Skip to comments.Kobach on a roll, Taff adopts anti-gay position in advance of primary (KA-02)
Posted on 07/08/2004 6:54:25 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican
KS: Kobach on a roll, Taff adopts anti-gay position in advance of primary
Adam Taff, a former fighter pilot, and Kris Kobach, a law professor are the two leading Republican candidates fighting it out to see who gets to advance to take on incumbent Democrat Dennis Moore in Kansas' 2nd District. Taff, who ran against Moore in 2002 and narrowly lost was expected to coast to the nomination, but has run into Kris Kobach, who is running as a "pure" conservative and emphasizing social issues. Taff, who has always positioned himself as a moderate, recently got creamed in a straw poll, which was the first public indication of how the race is going. Kobach has made the centerpiece of his campaign his strong opposition to same-sex marriage and has been attacking Taff several recent District-wide mailings for being against amending the federal Constitution on that issue.
Well, Taff has read the tea leaves and today he came out with a shiny new anti-gay position on same-sex marriage in order to try to neutralize the issue. This is a sign of desperation on the part of Taff, as he has always been proud of being a "moderate" and is unlikely to pick up any conservative voters. In addition to flipping on marriage, Taff has also been trying to soft-pedal his pro-choice views on abortion in recent weeks.
Kobach clearly has the momentum and energy in this race, and has solidly spooked the Taff campaign with the straw poll showing and the relentless marriage attacks. The primary is on August 3rd, and I expect a solid win by Kobach.
(Excerpt) Read more at polstate.com ...
BTW, the article made reference to Kobach lambasting Taff in a straw poll in the district; here is the press release on the vote: http://www.kobachforcongress.com/News/062804.htm
*POSSIBLE GOP HOUSE PICK-UP PING*
Taff had his chance. Time for Kobach to finish the job.
I'm gonna say that I'm supporting neither Kobach or Taff in this race, but another under-the-radar alternative, State Rep. Patricia Lightner, whom I understand is a Conservative. This district is the epicenter of the civil war between the regular Republicans and RINOs in KS and we've managed to lose it as one wing nominated their guy and then the other refused to support them. It started with incumbent Conservative Vince Snowbarger in 1998 and lasted through to RINO Adam Taff in the last election failing to take the seat against Rep. Moore (who is clearly too liberal for this district). If this were a 2-person race, I'd lean towards Kobach, but just because he wins a primary victory doesn't mean he'll win the general. I think Patty Lightner is Conservative enough and non-offensive enough to unite the wings and take the seat in November. It's for that reason I'm supporting her.
If Lightner picks up serious support, there is no way either she or Kobach can win the primary.
I am G--d----- tired of conservatives splitting the conservative field in primaries. Are we completely incapable of being team players?
My impression was that she is running 3rd and is unlikely to win. Kobach has the campaign, the money, and the grassroots support -- I think he's gotta be our guy.
Let's hope it's a very distant third. I'm so sick of spoilers.
Hopefully she'd pick up more Taff voters, but...
"I am G--d----- tired of conservatives splitting the conservative field in primaries. Are we completely incapable of being team players?"
It's not an issue of "Conservatives" being team players, it's about Republicans (authentic or self-proclaimed) being team players in this particular district. The anger and bitterness between the Conservatives and Moderates (sic) RINOs in this district are considerable. Conservatives won't vote in the general for a pro-abort RINO. RINO "moderates" won't vote for an unapologetic Conservative. Dennis Moore benefits from the split either way. I think Kobach will end up being another Phill Kline (not necessarily a bad deal, Kline lost the race in '00, but won the State Attorney-General job 2 years later), and Taff will probably duplicate his loss in the general again (if he is nominated). Lightner is the 3rd way, she's not a male (the predecessor to Vince Snowbarger, the last GOP-Conservative, was a woman), she IS Conservative, she's a proven-vote getter (Kobach failed in his last race to win a State Senate race), and I believe she is the best of all the candidates to take on Moore (who can't villify her as he might all his male opponents).
Actually, she was the first to file in that contest. I'm hoping Taff comes in a distant 3rd.
Doesn't matter when she entered. If Kobach is the one with the greater likelihood of winning, Lightner is the spoiler.
