Friday, August 29, 2008

Liberal Media? Hardly.

Yet another study shows McCain gets more positive press than Obama.

This is evident today when CNN raved about how Mayor Palin (who is currently under investigation for interfering in personnel matters relating to her ex-brother-in-law) is "just like John McCain" because she "fights corruption."

I guess they're both alike in that they fight all the corrupt politicians...except themselves.

Campaign irony

Does it ever dawn on McCain and the Republicans that before they attack Obama they should think about if the attack could be applied just as well (if not better) to them?

Like Pat Roberts, who's been in Washington since the early 60's, criticizing Jim Slattery for being a "Washington insider" or McCain saying that Obama's rhetoric doesn't match his record, now we hear word that John McCain is going to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as Vice President.

Her experience? She served two terms on the Wasilla City Council, served as mayor of the town, lost an election to be Alaska Lt. Governor and attempted in vain to be appointed to the United States Senate. She then served two years as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission before resigning and has now served two years as Governor of Alaska.

So, she's been in city politics, in Alaska, of a town less than 9,000 people, and she's been Governor for two years.

Is the Vice President's experience as important as the President's? Is the President's experience important at all? Well, John McCain obviously thinks it is.

Let's be honest here, at 72, the chances of John McCain surviving two terms ain't so good. Crass? Maybe, but because of his age his choice of Vice President becomes even more important. If John McCain wins the Presidency, his Vice President has a pretty darn good chance of ascending to the Presidency.

I'm sure all that "executive experience" she learned in Wasilla, Alaska will help her immensely. Then again, maybe McCain is just picking her so he can bag Alaska's three electoral votes.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So, if it's Sebelius' fault when jobs are lost, it must also be to her credit when they're created, right?

If you ask Christian Morgan, anytime a private company makes a decision to either cut jobs or not to create them in Kansas, the blame lies at the feet of Kathleen Sebelius. Not the Republican-dominated legislature, not Congress, not the President, but Kathleen Sebelius.

So, one must expect a post over at the Trunkline commending Sebelius for Spirit Aerosystems recent decision to build a new plane in Wichita, creating nearly 700 high-paying, permanent jobs in Kansas, right?


Honestly, we don't know what role if any Kathleen Sebelius played in this decision. But that's the point. These decisions are made by private companies. It'd be one thing if a government entity decided to ship Kansas jobs overseas without any help from the people in whose districts the jobs should be (see: Boeing; Roberts, Pat; Tiahrt, Todd).

Here at LBK, we think the pro-business climate created in Kansas by Sebelius and her Lt. Governors John Moore (a former executive at Cessna, who will work with Spirit to build the planes) and Mark Parkinson certainly didn't hurt.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Intentionally ironic, blissfully ignorant or willfully hypocritical?

Which is it GOP?

The Republican National Committee has launched a new feature on their Web site where they countdown the time until the next "gaffe" from Joe Biden, complete with a video of him calling Obama "Barack America."

Seriously? The party of George W. Bush wants to make gaffes an issue. The sitting President from their party has contributed a new word to our political lexicon referring to his repeated gaffes.

Or how about John McCain? The supposed expert on foreign policy isn't sure which factions of Islam are fighting against each other (but somehow thinks he is better suited to protect us against them) or even that Czechoslovakia is no longer a country.

So, would you rather have a Vice President who in a major speech transposes words, or a President who is an idiot. When Biden misspeaks, its a gaffe, when McCain forgets that Czechoslovakia split into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic, you know, 15 years ago, what is that?

New poll shows Boyda wins, drilling loses

As seen on Boyda Bloc and Swing State Project, a Survey USA poll commissioned by the Washington D.C. newspaper Roll Call shows Nancy Boyda beating Lynn Jenkins, CPA 50-43.

We'd like to dig a little deeper into some of the cross tabs of this poll.

1) The poll posed the question "If two candidates were running for Congress, and one says that offshore drilling is the best way to solve America's energy problems ... and the other says that America needs to identify and promote alternative sources of energy ... which candidate would you vote for?" and 56% of the people chose the candidate who wanted to identify and promote alternative resources. Once again, Kansas Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue.

2) McCain is beating Obama pretty handily, but not keeping pace even with George Bush's 2004 performance. We've said on this blog before, in all likelihood McCain will win Kansas, but if he wins it with 50-55%, that 5-10% drop could send people like Jim Slattery and Donald Betts to Washington.

