Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Which Barnett will be on the ballot?

With the entry of state Sen. Jim Barnett, the race for the big first just got a bit more interesting. Barnett is a known entity in Kansas politics as he was the GOP nominee for governor in 2006, loosing quite badly to Sebelius.

His '06 run was one of the more remarkable political makeovers in the state, going from a staunch "moderate" to a conservative in just one short voting cycle. And then back again for his Senate re-election in '08 and now back to "conservative" for a Congressional run in '10. John Kerry has nothing on this guy.

Barnett's first political snafu was in 2004 when he couldn't decide if he was for gay marriage or not. It turns out that when he thinks he might not get re-elected, he's against gay marriage. Nice to know he can at least be pressured into doing the right thing.

In '06 he runs as a conservative with state Sen. Susan Wagle only to reject her as Senate President two years later. Not only did he not vote for her, but according to Wichita Liberty he actively encouraged others to vote for Morris et company. So the Senate leadership team that got the state into its current financial mess is the leadership we should be looking at to help us get out? I don't think so. Welcome back liberal Barnett.

Now it would seem he's back to being conservative, talking about fiscal responsibility, blah blah blah. That's going to be hard to sell to voters with a taxpayer friendliness rating of less than 50% from the former Kansas Taxpayers Network. Why buy Barnett when you can get the real thing with Huelskamp?

Taking a look at the last governor's race, Barnett lost 46 of the 69 counties in the first district in the Republican primary. Canfield and Jennison carried a majority of the first district, and both have already endorsed Tim Huelskamp. It will be interesting to see how Barnett attempts to reshape his image in the big first to try and correct his '06 primary loss. A blog post at is an interesting read.

Barnett adds a lot of questions to the already crowded race. What does this mean for "moderates" like Tracey Mann and Tim Barker? Is Barnett the new Morris/Vratil pick? Will Barnett use his considerable personal wealth to try and buy the race?

For me, the most interesting is which Barnett will be running? "Conservative" Jim or "moderate" Barnett?


Anonymous said...

great post, barnett is indeed a liberal in sheeps clothing.

but barnett won the the 2006 primary, you said he lost, what gives?

farmerjoe said...

Sorry, I should be more clear. He lost a majority of the counties in the first district, even though he won the primary overall across the state.

Even though he won the primary, it wasn't because he did well in the first district, and that's the only place he can go to for votes this time, which is why it matters.

Anonymous said...

It really isn't that confusing.

Barnett will tuck his teeth inside his lip, the way he always does, and talk out of both sides of his mouth.

Miss Anonymous said...

FarmerJoe, you're a fool. Huelskamp's and Barnett's votes on the marriage ban were identical in 2004. To say Barnett didn't know if he was for or against it, you're also saying Huelskamp was confused. Of course, on final action, Huelskamp abstained, while Barnett voted for the ban. So tell me - who is really confused?

Anonymous said...

Miss Annoying,

I mean anonymous (my bad)

Check the record. Just because you can't marry your gay partner in Kansas doesn't mean you should lie about the votes.

Barnett flip-flopped, Huelskamp led the fight.

Anonymous said...

For Shame.

There is no way to know if Ms. Anon is a lesbo, for all we know it could be a guy, maybe a homosexual male actually . . .

but it's doubtful that had any bearing on her/his comments.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Leave Miss Anon alone, he never hurt anyone with his brash comments. He has the same rights to freedom of speech as anyone else.

Miss Anonymous said...

Boys, boys, boys, your sexism is showing. Miss Anonymous is not a lesbian; in fact, she's happily married with children.

Anyhow, here's the Senate Journal with Barnett's and Huelskamp's marriage votes in 2004. They're not hard to find or read, except for the illiterate or intentionally ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Why is Barnett so sympathetic toward gays?

- Dan said...

I don't think Barnett has a chance in the first district. He essentially ignored the mid-sized and small towns during his race for governor, sticking mainly to the I-70 and I-35 corridors.
That won't fly with the first district base. I still believe you have to be able to relate to rural Kansas to get elected in the first district. That is why I still think Huelskamp is the front-runner.

Also, by all means, please continue to pick on Miss Anoying. She takes every chance she gets to pick on anyone who does not agree with her views, so I say she wants to play the game. Just another intolerant Democrat.