For Kansas Democrats, DemoFest is a gathering that brings together both party insiders and the activists within the rank and file of the Democratic party.
Kansas Democrats this year have much to celebrate. This week was full of important announcements for Kansas Democrats -
Another PPP Poll showed once again that not only is Sam Brownback vulnerable but that his negatives are dragging down other conservatives.
There are some important lessons here: that serious negatives of one candidate can act as a drag across the entire ticket, and Brownback's millstone is helping to sink Republicans across the board - including Republicans who were seen as in no real risk prior to the last few months.
PPP's impressive results for Kansas Democrats can be best seen in one of the under races. Kris Kobach, the Kansas Attorney General linked with such onerous policies here as Dual-Track Voting finds himself having to run a real race, as Jean Schodorf, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State has made up a lot of ground over the last few months. Schodorf, a former Republican, switched parties in large part due to her realization that moderates no longer seemed welcome within her own party.
In the spring, very few gave Schodorf much a real chance in the race against a well funded, oiled campaign like Kris Kobach. The combination of the dissatisfaction with Brownback and increasing issues with voter registration confusion and unhappiness are providing Jean with a grassroots campaign backed by a combination of anecdotal reports and public perception of Schodorf as being a moderate candidate with a plan.
At an event in Gardner-Edgerton this week, one voter put it: "She actually has a firm plan, so I know what she's going to do. I have no idea what Kobach is doing and he doesn't tell us."
Kelly Kultala, congressional candidate in District 3 had news that goes beyond polls, picking up the endorsement of Emily's List, making her the second Kansas Democratic candidate to do so, and sending the clear sign that her district - which has been held by Democrats recently - is clearly in play.
Arriving in Wichita with wind at their back, Democrats buckled down Friday for the Platform Committee - a chance for the state to write their platform of principles. In an event that lasted all day, Democrats not only discussed the issues at the heart of their party they did so passionately and in a friendly, non-contentious matter. Led by Joan Wagnon, state party chair, the Democratic Party of Kansas discussed numerous issues - from economic to social and developed a platform that is easily the most progressive I could have imagined for Kansas.
It was especially heartwarming to see youth - a 17 year old who cannot vote this cycle but is dedicated to canvass and work, and an 18 year old who attended the platform committee and through others offered an amendment, an amendment to the platform that promoted the responsibility of the party to respect the dignity of victims of sexual assault and abuse.
Other issues openly addressed:
Kansas Democrats unified against the Death Penalty.
In a nearly unanimous vote, Kansas Democrats approved a plank calling for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. Here in Wichita, this issue is already on the ballot, but as was pointed out in the meeting, "If you are a parent with a child who suffers seizures, wouldn't you try.. anything?"
Kansas Democrats took a stand in favor of Marriage Equality in consensus - with no dissent present.
The Kansas Democratic Party platform now not only lines up with so many other states, it stands as a document that better represents the ultimate goals of the Democratic party in Kansas.
Finally, I must praise Paul Davis. I've seen Paul Davis speak at numerous events over the year, met with him several times and have watched as Paul Davis as a candidate who has worked very hard to reach out and grow as a public speaker.
In the final banquet ceremony in Wichita, I was pleased to sit in a table close to Paul & Jill, and to sit with press we had helped bring in. As one national reporter told me, "This is a more energetic Paul." And he's right. Looking back over speeches and appearances by Paul, his speech before the Democrats in Wichita stands out as a breakthrough moment for Paul where now as the front runner he doesn't stand back and try to run out the clock, instead, it is a moment where Paul Davis stands out by continuing to throw direct punches to make sure that his campaign voice is heard amongst those already committed.
Paul Davis discussed Sam Brownback in a manner that placed Brownback as a clearly someone who cared far less about the lives of the citizens of Kansas, and far more about continuing an experiment aimed at making him a national Republican again.
"There is only one of us with an active Presidential Campaign Committee.."This version of Paul, animated and forceful didn't cower behind positive polling, trying to run out a lead. Instead, Paul Davis is using his newly minted political coin to send the message that he is a Democrat who will not back down.
Davis has a week ahead that caps with a return to Sedgewick county for Women 4 Kansas event, and then a break as he prepares for a head on Governor's Debate on Sept. 6, 10AM at the state fair. Please note: This diarist is working to provide a live video stream of this event, and will promote that at a later point. Full content of the video of this debate will be available within my vBlog.
2:20 PM PT: Hot off the Presses
Read the full party platform here: http://www.ksdp.org/...