3) 46% of voters have a favorable opinion of Nancy Boyda compared to only 36% of voters who have a favorable opinion of Lynn Jenkins. A staggering 45% of voters have either a neutral opinion of Lynn Jenkins or they just flat out don't know who the hell she is. Given the fact that she has been elected to statewide office twice and just won a pretty contested and well-covered primary, this ain't so good for Jenky.

4) Remember how Lynn Jenkins is so "moderate" and Nancy Boyda is so "liberal"? Well, among self-identified moderates, Nancy Boyda is winning 47%-42%. Conservatives side with Lynn 85% of the time. Only 28% of moderates have a favorable opinion of Lynn Jenkins. Don't worry Lynn, you've got George Bush coming to town...

5) The poll shows Kansans have a 36% approval rating of George W Bush, slightly higher than the national average, but pretty abysmal for a "deep red" state. Bush's approval rating among moderates? 24%.

6) Though the Ryun/Jenkins primary didn't feature the kind of fireworks many thought it would, it is clear there have been some lingering affects. Jenkins garners the support of a mere 70% of Republicans, compared to 88% of Democrats supporting Nancy Boyda.

In the end, it's hard to find any positives for Jenkins in this poll. Yes, she's only 7% down, but with this data unless she changes her strategy some (see Bush, drilling) you have to think she's pretty much at her ceiling. Her best hope is that some of the right-wingers will come to realize she is one of them, and Bush swooping in should help in that regard, but Jim Ryun can tell you how that worked for him in 2006.

The poll was conducted August 19-21 and includes 620 likely voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4%

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama/Biden 2008

After all the hoaxes and speculation finally subsided, it came out late last night that the Obama campaign had settled on Deleware Senator Joe Biden as their veep over Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, Virginia Govenor (and Kansas native) Tim Kaine and our own Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Here at LBK, were reasonbly pleased with the pick. Though we would've loved to see Sebelius and are slightly worried that Biden's 36-year career in the Senate might undermine the "change" theme somewhat, in the end his foreign-policy experience easily balances out any possible negatives he could have.

The McCain camp doesn't even use that argument however, instead deciding to use the selection of a veep with unquestioned policy credentials to...attack Obama for not being experienced.

John, we get it. Obama hasn't been in the Senate very long. Everyone knows, and the ones that care enough to vote for you were probably going to vote for you anyway. Let's move on, shall we?

But beyond that, is it really all that remarkable that Biden said those things about Obama? He was, after all, his opponent in an election.

I'm sure that if you pick Mitt Romney, as many believe you intend to, your differences from the past election are irrelevant.

Also, you definitely don't change your position on issues.

Or on which candidates you support.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The Kansas Republican Assembly has officially lost their marbles.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Double Standard?

Where is the blog post from Christian Morgan complaining about how Sen. Sam Brownback's decision to speak at the Republican National Convention is an example of him skirting his duties as an elected official?

I'm sure they won't make any such claims about Gov. Sebelius.


Jenkins and Jordan: More of the same

Lynn Jenkins and Nick Jordan are starting to look awfully alike. Both are former members of the Kansas Legislature of whom no one has heard. Both are campaigning to "fix Washington" and "bring in new Republican leadership." And both can't help but surround themselves with the same tired old Republican cronies who they fume about on the campaign trail.

Jordan has already brought in George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to raise money for his longshot campaign against Dennis Moore. Now NRCC chairman and Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole has graced our state with his presence. But Nick, I thought you were campaigning to change Washington? If so, why bring in all the GOP bigshots? Oh, right, because your campaign is a sham.

And Lynn Jenkins? Remember her "New Republican Leadership"? Well, word on the street is Bush will bring his old Republican leadership to campaign for Lynn. Boyda Bloc did a wonderful job of pointing out how the "moderate" Lynn Jenkins couldn't even wait a week after Jim Ryun lost the primary to hob knob with the GOP elite in Kansas.

Jenkins and Jordan offer one thing and one thing only: more of the same failed policies and misplaced priorities.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kansas Board of Education

Sometimes, races like the State Board of Education get lost in the shuffle. With 165 legislative seats, four seats in the US House, the US Senate, the President and competitive DA races in Shawnee and Johnson County, the media and political parties and activists only have so much attention to go around.

