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GOP Senate candidate Wolf says Republicans shouldn’t make friends with Democrats

In his criticism of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on Monday, Dr. Milton Wolf indicated Republicans shouldn't make friends with Democrats and that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent controversies have been caused by the media.

Wolf, a tea party-backed challenger to Roberts in the GOP primary, was interrupted several times by applause during his 24-minute talk to about 50 people who attended an event put on by the Douglas County Republican Party at Famous Dave's restaurant.

One of Wolf's major criticisms of Roberts is that Roberts voted in the Senate to confirm President Barack Obama's selection of Kathleen Sebelius in 2009 as secretary of Health and Human Services. Sebelius has been at the forefront of implementing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, which is opposed by all Republicans in Congress.

"One of the problems with our party is too often we're the go-along to get-along party," said Wolf. "We try to get people in the media to like us, we try to get the Democrats to like us. It never works. Ask Chris Christie about that. He can walk on the beach every day of the week with Barack Obama, but as soon as he starts looking like a candidate for the presidency, the media is going to stab him in the back," Wolf said.

In 2012, Christie, a Republican, praised the response of President Obama and the federal government to Hurricane Sandy, which battered the Northeast. Christie's appearances with Obama just days before the presidential election was criticized by some Republicans as helping Obama.

Recently, Christie has been embroiled in controversy over an allegation that his aides closed lanes to the George Washington Bridge in political retribution against a New Jersey mayor.

Wolf added, "You cannot make friends with our adversaries, and yet what we have — and this should trouble us all to know — is we have Sen. Roberts who voted to put Kathleen Sebelius in charge of Obamacare," he said.

Sebelius was confirmed as secretary on a 65-31 vote. Nine Republicans voted for her, including Roberts and then-U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican who is now governor of Kansas. In recent months, Roberts has called for Sebelius to resign after the troubled roll-out of the ACA's enrollment website.

Reply 7 comments from William Enick Steve Jacob Barbaragordon Bob Forer Ian Legler Terrylee

Brownback, Roberts, Moran have high disapproval ratings, according to new poll

A new SurveyUSA pollfinds that Kansas' Republican political leaders have high job disapproval ratings.

Fifty-eight percent of Kansans disapproved of the job Gov. Sam Brownback was doing while 35 percent approved. U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran had 53 percent and 50 percent disapproval ratings while 35 percent and 37 percent approved, the poll said.

Although within the margin of error, the Republicans' approval rates were even lower than President Barack Obama's, a Democrat, who had a 42 percent approval rate and 56 percent disapproval.

The poll also shows that Democrat Paul Davis, who is challenging Brownback in the 2014 election, has low name identification.

Eight of 10 voters were either neutral or had no opinion about Davis when asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of him. In fact, his name ID was so low, the pollsters referred to him as "Paul David" instead of "Paul Davis."

Davis' campaign said SurveyUSA planned to re-do that portion of the poll. But Davis' camp said the point of the poll was that it showed that their candidate at this point lacks name ID.

When the poll asked individuals' opinion of Brownback, 22 percent were favorable and 47 percent unfavorable, while the remaining were either neutral or had no opinion.

Meanwhile, Davis was at 7 percent with a favorable opinion, 13 percent unfavorable, while 80 percent were either neutral or had no opinion.

In addition, only 29 percent of those polled approved of the job the Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature was doing, while 61 percent disapproved.

The poll of 532 registered voters was released earlier this week and conducted on behalf of KWCH-TV in Wichita. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. Of those polled, 41 percent were Republicans, 30 percent Democrats, and 29 percent independents.

Reply 21 comments from Merrill Terrylee Chuck Woodling Bob Forer Barbaragordon Kevin Groenhagen Amy Elliott Beerguy Caughtinthemiddle Autie Anderson and 3 others

Current federal government shutdown similar to 2009 showdown in Kansas

Topeka — Republicans refuse to vote for an almost routine provision to fund government unless a Democratic chief executive approves their demands.

Sound familiar?

That's what happened in Kansas in 2009 between then-House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, and then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat.

