Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Huelskamp WINS!!!

KAKE News reports Tim Huelskamp has been declared the winner in the Kansas First District. Sam Brownback has also been declared winner as governor and Jerry Moran will be Kansas' next US Senator.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jilka releases ad

Shockingly, Alan Jilka has chosen to call Tim Huelskamp "extreme" in his debut television advertisement.

With just two days left until Election Day, Jilka has finally scrapped together enough money to run some ads on TV, and boy is his first (and probably only) a flop. In the advertisement, Jilka makes no attempt to introduce himself or what he stands for to the people of the district, he only reverts to his old tactic of calling Huelskamp "extreme."

Not only is his ad 100% negative, but Jilka uses the most extreme (that's a little joke) photo of Huelskamp he could possibly find. It's so outrageous and grainy that it looks like it's been photo-shopped. I certainly wouldn't put that above Jilka's desperate campaign.

In between cutting second rate negative ads, the Jilka campaign seems to be focusing on it's only endorsements during it more then one year plus campaign: teacher unions and liberal newspapers.

What a sad testament. Mr. Jilka could have run with dignity. Instead he's decided to simply throw it all away.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Huelskamp raises over quarter of a million in 3rd quarter

The Huelskamp campaign announced raising over one quarter of a million dollars during the third quarter, putting him in the drivers seat against his two lesser known opponents.

Over 850 individual donors contributed $268,000 to the Huelskamp campaign over the past three months. That's in comparison to only $30,000 in contributions Democrat Alan Jilka has received. More than likely Jilka's continued support of President Obama and his healthcare plan, and Jilka's silence on the re-election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, have hurt his fundraising chances.

Huelskamp continues to be the only candidate to have raised money from all 69 counties in the Big First District.

The fundraising advantage is beginning to become very apparent as the election nears. Just last night the Huelskamp campaign released a new ad for the general election highlighting his commitment to Kansas' number one industry, farming. I wasn't able to find it on YouTube just yet, hopefully it will be put up soon, and when it is, I'll try to remember to share it here.

Up 30 plus points in the polls and with ten times more cash on hand than his Democratic opponent, Huelskamp is clearly in the driver's seat as election day nears.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jilka claims pro-life label, refuses to back down on Obama Care

At a Salina candidate forum, Democrat Alan Jilka continued to claim a pro-life title while defending one of the most pro-abortion administrations the country has ever seen.

Jilka showed that he's clearly detached himself from reality, going so far to claim he was, "the only pro-life candidate in this race." Amazing? You bet when your Republican opponent is Sen. Tim Huelskamp.

Jilka has been trying to gain traction since the beginning of the race. A recent Survey USA poll showed Jilka struggling to gain even a quarter of the votes across the district.

At the forum, Jilka once again expressed his support for Obama Care, even though according to him, it wasn't perfect. Of course, what Jilka seems to not understand is that it was his party that had control of not only the Congress, but the Presidency as well. Shouldn't the public expect a perfect bill from your party when they are solely in control?

And in case you missed it, Jilka is finally racking up some endorsements of his own, most notably from somebody named Sebelius. Oh, yea, as in HHS Obama Care enforcer lore.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Extreme" groups back Huelskamp?

Alan Jilka, perhaps the most irrelevant Democratic candidate in any race for Congress, recently debated Republican Tim Huelskamp at Emporia State University. (Video available at http://kansas.watchdog.org/5300/kansas-1st-district-candidates-debate-in-emporia/.)

This, in and of itself, is ironic, since Jilka spent half the debate whining about why Huelskamp declined to participate in a debate in every single town across the First District. The other half of the debate, Jilka spent doing one of two things: 1) slobbering all over the policies of Nancy Pelosi or 2) calling Huelskamp "extreme" and "radical" for rejecting Pelosi's policies.

It is on that second point that voters should dwell for a moment.

Jilka has, at every possible point, said that Huelskamp is extreme and radical. He can't seem to name any policies that make Huelskamp radical, but he certainly likes to say so. Instead, as evidence, he cites the fact that Huelskamp has been endorsed by fiscally conservative groups like The Club for Growth, and surprisingly, the Kansas Farm Bureau.

Jilka even blasted the Farm Bureau after their endorsement of Huelskamp, saying that they had "sold out farmers." You know, when running for Congress in rural Kansas, trashing the Farm Bureau may not constitute the best path to victory, especially when you're not even polling above the low to mid 20's.

In recent days, Huelskamp has been backed by other groups that Jilka probably also considers extreme, such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Everyone knows that these groups are about as mainstream as they get. In fact, the U.S. Chamber endorsed 265 candidates in 2008. Of those, 213 won election. So much for playing on the fringe, huh?

Meanwhile, Jilka lists not a single endorsement on his webpage. One would think that a Democratic candidate worth his salt could get the endorsement of at least some leftist labor unions or wacko environmental groups like the Sierra Club. After all, his campaign strategist is the Legislative Director for the Kansas Sierra Club!

So since Jilka has no support to speak of, the only thing he seems capable of doing is trying to drag good folks like the Farm Bureau through the mud.

That's a shame. Jilka could have just lost by 35-40 points and keep his dignity. Now that scenario looks less and less likely each day.

Huelskamp continues to hold commanding lead

A new Survey USA poll continues to show Sen. Tim Huelskamp with a commanding lead to replace Republican Jerry Moran in the Big First District of Kansas.

Of 541 likely voters, Huelskamp gained 63%, which is virtually unchanged from a month ago when the same poll was conducted. Jilka gained only 26%, a third party candidate gained 5% and 6% were undecided.

