The difference between the incumbents’ and their challengers’ messages is that the challengers are using documented facts on issues of taxes, public school funding, and stealing from KDOT to the detriment of our roads and highways. In contrast, the incumbents will be doing everything possible to avoid their voting records. Why do some incumbents avoid sharing their voting record? They certainly do not want to remind voters of their record of helping Governor Brownback, the least popular Governor in the country, carry out his totally failed experiment. The first time these misleading postcards had significant influence was in the 2012 Kansas Republican primaries. The tactic was used again in both the primary and the general election of 2014. These misleading messages are totally out of sync with Kansas values but can be effective if you and others don’t speak up when it happens by correctly defending quality candidates possessing honest records of solid public service and a desire to solve problems.
That really nice candidate who you likely met at a meeting or knocking on your door, the one who is willing to stand up to the special interests of the Governor and his legislative cronies, is suddenly portrayed as the best friend of Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and, of course, Hillary Clinton. The fact is, there is no connection between these three and any of the legislative candidates being attacked. This scheme is a last ditch effort to save incumbent legislators who voted with the Governor 90% of the time or maybe even more. In addition to the trash being spread about legislative candidates, similar false attacks will be issued against the qualified Judges and Justices of the Kansas Judicial Branch as well, in an attempt to derail the critical Judicial Retention votes that are on the ballot this year.
So what can you do? Spread the word that any card linking state-level candidates to Obama and Clinton are just distractions, that many of these attack mailers contain information that is simply not true, and that the incumbent doesn’t want to campaign on issues—and certainly not on his or her voting record. For many races, whether this push-back happens or not could be the difference between an incumbent being reelected or the challenger getting a new opportunity to really represent the public’s best interests.