As discussed in a recent post, I am getting more interested in Kansas at the moment, and whether the Moderate Republicans can capitalise on the current anger against Brownback.
I had a wide range of questions when I looked at Kansas, including:
Who are the Moderate Republicans in the State House, and how many are there ? How many gains / losses did they make in the primary ? And is there (mathematically at least) a chance of a Moderate Coalition if there are enough Dems and Moderate GOP.
NOTE: I am not advocating that Kansas voters should vote for Moderate Republicans, by all means please vote for Paul Davis and the Dems ! This diary is essentially my research into trying to understand the influence of the Moderate Republicans in the State House, given so many veteran Moderates support the three Dems running for Gov, Lt Gov and SoS.
So for those that would fall asleep reading the long version, the Kansas State House of Representatives is 125 strong. This means you need 63 for a Majority. There are 32 Dems in the current State House, and you would need 31 GOP Moderates to form a Moderate Coalition (This may not be realistic, but just trying to see what vague possibility might exist). There are currently at a fairly broad definition of Moderate, around 18 Moderates, including a recent Dem who switched parties. Although there are a several Conservative Republicans who are being targeted for not being Koch Drones who could theoretically vote for a Moderate Speaker, they would not be useful in winding back too much legislation I would have thought.
I cant see any Moderate Republicans that lost their primary. The one Moderate who retired, Vern Swanson, has his wife running in his place, who won the GOP primary.
The Moderates have picked up an Open Obama seat, with Linda Gallagher winning the 23rd (or the Dems will win it) and the open 125th seat in the South Western corner of the State. The Moderates also defeated the Conservative Incumbent Josh Powell to claim the 50th District.
Therefore there should be 21 Moderate Republicans after the elections (assuming the Moderates win their races). So combined if the Dems hold their number they will have 53, 10 short of a majority.
So it could be possible that Ray Merrick gets deposed as Speaker... but I think we will need to win those three key Statewide races, and the Dems need to win 10 seats off Conservative Republicans !
By the way I should mention that while there have been a few DKE diaries on the State Senate here and here by ptgkc and here by KingofSpades, there have been none on the State House, which I need to correct, to help complete this Ready Reckoner of State Legislature diaries... Apologies for the cross promotion !
Here is the overall map of the House of Representatives, although the Urban Districts are a bit hard to see. Don't forget to check Stephen Wolf's Legislative Districts Map for the details of how well President Obama did in 2012 as well as the incumbents margin of victory.
Historically it seems that the Moderates in recent years have been far more successful in the State Senate than the State House which they havent controlled for very long periods of time. And it has been even longer since the Dems controlled the House (1992 Cycle). Unfortunately there did not seem to be a list of Moderates vs Conservatives that I could just look at.
I though that the HB 2506 Bill was a good start to identify the Moderate Republicans (or at least sane establishment republicans) This bill prompted the teachers union recently to sue the state, because it rolled in provisions making it easier to sack teachers into the appropriations bill. While it might not be perfect whoever voted for the bill is likely pretty conservative given it only won 63 - 57 with 5 not voting (3 GOP and 2 Dems).
The table below looks at the voting records of the GOP who voted no on HB 2506, and I have also put in there for those that voted Nay or Did Not Vote for the bill, their votes on HB-2453 and HB-2014. As a guide to who is conservative, it appears that there were 30 House Bills for the last cycle. Conservative House Speaker Ray Merrick voted Nay only three time, twice for gaming legislation, while House Majority Leader Gene Vickrey voted Nay on twice. Essentially Voting Nay 2 - 4 times means that the Republican is Koch Drone, with 4 to 6 times means that the Republican is Very Conservative and likely COC endorsed. HB-2453 is basically just an anti-gay bill, which passed the House, indicating that the house is a bunch of Kochs, fortunately the newly Conservative State Senate recognized that they should not take up the bill, so thankfully it has died (for the moment at least). Whereas HB-2014 was to repeal Gov. Sebelius's Renewable Energy Standard, a bill very popular in the Kock household but very unpopular with the people. It was defeated, a rare win for the good guys, and part of the reason why Gov. Brownback could well be defeated by Paul Davis.
