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Democratic Kansas state senator switching to Republican Party
LJWorld.com ^ | 12/17/10 | Scott Rothschild

Posted on 12/17/2010 6:44:55 PM PST by LdSentinal

Topeka — State Sen. Chris Steineger of Kansas City, Kan., on Friday left the Democratic Party to join Republicans, saying his fiscal beliefs were more in line with the GOP and that he could better serve his district by teaming up with the majority party.

"Most people tell me they want me to do what is best for the community, not a political party. By joining the Republican majority in the State Capitol, I am better able to deliver value and service to the people of Wyandotte County. Our voice in Topeka is stronger by being in the majority," said Steineger.

The decision gives Republicans a 32-8 advantage over Democrats in the Senate.

Democrats said they were glad to see Steineger leave but disagreed with his logic.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said Steineger had turned his back on voters in his district, which is one of the highest voting Democratic districts in the state, giving President Barack Obama 64 percent of the vote in 2008 and former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius 75 percent support in 2006.

And Hensley said Steineger's father - Jack Steineger who was Senate Democratic leader for 12 years - was an example of a legislator from the minority party who could get things done.

“Jack Steineger's legacy proves that you don't have to be a member of the majority party to effectively serve the people of Kansas,” Hensley said.

But Steineger said his political philosophy moved him closer to Republicans.

"I am a fiscal hawk who believes Americans have been borrowing, spending and living beyond their means for too long," Steineger said.

"My views on taxing, borrowing and spending and on the size and role of government in our society, have changed over the years and today more closely align with the Republican Party," he said.

Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Larry Gates said Steineger's values and those of the Democrats were no longer the same

"In recent years, it has become abundantly clear that his views, and his votes in the Legislature, do not represent those values associated with Kansas Democrats -- values such as supporting a strong public education, ensuring an adequate safety net for those in need and working toward a brighter economic future for our state," said Gates.

During the last legislative session, Steineger was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against the 1-cent increase in the state sales tax rate. Supporters of the increase said it was needed to avoid damaging cuts to education, social services and public safety.

In 2007, Steineger introduced a bill to sell Kansas University Hospital and use the proceeds to pay for repairs at regents universities and help the state pension system. The measure didn't gain much support.

He has also introduced legislation in the past to reduce the number of counties in Kansas from 105 to 13, and has been a frequent critic of the escalating costs of the Capitol renovation project.

Steineger was an unsuccessful candidate in the Democratic Party primary in August for secretary of state. The primary was won by Secretary of State Chris Biggs, who was then defeated in the general election by Republican Kris Kobach.

Steineger was first elected to the state Senate in 1996.

With the change, Steineger will be able to participate in the Senate Republican caucus meeting on Monday in which the caucus will elect a majority leader to replace Attorney Gen.-elect Derek Schmidt. Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, appears to be the only candidate for majority leader.

Steineger said he intends to run for re-election in 2012 as a Republican.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: 2010midterms; kansas; partyswitch; realignment; republican; senator; state

1 posted on 12/17/2010 6:45:00 PM PST by LdSentinal
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To: LdSentinal
A lot of State Senator and Representatives are switching. Is it their values or the desire to be in the majority?
2 posted on 12/17/2010 6:49:01 PM PST by Bronzy (We Remembered In November.)
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To: LdSentinal

Wow. The “jumping bug” must be contagious among the Democrats. I keep seeing reports of state reps changing sides. We just had two Dems do that here in Texas.

Honestly, I don’t know whether to applaud, or turn up the power on my RINO sensors.


3 posted on 12/17/2010 6:49:36 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Bronzy

I’m of two minds about that. If they were that convinced that the Dems were out of step, why did they wait until now? And why were they ever a Dem to begin with? I don’t trust ‘em.
I’m wondering if some here in NH might switch. They are outnumbered 3 to 1. All the committees have 15 Reps to 4 or 5 Dems. Must really suck to be them.


4 posted on 12/17/2010 6:52:49 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'd open it myself but I don't have any thumbs.)
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To: Bronzy
Is it their values or the desire to be in the majority?

I wonder the same thing.

5 posted on 12/17/2010 6:56:25 PM PST by FourPeas (From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Ja 3:10)
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To: Bronzy
A lot of State Senator and Representatives are switching. Is it their values or the desire to be in the majority?

In this case he's looking down the road. He already ran for (Kansas) secretary of state but was defeated in the primary. He knows he won't get very far in Kansas as a corrupt socialist scumbag Demorcat, and so he became a Republican. Look for this guy to establish his bona fides as a Republican and eventually run for Congress or the Senate.

6 posted on 12/17/2010 7:09:13 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: LdSentinal

Well, he’ll be more “democratic” now that he’s no longer a RAT.


7 posted on 12/17/2010 7:12:16 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month)
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To: Bronzy

is he voting no on DREAM ACT?


8 posted on 12/17/2010 7:19:03 PM PST by fl00ridageek
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To: Past Your Eyes; FourPeas

I believe the ‘switchers’ were moderate Dems, who are just realizing their party has gone marxist.


