State of Kansas Archives: on Principles & Values

Ron Estes: Won special election with national GOP support

Republican Ron Estes has won a special election to replace Rep. Mike Pompeo, who became President Trump's CIA director. Estes defeated Democrat Jim Thompson. The seat was considered to be by Republicans a straight win--until an energized Democratic base left Estes with a smaller advantage.

Trump tweeted about the race, urging voters to get out and support Estes over his Democratic challenger. And Estes had another influential GOP name stumping for him--Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the state in the 2016 Republican primaries. Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence recorded a robocall endorsing the candidate for the seat, and House Speaker Paul Ryan sent out a fundraising plea.

The district is solidly Republican--Trump won the district in the general election by 27 points [while Estes won by only 7 points]. Meanwhile, the Democratic Campaign Committee did not spent money to help Thompson at all--and the Kansas State Democratic Party rejected his requests for funding mailers.

Source: KTLA-5 on 2017 Kansas House special election Apr 11, 2017

Carl Brewer: Bring everyone to the table, across party lines

Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer told said, "What sets me apart is my experience as mayor. I brought everyone to the table, from all political stripes. I involved everyone in the process." Brewer says that he would use the skills he honed at the local level in Wichita to move the state forward.

"What people care about is quality of life. What we all want is not about party. I don't think what we all want has anything to do with whether you're a Democrat or Republican. We all want our children to have a good education. We all want safe streets. We all want a wonderful infrastructure. We all want opportunities, and we all want new jobs & businesses in our communities."

Brewer talked about his ability to bring people together to solve problems. More immediately relevant, however, will be his ability to get Republicans to cross party lines and vote for a Democrat, an imperative for victory in Kansas where only 25% of voters are registered Democrats.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas Gubernatorial race Feb 26, 2017

Carl Brewer: Hobby is competitive barbecuing: his sauce "Brewer's Best"

Brewer is not a household name outside of Wichita, so he has work to do to raise his profile. However, his story is compelling. Brewer served in the Kansas National Guard, commanding infantry and armored companies. He worked as a sheet metal machinist and rose to leadership positions in the aviation industry. He served on the Wichita City Council and was mayor from 2007 to 2015. He's an avid hunter and fisherman, and his hobby is competitive barbecuing, where he enters his signature barbecue sauces "Brewer's Best." Oh, and one more thing: If elected, he would be the first black governor in the state's history.
Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal on 2018 Kansas Gubernatorial race Feb 26, 2017

Frank Gilbert: Christian Libertarian & believes in Non-Aggression Principle

Q: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Gilbert: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only path for me to attain forgiveness and thus salvation. I do not know what path others may have to follow to attain such blessings.

Q: Considering all issues (social, economic, national security, etc.), which political philosophy best describes you?

Gilbert: I am a libertarian, reflected in my membership in the Libertarian Party. As a libertarian I believe in the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). That means that every individual has the right to live his or her life in any way they choose, so long as they don't initiate force or practice fraud. The government has no authority to restrict individuals' actions if they are not practicing aggression. This leads to political positions that appear conservative in matters of economics and liberal in matters of individual rights and privacy.

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 Arkansas Senate race Nov 8, 2016

Jerry Moran: I led the fight to give Republicans control of the Senate

Q: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Moran: Matthew 22:36-40

Q: Considering all issues (social, economic, national security, etc.), which political philosophy best describes you?

Moran: Very Conservative

Q: Please defend your answer to the previous question by referencing your publicly available track record.

Moran: In my career I have been endorsed by groups representing every facet of the conservative coalition, from the National Rifle Association to National Right to Life; from the Chamber of Commerce to the Farm Bureau. In 2014, as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, I led the fight to fire Harry Reid and give Republicans control of the Senate, putting a halt to President Obama's legislative agenda.

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 Kansas Senate race Nov 8, 2016

Randall Batson: Libertarian offers third choice between Orman and Roberts

The surveys testing matchups without Taylor were polling what was--until Thursday--a hypothetical race. Furthermore, the polls that didn't list Chad Taylor also didn't include Libertarian Randall Batson, as an option. Roberts has relatively poor approval ratings among Republicans, and it could be that conservative voters who are dissatisfied with him will opt for Batson before Orman. Or perhaps not--but it's a choice they'll get to make in November, so the polls should probably allow them the option, too
Source: 538 blog on 2014 Kansas Senate race Sep 19, 2014

Randall Batson: Supports keeping God in the public sphere

Q: Do you support or oppose keeping God in the public sphere?

