Friday, June 5, 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? Sunflower Showcase update, Governor Kelly secures bipartisan relief bill to protect Kansans from COVID-19, Attorney General Derek Schmidt to appeal Kris Kobach’s racist voter suppression law to SCOTUS, GOP members in the Kansas Legislature reject a respected judge for doing his job, Democrats in the Kansas Legislature call for change, WSU cancels Ivanka Trump’s commencement speech, Kansas campaign updates, and Trump’s inadequate response to COVID-19 worsens as he distracts himself even further.

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SUNFLOWER SHOWCASE: THIS WEEK

Join us this Wednesday as we host KS-01 Candidate Christy Davis, State Senate Candidate Larry Dreiling (SD-40), and Former State Representative and Candidate Eber Phelps (HD-111) for our weekly virtual meet-and-greet event. We’re offering a limited time deal for the first ten events – if you sign up now, you’ll receive access to every Sunflower Showcase event for a discounted price of $70. You can sign up for the Sunflower Showcase HERE. We hope to see you there!

GOVERNOR LAURA KELLY SECURES BIPARTISAN RELIEF BILL TO PROTECT KANSANS FROM COVID-19

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – In a statement, Kelly said she would sign the bipartisan bill because it would help communities struggling with the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

“While there are parts of this legislation that I oppose, HB 2016 provides the tools and resources for Kansas families, communities and businesses to begin the path to economic recovery,” she said. “I will sign this legislation when it comes to my desk, and will continue to honor my commitment to work across the aisle and move our state forward.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL DEREK SCHMIDT TO APPEAL KRIS KOBACH’S RACIST VOTER SUPPRESSION LAW TO SCOTUS

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – With protests against police brutality toward people of color going on across the country, what a perfect time to try and revivify former Kansas secretary of state and Republican U.S Senate candidate Kris Kobach’s racist proof-of-citizenship voter registration law.

Perfect, that is, if Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s purpose is to spare no effort to reinforce his party’s obsession with and hostility toward the people whose work in many essential jobs, including in nursing homes and the meatpacking industry, we could not do without. In the middle of a global pandemic is also a perfect time to remind people how hard the Kansas GOP has worked at voter suppression, and how steadfastly they’ve fought any proposal that would make it easier for anyone to cast a ballot.

GOP MEMBERS IN KANSAS LEGISLATURE REJECT RESPECTED JUDGE FOR DOING HIS JOB

What’s happening?

(Lawrence World-Journal) – Kelly said that Folsom, 39, is a fifth-generation Kansan who is highly qualified to serve on the Court of Appeals. She said Folsom has appealed more than 200 cases, and that even some people on the Court of Appeals would say he’s had more experience than them.

“To let him become the collateral damage in your political games is absolutely wrong,” Kelly said. “The Legislature needs to think long and hard about what they just did.”

(Kansas City Star) – When the governor nominated Folsom, who is from Tonganoxie and also teaches at KU Law, he said, “I am committed to the law and to applying the law as the Legislature writes it without prejudice or bias. But my passion for the law goes beyond legal reasoning or words on a page — the law is a real thing that has the capacity to change lives, for better or worse. As a Court of Appeals judge, I will always apply the law fairly and uniformly, never forgetting that the law is ultimately about people and our obligations to our fellow citizens.”

DEMOCRATS IN KSLEG CALL FOR CHANGE

What’s happening?

(KSNT) Representative Rui Xu, D-Westwood, introduced a resolution that condemns police brutality, excessive use of force and the use of militarized force in the United States, specifically against people of color.

Under Rep. Holscher’s bill, records of police brutality or excessive use of force would be open to the public once the investigation is closed. The bill would also prevent officers who were fired, resigned or retired due to excessive use of force from working for another police department in the state.

“What we see happening is often people get shuffled around where they’ve had one issue at one place then they go to a different place,” explained Holscher.

WSU CANCELS IVANKA TRUMP COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

What’s happening?

(The Wichita Eagle) – Pressure was on the Wichita State administration after Jennifer Ray, associate professor of photo media, authored a scathing open letter asking the university to cancel Trump. It circulated on social media quickly and had 487 signatures from concerned faculty, students and alumni by 11 p.m.

“Ivanka Trump, obviously, represents her father’s administration as one of his closest advisors,” Ray wrote. “To many Americans, that administration has come to signify the worst of our country, particularly in its recent actions toward those peacefully protesting against racist police brutality. This is not about politics and policy; some of the sharpest critiques of President Trump’s actions come from prominent members of his own party, from figures like former Defense Secretary James Mattis and President George W. Bush.”

KANSAS CAMPAIGN UPDATES

U.S. Senate – What’s happening?

(Ottawa Herald) – Bollier should be given the chance to represent all Kansans, not just the few, and she has the qualifications to do so. Rep. Robert Marshall is struggling in the polls against extremist Kris Kobach. But even if Marshall should somehow prevail, do we really want someone who is willing to misuse a drug like hydroxchloroquine just because he wants to impress President Trump?

(Daily Kos) – “This Daily Kos/Civiqs poll brings hopeful news for Kansas Democrats,” said Carolyn Fiddler, communications director for Daily Kos. “Voters have already rejected Kris Kobach in favor of a Democrat once by electing Laura Kelly governor in 2018. Kobach’s current 9-point lead over his strongest competitor suggests that Kansans will again have the opportunity to spurn this divisive Republican in November and elect Democrat Barbara Bollier to the U.S. Senate.”

KS-02 – What’s happening?

(WIBW) – Mayor Michelle De La Isla had praise for those involved with the Black Out/Black Lives Matter protest held in downtown Topeka Monday night.

“I am extremely proud of the young people that set that event together it was all about love, solidarity and unity and we were able to walk together,” she said Tuesday. “People expressed their emotions and it was a wonderful display of what this community is all about which is unity, we’re the home of Brown v. Board and we’ll still stand up for what is right.”

(Kansas City Star) – Dennis Taylor, a former Brownback cabinet official, joined the Republican race for Kansas’ 2nd congressional district on Monday, promising a more moderate alternative to incumbent Rep. Steve Watkins and challenger Jake LaTurner.

At the same time, former state Rep. Tom Love jumped into the large Republican field fighting to take on Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids in the 3rd congressional district.

The late entry of the two men, just before the noon Monday filing deadlinecould further fracture the GOP primary electorate while Democrats build support for their favored candidates in both races.

KS-03 – What’s happening?

(Shawnee Mission Post) – “I also think that we have a lot more work to do,” Davids added. “I think that at the end of the day, we need to provide the resources and mechanisms, for whether it’s vote by mail, absentee voting, early voting with tons of precautions. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that people can freely exercise their right to vote and do it in a safe way.”

(Wyandotte Daily) – Rep. Davids said she appreciated the insight of looking past the anger, and seeing pain.

“There’s a lot of deep wounds in this country that we haven’t seen healed in the long history we’ve got in this country,” she said.

Rep. Davids said she also has been concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate impact on the black community and communities of color.

TRUMP’S INADEQUATE AND CHAOTIC REPONSE TO COVID-19

What’s happening?

Distracted with his attacks on peaceful protesters, photo-ops, and his obsession with Hydroxychloroquine, Trump continues to fail to address the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Americans sicker and poorer as we hit a grim milestone of 110,000 deaths this week.

By running away from science and reality, Trump is responsible for massive failures to control hospital occupancy rates and infection numbers, all while exacerbating inequities in our country and actively making American more susceptible to COVID-19. We’re all paying the price of the Trump presidency.

Onward,

KDP Team

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