During the primary Jilka attempted to be the odd man out, refusing to criticize anyone. Now however, he has a very different attitude, make false accusations at any turn in an attempt to just get out of the low to middle 20's in the polls. It looks as if his pro-Obama message is falling very short.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Romney endorses Huelskamp, other Kansas Republicans

Former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed Sen. Tim Huelskamp today in the Big First District of Kansas. Romney's PAC, Free Strong American PAC, also announced it's support of Huelskamp.
“In tough economic times, we need leaders like Tim Huelskamp that understand that cannot tax our way to prosperity or spend our way out of debt. Tim Huelskamp will be a strong advocate for free enterprise in Congress, and I wholeheartedly support his candidacy.”
Huelskamp's Democratic opponent, Alan Jilka, has recently ramped up his criticism of Huelskamp while also trying to explain away his opposition of the Holcomb power plant. The only public poll released so far showed Sen. Huelskamp leading Democrat Jilka 65% to 23%.
“I’m pleased to have the support of Governor Mitt Romney, a man who knows that jobs are created by entrepreneurs in the private sector -- not by massive spending bills in Washington."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kiowa County media interview with Sen. Huelskamp

Kiowa County Media sat down with Sen. Tim Huelskamp at the Kansas State Fair for a very informative interview. Take a look below.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jilka goes soft on immigration while darting to the right on Holcomb

The Hays Daily News has an article up today on candidate Alan Jilka and his softening stance on immigration and a rather lame explanation of his opposition to the Holcomb power plant.

Jilka states that his stance on immigration has softened after a trip to the Mexican border this summer. Rather than looking at the problems illegal immigration causes in our country and state, Jilka has decided to look at the benefits, such as the myth of reduced labor costs and the like.
"And he (Huelskamp) is clearly oblivious to the economic effect that would have on the First District in general, and his state senate district in particular."
Jilka also contended that Huelskamp wants to simply deport every illegal immigrant. It's a position that apparently he's derived from Sen. Huelskamp's statement on his website regarding illegal immigration and his support for simply enforcing current laws.

It's interesting to note in that statement that the Huelskamp family has adopted two children from outside of the United States. It's outrageous for Jilka to say that Sen. Huelskamp simply hates immigrants, as he is implying, when they have personally taken it upon themselves to better the lives of children from outside the U.S.

My question is what has Mr. Jilka done in either his personal or professional life for immigrants in this country? Or is he only concerned with those that have chosen to break the law to be here? What does it say about someone wanting to represent the people, someone who will be sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of our great country, saying that they should simply be ignored because of perceived economic reasons? What kind of integrity does such a person possess?

Instead of choosing to ignore his potential oath of office, why doesn't Mr. Jilka simply propose changes in the law so that it isn't being broken anymore? Is that too much to ask? What kind of candidate chooses to break an oath before it's even taken rather than stand for what they clearly believe in?

Jilka finishes with a "My bad" apology for his opposition to the Holcomb power plant. Apparently even though he voted for a resolution opposing the plant, since other, more level heads on the Salina City Council prevailed, and the resolution failed to pass, he shouldn't be held accountable for his actions.

While his concerns over water usage and the like have been alleviated, Jilka still failed to express outright support for the project. The First District can not afford to have a Representative that will not promote private sector employment at every turn. Alan Jilka has clearly signaled that the only employment that is acceptable to him is what he deems appropriate and not what his constituency deems appropriate.

A candidate without integrity, a candidate without ideas. That's clearly what Mr. Jilka has become.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jilka leads effort to stop Holcomb plant

A Friday article in the Hays Daily News outlines new information about Alan Jilka's efforts to stop the Holcomb power plant while mayor of the city of Salina.

In town to speak with Fort Hays State University ag students, Huelskamp noted there were many differences between Jilka and himself, noting Jilka's past opposition for the power plant.
"It's absolutely critical to having affordable electricity rates here in Kansas that we have that plant built. It's also a great economic boon to the whole (of) western Kansas. ... So I'm a strong supporter of that," Huelskamp said. "That's one thing I guess my Democratic opponent and I disagree on. When he was on the Salina City Commission ... he was helping lead the efforts to pass a resolution to stop the expansion."

The first district needs a Congressman that is willing to stand up for his district and promote economic development where ever it may be.

Alan Jilka is clearly not that candidate.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jilka endorses ObamaCare

Democrat Alan Jilka has appeared to take steps to endorse ObamaCare.

On his website, jilkaforcongress.com, Jilka has a large graphic up titled, "Healthcare Reform: Get the Facts." When you click on it, it opens a new window with information that seems to be parroted from the AARP, but on a Jilka for Congress website format.
"Starting this year, healthcare reform improves the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kansans. The American Associastion for Retired People (AARP) fully supports healthcare reform."
Now if that isn't an endorsement of ObamaCare, then I don't know what is.

In a recent article in the Liberal High Plains Leader, Jilka told the audience that he didn't want to repeal ObamaCare, but fix it. However it looks as though his website is telling a different story.
"According to AARP, the reform will strengthen Medicare, make health insurance more affordable, and makes discriminatory insurance a thing of the past."
This seems to be the glowing endorsement of AARP for ObamaCare just before it passed. One can only come to the conclusion that Jilka also agrees with the AARP's position 100% since it's plastered all over his website.

It is interesting to note that there is a second page regarding healthcare on Jilka's website, but you can't get to it via his big graphic. This second page makes no mention of ObamaCare or Jilka's view of what should be done with it.

I've put two graphics (here and here) of Jilka's homepage and AARP endorsement of ObamaCare. I have a feeling they will probably be taken down soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Huelskamp makes stop in Great Bend

The Great Bend Tribune has an article up on a recent stop Sen. Tim Huelskamp made in his quest to replace Jerry Moran of the Big First District.

After spending the day in meetings with county residents, he spoke that evening to more than 50 9.12 members from the Great Bend area. Huelskamp told the crowd Washington needs to take a "U-turn."

The article states that one member asked specifically what the difference was between him and his opponent. To me that answer would be a no brainer...everything really. But the candidate was much more tactful noting Jilka's support of Cap and Tax legislation and Obama Care. Cap and Tax legislation would be particularly harmful to the agriculture based economy of the Big First.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dodge City Globe notes KFB endorsement

As noted yesterday, Republican Tim Huelskamp has gained the endorsement of the Kansas Farm Bureau.

Today the Dodge City Globe has coverage of the endorsement and what KFB President Steve Baccus had to say about Huelskamp's commitment to agriculture in the Big First.

