What a weekend for Kansas Republicans.
Kris Kobach and his supporters ran a very focused and strategic campaign to garner the necessary votes. The rumor in the halls was that former Barnett campaign manager Christian Morgan orchestrated his effort. Guess it goes to show that when given a good candidate or a task that doesn't involve Susan Wagle, Morgan can get the job done. It may be too early to speculate, but my money is on Morgan to be the new GOP Executive Director.
As predicted here, Tim Huelskamp lost by a very wide and embarrassing margin. Had it been any wider, the Grand Canyon would have been jealous. This effectively ends his hope of running for any office other than the one he currently holds.
Embattled former gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett was also there- having a reception for himself to celebrate how great he thinks he is. Barnett, not running for anything, must still be reeling from the beat-down last November. He rented a room and asked people to come by under the guise of being able to say thanks, but taking one step in the room it was obvious it was simply a way for Barnett to feed his ego- having people come up to him for a couple hours telling him how proud they are of him, how much they hoped he would win, etc. It served no other purpose than making him feel better about himself. Its clear Barnett's best days are behind him. Very bizarre behavior, but from what we've recently gathered, its about par for the course. Maybe it's the Wagle factor rubbing off again.
Also in a somewhat shocking statement, Jim Ryun announced he is running for his old Congressional seat. This could be the big first test for Kobach's leadership ability- can he keep either Ryun or Lynn Jenkins out of the race? A bloody primary will surely do nothing but strengthen Boyda's chances of being reelected.
More on these stories and much more throughout the week.
Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Barnett is apparently being sued by at least one former staffer and at least one company for failing to pay bills, wages, reimbursements and fundraising commissions.
Our source indicates Barnett, in an effort to recoup his $100,000 seed money from his campaign account, withdrew the remaining campaign account money before all bills were paid.
We've also been told a complaint has been or is about to be filed with the Kansas Ethics Commission for what our source called 'Wagle Accounting'. The claim surrounds a number of contributions to the campaign that were reported, but never collected. There could be as much as $35,000 in fake contributions on finance reports, according to our source.
The Kansas Dept. of Labor is also said to be involved in this investigation.
The lawsuit and complaints are said to be made public close to Kansas Days, the annual Kansas GOP meeting in Topeka, which are to be held this weekend.
Also, according to the Kansas GOP website, Barnett is hosting a reception on Saturday afternoon.
Sucks to be Barnett right about now. There go his chances at running for governor or any higher office (not that his chances were strong before this latest embarrassment.)
As Drudge would say: Developing..........
Will Kansas Republicans get fooled again by electing a party chairman who is nothing more than a non-smoking, non-spectacled version of the outgoing party chair?
Much like Johnson County moderates and Demorcats were secretly hoping Phill Kline would be elected as county attorney, many non-conservatives across the state are also hoping that the upcoming GOP leadership election will see western Kansas state senator Tim Huelskamp tapped to replace Shallenburger.
Outgoing party chairman Tim Shallenburger gave up on the party more than a year ago when he 'threatened' to quit. (Oh, Tim, what would the GOP have done with you- maybe raise some money or at least had a get-out-the-vote plan for your candidates?) He was a do nothing party chair who abandoned the party and has left the coffers dry. Who in the world thinks a conservative lapdog of Kansans for Life like Huelskamp would do any better? Huelskamp has never tried to build coalitions or raise money outside of southwest Kansas. And he wants to be party chair? Beautiful. Priceless. Sounds like he's going through an inferiority complex or at least a case of overinflated ego. This could be exactly what Democrats were hoping Santa would bring them.
The nuts in a Huelskamp election would be to further galvanize the conservative/moderate split in Kansas. Until the voting members wake up and realize that the GOP got their collective basksides handed to them because of weak candidates, lack of party leadership, their non-compromising positions and elitist attitudes, they will continue to lose seats in congress and in the statehouse.
Rumors have also been circulating about a possible effort by Phill Kline trying to gauge support for a run at the party chair position, but we haven't seen anything posted here about that development. We'll keep you posted if anything on that front develops.
I'll close today with a stanza from the classic The Who hit, Won't Get Fooled Again.
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
Posted by Moose1 at Monday, January 01, 2007