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Campaign quarrel brews over L' word
Kansas City Star ^ | 8/23/04 | Brad Cooper

Posted on 08/23/2004 6:43:17 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur

In the Republican primary in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, Kris Kobach portrayed former Navy fighter pilot Adam Taff as a raging liberal who supported the “radical gay rights agenda.”

In the general election, Kobach wants to portray Democratic U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore as a raging liberal who could vote against something as American as the Boy Scouts.

It's the kind of campaign that Kobach has promised and what some are expecting as he tries to oust Moore from the seat he has held since 1998.

“I think the vast majority of voters do not realize how radically liberal he has been voting in Congress,” Kobach said of Moore. “If I can succeed in showing what the votes are, those votes will speak for themselves.”

The Moore campaign isn't ready to let Kobach loosely use terms like “liberal” and “radical” to describe the congressman's voting record.

Moore has said he wants to focus on issues such as affordable health care, education, national security and the budget deficit, which is reaching new heights at a time when Kobach is advocating tax cuts.

Kobach lists his major campaign themes as cutting taxes, banning same-sex marriage, cracking down on illegal immigration, and placing limits on civil lawsuits.

Moore campaign manager Julie Merz said the congressman's record should win over voters when it is compared with Kobach's “pretty narrow ideological agenda.”

“There are too many people in the 3rd District who have met Dennis Moore or written a letter to his office and gotten a prompt reply,” Merz said.

“The word is out that Dennis does a good job, that he is moderate, that he is an authentic guy that people can relate to. There are just so many people out there who aren't going to buy Kris' distortions because they know they're not true from personal, firsthand experience.”

Neither campaign has fully engaged the other yet and may not until after the Republican National Convention. But Kobach started running television ads Friday, and Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to visit Overland Park on Tuesday to campaign for Kobach.

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois on Saturday attended an Overland Park Republican rally where Moore's record on business issues was highlighted.

Martha Kropf, a political science professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said Moore's best strategy is to stay above the fray without letting Kobach set the campaign agenda, as he did in the primary.

“Kobach has excited a lot of people,” Kropf said. “He's a really good candidate. That may mean Dennis Moore just can't ignore him, but he also can't let Kobach determine all the issues that are talked about.”

Moore should stand on his own record, talk about what he has done for the district, and lure Kobach into talking about his conservative platform, Kropf said.

“I think the more Kobach tells people how conservative he is, it's possible that could work against him,” she said.

An analysis using Votetracker.com, a private, for-profit nonpartisan database service, shows that Moore has voted with President Bush 47.3 percent of the time during the 108th Congress in 2003-04.

When a majority of Republicans have voted for an issue, Moore has sided with them about 56 percent of the time, according to the Votetracker analysis. When a majority of Democrats have voted for an issue, he has voted with them about 93 percent of the time.

Those who know Kobach expect the UMKC law professor to comb Moore's legislative record for any nugget that can be used against the incumbent.

The national Republican Party is helping. It has already sent out press releases showing Moore's “bad votes” on education, defense, taxes and health care.

Although Moore enjoys a fund-raising advantage as an incumbent, he also has a voting record that can be manufactured into campaign material, said David Schlosser, who managed Republican Greg Musil's unsuccessful bid for the 3rd District seat in 2000.

“It ain't rocket science, but there is an art to doing it,” Schlosser said. “There are lots and lots of procedural votes that could let you paint a really ugly picture that might not necessarily be accurate in context.”

Kobach has already dug deep to find a vote that he says is an indication that Moore is against the Boy Scouts. The vote came in the form of an amendment to the District of Columbia appropriations bill in 2001.

The amendment was intended to stop the district from enforcing a ruling by the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights, which ordered the Scouts to reinstate two gay leaders and pay them $50,000 each in damages.

Moore voted against the amendment, which passed 262-152. Kobach mentioned the vote on radio one day after he was declared the winner of the Republican primary.

Merz dismissed Kobach's claim: “I think people know better. Dennis Moore isn't against the Boy Scouts.”


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: congress; elections; kriskobach; liberals
Kobach ran his first commercial here recently, and the major theme was the need for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That may appeal to his base but it's a darned funny way of reaching out to moderates and independents. I can think of other topics that would attract them more.

On a related note, we had a GOP Unity show here after the results of the primary was announced. Taff said he supported Kobach and swore he would do everything possible to help him win...and then left town on a belated honeymoon for a couple of weeks. Some of the moderate party leadership were hemming and hawing after the primary as well. Looks like the Kansas GOP is still warring with itself, and that doesn't bode well for Kobach. I'm still expecting another two years of Moore.

