Tag Archives: Jim Anderson

Sedgwick County Republicans elect leadership

Last night the Sedgwick County Republican Party met in an organizational meeting to elect its leadership for the next two years. The primary news made was in the contest for chairman and vice-chairman. The secretary and treasurer positions were not contested.

Some observers, including myself, saw the contest as being between “establishment” Republicans and a group associated with the tea party. Others cast the election as more between experienced and veteran party members versus relative newcomers, while still others saw the differences as based more on personalities than anything substantive. Whatever the terminology, the newcomers did not do well in the election.

The people attending the organizational meeting and voting on leadership are those elected or appointed as precinct committeemen or committeewomen. That election was held in August in conjunction with the statewide primary election.

In the past, there have been contentious election contests at the organizational meeting, with the dividing line being between conservatives and moderates, with the abortion issue prominent. The last organizational meeting in November 2008 was calm, with one slate of candidates offered for the leadership and delegate positions, with party leaders urging that no nominations be brought up from the floor.

This year’s meeting had two slates of candidates. One — clearly the establishment or veteran slate — was headed by Bob Dool, a Wichita businessman who has been serving as treasurer of the fourth congressional district party committee. Julie Sipe was the slate’s nominee for vice-chair. Dool was endorsed by Mike Pompeo, the recently-elected U.S. congressman from the Kansas fourth district, which includes all of Sedgwick County.

The other slate was headed by Jim Anderson, who recently ran for U.S. Congress, with Judy Park of Republican Women United as vice-chair.

There’s a backstory here that deserves mention. The 2008 organizational meeting, where there was one slate of candidates and any talk of offering nominations from the floor was strongly discouraged by party insiders, made a bad impression on many activists. Some were particularly disturbed that the slate of delegates to the fourth district committee — the next level up in the party hierarchy — included many people who were not elected precinct committeemen or committeewomen. To newcomers, the 2008 meeting smacked of “good ol’ boy” cronyism, with no consideration given to the newcomers who had ran for election to — and had to campaign in order to win — precinct committee positions.

Since then, the tea party movement started in the winter months of early 2009. This movement, operating largely outside the established Republican party, grew to become a significant force nationally. Locally, a tea party activist group led by Craig Gabel and Lynda Tyler played a significant role in the November elections by working for Republican candidates, although the group did support one Democrat, Gwen Welshimer. The group played a crucial role in electing Benny Boman and Les Osterman to the Kansas House of Representatives by defeating incumbent Democrats. The group helped in the reelection of Phil Hermanson to the House, and helped elect Joseph Scapa and Jim Howell to open House seats. John Stevens and James Clendenin came surprisingly close to gaining election over their Democratic Party incumbents.

At the county level, the group was active in helping Richard Ranzau in his election to the county commission. Gabel estimates his group distributed 4,000 blended packets of literature, placed 600 signs, and made 40,000 robo-calls plus several thousand live calls.

Having played a role in local politics — successful by their own account, but perhaps not appreciated by everyone — the group wanted inclusion in the local Republican Party process. Neither Gabel or Tyler sought leadership positions. (Tyler is running for Wichita city council in the spring.) Instead, both wanted an open and honest process that was inclusive and gave everyone an opportunity to seek office, either as leadership or a delegate to the higher committee.

Both leaders seem genuinely concerned that the Republican Party be open and seek to grow. I asked Gabel what he would like to see in a chairman. He said: “A chair that would reach out to all portions of the Republican Party, that would keep the momentum flowing that was started in the election — someone interested in filling the precincts, raising funds, and educating people.” Reaching out to young people and minorities is also important, Gabel said.

As Dool made his candidacy for chair known, Gabel, Tyler, and others invited him to a meeting. Initially Dool did not want to meet and declined the invitation. A meeting with Dool took place earlier this week, said Gabel. He described the meeting as unproductive.

Back to last night’s organizational meeting: While social issues weren’t the primary issue on voters’ minds in the recent national election, abortion politics played a role last night. In his nominating speech for Dool, Mark Kahrs said that Dool “strongly supports the sanctity of life, which is the concern of this local party, and must remain the cornerstone of our party’s platform.” That drew applause from the audience.

Before that, in her speech Park, the nominee for vice-chair, said that someone in the audience was spreading rumors that she is not conservative and not pro-life. Park said these allegations were not true.

In nominating Jim Anderson, John Stevens praised Anderson for his experience in campaigning and technology. Explicitly referring to the tea party, Stevens said that we need as chair “a person who is inclusive of all Republicans, as well as tea party active people. These folks helped make it work this time. Don’t deny them.”

Speaking for himself, Dool said he wanted to increase the Republican Party base by increasing communication, hosting events for elected officials to meet with the public, increasing opportunities for all to participate in the political process, creating a business-friendly environment with lower taxes and less regulation, and raising enough money locally for a full-time employee. He said he supports the tea party movement, saying such populist movements have helped us stay true to the Founding Fathers’ principles.

In his speech, Anderson referred to his run for U.S. Congress. He also addressed an issue that many said would prevent them from voting for Anderson — his failure to endorse Mike Pompeo after Anderson lost to him and others in the Republican primary election in August. Anderson said he pledged his support to Pompeo — privately, though. Anderson said we need to grow the party by reaching out to all people, including independents.

The results of the election for vice-chair were Park 43 votes (21 percent), and Sipe 164 votes (79 percent).

For chair, the result was Anderson 59 votes (28 percent), and Dool 149 votes (72 percent).

In the selection of delegates to the fourth congressional district committee, voters had to select 98 delegates and 100 alternate delegates. A group called “Republicans for Conservative Leadership” provided a slate. The group headed by Gabel and Tyler had a slate, but the slate did not have enough names. The RCL slates won. (Disclaimer: my mother was on the RCL slate as an alternate delegate.)

