Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Friendship or principles?

The Hutchinson News has a feature article regarding Tracey Mann's friendship with State Rep. Mike Slattery.

Mary Clarkin wrote a fairly evenhanded story, with the exception of the first paragraph. Clarkin states:
If Salina Republican Tracey Mann wins the GOP primary next year in the 1st Congressional District, he very well could capture the vote of at least one Kansas Democratic politician in the general election.
Of course, this isn't possible even in the general election because Slattery lives in the third congressional district, not the first. However, if Slattery would like to resign his seat in the Legislature in order to vote for Mann, I'd be okay with that!

The article notes various political contributions Mann has made, supporting both Slattery's in the past election cycle but also making donations to Nick Jordan in the third and Jerry Moran in the first districts.

A couple of things I noted...

First, Mann continues to label himself "conservative" yet I don't know a thing about his stance on any issues. Perhaps he is...perhaps he isn't. Who knows?

Second, his treatment of Pat Roberts in the past election concerns me.
Mann did not say who he supported in the Roberts-Slattery contest, but noted the contribution was public record.
If he won't say who he supported but notes who he gave money to even after the election is over, that's very concerning. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with him supporting Slattery or really any other Democrat he wants. Any voter has that right. My concern is electing another Republican official who won't support other Republicans once in office. It's that kind of public perception that hurts the party. Roberts has the highest approval rating of any statewide elected official and is well liked by both moderates and conservatives. He's a model of Republican leadership.

In essence, the article suggests that friendship trumped principles in his choice of who to support. I don't know what I'd do in the same situation. I think everyone will rest easier once they actually find out what Mann thinks rather than who his friends are.

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