Alan Jilka, the Democratic nominee in the Big First, responded by attacking the Club for Growth and its support of Huelskamp during the primary. It's very unfortunate that Mr. Jilka is unable to come up with an endorsement of his own, or even a plan to help Kansas agriculture, and so he is forced to attack Huelskamp second hand through supporters.

I agree with Sen. Huelskamp. Just because a group that supports him has one particular point of view doesn't mean that he will adopt that point of view.

But, since Mr. Jilka seems to think that just because someone supports a candidate for office and may express a certain point of view that that automatically means the candidate has the same point of view, I'll be reviewing his FEC reports for donors and see just what his supporters have to say. Obviously, Mr. Jilka believes he should only take donations from someone he agrees with 100% of the time.

Of course, that might be difficult to do for a couple of reasons. First, Jilka doesn't have that many donors. Second, he seems to be having difficulty complying with campaign finance laws and has been admonished by the FEC on multiple occasions.

More on both of those later.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Farm Bureau endorses Huelskamp

A huge endorsement today from the Kansas Farm Bureau in support of Republican Tim Huelskamp.
“More than ever before, farmers, ranchers and rural Kansans need a strong voice in Washington,” said Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus, a grain farmer from Ottawa County. “Tim Huelskamp understands our challenges and we look forward to helping elect him to the U.S. House."
Huelskamp correctly noted that this endorsement is critical to anyone who wants to represent the First District, which is heavily dependent on agriculture.
“Our district is heavily dependent on agriculture, and as a farmer, I understand the unique challenges we face in this industry,” said Huelskamp. “Having the support of Kansas’ farmers and ranchers is critical to representing this district the right way.”
Today's endorsement makes it even harder for Alan Jilka, the Democratic candidate, to win in November.

The Kansas Farm Bureau is the leader in Kansas agriculture and clearly Huelskamp's stance on the issues and his life long livelihood (farming) were all key to winning today's endorsement.

Congratulations to the Huelskamp campaign. I'm sure this is just a sign of even larger things to come.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Post-primary poll shows Huelskamp with a 42 point lead

The latest Survey USA/KWCH poll shows state Sen. Tim Huelskamp with a commanding lead in the race for the Big First District.

Data collected from Aug. 5 to Aug. 8 shows voters favor Huelskamp by 42 points compared to Democrat Alan Jilka. An amazing 5% of voters say they are still undecided, a very low number considering the primary election was held just days before this poll was conducted. That's a tough environment for Jilka. He can't even come close to Huelskamp's commanding lead, even if he's given the benefit of lots of poll error, all the 5 points for undecideds and a lot of luck.

Huelskamp leads in all groups polled except for a notable few. Jilka wins with self described liberals, Democrats and voters who have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party. That's three groups I'm glad Jilka's winning. It just goes to show what kind of a candidate he is and where his priorities would be if he's elected.

Huelskamp leads self describes moderates by 13 points and Independents by 14 points. This goes to show that Jilka is going to have a hard time remaking himself into the election year "moderate" so many Democrats in Kansas like to call themselves. It never ceases to amaze me that of all the Democrats who are seeking office or have held office in Kansas, the media has yet to meet one of them that is a liberal. They are all, some how, some way, "moderate."

That little lie is a bit harder to pull off in the Big First, and nearly impossible with a candidate like Tim Huelskamp.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Huelskamp comments on win

From the Tim Huelskamp campaign:
“This was a hard-fought race, and I had some very worthy opponents. My focus going forward is going to be advancing the conservative principles that I’ve campaigned on.”

“I look forward to a spirited debate on the issues with Mr. Jilka. The voters will have a clear choice in November between a candidate who supports bigger government and Obamacare and one who will lead the fight against the liberal policies of Pelosi and Obama. I look forward to that debate.”

Huelskamp wins

The AP has called the first district race for Tim Huelskamp early this morning. With nearly all precincts reporting Huelskamp had gained 35% of the vote compared to second place finisher Jim Barnett at 25%. Nearly 10,000 votes distanced Huelskamp from Barnett, according to the Secretary of State's website as of 12:39am Wednesday morning.

Considering the polls in this race we're literally tied up in a three way race just two days ago, this is a landslide victory for Huelskamp.

The campaign has been hard fought. Some conservatives we're afraid that some of the vote may have been split at the last few days between Huelskamp and Wasinger, but it looks as if the Huelskamp campaign had quite a few tricks up their sleeve to come out nearly 10,000 votes on top in a race that some thought would be separated by just a few hundred votes.

The race was also plagued with rumors the last few days, some true, others not. It's still up in the air if the last minute money drop by two of the candidates in the race actually hurt them more than it helped.

The winner of the primary is considered a lock for the general election. Alan Jilka of Salina is the only Democrat running and is plagued by his own problems, most recently his settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former Salina city employee.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Former Barnett running mate Susan Wagle endorses Huelskamp on election eve

Susan Wagle, Jim Barnett's running mate during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, endorsed Tim Huelskamp for Congress today.
"If Republicans in the First District want to be a part of the National revolution against Obama and his liberal policies, I ask them to join me in supporting Senator Tim Huelskamp for Congress. They should reject the last minute deceitful attacks that have been flooding the First District and distort the Huelskamp record. They should send Kansas State Senator Tim Huelskamp, a strong conservative, to Congress. I am confident Senator Huelskamp will dedicate his energy and his political expertise to taking back our Country."
Barnett's choice of Wagle was one of the primary reasons he was able to win a crowded GOP field. Barnett didn't have the conservative credentials needed to win the primary, so his choice of Wagle, and her stamp of approval, was instrumental in his win. Much like McCain's loss would have been much worse without Sarah Palin, Jim Barnett doesn't win a primary with Susan Wagle. But now the tables have turned on a candidate that has yet to break out of his polling numbers from over five months ago.

On election eve I'm feeling optimistic for the Huelskamp campaign. He's now riding a significant endorsement, just one more on top of so many he's received so far. Barnett's last minute attack on Mann and Huelskamp seems to have backfired to a certain extent. The fact that Barnett has been unable to pick up any additional support over a five month period doesn't bode well for his chances where 6-10% of voters are still making up their minds.

