Only those out of power feeling free to cross party lines



September 5, 2018 - 10:57 AM

Perhaps because he has nothing to lose, former Republican Kansas Gov. Bill Graves felt comfortable Tuesday in endorsing Democrat Laura Kelly for governor.
And though they may agree, other Republicans aren’t feeling as emboldened to speak their minds. In fact, they have been warned that to do so may jeopardize their political careers.
In an email to fellow moderate Republicans, Rep. Don Hineman, House Majority Leader, issued a warning that they should toe the party line or else face “serious repercussions.” Hineman is presumably referring to a loss of leadership positions as in the case of Sen. Barbara Bollier, a moderate Republican from Overland Park who was stripped of her position as leader of the Senate health committee this summer after she endorsed Kelly’s candidacy.
Other repercussions could come in the form of withdrawn campaign funding.
“Please do not do it!” Hineman pleaded. “ …(D)o not endorse, do not publicly support, do not join a ‘Republicans for..’ group, and do not write a check,” for anyone but Kris Kobach, the Republican nominee for for governor.

AND THAT’S how fear works.
Rather than speak your mind, you sit on your hands, hoping, wishing, praying that someone with less to lose picks up the baton for truth and justice.
And before you know it you’ve become a puppet, a talking head, for something you don’t even believe in, such as defunding education, restricting voter rights, or tax cuts for the wealthy.
If elected, Kobach has promised to enact “full-throttled conservatism,” code for tax breaks, reduced government services and programs and measures to suppress citizen rights.
For moderates who think they can curry Kobach’s favor by laying low now, wake up. Like his mentor President Donald Trump, Kobach has a  long memory for what he considers personal betrayals.

THE GOOD news — sorry, we almost missed it — is Gov. Graves’s endorsement for Sen. Kelly. As governor from 1995 to 2003, Graves is touted as Kansas’s “most popular governor,” winning re-election in 1998 with a whopping 73 percent of the vote. Graves is best remembered for championing a 10-year  $13 billion highway transportation project — that was not diverted to the general fund — resulting in extensive upgrades to our roads and bridges, airports and public transportation.  In other words, he was a man of his word.
So when Graves looks to Kelly as the best candidate  to navigate the state toward a prosperous future, that speaks volumes.
Now, will we listen?
— Susan Lynn

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