However, here in Kansas, the BOE's low profile races can have high profile consequences. Therefore, here at LeftBrain, we will try to keep you all informed with regular updates about the board races here in Kansas.

District 2: Mary C Ralston (R) vs. Sue Storm (D):

Ralston was able to defeat uber-conservative blogger Brandon Kenig in the primary. Storm is a former legislator. This seat was formally held by moderate Republican Sue Gamble, who went on to lose to nutter Mary Pilcher Cook in a state Senate primary. Obviously, we prefer Democrats, but at the end of the day either of these candidates will maintain the pro-science majority.

District 4: Carolyn Campbell (D) vs. Bob Meissner (R):

Meissner is a crazy, plain and simple. Check out Carolyn Campbell's web site, send her some money or volunteer for her campaign. Meissner hates Darwin.

District 6: Christopher Renner (D) vs. Kathy Martin (R, inc.):

If you look up radical right-wing Christian nut job in the dictionary, Kathy Martin's picture will be next to it. She ousted a moderate Republican incumbent in 2004 and hasn't looked back. She got a scare from a mod in the primary, winning by only a couple points, so this seat is winnable and Chris Renner is a credible candidate, but Martin always seems to pull it out, so Chris will need all the support he can get. You can check out his web site here.

District 8: Walt Chappell (D) vs. Dennis Hedke (R)

Same song, different verse. Chappell will support the teaching of science in science class, Hedke won't. Chappell's Web site is here.

District 10: Paul Casanova (D) vs. David Dennis (R):

Dennis is a pro-science candidate, but even after his opponent "decided not to campaign," his primary was still very close. This is not a good sign. Either way though, it looks like this seat is a guaranteed pro-Science vote.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The truism of the moderate Lynn Jenkins

Normally, we don't like to blame things on the media. Reminds us too much of Phill Kline, however, a few things have begun to bother us about the local media's coverage of the 2nd District race.

First, without any real reason, Lynn Jenkins has been anointed a moderate. Tell me, on what issue is Lynn Jenkins moderate? Just because she isn't as conservative as Jim Ryun, who was ranked the MOST conservative member of Congress by the National Journal.

Does that mean folks like Duncan Hunter and Tom DeLay are moderates too? They were in the House at the same time as Jimmy, so apparently since they're less conservative than he is, they're moderates.

Of course they're not, and neither is Lynn Jenkins. I challenge any Jenkins supporter reading this blog to post in the comment section ONE ISSUE on which Lynn Jenkins could truly be considered a moderate.

People call her pro-choice, but in reality she supports exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. You know, like EVERYONE ELSE WHO ISN'T COMPLETELY INSANE.

In reality, as Blue Tide Rising and Boyda Bloc have both correctly pointed out, and Lynn has even stated herself, Ryun and Jenkins have just about the same positions on nearly every meaningful topic.

Both want to deport everyone with a hint of brown in their skin. Both want to make the irresponsible Bush tax cuts for the super-rich permanent. Both refuse any kind of meaningful withdrawal from Iraq until we "win," whatever that means.

Beyond that though, the media seems to be obsessed with Lynn's victory in the primary. Understandably, it was a major upset and Lynn and her campaign deserve some credit for getting the job done.

But let's be honest here, Lynn Jenkins did not win that primary so much as Jim Ryun lost it. She still has a major name recognition problem. Jim Ryun was just SO BAD during his 10 years in Congress, Republican primary voters just wanted him to go away. This isn't a sign of some major shift to the center in Republican primary voters (remember, Lynn is still a conservative) it just means they're sick of Jim Ryun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shocker: favors, corruption and cronyism in the Bush administration

Word has come down that Flora, Miss., has been selected by the Department of Homeland Secruity as a finalist to receive the National Bio-and-Agro Defense Facility.

No biggie, right?

The problem is Flora received the 3rd lowest favorability rating of the 17 potential sites by consultants hired to study the matter.

Leavenworth, which received a 92 compared to Flora's 81, was eliminated as a finalist.

Obviously, this stings more because Leavenworth is in Kansas as is Manhattan, another finalist for the facility which received a score of 91, but it would be troubling even if it didn't affect our home state.

It's troubling because a bureaucrat in Washington ignored the opinions of professionals and experts based on what are at least somewhat political calculations.

