Another Sam Brownback campaign co-chair attacks citizen, this time a Catholic leader
A well-known Kansas City young-adults leader for the Catholic Church was recently attacked by the city government that is overseen by Brownback committee member and Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach. I’ve Emailed Gerlach, and only his city attorney replied to me. The city attorney merely reassured me that no law was broken, and he did not even attempt to dispute the accuracy of what I had told him, that an unnamed city “official” had lied to The Kansas City Star about my friend, who is an Overland Park homeowner.
I would not be telling you this today, if it did not fit the pattern of the apparent Brownback for Governor campaign strategy: “Conservatives everywhere, take a hit for Team Brownback.”
Around the nation, we’re observing in “real time” as middle-America is experiencing with Barack Obama its fastest and loudest drop of support for a US President in American history. Currently, Obama’s troubles have little to do with his current approval rating. Rather, it’s that Obama led mainstream Americans to believe that they should have high expectations for him. If there would have originally been lower expectations — and if the level of passion had been lower among his original supporters — the “fall back to Earth” we are witnessing would otherwise be less noteworthy.
In Kansas, it’s unfortunate that Senator Sam Brownback is today somewhat of a Republican version of Barack Obama. And unlike Obama’s situation, most of the loss of support among conservatives toward Sen. Brownback is entirely unnecessary: Brownback’s gubernatorial campaign is inexplicably refusing to communicate with conservatives, while simultaneously making unprecedented attempts to reach out to the far left among Kansas political elites.
If Brownback could point to legitimate evidence, with regard to why conservatives should place faith in the ability of Brownback’s odd strategy to later prove politically successful — if Brownback’s campaign team had the reputation of a Karl Rove — then there would be a greater level of patience extended to Brownback, from the voters who at one time were strong supporters of his. But this isn’t the case.
Brownback’s problems are three-fold:
- Brownback set a higher bar for himself. He told Kansas voters to expect more from him, than from an average Republican politician.
- His actions have functionally resulted in conservatives being stabbed repeatedly in the backs. He has actively worked against the very base that first put Brownback into office.
- The results have not only been unsuccessful, but disastrous. The Brownback campaign cannot point to one example of why his repeated, clear movements to the left have resulted in either a) better public policy or b) long-term political benefits for conservatives.
Right now, Brownback is considered to be little different than Senator Pat Roberts, but there’s a key difference, in that Roberts has never claimed to be anything more than an establishment, mostly-conservative US Senator. Roberts is like a far more intelligent version of Joe Biden, in that he doesn’t go out of his way to tell voters to set unreasonably-high expectations for him. He meets voters’ expectations, almost to a tee. Nobody expects Roberts to “rock the boat” in Washington, DC.
But in 1996, in his run against Dole-choice incumbent Senator Sheila Frahm, Brownback declared himself a leader among social conservatives. And until a few years ago, Kansans did not doubt Brownback’s convictions.
But in just a few years, we’ve seen:
- The strong support of an irresponsible immigration bill. Then, the immediate withdrawal of support. Some conservatives voters would have preferred for Brownback’s original instincts to be correct — that the bold, Bush-supported immigration bill was indeed the right thing for America. But in retrospect, it appears that conservatives’ instincts were instead correct, and that Rush Limbaugh was far more on the ball than President Bush with regard to the bill being a “Destroy the Republican Party Act.”
- Doing almost everything but physically embracing the far-left Kansan Steve Cloud, as they together announced in Topeka their 2008 endorsement of John McCain. This, though McCain supports the federal funding of human cloning, and though few trusted McCain to appoint good justices to the US Supreme Court (McCain-Feingold?). This, even though fully-pro-life Governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney were still in the primary race, at that time.
- Actively working against Kansans for Life in the race for District Attorney in Kansas’ largest county.
- Joining Pat Roberts in cheerleading for Obama as Kathleen Sebelius — literally, perhaps the most law-breaking, pro-abortion governor America has ever seen (Need an elective late-term abortion? Come to Kansas.) — was promoted to run not only HHS, but the future healthcare of you and your children.
- Brownback was heavily involved in the race for state GOP chair.
- Brownback chose as his state-wide campaign co-chair the “moderate” out-going Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, who was at one point considering a run against Brownback for the gubernatorial primary. Because Brownback was much more-widely known, Brownback significantly aided Thornburgh’s overall reputation, after Thornburgh dropped out of the primary.
- Today, his campaign refuses to talk to conservatives, even while some of his liberal campaign co-chairs continue to actively work against conservatives.
- McCain got creamed in 2008.
- The congressional campaign of former Brownback Chief of Staff Rob Wasinger, in Kansas’ 1st District, was a non-starter. He’s not going to win the primary — and may not even receive 2nd or 3rd place — mainly because of his connection to Brownback (to a lesser degree, the suspected-but-hard-to-prove encouragement of Brownback’s actions by Wasinger).
- In 2006 and 2008, the conventional wisdom among Republicans led to crushing electoral defeats, through the simultaneous loss of enthusiasm among conservatives, and the enormous loss of support among independents, who were fed up with hypocritical, big-spending Republicans.
- That DA’s race that Brownback got involved in — in the first six months of the guy’s office, DA Steve Howe broke his pledge to uphold the rule of law on an open meetings-related case, instead choosing to take a dive for his liberal Republican friends. Brownback’s DA then received a state-wide scolding by the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, and even the left-wing Kansas City Star.
- Another Kansas City conservative named Charlotte O’Hara had teamed with Brownback to help the unknown DA candidate win. She started a congressional campaign, and found it impossible to find enthusiastic political support.
- Brownback’s 3rd District Co-Chair Nick Jordan is also trying to run for Congress, but is finding it very difficult to earn support.
- Recently, after being the Secretary of State for 16 years, SOS Thornburgh (the state campaign co-chair) unexpectedly RESIGNED, without even pretending that it was necessary. The only reason that Thornburgh resigned seven months before his term was done, was so that his replacement could be chosen by Thornburgh’s ally and Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson (the 2002 state GOP chair, who joined Kathleen Sebelius’ ticket in 2006). Thornburgh would likely not have resigned, if it were not likely that the 2010 winner will be the conservative Republican Kris Kobach, who has pledged to reduce the voter fraud in Kansas (that Thornburgh, of course, denies the existence of). Thornburgh just gave the newly-appointed Democrat Chris Biggs an enormous advantage as he gears up for the 2010 elections, through seven months of incumbency.
- To be upfront, the fall-out has hit me personally, as well. I was in the middle of the open meetings case mis-handled by DA Steve Howe. Another key campaign member and ex-banker Lynn Mitchelson spent thousands of dollars of tax money in a failed attempt to damage my reputation, after Mitchelson broke that law at the local government body where I had worked with him.
- The state GOP chair hired as an executive director a woman who ended up under-performing, who had once promoted human cloning, and who had once praised La Raza, which considers as “racist” anybody who wants our borders enforced. The executive director resigned before completing her term, to take another job.
- There are strong concerns that Brownback will choose a moderate Republican for his running-mate in 2010.
- Kathleen Sebelius: It was a secret to no one that Brownback and Roberts “wanted Sebelius out of Kansas.” In some ways, that political opinion could have been justified several months ago, but today it looks much less reasonable, as Obama’s national party takes a hit to Democrats, everywhere. Of course, it’s hard to think of something based less on principle than Roberts’ and Brownback’s support of Sebelius, when her only qualification was that “She’s from Kansas.” This, after former Sen. Jean Carnahan permanently destroyed any expectation of “home-state preference” when she voted against Bush appointee John Ashcroft.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).