Entries from blogs tagged with “Polis Beat”
How did Jenkins beat Boyda? Many people thought that Boyda had the election locked up. The Boyda campaign itself thought that they were up by 20 points going in to Election Day. Early on in the campaign Boyda turned down DNC money and throughout the campaign she refused to go negative. All of these things speak to just how confident she was that Kansans were going to send her back to Washington. So what went wrong? In my opinion, it wasn't anything that Boyda did wrong. I think it was Obama's fault. Nancy Boyda is quite possibly the only Democrat in the nation who was hurt by Barack Obama. I think Kansas voters went into the voting booth, realized that the Democrats were likely to be in control of both the Legislative and the Executive Branches, and panicked. They may have given thought to the possibility that the Democrats would have such a large majority that the Republicans wouldn't be able to block any legislation. This has to be the reason. It wasn't Jenkins' stellar debate performances. It wasn't her use of extremely persuasive "robo-calls". No, it was the fact that while some Republicans were willing to give a Democrat a chance under a Republican President, at a time when Republicans controlled both Houses, these same voters weren't ready to send a Democrat to a Washington that was under liberal control. Even a moderate Democrat like Boyda would be un-likely to stand up to Pelosi or Obama. Thankfully Kansans have a healthy dis-trust of Washington and believe in the principle of "checks and balances." Congratulations to Jenkins and her campaign. Thanks for giving us a chance to vote for a conservative in this liberal tidal wave.
As the election has almost come to a close, I have been wondering what will come of this economic crisis post-election. Both presidential candidates speak of a "plan of action" that they have devised for this crisis, but do they really have that much of a say in this matter? Isn't it up to our congressmen? They are the people that write the bills that get voted on, vote on them, and work together to decide the future of this country internally. Isn't the president's main function to externally run this country? Should it be the president's "plan of action"? Or are they just "blowing smoke" to gain our votes?Why are we not getting any feedback from the candidates that do make these financial decisions? How can a candidate tell us that they won't raise taxes and fix this turmoil that we seem to be in at the same time? Please, someone tell me how it really affects them! How can we trust our future with anyone that is not really affected by this hardship? I am a mother of 4 children. We have 6 mouths to feed and I have recently taken on a second job, on top of school and the kids, just to get by. There is a song that I absolutely love from Pink called "Dear Mr. President" that gets to me every time I hear it.http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pink/dearmrpresident.html (song lyrics)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITZZ6-... (live version on YOUTUBE) I have cried to this song so many times because it really hits home for me and makes me realize that we are all in this alone. I have to take care of my own. I have to feed my kids, even though food sales have skyrocketed. I have to make sure that we have gasoline to get us all to school and work. I have to make sure that we have heat and electricity. These are things that people take for granted when they are not affected by this "financial crisis." A lot of people feel this way and think that it is pointless to vote. Who is looking out for us?I am getting this education to secure a future for both me and my family. I want to have the ability to send my children to school. I am taking care of my own. I have heard over and over again how we are all affected by this "economic hardship" due to the country's financial meltdown. To this is I say: some of us more than others.
Identity Thieves for ObamaIn a recent conversation with my family I was disturbed to find out that my aunt and my uncle's friend had unauthorized charges on their credit cards from Obama for President. My aunt's was only a mere $5.00, but unauthorized nonetheless. My uncle's friends charge however a whopping $2,500. And when this friend called the 800-number listed with the charge he was told, that yes they did charge his credit card without his permission and asked him to keep the charge on the card in support of Obama. My aunt when called the 800-number she was also asked to leave the charge to help raise money for the campaign. Does this explain how Obama has been raising all the money for his campaign, or is someone posing as someone for his campaign? Either way this could be a case of credit card fraud and someone needs to be held accountable for their actions. Everyone should also take a close look at their credit card bill after the election.