Kansas State House - Looking for Moderate Republicans - Voting
|HD||Name||General Voting Patterns||HB 2506 Education||HB 2453 Religious||HB 2014 Renewable|
|7||Richard Proehl||23 Yays / 6 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|11||Jim Kelly||22 Yeas / 8 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|13||Larry Hibbard||16 Yeas / 14 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|19||Stephanie Clayton||4 Yeas / 26 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|21||Barbara Boiler||2 Yeas / 28 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|25||Melissa Rooker||4 Yeas / 26 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|26||Larry Campbell||20 Yeas / 7 Nays / 3 DNV||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|45||Tom Sloan||9 Yeas / 20 Nays / 1 DNV||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|47||Ramon Gonzalez Jnr||24 Yeas / 6 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|59||Blaine Finch||11 Yeas / 13 Nays / 6 DNV||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|60||Don Hill||8 Yeas / 21 Nays / 1 DNV||DNV||Nay||Nay|
|64||Vern Swanson||16 Yeas / 14 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|67||Tom Phillips||17 Yeas / 13 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|68||Tom Moxley||13 Yeas / 17 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|71||Diana Dierks||15 Yeas / 15 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|74||Don Schroder||20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 2 DNV||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|98||Steven Anthimedes||6 Yeas / 4 Nays / 1 DNV||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|102||Jan Pauls||13 Yeas / 17 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|104||Steven Becker||14 Yeas / 16 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|107||Susan Concannon||20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 1 DNV||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|111||Sue Boldra||25 Yeas / 5 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|112||John Edmonds||18 Yeas / 11 Nays / 1 DNV||Nay||Yea||Yea|
|117||John Ewy||24 Yeas / 6 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
|118||Don Hineman||15 Yeas / 15 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|122||Russ Jennings||21 Yeas / 9 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|123||John Doll||13 Yeas / 17 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|124||Stephen Alford||22 Yeas / 8 Nays||Nay||Nay||Nay|
|125||Reid Petty||26 Yeas / 4 Nays||Nay||Yea||Nay|
So there you have it - the remarkable Barbara Bollier only voted Yea twice, with 28 Nays... A record better than many Democrats.
She was the only Republican to vote against HB 2022 Prohibits Automatic Deductions by Public Labor Organizations for Political Fundraising. One Dem, Mike Peterson Did not vote for that bill.
Brandon Whipple (96), Kathy Woolfe Moore (36) and Julie Menghini (3) voted Yea more times than she did. She was one of two Republicans that voted against HB 2069 Prohibits Local Governments from Enforcing a Union Wage (along with John Doll), which had universal opposition from Dems.
Then you have the telegenic Stephanie Clayton and Melissa Rooker, who unlike Bollier voted Yea on HB 2022 and 2069, but only voted Yea 4 times overall, again better than some Dems.
All three also voted Yea on HB 2456 Amends Property Tax Laws for Certain Equipment which passed the house 100 to 23, with the 23 Nays split between a quixotic mix of Dems and GOP. HB 2272 Amends Gaming Law which passed 84 to 36 was actually opposed by Speaker Ray Merrick who voted Nay, with most of the opposition from the GOP. So voting Yea on this one doesn't appear to be that ideological.
Here is some further details on HB-2014. The Map below shows the various GOP districts circled for those who voted Nay, and those not circled voted Yea. As you can see the vast majority of the western half of Kansas voted Nay. 113 is a notable exception, but the incumbent was running for State Senate seat vacated mid term, so he was trying to suck up to the Kochs no doubt (he did not win the primary). Not shown below very well is the greater Johnson County area where only 7 of the 18 Republicans voted Nay. So yes the Kochs over-reached big time with this one.
Well while I used HB-2506 as the 'Key" for the table above, there were a few Members who voted Yea, but who voted Nay on HB-2453. They were Troy Waymaster (HD-109) one of 7 Nay votes, Steven Johnson (HD-108) one of 4 Nay votes, John Barker (HD-70) which was one of 5 Nay Votes, and James Todd (HD-29), which was his only Nay Vote. So yeah the fact that James Todd an otherwise automatic far right conservative voted Nay must mean he is Libertarian or has a small piece of his soul not sold to the Kochs. I didnt end up putting these in the table, as they are all Conservatives, but I thought that some of you may be interested.
