LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Let the GOP party begin


It's convention time for national Republicans, and the Kansas Congressional delegation will be well-represented in Washington.U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, for example, will [speak to the convention Tuesday][1] -- at last check, a precise time hadn't been determined. Brownback was a later addition to the speaking schedule, after conservative Republicans groused that only moderates were being showcased as speakers.[CNN's Thom Patterson reports:][2] "After most of the moderate speakers were announced, conservative GOP speakers were added to the schedule, including Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Sam Brownback of Kansas. "According to CNN political analyst Jeff Greenfield, spending more time on moderates just makes good sense.""'The GOP doesn't need to convince the right to vote for Bush, and, with the exception of some grousing that led to Santorum and Brownback to be added to the speaker list, they won't be showing the right-wing side of the party,' Greenfield said."Speaking of parties...There will be plenty of Republican partying going on outside the convention, as well.[The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas][3] reports that 200 private parties for Republican officials -- and Republican donors -- will be held throughout the week in New York."Promoters are being very tight-lipped about their events," Vargas quotes David Adler, CEO of BizBash, a New York party clearninghouse. "Usually, they want to tell the whole world about it. But between the terrorist threats and protesters, promoters are being extra careful about giving out too much information."And again, Kansas isn't being left out.Vargas reports that on Monday night: "General Motors, in one of a few events throughout the week, is hosting a cocktail buffet in honor of Sens. Lamar Alexander, Christopher Bond, Conrad Burns, Norm Coleman, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Pat Roberts (U.S. Senator from Kansas) and Jim Talent, featuring a performance by country singer Travis Tritt at the Hammerstein Ballroom from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m."On a more sober note, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who represents the Wichita area in Congress, won't be attending the convention. His family is mourning this summer's suicide of son Luke.Intelligence watchDebate continued over the weekend about Roberts' proposal to revamp the CIA as part of a larger revamping of the nation's intelligence agencies.Roberts even made the case to central Kansas constituents, writing a column in the [Wichita Eagle:][4] "Protecting our homeland in this new world order requires bold thinking, fresh ideas and a willingness to adapt just as the enemy is willing to adapt to fight us," Roberts wrote.He added: "My legislation would not 'dismantle the CIA,' as some have claimed. In fact, the bill would realign the work of the CIA. The only thing that really goes away is the name 'CIA.' The same people will be doing the same work, but the accountability, the empowerment and a more rational chain of command are created."Other observers keep using the "dismantle" word for Roberts' proposal. [Walter Pincus reports in the Washington Post that][5] "The bombshell set off last week by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) in introducing a wide-ranging intelligence reorganization bill -- one that would essentially dismantle the CIA -- has suddenly awakened Congress and the Bush administration to the difficulties of changing the complex interrelationships in the U.S. intelligence community."Pincus gives a detailed rundown of Roberts proposal, that's well worth reading.Other Pat Roberts links from the weekend.[Big thoughts on spying][6] ['The system is broken,' and Roberts has a plan][7] [With friends like these, Bush doesn't need Dem enemies ][8]Sam Brownback-Lee Jones linksSam Brownback has an opponent again in his effort to be re-elected to the United States Senate. Lee Jones lost the Democratic primary this month to Robert Conroy, who then promptly dropped out of the race. Jones found himself selected to run against Brownback, after all.Jones, though largely unknown and with a severe fund-raising disadvantage to Brownback, is hopeful he can win, according to [Erin Adamson][9] at the Topeka Capital-Journal."I would consider myself more of an independent Democrat," he said last week while riding a train from Kansas City to Coffeyville. "I think my positions are more in line with what the average Kansan cares about."Other links:Dennis Moore-Kris Kobach links[Congressman looks for 'Moore' exposure][10] [Moore, Kobach forums in works][11]Jim Ryun-Nancy Boyda links[2nd District Democrat says Ryun vulnerable][12]How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][13] [1]: http://www.startribune.com/stories/587/4952513.html [2]: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/29/gop.lineup/ [3]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40565-2004Aug28.html [4]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/eagle/news/editorial/9524601.htm [5]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42637-2004Aug28.html [6]: http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/opinion/article/0,1426,MCA_536_3146669,00.html [7]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/9524749.htm [8]: http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/opinion/9526094.htm [9]: http://capitaljournal.cjonline.com/stories/083004/kan_jonesenter.shtml [10]: http://www.kansan.com/getstory.aspx?id=2ddad803-7b0b-407d-8e46-792051d1dd2e [11]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/news/politics/9507996.htm [12]: http://www.ljworld.com/section/stateregional/story/179853 [13]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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