To be Republican used to me anti abortion, pro business, pro military and anything else "red." That was before I moved to Kansas from Phoenix, Arizona. When I moved here I learned being a Republican and even a Democrat meant very different things then what I was accustomed to. My observations are that there are social conservations who are against anything abortion like (stems cells included) and want to abolish the teaching of evolution in school and teach about how God created the Earth. Then there are more moderate or "pink" republicans who are more centrists but still want to uphold the pro business values Republicans hold dear. Then there are the Democrats. The notion that a Democrat did not resemble Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry surprised me. I was accustom to Democrats as being "liberal" and not of the people. I find this to be very different with Kansas Democrats. Kathleen Sebelius and Dennis Moore who are more centrists. Why is it that there seems to be several types of Republicans and Democrats in Kansas?
I was inspired to write about this after a friend of mine (who happens to be gay) wrote about his frustration with this political election and their lack of focus on gay issues, specifically gay rights. He was a huge Hillary Clinton supporter and after her defeat to Obama began questioning the platforms of each political candidate. While he is a democrat he is going to be voting for McCain next week. Many of his friends have been outraged by his choice of candidates and asked "don't all gays vote Democrat?" The issue between both my friend and myself, Gay rights has not been an issue in the Democrat presidential scene this election year. Biden even voiced his protest against gay marriage during the Vice Presidential debate. It seems that the issue of gay marriage and gay rights has become a forbidden issue. No one wants to talk about it but it is a main issue in this nation. Further more, how can the Democratic Party assume that a group of people will vote for them when they have not addressed a key issue in their lives? The homosexual community is a block of individuals that Democrats can rely on, but maybe not so much this year. When they play hide and seek with key issues like gay marriage or civil unions why should one have faith in them? I suppose they shouldn't. My friend doesn't. He and his boyfriend wont be voting Democrat this election. May others have voiced the same opinion. Will this effect the out come of the election? I don't know: but this late in the political season I wouldn't toss out votes.
There are a few aspects to this race that need to be examined. First, the political party break down for the 76th Kansas House District where Carol Strickland is running. Roughly this break down is going to be about half republican and a little more than a fourth being unaffiliated and finally the remaining is going to be democrats. There will also be hand full of reform and libertarian party members. (Secretary of State's website doesn't provide a break down by House Districts only by county.) Meaning to be elected to this particular house district without republican votes means that a candidate would have to turn out all register democrats and unaffiliated votes and have them all cast ballots for the democrat in order to win an election. (I think we can all agree this would be pretty incredible to see happen)Second, most candidates in Kansas don't include party affiliation on websites or yard signs. If you would briefly review the websites of many Topeka area candidates as well as most of the candidates running in the area of the state that Carol Strickland is running you would notice that most fail to include their parties animal icon on their homepage or id their political party. This number increases when you look at candidates which are not members of the majority party in their district. This also applies to yard signs. Very rarely do you find a party affiliation on either republican or democrat signs in the state of Kansas because candidates know it turns away more voters than it attracts. I fail to see the problem with not listing party identification on your campaign website. In Kansas, when you go to the voting booth each candidate is clearly identified by political party on the ballot. Also I do not really understand why identifying a candidate's political party is so important. In reality what is more important is their issues and what they are going to do for their constituents. Failing to id party affiliation on campaign literature or yard signs is one of those things that upsets hardcore members of your own party, but those people are going to vote for you anyways. In Kansas, identifying yourself as a democrat upfront does nothing but cause people to stop listening which means as a candidate you can never get your message out. Finally, the specifics of the 76th House District. The current legislator that has held this particular seat for the last 12 years is one of the most conservative members of the Kansas House of Representatives. I think that this speaks a lot of the constituents in her district, that they keep electing her. The 76th House District which is made up of rural Lyon County, northern Greenwood County, and most of Coffey County is a pretty conservative district, especially the portion of the district contained in Coffey County. For a democrat to run successfully in this district the focus cannot be on political parties but rather on the issues. Carol Strickland was an excellent teacher and one of very few who have been chosen for the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Also if you look at Carol Strickland's website you will notice on the front page is a picture of Carol with Governor Sebelius also the website contains pictures with President Clinton, Former Congressman Jim Slattery, and Congresswomen Nancy Boyda. This pictures seem to be far from hiding political affiliation. So my answer for why Carol Strickland doesn't list her political party on her website is simply she is running a campaign that can actually win in the district she is running in.