Led by O'Neal, Republican legislative leaders, including then-Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, refused to agree to issue inter-governmental loans to make state payments for payroll, public schools, health and income tax refunds.

The Republicans said they would sign off on $225 million in what are called certificates of indebtedness, if Sebelius would sign into law deep budget cuts.

Republicans said they couldn't approve the certificates because without approval of the budget rescission bill, the state ledger would be out of balance. Sebelius said that was nonsense because the state's budget problems and cash-flow situation were unrelated.

Democrats said the move by Republicans amounted to blackmail and made thousands of state employees worry about getting paid.

But Sebelius ended up signing the rescission bill, although she applied several line item vetoes, including a veto of a $32 million cut in state aid to public schools.

About the same time this drama was occurring in the Statehouse, reports were coming out of Washington, D.C., that Sebelius was President Obama's choice for Health and Human Services secretary. She was confirmed secretary about two months later.

Reply 17 comments from Nwtransplant Yourworstnightmare Karl_hungus Ludus Deec Jimmyjms Andrew Dufour Elliottaw Bitterclinger Milton Bland and 2 others

What is more unpopular: Congress or Obamacare?

Right out of the chute, it appears the 2014 campaign for U.S. House District 2 will be a contest to determine which is more unpopular: Congress or Obamacare.

Earlier this week, Democrat Margie Wakefield, of Lawrence, announced she is contemplating a run against three-term incumbent Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka.

In her release, Wakefield said, “People perceive that the system is broken. I find it unconscionable that Congress continues to ignore the serious and complex issues facing our nation."

In response to Wakefield's announcement, Bill Roe, a spokesman for Jenkins, put out a release saying that Wakefield "hearts Obamacare," which is the federal health care overhaul called Affordable Care Act.

When asked what he meant, Roe said he was referring to a "like" on Wakefield's Facebook page of an internet link to get a free "I (heart symbol) Obamacare" sticker.

Roe added, "Congresswoman Jenkins' opposition to that legislation is consistent with public opinion of 2nd District residents and that has been reflected at the ballot box."

Wakefield responded, saying, "The health care law is not perfect, but when I’m elected to Congress I will work to fix it. Lynn Jenkins has no interest in fixing it, just scoring political points.”

Reply 49 comments from Jayhawklawrence Wayne James Jafs Liberty275 Merrill Ron Holzwarth Kochmoney Jesse499 Perses Tomatogrower and 12 others

Huelskamp slams Obama, Clinton in 140 characters

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is attracting some national media attention for a tweet he wrote yesterday that slams both Presidents Obama and Clinton.

After a House Republican meeting on immigration reform, Huelskamp tweeted: "Most House Rs agree w/ most Senate Rs and Americans. Trusting Obama w/ border security is like trusting Bill Clinton w/ your daughter."

Later on NBC News he described the remark as "offhand" but repeated it.

In June, Politico reported that Huelskamp used a variation of the line, saying, “The idea of letting this administration define border security is like letting Bill Clinton define sexual relations.”

Reply 16 comments from Seebarginn Jayhawkfan1985 Lefty54 Kris Norton The_big_w Thomas Bryce John Kyle Jimmyjms Lieutenant 1southernjayhawk and 9 others

Ballard, leader of National Black Caucus of State Legislators, supports Obama in ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators, led by Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, met with President Barack Obama earlier this week and pledged to support him in efforts to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and help middle class families.

“We will join you in calling upon Congress to raise revenue by asking those who can afford it to pay a little more in taxes, and to cut spending in a way that is smart and sustainable in the short and long term,” Ballard said after meeting with Obama at the White House on Tuesday.

“Preventing cuts to programs that are helping people is the only way to continue the progress we’ve all made on the path to economic recovery," she said.

The NBCSL includes more than 650 legislators from 45 states.

Obama and Congress face a deadline in about three weeks to come up with a budget plan to avoid dramatic tax hikes and spending cuts.

Obama has called for higher taxes for households earning $250,000 per year or more, while Republican leaders have refused to raise tax rates.

