Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): It's Metsker by acclamation

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Metsker by acclamation

My anonymous source was correct -- Ken Smith did not vie for Johnson County Republican Party Chair and Ronnie Metsker was approved by acclamation. Also approved by acclamation were Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook as vice chair; Mike Kuckelman as treasurer; and Theresa Segraves as Secretary.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. It's not that I dislike Metsker or that I like Smith. In all honesty, I barely know either of them. BUT I firmly believe and am committed to the idea that a little debate, or "family discussion" as Metsker calls it, is good for the party.

In lean years, when Republicans have uphill battles to get elected and when our ideals are in the dumpster (as they are nationally) there's a good case for a strong, united party. However, now, as the county party is strong, now is a good time to have some internal debates.

I'm not asking for screaming matches -- just a discussion about vision and the future. When there's no opposition, no one has to define their vision or ideals. We just all join hands and sing Kum By Ya and call it a day. I think we need a little bit of fire in our bellies.

There were two sets of slates offered for Third District delegates. One was endorsed by the Governor and the other was put forward by people calling themselves "Faith and Freedom" Slate.

These things are weird, weird, weird. First, often there is overlap between the lists. Such was the case last night. For example, Gavin Ellzey, Jason Osterhaus, Kim Churchman and Mary Kay Culp appeared on both slates.

Second, there's no mention of why these 130 delegates should be selected. It's just a list of names and in many cases, the people listed didn't even know they were nominated to be delegates, let alone endorsed by some group or person. Case in point: Mike and Donna Egan received the Governor's endorsement, but withdrew before the ballots were returned.

If I were making my own list, and two years from now I will -- watch this space for Gidget's List circa 2014 -- I would take care to endorse grass roots people over people who are already elected or are actively employed by a lobbying organization or PAC.

If we're truly to be a grassroots party, and I think we must, we should work hard to make sure the voices of those who don't hold power are heard and known. There are dozens of elected officials on the lists for both slates.

I'm pretty sure the "slates" are simply an effort by those who drafted the lists to grasp at power. It's disappointing that's where we're at. Unfortunately, the majority of the people actively involved in politics don't remain committed to principle for very long. Instead, they're interested in power and who they can control.

Why else announce a slate -- especially if in no way connected to principle?

I am especially discouraged by the Governor's endorsement slate. We should be striving to be a bottom-up party -- not a party in which the Governor dictates to everyone else. This is a basic conservative principle. There were more than 300 people vying for roles as delegates to the Third District. Of those, only 130 will get seats. And those 130 people will have limited authority or power to do much at all. So I do not understand why the Governor would discount 170 active Republicans to endorse 130 of them. I think it was a misstep, and I can't figure out the reason for it.

We won't know the results of the Third District delegate election for a few days.

Now a word about last night's meeting: It went on way, way too long. After about 2.5 hours, when Ronnie said, I just have a few more words, I almost wept. For many of us, our work days start long before the sun comes up. (Ahem. This person right here!) And by the time Metsker gave his acceptance speech, we had been in that auditorium for two hours. And it's not like we were seeing high-quality entertainment. (Pro tip: Toastmasters.) I'm insanely interested in all of this stuff and I was bored almost to the point of tears. I did not feel rallied. I did not feel jazzed. I felt like I was taking a sleeping pill in live form.

This was not a coronation. In my mind, this was supposed to basically be a business meeting with a brief bit of recognition to some stellar volunteers.

By the way, last night JCRP recognized Theresa Segraves for her volunteer efforts; Dennis and Barb Kriegshauser for their volunteer efforts; Marvin Kleeb for his fundraising efforts and Doris Riley and Marearl Denning for their work as JCRP leadership. If I would've had my way, we would've heard a few words from them rather than the never-ending speeches from Metsker.

It would also have been nice to see more of our newly-electeds make appearances. There were several electeds there, but none of the people making a run at statehouse leadership -- Rep. Arlen Siegfried, Rep. Ray Merrick, Rep. Lance Kinzer -- could be bothered to show.

Also, of interest, we learned that the party has $17,000 in hand, but almost $9,000 is spoken for. The lease on JCRP headquarters is up at the end of the year and the new leadership will determine whether to renew.


  1. AMEN Sister! I feel like you were living inside my head last night!

  2. So I can count on your support for Gidget's List in 2014, right? (And thanks!)