The fact is there were more undecided voters polled in February than those who supported Jim Barnett. And in the last poll virtually the same number of people support Jim Barnett while nearly a third of voters have made up their minds, and clearly haven't decided to vote for Barnett.

Tracey Mann has billed himself a conservative but was clearly splitting some of the moderate vote with Barnett. His ill received remarks over Obama's birth certificate cause him to drop several points in the polls, most obviously because those moderate voters are now having second thoughts about their guy. That leaves undecided voters with several names to pick from, and even if they split between Mann and Huelskamp, Huelskamp comes out on top.

In addition, while Rob Wasinger has had ads up for a little over a week now they seem to have been too little too late. The number of undecided voters splitting to Wasinger over the other candidates are not significant. Further hurting Wasinger is the simple fact that his ads just aren't that good. The patronizing tone that he's taken isn't going over well, and running as the "outside" candidate but then promoting his "experience" is a contradiction anyone can get.

In what seems to be a bit of irony, with Barnett stagnant and Mann falling, it seems Huelskamp has become the default "go to" candidate. And any vote that he loses to a Wasinger, Boldra or Cobb is simply helping him and not Barnett or Mann. Either way, I think Huelskamp comes out a winner.

It will certainly be a close election and even tonight, things could change, but Huelskamp has the edge and position to pull out a win.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jimmy, you got some splanin' to do!!

It's as if Ricky Ricardo himself was shaking his finger at Jim Barnett for the way he's portrayed himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment.

Today the Tim Huelskamp campaign released it's second issue of "Jim Barnett vs. Jim Barnett" challenging Barnett's claim to support the 2nd amendment.

As I've noted before, Barnett has consistently voted against conceal carry legislation in Kansas, that is up until his run for Governor in 2006, where he changed his modus operandi to be a conservative. This is also the same year Barnett went from a dismal rating with the Kansas Taxpayer's Network to a 100% seal of approval. It's a political makeover to be in awe of. Well, except for the fact that the voters don't seem to be buying it this year.

Huelskamp Campaign Manager David Ray had this to say:
“Supporters of the 2nd Amendment should know that Jim Barnett is no friend of gun owners. It’s clear that he cannot be trusted on the 2nd Amendment. That’s why Tim Huelskamp has been endorsed by the NRA and every other 2nd Amendment organization in this race.”
Sadly, not only did Barnett oppose conceal and carry legislation in 2004, but he also copped out of important amendment votes during his tenure in the Kansas Statehouse, including:
  • Voting “present and passing” on several key amendments during the conceal carry debate, including an amendment to impose waiting periods for handgun purchases.
  • Voting “present and passing” on an amendment that sought to reinstitute a Clinton-style gun ban on semiautomatic “assault weapons.”
    Gun owners know a friend from a foe, and they all agree Tim Huelskamp is the friend they need in Congress.

    New poll shows Huelskamp on the rise

    It's almost as if Channel 12 read my mind from yesterday's posting of Jim Barnett's dismal poll numbers. A new poll released today by KWCH Channel 12 in Wichita and conducted by SurveyUSA shows Sen. Tim Huelskamp as the only major candidate that continues to gain in the polls while the other two continue to slump.

    You can see a great graphic of SurveyUSA polls since February at Wichita Liberty.

    The poll shows that Tim Huelskamp continues to build momentum while Barnett polls at just one point higher than he was in February. That has to be disheartening to the Barnett campaign as he just poured in a quarter of a million dollars of his own money to try and buy a congressional seat.

    Tracey Mann fell back several points, undoubtedly because of his recent stumble regarding Pres. Obama's citizenship status. I've sat back on that a little bit, mostly because it's left me somewhat confused how a candidate that just two years ago gave to liberal Democrat Jim Slattery at the same time the country was sweeping Obama to the Presidency would now question his citizenship status. This simply didn't jive with the Tracey Mann that liberal Democrats in the blogosphere were cheerleading.

    But I've now come to the conclusion that he's just not familiar with being a conservative and, quite frankly, just went too far in how he thought a conservative would answer.

    With a week until election day, Huelskamp has positioned himself nicely to bolt to the finish line a winner!

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Kansans for Life: Huelskamp the only one with a "long-term proven pro-life track record"

    Kansans for Life PAC today released an email explaining why it has endorsed Tim Huelskamp over all the other candidates in the race.

    According to KFL PAC, Tim Huelskamp is the only candidate with a, "long-term proven pro-life track record. Therefore, we enthusiastically endorse Tim Huelskamp and urge you to vote for him on August 3rd."

    A few highlight points include:
    • For many years, the majority of the Kansas Senate was not pro-life. Tim Huelskamp has the courage to bring pro-life legislation to the Senate floor and demand a vote – even when it was a losing and unpopular cause.
    • Tim Huelskamp has been a leader with pro-life legislative efforts in the Kansas Senate since his election. He has on several occasions, challenged the leadership of the Senate and pressed for votes on controversial pro-life legislation.
    • For the last several years, Tim Huelskamp has led the effort to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood in Kansas performs more abortions than anyone else. They are still under criminal investigation and do not merit any funding whatsoever.
    • There is only one other candidate who is serving as an elected official. However, from the beginning, Kansans For Life has worked to educate this individual, persuade this person to vote correctly, and we continue to have to lobby this person because we are not convinced of their commitment – we cannot rely on a pro-life vote.
    • None of the other candidates have faced the challenges of an elected legislator.
    Click here for the full email from KFL PAC.

    Jim Barnett vs. Jim Barnett: The facts exposed

    Jim Barnett doesn't like the "negative" tone the Huelskamp campaign has "taken on." It's the wimper of the exposed politician, angry and confused over a campaign willing to tell the voters the truth about his flip-flop ways.

    Today in a press release the Huelskamp campaign announced their "Jim Barnett vs. Jim Barnett" campaign. First up is his support of Kathleen Sebelius before he was against her.