A college student from Washburn University is running for the 57th district seat in the state House Of Representatives. He is a 27-year-old business student. He came to Washburn when his wife was denied in-state tuition at KU. His name is Sean Gatewood. His predecessor, Vaughn Flora, was a 14-year veteran. Flora, who is good friends with Gatewood, encouraged him to run when he decided to step down. Gatewood won his primary against Dustin Hardison. Gatewood reportedly pulled 47% of the votes and Hardison 41%. He is now running against Republican Cheryl Reynolds in the general election. Gatewood was taking a full schedule until campaigning made it very difficult to do both. He has dropped to three hours. Sean said that learning how to run his campaign is at least a full year of college crammed into a few months. The major issues in his district are lowering the cost of healthcare and economic development. Everywhere I look online; I can find Mr. Gatewood's name, but nothing else about him. On the Kansas Democrats website, it has a picture of him and what he is running for. So I met with him. He feels like one of the problems with economic development is that we are not keeping the younger citizens of Kansas here. He also feels like we need to work on creating alternative energy resources and that Kansas is one of the best places to do that. He also thinks that Kansas cannot reduce taxes in this time of turmoil because we should embrace this moment of economic disparity and "strike while the iron is hot" (meaning look at this recession as a time to rebuild while the economy is low so that we can attempt to come out on top when the economy rises again.) He feels like the committees in Congress only really hear from the upper-level employees of bigger corporations and lobbyists; not the lower-level ones. He thinks that the "smaller" person should be the voice they hear from. Sean plans, if elected, to only be in office for a couple of terms. He says, "just long enough to get a few things done." I asked him what made him decide to run for office. He told me about his wife not getting in-state tuition for college, even though she should have been eligible for it. He said that he aspires to become a advocate for people with the same tuition problems. His wife is a pharmacist and they hope to open a pharmacy here in the state of Kansas. I think that he is very personable and has great character. He also shows perceived caring and trustworthiness. He answered every question that I asked and didn't shy away from any issue. I would definitely vote for him if I was in his district.http://www.washburnreview.org/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&ustory_id=bffa3801-df49-4464-9e39-681cadce58cb
As we are getting closer to the election it appears that attack ads are getting more and more aggressive. One ad that I have noticed, that I have had to watch multiple times is Jim Slattery's "Hosed" ad. But some attack ads come disguised as funny comments on ads, but still with the hoped effect to make the opponent look bad. The first few seconds are easy to watch until the people in the ad begin to get "hosed." If you have not seen ad, the first time you do it looks at first as if someone is urinating on the other people in the ad. Until you see the last few seconds that a giant executive type person is actually holding a gas hose and spraying the little people below him.How effective can this ad really be? The purpose of the ad to make Pat Roberts's position on the gas issue look bad did not work in this particular ad. The ad was very distracting because of the picture that is shown in the ad. It was difficult to pay attention when the ad appears to have an "inappropriate" idea being shown, that once you realize what is really going on half the ad has passed, so you are unable to catch all the information in the ad. If anything it made Slattery look bad, with his poor choice of an ad idea.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEm2V...
It's time to look past just the Republican and Democratic candidates and to a Libertarian, Randall L. Hodgkinson. The Libertarian statement of principles says "the members of the Libertarian Party challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose." Randall is a member of the Topeka community. He also has his law degree from Arizona State University, and is a visiting assistant law professor at Washburn University.On Randall's campaign web-site I quote that he says these are his following reasons for why he is running for Senate. "I became a candidate because I have been unsatisfied with our current representation in Congress on three major issues: (1) fiscal responsibility, (2) environmental sustainability, and (3) adherence to the Rule of Law." Adherence to the Rule of Law commonly refers to a clear separation of powers, legal certainty, and the principle of legitimate expectation and equality of all before the law.If everyone would take a minute to look into Randall Hodgkinson, we might just see that there is a better candidate outside of the Republican and Democratic Parties.http://randallforsenate.org/http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=109704http://www.lp.org/platform
Carol Strickland is currently running for State Representative for the 76th district of Kansas. Upon reviewing her website (http://www.carol-strickland4ks.com/4701.html) there is no indication of what political party she is representing. While there is extensive background information of all of her awards and honors found in her biography section, there is no mention of any of her political involvements. So one is either to assume she has no political experience and/or she is deliberately not stating which political party she represents. I do happen to find one clue that she is a democrat, buried at the bottom of her pictures page the caption reads, "Then we joined Janet Lewis and the Coffey County Democrats for an ice cream social." Other then this little piece of information there is no mention of representing the Democratic Party.Why is there no mention of what party you are representing Mrs. Strickland? Are you afraid you will scare voters off if you announce your party? Are you hoping to pass as a republican? Please Mrs. Strickland tell us why!