Homeland Security’s Undersecretary Jay Cohen chose Mississippi to be in the final group. A department spokeswoman, Amy Kudwa, told the AP that the agency’s internal committee reviews “did not appropriately consider the unique contributions certain consortia committed to make in their proposals.” Mississippi, for example, promised to work closely with Battelle Memorial Institute, a Homeland Security contractor that already manages some national labs elsewhere for the Homeland Security and Energy departments.

Anytime the word "contractor" is in there, it should be cause for concern. Even more troubling, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Homeland Security is from, you guessed it, Mississippi. The ranking Republican on the Senate committee charged with funding the project? You guessed it, from Mississippi.

We here at LBK would love for the project to go to either Leavenworth or Manhattan, but in the end we just want a process free of corruption (or at least as free as can be expected in Washington) and for the site that is truly the best fit to be selected.

Maybe it's too much to ask, but you would think that of all places, Homeland Security should be the last place where politics trump prudence.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Primary results thread: How'd we do?

We had a bit of everything yesterday; some shockers, some races that were quite literally as close as you can get and some laughers. Here's our self-promoting/self-deprecating results thread.

Jim Slattery def. Lee Jones, 69-31: Correct. Jones got more votes than I think some people predicted, but Slattery still won comfortably. There were undoubtedly some anti-Slattery votes in there from people who have seen nothing but Pat Roberts' slanderous ads, but much like Hillary Clinton supporters eventually going with Obama, the majority of these voters will still vote D come November.

Lynn Jenkins def. Jim Ryun 51-49: WRONG! If they were being totally honest, We think even Jenkins' team would have told you they were concerned heading into election night. No one, and I mean no one, saw this coming. Nancy Boyda's upset of Jim Ryun in 2006 was a shocker, but this is even more surprising than that race. Perhaps there were private polls that indicated Jenkins was surging, but we haven't heard of them. We suspect there was a great deal of "Who the hell is Lynn Jenkins. Oh well, she isn't Jim Ryun."

Nick Jordan def. Paul Showen, 76-24: Correct. Maybe a little bit of anti-Jordan sentiment in the 3rd District? Showen was even less known than Lee Jones and he didn't do a lick of campaigning, so 24% seems a little high, but it's all academic and won't have a substantial affect on the November race.

Kelly Kultala def. Mark Gilstrap(i), 61-39: Correct. And the first incumbent goes down. Some people were saying Gilstrap was safe, and while we predicted Kultala, we have to admit we didn't expect the margin to be this big. Democrats in the 5th Senate District sent a clear message that Mark Gilstrap is not one of them. This will be a race to watch come November.

Tim Owens def. Ben Hodge, 60-40: Correct. Let's all just hope and pray this signals the end of Ben Hodge's brief yet annoying political career.

Mary Pilcher Cook def. Sue Gamble, 57-44: Correct. A rare win for the conservative wing of the Republican Party on this night.

Bob Marshall def. Jacob LaTurner, 55-45: Correct. This will be another race to watch in November.

Dwayne Umbarger(i) def. Iris VanMeter, 63-38: Correct. Another big win for a moderate over a conservative. Not a good day for conservative candidates at all.

Mark Taddiken(i) def. Paul Barkey, 81-19: Correct. Wow, Barkey did even worse in a primary than he did in the 2004 General Election for the 66th House District. Again, conservative loses and loses bad.

Pete Brungart(i) def. Tom Arpke, 51-49: Correct. This one was MUCH closer than we expected, but Brungart pulled it out.

Oletha Faust-Goudeau def. K.C. Ohaeboisim, 71-30: Correct. A solid win for Faust-Goudeau, moreso than we expected.

Steve Abrams def. George Leach, 60-40: Correct. Former KS BOE members are 1-for-2.

Ruth Teichman(i) def. Andrew Evans, 57-43: Correct. Another race that was surprisingly close, but in the end another loss for conservatives.

Bill Otto(i) def. Sheila Lampe, 65-35: Correct. Repeat of 2006 primary.

John Skubal def. James Walker, 54-46: Correct. Moderate defeats conservative. Does anyone detect a pattern?

August Bogina def. John Crabtree, 58-42: Correct. A lot of people liked Crabtree in this race, but Bogina was able to pull it out. Conservatives take one.

Andy Sandler def. Mike Slattery, 50-50: Incorrect...for now. For those of you who don't believe every vote counted, as of right now these two are three votes apart. Expect a recount, we'll keep you posted.

