsit 1 year, 3 months ago

Huelskamp, R-Fowler, could be the mascot for the Me me me and only me hate splinter of the republican party. He is just another embarrassment for Kansas.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Rt Wing Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party for Economic Terrorism for the past 33 years also brought this to America.

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

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

This GOP 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.

This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Tim is not a republican which makes him a fraud.

Tim like Sam Brownback is a Rt Wing Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party for Economic Terrorism. Not necessarily the brightest cookies on the block.

Let's look at some examples of reckless management of our economy which has been managed by this party of Rt Wing Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party for Economic Terrorism for the past 33 years

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist = Grab Your Wallets! http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

--- RECKLESS GOP Tax cuts = THE GOP ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again. Bush Tax Cuts aka

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy is at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

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

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mikekt 1 year, 3 months ago

Was Grover Norquist talking about a rats heads in a Coke bottle?.......... or a Koch bottle ? HUMMMMM ? A profound mystery !

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FrankTheFarmer 1 year, 3 months ago

In GOP circles, they say State Senator Garrett Love is going to run against Huelskamp. Is Sen. love any better?

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WristTwister 1 year, 3 months ago

Since unemployment has declined to 5.4%, the Kansas Liberals have to look for new targets. It's hard to bash the Guv when his conservative policies seem to be working.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 3 months ago

Huelskamp is a bomb thrower. Like many tea partiers, he thrives on conflict and division. It doesn't matter who is in power, Huelskamp will conflict with them. Just ask John Boehner.

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riverdrifter 1 year, 3 months ago

The Speaker quite correctly identified Huelskamp as a locker room cancer and stripped him of his committee memberships. It's a start, I guess. If the Repubs have any sense they'll ditch all the Norquist nutties.

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MacHeath 1 year, 3 months ago

The tea party, and religious zealots will destroy the GOP. Being a former member of the GOP, that almost makes me sick.

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MacHeath 1 year, 3 months ago

Politicians are supposed represent all their constituency. In Huelskamp's case, that is all the people in the 1st congressional district, not all of which think he is worth the powder to blow him to heck. Petty, and vindictive?

Huelskamp personifies what is wrong with the GOP, and is what will destroy honest conservatism.

To bad we don't have Bob Dole around to kick his ass back in line.

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Mercy 1 year, 3 months ago

So Scott, what's your point? Am I to infer from your comments that you believe our politicians should sit their values (living within our means,,) aside to make a deal or be afraid to speak the obvious truth(energy from wind farms is the most expensive source of energy we have and the most unreliable when we need it, so why promote it)?

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