Drugs, gangs, and violence are the center of Eric Rucker's campaign to become the Shawnee County District Attorney. Rucker has turned to the tactic of fear appeals in an attempt to convince the citizens of Shawnee County to elect him to the position of District Attorney.The voting public traditionally fears drugs, gangs, and violence and Rucker is certainly capitalizing on that. Rucker's campaign is using a combination of this fear and claims of opponent Chad Taylor's lack of experience to convince the citizens of Shawnee County that he is best fit to serve in the District Attorney's office.Rucker is playing to the perceived vulnerability of many citizens in Shawnee County by constantly talking about how he is the only one who can fight back against the drugs and crime that have taken over the streets in Shawnee County. Sure, I'll agree that Shawnee County has its share of problems with crime, but I would certainly appreciate a campaign centered around the experience of the candidate rather than fear-mongering. "I'm the only one that can keep your family safe at night," is a little over the top.This use of scare tactics seems ridiculous. If Rucker is really so convinced that he is that much more qualified for the job than his opponent Chad Taylor, he should prove it. Making people believe the boogie man will come out from under the bed if he's not elected is juvenile.
We all know someone that has been sent to war or is going to be. My sister recently signed her contract with the United States to become a petroleum refuel specialist. She went to Oklahoma a few weeks ago and is waiting to be shipped to her training. She will most likely be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. I am, like many of us, very affected by this. Is there more we can do there? Is there a way out of this war? Many experts, as well as a lot of soldiers feel like the answer is no (at least not right away). They feel like if we just pull out of this war, it will create genocide. In October of 2001, we entered into this war by bombing Afghanistan. Many people died. Others suffered health effects from weapons and environmental damage created by these weapons. Pollution entered the air and into the masses lungs. It also affected the wildlife in this area; some of the birds in this area dropped by 85%. The affects of the soldiers fighting is not only physical, but emotional as well. It is emotionally scarring watching people who you have spent months, or in some cases years with, die right in front of you. On the other hand, the Taliban government has been removed. There are many soldiers that feel that politicians should listen to the field commanders before they decide to pull out of the war. What would happen if we just removed ourselves from this war? www.lenntech.com/environmental-effects-war.htm
My sister has recently signed a 3 year contract with the United States Army. When she went to sign it, they told her that she wouldn't leave until October 17th. As soon as the contract was signed, they told her that she leaves in 6 days. Then they told her that she would start her class on the 17th of October and that she would get one week to come home for Thanksgiving and two weeks for Christmas and that she would be home just after her son's first birthday. She has been sitting in Oklahoma waiting to leave for training for several weeks making ice. not be home for Thanksgiving. There is nothing she can do about it because she already signed her contract Now she found out that she will be there until January, will be three months late for her son's birthday and will. Shouldn't there be a breach of contract in this case? ABC sent students undercover to interview recruiters and caught them lying to people just to get them to join. They caught them saying things like, "we aren't at war anymore," and "if you don't like the army, you can just quit." Some of these recruiters were suspended, but what about the people that were lied to. Shouldn't they have a way out of their contract?abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2626032
Al Franken won the Democratic nomination and will run against Republican Norm Coleman for Minnesota Senate. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hvonEK0aSFP9aZpT3p6uUTlUQ_GwD933KGPO0 Franken is known as a comedian and political commentator most notably writing and performing for Saturday Night Live. Personally I am a huge fan of Franken and enjoyed such works as "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot," and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." I am ecstatic that he is running for office and I think that he has a good chance at winning the nomination. Minnesota is rather famous for its electing celebrity politicians. Remember Jesse "The Body" Ventura? The great state of Minnesota elected the former WWE wrestler as Governor in 1998. Franken's fame can only help him clinch the senate seat. Isn't he a bit radical you may ask? Of course! It's what makes Al Franken so Appealing! American's love a celebrity politician-Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson, Sonny Bono, and Ronald Reagan. Can't wait for your next book Senator Franken!