A: Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Kansas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Greg Orman: I've tried both parties and didn't like either

Political newcomer Greg Orman made his debate debut against three-term incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts in a race that's drawing national attention. Roberts over and over again tied Orman, who is running as an independent, to Democrat leaders, particularly Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose campaign he donated to in the past. "He is not an independent. He is a liberal," said Roberts, at times turning from the podium to point a finger at Mr. Orman.

But the businessman, dressed in blue jeans and a tailored blazer, wasn't fazed. Orman took every chance to call Washington broken and point out the long tenure of Roberts there.

Orman repeatedly said he tried both parties and didn't like either. But Roberts wasn't buying it. He pushed for Orman to better define who he would side with in the Senate, asking if he was going to be a Republican one day and a Democrat the next.

Source: Wall Street Journal on 2014 Kansas Senate debate Sep 6, 2014

Chad Taylor: Separation of church and state isn't a relevant issue

Q: What is your policy on separation of church & state?

A: Chad is a Catholic; but the issue of separation of church and state has not arisen in our discussions across the state during this campaign.

Source: Phone interview: 2014 Kansas Senate race OnTheIssues Sep 3, 2014

Mark Pryor: AdWatch: I believe in God; and only God has all the answers

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is hitting back at Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in a new ad for questioning his faith. The spot, first shared with The Hill, is aimed at touting Pryor's religious conviction in the heavily religious state--and undercutting months of work Cotton's campaign has put in to bolster his own image with positive ads.

Cotton said last week that Pryor thinks "faith is something that only happens at 11 o'clock on Sunday mornings" in response to the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision over the health care law's contraception mandate. Pryor demanded an apology, but none was forthcoming, and the controversial comments got plenty of local attention.

Pryor's new ad features local news coverage the kerfuffle, interspliced with the Bible verse, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

"I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers, only God does," Pryor says in the ad. "This is who I am and what I believe."

Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Jul 8, 2014

Milton Wolf: OpEd: Tea Party "wolfpack" support; but no apology for X-ray

Wolf accuses Roberts of "posing" like a conservative to save his job. "He does whatever Ted Cruz does," Wolf said. Yet as ripe as the conditions here are for a tea party upset--an entrenched GOP incumbent in a reddening state--Wolf has failed to capitalize. The 43-year-old radiologist has been hobbled by a February report in the Topeka Capital-Journal that he had posted X-ray images of gunshot victims on his Facebook page along with macabre humor. (One decapitated man looked like a wounded alien from a "Terminator" movie, Wolf wrote.)

Wolf offered a non-apology apology for the X-ray postings, saying in the interview he was sorry "if I offended anybody." Critics, he said, seized upon a "few" comments "they didn't particularly like."

Still, Wolf points to what he calls his growing network of volunteers--or "wolfpack," as he calls it--and the roughly 75,000 voters with whom he says it has made contact as evidence that he's still in the hunt.

Source: weblog on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 8, 2014

Pat Roberts: Group ratings more conservative in 2014 than in 2012

The end result is clear: Roberts has a substantially more conservative voting record in this Congress versus in 2012, according to ratings by Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth and the American Conservative Union. Indeed, in one campaign leaflet, Roberts not only touts how Heritage Action now rates him as "one of the top 5 most conservative senators" but also that he "joined" Cruz's effort to defund ObamaCare last fall, an effort that triggered a two-week government shutdown.

[His primary opponent Milton] Wolf accuses Roberts of "posing" like a conservative to save his job. "He does whatever Ted Cruz does," Wolf said. Yet as ripe as the conditions here are for a tea party upset--an entrenched GOP incumbent in a reddening state--Wolf has failed to capitalize. The 43-year-old radiologist has been hobbled by a February report in the Topeka Capital-Journal that he had posted X-ray images of gunshot victims on his Facebook page along with macabre humor.

Source: weblog on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 8, 2014

Pat Roberts: Returns home to Kansas "every time I get an opponent"

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) is again facing residency questions from his primary opponent after he misspoke in an interview, saying he returns home to Kansas "every time I get an opponent."

In an interview with KCMO radio, Roberts was asked about reports that he no longer lives in his home in Kansas and instead rents a room from donors when he returns to the state. That and further reports outlining his relatively infrequent visits home have dogged him; his primary [opponent] Milton Wolf hammers him as out-of-touch with his state.

Roberts said his performance shouldn't be measured on where he lives. "I don't measure my competency or my record or the results--and I do get results--on where I put my head on a pillow," he said.