1 posted on 08/23/2004 6:43:18 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
Kobach wants to portray Democratic U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore as a raging liberal who could vote against something as American as the Boy Scouts.

Besides all Moore does is go around and steal lupins for the poor.

2 posted on 08/23/2004 6:46:14 AM PDT by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: dfwgator

LOL! "Have some dear, it will make you well."


3 posted on 08/23/2004 6:48:17 AM PDT by rabidralph (Arm Tibet!)
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To: rabidralph

"This redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought."


4 posted on 08/23/2004 6:49:11 AM PDT by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: dfwgator
This is the district that gave us Jan Meyers for 12 years. My guess is Moore is a shoo-in, especially since he comes from Johnson County, which is the most Republican part of the district.
5 posted on 08/23/2004 6:53:19 AM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
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To: Non-Sequitur
That may appeal to his base but it's a darned funny way of reaching out to moderates and independents. I can think of other topics that would attract them more.

I grew up in the 3rd district and my lawyer works for Moore's old firm. Kobach's ad is a very starting point and IS in fact the type of issue that will win over "moderates" in the 3rd district.

6 posted on 08/23/2004 6:53:30 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: Non-Sequitur
Kobach ran his first commercial here recently, and the major theme was the need for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That may appeal to his base but it's a darned funny way of reaching out to moderates and independents. I can think of other topics that would attract them more.

HMM Is Kansas MORE or LESS Conservative than Missouri?

73% of Missouri voters just voted to Ban Gay Marriage. If Kansas voters tend to be more Conservative than Missouri voters, then this is a winning issue for Kobach and an excellent way to get swing voters.

7 posted on 08/23/2004 6:58:38 AM PDT by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: John Robinson

This is the type of article that I would like to refer back to after the November election, just to see what happened and who won. I'm sure I will completely forget about it by then, however (unless I write myself a note). It would be nice if account holders here at FR could place a "timer" on a bookmarked article which would send an automatic ((ping)) at some designated day or time in the future. For example, I would bookmark this article and set a "timer" on it so that I would automatically be pinged back to the article two days after the election.

Is something like this "timer" idea do-able as a possible future upgrade, or am I talking programming nightmare here? Thanks.


8 posted on 08/23/2004 7:00:22 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Non-Sequitur

I don't know about the liberals in that part of the country, but around here you don't bother calling them liberals - they're communists. Nothing more, nothing less, just communists. I guess ours are "out of the closet".

Makes them much easier to ID when necessary in the future.


9 posted on 08/23/2004 7:02:15 AM PDT by datura (The Difference Between a Democrat and a Communist Is????)
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To: Non-Sequitur

We do know that the campaign manager for Rob Boyer's unsuccessful bid to oust Kay O'Connor now has a Dennis Moore sign in his yard.

I'm going to be optimistic. Kris Kobach will give Dennis Moore a fight that will, at the very least, be fun to watch.


10 posted on 08/23/2004 7:20:29 AM PDT by axel f
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To: commish

If a vote were held on an amendment to the Kansas Constitution to ban gay marriage I would expect it to pass with a margin similar to the margin in Kansas. Having said that, I think that it is far behind topics like the economy and taxes and the war and education in importance to the average 3rd District voter, especially independents and moderate Republicans, so I'm surprised that he chose to start with it. For him to make it the centerpiece of his legislative goals if elected makes no sense at all.


11 posted on 08/23/2004 7:23:18 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Jefferson Davis - the first 'selected, not elected' president.)
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To: commish
If a vote were held on an amendment to the Kansas Constitution to ban gay marriage I would expect it to pass with a margin similar to the margin in Kansas.

Make that "...margin in Missouri".

12 posted on 08/23/2004 7:24:52 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Jefferson Davis - the first 'selected, not elected' president.)
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To: Non-Sequitur
In the Republican primary in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, Kris Kobach portrayed former Navy fighter pilot Adam Taff as a raging liberal who supported the “radical gay rights agenda.”

In the general election, Kobach wants to portray Democratic U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore as a raging liberal who could vote against something as American as the Boy Scouts.

Wouldn't that make them more "flaming liberals" than "raging?"

13 posted on 08/23/2004 8:44:32 AM PDT by SpinyNorman (Tunnel vision: the worldview liberals get with their heads firmly positioned up their keesters.)
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