Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Gidget's predictions -- Roberts vs. Wolf

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gidget's predictions -- Roberts vs. Wolf

Roberts vs. Wolf

Sigh. This race is the most disgusting and vile thing I've witnessed since, well, Moran-Tiahrt. From the outside, it appears that everyone involved in the Roberts/Wolf fiasco has lost all of their senses. 

I don't have word for the campaign tactics of both sides. It has been truly disgusting.

I have heard horror stories about Wolf threatening legislators who refused to endorse him. Apparently Wolf or his campaign operatives have told state legislators that he will find a primary opponent (and assist in funding an opponent) if they didn't offer Wolf a public endorsement. 

Just so it's on record, it baffles me when active politicians publicly endorse in primaries -- especially ones in which their constituents overlap. For example, every Kansas legislator has constituents who overlap in a statewide race. It makes zero sense to publicly endorse and risk offending those in their own district who are adamant supporters of the other guy. Why risk even a few votes? 

Brownback and Colyer publicly (and privately) endorsed in primaries in 2010 and in 2012. I thought it was a huge misstep. I lost respect for them both. Did it cost them my vote? No, but it caused me serious pain in the voting booth on Election Day. (Don't worry. I followed Reagan's Commandment and did the right thing, but I walked out of the voting booth with the taste of bile on my tongue.)

Meanwhile over in the Roberts' campaign, the Senator's supporters probably need to re-up their Prozac (lithium??) dosages. They're off the rails with completely insane vitriol, accusing Wolf of possibly losing down ticket races. These supporters believe that Wolf has cost down ticket candidates valuable campaign contributions.

Um. Not true, or at least, not provably true. Wolf's campaign finance report is online. You can check it out here. The majority of his large donations -- those over $1,000 -- are from out-of-state. (And he's received a ton of money from the Senate Conservative Fund.) I have trouble believing those Texas and California donors would have used that $1,000 in support of say, Jennifer Flood, a conservative candidate challenging Stephanie Clayton in Overland Park. 

That's not how it works. That's not how any of it works.

I suppose the argument could be made that Roberts could have directed his supporters and fundraising abilities to other races instead of fighting for his political life all summer long. 

However, campaigning is the JOB of a politician. (The legislating is actually the secondary role.) It is not a bad thing that Roberts has had to spend extra time with his constituents. 

Finally, I am appalled, truly, sincerely appalled, that Wolf is now being investigated by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts for photos and comments he  made on Facebook years ago.

Had he not run for office, his career would not be threatened. It's that simple. Whatever you think of Wolf (and I really don't think much of him), he doesn't deserve to have his professional career ruined due to a Facebook post. He just doesn't. 

And it smacks of Roberts calling in a political favor. There is exactly one member of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts who is not a doctor or medical professional. That person is a political activist, appointed by Brownback, and a vocal Roberts supporter. Did she have anything to do with the Wolf investigation? She says no, and I'm inclined to take people at their word.

However, often in politics, as in real life, perception is reality. And the timely investigation of Wolf stinks. Badly. This is why good people don't run for office.

While we're on the topic of those Facebook posts -- they were tacky and tasteless. That said, raise your hand, oh you among us, who hasn't put something on Facebook or Twitter or email or snapChat or whatever, that you later realized was ugh. 

A forgiving soul would probably recognize Wolf's inappropriate Facebook posts as gallows humor. It's not at all uncommon for people who work in fields where they regularly witness human horrors to react with humor. It's a defense mechanism. 

Anyway, inappropriate? Yes. Worthy of an ethics violation? I think not. Politically motivated? It looks that way. 

I sincerely wish Roberts would have done the right thing a year ago -- and that is decide against running for a fourth Senate term. We would have better candidates to choose from had he done so, and it's been obvious for quite some time the direction in which the political winds were blowing. Kansans (and many around the country) had had enough of long-term federal legislators in Washington. 

I contend that had Roberts really, truly cared about Kansas, the state GOP and the country, he would've bowed out this year. He's a nice man, but his ego may be out-of-hand if he truly believes he's one of only two people in the state of Kansas who can fairly, accurately and reasonably represent the Sunflower State in the U.S. Senate.

I suspect Roberts' plan was to run for one more term, bow out halfway through and allow the Governor to select his hand-chosen replacement. (Colyer? Tiahrt? I'm spitballing here.) 

I am unhappy with both candidates in this race. I don't really want either of them. Unfortunately, these are the two choices we have. 

Roberts will win. It will be closer than the 9 points currently separating the two in the most recent polling. 

The damage done to the Kansas GOP may never be repaired.

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