Third Party & Independents Archives

Is Greg Orman a Liberal With a Lot of Money?

Politics in Kansas lately seems like one big family affair, both of the political kind as well as the kitchen-table kind. It all revolves around Pat Roberts, the long-time GOP senator in the state whose re-election has suddenly got a lot less certain. Chad Taylor’s decision to drop out of the race has meant that remaining independent challenger Greg Orman, a wealthy businessman, is now even or ahead in the polls. For GOP strategists, he is a liberal trojan horse riding under the cover of being an independent and a businessman. But it is Greg Orman who Pat Roberts will have to defeat to keep Kansas a GOP state, at least in the US Senate, and not undercut the party’s attempt to win back control of the upper house in November. That means that Robert’s political family, in other words his longtime Republican colleagues as well as younger GOP supporters are flocking to the state to give speeches and help out any way they can. That includes Senator McCain, Jeb Bush and even Rand Paul, as well Paul Ryan. That’s two senators, a former governor and Bush family member, and a potential GOP presidential candidate for 2016. Will it work?

Pat Roberts is a conservative, plain and simple, and his voting record proves it. He's pro-life, against gay marriage and a Patriot Act supporter as well as supporting gun ownership. He opposed Obamacare and supports opening up Artic Drilling as well as building the Keystone pipeline to ensure a secure energy supply for the nation. Does Kansas want a change or is Greg Orman riding a wave of voter uncertainty and will voters turn against him if he proves to be too liberal? That's where the other family comes in. Pat Roberts took over Keith Sebelius' House seat after Sebelius retired in 1980. Sebelius was Republican of course, and his daughter-in-law happens to be Kathleen Sebelius, who less than a week after her resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services in early April of this year, was being touted by the NY Times as a possible contender for the Dems to run against Pat Roberts. She has decided not to run and one wonders how much she knows about Greg Orman. That's not to call a grand conspiracy of sorts in Kansas on the part of Democrats. But they have been calmly silent about Chad Taylor's departure indicating they believe Orman - a youthful 45 and an "enigma" politically according to the Washington Post - will vote their way. Orman says he voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012 and seems to be trying to portray himself as a Bob Dole style moderate, without actually being a Republican. Clearly he is someone who wants power without necessarily having to work through the party structure to get it. Will a conservative state like Kansas see him as an outsider who can fix beltway gridlock? The GOP is doing their best to convince the voters of Kansas that Orman is another liberal with a lot of money. November will tell.

Posted by AllardK at September 30, 2014 5:23 PM
Comment #383835

The article neglects to mention the background of KS politics. Not only is Senator Roberts in trouble, but so is Republican Governor Brownbeck, the Republican Lt Governor, and the Republican Secretary of State. How could KS, one of the reddest of the red states and the home of the Koch Brothers headquarters, possibly look at a sweep by Democratic candidates?

The problem, in a word, is extremism. The KS GOP far right ousted moderates in the last election, and put a conservative economic agenda in place, namely, huge tax cuts. These did not produce any of the positive effects. They did, however, crater the budget, create huge deficits, and resulted in two credit downgrades by the rating agencies. Conservatives managed the remarkable feat of inducing a one-state recession at a time of recovery and prosperity for neighboring states.

Brownbeck and others are blaming Obama, but the voters are having none of it. Moderate Republicans and Democrats have had enough of conservative extremism. When anyone who is not to the political right of Mussolini gets called a ‘liberal,’ is it any wonder?

As for the candidates, Senator Roberts is just awful. He should have retired. But he didn’t. Orman is a rich, middle-of-the-road corporatist. He may vote with Republicans. He voted for Romney in 2012. He may vote with Democrats.

Posted by: phx8 at September 29, 2014 11:07 PM
Comment #383838

“It’s the economy stupid” and the conservative utopia of Kansas has reaped the rewards of conservatism and conservative economics. To think anyone other than the far right has a shot at winning in Kansas gives one hope for the country. If only…. if only my neighbors in eastern Colorado could see what conservative economics has wrought upon Kansas, where the usual blame Obama tactics by movement leaders are being questioned by conservative movement followers, and throw out our group of conservative extremist in November.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 30, 2014 11:06 AM
Comment #383853

There are conditions in which cutting taxes can stimulate economic and job growth, but, there is a limit to how much one can cut taxes. That limit is reached when cutting taxes creates deficits in both public accounts and in working peoples households due to increased unemployment or loss of assistance which held their household together. Kansas neither had the conditions that warranted large tax cuts nor did Republicans running the state understand the limitations and consequences of too many tax cuts. They suffered from an ideology that presupposes that taxes are an evil by definition. They aren’t. Taxes pay for the host of administrative functions at the public level which hold a community, state, or nation together behind its Constitution and attending laws aimed at fairness and justice for all.

Posted by: David R Remer at October 2, 2014 1:43 AM
Comment #383857

What administrative functions were eliminated in Kansas that caused the conditions they are experiencing now?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 3:25 AM
Comment #383872

WW, note the following quote:

“The Kansas Supreme Court said the state, which has cut taxes and spending sharply, is not spending enough on public schools. It’s a violation, the court said, of the state constitution.

Today’s ruling means millions more for poorer school districts in Kansas, which were devastated by budget cuts made by a fiscally conservative legislature. “

Also, Kansas conservatives in government underfunded public pension plans, which led directly, in part, to Moody’s lowering Kansas bond rating, which in turn will cost Kansas taxpayers more for needed capital spending in the public sector.

As of July, Kansas was one of only 5 states to LOSE employment, despite Kansas Republicans saying tax cuts would increase employment. In fact, the exact opposite happened. Businesses are wary of moving into Kansas now, precisely because of the lowered bond rating, and future increased taxes, that fact portends. Creating more poverty in Kansas through a lack of job growth simply means less revenue in taxes from lower income groups and higher taxes for business and/or higher income groups, to come. Revenues have to increase, and you can’t get taxes from the unemployed and bankrupt.

Posted by: David R Remer at October 2, 2014 4:24 PM
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