Kansas State House - Looking for Moderates - Endorsements
|HD||Name||COC||KFL||NRA||MC||Sierra Club||AFL-CIO||AFL-CIO %||KNEA|
|47||Ramon Gonzalez Jnr||Yes/Yes||Yes||No?||No||No||No||14%||Yes|
So basically the Mainstream Coalition covers the three Overland Park based Republicans, and Tom Sloan from a 56% Obama District. Barbara Bollier and Stephanie Clayton are even endorsed by the Sierra Club. Tha AFL-CIO has endorsed Tom Sloan an obviously labour friendly Republican, Melissa Rooker, as well as Tom Moxley and Steven Becker.
Now that we have looked at the Endorsements, it is time to work out who are the Moderate Republicans !
MEET THE MODERATES
Liberal Republicans - 3 Bollier, Clayton and Rooker
So in the end Barbara Bollier is a Liberal Republican who votes better than many Democrats. Melissa Rooker and Stephanie Clayton are also fairly Liberal Republicans who are just as good as some of the Moderate and Conservative Democrats, albeit are best on Social issues (eg. Paul Davis voted Yea 6 times).
These three all occupy Overland Park based districts in Johnson County, with Reps Bollier and Rooker occupying 2 of the 4 GOP held districts that voted for Pres. Obama in 2012. The figure below is an extract from Stephen Wolf's Kansas Map:
Reps. Rooker, Bollier and Clayton
Reps. Rooker and Clayton with Senator Kay Wolf, a surviving Senate Moderate. Note: Sen. Wolf's State Senate District overlaps the same area as the three Liberal Republican House Reps, and the only seat won by Pres. Obama that is held by a Republican.
Really Moderate Republican - 2 Sloan and Hill
Tom Sloan (9 Yeas / 20 Nays / 1 DNV) basically votes the same as Rooker and Clayton, and in addition voted for 5 other Bills in relation to guns, A NRA friendly Moderate I guess you could say.
He occupies an Obama District.
Hill had 8 Yeas, 21 Nays and 1 DNV on the HB 2014, and has no Conservative endorsements. Unlike Sloan though, he seem pretty low profile. Of course unlike Sloan, he does not have a seat that voted for Pres. Obama, although 46% Obama is not too bad.
Why are these guys really Moderate ? Well they voted Yea less times than to most conservative Democrats, Brandon Whipple who voted Yea 12 times and Julie Menghini (10 times). Although Whipple is in a 48% Obama seat and Menghini in a 47.5% Obama seat, and Sloan is from Laurence County, where those Liberals live.
Moderate Republicans - 9
These guys either vote more Nay than Yea, or only vote Yea slightly more than Nay.
Larry Hibbard (16 Yeas, 14 Nays, No Conservative Endorsements), Blaine Finch (11 Yeas, 13 Nays 6 DNV, Endorsed by NRA), Vern Swanson (16 Yeas / 14 Nays), Tom Phillips (17 Yeas / 13 Nays), Tom Moxley (13 Yeas / 17 Nays), Diana Dierks (15 Yeas / 15 Nays), Stephen Becker (14 Yeas / 16 Nays), Don Hineman (15 Yeas / 15 Nays), and John Doll (13 Yeas / 17 Nays). The COC does not endorse any of these republicans running either in the primary election or the general election.
Of course Tom Moxley (HD-68) and Stephen Becker (HD-104) are AFL-CIO endorsed, with Becker having a 31% Obama district and Moxley a 35.2% Obama seat, I think that is a pretty good deal...
Check out HERE for a great speech from John Doll. Honestly he seems like someone who join a coalition with Democrats ahead of Conservative Republicans if they could get the numbers. He is in a 32.9% Obama district.
Conserva Dem turned Republican - Pauls
The member for the 102nd (Hutchinson), Janice Pauls is a former Conserva Dem and was the last elected Democrat House Rep in Western Kansas until switching to the GOP recently. So perhaps not surprising that she is not endorsed by the COC, as she still votes Nay more than Yea. She also represents the only seat above 45% Obama in Western Kansas (and basically the only seat above 35% Obama). She has Dem opposition for the election. She seems like a character... and a bigot.
