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?