Republican Senator Pat Roberts seems to have a stranglehold on his Senate seat. A promising new challenger arose for the 2008election in former Representative Jim Slattery, adding some interest to an otherwise barely-contested seat, but has he really lived up to the original hype?Slattery has been out of politics for the past fourteen years but is easily far more politically adept than any other potential challenger to Roberts. Considering a Democrat hasn't held a United States Senateseat in Kansas since 1939, it could be expected going into this race that it would be heavily Republican-favored. Even with Slattery's better-than-average political bio, however, the seat still looks to be locked down comfortably by Roberts. Is fighting for a Senate seat in Kansas just a perpetually losing battle for Democrats, or did the Slattery campaign just drop the ball?Perhaps it was just a result of bad campaign strategy. Part of the blame could be placed on the time wasted challenging Roberts to more debates when he has nothing to gain and everything to lose and thus no reason to agree to more debates. I think a large part of it was the poor campaign ads run by the Slattery campaign. Every time I see a Slattery ad come on while I'm watching TV, I can't help but feel as if they have no direction and no endgame in mind. There's nothingcompelling in any of the ads I've seen thus far. Whereas the Roberts ads feature heartfelt stories of his assistance to American soldiers and highlight traits in Slattery the majority of voters find unappealing, the Slattery ads leave you wondering where the past 30 seconds of your life went. The Slattery campaign really needs to stepit up with their ads to gain ground when Roberts boasts a favorable rating around sixty among Republicans and over twenty-five percent favorability among Democrats.It's probably too late for anything to change now. Even if it's not, there isn't much time left for the Slattery campaign to shake thingsup, and I just don't think it's going to happen.
Why do we not have a ROCK THE VOTE in Kansas? Would that not bring voters out and get them excited about voting? In Kansas City, MO, they had one on September 7 and they had 5 bands. Two of them are local bands; The Belated and Waiting for Signal. The Wombats, Carolina Liar, and Ludo were the other three. In between each band, local politicians from both Missouri and Kansas, got up and spoke to the crowd. They discussed issues that would affect their crowd (particularly younger voters) and did it in a way that would perhaps sway them to get out and vote. Representative Dennis Moore of Kansas came out on stage with guitar and sang "This Land is Your Land" while the crowd sang along with him. This seems like a fantastic idea because you want young educated voters. In college, we get more actively involved in politics and study about the issues that affect us now and ones that will affect our future. We learn that this nation, though seemingly bi-partisan, has several parties. We want these educated people to vote. Uninformed voting is worse than not voting at all. Maybe we at Washburn, or the students of KU, should instigate one. http://media.www.washburnreview.org/media/storage/paper1140/news/2008/09/15/Entertainment/Rock-The.Vote.Unites.Through.Music-3431721.shtml
If you have seen any news in the last few weeks I am sure you have heard the news of Bristol Palin being pregnant. Although she is 17, unmarried and pregnant does that really have a place in the election? She is neither the first nor the last 17 year old to be pregnant. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment teen pregnancy rates in Kansas in 2005 was at 50.8% in ages 15-19. Although Shawnee and Douglas counties were not in the highest groups, nearby Wyandotte County was. Bristol happens to be in the spotlight just because her mother is the Republic Vice President candidate but does this mean that we need to focus on her pregnancy?The focus of the election should be on her mother's ability to be vice president, not on whether or not she is a good mother. Teen agers are going to do whatever they want despite how good or bad their parents are. Not only have national news stations been talking about her being pregnant, I heard a local radio station (which I will not mention the name of) talking about her being pregnant and making fun of her by bring in someone to pretend to be Jamie Lynn Spears to give her parenting advise. I really think that everyone needs to leave Bristol alone, and focus on Sarah Palin's ability to become the Vice President.Is there really anything that could be done to decrease teen pregnancies, or is it just something that is going to happen no matter what steps we take?