Sean Gatewood def. Dustin Hardison, 52-41: Incorrect. After doing so well in the state senate, we're struggling somewhat in these house races.

Don Schroeder(i) def. Mitch Powell, 70-30: Correct. Not to sound like a broken record, but another conservative challenger gets crushed.

Peggy Mast(i) def. Tony Trimble, 57-43: Correct. An incumbent getting only 57% in a primary is never a good sign, but in the end she won by a comfortable margin.

Peter DeGraaf(i) def. Jeri Anderson, 51-34: Correct. Ah the power of several hours worth of incumbency.

Gail Finney def. Inga Taylor, 57-43: Incorrect. A solid win for a candidate who was drastically outspent.

Virginia Beamer(i) def. Don Hineman, 50-50: Incorrect...for now. Another amazingly close race, Beamer held off her very well-funded challenger by five votes. Again, expect a recount.

Mary Ralston def. Brandon Kenig, 54-46: Correct. It's disturbing that Kenig managed 46%.

Kathy Martin(i) def. Bill Pannbacker, 52-48: Correct. Another win for the conservatives. Martin looked to be in danger for much of the night as Pannbacker had it within a few hundred votes late, but as the final precincts came in, Martin was able to expand her lead.

Steve Howe def. Phill Kline, 60-40: Incorrect. As much as we'd love to see Phill Kline in another election, at the end of the day the risk of him still being an elected official was just too great. We're glad we were wrong on this one. Unfortunately, we're not convinced we've seen the last of ol' Phill.

Eric Rucker def. Bob Hecht(i), 64-36: Correct. One of only two incumbents to lose in the major primaries (assuming Beamer's recount holds up), Hecht was in trouble from the word go. Kline will be able to focus his energy on electing his protege Rucker.

Chad Taylor def. Jerry Berger, 70-31: Correct. A solid win for Taylor who will draw the entire conservative machine. Given today's results, we're not convinced he should be too worried.

25 out of 29, not bad if we do say so ourselves :)

Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Primary predictions: cleanup edition

It appears we forgot two very important legislative primaries.

Kansas Senate, District 14, Republican:
Dwayne Umbarger(i) vs. Iris Van Meter: Van Meter is another first class nut A former member of the state BOE and one of the architects of all the nonsense that body has been up to over the last several years. Thayer is in her 70s, but she has a pretty solid history of winning these primaries. Umbarger has spent nearly $30,000 and still has $40,000 left so it'll be a tough race. Umbarger.

Kansas House, District 76, Republican
Peggy Mast(i) vs. Tony Trimble: Mast is part of the "The Mexicans are taking over America" wing of the Republican party. She was the chair of the GOP's 50 Ideas Committee that went nowhere. But she's also a powerful incumbent with $10,000 in her warchest even after spending nearly $9,000 on the primary. Trimble has spent nearly $7,000, but he's out of money and still has a tough row to hoe. Mast.


Phill Kline/Steve Howe, Jim Ryun/Lynn Jenkins, Shawnee County DA, several incumbents being challenged for legislative seats. It doesn't get much better than this. This is your open thread. We've posted our predictions already, so let's hear yours! Also, please post comments, rants, anything you've got. Enjoy and don't forget to VOTE!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Primary predictions: Kansas House, KS BOE