We have to be realistic. The "first in line" principle has often spelled trouble for the GOP -- it was certainly Bob Dole's "turn" in 1996, but he was a lousy candidate.
If Taff is really about as good as the others, then there's no spoiler at all, and may the best campaign win. But if there's a significant ideological difference, there is no valid excuse for two conservative candidates.
I assume you know Kansas, and I certainly don't. But I'm doubtful that almost any Democrat this year will hold off on vicious attacks against anyone, including a woman opponent, if he/she is in trouble.
I do know that the party has been terribly split in Kansas
for years. But the Democrats' behavior in that time, and especially in the last two years since 9-11, is outrageous. It is far too late to be playing possum in the general election. Nearly all Republicans are better than nearly all Democrats, and if a moderate wins the primary, I'd say we had our shot and couldn't convince our own voters. Better luck next time, but support the Republican in the general.
I might make an exception for Michael Bloomberg or Jim Jeffords (when he was a "Republican"), but otherwise we have to eat humble pie. That's just reality.
What I'm saying is, is that I don't think it matters of the two leading candidates who wins the primary (whether the RINO Taff or Conservative Kobach), because I believe there will be enough disgruntled supporters of either candidate that will simply either vote for Moore in protest or not at all. I believe Lightner can bridge the gap, and we lose nothing in the process (meaning we don't have to compromise any principles).
"We have to be realistic. The "first in line" principle has often spelled trouble for the GOP -- it was certainly Bob Dole's "turn" in 1996, but he was a lousy candidate."
Mostly because he didn't aggressively try to win. If he had shown more of his acerbic wit (a la "The Tonight Show") on the campaign trail, he might've done better. Interestingly enough, because of the high turnout to support Dole in KS, that kept Dennis Moore from winning that seat in '96 against Snowbarger. Even Dubya with Phill Kline (a Conservative) as the nominee couldn't pull him across.
"If Taff is really about as good as the others, then there's no spoiler at all, and may the best campaign win. But if there's a significant ideological difference, there is no valid excuse for two conservative candidates."
I don't think Taff is anything to crow about. He is pro-abort and having to "moderate" (in this case, move rightward) to try to win the nomination. If Taff wins, a lot of Kobach supporters won't vote for him (I wouldn't vote for a pro-abort RINO, either), and compound that with the fact that Moore will attack him for trying to have it both ways (being unprincipled), isn't going to bode well. I just think if we fail to nominate Lightner, we'll lose it one more time.
Sounds like Kansas needs another Reagan: A strong conservative, highly attractive to moderates, who can make both sides see things in a more mature manner.
Where such leaders come from, I don't know. But in principle, there's no reason why there can't be someone like that. It needs to happen statewide, though.
True, but when it is a man vs. a woman, you can only go so far as a man when attacking. I think this gives Lightner the advantage. She can't be attacked as another "right-wing male."
"I do know that the party has been terribly split in Kansas for years."
Heh, and how !
"But the Democrats' behavior in that time, and especially in the last two years since 9-11, is outrageous."
Far longer than the last 2 years, I'd say. The party has been radicalized (at least at the national level) since Watergate. At least pre-Watergate, there were still enough straights in the Democrat party to keep the kooks from doing too much damage. But those straights are almost all gone now (and even some of the post-Watergate "straights" -- Gore and Gephardt (both elected in '76 to the House) were considered that -- eventually went kook).
"It is far too late to be playing possum in the general election. Nearly all Republicans are better than nearly all Democrats, and if a moderate wins the primary, I'd say we had our shot and couldn't convince our own voters. Better luck next time, but support the Republican in the general. I might make an exception for Michael Bloomberg or Jim Jeffords (when he was a "Republican"), but otherwise we have to eat humble pie. That's just reality."
Alas, it doesn't often work out that way with a party staying united in a fractious primary. In rare instances, such as my '98 Governor's race in TN, I'll vote for the 'Rat if the Republican has clearly jumped the shark. I almost was tempted to leave a blank vote if Lamar! Alexander won the primary for the Senate in this state (and he's been just as bad as I expected he would be, not to mention unresponsive). We just need to sack these RINO phonies, too many are far more destructive than 'Rats (because they cause damage from within). Of course, we're just fretting about one particular and peculiar little House seat in KS when it is almost an epidemic elsewhere (IL, especially, which is finally seeing the corrosive effects of statist RINO control - but that's another story).