9 posted on 12/17/2010 7:22:22 PM PST by Kackikat (There is no such thing as a free lunch, because someone paid, somewhere.)
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To: Bronzy

Neither, they are hoping that they won’t be redistricted out of a seat now that the GOP controls so many state legislatures.


10 posted on 12/17/2010 7:23:29 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: LdSentinal; Non-Sequitur; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; St. Louis Conservative

He represents a solidly Democrat-voting district in Kansas City. Can he win another term or will he seek another office?


11 posted on 12/17/2010 7:23:52 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (Illegal aliens commit crimes that Americans won't commit)
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To: LdSentinal

It’s great that a lot of state Dem pols are switching to the GOP. But it would really be great if this was happening in the U.S Congress.


12 posted on 12/17/2010 7:25:07 PM PST by Signalman
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To: LdSentinal
BOO! Steineger you whore, My sister was page for him once when she was in high school and a few years (more like eight!) he was doing a walk around our neighborhood to gin up support for his campaign, he caught my father and I out in our yard doing some work, and shot the breeze with him for a while.

Steineger seemed like a nice of enough man, my dad grilled him on Illegal Immigration, Taxes, The War (real big back then) terrorism, ect, ect. and Of Course since he was a democrat back in 2002 2003 whenever the only thing he gave lip service too was the war, everything Else was typical liberal talking points .

Needless to say we haven't supported any of his campaigns

13 posted on 12/17/2010 7:25:34 PM PST by KC_Lion (Lord help our Armed Service members that they not become pawns in Hussein's quest to destroy America)
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To: LdSentinal
Boy. Talk about standing by your convictions.

oh well, I guess being on the winning side is more important than any of your (former) principles.

14 posted on 12/17/2010 7:38:34 PM PST by Tupelo
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To: LdSentinal; All
No, NO, NO

While liberating concentration camps, one does not accept Nazi applications for Allied troop status.

We have enough damnable Democrats with (R) after their names already, and we have trouble getting rid of them.

We don't need to add a fresh crop of vipers now.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

15 posted on 12/17/2010 7:56:07 PM PST by The Comedian (Government: Saving people from freedom since time immemorial.)
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To: LdSentinal

So lets play find the sheep in this pack of wolves.


16 posted on 12/17/2010 8:00:50 PM PST by drypowder
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To: The Comedian
No, NO, NO While liberating concentration camps, one does not accept Nazi applications for Allied troop status. We have enough damnable Democrats with (R) after their names already, and we have trouble getting rid of them. We don't need to add a fresh crop of vipers now.

100% True!

17 posted on 12/17/2010 8:45:45 PM PST by rapture-me
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To: Past Your Eyes

You what they say; payback is.. no, I don’t really subscribe to that, however I do think you should reverse much of what the Democrats did in the last 4 years to reverse “Live Free or Die”..Go for Gold.

-J.S.


18 posted on 12/17/2010 9:16:35 PM PST by JSDude1
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To: fl00ridageek

This a Missouri State Senator not a U.S. Senator.


19 posted on 12/18/2010 4:51:33 AM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: Clintonfatigued; LdSentinal; Non-Sequitur; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; ...

We could use a few switchers in the MO House to create a supermajority in that chamber as well so Nixon’s vetoes can be overridden.

32-8, wow.


20 posted on 12/18/2010 4:54:11 AM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: Impy
Missouri Democrats are becoming Kansas Republicans?

Mah Haid hurts.

21 posted on 12/18/2010 4:54:18 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
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To: fl00ridageek

Excuse me, that’s KANSAS State Senator.


22 posted on 12/18/2010 5:13:51 AM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: MARTIAL MONK; Clintonfatigued; LdSentinal; Non-Sequitur; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; ...
Missouri Democrats are becoming Kansas Republicans?

LOL, my ears are red. Kansas City, KANSAS, my bad.

23 posted on 12/18/2010 5:15:38 AM PST by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: JSDude1

Look for that to happen.


24 posted on 12/18/2010 5:59:39 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'd open it myself but I don't have any thumbs.)
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To: Bronzy
Is it their values or the desire to be in the majority?

In Kansas probably the former. The two Republican parties in this state have controlled the legislature for some time. If all he wanted was to be in the majority he'd have done it some time ago.

25 posted on 12/18/2010 7:39:07 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Clintonfatigued
He represents a solidly Democrat-voting district in Kansas City. Can he win another term or will he seek another office?

Probably the later. He ran for the Secretary of State nomination as a Democrat. When Kobach runs for the Senate in 2014 I imagine Steineger will try and replace him as Secretary of State as a Republican.

26 posted on 12/18/2010 7:43:11 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Bronzy

Fear of no reelection.


27 posted on 12/18/2010 7:48:28 AM PST by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Bronzy

Fear of no reelection.


28 posted on 12/18/2010 7:50:16 AM PST by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: LdSentinal

Mole senator switching to Republican Party Rinos rub hands.


29 posted on 12/18/2010 8:59:59 AM PST by Vaduz
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