Analysis

After the meeting, reaction was mixed as to whether the group of tea party or new activists felt welcomed into the process. Some felt the process was improved over 2008, as there were two candidates for each of the top leadership positions. Others felt that the outcome was nonetheless predetermined. But like in most elections, the winning candidates had the message most voters agreed with, and simply did a better job of campaigning for their positions.

Going forward, the local party has the same challenge as does the national party: how to integrate or channel the energy of the tea party. If the vote for the challengers — about one-fourth of the party members present — is a measure of the numbers in the tea party, it’s a significant force that Republicans should welcome. But an initial challenge for Dool and party leaders is that many tea party activists will resent anything they perceive as channeling of their energy or integration of their politics.

Also, some had asked that the slates of delegates should have been made available before the meeting. Voters had to vote for 98 delegates and 100 alternates. But party officials refused to release the names before the meeting, which seems to be the type of needless secret-keeping that breeds distrust and conspiracy theories.

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday October 15, 2010

Moran at Wichita Pachyderm today. Today’s speaker at the Wichita Pachyderm Club is current United States Representative and Republican Party Senate nominee Jerry Moran. As a large audience is expected, please arrive by 11:45 to get your buffet lunch in time for the noon start (the larger meeting room will be used). Cost is $10, which includes lunch.

Rasmussen: Voters don’t trust politicians’ promises. “Half (50%) now believe that when politicians break campaign promises, it’s because they deliberately made a false promise to get elected. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and say unforeseen events after they took office forced them to break their promises.” In keeping with my belief in limited government, I might suggest that candidates promise to do less. But then liberal candidates say that conservative candidates don’t have a plan. More at Voters Believe Overwhelmingly That Politicians Don’t Keep Their Promises, and Most Say It’s Deliberate.

No developer welfare; no apartments. The Wichita Business Journal reports that since developer Jason Van Sickle isn’t able to obtain federal historic preservation tax credits on a property, he’s abandoning plans to develop the project. Tax credits are, in effect, grants of money paid to — in this case — real estate developers through the tax system. But not to worry for the developer: he’s planning to hit up the state of Kansas and its taxpayers for historic preservation tax credits.

Capitalism saved the miners. Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal: “It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism. … The president of the U.S. is campaigning across the country making this statement at nearly every stop: ‘The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper.’ Uh, yeah. That’s a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that’s right.” Henninger lists all the innovative technology used in the rescue, that innovation driven by capitalism in the countries where it is not snuffed out. A lesson: “In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry.” Innovation is driven by private companies with profit as their motive.

Holland demands debates, then skips out. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, “[Kansas Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom] Holland was invited to the hour-long debate broadcast on WIBW radio and TV, but he declined because he said WIBW had already sponsored an earlier gubernatorial debate at the Kansas State Fair, and because the debate moderators were conservative radio talk show hosts Raubin Pierce and Megan Mosack.” Yes, Pierce and Mosack are conservatives. But Holland, who at one time demanded a series of 10 debates with Brownback, should have appeared. Conservative candidates and officeholders are summoned before liberal newspaper editorial boards all the time. They go and suffer the inevitable criticism. Holland should have done the same — and by all accounts, the questions were fair. And if the questions weren’t fair, Holland could have done what many candidates do in forums: they say whatever they want without regard to answering the question that was asked.

This Week in Kansas. KAKE’s Chris Frank appears to talk about Hawker Beechcraft and Louisiana. Then Kansas Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Stephen Koranda and myself discuss Kansas politics and poll results. Tim Brown is the host. “This Week in Kansas” airs in Topeka on WIBW TV channel 13 Saturdays at 11:30 am, and in Wichita on KAKE TV channel 10 Sundays at 9:00 am.

Jim Anderson Program features candidate debate. Kansas fourth Congressional district hopefuls Democrat Raj Goyle and Republican Mike Pompeo will appear on Anderson’s radio show. Evidently, minor party candidates Susan Ducey (Reform Party) and Libertarian Shawn Smith will not appear, despite having made credible appearances on a recent KWCH televised forum. After this, Attorney Genreal candidate Derek Schmidt will appear. The Jim Anderson Program airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Saturdays on KNSS Radio 1330 on your old-school AM radio, live on the station’s website, or on your iPhone through the station’s free app.

Kansas statewide races polled. KWCH and SurveyUSA report poll results under the headline GOP poised to win statewide races. The closet contest is for Attorney General, where challenger Derek Schmidt leads incumbent Stephen Six 48 percent to 40 percent. For the race the pollster notes: “Compared to other, stable Kansas statewide contests, there is notable volatility in the Attorney General race, uniquely; any outcome is possible.”

Stossel on the future, tonight. “This Friday at 10pm [9:00 pm Central time], Fox News will broadcast my heated argument with NYC Transit Worker’s Union President John Samuelsen. It’s part of my special, ‘The Battle for the Future.’ More at Stossel’s blog.

Tea party rules? The New York Times reports: “Enough Tea Party-supported candidates are running strongly in competitive and Republican-leaning Congressional races that the movement stands a good chance of establishing a sizeable caucus to push its agenda in the House and the Senate, according to a New York Times analysis. … While the numbers are relatively small, they could exert outsize influence, putting pressure on Republican leaders to carry out promises to significantly cut spending and taxes, to repeal health care legislation and financial regulations passed this year, and to phase out Social Security and Medicare in favor of personal savings accounts.” Related: FiveThirtyEight estimates Congressional Tea Party Caucus founder Michele Bachmann has 98.9 percent probability of winning her reelection contest.