Hey, every state could use another Reagan, but that's not going to happen. There was only one of him and there will never be another like him. But, like you said, we do need more of those individuals who can make a broad-based appeal without selling out the farm on principles. What was highly disappointing in KS's last gubernatorial election was that there was a candidate who could've united the wings (rather than the fractious primary that saw a Conservative win (who was kneecapped by not only the sore-losers in the primary, but also by the unhelpful outgoing RINO Governor)), but opted not to. That was 1st district Congressman Jerry Moran. What is always so infuriating is having excellent POTENTIAL candidates, but seeing them not rise to the occasion. We have had an exceptionally lousy recruitment cycle this year (races totally winnable, but we end up defaulting to the 'Rats).
"Where such leaders come from, I don't know. But in principle, there's no reason why there can't be someone like that. It needs to happen statewide, though."
Those leaders can just about come from anywhere. Often there are many natural leaders in the business world, but many don't want to subject themselves to media anal exams or ugly primary (or general) contests (especially when they'd have to take such a dramatic pay cut). One prime example of someone is taking a chance is Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather's Pizza, taking a run for the GA Senate seat. Cain is Conservative, has an excellent message and the experience from the business world, can preach like he's at a church revival, and best of all, is African-American. These are the types of superstar candidates we need to recruit from coast to coast for the GOP.
With over 600 people in attendance, and over half of those casting votes, Kobach bested both Adam Taff and Patricia Lightner by a total of 240 to 101 to 2 respectively.
The moderates may not be happy with Kobach, but he has a strong base of support, and can raise some money, which puts him two up on Lightner.
"I don't think nominating Lightner is a realistic option at this time."
Occasionally a businessman rises to the occasion, but usually they're duds. There is a reason, after all, why they went into business instead of public life. They liked it more, or they liked money more.
What we need are people who dedicate their lives to politics, either from the beginning or at midlife after making a clean break from their previous career. While occasionally a Reagan-level talent may allow someone to start out running for a high office, most often a new person will have to start small, running for state legislature or even a lower office. This requires staying power and discipline. Even Reagan did not start from scratch. He had previously campaigned for candidates, made speeches about free enterprise at GE plants, served as the president of a union, fought communists in Hollywood at some risk to his life. When he ran in 1966 for the first time, he was no amateur.
Recruitment of strong candidates is a function of party morale more than anything else. If people believe the GOP is doing something important, or close to doing something important, they will take the gamble and run. If not, not.
I'm sure he stands a good shot, but given the wacky dynamics of this district, I wouldn't make a guarantee. The problem remains that Kobach failed to even win a Senate seat nomination when he last ran (he lost to a RINO woman in an open seat), so that's at least one strike against him.
"Frankly, I don't see how nominating Lightner, who may not inspire the base but who would still be pegged a "conservative" by the RINOs, would be better for us."
Because I'm looking at it from the perspective that we've run 2 conservative white males and lost, 1 RINO white male and lost, and I think that perhaps this district would be better suited to electing a female (as it did prior to Vince Snowbarger). But what you and Johnny have pointed out to me is that Lightner may have the credibility to run for the office (and a proven vote-getter), she's barely seen in the contest (which seems amazing to me). If we lose this race again, I think Lightner should absolutely be given a clear shot in '06.
"And DJ, former Congresswoman Jan Meyers was (and still is, I'm sure) pro-abortion and pro-gun control, and is certainly a member of the RINO wing of the Kansas GOP."
Quite true. And the Meyers RINOs are a large part of those who support Moore. I wasn't saying that Rep. Lightner should emulate Meyers, but that her gender would help her.
"A better role model for the kind of candidate to run in the district is Congressman Jim Ryun, who did not have to hide his conservatism to get elected and reelected in a district with almost identical Republican performance as Moore's district."
Given the fractious nature of this district, I'm not sure Jim Ryun or a similar-type candidate could carry this seat (nothing against the Congressman, I think he is a truly honorable gentleman - I do believe he is the only person who ever signed an autograph to me with a biblical quote !). Ah, well... at least we're all in agreement that we don't want Adam Taff carrying the banner for us in November, and if Kobach gets the nod, I do hope he wins.