But pressed on the residency issue, Roberts backed himself into a gaffe. "Every time I get an opponent--I mean, every time I get a chance, I'm home. I don't measure my, what, my record with regards as a senator as how many times I sleep wherever it is," he said.

Source: The Hill weblog on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 3, 2014

Milton Wolf: Judeo-Christian values established our government framework

Question topic: Efforts to bring Islamic law (shariah) to America do not pose a threat to our country and its Constitution.

Wolf: Strongly Disagree.

Question topic: Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government.

Wolf: Strongly Agree

Question topic: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Wolf: I am born-again Christian, humbled to stand in the presence of God and proud to call myself His son.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Greg Orman: Fiscally conservative, socially tolerant independent

Q: Your biography states that you have spent many years as a disillusioned Republican and Democrat--how is your story a reflection of state and national politics?

"The expectation in Kansas is that candidates run under a party label," Orman said. He continued to say that this expectation does not line up with a new Gallup poll showing that 42 percent of Americans consider themselves independent voters. He was once hopeful that a two-party system could find solutions, but it has become clear that neither party represents the values that average Americans share.

Orman describes himself as a fiscally conservative, socially tolerant candidate--and too often voters with mixed politics cannot find a home within either party. Plenty of research has shown that the average American's political opinion is a blend of conservative and liberal ideals. Are people resistant to the idea of a blend of politics?

"There is definitely a strong psychological connection to party affiliations," Orman said.

Source: Independent Voter Project on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 30, 2014

Greg Orman: We're sending the worst of both parties to Washington

Olathe businessman Greg Orman said he has tried both of the major political parties and been disappointed. "I didn't feel like either party fit me well as someone who is fiscally responsible and socially tolerant," Orman said. So he launched a petition drive this week to get on the ballot as an independent candidate and campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts.

"Washington is broken," he said, "and we're sending the worst of both parties to Washington--people who are bitter partisans who seem to care more about pleasing the extremists in their own party and the special interests than they do in solving problems."

He said Roberts is part of the problem. "He's taken a sharp turn to the right recently and ultimately I don't think he's representing the best interests of Kansas," Orman said. Orman, a 1991 graduate of Princeton University, briefly ran against Roberts in 2008 as a Democrat before dropping out of the race.

Source: 2014 Kansas Senate debate coverage by The Wichita Eagle Jun 5, 2014

Greg Orman: 2010 Common Sense Coalition: give voice to sensible center

He co-founded the Common Sense Coalition in 2010 to give a voice to what he called "the sensible center," those voters who don't feel represented by either party.

Orman said elected leaders of both parties are focused more on getting re-elected than solving problems. "I tried to work within the system but ultimately decided the only real way to make a difference is to challenge it," he said.

Source: 2014 Kansas Senate debate coverage by The Wichita Eagle Jun 5, 2014

Greg Orman: I consider myself fiscally conservative & socially tolerant

Greg Orman is banking on voters' frustration with partisanship on Capitol Hill as he runs as an independent for the Senate seat held by Pat Roberts. Running a nonpartisan campaign "is actually quite liberating," Orman said. He doesn't have to be concerned with how his aims mesh with political party bosses, he said.

"I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially tolerant," Orman said. For about 13 of the last 14 years, Orman said, he has been registered as unaffiliated. He has supported Republicans and Democrats, but he's contributed more to independent causes, he said. He declined to reveal how he voted in the 2012 presidential race between Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, saying he believed in the sanctity of the ballot.

In 2007, Orman prepared to run as a Democrat against Roberts. "I just didn't feel comfortable running with a party label," he said, and he soon withdrew from the race.

Source: The Hutchinson News on 2014 Kansas Senate race Jun 5, 2014

Tom Cotton: Served in military, academia, and as management consultant

Ben Sasse and Tom Cotton have a lot in common: Republican candidacies for the Senate, Ivy League advanced degrees--a Yale PhD for Sasse, a Harvard law degree for Cotton--and a tour of duty in the white-shoe world of management consulting. One more thing: They are running as common-man conservatives from the heartland under the banner of the Tea Party.

The resumes of Sasse (R, NE) and Cotton (D, AR) do not exactly fit the profile of populists. That is especially true for the lines dedicated to the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, firms that advise corporations on strategy, efficiency and ways to increase profitability.

Most of Cotton's adult life has been in academia and the military, and he has spent a year in Congress. His time at McKinsey was also barely more than a year, during which time his group leader immersed him in the intricacies--and the value--of the Affordable Care Act.