    From the press release:
    While Jim Barnett brags in his mail flyers that he opposed Kathleen Sebelius, he actually endorsed her as Secretary of Health and Human Services a little over a week before she accepted President Barack Obama’s nomination. Barnett told Congressional Quarterly’s Drew Armstrong on February 19 of last year that “I view the potential of her being secretary of Health and Human Services as a positive for Kansas and the nation.”

    In a move reminiscent of Senator John Kerry’s famous flip-flop in 2004, Senator Jim Barnett flip-flopped his position on Sebelius’ nomination during an interview on June 25th of this year with the Kiowa County Signal, telling editor Mark Anderson “I would not vote for that nomination.”
    I also detailed Jim Barnett's problem with his record earlier today.

    Jim Barnett: Does the ad match the record?

    With just over a week until election day, more and more voters are beginning to pay attention to the candidates in the first district and compare their rhetoric to their past actions. So I thought it was prudent to do a small recap of the major candidates as they stand today, and point out some lesser known facts about them. Let's start with Jim Barnett.

    As I noted last week, Jim Barnett has a habit of going which ever way the political winds happen to be blowing. This chart is an excellent illustration of Barnett's political career and how his votes have changed depending on the type of office he's seeking.

    It's also a lesser known fact that as a member and President of the Emporia school board in the 1990's, Jim Barnett voted to join the original Schools for Fair Funding lawsuit that eventually cost the taxpayers a billion dollars and helped put our state in its current financial troubles.

    Barnett has asked to be excused for this vote, but the fact is when someone doesn't have a moral, or at least some kind of philosophical compass, it's easy to be pulled into this kind of special interest scheme. Barnett talks a good talk on the campaign trail this year, but what about in two or four years when the political winds have changed? What other kind of scheme will he join in Washington at our expense?

    Barnett's tone has gone south with his latest ad, telling the voters Tim Huelskamp has gone negative when he hasn't. I'll address that later, but first let's take a look though at his first ad and see how it ads up to his record.

    Here's the highlights:
    • "Conservative" Count = 4. The word "Conservative" was plastered on your screen for 14 seconds of the 30 second spot. I guess the thought is if you repeat a lie often enough it'll stick.
    • Throwing money at a problem doesn't make sense to you Jim? What about when you voted to sue the state for more money, did it make sense to you then?
    • Jim cut spending to balance the state budget? Last time I checked the state just passed the largest sales tax increase in state history to fund new spending. And back in 2002 when Jim was new on the political scene in Topeka, he voted for what was then the largest tax increase in state history to fund more state spending. That's when he scored a dismal 8.3% with the Kansas Taxpayers Network.
    • Barnett proposed the largest tax cut in state history? Well, isn't that interesting considering just four years prior he voted for the largest tax increase in state history. Who says you can't please all of the people all of the time? I'm sure the fact he proposed this cut when running as a conservative for governor has no connection what-so-ever.
    • NRA "A" Rating Jim? What about during your first senate term when you opposed conceal and carry? What about the NRA's endorsement of Tim Huelskamp? Nothing like telling half truths, huh?
    It's interesting to note how stagnant Barnett's poll numbers have been. The first public poll February 23rd had Barnett at 23%. Since then he's gained a whopping 2% to make it to 25%. Now with his political future hanging in the balance, Barnett has dumped a quarter of a million dollars into the race in an attempt to buy a vote, any vote, that he's been unable to secure so far.

    It's also interesting to note Barnett's political consultant, Jeff Roe with Axiom Strategies, is also the consultant for Wink Hartman in the fourth district. Hartman's campaign also seems to be in a freefall, with him polling at numbers below what he had in February. This is also in spite of him dumping more than a million dollars of his own money into the race. It seems no matter how much Roe may spend, he just can't get any traction for his guys. I can't speak to the fourth, but in the first it's likely due to Barnett's poor performance in the Governor's race and his back and forth stances on the issues.

    Later we'll take a look at Barnett's latest ad and also Tracey. He's a Mann with a Plan, but does it match his Johnson County tan?

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Erick Erickson: It's time for conservatives to get off the fence

    Interesting piece on Red State today from Erick Erickson. Essentially, Erickson says it's time for every conservative to get behind Tim Huelskamp and stop messing around with that other guy.
    This is one of those seats where if conservatives do not act immediately, a terrible Republican will get elected, serve forty years in Congress, and we will hate every minute of it. Tim Huelskamp is the conservative with the best chance of winning.
    Read more at redstate.com.

    The political metamorphosis of Jim Barnett

    Bob Weeks at the Voice for Liberty in Wichita posted an interesting article a few days ago where he took the legislative vote ratings for both Sens. Tim Huelskamp and Jim Barnett and graphed them over time. It was so interesting to me that I went back to the vote ratings and created my own graph, but with a few events highlighted in Jim Barnett's political career. The result showed a politician who clearly has no moral or philosophical compass by which he governs.

    As you can see below, Barnett's fiscal track record improves and declines dramatically depending on the year and what kind of election he's likely to face. In 2004 for example, he faced his first re-election to the Senate and improved his score with the Kansas Taxpayer's Network from 11% to 50% accordingly. Then in 2006, he scored a 100% rating for the first time. This, of course, coincided with his campaign against several other candidates for the Republican governor's nomination.

    But in 2008, facing little opposition for his Senate seat and coming off a good amount of name recognition, the old Jim comes back with his liberal ways.

    And now that election day 2010 is upon us, we once again see an upswing in his scores.

    When put this way, the say anything, do anything Barnett that I know shines through. Anything to get elected, anything for more power.

    And Tim Huelskamp? A record to run to, not from.

    Click on the image to enlarge it.

    Huelskamp "in the driver's seat" with almost $400K

    The Huelskamp campaign is "in the driver's seat" when it comes to cash on hand, according to the campaign and recently released FEC campaign finance reports.

    With just a few weeks left until the primary, Huelskamp reported nearly $400,000 in cash on hand, over 80% more than second place finisher Jim Barnett and more than twice as much as Tracey Mann and Rob Wasinger.