Though we skipped a few state Senate races in our previous post, we attempted to address each primary, even the one's that were a foregone conclusion. Obviously, with 125 seats up for election, there are quite a few primary races in the Kansas House of Representatives, and as such we have been more selective about which races we included. Again, nothing in this post is intended to be an endorsement of any particular candidate or to reflect our desired outcome. They are merely objective (well, sort of) predictions based, at least in part, on facts.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 9, Republican:
Bill Otto(i) vs. Sheila Lampe: Bill Otto is one of those representatives that makes you feel sorry for the people in his district. Not only are his politics out of step with...oh...just about everyone, he's also just flat out ridiculously weird. Unfortunately for the people of the 9th District, it doesn't look like Sheila Lampe, who is immensely qualified, will be up to the task. She lost to Otto in 2006 and though she is relatively even with Otto in the financials, past performance as well as the power of the incumbency don't bode well for her. Otto.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 19, Republican:
John Skubal vs. James Walker: Classic Johnson County Moderate v. Conservative showdown. In this case, Overland Park City Councilman John Skubal is the moderate and retired Marine James Walker is the conservative. On the money front, Walker has outspent Skubal 10 to 1, however Skubal filed his report showing nearly $9,000 cash on hand to Walker's 50 bucks. That money doesn't do him any good if it goes unspent, but we think that money left over for the final push as well as the name recognition he receives as a City Councilman will be enough. Skubal.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 23, Republican:
August Bogina vs. John Crabtree: Another day, another conservative v. moderate Republican primary in Johnson County. The winner will face 2006 candidate Milack Talia for the seat being vacated by Republican Judy Morrison. Take a look at the endorsements so far in this one and see if you can figure out who the con is and who the mod is. Bogina has received endorsements from the National Rifle Association and Kansans for Life, Crabtree is preferred by KNEA and Biz-PAC. We'll call the endorsement game a wash, since both candidates are receiving support from the big mobilizers in their respective movements. How about the money? They've each spent approximately $3,000, Bogina filed with more cash on hand, but also has substantial debts. Again, pretty much a wash. When it comes down to it, all things being equal, you have to go with the conservative in these low-turnout primaries. Bogina.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 24, Democrat:
Andy Sandler vs. Mike Slattery: This is one of only a few seriously contested Democratic primaries in the Kansas House with the winner to face Republican incumbent Ronnie Metsker. Sandler ran for the seat in 2006 and Mike Slattery is the son of former Congressman and Democratic US Senate Candidate Jim Slattery. Both candidates have spent a substantial amount of money, but Slattery can only benefit from the significant campaign organization being built by his dad. M. Slattery.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 57, Democrat:
Sean Gatewood vs. Andrew Fields vs. Dustin Hardison: Gatewood and Hardison are the only candidates in this primary who have spent any money, and Hardison has outspent Gatewood 6 to 1. Hardison, a former staffer for Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, has received financial support from several statehouse Democrats and looks to be in a good position to move on. Hardison.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 74, Republican:
Mitch Powell vs. Don Schroeder(i): Powell has received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, but Schroeder has outspent him 6 to 1. As an incumbent, if Schroeder spends his money in anything even closely resembling an intelligent fashion, all the endorsements in the world won't help Powell. Schroeder.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 81, Republican:
Patsy Allen vs. Jeri Anderson vs. Arlene Burrow vs. Peter DeGraaf vs. Carlene Eye: This five-way primary for the seat formerly held by the late Ted Powers should be one of the more interesting races in all of Kansas come tomorrow. DeGraaf is technically the incumbent, having been sworn in during Sine Die after winning a special election. He and Anderson are the only two to have raised any significant campaign funds, but DeGraaf has raised $11,000 to Anderson's $4,000. DeGraaf won amongst the precinct committee persons and has a substantial money advantage. The winner will face Democrat Mark Hardison, father of 57th District candidate Dustin Hardison. DeGraaf.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 84, Democrat:
Inga Taylor vs. Gail Finney: Just like the 29th Senate District, this seat which was once held by Donald Betts (before Oletha Faust-Goudeau) faces a Democratic primary. Finney, an office-holder in the Sedgwick County Democratic primary, raised a respectable sum of nearly $6,000, but Taylor brought in a surprising haul of just a shade under $13,000. Both are fairly well known in the district, but a 2 to 1 fundraising disadvantage will be tough to overcome. Taylor.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 118, Republican:
Virginia Beemer(i) vs. Don Hineman: And the award for best-funded primary challenger of an incumbent goes to...Don Hineman!! Hineman, the chairman of the moderate, pro-evolution group Kansas Alliance for Education, raised $17,225.00, of which he has spent over $15,000 to unseat the incumbent. He has been a Dighton City Councilman and a Lane County Commissioner. Hineman is well-known, well-funded and has a message that sells in western Kansas. Hineman.

Kansas Board of Education, District 2, Republican:
Mary Ca Ralston vs. Brandon Kenig:
Brandon Kenig is a 22 year-old, uber-conservative blogger from the Johnson County area. We're all for bloggers and young people getting involved in the political process, but Kenig is a little too much like Ben Hodge he only has a few hundred dollars to work with. Ralston.