Vote Smart Announces VoteEasy. A new project presents information on federal offices. Select your state and zip code, and you’ll have information about the candidates you’ll be voting for — or not for. Click on VoteEasy to get started.

Wink Hartman, Libertarian Party candidate?

As reported by Rebecca Zepick on State of the State KS, former Republican Congressional candidate from the fourth district of Kansas Wink Hartman may be considering another run for that position, this time as nominee of the Kansas Libertarian Party.

Zepick reported the news Saturday in the story Hartman Considering Re-Entering Race For Congress Against Pompeo and Goyle. She appeared later that day by telephone on KNSS Radio’s Jim Anderson Program, as did several others involved in this story.

Anderson’s radio program proved to be a sounding board for several issues surrounding this race. For example: All the Republican Party candidates pledged, several times, to support the winner of the Republican primary. A caller to Anderson’s radio show brought up this point, and reminded Anderson — the host of the show — that he, too, made the pledge. Anderson became agitated, at one point threatening to cut off the caller.

Anderson said that after a certain point, the campaign changed and became negative. Although he didn’t say so explicitly, it is clear that Anderson believes the negativity releases him from his pledge to support the winner of the primary. “I’m not supporting anybody right now,” he told listeners. He repeated this later in the show.

After this, Kansas Libertarian Party Chair and candidate for governor Andrew Gray appeared as a guest, calling in by telephone. Gray said the key to Hartman joining the ticket is Hartman’s ability to — currently or in the future — fit in the “Libertarian mode.”

Michael O’Donnell, a staff member in the Hartman campaign, then appeared by telephone and noted, as had Anderson, that the pledges to support the eventual primary election winner were made before the campaign became negative. True enough.

But where O’Donnell missed the mark is in his assertion that the Pompeo campaign launched the first negative attacks, referring to information made available about Hartman’s Florida home ownership and his Florida voting record. Hartman’s recent Florida voting record was first reported by me on this site.

While this information was not convenient to the Hartman campaign, it did not fall into the category of negative campaigning. This is the type of information voters are interested in. It was a matter of public record. It was all true.

O’Donnell said that the Hartman campaign merely retaliated. But it did much more than that, launching some vicious attacks on Pompeo using the techniques of negative campaigns. Hartman’s campaign escalated the attacks, culminating with a charge against Pompeo that Hartman could not back up with convincing evidence.

The pledges to support the primary winner were not made conditionally. They were absolute. In particular, candidates Anderson and Jean Schodorf need to step up and support Pompeo, the nominee. Evidently Paij Rutschman has made a financial contribution to the Pompeo campaign, but her website doesn’t endorse Pompeo.

Looking forward, O’Donnell said that he wanted to make sure that Hartman didn’t appear as a “sore loser mentality.” Losing a primary and then running on a different ticket qualifies as just that: a sore loser. And Hartman lost the primary election in a big way. Hartman’s support declined in the polls as the election drew closer. From July 1 to July 28 his campaign did not receive a single dollar in campaign contributions other than those made by the candidate himself.

Now Hartman may seek another round.

It’s difficult to see what positive things Hartman would accomplish as the Libertarian Party candidate. His political views are barely compatible with those of libertarians. Hartman seems the type of Republican that pokes fun of libertarians — like me — for their absolute defense of personal liberty (including legalization of all drugs and prostitution), a peaceful and non-imperialist foreign policy, deregulation of marriage (not prohibiting gay marriage), a welcoming approach to immigrants (instead of the fortified border that Hartman advocated during the campaign), and uncompromising opposition to corporate welfare (as reported, Hartman will receive many millions in such welfare in conjunction with his Hartman Arena).

Radical forms of libertarianism, including anarcho-capitalism or even the milder minarchism, seem beyond Hartman’s ability to grasp and understand.

The Kansas Libertarian Party has a decision to make, too. Will it embrace a candidate — one clearly non-libertarian and blemished from running a negative campaign — who can contribute millions to its cause and give the party a big boost in coverage and recognition?

Anderson, former Congressional candidate, to host Wichita radio show

Today former candidate for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas Jim Anderson announces that he will host a weekly talk radio program in Wichita.

The show, titled “The Jim Anderson Program” will air on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on KNSS radio, 1330 AM.

This is a step forward for Wichita, as it is one of the largest cities without local talk radio that focuses on public affairs. Following is the press release from KNSS:

WICHITA, KS — Entercom Radio Wichita is proud to announce the formation of South Central Kansas’ newest live and local talk radio show, “The Jim Anderson Program”, which will debut on Saturday, August 21st, from 1-3pm on NewsRadio 1330 KNSS.

Former 4th district Republican congressional candidate, Constitutional Conservative, and small business owner, Jim Anderson, will host this live and local talk show program that will address wide-ranging issues from politics, culture, history, current events, and discussing their implications on the local, national and international scene. The program promises to be a no holds-barred and nonpartisan mouthpiece as well as demand accountability and seek truth. “We are going to hold people’s feet to the fire,” Anderson stated. He continued, “for too long, we the people have been to blame for not holding our local, state, and national representatives accountable, it is and has been our fault. My goal is to provide a voice and a platform so regular citizens, like myself, can do just that with the powerful and influential who have forgotten that power is derived from the consent of the governed”.

“It is our hope that Jim’s passion, fire, and genuineness will create a program that people can’t miss, a program where they have a voice, and one that is not too far away to interact or gain attention of,” says KNSS Program Director, Tony Duesing.

The Jim Anderson Radio Program can be heard every Saturday, from 1-3pm on NewsRadio 1330 KNSS.

Kansas polls and election results

In the hotly contested Kansas Republican primary elections this year, polls generated a lot of interest. In two Kansas Congressional districts, independent polls did a good job of predicting the vote for all candidates except the two winners, and a candidate’s own poll may have been undermined by large voter turnout.

