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Archive for November, 2014

Huelskamp

Huelskamp

Jenkins

Jenkins

Yoder

Yoder

Kansas pro-lifers no doubt truly relished this Thanksgiving holiday after the unusually hard-fought election season. Kansas strengthened and increased its pro-life representation. No Kansas candidates supported by Planned Parenthood’s political action group won any federal or state-wide offices and all of those offices are held by pro-lifers. Returning to Congress to battle abortion and health-care rationing in Obamacare are pro-life Republicans Tim Huelskamp (#1), Lynn Jenkins (#2), Kevin Yoder (#3), and Mike Pompeo (#4).

Pompeo

Pompeo

Roberts

Roberts

The nation was especially focused on the U.S. Senate race, where incumbent pro-life leader Pat Roberts surprised the pundits with a come-from-behind 10-point win over upstart multi-millionaire “independent” Greg Orman. In debate, Orman said we need to “get past” the abortion issue and apparently Kansans don’t respond well to that sentiment!

Schmidt

Schmidt

Kobach

Kobach

Estes

Estes

Selzer

Selzer

All state-wide office holders are also pro-life Republicans. Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and Treasurer Ron Estes were returned to office handily. After winning the primary among 4 pro-life candidates, political newcomer Ken Selzer won the general election race for Insurance Commissioner.

Brownback & Colyer

Brownback & Colyer

In the governor’s race, the largest factor at play was the attempt of pro-abortion Republican politicians to take down the pro-life Brownback administration. Some national commentators seemed surprised that a group of ex-GOP politicians publicly supported Democrat challenger, Paul Davis, but we weren’t. Nearly all of these “republicans for Davis” claiming to be “traditional” and to espouse “Kansas values” were pro-abortion.

Authentic Kansans wouldn’t support, as Governor, a politician like Davis who had voted EIGHTY times against pro-life measures as a state rep! Though pollsters largely predicted the incumbents would lose,  the Sam Brownback / Jeff Colyer team pulled off a sweet victory, beating the Paul Davis / Jill Docking challengers by 4 points.

HOUSE ADDS PRO-LIFERS
The Kansas Senate was not up for re-election and the Kansas House strengthened its pro-life super majority. The GOP holds 97 seats, of which 91 (94%) are pro-life. Democrats have 28 seats and only 3 (11%) are pro-life.

In the general election, 49 House reps faced no challenger.  KFL-backed candidates won 94 of 125 House rep races, including 3 races with a vote difference under 60.

Planned Parenthood’s candidates lost 25 Kansas House races, including three incumbents.

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KFL exec.Director Mary Kay Culp celebrates with Se.Roberts Tues. night

KFL Exec. Director Mary Kay Culp congratulated Sen.Roberts Tues. night

All eyes turned to “reliably red” Kansas in October for reasons no pro-lifer wanted. Polls indicated the campaigns of both our pro-life U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and our pro-life Governor Sam Brownback were surprisingly struggling.

Already active, pro-lifers brought their far-flung efforts to a whole new level, determined to turn that around. Last night those immense efforts paid off. First, a quick summary.

  • Expected to either lose or win by a hair, pro-life stalwart Roberts, in fact, pulled off a sweet and convincing 53%-43% victory over pro-abortion “independent” challenger Greg Orman. Roberts’ re-election was crucial to taking control of the United States Senate out of the hands of pro-abortion Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
  • Pro-life leader Brownback also surged to a win by a margin of 50%-46% over pro-abortion Democrat State Rep. Paul Davis. The message was clear: Kansans want their administrative branch to stay pro-life.

KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, gave this commentary:”We worked as hard as we did because we knew that life issues in Kansas mean more to voters than any D.C. pundit understood, or poll took into account, which certainly proved true on election night!”

SENATE RACE
Kansas pro-lifers were alarmed in early summer at the upstart campaign of Senate challenger Greg Orman– a 45-year-old millionaire businessman without any record of public service and who had never held elected office. Millions of dollars in TV ads were introducing him as the solution to the ‘overriding problem of government gridlock.’ Even a few conservatives were showing some interest in Orman, despite his bizarre claim that he was unsure which party he would caucus with if he won.

