Archive for Monday, July 23, 2018

Letter to the editor: Shawnee Republican precinct committeeman disappointed with party’s conduct

July 23, 2018

To the Editor:

The Kansas Republican Party no longer seems to recognizes the First Amendment.

Last Wednesday was a busy day in the Kansas Republican Party.

State Senator Dr. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills) faced unprecedented attacks from the Kansas GOP leadership for exercising her first amendment rights and having a personal opinion.

For logical and understandable reasons, Bollier endorsed one of US Rep. Kevin Yoder’s Democratic opponents.

This was met with vile attacks from party leadership (see KC Star) and the loss of her leadership positions in the Senate.

On top of that, leadership is also looking for ways to get her out of the senate and party entirely.

Unfortunately, this tribalism and disingenuousness being exhibited by the party is nothing new.

The far-right conservative establishment has been on the warpath for moderates for years.

Over the last year, as a moderate Republican Precinct Committeeman here in Shawnee, I have faced attacks from “ultra-cons” of every level of elected office, and most recently from Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, who represents Shawnee, for exercising my individual rights, and having an opinion.

Cook, instead of representing her constituents, chose to spend a portion of her day last Monday personally attacking me on Facebook, saying that I am misrepresenting myself to Republicans in my precinct.

The fact is that both on social media and in this paper, I have openly expressed my views, and willingly engaged detractors. I have never sought to deceive anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The reason that Cook singled me out is much more personal: it is the fact that my opponent (from the extreme right) is the husband of her campaign treasurer.

It appears that Cook is publicly attacking an incumbent with lies in order to assist her campaign associate.

As with many attacks from the far-right, there is an ulterior motive. The same goes for the county party leadership, who routinely censure precinct committee for the audacity of having an opinion.

What they do is bar moderates from voting for county leadership, which then ensures the ultra-cons remain firmly in power.

It is a sad reality that many of the people representing Kansans are willing to lie, conceal ulterior motives, misrepresent, and distort facts and positions in order to promote their “values.”

If the advancement of a particular value requires this level of insidiousness, perhaps that value is not worth advancing.

If the Kansas Republican Party leadership continues to engage in this unscrupulous manner of conduct towards the moderate wing of the party, Republicans will quickly fall.

In the meantime, traditional moderate Republicans will continue to speak truth to power, and put people over party.

Michael Wray

Shawnee Republican Precinct Committeeman


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