In a KWCH/SurveyUSA poll of the Kansas first Congressional district, the poll accurately (within the margin of sampling error) predicted the outcomes for all candidates except for victor Tim Huelskamp. The survey predicted 24 percent of the vote for him, and the actual vote was 35 percent. This poll had three candidates tied, so it didn’t predict a winner.

The same group also polled the fourth Congressional district. For three candidates — Jim Anderson, Wink Hartman, and Jean Schodorf, the poll predicted the exact percentage that the candidates actually received. The exception was winner Mike Pompeo. The poll predicted he would win and receive 31 percent of the vote. He did win, and his actual vote total was 39 percent.

An election eve poll by political consulting firm Singularis had mixed results in the fourth district, but is notable in that it predicted eventual winner Pompeo’s vote total closely. The poll indicated 37 percent of the vote, and the actual was 39 percent.

In the fourth district, Schodorf released four polls that her campaign commissioned. Each poll showed her support increasing, until in the third poll, she took the lead. In the fourth poll her lead increased.

When comparing this poll to actual election results, we find that Schodorf’s poll overstated her actual performance by six percentage points. The performance of Anderson and Hartman were understated by six and seven points. For winner Pompeo, the final Schodorf poll understated his performance by 13 percentage points. (These polls did not include candidate Paij Rutschman.)

In a conversation before the election with Schodorf’s pollster, he indicated several reasons why the numbers in her surveys were different than the KWCH/SurveyUSA poll numbers.

One difference between the polls was the source of the voters called by the pollsters. The KWCH/SurveyUSA polls started with a list of households. To determine likely voters, the pollster would ask respondents if they were going to vote. Schodorf’s polls used voter lists as a source, calling only on voters who had a history of voting in August primary elections.

Because many people look at voting as a positive civic duty, it is thought that people will overstate their actual tendency to vote, and this is a reason why polls might decide to use voter history as a selection device, especially in primary elections where turnout is generally low. It is standard practice of campaigns to use voter lists in their voter contact efforts.

But this year voter turnout was high. The Wichita Eagle reported voter turnout in Sedgwick County — home to about 71 percent of the population in the fourth district — was 25 percent. That’s higher than the 19 percent turnout predicted statewide, and higher than in most primary elections.

Considering Republican voters, the Sedgwick County election office reports there are 104,558 registered Republicans, and 49,967 Republican ballots were cast. That indicates a turnout of almost 48 percent, considering Sedgwick County only.

By calling only those with a history of primary voting, many people who voted in this election would not have been sampled by polls based on voter history.

The Schodorf polls were conducted by live operators, while the KWCH/SurveyUSA polls were automated response. This can lead to a difference in the types of people that respond to the poll.

In the Republican Senate primary between Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt, the final KWCH/SurveyUSA poll had Moran ahead by 49 to 39 percent, with eight percent undecided. The actual totals were Moran winning with 50 percent to Tiahrt’s 45 percent, so that poll understated Tiahrt’s total by six percentage points while correctly choosing the winner.

Final Kansas fourth Congressional district polls indicate close race

Update: An election eve poll has been released. Click on Kansas election eve poll.

Final polls indicate a close race in the contest for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas. Two candidates, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf, are virtually tied for the lead as the campaign enters its final few days.

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Schodorf campaign poll

Candidate Jean Schodorf has released a survey that shows her, again, in the lead. The poll was conducted on behalf of the Schodorf campaign on July 29th. It shows her in the lead with 30 of the vote, with Pompeo just behind and within the margin of sampling error, at 26 percent.

Hartman is in third place with 16 percent, and Anderson follows with seven percent. As in the past, Schodorf’s polls didn’t include Rutschman. 21 percent are undecided, which is again — as it has always been with Schodorf’s polls — much higher than produced by independent polls.

The news release accompanying this canvass didn’t give many details, but Schodorf’s past polls conducted by the same consulting firm have been live operator surveys of 400 voters. Likely primary voters are selected by using voter lists.

As with all polls produced on behalf of a candidate, we need to remember that surveys produced and released by campaigns are just that, and the results would probably not be released by a campaign if the results did not portray the candidate favorably.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

State of the State KS poll

State of the State KS in conjunction with Fort Hays State University and its Docking Institute of Public Affairs has released a poll of the Kansas first and fourth Congressional districts. The results for the fourth district are at State of the State KS Poll: Schodorf And Pompeo Take Lead In Campaign For Congress in Fourth District.

In the poll, Schodorf leads with 22 percent, Pompeo has 19 percent, Hartman has 13 percent, Democrat Raj Goyle as 11 percent, Anderson with six percent, and 28 percent are undecided.

This poll differs from others in that Goyle, one of the two Democratic Party candidates, was included with the Republicans in the survey question.

This survey used a smaller sample size, and as a result the margin of sampling error is larger at eight percent.

Commentary on the results of this survey by Fort Hays University Political Science Professor Chapman Rackaway concluded: “In short, Pompeo and Schodorf seem to be the two strongest candidates with Hartman struggling to keep up after a very strong opening to his campaign. Pompeo has established himself as the candidate of choice for conservatives, regardless of what issue the respondent self-identifies on. Schodorf’s lead among women and moderates has put her ahead, only slightly.”

The State of the State KS survey asked many background questions, and they may be read at State of the State KS.

Averaging the Kansas fourth district polls

Taking the last three available polls (the two described above and the KWCH/SurveyUSA poll) we find a very close race between two candidates for this nomination. Pompeo and Schodorf lead with 25 percent, with Hartman at 17 percent and Anderson at nine percent. 18 percent are undecided.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll results averagedKansas fourth Congressional district poll results averaged

Kansas fourth district poll shows tightening race with Pompeo in lead

KWCH Television in Wichita and SurveyUSA have released a poll of candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.

