Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Elections: May 2010

donkey-and-elephant.gifGREAT BEND, Kan. - "We the People" are angry. And they are angry at elitists in both big business and big government. And there seems to be a "sweet spot" where the unhappy people on the left and the right agree. And that "sweet spot" of commonality is twofold: 1) hatred for Wall Street; 2) dislike of unnecessary wars.

You could talk to Rand Paul on the right or Ralph Nader on the left. They would disagree on much, but both would agree that Wall Street has too much influence on both parties, and that the bipartisan bailout of Wall Street was just wrong. And both agree that the Iraq War never should have been authorized or waged.

2010 Candidate for Attorney General
Sen. Derek Schmidt (R)
GREAT BEND, Kan. - In 2002, Republican Governor Graves faced a $300 million budget shortfall. And a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans like Senator Derek Schmidt passed a $252 million dollar tax increase to prevent massive cuts to education, social services, highways and law enforcement.

Back then, Schmidt was unashamedly affiliated with the moderate Republican party. Kansas actually has three de facto parties: Democrats, moderate Republicans, and conservative Republicans. And Schmidt's entire career, up until this year, seemed to be a homage to his former boss and mentor, Nancy Kassebaum.

The tax increases Schmidt helped pass on May 16, 2002 included a sales tax increase, an inheritance tax increase, a cigarette tax, and an increased franchise tax for businesses, among other things.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Dean Olufson a web design manager from Olathe has been a
Lisa Johnston
registered Republican for over 20 years. Having known U.S. Senate Candidate Lisa Johnston for the past eight years, Olufson says he was "quite surprised by her announcement speech and how she articulated her views." Olufson admits he has always voted Republican, yet "I am extremely tired of politics as usual from both sides. I believe she's [Johnston] worth listening to and watching as the race unfolds."

Of his own party, Olufson admits, "While I'm sure she'll be raked over the coals for not having political experience, I think it's exactly what we need." Olufson refers to Johnston as someone who has worked with many in Kansas communities and is not another talking head.

"She has real things she wants to accomplish and she isn't doing it by tearing down the other side. She's more interested in working and listening than she is in getting in front of the cameras and having her 15 minutes of fame. She's an ordinary citizen..." Olufson believes in getting "back to basics" and says that is the message he is hearing and is willing to support.

LA CYGNE, Kan. - Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs of Junction City, and Senator Chris Steineger from Kansas City, KS sat side by side in La Cygne last weekend to share views on what the secretary of state office includes, and what it does not include. Both will face-off in the primary on the Democratic ticket, while three Republicans also are vying for the same position.
Chris Steineger

Steineger has served in the state senate for 14 years, eight of which were spent on the election committee. As a small real estate business owner, Steineger believes he is uniquely qualified to be secretary of state because of his many years in the senate dealing with election laws, his ability to balance a budget from his personal business, dealing with banks and marketing, and his customer service skills.

Steineger said Kansas elections have been fairly run, however, he also stated that Republican Candidate Kris Kobach's claim that illegal immigrants voting is a problem "is totally patently false. Ron Thornburgh (former secretary of state) looked into that and denied it was a problem."

GREAT BEND, Kan. - One of the reasons politicians move to the right, to the right, further to the right, is because that's where the money is. The 48 Kansas House of Representative members who voted for the "Yoder" budget, which would have resulted in major trauma to our schools, universities, social services, and law enforcement, ended up with the best of both worlds.

A group of Democrats and moderate Republicans stepped in and did the right thing, raising revenue to prevent a meltdown of our state institutions. So the 48 Yoderites
will not be blamed for a meltdown, plus they get to brag on their campaign brochures that they "rejected all tax increases."

EMPORIA, Kan. - Rory Pugh grew up in Southern Kansas, a part of the state none for it's red dirt and football. Not necessarily the part of the state you would think about when talking about state championship caliber debate and forensics programs. Rory was lucky though, Rory went to Chaparral High School where state championship caliber debate and forensics programs weren't only prevalent, but expected by those who walked and talked within the walls.

Now at the young age of 21 he is making his run for the state legislature. He will run in the state's 116th district against an entrenched incumbent and a republican should he make his way out of the primary.

Pugh was a two time state placer in debate in a program that placed at State from 2002-2007 and also three times placed in the top five at forensics state in that period. He spoke in a recent interview with me about how he thought debate and forensics really prepared him for a future in politics.

"When in high school, I was a member our debate team," said Pugh. "There I learned how to effectively research a subject and build comprehensive arguments that were able to convey my side to those listening."

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Florida Governor Charlie Crist's decision to bolt the GOP primary and run as an independent is a major development that shows just how far out in right field the GOP has located itself. A recent article in The Nation entitled "Charlie Crist's Declaration of Independence -- and Sanity" contained a fascinating reference to Bob Dole:

"Crist is best understood as a idealogical inheritor of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, or perhaps, former President George Herbert Walker Bush. For instance, Crist supports capital punishment and gun rights and opposes same sex marriage and, though he opposes overturning Roe v. Wade, he has appointed anti-choice jurists to the Florida Supreme Court. That's hardly the profile of a social moderate in any realistic sense."

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Elections: April 2010. The next archive is Elections: June 2010.

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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Elections: May 2010 section.

The previous archive is Elections: April 2010. The next archive is Elections: June 2010.

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