    What this means is clear; Huelskamp is able to write his own story for the remaining days of a the campaign. A recent KWCH/Survey USA poll showed a statistical tie among the top three candidates, but the advantage clearly lies with the Huelskamp campaign now that the cash on hand picture is clear.
    “This cash on hand total puts Tim Huelskamp in a commanding position to win this race over the last 18 days,” said Huelskamp spokesman David Ray. “Cash to spend on voter contact is the number that matters in these final days, and Huelskamp is running away with it.”
    Further bolstering his position is a rock solid record to run to, not from.

    More on that later...

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Birds of a Feather…

    Recently, ultra-liberal Democratic blogger Marty Keenan wrote about his glowing admiration for Tracey Mann, which you can see HERE, if you have the stomach to handle it.

    Keenan and Mann have plenty in common, most notably that they have both given contributions to Jim Slattery, a liberal, pro-abortion Democrat who ran against Pat Roberts in 2008. The Hutch News writes about Mann’s donation HERE, and a quick search of the FEC database shows that Keenan has been giving to democrats even longer than Mann has.

    Here’s a quick summary of his contributions:

    $1,025 to the Kansas Democratic Party

    $450 to Barack Obama for President

    $500 to Jim Slattery for U.S. Senate

    So Mann and Keenan each gave $500 to Slattery against Roberts and now Mann is getting glowing articles and support from his Obama buddy, Marty Keenan…

    You know how the saying goes…birds of a feather…

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Is Tracey Mann Trying to Buy A Congressional Seat?

    We’ve known for a long time now that liberal Republican Jim Barnett is a self-funder. Barnett has given himself at least $100,000 to fund his Congressional campaign, and that amount represents over a quarter of his remaining cash on hand as of the end of the 1st Quarter.

    But now there is reason to believe that Barnett isn’t alone in his efforts to purchase a Congressional seat. It now seems very likely that Mann is self-funding as well, although we won’t be able to know for sure until the next FEC report comes out next month.

    This can’t be good news for conservatives, since Mann has a history of helping fund liberal Democrats like Jim Slattery

    Mann ended the 1st Quarter with just over $261,000 cash on hand, which was good enough for third place, behind Tim Huelskamp and Jim Barnett. But since then, Mann has gone on a spending spree, including a half a dozen high-priced mailers, some of which are several pages long. Mann has also gone up with a massive TV buy in an effort to convince voters that he’s a conservative farm kid with “Deep Roots in Kansas, Not Politics” (you know, not the kind of guy that would give money to support Jim Slattery).

    Also, as of his last report, Mann has yet to pay for the 100s of road signs that are popping up in certain portions the Big First. Plus, almost 15% of Mann’s contributions are general-election only.

    A basic breakdown of Mann’s spending would show that at this pace, he will be out of money well before the election – unless of course, he self-funds.

    Friends in the Salina area tell me that Mann is personally wealthy and could probably self-fund his campaign at least as much as Barnett if he wanted to.

    So now it’s safe to say that we have two self-funders in the race – one that’s never seen a tax increase he doesn’t like and another that just helps fund the campaign coffers of liberal Democrats like Jim Slattery.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Tracey Mann Attacks Jerry Moran?

    Two years after attacking Senator Pat Roberts with a $500 donation to liberal Democrat Jim Slattery, Tracey Mann has now turned his fire toward Congressman Jerry Moran, too.

    According to a recent article from The Clay Center Dispatch:

    "Tracey Mann, one of seven candidates seeking Jerry Moran's seat in the US House of Representatives, says Kansas doesn't need another politician representing them."

    Judging by that sentence, Mann clearly doesn't believe Kansas needs another "politician" like Jerry Moran representing us in the U.S. Senate. And (I'm guessing) Mann probably doesn't think a "politician" like Sam Brownback should be governor, either ...

    (Okay -- the truth is that Mann doesn't really believe the politicians are the problem. You see, while Mann criticizes "politicians," he's the one who's actually playing a cynical political game here. Polls, no doubt, tell him that the public is distrustful of "politicians." And so what would a shrewd and manipulative politician do when polls tell him that citizens hate politicians? ... You guessed it -- attack "politicians"!)

    To be sure, Mann's stance is both calculated and hypocritical. Does Mann really expect us to believe that state senators in Topeka are "politicians", while the Congressmen and Senators serving us in Washington, DC aren't??? Speaking of which, someone should tell Tracey that Jerry Moran was a STATE SENATOR before he became a Congressman. Sounds like pretty good preparation to me…

    ... It's fun to watch cheezy politicians like Tracey Mann get themselves in trouble like this. I'm sure Jerry Moran's not going to like seeing that Tracey Mann is bashing him like this.

    The Wichita Eagle blog summed up Mann's conundrum quite nicely:

    “How long can the Republican candidates in both the 1st and 4th Congressional District races bash the status quo without having a harsh word for the retiring incumbents?”

    (Answer: Not one more minute...)

    I am calling on Tracey Mann to finally "man-up" and stop attacking Kansas' loyal public servants like Jerry Moran and Sam Brownback!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Southwest Times: Huelskamp dominates fundraising

    The Southwest Times has an article up on the domination of Sen. Huelskamp in fundraising. Click on over and take a look.

    I found the graphic pretty interesting because it really makes Wasinger's spending stand out.

    I also thought Barnett stonewalling the newspaper was interesting, especially after they went to the trouble to email the questions. Looks like Roe is scared to let his candidate speak off the cuff. Then again, if I had Barnett's record I'd be scared to speak without my teleprompter too.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Perry and Tea Parties and Morgan, oh my!

    Yesterday Texas Governor Rick Perry endorsed Sen. Tim Huelskamp for Congress.
    “There is only one candidate in this race that will keep the state of Kansas and our nation moving forward in the right direction, and that’s Tim Huelskamp…I do not make this endorsement lightly and only offer my support when I am certain of a candidate’s strong conviction…Tim is without a doubt one of those candidates and I am proud to offer my endorsement of his campaign.”
    The endorsement comes after many others from leading conservatives like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Concerned Women of America, Kansans for Life, the Club for Growth and others.