The survey shows support for Wichita businessman Jim Anderson and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf on the rise, while the numbers for Wichita businessman Wink Hartman continue to decline. The support for Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo also fell slightly, well within the poll’s level of sampling error.

The numbers have Pompeo leading with 31 percent, Schodorf with 24 percent, Hartman with 23 percent, Anderson with 13 percent, and Latham engineer Paij Rutschman at two percent.

Undecided voters are at six percent. The poll was conducted July 26th through 28th. The margin of sampling error is 3.5 percent.

Interestingly, this poll has Schodorf at the same level of support as shown in her own internal poll released earlier this week. Her poll, however, showed her in first place with 24 percent support, with Pompeo in second place at 21 percent. That difference is within the poll’s sampling error.

The Schodorf poll had 32 percent of voters as undecided, which is — and has been the case with all of Schodorf’s surveys — several times higher than the six percent undecided measured by SurveyUSA.

State of the State KS is working on a poll that should be released today or tomorrow. This will provide another independent measure of voter sentiment as election day — August 3rd — draws near.

Some voters have already voted. At yesterday’s meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Election Commissioner Bill Gale said that about 13,000 mail ballots have been sent to voters, with about half being returned already.

In the 2008 primary election, 36,724 ballots were cast in Sedgwick County. With 6,500 ballots already returned, this means that at least 17 percent of voters (assuming the same turnout as in 2008) have already voted.

For the fourth Kansas Congressional district, about 71 percent of the population is in Sedgwick County.

On the Democratic Party side of this race, it appears that the television advertisements appearing for Raj Goyle are working. He trailed in the last poll two weeks ago, but now leads opponent Robert Tillman 63 percent to 19 percent, with 18 percent undecided. Two weeks ago Tillman led Goyle 40 percent to 36 percent.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

Kansas fourth Congressional district campaign finance reports

Candidates for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas have filed campaign finance reports for the first two weeks of July and some last-minute reports since then.

The reports show Wichita businessman Wink Hartman continuing to self-finance his campaign, with $0 in outside contributions collected in July. His campaign continues to spend at a rapid pace.

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Here is a summary of FEC campaign finance reports for the first part of July 2010:

Kansas Fourth District Republican campaign finance reports,
July 1, 2010 through July 14, 2010

               Anderson  Hartman   Pompeo  Schodorf
Contributions    2,060         0   49,347    14,891
Candidate loans      0   289,537        0         0
Expenditures     2,240   427,872  207,830    23,172
Cash balance     4,049    40,958  286,032     8,823

Figures for Rutschman were not available at the FEC data site.

Figures that stand out in this report include zero dollars raised by the Hartman campaign from individual contributions. All money raised during this period came from the candidate himself.

Also, Hartman spent more than twice as much as the second-largest spender.

Pompeo has, by far, the largest cash balance as of July 14. Normally this would be a positive factor as the campaign proceeds to election day. Hartman’s smaller cash balance, however, has little of the normal meaning associated with it, as the candidate makes frequent contributions to his campaign as funds are required. This is characteristic of self-financed campaigns.

From the start of the election cycle through July 14, 2010, the numbers look like this:

Kansas Fourth District Republican campaign finance reports,
through July 14, 2010

              Anderson   Hartman   Pompeo Rutschman Schodorf
Contributions  38,924    141,949  935,087       80   50,338
Candidate loans 3,275  1,563,137        0   30,000   29,006
Expenditures   37,301  1,664,129  649,054   24,464   70,521

(Rutschman’s figures are through June 30, 2010)

In this table we see the largely self-financed Hartman campaign outspending all other candidates. His campaign has spent more than twice as much as all other campaigns together.

This still isn’t the entire story, as candidates are filing “48 hour notice” reports of last-minute contributions (expenditures are not included in these filings). Through July 28, 2010, here are the numbers:

           Anderson   Hartman  Pompeo
Total        5,100    348,500  35,700

(Schodorf and Rutschman have not filed any of these reports.)

In the case of Hartman, the total of $348,500 is all from the candidate himself. Overall, the Hartman campaign has raised $2,053,586, with 93 percent from candidate self-financing.

According to OpenSecrets.org, a project of the Center for Responsive Politics, the average amount spent by winning candidates in 2008 for the U.S. House of Representatives was $1,372,591. Hartman is well over this figure.

Each House district has roughly the same population, although the cost of running campaigns varies widely due to the differing characteristics of districts.

Self-financed candidates

As the Kansas fourth district has one candidate who is self-financed, let’s take a look at self-financed candidates and their characteristics.

In writing about political scientist Jennifer A. Steen and her book, Self-Financed Candidates in Congressional Elections (University of Michigan Press, 2006), Bruce Bartlett wrote this:

One of her findings is that the necessity of asking people for contributions is valuable to a candidate, especially inexperienced ones. She thinks this is mainly because self-financing keeps bad candidates from being weeded out of contention by a lack of contributions. But I think it also results because once people have given someone a campaign contribution they become invested in that candidate and are more willing to vote for him or her on Election Day and to work on his or her behalf.

Voters also resent candidates who appear to be trying to buy an election. Self-financed candidates may be independent of special interests, but they also often appear aloof from the concerns of average voters. Having to ask people for money forces a candidate to take their feedback, thus learning about their concerns directly rather than filtered through pollsters and consultants.

In her book, Steen writes: “They [self-financers] are also less likely to engage in what Richard Feuno calls ‘two-way’ campaigning, or interaction between the candidate and constituency, which thus entails some degree of learning and responsiveness on the candidates part.”

