Friday, April 3, 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? A 2020 Primary update, Legislators must pass Medicaid expansion in Kansas ASAP, Sedgwick County Commissioner Board votes to have abortion procedures deemed as “non-essential,” the latest on the KS Senate Race, Trump’s inadequate and chaotic response to COVID-19, this week’s COVID-19 update, our BKC progress and upcoming virtual training opportunities!

The KDP Team has released 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.

2020 PRIMARY UPDATE

On March 30th, we mailed 2020 Primary ballots to all registered Kansas Democrats! For a complete timeline of the vote-by-mail schedule, check out this one-pager. Make sure you check in with your networks to make sure they fill out their ballots and meet the “received by” deadline of May 2, 2020.

LEGISLATORS MUST PASS MEDICAID EXPANSION IN KANSAS ASAP 

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star) – Dodge is one of roughly 130,000 Kansans and 200,000 Missourians who would be covered by Medicaid if their states had expanded eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The change would cover adults who make up to 138% of the federal poverty line — an income of a little more than $17,600 for a single adult, or $42,300 for a family of five like Dodge’s.

…The decision to pass up billions in federal aid since 2014 will make coping with the novel coronavirus even more costly than anticipated, advocates contend. It could also put the insured at greater risk, as those without health coverage remain untreated and accelerate the spread of the virus.

(The Leavenworth Times, Editorial Advisory Board) – When the Kansas Legislature comes back to Topeka, they’ll undoubtedly take up the topic of aid to citizens impacted by our current circumstances. Expanding Medicaid is a critical need they must address, and every Republican leader who has stood in the way of passing the bill should stand down.

As the numbers of Kansans laid off from their jobs continue to skyrocket, the failure of the Legislature to expand Medicaid presents an even grimmer reality for maintaining a healthy populace.

SEDGWICK COUNTY COMMISSIONER BOARD VOTES TO HAVE ABORTION PROCEDURES DEEMED AS “NON-ESSENTIAL DURING COVID-19; GOV. KELLY DISMISSES REQUEST

(Associated Press) – Sedgwick County commissioners voted Wednesday to approve a recommendation to restrict abortion clinics to only essential medical procedures during the coronavirus pandemic, a move designed to stop abortions at the Trust Women Wichita Clinic.

Governor Laura Kelly: Women’s reproductive health is considered an essential need and health care clinics will fall under that category.

Susan Wagle (R, Wichita) and U.S. Senate Candidate: While high-risk screenings and all elective procedures throughout the state are being canceled and doctor’s offices are struggling to survive, why should an elective abortion be an exception? Personal protective equipment is in short supply during this pandemic. Making an exception for an elective abortion is inexcusable.

THE LATEST ON THE KS SENATE RACE

What’s happening?

Kris Kobach’s fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic is his latest attempt to mislead Kansas voters to benefit his own racist agenda:

Kris Kobach: Over 12,000 Chinese nationals snuck across the border into the United States last year…No checks. No visas. No health screening. In times of global pandemic, borders matter.

When asked if Medicaid expansion would have made it easier for low-income Kansans to receive affordable health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Roger Marshall (KS-02): Medicaid expansion would have never helped. 

Susan Wagle on Kansas women’s access to health care during COVID-19:

Susan Wagle (R, Wichita) and U.S. Senate Candidate: While high-risk screenings and all elective procedures throughout the state are being canceled and doctor’s offices are struggling to survive, why should an elective abortion be an exception? Personal protective equipment is in short supply during this pandemic. Making an exception for an elective abortion is inexcusable.

(The Kansas City Star) – Kansas businessman Bob Hamilton has entered the crowded race for U.S. Senate in Kansas, launching his candidacy at a time when campaign events are on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

He first announced his candidacy to The Wall Street Journal Monday. The Journal story notes that Hamilton is being advised by Axiom Strategies, a Kansas City-based firm owned by Jeff Roe, a longtime Republican operative who ran Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.

TRUMP’S INADEQUATE AND CHAOTIC REPONSE TO COVID-19

What’s happening?

For months, Trump ignored warnings and failed to prepare or take decisive action to combat the coronavirus. His failed response has worsened a crisis that has left workers losing their jobs at an unprecedented pace, turned hospitals into war zones, and created severe shortages of medical supplies.

Trump’s health care agenda is worsening the crisis. Trump is refusing to reopen enrollment in the ACA’s marketplace, at a time when Americans need health care more than ever, and millions of unemployed workers may not be able to get the care they need.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

What’s happening?

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.

BKC CAMPAIGN UPDATE

The KDP is now 45% closer to achieving our ambitious goal to add 100 BKC members to our team! Every new BKC member helps us to deliver our message in new and accessible ways: virtual organizing, at-home text banks, webinars focused on writing letters to the editor. Be sure to share this link with your network to help us reach our goal and build the best coordinated campaign Kansas has ever seen in 2020!

UPCOMING VIRTUAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES:

The DNC and ASDC Best Practices Institute has announced the launch of their 2020 Train the Trainer (T3) Webinar Training Program! T3 is a free, 100% virtual, six-week, twelve-part webinar course, covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning to expand the skills of progressive activists and volunteers. T3 trainings are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET, from April 7, through May 14. The deadline to register is Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

The Team Blue Pipeline Program (TBPP) has launched webinar trainings dedicated to building organizational stability during the time of social distancing. These trainings are tailored for Democratic Party volunteers and local Democratic organizations, but all are welcome to attend! All trainings occur at 4:00 pm ET.

In Memorial

Former Rep. Richard Alldritt, 73, D-Harper, died March 20. Rep. Alldritt served in the House from 1993 to 2001.

Onward,
KDP Team