    Huelskamp also participated in many Tea Parties across the first district, including Goodland, according to the Hays Daily News.
    "I'm running for Congress," Huelskamp said, "and I urge you to look at our record." Huelskamp presented a conservative agenda, telling the group that it was a pleasure to sing the Star Spangled Banner and to say an opening prayer. "I keep telling school kids, at least in the state Senate, we can have an opening prayer," he said.

    Shifting gears quickly, Huelskamp asked if people thought they were taxed enough already. Once, twice and finally three times, he asked the question, getting a resounding "yes" from the group.
    In another little twist, Christian Morgan, former campaign manager for Jim Barnett's failed bid for Governor, posted a deliciously interesting item on Facebook a few days ago, not once, but twice. Morgan now works for the same firm that is running the Barnett for Congress campaign, although up to this point there was no evidence that he had any interaction with the Barnett account. I personally thought Morgan's boss would keep him as far away from Barnett as possible, due to that nasty little divorce the two had at the end of Barnett's failed campaign.

    How odd is it that Barnett would hire his former campaign manager's firm when he essentially sued Morgan to keep from paying out unemployment benefits that he demanded? But it's just plain bizarre that Morgan is actually involved in Barnett's congressional campaign. Of course, Morgan's track record with Barnett isn't so hot, so I guess maybe it's a good thing?! My favorite part though is going to be Morgan tearing through all of his political friends on Facebook and trying to figure out who ratted him out. :)

    And finally, as near as I can tell, Operation Rescue has become the first organization to call for Rob Wasinger to drop out. In a press release published on christiannewswire.com, OR stated its case rather bluntly.
    The latest polling data shows Republican primary candidate Rob Wasinger trailing so badly that he cannot win the hotly contested Kansas 1st Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Moran.

    Even though Wasinger has spent over $200,000 in advertising, every poll puts him in the single digit range with his best polling data at 8 percentage points.

    Wasinger is struggling because he is considered by many Kansans to be a Washington insider since he spent the majority of the last two decades living in Washington, D.C. where he has been out of touch with the issues facing the people of Western Kansas.
    The release makes no mention of other candidates, and I don't see them endorsing any specific candidate in the Big First. It'll be interesting to see if other pro-life groups follow suit.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Huelskamp on top again in fundraising, cash on hand


    Sen. Tim Huelskamp topped the field in fundraising in the first district once again, new FEC reports show.

    With almost $129,000 in contributions in the first quarter of 2010, Huelskamp ended with over half a million dollars in the bank. Of his nearly $130K raised, nearly $20K was from unitemized contributions.

    Jim Barnett was second at $107,000 raised but with almost $100,000 spent, he was only able to bank $382,000 at the end of the quarter. The bigger surprise here is that I only saw one "Requested" in his contributors employment information. That's be good and bad for the Barnett campaign. Good in that they have apparently figured out that you have to ask folks giving to your campaign lawfully required information. Bad in that they've now demonstrated they can competently file a campaign finance report and so now the public is left wondering what happened during all of the previous quarters.

    Barnett's large expenditures include one for over $16,000 to Axiom Strategies (a la Jeff Roe) and $23,000 to Wilson Research in Oklahoma for, "Campaign Research and Strategies." Well, I guess Barnett never promised to be the economic engine of the Big First.

    Speaking of which, no report yet from the Wasinger campaign.

    Tracey Mann tanked, and that's putting it lightly. With just over $65,000 raised and almost $45,000 spent, he ended the quarter with just over $261,000 in the bank. Shadwick came in a very distant fourth (so far) at $22,800 raised, $18,600 spent and $23,400 in the bank. Sue Boldra almost raised $15,000 and has $17,200 cash on hand.

    All in all, looks like a great quarter for the Huelskamp campaign. I'll update later with more information about interesting contributors and expenditures, and I'll let you know how the Wasinger campaign made out when they get around to filing.


    Wasinger looks like he just filed, and not too many surprises here. $111K in contributions, $102K in expenditures means only $213K in the bank. Lots of Virginia, lots of Massachusetts, lots of out of state contributors. And despite assurances that his campaign would be the economic powerhouse the Big First, he seems to be quite enthralled with spending large sums on media in Virginia. So Wasinger squeaks into a second place in contributions raised, but fourth in cash on hand.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Huelskamp moves to the airwaves with first TV ad

    The Huelskamp campaign launched the first TV ad in the first district with a reminder of Sen. Huelskamp's record on taxes and fiscal responsibility. The ad, titled “Tax Day,” runs 30 seconds in length and is a positive, issue-oriented profile of Senator Huelskamp and his record of fighting for lower taxes.
    "Other candidates talk about opposing taxes, but Tim Huelskamp has a proven track record of fighting tax increases to prove it,” said Huelskamp spokesman David Ray. “That's why he won numerous awards for keeping taxes low and why the Club for growth has endorsed him.
    Huelskamp has been building a war chest for some time now and it's refreshing to see him spending his campaign resources so wisely. Huelskamp is correct to size up this contest as a clash of records, mainly that he has a record of fighting for the taxpayer while Barnett has a record of fighting for more government control.

    This ad nails the sentiment of so many voters in the first. There's a lot of politicians that talk the talk, but there's only one candidate in this race with a record of walking the walk.

    See also:

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Barnett lies while Palmer pulls off his conservative disguise

    Jim Barnett is ducking right this week in an attempt to convince First District voters that he's really against Obamacare and had nothing to do with that oh so similar plan he proposed in 2007.

    As a gubernatorial candidate, Barnett advocated for "healthcare exchanges" which are eerily familiar to the Democrats plan to remake the American healthcare system. But after the election, Barnett went further, introducing a bill that would have mandated coverage for all Kansas citizens, regardless of their choice not to have coverage. Similar to the fines imposed by Washington Democrats, Barnett's plan would have authorized the state to garnish wages and tax refunds of those that refused to comply with the mandate. All of this coincided with a new, close friendship with his former opponent, Kathleen Sebelius. Barnett promoted and supported a plan with Sebelius that also would have also expanded state entitlement programs and imposed new mandates.