Perhaps as a result, self-financed candidates don’t have a very good track record of winning elections. Steen found that for competitive U.S. House of Representative districts, candidates who are “extreme self-financers” (Hartman falls in this category) won 37 percent of primary election contests. That winning percentage falls to 31 percent in general elections.

Voters are interested in what type of representative a candidate would make. Do self-financed candidates differ from other candidates once in office? Steen writes: “These differences do not recommend self-financers as representatives. They are quite unlike the vast majority of citizens, even citizens in more affluent districts, and they are less likely than non-self-financers to confront and engage the citizens they seek to represent.”

Self-financed candidates usually claim that since they have a source of campaign funds independent from the usual sources — which these candidates usually describe as “corrupt” or undesirable in some other sinister way — they can act in the best interests of all their constituents once in office. But Steen found differently: “However, once elected most self-financers assimilate very rapidly to the norms of fund-raising — only a small percentage continue to resist the charms of campaign contributors.”

Kansas fourth Congressional district campaign financeKansas fourth Congressional district campaign finance

Hartman ad claims remain elusive

The claims made last week in a campaign advertisement by Wichita businessman Wink Hartman remain elusive and largely unproven.

Hartman is running for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas. The other candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Scott Paradise, the Hartman campaign manager, will not accommodate my request to view the documents that he says prove the allegations in the ad.

Paradise said he is “not happy” with some things I’ve written about Hartman. I don’t imagine he is, as I’ve written several articles critical of Hartman. But I offered to go to the campaign office and look at the documents and hear what the campaign had to say.

What voters are left with is a last-minute inflammatory charge made by Hartman against Pompeo without having evidence of the charges. We know this is true because the campaign wasn’t able to produce evidence immediately and had to wait for the accuser to supply documents. That evidence, when examined by two Wichita Eagle reporters, appeared to indicate that Thayer Aerospace, Pompeo’s company, made “late, and in some cases reduced, payments” to one of its suppliers.

The accuser says the company didn’t pay and drove him out of business and into bankruptcy. There’s a lot of distance between these two claims.

We also know that the Hartman campaign ran the ad without identifying the businessman, perhaps hoping that no one would be able to identify him and investigate his claims.

Florida issue miscast

At issue also has been Hartman’s residency. Critics say that by claiming a “homestead” property tax exemption on a home he owns in Florida, Hartman became a Florida — not Kansas — resident.

There’s also been discussion as to whether he filed income taxes as a Kansas or Florida resident. Hartman says he’s paid all his taxes in Kansas.

But voting is something over which there is no controversy. As first reported on this site, Hartman most recently voted in Florida. Both he and his wife voted in Florida’s general election and presidential preference primary election in 2008.

They didn’t register to vote in Kansas until July of last year.

Voting by mail is popular in Sedgwick County, with 36 percent of the ballots cast in the November 2008 general election cast by mail. It doesn’t cost anything more than a postage stamp and the desire to cast your vote where you feel your political home is.

Schodorf poll shows her campaign in lead

Yesterday the campaign of Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf released a poll that shows her in the lead in the race for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.

The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

The poll was conducted on July 22, before the Wichita Eagle editorial board announced its endorsement of Schodorf. It shows her with 24 percent of the vote. Pompeo is in second place with 21 percent, Hartman in third with 16 percent, and Anderson with seven percent.

The question asked of voters, according to Schodorf, is “If the election for congress were today, would you be voting for Jean Schodorf, Jim Anderson, Mike Pompeo, or Wink Hartman”? Candidate names are rotated. The poll question does not included candidate Rutschman.

The 400 poll respondents were selected from those who had voted in the last two primary elections in the fourth district. The campaign says that “This number of interviews produces survey results that are accurate at the 95% level of confidence.” No margin of error was given for this confidence level, but in a conversation with Jim Yonally of Jayhawk Consulting Services, the firm that conducted the poll, he said the sampling error was four percentage points.

That means that Schodorf’s lead of three percentage points is within the margin of sampling error.

As with all polls produced on behalf of a candidate, we need to remember that surveys produced and released by campaigns are just that, and the results would probably not be released by a campaign if the results did not portray the candidate favorably.

Schodorf’s three publicly-released polls could not have turned out better for the candidate. Starting low, each poll has showed her increasing her numbers, until this poll shows her in the lead.

Besides being the first poll showing Schodorf in the lead, her campaign polls have always differed from the independent polls in showing a very high number of undecided voters. Yonally said he believes that his firm’s practice of using human operators to conduct the survey produces more accurate results than do automated polling systems.

The poll also indicates Pompeo’s support increasing, while Hartman’s drops.

KWCH Television will release an independent SurveyUSA poll of the fourth district this week, I am told.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

Wink Hartman ad a bust, disservice

On Tuesday the Wink Hartman campaign began running a television advertisement that contains claims about Mike Pompeo that, so far, are unsubstantiated. See Hartman ad malicious and false, says Pompeo and Pompeo Disputes Claims In Hartman Ads, Demands Hartman Show Evidence.

Hartman’s campaign manager said he would supply proof of the claims made in the ad by Daniel Lind, a Wichita businessman, by late Wednesday. As of Friday, little in the way of evidence has been provided. The Hartman staff says it is gathering documents and waiting for a bank to provide documents.

So what can we make of this advertisement, and more importantly, the candidate pacing the ad?

One thing we know for sure is that the Hartman campaign prepared and aired the ad without having evidence of the claims. If it had evidence, it should have been able to provide it immediately upon request.

Whether the claims turn out to be true or not, this unpreparedness we can be certain of. This is evidence of recklessness of Hartman, his campaign, and the people — including political consultant Axiom Strategies — involved in his election effort.

