Friday, June 12, 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, Kansas GOP to feature noted hate group at Republican Expo, Governor Kelly announces new statewide COVID-19 testing strategy, Governor Laura Kelly signs compromise COVID-19 bill to continue protecting our communities, Kansas campaign updates, Trump’s inadequate response to COVID-19, and In Memoriam.

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SUNFLOWER SHOWCASE: THIS WEEK

Join us this Wednesday as we host State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau (SD-29), State Representative Jim Ward (HD-86), State Senator Mary Ware (SD-25), and State House Candidate Matt Fox (HD-87) for our weekly virtual meet-and-greet event. We’re offering a limited time deal for the remaining seven events – if you sign up now, you’ll receive access to every Sunflower Showcase event for a discounted price of $60. You can sign up for the Sunflower Showcase HERE. We hope to see you there!

KANSAS GOP TO FEATURE NOTED HATE GROUP AT REPUBLICAN EXPO

What’s happening?

The Dodge City Republican Expo organized by the Kansas Republican Party’s First Congressional District will feature the Vice President of Understanding the Threat, a noted anti-Islamic extremist hate group, as its keynote speaker later this month. Scheduled guests include U.S. Senate candidates Roger Marshall, Kris Kobach and Dave Lindstrom, along with KS-01 candidates Bill Clifford and Tracey Mann.

Established by disgraced FBI agent John Guandolo, the Dallas-based organization has been classified as an anti-muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Understanding the Threat President John Guandolo has previously made headlines for religiously profiling a Southwest Airlines employee, calling on Donald Trump to execute John Brennan, Jim Comey and other government officials for treason and assaulting a Minnesota sheriff for questioning his discriminatory claims.

In response to the Kansas GOP featuring hateful, inflammatory and Islamophobic rhetoric, Kansas Democratic Party officials released the following statement. Sign our petition against Islamophobia and discrimination of any kind here

GOVERNOR KELLY ANNOUNCES NEW STATEWIDE COVID-19 TESTING STRATEGY

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has set a goal of testing 60,000 residents each month — approximately 2 percent of the state’s population— for the coronavirus as life returns to a semblance of normal across the state.

GOVERNOR LAURA KELLY SIGNS COMPROMISE COVID-19 BILL TO CONTINUE PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a COVID-19 bill that allocates more than $1.25 billion in federal aid and gives county officials more emergency powers.

(Kansas City Star) – The final product allowed her to maintain control over the federal money from Congress’ coronavirus relief legislation, which now requires the signoff of the State Finance Council. The bill Kelly vetoed would have handed that control to the Republican-dominated Legislature and removed her from the process completely. The bill she signed maintains her current executive orders through September, rather than seeing them expire immediately. Perhaps most important, even the proverbial pills hardest to swallow within the legislation will all sunset in January.

KANSAS CAMPAIGN UPDATES

U.S. Senate – What’s happening?

(Roll Call) – With the passing of last week’s filing deadline, we can finally say it: Mike Pompeo is not running for Senate, and Republicans are in danger of losing a seat in Kansas.

(Hutchinson News) – Bollier said she is for the Second Amendment, but she would like to see some “commonsense” changes to gun laws, including changing background checks.

As for broadband, she like several other candidates, wants the federal government to bring more broadband to the state, especially in rural Kansas. She commended President Donald Trump for recently helping to bring broadband to rural Kansas and Oklahoma.

Bollier told attendees at her virtual bus stop that she is in support of immigration reform, expanding Medicaid, women’s autonomy and health care reform. As a physician, she has looked into what other countries are doing with their health care. She is especially interested in what Germany is doing with prescription drug reform. Although she said she would like to lower prices, she said we need incentives for development, warning the group that it is not just about money.

(Wichita Eagle) – Opponents of Kris Kobach, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and vocal opponent of illegal immigration, showed up at a McPherson coffee shop Saturday to voice concerns about the former Kansas Secretary of State’s representation of minorities if he’s elected, according to attendees.

KS-02 – What’s happening?

(Bloomberg) – Michelle De La Isla, Mayor of Topeka, Kansas, discusses how her community is “heartbroken”over the death of George Floyd. She says people need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations about race and that the disenfranchised must get out and vote.

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins, narrowly elected in 2018 with President Donald Trump’s blessing and by pledging to help “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., responded to a Republican primary challenge with a $400,000 onslaught of taxpayer-funded communications during a six-month period, a new federal report shows.

(Associated Press) – The incumbent’s [Steve Watkins] political troubles are tied largely to missteps and problems unrelated to policy, including rampant social media rumors late last fall that he would resign. The local district attorney in Topeka is investigating whether Watkins violated state election laws by listing a box at a UPS Inc. store as his residence on a voter registration form.

KS-03 – What’s happening?

(KSHB) –  Speaking at the protest outside City Hall, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat, said, “The pain and anger we’re seeing is right and it’s just and that we need to listen. Non-black people need to listen. Elected people to listen.”

(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.

KS-04 – What’s happening?

(Leavenworth Times) – Around 2 to 300 people peacefully participated in the Black Lives Matter march, Saturday to protest racism and police brutality against blacks…

Laura Lombard, a Democrat running for the fourth district U.S. congressional seat against Rep. Ron Estes, told the crowd, “We know that racism is an endemic problem in our society. We know that along with coronavirus, racism is one of the most contagious and deadly diseases we have. This year while we battle coronavirus, let’s also let this be the year that we battle racism.”

Lombard told the crowd to elect people who are going to help in the effort to fight racism and she called on the crowd to challenge friends or relatives who say racist things.

TRUMP’S INADEQUATE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

What’s happening?

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpass the two million milestone, Trump continues to fail to respond to the pandemic. Instead, he’s banking on the American people to forget about the pandemic, distracting us with other false narratives, even as unemployment figures remain sky high and families are still sick and hurting.

After Trump pressured states to re-open prematurely, twelve states have now seen resurgences in the number of people infected with COVID-19, stretching hospitals (and doctors and nurses) to the limits. With the crisis worsening once again, Trump’s only game plan isn’t to help us recover – it’s to help himself.

IN MEMORIAM

The KDP sends our deepest condolences to the friends & family of Carl Brewer, the former mayor of Wichita, Kansas who passed away this morning. The KDP is enormously grateful to have benefited from Mayor Brewer’s leadership and know his memory will live on through his friends and family.

Onward,
KDP Team

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