    Surprisingly, Barnett denied he had anything to do with the 2007 bill, saying instead that the bill was introduced for "discussion" by the committee. Unfortunately for him, former State Senator Peggy Palmer, a member of the committee with Barnett and Huelskamp, recalls a different story. In a press release from the Huelskamp campaign today, Palmer stated, "I was there when Jim Barnett introduced SB 309 to mandate government approved health insurance on Kansans. His proposal would have created a quasi-state entity and added layer upon layer of massive new government mandates and bureaucracy."

    During the state's last fiscal crisis, Jim Barnett voted in favor of the largest tax increase in the state's history. That was shortly after serving as President of the Emporia school board and not only voting in favor of, but crafting the strategy to sue the state of Kansas for more school funding. That was in the 1990's and the case would eventually become known as the Montoy case, resulting in over a billion dollars in court mandated state spending. And after having a conversion in 2006 to run for governor, Barnett quickly switched back to his liberal ways, patched things up with former opponent Kathleen Sebelius to advocate for his own little form of state run healthcare, and then stab his former running mate in the back to hand liberal leadership another four years in the state Senate.

    Jim Barnett advocating for Obama style healthcare in Kansas is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Hutch News - '07 health bill is campaign fodder
    Kansas Liberty - First District candidate accuses fellow GOP candidate of aligning with ObamaCare

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    Video: Fox News interviews Huelskamp

    Check out Sen. Huelskamp's interview with Fox News about the race for the Big First. Outstanding job!

    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    How a Virginia Cardinal becomes a Kansas Meadowlark

    After Rob expanded his 69 county tour to northern Virginia, I thought I do a few FEC searches to find out just how much it costs to turn a Virginia Cardinal into a Kansas Meadowlark. Turns out not that much at all.
    Genevieve Nowolinski, Fairfax Station, VA - $750 - Kansas Meadowlark
    James Ruggieri, Fairfax Station, VA - $2,300 - Kansas Meadowlark
    One would think that Committee names such as Meadowlark and Sunflower would probably speak for themselves. I guess "Kansas" had to be added to clarify for the donors just where their money was going.

    Too bad not all of the committee members had donated to the Wasinger campaign. I guess we'll have to wait until April to find out how much it cost them to become Golden Wheat. I'm sorry, Kansas Golden Wheat.

    Oddly, it costs the same amount to change a Virginia Dogwood into a Kansas Sunflower.

    Theresa Branch, Fairfax Station, VA - $2,300 - Kansas Sunflower

    If I was a Sunflower I'd be asking why my money wasn't good enough to make me into a Meadowlark. I'm sorry, a Kansas Meadowlark.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010


    Ladies and Gentlemen, today is a very important day in the Rob Wasinger for Congress campaign. Today is the day that Rob Wasinger, who has bragged extensively about supposedly being the only candidate to tour all 69 First District counties, takes his campaign to Fairfax County, Virginia.

    As you can see below, Rob is throwing a fancy-schmancy fundraiser tonight in the wealthy little enclave of Lorton, Virginia, right outside our nation's capitol. This makes perfect sense, of course, since Rob Wasinger receives a great deal of his financial backing from people who live in The Old Dominion State. It also makes sense since Rob still owns his house in McClean, Virginia, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump across I-95 to the other side of Fairfax County.
    Does anyone else find it ironic that Rob has to go all the way to Virginia to find people to financially support his campaign, yet he lists the sponsors and co-hosts of his fundraiser as "Kansas Sunflower Committee", "Kansas Golden Wheat Committee", or "Kansas Meadowlawk Committee?" My guess is that the people who attend this fundraiser have probably never even seen golden wheat before and have no clue what a meadowlark is.

    Nevermind that Lorton, Virginia is roughly 1,200 miles from the Eastern-most portion of Kansas' Big First. This is where Rob's cash cow lives.

    Once you count the other Northern Virginia communities that Rob has made a staple of his campaign (Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William, Loudon, etc.) his 69 county tour is up to at least 74 counties.

    Congrats to Rob Wasinger for being the first candidate in the race to tour all of Northern Virginia!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Wasinger campaign suffers from amnesia... again

    In case anyone was at home sitting on pins and needles, just waiting to see what Rob Wasinger’s reaction to the Obama Energy Tax would be, they found their answer in a February 12 press release.

    The best part of the press release was the last paragraph, which is a real whopper: “To learn more about the proposed taxes on the energy industry, please visit Americans for Tax Reform. Wasinger was the first candidate to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

    Rob Wasinger (or whoever writes his press releases) clearly suffers either from illusions of grandeur or has a frighteningly severe case of amnesia. Only a small amount of research would yield that Tim Huelskamp signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge 13 years ago! On Huelskamp’s website, Karl Peterjohn, former Executive Director of the Kansas Taxpayer’s Network, makes this same observation when he endorsed Huelskamp.

    What’s more, Huelskamp didn’t just sign the pledge, he was named Chairman of the Kansas Taxpayer Protection Caucus in 2005. And to add insult to injury, Huelskamp even touted his signing of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his state senate commercials in some of his past campaigns.

    This is an inconvenient fact I've pointed out at least twice before and clearly his supporters monitor my blog, so he has to be aware that he is lying. So does Rob just not care that he's sending out press releases that tell a lie or is it being done on purpose?

    It's just sad. All he'd have to do is take out the word "first" and the release would have been factually correct. But Rob just can't seem to get that done.

    That said, there is an even larger point worth making; not only did Tim Huelskamp take the Taxpayer Protection Pledge 13 years ago, whereas Rob Wasinger took it less than 13 months ago, but Huelskamp has also kept his pledge to the voters. How many representatives or senators can say that over 13 years they've never cast a vote for a tax increase? Almost none.

    So Rob, keep telling yourself that you signed this pledge first or that pledge first. One of your opponents has actually been walking the walk for more than a decade now. That’s gotta sting. What do you tell prospective voters? “If you vote for me, I’ll go represent you just as well as Huelskamp has?” That has to be a tough sell.