But pro-lifers knew differently. They knew that Reid would not allow any pro-life measures passed in the House of Representatives to come to a vote, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Pro-lifers also were well aware of the anti-life provisions of ObamaCare that were protected by Reid. Even more troubling, Orman had no voting record to contrast with the 100% pro-life record of Sen. Roberts.

KFL-PAC member Carol Dengel andPac co-director, Tim Hand celebrated pro-life wins in Topeka

KFL-PAC member, Carol Dengel, and KFL-PAC co-chair, Tim Hand, celebrated pro-life wins in Topeka Tues. night

Kansans for Life’s PAC went into high gear with phone calls, radio spots and other initiatives. We produced and distributed well over one million educational pieces, which is four times the number we have done in the past.

Orman largely hid from the press and kept to the strict script ‘that he had tried both political parties and found both deficient’. His history undermined that claim (as did Vice President Joe Biden at the last minute).

Although Orman had briefly registered as a Republican, he had long been a Democrat, and over 90% of his past and very sizable campaign donations had gone to pro-abortion Democrats. Even Kansas Democrats believed Orman would caucus with Democrats–as shown when they coaxed their own Senate candidate, Chad Taylor, off the ballot on Sept. 3rd so that the field was cleared for Orman.

On Election Day, however, Orman’s pretense at independence was shattered when Vice President Biden, speaking on a radio program, said Democrats “have a chance of picking up an independent who will be with us in the state of Kansas.”

Sen. Roberts has always been endorsed by Kansans for Life and the National Right to Life Committee, and has been a lead supporter of important pro-life bills. Orman described himself as ‘pro-choice’ in an October 15 debate with Sen. Roberts and dismissed pro-life concerns as something to “get past.”

Sen. Roberts quickly rebutted Orman’s position as “unconscionable” and publicly promised “never to stop fighting for life.” Orman continued to act as if pro-life issues were unimportant. For example, he never honored his October 9 pledge to several national media outlets to read and comment on two pro-life bills awaiting passage in the U.S. Senate and supported by Sen. Roberts.

But on Tuesday, Kansans reaffirmed that pro-life issues are important, and re-elected U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts by over a 90,000 vote margin. We so appreciate the help of the NRLC-PAC in producing radio and print materials for this race.

GOVERNOR’S RACE
After years of battling an administration that supported abortion and was pushing destructive embryonic research, Kansas pro-lifers were thrilled to turn that around with the election of Sam Brownback as governor in 2010. During his first term, he signed thirteen pro-life measures, including nationally-important bills championed by NRLC.

Gov. Brownback with Mary Kay Culp

Gov. Brownback with KFL’s Mary Kay Culp Tues. night

The contrast could not have been more clear. Challenger Davis was part of the cadre of anti-life legislators fighting every one of those bills. In fact, during his tenure in the House from 2003-2014, Davis voted 80 times against pro-life bills!

It may not be well known that Kansas has long had three political players: pro-life GOPers, a dwindling number of pro-abortion GOPers, and Democrats, who are now 95% pro-abortion. Bitter, pro-abortion GOP legislators who had fought the Brownback initiatives and lost their elections in 2012 added their support for Davis.

Going into the elections, the race was too close to call and early returns showing a slight lead for Davis had pro-lifers holding their breath. Those returns reflected that:

  • counties from Kansas’ eastern edge bordering Missouri (which came in early) traditionally lean Democrat, and
  • the bitter pro-abortion GOP wing seemed to be voting a straight GOP ticket except for Brownback and, to a lesser extent, Roberts.

But, as returns continued, Gov. Brownback finished ahead of Davis by about 33,000 votes. Another 33,000 votes went to a third party independent candidate, Keen Umbehr.

What you won’t see highlighted is that Brownback prevailed even in liberal-leaning Johnson County, the home of two abortion clinics, and serviced by the Kansas City Star, whose editorial board supports abortion and never overlooks a chance to slam Brownback.

We congratulate our many pro-life volunteers who helped insure another four years under Gov. Brownback! Social media has certainly impacted election politics, but in Kansas, the tried and true pro-life ground game was richly rewarded yesterday.

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