Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Huelskamp shows off a well rounded conservative record with GOA endorsement

Sen. Tim Huelskamp was endorsed by the influential group Gun Owners of America earlier today. The group cited Huelskamp's strong second amendment record in the Kansas Senate as it's basis for making the endorsement.
“With the anti-gun forces on the march, it is more important than ever to elect Congressmen who have a proven track record of voting to defend the Second Amendment,” said Tim Macy, Vice Chairman of the Gun Owners of America. “Time and again, Senator Huelskamp has shown by his votes and his leadership that he is willing to take tough stands in defense of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. On behalf of Gun Owners of America, I am honored to make this endorsement.”
It's just another impressive endorsement from a wide range of conservative personalities and organizations that have lined up behind Sen. Huelskamp. In addition to support from national names like Mike Huckabee and Ken Blackwell, Huelskamp has also gained endorsements from former Kansas Speaker of the House Robin Jennison, former Kansas Gubernatorial candidate Ken Canfield, Kansans for Life, pro-marriage forces and taxpayer advocates. Today's GOA endorsement adds second amendment rights supporters to his repertoire.

GOA also highlights the most glaring difference among the six candidates in the first district race: a consistently conservative voting record. I'm sure it was refreshing for GOA to see a candidate running to his voting record rather than away from it. Or in the case of some first district candidates, trying to fabricate a 'voting record' out of thin air vis-a-vis their old job.

With such a broad coalition of supporters, Sen. Huelskamp's campaign looks stronger by the day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

As dealine passes, many wonder if Wasinger will get any first district money

Tonight is the final deadline for contributions to first district candidates and we'll know in a few weeks how everyone made out. This will be the first reporting period for Tracey Mann. Mann recently moved from Johnson County to Salina to run for the first district seat. Not much has been heard from the Mann campaign except a few Hutch News articles on his support for Democrat Jim Slattery against stalwart Republican Pat Roberts.

Rob Wasinger will be turning in another interesting report. In the past two cycles Wasinger hasn't been able to itemize a single contribution from the fist district. I haven't been able to find any news articles or data as to how many candidates for federal office have gone two consecutive reporting cycles without even a single contribution from the district they want to represent, but I'd be willing to say three in a row just might be a record.

Wasinger will also be trying to play catch up with Sen. Huelskamp in the overall tally. Even with Wasinger's nearly complete out-of-state financing, he still wasn't able to even be competitive with Huelskamp in overall numbers. In fact, in the last reporting period Huelskamp raised more from the first district alone than Wasinger was able to raise from the rest of the country. That is highly impressive in this economy and in a district that is considered economically depressed in comparison to the rest of the state.

Also keep an eye on Wasinger's expenditures. It was just last February when Wasinger told Roll Call that all of his campaign contributions would be spent in the first district.
"I look at all the money that I've raised, all that money is going to be spent in the district," Wasinger said. "It's my very own contribution to economic growth."
After saying that, Rob went on to file a quarterly report where he spent just over $1,000 out of over $25,000 in expenditures in the first district. That's quite a promise to be breaking. We'll find out in a few weeks if Rob is doing any better on his promise to bring economic growth to the first district.

And then there's Sue Boldra. Her last report was hardly impressive, but she had just jumped into the race. Will her numbers be any better? This one is a make it or break it report for her with six candidates in the race.

Jim Barnett will certainly have some cash on hand. The question is how much of her personal fortune is he willing to invest this time. During the governor's race he pitched in quite a bit of his own cash. There's no indications that he isn't willing to do it one more time.

And finally there's Tim Barker. He's already coughed up $100K of his own money in the last reporting period. Will this one see another cool self contribution?

The next few weeks will be telling. By the way, online contributions given now will be counted toward the next reporting period. However, if you write a check with a June date on it and mail it in right now, I understand it will still be counted toward this just expired reporting period. So be sure and mail out that handsome check to your favorite candidate before time runs out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wasinger reaches out to Independents, Democrats

About a week ago Rob Wasinger announced additional names to his "leadership team." As I've become accustomed to doing, I ran a quick search on some of the names that I recognized or I thought held some significance. One quickly got my attention, Troy Hickman of Hays.

Hickman is a current City Commissioner for Hays. He is a registered independent, something I find rather refreshing. I've found many registered independents in Kansas tend to be very conservative. So conservative in fact that they register independent because they don't believe the Republican Party represents their values. Lately on the national level, I would wholeheartedly agree with that assessment. Hence the need for a strong conservative voice in Washington like Tim Huelskamp.

However, it was a Newsbank search that piqued my interest. Hickman wrote a letter to the editor in 2004 endorsing Democrat state Senator Janis Lee for re-election.

2004 was the first election for state Senators after redrawing district lines in 2000. Lee ran against Larry Salmans, a conservative Republican legislator who had represented District 37, but after new district lines were drawn lived in the same district as Janis Lee. So an unusual election was set up where both candidates were incumbents.

That is what troubles me about Hickman's very public endorsement of Lee over Salmans. Salmans was a proven Republican and conservative and yet he found it necessary to publicly support the Democrat in the race. Perhaps that is why he's registered as an independent.

Hickman goes even further at the end of his letter to compliment Eber Phelps and Dan Johnson, State Representatives from Hays. Phelps is a rather liberal Democrat and Johnson is no friend of conservatives, fiscal or otherwise. So in one letter Hickman chose the establishment over principles.

Of course Hickman is free to endorse whomever he wants. What is concerning is his new support for Rob Wasinger, and Wasinger welcoming him with open arms.

Again, Rob is free to accept support from whoever he chooses. But how long will he continue to wear a "conservative" label while seeking support from those who clearly have had no interest in electing conservative candidates in the past, and have even gone out of their way to publicly endorse known liberal Democrats?

With no voting record and a long history of insider Washington politics, keeping company with supporters of liberal Democrats would seem to be a move a "conservative" candidate would want to avoid.

Here's Hickman's letter of endorsement of Lee.
Janis Lee deserving of your vote for 36th Senate seat

How fortunate we are to have Janis Lee as our state senator. She has been a stalwart ally of Hays and Russell in our efforts to gain water independence for the next 50 years.

Whenever Hays has needed her assistance, Janis Lee has been there to help, even before Hays was added to her district.

As a city commissioner of Hays and a former member of the Water District in which Hays and Russell are partners, I can unequivocally tell you that we should all vote for Janis Lee for 36th District Senate this year. Please help our communities continue to succeed in reaching an equitable settlement with the State of Kansas and ensure that our children, grandchildren and their descendants never have to beg for water for our city again.

In my opinion, we can have a strong leadership team in Topeka with Janis Lee, Eber Phelps and Dan Johnson representing Hays. Please support Janis Lee with your vote.

Troy Hickman
Hays city commissioner