Friday, March 13, 2020

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? COVID-19 Precautions, Kansans demand bipartisanship to pass Medicaid Expansion, the KDP aims to end Republican Supermajority, Laura Lombard hopes to unseat Ron Estes in KS-04, proposal would increase funding for top Republicans, Watkins’ under investigation for campaign contributions, Super Tuesday II Results and more.

Furthermore, the KDP Team is releasing a 2020 Primary Toolkit for Democrats across Kansas! Please feel free to utilize the included resources to inform others about important dates and deadlines concerning the upcoming primary election. We will update the drive as we produce more graphics and informational content.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

What’s happening?

Governor Laura Kelly has issued an emergency declaration for the State of Kansas in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

Governor Laura Kelly: Our state is well prepared. With this emergency declaration we can activate our response and coordinate fully. This is part of the process and will make access to important resources more accessible. We continue to work closely with our local, state and federal partners.

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath and believe you may have had contact or have had contact with someone with a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider.

You may also call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) today Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information about COVID-19, visit KDHE’s website and Frequently Asked Questions at kdheks.gov/coronavirus/ and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

(Hawver’s Capitol Report Flash #56) – The House this morning, fearing that the COVID-19 disease may shorten the legislative session, passed 116-0 to the Senate a resolution that will give Gov. Laura Kelly extensive authority to deal with the disease outbreak statewide, including assisting local units of government response to the disease and moving money around within the budget for that purpose.

KANSANS DEMAND BIPARTISANSHIP TO PASS MEDICAID EXPANSION

What’s happening?

(The Topeka Capital-Journal) – Repeated polling has shown the vast majority of Kansas support expanding the insurance program that covers those with low incomes. Repeated studies show that such coverage improves health outcomes across the board. Some 150,000 Kansans would benefit.

Bipartisanship is not a dirty word. Indeed, it is what the people of Kansas deserve and expect. Working across the aisle shouldn’t be a rare exception. It should be the rule in making a state that does the best for all of its residents, not just voters in the Republican primary.

WHAT KANSAS DEMS WANT? JUST ONE MORE VOTE TO END A DECADE OF REPUBLICAN SUPERMAJORITY

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star) – After boosting their numbers in the Kansas Legislature over the past four years, Democrats in 2020 want to deliver on their longtime goal of ending Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate.

Democrats need to pick up just one seat in the House to take Republicans under the 84-vote threshold needed to override vetoes. The Senate is a taller order, where Democrats need three additional seats to end the GOP supermajority.

DEMOCRAT LAURA LOMBARD LAUNCHES BID FOR CONGRESS

What’s happening?

(The Wichita Eagle) – Democrat Laura Lombard announced her campaign for Congress on Saturday, condemning Republican Rep. Ron Estes as a ‘yes man’ for President Donald Trump.

Lombard is the first Democrat to enter the race for Kansas’s 4th congressional district, which includes Wichita and south central Kansas. Her entry means Democratic women are now running for every U.S. House and Senate seat in the state.

Lombard: We need vocal advocates in Congress who will fight for our families and our democracy, not representatives who will rubber stamp the corrupt, racism and authoritarianism of the cult of Trump.

PROPOSAL WOULD INCREASE FUNDING FOR TOP REPUBLICANS 

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) – Kansas legislative leaders’ offices would see an 11% increase in their funding under a proposal that cleared committee Monday, and almost all of the new dollars would go to top Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D – Topeka): It couldn’t come at a worse time, in case we have to spend money on the public health crisis because of the coronavirus.

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer (D – Wichita): I don’t think that’s the taxpayers’ priority. 

U.S. REP. STEVE WATKINS’ DAD ALLEGEDLY MADE ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – A campaign-finance investigation launched into alleged “straw-man” donations by the father of U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, of Kansas, continues amid filing of a new complaint regarding possible voter fraud by the congressman for listing a false home address on voting documents.

The news outlet Politico first reported the Federal Election Commission inquiry into whether Steve Watkins Sr., a Topeka physician, broke the law by giving cash to other people so they could donate to Watkins’ successful campaign for Congress in 2018.

SUPER TUESDAY II RESULTS

(The New York Times) – Replicating the combination of voters that delivered him broad victories a week ago on Super Tuesday, Mr. Biden won Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi with overwhelming support from African-Americans and with large margins among suburban and rural white voters.