Friday, August 29, 2014

No really. Orman is a Democrat

A wise reader sent me additional information about Greg Orman. And what do you know? Orman has donated lots of money to political causes. And by political causes, I mean Democrat committees and candidates.

There's $9,400 to the Kansas Democratic State Committee; $4,600 for Obama for America; $500 for Democrat Al Franken for U.S. Senate. (So he gives money to actual clowns) and $100 to Democrat Laura Kelly for Congress. 

In all fairness, he once gave $2,000 to Scott Brown for U.S. Senate. So, he's given more than $122,000 to candidates and committees since 2008. Of that, less than 2 percent went to Republicans.

Look, I don't care if the guy is a member of the Vulcan Party. To each his own. However, Orman's campaign is an ode to dishonesty and opportunism.

If Orman campaigns on a lie -- the massive lie that he's an independent -- how would he legislate? 

Orman is a man you can't trust. Or, as we conservatives call him, a Democrat.

The Brownback Education Plan reminds me of The Hunger Games

The Brownback campaign is rolling out an updated "Roadmap for Kansas" via a statewide tour. 

And it is maddening. At least, the education part of the tour is egregious.

"Every Kansas child should have access to a quality education that not only meets their individual needs but also embraces their specific talents and interests," the plan reads.

Sounds good to me, until you dig a little deeper. Here's what he means:

• More local control of public schools

That's good, but it's not exactly reaching for the stars. To me, touting how an education should be tailored to an individual child's needs and saying the locals are better at making that determination still misses a very important point: We are all individuals, and "local control" of state funded public schools is still a one-size-fits all education, albeit more localized, I suppose.

It reminds me of the "Hunger Games," in which district in Panem had one responsibility. For example, district 12, from where our protagonist hails, was responsible for mining. Every child there grew up to become a miner. If you were a child born in District 12 with a special gift for art or athletics or science, too bad.

I realize that Brownback is campaigning scared. He's worried about the education lobby, but I am here to tell him that the education lobby isn't quite as powerful as it once was. They do a lot of screaming and yelling, but most of the general populace realizes that it's so much ado about nothing. 

I already gave the Brownback campaign a task -- create a meme. They screwed it up, but I'm going to help them out again with a little messaging. 

Find a child -- a real, live child -- who has been failed by the public schools in Kansas -- maybe a gifted child or one who has an IEP that the public schools just aren't able to do. I'd probably find a child in Johnson County with autism. (I am NOT saying "use" or take advantage of this child, but I am saying get his or her parents' permission and make a point that that the public schools are failing some kids -- especially those who have incredible or different gifts.)

I am saying autism, because there used to be a private school in Johnson County that specifically tailored its program to educating students with autism. It was prohibitively expensive, but those kids were getting a hand-crafted education that very specifically met their individualized needs, rather than a cookie-cutter special needs program that essentially puts some kids with autism in padded rooms in the public schools.

Make the case for vouchers, and give it a human face. The campaign could also find a kid with extraordinary talent -- one training for the Olympics or focused on some goal that makes going to a physical public school everyday nearly impossible. And then find the school that addresses that problem. Hint -- there are online charter public high schools, that receive public funding. Shine a light on some of those programs that already exist and encourage the establishment of more with a voucher program.

Yes, I said it. Discuss, debate, and lead the voucher program discussion.

This message requires REAL people carrying the message. And by real, I mean, not Brownback. He looks so stiff and unnatural in his campaign ads and even in photos. So stop using him. Find a spokesperson -- i.e., someone who can personally make the case and then slap the Paid for by Brownback at the end or whatever.

• Oppose involuntary consolidation of rural schools

This is not good fiscal policy, and it smacks of pandering. Kansas has way, way too many separate, public school districts. I think there are 396. That's outrageous, and when superintendents and administrators are earning six-figure incomes, the public really can't afford to just continue funding 400 school districts because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. 

I am not suggesting closing schools. But I am suggesting consolidating in such a way that each district includes a nice big number, say 10,000 students. That doesn't mean the students hop on a bus and travel 100 miles for school. That means the district administration building is moved into a central location, and administrative staff is cut. 

Cutting administrators means cutting on-going, continuous staff salaries. That's money that can be funneled directly into classrooms or to teachers. 

Here's the whole sordid thing. I have more problems with it than I am willing to list right now. Stay tuned.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Orman is a Democrat

This just needs to be said. A whole bunch of times. Greg Orman, the so-called independent candidate for U.S. Senate, is a Democrat.

He may not call himself that, but if it looks like a Democrat, and talks like a Democrat... Quack. Quack.

First, there's this nugget: Orman is headlining the laughable Women for Kansas conference in Wichita along with Paul Davis, Jill Docking, and Jean Schodorf -- all Democrats.

Second, Kansas Democrats are endorsing him over Chad Taylor, the Democratic Senate candidate -- probably because there is no way on earth that a Democrat will win a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas. The donkey party hasn't put a Democrat from Kansas in the Senate since the 1930s. So yeah. 

