Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Captain Obvious

I think this pathetic excuse for a news story is supposed to be some sort of "gotcha." It's ridiculous.

The Capital-Journal asked Gov. Brownback if he wanted to walk back some statements about Planned Parenthood and its disturbing propensity to laugh about baby body parts over salads and wine on hidden video.

To the absolute shock of surely no one, Gov. Brownback basically said yeah, I stand by what I said, despite the fact that in a political move the filmmakers were indicted for using fake drivers licenses. 

To hear the pro choice people talk, you'd think the filmmakers were absolutely discredited. Um. No. I think everyone who saw the videos understood that the filmmakers weren't using their real names.

What slays me, however, is that a reporter had the audacity to ask basically ask Brownback if he stood by being pro-life. I don't even. 

So ridiculous. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ronnie Metsker appointed JoCo Election Commissioner

Ronnie Metsker, chair of the Johnson County Republican Party, will now serve as the Johnson County Election Commissioner.

The role of election commissioner is appointed by the Secretary of State. I am not sure about this choice, but I was a pretty big Brian Newby fan, and I have trouble imaging Metsker coming anywhere close to filling Newby's shoes. (Newby is now the director of an election commissioner association -- too lazy to look up detaild -- in Washington, D.C.) 

The press release about Metsker's appointment doesn't make mention of his role in the Johnson County Republican Party. I think that's kind of weird, since the release does make mention of other civic and leadership positions. 

I am not sure what this means for the JoCo Republican Party. Can he remain chair and work as election commissioner? Probably not, but I don't know, and still, too lazy to work the Google machine to find out.

I have to assume it means -- either for legal reasons or appearances -- that this means Metsker will not be JCRP chair much longer. It will be interesting to see who replaces him. (I have some thoughts on who I'd like to see in the role. Will share at some point soon.)

Retreat to your safe spaces, KFL fans

I don't like doing what I'm about to do. (I'm probably not going to lose any sleep over it, but it's not my preference.)

Once again, Kansas for Life, a once great organization dedicated to saving babies has revealed its true face. (It's a face that looks an awful lot like a charlatan.) I've written about KFL before. You can find it here. Essentially, this is a very powerful organization that has put gaining and retaining power over principle. It's a shame.

Yesterday, KFL sent some blast emails asking advocates to contact a targeted list of legislators and urge them to support legislation that will change the way Kansas appoints State Supreme Court Judges. There's good reason to change -- Kansas is the only state in which a majority of the judicial nominating commission is composed of members of the bar. This process basically gives "the people" little to no say in who sits on Kansas' highest bench. 
And the bench does make a lot of decisions -- it's almost like they're making laws -- that stick forks in the backs of babies' heads. So, it makes sense for KFL to be involved and concerned about this issue.

However, KFL managed to target at least one lawmaker with a 100 percent rating from KFL itself, Rep. Erin Davis. The email asked people to contact Davis and urge her to support House Concurrent Resolution 5005, changing the judicial nomination process to the federal model. (Governor nominates. Senate confirms or rejects.) Asking legislators to support the issue is A-OK. However, KFL went too far. The email ends with this nugget:

"Your Representative has been unreliable in defending life and is not trustworthy."

Yep. KFL sent that email about a legislator that they give a 100 percent pro-life rating. I don't have words for the depth of my disgust. 

I take specific issue with the use of the word "untrustworthy." Those are strong words, especially for someone who as far as I know has never stabbed KFL in the back.

KFL did eventually send its followers an apology about targeting Davis. 

"The first email alert with respect to Rep. Erin Davis was in error. We apologize to you and to Rep. Davis. She is a strong pro-life Representative and has a perfect pro-life voting record."

I'll be honest. I'm a cynic, and I don't trust KFL or its leaders. This isn't a small thing. It could damage a pro-life legislator in irrevocable ways, because unfortunately, KFL remains a powerful force in Kansas politics. KFL's poorly timed email campaign could damage the reelection efforts of one of its advocates.

Meanwhile, I imagine Rep. Davis had to spend a healthy portion of her day responding to irate constituents and trying to unscrew KFL's mess rather than advocating for life, reading legislation, etc.

Please, if you are one who takes KFL's word for it, if you are a voter who takes KFL's endorsements at face value, stop it. Do your own research on life issues and candidates. KFL can't be trusted.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Watch Your Words, KS GOP -- looking at you, Wagle.

The dumb is so strong it hurts.

Somehow, in this universe – not a universe far, far away – Kansas Republicans are saying that we must stop “robbing” the Kansas Department of Transportation to balance the budget.

As it stands, KDOT has transferred about $1.39 billion from its ample coffers to the state general fund. Cue the obligatory screaming and gnashing of liberal teeth.
In an effort to save money, the state also merged KDOT with the Kansas Turnpike Authority. (Saving money! What a novel idea!)

In December, Senate President Susan Wagle, Republican,  told a Wichita gathering that she supported the merging of the two groups, but said transfers from KDOT to the general fund need to stop.

“I think all that extra money – I’m glad we merged the two facilities. It has brought economy to the system, but we can’t keep, in the future, robbing from KDOT, because we will deplete those funds,” she said.

Explaining the simplest concepts is exhausting, but apparently, someone must. So here goes:

First, it’s not “robbing” KDOT. I realize this is a really confusing and difficult thing for lawmakers, pundits, and Kansas City Star reporters to understand, but the money KDOT has in its fund – it doesn’t belong to KDOT. KDOT didn’t earn that giant pot of money through its sweat and tears and ingenuity. Every cent KDOT has was absconded from Kansas citizens via taxation and fees.  

Rightfully, that money belongs to the people of Kansas, who elect members of the legislature, who get to determine how the citizens’ money is spent.

Moving from KDOT to the general fund is essentially taking money out of the left pocket and moving it to the right.

Watch your words, GOP legislators. This KDOT “robbing” is a political wedge issue that the Democrats are going to try beat you with using the all-too-willing crayons of reporters.

It’s fine for Wagle or any other Republican to say the budget needs to be balanced, and we need a budget that works – i.e., money goes where it’s needed in the first place, rather than making a pit stop in the KDOT fund. It’s not acceptable to use words like “robbing.”

This helpful tip brought to you by Gidget. You’re welcome.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Seriously, bow out Bob.

I'm just going to leave this here:

Bob Dole thinks Ted Cruz is "too fringe," he tells the New York Times (of all places). I swear the NYT must have a reporter stationed outside his bedroom door to give Dole every possible opportunity to stick a rusty knife in the back of the grassroots.

What teeny, tiny ounce of respect I once had for Dole has vaporized. It's dust in the wind, baby. You can do a Google search and see why. I am not a fan of the tax collector for the welfare state.

Dole is 92 and constantly making desperate attempts to remain relevant. Dear Kansans, stop allowing it. (If I thought the NYT would hear my request, I'd ask the same of it.)