Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Prentension and backstabbing in Olathe this weekend! Be there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prentension and backstabbing in Olathe this weekend! Be there.

There's going to be a picnic this weekend in Olathe. The Olathe Republican Party hosts a picnic every summer and it's a pretty big deal -- for people who want to see and be seen. It's actually a pretty good time, but a dark under current runs through the event.

Almost every candidate for any kind of office on the Kansas side of the KC metro will make an appearance, and since we're spitting distance from the Republican primary, the entire thing will feel a bit awkward.

The last time I attended, I think, was two years ago. That year, former Representative Todd Tiahrt was facing now-Sen. Jerry Moran in a primary for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Let me just say, people who worked on those campaigns still hate people from the other side. And at the picnic that year, there were hard feelings about the straw poll. (Picnic goers can vote in a straw poll in a variety of races. You pay to vote and you can vote early and often, so the results are hardly scientific.) Anyway, one of the Senate campaigns complained that the other campaign bussed in voters. There was a lot of whining and gnashing of teeth, and I can't even remember which side was charged with abusing the system.

Almost everyone there will be involved in a campaign for one or more candidates and everyone will be throwing around titles. Introductions will include full resumes. "Hi, I'm the (volunteer coordinator/communications director/campaign manager/candidate) for candidate X.I graduated cumma sum laude from University Y. I am the former city council member from Z and served on the Governor's Committee for a Better America. Stop by my booth/wear my sticker/take a yard sign."

Unfortunately, everyone will be introducing themselves to other people who have a similar spiel. There will be very, very few people that just want to meet their elected officials or learn about candidates on the next ballot.

No candidates are going to win any votes by showing up at the picnic. They'd all be better served door knocking and giving out literature in their own communities. If I'm Joe Schmoe, candidate for Senate in Leavenworth, it would make a LOT more sense to have my volunteers and other resources on the ground in say, Leavenworth.

But that's not what's going to happen: Instead an army of Schmoes will be in Olathe trying to impress other candidates. I'm not sure how valuable that is, but like I said, I'm no insider.

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