Finally, his campaign staff is full of Democrats. There's Aaron Estabrook, for example. Estabrook hails from Manhattan, Kansas, where he recently ran for state representative as a Democrat. (Of late, he's started a little party called the "Moderate" party, probably because he recognized the absolute futility of trying to get Democrats elected in most parts of Kansas).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not So Fast in discrediting SurveyUSA results

Former state legislator and Kansas party activist Benjamin Hodge thinks the SurveyUSA poll numbers shouldn't be taken lightly by the Brownback campaign.

On his Facebook page, Hodge outlines why he believes the Brownback campaign is facing such an up hill battle in November. Hodge writes:

"In a normal world, Brownback's re-election (in Kansas... in the 6-year-itch year of Obama... with ObamaCare failing) would be among the easiest re-elections in American history. Republican voters are still awaiting a strategy and a path to victory from the Kansas Republican Party leaders. Party leaders have made it clear over the last 4 years that they don't want much to do with the conservative base. "
He also links to an interesting New York Times 538 blog post breaking down the accuracy of the pollsters in 2012. The Times' Nate Silver found that SurveyUSA was actually biased to the right in 2012, for what it's worth.


What's happening in Kansas

Ugh. Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrisey suggests Kansas might dampen election night hopes for the Republican Party.

He cites the now-controversial SurveyUSA poll results showing Gov. Brownback lagging 8 points behind Democrat Paul Davis and a narrow Roberts lead over a crowded U.S. Senate field.

I won't rehash the whole thing, but here's the highlight:

"The GOP may have a big night at the polls, but Kansas may turn into an unpleasant surprise..."  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yeah, That's really not good news

I am seriously confused by the Brownback campaign.  Regular readers will note I have never claimed to be some sort of campaigning genius. I'm actually pretty bad at it. Campaigning is basically sales and I would rather eat slugs smothered in liver sauce than try to sell anyone anything. I have a serious aversion to it.

Yet, when I look at the stuff the Brownback campaign is sending out, I feel like a Harvard mind jedi at campaigning in comparison.

Today's example: The campaign is sending an email with internal poll results to the general public. The purpose of the email is to counteract a SurveyUSA poll showing Brownback 8 points behind challenger Paul Davis.

Their internal poll suggests that Brownback is ahead -- by 1 point -- in Kansas. The supposed conservative incumbent governor of arguably the reddest state in the nation is ahead by 1 point with only a few months to go. 

I don't even... 

I guess they're sharing the "good" news that Brownback is gaining in the polls? 

Our incumbent Governor should never have had so much ground to make up in the first place. 

The campaign email points out that SurveyUSA poll that shows a Davis lead uses manipulated data to draw the conclusion that Davis has an 8 point lead.  

Did this need pointing out? The Brownback email likely hit the inboxes of Republican activists. Yeah. We already knew SurveyUSA was a joke of a polling firm. Even without the Brownback campaign assurances, we already suspected the governor's race was much tighter than SurveyUSA polling let on.

I just don't get the reasoning behind releasing the internal poll. Those numbers don't strike me as anything to brag about. 

And it doesn't seem like a bad thing to let the base have a little fear wondering about the accuracy of those SurveyUSA numbers. A resolute base salted with a bit of fear is likely to work harder.

These numbers, while close, may encourage some of the base, who were tempted to sit this one out in the first place, to do just that.  I know plenty of conservatives who won't be sorry if Brownback wins in a very narrow, terrifyingly close race. If they believe that will happen, they'll be just fine hanging out at home watching NCIS instead of rallying their friends and neighbors to the polls.

Here's what the Brownback campaign SHOULD be doing: Making inroads with conservatives. How that looks, I'm not sure, but I have no problem saying conservatives are fed up with this party and specifically, this governor. If they stay home on election day, Brownback loses.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thank heavens, those crazy costumed people are libs

Relax. They're liberals. 

I almost passed out when I received an email with the above photo talking about how "Women for Kansas" were featured on a television news show.

I saw the costume -- that hat!! -- and thought, oh no, Brownback campaign. Please tell me you didn't send out the weirdos to shill for your re-election.

Alas, the fruits pictured above with KWCH's Kara Sewell are NOT conservatives. I am not kidding you: when I saw that photo, my heart leapt into my throat and my cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

And then I read the email. The two pictured are Mary Knecht and Janet Wright, and I've never heard of them. Whew. Crisis averted.

Apparently, the "Women for Kansas" are hosting a convention soon with plans to "Take Back Kansas." 

The Wichita convention promises educational workshops on critical issues (so brainwashing), opportunities to help shape the future of Kansas, a rally lead by a drum line, and a banquet dinner featuring Paul Davis, Jill Docking, Jean Schodorf, Greg Orman, and Rochelle Chronister.

So, if you're really into comedy, might I suggest registering to attend?  

If you don't want to spend $160 bucks (plus hotel, if you don't live close to Wichita), you can attend the TAKING BACK KANSAS PUBLIC RALLY for free on Aug. 29 at A. Price Woodard Park in Wichita. The evening of hilarity begins at 5:30 and will feature the Cherokee Maidens with local singer legend Robin Macy. 

I am so relieved that those aren't our monkeys, and that event isn't our circus. Seriously, conservatives, rejoice.