Kansas Board of Education, District 6, Republican:
Kathy Martin(i) vs. Bill Pannbacker: Martin is as crazy as crazy gets. She ousted an incumbent moderate Republican in the 2004 primary, so she knows how to take out well-funded, well-liked pro-Science Republicans. Pannbacker does have a slight fundraising edge, $6,900 to $5,900 and has been modestly outspent $2,700 to $2,000. Pannbacker is a moderate who served four years on a local school board in Washington County before it was consolidated. As much as it pains us, Pannbacker may be on a fool's errand. Martin.

Primary predictions: Federal, DA, KS Senate

Don't forget to vote in the primary election tomorrow. Polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm. Below are our predictions. They are just predictions and do not, in any way shape or form, constitute an endorsement of any particular candidate.

United States Senate, Democrat:
Jim Slattery vs. Lee Jones. Slattery just crossed the $1 million threshold and has been travelling the state for months. He has received substantial amounts of press exposure in all the major media markets and many people in the well-populated 2nd District remember him fondly from his days in the US House. The people who do know who Lee Jones is remember him as the guy who got his rear-end handed to him by Sam Brownback in 2002. This one won't even be close. Slattery.

United States House, 3rd District, Republican:
Nick Jordan vs...someone. What? You didn't realize there was a primary here? Neither did most people. This race isn't worth me looking up the name of Jordan's primary opponent. Showen or something. Moving on. Jordan.

United States House, 2nd District, Republican:
Jim Ryun vs. Lynn Jenkins: Early in the election season, many observers believed this race would be close. Then Lynn Jenkins started "campaigning." Ryun has loads of money and has been on TV all over the district for weeks. Though the race got a little negative in the end, the predicted fireworks never even materialized. The fact that Jenkins appears to be leaving a few hundred thousand bucks in the bank tells us she is mailing this one in. Ryun.

Johnson County District Attorney, Republican:
Phill Kline vs. Steve Howe: StayRedKansas points out a SurveyUSA poll which shows Kline trailing by eight points. Though we can't discredit this particular poll, never underestimate the power of mobilized, organized, right-wing fanatics in low-turnout primaries. Kline.

Shawnee County District Attorney, Republican:
Robert Hecht (i) vs. Eric Rucker: Hecht is a two-term incumbent who has never enjoyed overwhelming popularity. Rucker is a well-funded disciple of Phill Kline who has spent tens of thousands of dollars on the race, not including the outside money that has flowed in from a Johnson County PAC (where Rucker is Kline's top assistant) which has been running radio ads and sending out postcards. See the argument for Kline in Johnson County. Rucker.

Shawnee County District Attorney, Democrat:
Chad Taylor vs. Jerry Berger: Taylor is a well-respected but young lawyer in Topeka and reports indicate he has hands down won the ever-not-so-important sign war. Berger is a well-established attorney and business owner that some consider to be a little sketchy. Both are well-funded, both have been on the radio and both have hundreds of signs up throughout Shawnee County. This race may end up being one of the closest primaries in the state. Coin-flip. Taylor.

Kansas Senate, District 5, Democrat:
Kelly Kultala vs. Mark Gilstrap(i): In a race where Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley have endorsed a challenger over an incumbent, Gilstrap has spent tens of thousands of dollars defending his seat (though a substantial amount of that was to pay back a loan to himself), Kultala might be an upset candidate. The district is a strong one for Democrats and Gilstrap may be a bit conservative relative to his constituents. Incumbency is a powerful thing, but will it be powerful enough? Kultala.

Kansas Senate, District 8, Republican:
Tim Owens vs. Ben Hodge: A battle of two State Reps who wanted a bigger paycheck/ego boost, these two Republicans will battle it out. Owens has outraised Hodge 3:1 and outspent him 5:1 and the more people get to know Ben Hodge, the less they tend to like him. Owens.

Kansas Senate, District 10, Republican:
Sue Gamble vs. Mary Pilcher Cook: The race to fill ladder-climbing Nick Jordan's vacated seat. Gamble was a respected member of the State School Board and Mary Pilcher Cook is a nutjob who has already lost multiple statehouse elections. However, Pilcher Cook has spent nearly $30,000 to win this seat. Pilcher Cook.

Kansas Senate, District 13, Republican:
Jacob LaTurner vs. Bob Marshall: The numbers and the geography indicate that this seat is relatively safe for Dems, but these two candidates have spent an incredible amount of money in an attempt to pick up the Pittsburg-area seat being vacated by psuedo-Democrat Jim Barone. Altogether, these two candidates have spent nearly $50,000, but Marshall has almost a 2:1 advantage in the category. Marshall.