Reply 4 comments from Ddayot Dwendel 1southernjayhawk

Kansas voters run contrary to national trends in presidential election, except with independents

Exit polls showed that Kansas voters by and large were out of the step with the national electorate during the presidential election, except in one area — independent voters.

Here is an analysis of the election by Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University.

"Since 1968 Kansas has gone for the Republican nominee for President, and 2012 was no different. By a wide 22 point margin (60%-38%), Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama in the Sunflower state, an increase of eight points over John McCain’s vote share in 2008. Nationally, Obama defeated Romney by 2.8% (50.6%-47.8%). Beyond the election results, presidential election years also offer an opportunity – by using exit poll data – to analyze any similarities and differences between group preferences in Kansas versus national group preferences. On whole, 2012 produced more differences than similarities.

"First, on election day, 48% of Kansas voters identified themselves as Republicans, the second highest percentage of Republicans voting (as a % of state voters) in any state except for Wyoming. 27% identified as Democrats and 24% as members of no party. Nationally, the numbers were 38% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 29% independent. One similarity is that nationally independent voters went for Romney 50% – 45% and in Kansas they went for Romney 51% - 43%.

"Looking at the numbers in terms of race, nationally, white voters made up 72% of all voters, and they went for Romney by 20 points (59%-39%), while in Kansas they were 87% of all voters and went for Romney by 31 points (64%-33%). White men went for Romney by 27 points nationally (62%-35%), but in Kansas 74% of all white men voted for Romney, giving him a 50 point advantage over Obama (74%-24%).

"One of the reasons that Obama was able to win a second term was the support he received from women, winning that group of voters nationally by 11 points, 55%-44%. In Kansas, however, Romney won the female vote by 4 points, 51%-47%, and won the male vote by a whopping 40 points, 69%-29%. Nationally Romney won men by much less, 7 points, 52%-45%. An interesting subset of the female vote that has received a lot of attention is unmarried women. In this category Kansas lies a bit closer to the national numbers, with Obama winning by a 19 point advantage in Kansas, 58%-39%. Nationally, he won unmarried women by 36 points, 67%-31%. Romney won married men by 22 points nationwide but by 46 points in Kansas.

"One very large divergence between Kansas and the nation in terms of the Obama vote lies in the different age categories. Across ages Romney significantly outperformed Obama in Kansas compared to the President’s national numbers. Among younger voters, aged 18-29, Romney won by 17 points, 54%-41%, while nationally Obama won those voters by a 23 point margin, 60%-37%; Among voters aged 30-44, in Kansas Romney won by 20 points (59%-39%) while nationally Obama won by 7 points (52%-45%); Among voters aged 45-64, in Kansas Romney won by a massive 27 points, while nationally he won that group by a much smaller 4 points; Among voters aged 65 and older, Romney won in Kansas by 22 points and won nationally by 12 points.

"Finally, in what should not be a big surprise given the actual results, the Kansas exit polls showed that the majority of voters here did not think too kindly of the president, while nationally, the opposite is true. In Kansas 60% of voters had an unfavorable opinion of President Obama while 39% had a favorable opinion, a 21 point negative margin. Nationally, 53% of voters thought of the president favorably while 46% thought of him unfavorably, a 7 point positive margin."

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Brownback says Kansas will always be part of United States

Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas is staying put.

"Kansas is and will always remain a state in the United States of America," Brownback said.

As of this afternoon, more than 6,800 people had signed a petition urging that the state of Kansas withdraw from the United States and create its own government.

The online secession petitions from all 50 states were prompted by the re-election of President Barack Obama. The petitions appear on a White House website called "We the People," which the administration uses to hear from people on what policies they would like to see.

If a petition gets 25,000 signatures within a month the White House staff will review the issue. Legally, the U.S. Constitution doesn't allow states to secede.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, joked that maybe the petition started after Brownback refused to join the federal government to put together a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he didn't think much of the petitions. "I think we settled this issue back in the early 1860s. I don't think anyone in their right mind wants to have a secession debate," Davis said.

