Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Campaign briefing: Washington Post — Moderates flee the Kansas GOP

October 19, 2006

Election 2006

(Washington Post) Moderates in Kansas Decide They're Not in GOP Anymore: Paul Morrison, a career prosecutor who specializes in putting killers behind bars, has the bulletproof resume and the rugged looks of a law-and-order Republican, which is what he was until last year. That was when he announced he would run for attorney general -- as a Democrat.

He is now running neck-and-neck with Republican Phill Kline, an iconic social conservative who made headlines by seeking the names of abortion-clinic patients and vowing to defend science-teaching standards that challenge Darwinian evolution. What's more, Morrison is raising money faster than Kline and pulling more cash from Republicans than Democrats.

Nor is Morrison alone. In a state that voted nearly 2 to 1 for President Bush in 2004, nine former Republicans will be on the November ballot as Democrats. Among them is Mark Parkinson, a former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, who changed parties to run for lieutenant governor with the popular Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius.

Attorney General

(Harris News Service) Sebelius wants ad pulled: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius called on Kansas radio and TV stations Wednesday to pull a political ad submitted by a national Republican organization that she said "grossly misleads" the public on her record. The attack commercial, which began running Tuesday, is aimed at Democratic candidate Paul Morrison, who is seeking the attorney general's seat. ... Part of the group's commercial states that Sebelius opposed a bill that Morrison, who is Johnson County district attorney, supported as a member of the state Sentencing Commission. The ad then refers to two newspaper articles about Senate Bill 123, which aimed to provide treatment for low-level drug offenders and which Sebelius signed in 2003. "I signed this bill into law and have continued to whole-heartedly support the measure," the governor wrote to the stations. "...I strongly urge that as station manager you take the appropriate action to remove this false and misleading ad from the air."

(Topeka Capital-Journal) Group calls for inquiry into Kline's campaign money: legal watchdog organization called Wednesday for an Internal Revenue Service review of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline's actions to obtain church support for his re-election campaign. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, based in Washington, D.C., released a statement asking for an IRS investigation of Kline based on contents of an internal campaign memorandum written by Kline in August. The memo, leaked in September, detailed "several activities that may constitute illegal support of the Kline campaign by Kansas churches," the statement said. Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, also said that Kline's appearance at Topeka Bible Church last month may have led to the inappropriate use of that church's resources to support the attorney general.

Insurance Commissioner

(Johnson County Sun) Questions raised, answered in insurance race: Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, 61, Lawrence, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Bonnie Sharp, 66, Kansas City, Kan. Each candidate agreed to start answers with a "yes" or "no," understanding that an "X" would be used in the absence of a clear answer. Following are the candidates' own words.

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