Larry Campbell (20 Yeas / 7 Nays / 3 DNV) voted Nay on some big votes, and seems to essentially be a somewhat Union friendly Republican (71% Rating by AFL-CIO), but otherwise votes Yea a lot more than Nay. Endorsed by KFL.
Russ Jennings (21 Yeas / 9 Nays) voted Nay on some big votes, and was the leader of the successful insurrection against the Koch drive to repeal the Renewable Energy Standard. Endorsed by NRA. He worked on the transition for Dem Governor Mark Parkinson.
Don Schroder (20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 2 DNV) also voted Nay on some big votes and has not been endorsed by the COC for either the Primary or the General.
Conservative Republicans Who are Not Koch Drones
And who else failed to get endorsed by the COC in the General Election ? Kent Thompson was not endorsed in the Primary or the General (7 Yeas, 4 Nays). Scott Schwab was also not endorsed for the Primary or the General (A whopping 27 Yeas, 2 Nays and 1 DNV). Yes thats right even when you vote as a Koch Drone Republican, it is still not enough... Schwab claims it was not even the Nay Vote on HB 2014 (Renewable Energy) that was the problem... It was that he asked the Koch Lobbyists to testify on the public record...
You then have the pretty Conservative Republicans, who didnt get COC endorsement in the Primary, but did in the General. Presumably this is meant to be a signal that while the COC considers them okay, and wont spend money on primary challengers, they are happy for a more conservative candidate to come along. These Republicans not endorsed in the Primary Election were: Richard Proehl-7th (23 Yeas / 6 Nays / 1 DNV), Jim Kelly-11th (22 Yeas / 8 Nays), Steven Anthimedes-98th (6 Yeas / 4 Nay / 1 DNV), Susan Concannon-107th (20 Yeas / 8 Nays / 1 DNV), Troy Waymaster-109th, Sue Boldra-111th (25 Yeas / 5 Nays), Ronald Ryckman Snr-115th, John Ewy-117th (24 Yeas / 6 Nays), Bud Estes-119th (10 Yeas / 1 Nay), Stephen Alford-124th (22 Yeas / 8 Nays)
Sue Boldra voted Yea all year, until the very end, when obviously in response to public opinion voted Nay on various Education Bills and HB 2014. She was penalised by not being endorsed in the Primary, although she was in the General, now that she is running againts a Dem. Likewise for Bud Estes, whose only crime was to vote Nay on HB 2014 and for Ronald Ryckman Snr who voted Nay four times (twice on bills Ray Merrick also voted Nay on). Looking at past endorsements Susan Concannon was endorsed by COC and KFL for the last cycle, and probably votes Yea more than Nay. Steven Anthimedes wasn't endorsed by the KNEA despite not voting for HB-2506. Richard Proehl was endorsed by COC and NRA last cycle. Jim Kelly had all three conservative endorsements last time, and voted Yea a lot more than Nay through the cycle. Sue Boldra votes Yea a lot more than Nay. Stephen Alford in the past has had all three conservative endorsements.
John Edmonds must be liked... with 18 Yea / 11 Nays / 1 DNV, he was still endorsed by the COC for the Primary and the General Election ! That is the best we can hope for in a 23.5% Obama district I guess ! Ramon Gonzalez Jnr also got Primary and General Election endorsement with 24 Yeas / 6 Nays.
For those that want a different test to find moderates, there was only 20 Republican Nay votes on HB2453, a typical GOP sexual orientation discrimination bill - those that voted Nay can be found here - there. Please note that 3 Dems supported the Bill.
PRIMARY & GENERAL ELECTION ENDORSEMENT LINKS
AFL-CIO Primary Election Endorsements are here.
Kansas Sierra Club General Election Endorsements are here.
Kansas Sierra Club General Election Endorsements are here.
Main PAC Primary Election Endorsements are here.
KNEA PAC Primary Election Endorsement are here.
For an interesting profile on House Speaker Ray Merrick, go here.
So over the orange squiggly line I go through the primary election results and work out how well the broader Moderate coalition have gone.