Source: N.Y. Times on 2014 Arkansas Senate race May 17, 2014

Tom Cotton: Fastest male in Congress; has finished 11 marathons

Rep. Tom Cotton retained his title as the fastest male in the 113th Congress, running the 3-mile course of the 33rd Annual ACLI Capital Challenge in 18:29. Cotton ran the course in 17:55 in 2013. Former Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) holds the record for the House: he finished in 16:59 in 1995.

Unfortunately for Cotton, his other big race--the heated Arkansas Senate campaign against Sen. Mark Pryor--has taken a toll on the congressman's workout regime. "I do have to work harder to get my runs in each morning," Cotton said. Proceeds from the event went to the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which helps provide guide dogs to wounded veterans.

The congressman took up running as part of his Army training in 2005, and discovered he enjoyed the sport. Cotton has since run 11 marathons. If Cotton beats Pryor and runs the race as a senator in 2015, he has a better chance of breaking a record. The Senate record belongs to former Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who ran the 1981 Capital Challenge in 18:15.

Source: Roll Call's Gossip Blog on 2014 Arkansas Senate race May 1, 2014

Milton Wolf: AdWatch: Roberts doesn't live in Kansas anymore

The Senate Conservatives Fund, which has endorsed Wolf, offered a defense of Wolf [for his controversy of posting gruesome medical X-rays on Facebook]. The organization's contribution: "Pat Roberts is trying to smear Dr. Wolf because Roberts doesn't live in Kansas anymore and lied to voters about it for years."

In recent weeks, the Wolf campaign raised questions about the frequency Roberts returned to his Kansas residence in Dodge City. Wolf repeatedly questioned Roberts' residency status and referred to him as a U.S. senator from Virginia.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal AdWatch on 2014 Kansas Senate race Feb 23, 2014

Milton Wolf: Career politicians are changed by Washington

Job security has rarely been an issue for Sen. Roberts, who has tended to his state's agricultural needs and delivered projects. He won with 60% of the vote in 2008, before the rise of the Tea Party, with its anti-establishment ethos, suspicion of long-term Washington tenure and emphasis on ideological purity.

"I think career politicians are changed by Washington," said Milton Wolf, Roberts's opponent, who is a radiologist and a second cousin of President Obama on the president's maternal side.

Given the changing political climate, Gov. Brownback, [a conservative who served alongside Roberts in the Senate], says that Roberts is doing precisely what he needs to do to win another term. "Being active, being aggressive, being conservative," the governor said. "He's got to get through a Republican primary, and people are pretty fired up about what's going on at the federal level."

Source: N.Y. Times on 2014 Kansas Senate race Feb 7, 2014

Pat Roberts: Resides in Virginia but votes in Kansas

It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. The 77-year-old senator went to Congress in 1981 and [resides in] Alexandria, Va., where his wife is a real estate broker

Roberts acknowledged that he did not have a home of his own in Kansas. The house on a Dodge City country club golf course that he lists as his voting address belongs to two longtime supporters and donors--C. Duane and Phyllis Ross--and he says he stays with them when he is in the area. He established his voting address there the day before his challenger, Milton Wolf, announced his candidacy, arguing that Roberts was out of touch with his High Plains roots.

"I have full access to the recliner," the senator joked. Turning serious, he added, "Nobody knows the state better than I do." That assertion is disputed by Tea Party activists.

Source: N.Y. Times on 2014 Kansas Senate race Feb 7, 2014

Sam Brownback: Our dependence is not on Big Government but on a Big God

Today, the nation dithers while the path forward seems uncharted. America can't decide which way to go. Yet, the path forward is clear. Kansas is leading an American Renaissance--a return to the virtue and character that built this state and a great nation in the first place.

The path is NOT uncharted. We know the way. We must re-drill the wells that gave us life the first time. They will refresh and renew us again!

We rebuild our families so that [future] Kansans can know the value of a family---none of which is perfect. Yet we all aspire in them to be better, virtuous, just and righteous... that we might be blessed and a blessing.

Our dependence is not on Big Government but on a Big God that loves us and lives within us. Our future is bright. Our renaissance is assured IF we move from dithering to action. Which way to choose? We know the way. God wrote it in our hearts.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Kansas legislature Jan 15, 2014

Mark Pryor: Campaign theme: Pryor is responsible, Cotton is reckless

A Pryor campaign memorandum passed is summarized below. It is, of course, partisan, but it's loaded with plenty of worthy specifics: