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For a while, we've been asking "What's the matter with Kansas". Now, it looks like Kansas is asking "What's the matter with the GOP?" The Associated Press is reporting that former state Republican Chair Mark Parkinson has had enough!

Former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mark Parkinson switched his party affiliation to Democrat on Tuesday, fueling speculation that he will be named Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' running mate.

Parkinson came into the Johnson County election office shortly before noon Tuesday and switched parties, said Brian Newby, the county election commissioner. Newby said Parkinson did not say why he was switching parties. But his name has been widely circulated as Sebelius' choice to run for lieutenant governor after she announced Friday she was seeking a second term without a running mate in tow.

But wait, if you reas further down the article, you'll find he's not the first, and probably not the last.

Also among prominent Kansas Republicans who have switched parties is Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison. Morrison switched to challenge conservative Republican Attorney General Phill Kline in the November general election. Parkinson is co-chairman of Morrison's campaign.

Some Republicans are crying in their milk.

House Speaker Doug Mays said he was disgusted by Parkinson's lack of loyalty to the party that made him chairman.

"To me, one of the most valuable traits that a person can have, particularly a person who find himself in a position of authority is loyalty," said Mays, R-Topeka. "I think he's being opportunistic on a personal basis. The Republican Party had been very good to Mark Parkinson."

SO WHAT??? Maybe the Republican Party has been good to him, but has the Republican Party been good to Kansas? Sure, he's ambitious, but we all know that, when a Republican becomes a Democrat in Kansas, the party is seriously fucked up! Maybe he got fed up with Republican education boards shoving creationism down the throats of every student in the state. Maybe he's tired of a party that flies the elephant above the Stars and Stripes. Maybe he understands that the party of Alf Landon, Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum has become the party of Sam Brownback and Kay "Women should not vote" O'Connor. Everyone has their limits and the Republican Party of Kansas has apparently exceeded his.

Originally posted to RandyMI on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:26 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Opportunist (13+ / 0-)

    Most assuredly.

    But I think this is one of the omens that we have all been waiting for.

    I have see a sign in the entrails of a former state party chairman of the GOP!

    "Get your hands off our Internet" -- U.S. phone and cable companies, to bloggers and independent Internet content producers

    by bink on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:20:30 PM PDT

    •  Hopefully (12+ / 0-)

      If he's an opportunist, that means he sees opportunities for Democrats in Kansas.

      . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

      by realitybased on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, yeah, the old-line (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzrth

      Rs are off the reservation.  I'd love to know EXACTLY when this guy realized that the Repubs no longer fit his philosophy.

      "One way or another, this darkness got to give"

      by wozzle on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:30:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I can tell you that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fritzrth

        when he figured he'd never win an election again if he stayed a republican.

        At least, not in THIS lifetime.

        •  not true in Kansas, though. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dburbach, boadicea

          KS is still very much a republican stronghold, though the Democratic party is making major inroads.  Republicanism runs deep in kansas.  Its our history.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a Saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." [helder camara]

          by jeysiin on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:56:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boadicea, peraspera, grrr, Marc in KS

            Kansas has always been a "battleground" state.  In the 20s they went totally populist and throughout much of my childhood there we had a good democratic governor (Carlin 79-87) and then a not so good democratic governor in Finney (after Hayden).  Even Sen. Nancy Kassebaum was a far more sane republican than the current crop out of there, downright reasonable at times.

            •  the governor's race doesnt count, imo... (0+ / 0-)

              ... i was talking in the state senate, state house, and the US House.

              "When I give food to the poor, they call me a Saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." [helder camara]

              by jeysiin on Tue May 30, 2006 at 02:28:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well it should (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wozzle

                because it is as indicative of the will of the voting populace as any other and is LESS suseptible to the kind of gerrymandering techniques that apply to the federal and state house races, since it has to take into consideration the voting of the entire state, rather than a cherry-picked constituency.

              •  I disagree -- if you go far enough back. (0+ / 0-)

                Kansas has been whacky liberal for more of it's history than it's been whacky conservative.  Kansas farmers were toying seriously with socialism back in the early part of the 20th century.

                Pretty progressive, really.  It's only been in the last half of the 20th century that it started to go republican.

                -9.25, -7.54

                Catecholamines: Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

                by Marc in KS on Wed May 31, 2006 at 04:52:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't Kassebaum basically a centrist? (0+ / 0-)

              I always got the impression Nancy Kassebaum was more of a Snowe/Whitman Republican than a Brownback/Hatch Republican.

              When you couldn't get a real journalism job, there's Fox News.

              by The Truffle on Wed May 31, 2006 at 08:42:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I hate like hell (4+ / 0-)

      when Democrats go Republican, as they have in my county over the last 15-20 years.

      I don't have a lot of sympathy for turncoats.

      However, when a fellow human being sees the light and joins us, I , as the avoved Liberal that I am, welcome them with a healthy dose of reserved judjement.

    •  Sanity rather than opportunism (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      retLT, fumie, bato, walkshills, pernoclone, serrano

      The Kansas Republican party has very deep roots in populism and anti-slavery sentiments. It used to be quite moderate, pro small business and family farm. No more.

      Things started to change in Reagan's days when Washington-type corruption infiltrated the corporate part of the party. Not too long after, the religious zealots started a stealth insurgency at the school board level which has now infested the whole party from the local level on up. Also, there are quite a few Kansas Republicans who are utterly horrified at what has happened to the Republican party at the national level.

      The fight between the moderate wing of the state Republican party against the uber-wealthy corporatists (Koch Industries is located in Wichita) and religious zealots has been long-standing, intense and often quite ugly. Some old guard Republican party leaders have simply had enough already. Their pulling away from active party participation predates Bush.

      I doubt that the charge of opportunism if Parkinson runs with Sebelius will gain much traction with any but the Kool-Aid drunks who would never vote Dem for any reason.

      Paul Morrison is extremely popular personally and would have had bright future as a Republican. Avoiding a GOP primary was a sound tactical decision for Morrison but it would be a mistake to assume that was the main reason he switched parties.

      Kansas is starting to bear some fruits of Dean's 50-state strategy by giving disenchanted Republicans a place to jump.

      •  If Roberts and Brownback (0+ / 0-)

        were your Senators, wouldn't u be looking for another horse to ride?  Hope this is the start of a trend, like the Dems turning starting in the 80's (tho, come to think of it, some of 'em we lost, Phil Gramm, Richard Shelby, Ben Nighthorse Campbell...

  •  Opportunist is most probably the key word. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wozzle

    i still have a problem with Democrats who vote Republican, however.  I guess I'm just one of those purists that this site talks about.

    PS-RandiMI I enjoy your diaries.

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." John Stuart Mill

    by dkmich on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:23:42 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (11+ / 0-)

      You and I both know people who label themselves Democrats but vote Republican. Now that I am in CA, I see a lot of self-labeled Republicans who always vote for Democrats. I just ignore the self-identification now.

      This may be opportunity, but we know it's a rare occasion for a Republican to become a Democrat, especially a state in Kansas, so he must have been pretty unhappy.

      "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

      by RandyMI on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:27:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or is he... (0+ / 0-)

      a Trojan Horse?

      After all, the DLC is full of Republicans lite, isn't it?

      May be just another front in Karl Rove's unrelenting war on the Democratic Party...

      •  Trojan Horse? (0+ / 0-)

        Or looking a gift horse in the mouth? Let's not get paranoid.

        "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

        by RandyMI on Tue May 30, 2006 at 03:25:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How moderate is he? (0+ / 0-)

          What are his actual beliefs?

          I doubt if he's exactly "left wing." And the so-called leftwing of the Democratic Party (actually should be considered orthodox, IMHO) is the only political faction in this country that's committed to any sort of real change.  Who needs another "moderate" to get elected as a Democrat and do nothing, like the Nelson boys, or Evan Bayh.

          We need universal healthcare now, not 12 years from now, when even moderates will have to stop praising our healthcare system as "the best in the world."

          •  We're talking about Kansas (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            roses

            I'm not so sure there is a left wing there. I'm not even "left wing" and I live in San Francisco now.

            "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

            by RandyMI on Tue May 30, 2006 at 03:56:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              walkshills

              If you're for univeral healthcare, a real and sensible energy policy, a beneficent instead of confrontational and unilateral foreign policy, with intelligently conceived foreign aid programs, freedom of choice, no illegal spying, etc., then you're leftwing.

              In my opinion, those are all pretty moderate things, but there are a great many Democrats who don't seem to think so...

              •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

                I, at least, am not a left-wing for sure.. In fact - i am not a Democrat either (an Indie, very slightly left-of-center). And i like Evan Bayh and John Warner much more then "patented left-wingers". This particular candidate, especially in a conservative-leaning state, like Kansas, would suit me much better then "flamaing liberal", who would surely lose. Name me 3-4 genuine "liberal" congresspersons from Kansas in, say, last 30 years

                •  I couldn't! (0+ / 0-)

                  That's precisely my point. So a Kansas Republican becomes a Democrat!

                  What's the big deal?

                  Is that supposed to float the Democrats' boat?

                  No, it will only install more conservative sticks in the political mud when the Democrats regain Congress, so that we can continue to have discriminatory and outrageously expensive healthcare that no one tries to fix.

                  All that's just fine if you're still working for a corporation that provides all your medical free of charge, but it's not fine for self-employeds with pre-existing conditions who can't get insurance!

                  Millions of such people have to live with the fear of financial catastrophe, while Republicans who are too far away from the problem to notice there's a problem, could care less.

                  The farther away from the problem you are, the easier it is to be a Republican.

                  Who needs Republicans joining the Democratic Party who think like Republicans?  I agree, just about everybody in Kansas would qualify for that.  They're still sleepwalking.

                  •  You want to lose permanently? (0+ / 0-)

                    Well, that's your choice. Only 20% percent of Americans call himself "liberals" (in Kansas - even less). You want to run ultra-liberals and alienate people like myself, who will never vote for them, instead of running reasonable moderate? Your right, but i repeat - prepare to lose then. Forever.. I will not be part of it..

                    •  No, I want universal healthcare... (0+ / 0-)

                      and so should you.

                      Lots of people are losing their corporate jobs to outsourcing and their health insurance at the same time.  They go on COBRA for 18 months, paying out-of-pocket for their premiums, and develop diabetes or cancer during that time (or their spouse does), and then when the COBRA expires, they can't get any insurance company to carry them because they have a pre-existing condition.

                      They then face financial ruin trying to pay $5,000 per month for chemotherapy out of their own pockets.

                      Does this mean anything to you?  Do you have a "moderate" answer for that?  Would it be something like "this is an ownership society, buddy, and you own your own problems--sorry for your bad luck, but you're on your own."

                      Is that the best answer you can think of?  Is any fairer or better answer "ultra liberal?"

                      Can you address issues specifically, when asked? Or do you just respond in generalized, Republican talking points like "down with liberals!"

                      What specific policy position of yours makes you "slightly left of center," if I may ask?

                      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                        First of all - i am very fiscally conservative. When i will see money for universal healthcare - i will consider your plan. Until then - i am sorry.. But don't propose "new taxes on ..." - i will not even consider such approach

                        I will outline my social positions, which concern most of the people here first:

                        Pro-choice, but against "partial birth abortion" procedure(except where it's absolutely medically neccessary)and against late-term abortions (except medically neccessary), pro civil unions, but against "gay marriage", for reasonable gun-control, against ANWR. This is what I call "slightly left-of-center"...

                        •  It has been calculated... (0+ / 0-)

                          by people who do that sort of thing, that universal healthcare for everyone would cost only somewhat more than what we already spend on health insurance premiums as a nation + what we already pay in emergency care for the indigent who use emergency rooms for their basic care.

                          For the third year in a row, my family (both spouses self-employed) has paid $25,000 for two health insurance policies for our family of five, plus the medical expenses that were not covered by these inadequate plans (with $5,000 deductibles, to boot). Because of our particular combination of pre-existing conditions, I do not dare give up my policy, because I'll never get another acceptable one.

                          That's almost $75,000 over the last 3 years (and much, much more over the 11 years before that) that could have gone into retirement savings, and would have if we had corporate insurance like so many others.

                          This is to say nothing about the 45 million people in this country who have to live in dread fear of merely breaking an arm and being saddled with a $6,000 bill--half a year's income for many minimum wage earners.

                          But "fiscally responsible" Kansas main-streeters like you can't see your way to even requiring insurance companies to cover everyone--even with pre-existing conditions.  That would be meddling with our wonderful free enterprise system, wouldn't it, and drive your monthly costs up a little.

                          Just wouldn't be America if we did that!
                          To hell with some poor buck who has to pay 25 grand a year because he and one of his children have pre-existing conditions!

                          So, until you see the money for it is not an answer, especially when this country regularly blows as many hundreds of billions on military spending as we do.

                          Not an answer, not acceptable, time for change.

                          If you can't see that, then stay Republican!

                          •  As i said - (0+ / 0-)

                            i have no intention of being a Republican or Democrat. I am committed to staying Independent... And i don't buy your arguments. What's not acceptable for you - may be quite acceptable for  me and vice versa..

                          •  You don't buy my arguments? (0+ / 0-)

                            You don't believe that I spend 25 grand a year on health insurance premiums for inadequate coverage, and the expenses that aren't covered?  Or you just don't give a rip?

                            Well, your arguments are the ones that will go "the way of the buffalo" -- to extinction, not mine.

                            More and more middle class, educated professionals are losing their healthcare and finding out the hard way what reality is like when you're on your own.  Personally, I'm glad to see them wake up.

                            Their numbers are increasing every month, and they are the ones who will make universal healthcare happen--when it isn't perceived as just another handout to the poor.

                            It will become increasingly unacceptable to millions of people to be facing financial ruin and a retirement as paupers, so that people like you can make your Hummer payments and burn up three time the gasoline you need.

                            Wake up already!

                          •  What for??? (0+ / 1-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hidden by:
                            PKinTexas

                            I feel rather comfortable as i am. And i have a lot of other things to do...

                          •  Ah...there you have it-- (0+ / 0-)

                            you're comfortable where you are, just like your average Republican, so who gives a rip about anyone else?

                            I hope you feel that way when your trusted health insurance company, whichever it is, decides to deny payments for "experimental" drugs you need to survive.

                            As I said, the further away from the problem you are, the easier it is to be a Republican.  So you're not officially a Republican?  Well, you still think like one.

                            The battle will be joined in the voting booth, and I do believe you will lose.

                          •  I can't lose (0+ / 0-)

                            There is only one Indie in Senate and one in House (BTW - i respect both).. I don't really care about others, Democrats or Republicans - there are Democrats i respect, and there are Democrats i despise, the same - about Republicans. So - it's one big amusing game for me - nothing less, nothing more. I repeat - i can't lose....

                          •  Wonderful. (0+ / 0-)

                            Unfortunately for me and my family, we can lose and are losing.

                            At least you don't sound like a pious religionist hypocrite...you're apparently just genuinely unconscious and selfish.

                            I really do appreciate your honesty.

                          •  I am conscious and nonselfish (0+ / 0-)

                            So, you are wrong on both points. And i am honest as well..

                          •  Here's an apropos comment... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...from another diary--couldn't have said it better myself:

                            It's the Republican philosophy (6+ / 0-)

                            As a friend of my mom's says, "As long as my ox isn't gored." She's an old-school Republican (don't worry, mom's a long-time Democrat).

                            So is the bullshit that the Republican party "just isn't what it used to be."

                            Nope. Republicans have always been selfish. They just like to call it "fiscal conservatism." But, basically, as long as their kids can go to private schools, who gives a damn about the public schools? As long as other people's children fight the wars, their kids can stay out of harm's way. As long as they have health care (which, in mom's friend's case is provided by...ta da...the US government! Hubby was lifelong military guy - one who never went to war BTW). As long as they can live in safe neighborhoods, or gated communities, who cares if "other" parts of town have rising crime?

                            Thing is, when we all prosper, things get better. Crime goes down,. People are happier. And the amount of money it would cost is not so much. Think of what we could have done with all that money spent on this fucking Iraq War? We never have money for the important stuff, but we can sure find it when we want to blow people to smithereens.

                            Republicans are the party of selfish, whiny-assed babies. And there isn't one I'd give the time of day.

                            All Truth is non-partisan

                            by MA Liberal on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 11:37:58

                          •  You are entitled to your opinion (0+ / 0-)

                            Right now i have very different sort of problems. And i will  for some years to come at least. As far as i know - you are from Texas (where my brother lives and works) - so there are exactly 9 time zones between us. I don't know - when and even "if" i will return back, but believe me - i have a very different assortment of problems in a country i reside now - and universal healthcare takes one of the last position on my list. So, it will be very difficult to get even minimal understanding between us - different country, different people, different environment, different priorities. Even i and my brother have very different priorities - simply because he is in Texas and i - where i am. So, all elections are a sort of soccer games to me - i have my views, my "favorite horses" - and that's all. Because all of that influences my life very little and it's not clear - whether it will ever become inmportant again for me..

                          •  Very well. (0+ / 0-)

                            I can certainly see how such a distance would affect your view of things.

                            I used to do business in southern Mexico, and even though it wasn't really all that far from Texas, it seemed like a completely different world.

                            Pax...

                          •  My present world (0+ / 0-)

                            is much more different...)))

              •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

                I, at least, am not a left-wing for sure.. In fact - i am not a Democrat either (an Indie, very slightly left-of-center). And i like Evan Bayh and John Warner much more then "patented left-wingers". This particular candidate, especially in a conservative-leaning state, like Kansas, would suit me much better then "flamaing liberal", who would surely lose. Name me 3-4 genuine "liberal" congresspersons from Kansas in, say, last 30 years

  •  Another omen in KS (23+ / 0-)

    One of my colleagues who is a lifelong GOP type with an interest in politics was recently convinced to join a GOP county committee in suburban KC (not Johnson Co.).  He's pretty serious when it comes to being against taxes, pro-business, tough on crime, in favor of gun rights, pro-military, etc.  However, he acknowledge he goes to church pretty much for holidays, and while I suppose he leans "right" on social issues at a personal level, they aren't very high on his list of issues govt and politicians ought to be dealing with.

    So when he went to the first meeting, he was surprised and disturbed that it went more like a fundamentalist tent revival than a policy strategy session.  One woman led it off with a bible reading (real fire and brimstone stuff whatever it was), there was a very public prayer, and clearly issues like abortion, creationism, and gay rights were the beginning, middle, and end of politics for half the people there.

    Now he's rethinking whether he wants to get involved with the local GOP after all, and admitted his mother in law, a lifelong Johnson Co. Republican, had followed Morrison's lead and changed her registration to Democrat for exactly those reasons.

  •  Sebelius for President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    retLT

    is all I'm saying. She would be a great candidate. And something like a Sebelius/Obama ticket would just be dreamy. Democratic Governor's from red states are always seen as potential presidential timber. It's high time that women like Sebelius (and Napolitano) are also considered.

  •  Bad News for the Dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jeff06dem, greenearth

    Seriously.
    I remember Kathleen Kennedy Townsend selecting Charles Larson as a running mate.
    He switched parties literally 15 minutes before he was announced.
    Pissed off the base, and particularly the black political base no end.  
    Of course, Sebelius can't be as lame a candidate as KKT, who was the worst candidate in the history of .... well  .... history.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:30:29 PM PDT

    •  Different Situation (5+ / 0-)

      I think the KS dynamic is different. First, MD is a blue state and Townsend had no reason to choose a Republican. Also, Erlich nominated and African-American to make the point that he was after the Democratic base. I also think Townsend had a bad relationship with the AA community to begin with.

      Kansas is deep red and this switch and joining the ticket tells "regular Republicans" that their party has left them behind.

      "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

      by RandyMI on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:38:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OT, but (0+ / 0-)

        just wanted to personally say thanks for signing onto the email list this weekend. Thanks for noticing the race.

        Jeremy

        I'm running for MN House (17B) because I'm sick of the bickering. It's time to get the job done.

        by JK Minnesota on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:58:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are Correct, Kansas is NOT Maryland (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP in Kansas has been taken over by the Wing nuts.  I live in Johnson County, KS, Olathe no less.  The state senator for my area is Kay O'Connor, who believes woman should not have the vote. Yes, Seriously and she is a woman.

        In 2001, O'Connor of Olathe was quoted in The Star as saying she did not support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. She added that she would vote against it were it to be considered today.

        At the time, and again Wednesday, O'Connor was critical of the story and denied making the remarks, although two women from the Johnson County League of Women Voters who overheard the remarks vouched for the story's accuracy.
        http://www.kansascity.com/...

        Many in  the KS GOP are leaving that party because of the Republicans who are so far right they fall off the side of the earth.

    •  Forgot to Mention (0+ / 0-)

      Maryland Governor's race.

      6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

      by LunkHead on Tue May 30, 2006 at 01:38:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  disagree (7+ / 0-)

      There isn't nearly as much of a Democratic "base" in Kansas as in MD, let alone any sort of non-white base.  This is just about the most rock-solid GOP state in the country, from Abraham Lincoln to the present.  "Progressives" are a very rare species on the great plains.

      There is, however, a real split growing between the suburban GOP moderates and the bible thumpers.  We'll never get those suburbanites to sign on to Kucinich's economic plan or to join the ACLU en masse.  If they feel the Kansas GOP is harming their childrens' college prospects with this creationism nonsense, however, or ignoring crime and repair of potholes in order to put all their energy into fighting gays, and they have no viable alterantives in their own party, they can be convinced to vote Democrat.  

      Having high profile party-switching role models like Morrison and Parkinson really helps that story of, "the Kansas GOP abandoned you; if you care about good government and real solutions, vote Democrat".  

      •  I agree... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boadicea, BentLiberal

        ... Progressives aren't a rare species in kansas.  they're a "threatened species" to be sure, but not rare.  what is rare is for a progressive to be "out" in Kansas and the midwest.

        wow, i mixed a whole range of metaphors there.  i hope people understood what i meant.

        I wonder, too, how much of Morrison's thinking was focused on avoiding a primary.  I hope it's not merely that, but that he has realized that he truly is a moderate Dem, rather than a moderate Republican.  The timing worries me a bit.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a Saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." [helder camara]

        by jeysiin on Tue May 30, 2006 at 02:03:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unless one lives in Lawrence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dburbach, serrano

          progressives are, indeed, a rare species in Kansas. I'm a fifth generation Kansan with relatives all over the state.

          I would, however, agree that there are some Kansas Republican votes up for grabs but it will take a moderate, populist, religion-friendly message to get them.

    •  I shouldn't even have to type this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Newsie8200, peraspera

      but Kansas is not Maryland.

      Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKos.

      by boadicea on Tue May 30, 2006 at 02:17:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This could be a harbinger of a major split (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, DaleA, peraspera, retLT, fumie, bato, bwintx

    The GOP split the Roosevelt New Deal coaltion by using race and religion to split working-class whites away from the Democratic base.

    Now, in Kansas, we are beginning to see what could develop into a similar national political sea change. Unlike the previous one, however, this is not one being planned and executed deliberately and strategically by a minority party seeking to become a majority again. Rather, it is the intolerant, uncompromising, dictatorial methods of the Religious Right/American Taliban that is driving people out of the Republican party in droves.

    When Paul Morrison made the switch, I wrote at the time that it was not a trend. It wasn't then. Now, it is, because the Dobsonites want it all and are actively encouraging those who disagree with their worldview to leave the party. Their pursuit of ideological purity will benefit the Democrats hugely.

    And by the way, it's Kay O'Connor, not Pat O'Connor, who is the state senator who said that women would have been better off without the vote.  

  •  hahaha... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LarryInNYC, Ray Radlein

    "To me, one of the most valuable traits that a person can have, particularly a person who find himself in a position of authority is loyalty," said Mays, R-Topeka. "I think he's being opportunistic on a personal basis. The Republican Party had been very good to Mark Parkinson."

    This would be why the Republicans kicked Shelby and Nighthorse-Campbell out of the Senate, right?

    Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

    by ChicagoDem on Tue May 30, 2006 at 02:05:24 PM PDT

    •  Could you explain? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BentLiberal

      I'm afraid I don't know my history on this.  Kicked them out?  I thought Nighthorse-Campbell retired?  And I'm unfamiliar as to who this Shelby person is.

      •  Sarcasm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BentLiberal

        Richard Shelby (Senator from Alabama) and Benjamin Nighthorse-Campbell were two HUGE Democratic defections to the GOP in the early 1990s.  They helped cement the idea that the Republican gains in 94 were a "Revolution".  I like to use their example whenever Republicans whine about party loyalty (eg: the KS switch, Jeffords' party change, etc...).  To be fair, a lot of Dems from border/southern states switched parties around that time, but these two were among the biggest.

        Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

        by ChicagoDem on Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:38:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Coming to a state GOP near you... (15+ / 0-)

    Kansas is probably a harbinger.

    Basically there are three political parties in KS:

    Wacko Fundamentalist Wingnut Republicans

    Eisenhower "Traditional" Republicans (low tax, pro-business, pro military, low priority to libertarian on social issues)

    The "Democrats" (everyone to the left of the above two groups)

    Each group makes up about 33% of the electorate.

    Sebelius has done a masterful job of exploiting each GOP base group when it suits her-- she'll turn to the religious righties to fund services for people with disabilities to the chagrin of the budget hawks, she'll ally with the moderates on school funding, etc.  

    The unholy alliance between the two GOP groups really can't keep holding- the wingnuts want to make KS an anti-abortion, anti-evolution Supremem Court test-case laboratory.  The moderates just want a balanced budget, some pro-growth policies and to ensure local control of schools -- that last one is really causing consternation with moderate GOPers who don't like the idea of ANYONE telling their local school board how to be run.  

    For now...I suppose we should sit back and watch the fireworks.  But just note...

    Someone from KS help me... I cannot recall ONE misstep or gaffe Sebelius has made in her time in office.  She is a sharp one.  

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue May 30, 2006 at 02:08:42 PM PDT

    •  Very minor finance issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, walkshills

      She just got assessed a $1,500 fine for violating a campaign finance rule.  

      As I understand it, her office sent out a mass mailing (92,0000 names) that included a link to a web site where receipients could donate (it wasn't mostly a fundraising note, just included a link at the bottom).  They missed 30 lobbyists when the list was scrubbed to remove people that Kansas law says are not supposed to be hit up for money while the state legislature is in session.  

      From what I've read, most statewide officeholders, including her GOP predecessor and the current GOP AG, have screwed this up at some point and received similar minor fines.

    •  interesting, thanks /nt (0+ / 0-)

      "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

      by BentLiberal on Wed May 31, 2006 at 01:20:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why centrism (0+ / 0-)

    is not necessarily a bad thing.
    Our tent can grow while theirs shrinks.

  •  Johnson County is NOT in Kansas.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandyMI, walkshills, BentLiberal

    Yes...yes...yes....I know that geographically it is located in Kansas, but politically and ideologically?

    Johnson County is not at all a typical Kansas County.  It is on the far eastern edge of Kansas, abutting Missouri, so it's near Kansas City (which for some strange reason is in Missouri).

    Many Fortune 500 companies have moved major operation centers to JoCo.  The reason for this is that the cost of living is much cheaper, so they could hold down labor costs....sort of like a domestic precursor to outsourcing.  These companies do a tremendous amount of out of state recruitment for college grads and I should know: back in 1996, I was recruited by AlliedSignal Aerospace to work in their Olathe, Kansas plant as a product development engineer.

    So, unlike the rest of Kansas, JoCo is very technocrat heavy.

    Most Kansans see JoCo residents as aliens.  They often used the phrase "Johnson County Millionaires" as a disparaging reference to the technocrats who have "taken over" JoCo.

    So, you should not take party switches in JoCo as some kind of bellwether for the rest of Kansas.  

    Now, if we start seeing party switches in Wichita or Topeka, that would indeed indicate a seachange.

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Tue May 30, 2006 at 05:03:17 PM PDT

    •  Thanks to you and Others here for the scoop on KS (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not familar with the politics there (except for knowing about Dole and others), and so this has been an informative thread to read.

      "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

      by BentLiberal on Wed May 31, 2006 at 01:17:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except Both Topeka and Wichita are more Democrat (0+ / 0-)

      Than Johnson County.   Western Kansas is where many of the wing nuts are located.  But believe me there are plenty wing nuts in Johnson County, I live there.

      Southeast Kansas has been a long time Democrat area however.

  •  RandyMI (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the diary, and thanks to everyone on here who posted interesting info on KS politics.

    Very good reading for me.

    Randy, you're thread kind of got upstaged by the FP post of a similar diary, but it's still good...both of the diaries were.

    "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Wed May 31, 2006 at 01:19:25 PM PDT

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