Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Nit-picking Kelly Arnold and the KSGOP

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nit-picking Kelly Arnold and the KSGOP

Bear with me. This rant is going to be a teensy bit nit-picky, but I think it's important. If the state Republican Party is to remain the bastion of integrity I know it is, its leaders must choose their words carefully.

Kelly Arnold did it wrong in the most recent "KSGOP: Seen & Heard." If you're not receiving a weekly memo from the state republican party chair, you can send an email to gavin@ksgop.com and request to be added. The weekly email is a catch-all of much of the Republican happenings around the state. There are updates from elected officials, a little bit about what the Democrats are doing in Kansas, and links to some other party sites, etc.

If you're tuned in fairly well, you've seen and heard it all long before the email arrives, but every once in awhile the newsletter has something you may have missed. 

So here's my beef: We're gaining speed in campaign season, and now, the state party needs to exercise caution to not intentionally or unintentionally endorse in the primaries. 

I don't think there's much question where Kelly Arnold and the state party stands in the U.S. Senate race. They're Team Pat Roberts.

And that's OK. As an individual, Kelly Arnold and whoever puts together the weekly newsletter, has every right to support whichever candidate he chooses. BUT as the party chair, he should be so very, very careful not to put it out there in the public as the official endorsement of the state party. There shouldn't even be a hint.

But there is a hint in the most recent newsletter. It's subtle, but it leaped off the page as I read it. The newsletter reads: "Sen. Roberts was on fire this week:" It then goes on to quote Roberts on a several current topics -- Obamacare, the EPA, a U.N. treaty. 

Every other elected official has a blurb or two with links to their press releases of the week. But no other candidate is introduced with seven glowing words as Roberts was.

And yes, I realize I'm being very, very nit-picky. I'm not campaigning for either Milton Wolf or Pat Roberts, though I have frequently admitted I'm likely to vote for Wolf based on my firm belief that Roberts (and anyone else who has been in Congress longer than I've been alive) needs to go. 

If I, very casual Wolf "supporter" (and I use the term loosely, but I'm having trouble finding the right one), feels that tiny gut-punch of that the Kansas GOP is offering its considerable power and influence to the Roberts campaign -- think how angry the fervent Wolf supporters probably are right now. 

Here's the deal: That primary is going to be really ugly, internally. It's baffling to me, but there you have it. I've seen the subtle, yet edgy debates about the race already. Those on Facebook and Twitter have quickly devolved into name calling. This is where we're headed. 

Agreeing-to-Disagree left the building the moment Wolf announced his candidacy. Please don't shoot the messenger: The leaders of the Kansas GOP should work diligently to ensure the integrity of the state party. That is going to mean an extra dash of caution, including careful word choice in party literature.

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