Kansas Senate, District 16, Republican:
Ty Masterson vs. Will Carpenter: Masterson is a former State Rep, but he faces a substantial deficit in dollars spent despite outraising Carpenter by $6,000.00. In the end, Masterson still has $17,000 on hand after the filing and much of Carpenter's money is his own. Masterson.

Kansas Senate, District 18, Republican:
Jim Zeller vs. Gary Parnell vs. Clarence Hinchy: These three battle for the right to play a potential David to Laura Kelly's Goliath. Zeller has raised nearly $20,000 and while Hinchy brought in a respectable amount, it doesn't look like it will be enough to overtake Zeller, who is a member of Huelskamp's army. Parnell hasn't raised a single cent. Zeller.

Kansas Senate, District 21, Republican:
Mark Taddiken(i) vs. Paul Barkey: Barkey was outraised by $10,000 in the recent cycle and didn't show a lot of ability to be successful when he ran against Democrat Sydney Carlin in 2004. He will be one of many members of Huelskamp's army to fall short on Tuesday. Taddiken.

Kansas Senate, District 24, Republican:
Pete Brungart(i) vs. Tom Arpke: Another Huelskamp challenger. Though Arpke has spent almost $10,000, Brungart is too well-funded (he has spent almost $17,000 and still has $65,000 in the bank) and too well-known to lose to an idealogue.

Kansas Senate, District 29, Democrat:
KC Ohaeboisim vs. Oletha Faust-Goudeau: This is Donald Betts' former seat. Faust-Goudeau is well-known in the district, having served as the Representative for the 84th District in the House. She is well-funded and although Ohaeboisim out spent her $12,000 to $9,000, we feel she is well-known enough to prevail. Faust-Goudeau.

Kansas Senate, District 32, Republican:
Steve Abrams vs. George Leach: The winner of this primary will challenge incumbent Democrat Greta Goodwin in November. Abrams is a former chair of the State BOE and a certifiable right-wing nut. Though he outraised his primary opponent 2:1, he has only spent about $1,000 more on his campaign. Abrams is well-known from his time on the board and has a dedicated base of wingnuts to carry him home. Abrams.

Kansas Senate, District 33, Republican:
Ruth Teichman(i) vs. Andrew Evans: Evans is a rural preacher and another Hueslkamp recruit taking on an incumbent Senator. Though Evans seems to be running a pretty good insurgent campaign, Teichman has spent $63,000 on her re-election so far and still has nearly 40 grand left. Teichman.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Anything to attack the Governor

Christian Morgan and the KS GOP will attack the Governor for just about anything these days. It's almost sad. If she wore a jacket that didn't match her blouse, Christian Morgan would probably post a blog saying she was out of touch with Kansas fashion values.

Now, in typical fashion that sounds like it was written by a schoolyard bully with a college education, Morgan is attacking Sebelius for a written statement her office released in response to a bit on the Colbert Report.

Awhile back, Colbert was mocking John McCain's trip while Obama was speaking to 200,000 in Germany, and he said that he was in Canton and "not the Crappy Canton in Georgia, I'm talking about Canton Oh-hi-O". Well, the Canton, Ga. mayor apparently doesn't know how to take a joke. Here is Colbert's response.

Sebelius' office issued a playful response, inviting Colbert to Canton, KS. Morgan apparently takes exception to this.
Apparently the Governor has a lot of time on her hands considering she has been pretty busy these days campaigning for Obama, meeting with radical environmentalists in Colorado, speaking at fundraisers in San Francisco, posing for Vogue photo shoots, hanging out in Ohio, paling around in North Carolina, having tea in England, having more private meetings with the secret bilderberg conference and now, responding to a comedian's lame attempt at a joke.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Governor Sebelius didn't take time out of her day to sit down and write this herself. Moreover, Morgan isn't THAT dumb, he knows that, but he doesn't care if he makes it look like she did. (BTW, who the F cares?)

Also, apparently Morgan has about as much of a sense of humor as Mayor Hobgood. Anyone with half a brain in their head (or that knows anything about Stephen Colbert) should know that this bit is mocking the Canton, Ga., mayor for having the same reaction that Christian Morgan did.

I say, tip of the hat to Gov. Sebelius and her staff for playing along and wag of the finger to Christian Morgan for being a douche with no sense of humor.