John McCain's announcement of Sarah quickly shifted the momentum in his favor. McCain's announcement shifted the media focus from Obama's historic nomination towards the surprise choice of an unheard of female governor from Alaska. A USA today poll has McCain ahead of Obama among registered voters 50%-46% (http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-07-poll_N.htm). This is the first time Republicans have had a major advantage since January. So how does this effect the elections in November? Well the old adage any press is good press seems to be the prevailing theme among the McCain campaign. Any media surrounding Palin (good or bad) is free media for the McCain campaign (which is a good thing considering his lack of budget). The focus on Palin and McCain are detracting form Obama's media coverage. Obama needs to return the focus back toward him and away from McCain if he wants to get back up in the polls.
Last week Congresswomen Nancy Boyda's office issued a news release about a rally the congresswomen would be holding open to the public just one day before President Bush will be in town only for a private fundraiser for Lynn Jenkins. The news release informed voters that they would be footing the bill for Lynn Jenkins to co-host a private fundraiser featuring President Bush and the Republican National Committee. Items that it outlined that tax dollars would be paying for is the use of Air Force One which the news release estimated at of $56,518 per hour. Also it said that taxpayer dollars would be used "for transportation, food, and lodging for the President's staff and Secret Service detail. And you'll pay overtime for the Topeka Police Department and Topeka Fire Department to provide a motorcade escort and traffic control."The Boyda campaign guesses that this will result in a charge of $100,000 to $200,000 of taxpayers' funds to be spent "so that Lynn Jenkins can pose for $5,000 photo ops to support her campaign."So here is the question, does it seem like it is a good use of taxpayer money for the President of the United States to fly all the way to Kansas only to attend a private fundraiser for a political candidate?It seems to me if the taxpayers are going to be footing the bill, the President should at least attend some sort of event open to the public. At least when the President came to town to support Jim Ryun he went to the expo center and the tickets were free to get in so the public would at least get the chance to see the President. This is just a classic example of how unpopular President Bush is and how desperate Lynn Jenkins is for funds. President Bush can only turn out the very extreme of the Republican Party but those are big donors will to shell out the federal limit and Lynn Jenkins needs the funds infused into her campaign. The problem is that Lynn Jenkins doesn't want the media to run endless stories about her and the President with photos because then the people of the 2nd district would see how far to the right Lynn Jenkins has really run. So instead she will only be seen with the President behind closed doors. Cite: http://www.nancyforcongress.com/node/51And the "Rally with Congresswoman Nancy Boyda" facebook event page
Slattery/ Roberts Debate Update Having now watched the debate at the Kansas State Fair, I have no idea what anyone had to say. The television coverage of the debate was terrible. The viewer couldn't hear the questions being asked let alone what the candidates actually had to say. Sen. Roberts has to debate Jim Slattery in a setting where a real television station can tape and air the debate. And preferable air in prime time so that voters can watch the debate for themselves before the two candidates can spin a long list of talking points to the news media. Side Note- If you didn't notice, there was a large crowd of Roberts' supporters in matching t shirts in the crowd. It is interesting to note that the Roberts campaign actually bused in a tour bus full of supporters and paid for their entry into the state fair. That is a pretty good chunk of change to make sure you have supporters in the crowd. Bus Rental + Gas + 50 t shirts + 50 state fair tickets = Buying a Cheering Section Sen. Roberts claims that he agreed to 3 debates because that is what presidential elections do, but the problem with that is that with presidential debates the audience viewing at home can hear the questions that are being asked and the answers the candidates are giving. How are Kansans suppose to decide who to vote for if the can't hear the answers to the questions?