Reply 47 comments from Kansasliberal Marcopogo Blindrabbit Paul R.  Getto Tolawdjk Autie Dabbindan Tomatogrower Cate Murphy Progressive_thinker and 21 others

Petition seeks Kansas secession from the United States because of Obama’s re-election

Now that the election is over, apparently a lot of people, including some in Kansas, want to secede from the United States.

As of Tuesday evening, nearly 4,600 people had signed a petition urging that the state of Kansas withdraw from the United States and create its own government.

The online secession petitions, which number about 20 so far, were prompted by the re-election of President Barack Obama. The petitions appear on a White House website called "We the People," which the administration uses to hear from people on what policies they would like to see.

If a petition gets 25,000 signatures within a month the White House staff will review the issue. Legally, the U.S. Constitution doesn't allow states to secede.

The Texas petition had reached more than 70,000 signatures but Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he doesn't support the petition.

In Kansas, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, joked that maybe the petition started after Gov. Sam Brownback refused to join the federal government to put together a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he didn't think much of the petitions. "I think we settled this issue back in the early 1860s. I don't think anyone in their right mind wants to have a secession debate," Davis said.

Reply 237 comments from Charlie Bannister Defensehawk Roland Gunslinger Kirk Larson Msezdsit Starlight Liberty_one Fretster Cait McKnelly Gotland and 80 others

Rally to support expansion of Medicaid today; Red counties, blue counties shown in national map

About 75 people on Friday gathered outside the Statehouse, calling for Gov. Sam Brownback to support an expansion of Medicaid, the state and federally funded program that covers the cost of health care services for nearly 400,000 Kansans, mostly children, pregnant women and those with disabilities.

One of many signs at the rally in support of expanding Medicaid.

One of many signs at the rally in support of expanding Medicaid. by Scott Rothschild

Shot of part of the crowd of about 75 people at health care event.

Shot of part of the crowd of about 75 people at health care event. by Scott Rothschild

Jennifer Weishaar of Lawrence speaks at rally.

Jennifer Weishaar of Lawrence speaks at rally. by Scott Rothschild

Will Dale, a Kansas University junior from Topeka, speaks to rally-goers.

Will Dale, a Kansas University junior from Topeka, speaks to rally-goers. by Scott Rothschild

The Rev. Joshua Longbottom of the Plymouth Congregational Church and Laura Murphy, chair of the mission board at the church, attend rally at Statehouse.

The Rev. Joshua Longbottom of the Plymouth Congregational Church and Laura Murphy, chair of the mission board at the church, attend rally at Statehouse. by Scott Rothschild

Rev. Joshua Longbottom, of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, was one of several speakers at the rally. He said Jesus would have supported the expansion.

"If Jesus was up in the Capitol, would he make a choice to keep 130,000 people without care," Longbottom asked. The crowd responded "No."

Under the Affordable Care Act, the state has the option to extend Medicaid coverage to include all children and adults under the age of 65 who live at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that is an annual income of $30,657 or less. Extending the Medicaid program in 2014 could help provide access to as many as 130,000 more Kansans, according to the Kansas Health Consumer Coalition.

The federal government would cover of the cost of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and most of the cost after that.

Republicans and some Democrats have expressed concerns that because of federal budget problems, the federal government may not be able to carry through with its funding commitment.

And Brownback has been an ardent opponent of the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday he announced he would block an effort by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger for a state-federal partnership in starting a health insurance exchange under the ACA. That means the federal government will have to do it.

Douglas County has sometimes been called an island of blue in a sea or red in Kansas, meaning it votes Democratic while most of the rest of the state votes Republican.

But the blue dot becomes even more noticeable in the Midwest when looking at a national map of county results. There is blue Douglas and Wyandotte, which went for President Barack Obama.

And then there is a sea of red — counties where Republican Mitt Romney secured a majority of votes — that includes all of Oklahoma, all of Nebraska, except for one county, and all of Missouri, except for three counties. Farther south, Texas is mostly red until Dallas County and Travis County and then a belt of blue in South Texas.

Here is a link to the New York Times presidential election map by counties. link text

Reply 3 comments from Liberty275 Scott Rothschild Chicago95 Chootspa

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