Axiom is a controversial political consulting firm. On its website, it boasts of news coverage of the campaigns it and its head, Jeff Roe, have run: “Controversial campaign tactics are the stuff of political legend,” “Known for his bare-knuckle campaign tactics,” “Political consultant plays hardball and scores big: The pugnacious campaign tactics…”

Further, these attack ads that are sprung on the voting public at the last moment are a public disservice. With little time to investigate the claims — and with the Hartman campaign dragging out the process — voters are understandably frustrated.

Additionally, the claim made in this advertisement has nothing to do with public policy. Even if it was true.

Recent ads placed by candidates for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas have been positive ads, with candidates talking about themselves and their plans if elected to Congress.

That’s true of all campaigns except the Hartman campaign. He continues to sling mud at the candidate he considers his chief rival. Voters ought to consider this when deciding whom to vote for.

Remember that political ads are now accompanied the statements of candidates that they approve the ads: “I’m Wink Hartman and I approve this ad.”

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Hartman ad malicious and false, says Pompeo

The campaign for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas has been marked by some hard-hitting commercials. Often commercials are based on subjective claims, such as “Vote for me! I’m great and my opponent is terrible!”

Now the Wink Hartman campaign has aired a television advertisement that leading rival Mike Pompeo says is objectively false.

In the ad, an unidentified man says that Thayer Aerospace, a Wichita manufacturing company that Pompeo once headed, failed to pay the man’s small business. As a result the man had to declare bankruptcy.

In a statement read by Pompeo at a press conference today, Pompeo said that they were able to identify the man as Daniel Lind, and the company as Machining Concepts, Inc.

Pompeo said Thayer Aerospace had purchased products from the company, and that all bills were paid: “The total volume of the work performed by that company for Thayer Aerospace was approximately $351,000. All of the obligations associated with that work were paid for by Thayer Aerospace.”

Pompeo said that evidence of the falsity of Lind’s claim of non-payment by Thayer include Lind’s bankruptcy filing — referred to by Lind in the advertisement — in which Thayer Aerospace is not mentioned. In the filing, under “Accounts Receivable,” Lind marked “none.” A debt owed to Lind’s business should have been listed here.

In a Wichita Eagle news story, Lind stands by his claims. He says he didn’t sue Thayer over the debt because he couldn’t afford it. While that may be true, it wouldn’t have cost anything to list Thayer on the bankruptcy filing.

Pompeo said he will ask television stations to stop airing the ad based on the falsity of the claims made within. But as explained in a Time magazine article and confirmed in a conversation with a former television station manager, media outlets do not have the ability to pick and choose which candidate advertisements they broadcast. Explains Time: “Broadcasters are actually obligated to run [candidate] ads, even those known to be false. Under the Federal Communications Act, a station can have a blanket policy of refusing all ads from all candidates. But they cannot single out and decline to air a particular commercial whose content they know to be a lie.”

As of this moment, the Hartman campaign has not responded to requests for documentation or other information regarding Lind’s claims.

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Wink Hartman on bailouts, and his own

Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas is opposed to government bailouts. Strongly so.

At a January 15th candidate forum, he said “I am one hundred percent against bailouts of any type, shape, or form. Of all the companies I run, not one time has anybody, including the government, come through that front door and said ‘Wink, you screwed this thing up but I want to write you a check anyway.'”

Contradicting Hartman’s claim is his 1987 personal bankruptcy filing. It qualifies as a bailout. It’s true that during the process no one wrote him a check, so his claim in the forum is correct on a certain level. But when debt is canceled, it’s just like someone wrote a check. It has the same economic effect for the debtor.

And while Hartman said that no one — and emphasizing the government — has written a check, it’s government debt that was canceled, according to bankruptcy court records. Both the federal government and the State of Kansas received only 12 percent of their claims against Hartman for taxes owed.

Investigations by myself and others indicate that Hartman may have repaid some of his creditors, but not all. It’s difficult to tell, as the bankruptcy filing was 23 years ago.

But even if Hartman did repay all creditors, the government, through the bankruptcy laws, stepped in and gave him the reprieve of time. That’s a bailout, by any measure.

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Schodorf poll indicates three-way tie in Kansas fourth Congressional district

Today the campaign of Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf released a poll that shows her in a three-way tie with Wichita businessmen Wink Hartman and Mike Pompeo in the race for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.

The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

In answering a telephone question “If the election for congress were today, would you be voting for Jean Schodorf, Jim Anderson, Mike Pompeo, or Wink Hartman?” with the names rotated, Schodorf’s survey shows Hartman in the lead with 19 percent, Schodorf with 18 percent, Pompeo with 16 percent, Anderson at nine percent, and 39 percent undecided.

As with all polls produced on behalf of a candidate, we need to remember that surveys produced and released by campaigns are just that, and the results would probably not be released by a campaign if the results did not portray the candidate favorably. Without knowledge of the questions being asked, there is always the possibility that a survey is a “push poll,” meaning an instrument designed to influence participants and produce a desired result.

The Schodorf campaign released the text of the question asked, but other questions asked — or statements made — before the reported question can influence the response.

The difference between the Schodorf campaign poll and an independent effort conducted last week can be seen in two places: First, Schodorf — in her campaign’s results — is in a statistical tie with Hartman and Pompeo, and the number of undecided voters in Schodorf’s poll is much higher than in the SurveyUSA poll from last week. In that poll, undecided voters were nine percent of the total. That’s less than one-fourth of the undecided voters found in the Schodorf poll.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

Kansas fourth district candidates on spending and deficit reduction

In a June 22nd forum of candidates for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas sponsored by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, candidates were asked about their plans to reduce the federal deficit and national debt.

The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

A question by moderator Steve McIntosh recited the current large debt and deficit figures, noted that Medicare and Social Security are headed down an unsustainable path, and said that Americans are worried about the negative effects of letting the Bush tax cuts expire. What is your plan for reducing the deficit and debt, while keeping taxes low enough to allow for economic growth?

Answering first, Rutschman said we need to look at our government agencies and make sure they are operating effectively and efficiently. She said we should start balancing the federal budget. She told the audience that we should look at Social Security and Medicare to see where we can start reducing these programs, and develop a long-term plan for handling the upcoming retiring generation.

Next, Schodorf said she had a plan for national economic development and growth, saying first that we need a balanced budget amendment. She said that the bipartisan commission on deficit reduction is really just a paper tiger, and what we really need are experts in different fields to work together to recommend how to reduce the deficit. She said the federal government needs to reduce its spending, recommending a 5% across-the-board cut if possible. She said we need to keep the Bush tax cuts in place.

Anderson told the audience that we need to reduce the size of government, starting with an overhaul of the tax system by replacing their current income tax with the FairTax. The fair tax, he said, is the best way to generate revenue for limited government, noting that the current tax code is the source of many of our problems. States should take care of their own needs, he added, and we should eliminate the system of earmark spending. He also said we need to look at each federal program, and if it is not constitutional, it should be eliminated.

Hartman said we need to get control of our government, and that one way to get started immediately would be a balanced budget amendment. He also believes in the FairTax. He said that 41 cents of every dollar government spends is borrowed and must be repaid at some time. The Bush tax cuts should be continued, he said, as they worked well once. He said he is also concerned about estate taxes, especially their impact on family farms. He said that a larger federal government has never — and will never — create jobs.

Pompeo said that growing the economy, creating a tax base that is broader and larger, is the first way that we can reduce the deficit. The second way is to reduce spending. He told the audience he supports eliminating earmarks, but noted that earmarks are a relatively small part of the budget. Entitlements, he said, are the real problem, and that we should start by repealing the recently enacted healthcare entitlement. On Social Security, Pompeo said he supports a plan developed by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. For people 55 years of age and over, there would be no impact, he said, but benefits for younger people would be reduced, adding that the promised benefits may really be a false promise. On the federal Department of Education, Pompeo said it is incomprehensible to him that send a dollar to Washington, only to get $.64 back along with instructions on how to run our schools. He also said we should reduce capital gains taxes by at least 50%, to create an incentive for capital.

Analysis

Schodorf’s concern for spending and taxes must be balanced against her record in the Kansas Senate, which is a very liberal voting record. She voted for the big-spending budget this year, and voted to raise the statewide sales tax by one cent per dollar.

The FairTax, which many of these candidates support, is probably a better tax system than the system currently in place, but it does not address the issue of spending. According to FairTax.org, “Bottom line is that the 23% rate works it replaces the revenue generated by the repealed taxes, and maintains the real value of federal spending.” In other words, the FairTax is calibrated to provide the same revenue to government. For those looking to reduce the amount government takes in taxes — no matter what form — and to reduce government spending, the FairTax is not the solution.

The idea of eliminating federal programs that are not constitutional is also appealing to limited government advocates. The reality, however, is that every spending program that’s in place — with the exception of newly-passed legislation that hasn’t yet been challenged in the courts — has passed constitutional muster. The Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means, after all.

Hartman’s concern for federal estate taxes is well-placed, especially, as he noted, in Kansas, where many families’ assets are in the form of land and other agriculture assets.

Pompeo, as he has in other forums, said he supports the Paul Ryan plan, known as the Roadmap for America’s Future. This is a specific set of proposals promoted by Ryan, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee and a rising star among conservatives. The plan goes farther than Pompeo did regarding taxes on capital gains, recommending eliminating the tax on capital gains entirely.

Kansas fourth district Congressional campaign finance reports released

Campaign finance reports just released by candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas show one candidate largely self-financing a massive spending program, and allegations of another candidate being dependent on financing by PACs and lobbyists are not supported by facts.

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Here are the figures reported for the second quarter, the months of April, May, and June, 2010. Anderson’s report was not available as of late Thursday night.

                     Hartman  Pompeo  Rutschman  Schodorf
Contributions         16,062  279,317       80    20,900
Loans to campaign  1,056,600            30,000     7,000
Expenditures         928,385  267,413   24,464    27,712
Cash balance         179,292  444,515    5,616    17,105

Notes:

First, Hartman spent a lot of money, almost 3.5 times as much as the second-largest spender. My analysis of the campaign’s spending shows $739,110 spent on television advertising for the three months of the second quarter.

Nearly all of Hartman’s expenditures were financed by loans made by the candidate to the campaign. Of the $928,385 spent, only $16,062 (1.7 percent) was paid for by contributions.

Rutschman’s campaign reported a $30,000 loan to the campaign from the candidate.

Earlier this year a great deal of attention was paid to an April 20th fundraiser held in Washington DC on behalf of Mike Pompeo (Big D.C. names host Pompeo fundraiser, May 16, 2010 Wichita Eagle). Analysis of his contributions shows that for the second quarter, which covers the time period of this event, Pompeo received $15,000 in contributions from sources the FEC considers to be political action committees (PACs). This is about five percent of his contributions for the quarter.

There are a handful of contributions from individuals in the Washington DC area, totaling about $7,900, according my analysis. These people may or may not be lobbyists.

In an analysis of first quarter contributions from OpenSecrets.org, Pompeo’s contributions from PACs was three percent of his total contributions for that quarter.

These numbers are important because Pompeo’s opponents — both in the Eagle article and in their campaign advertising — raise the issue of a candidate being a “Washington insider” with extensive ties to PACs and lobbyists.

Kansas fourth district Congressional poll released, surprises within

KWCH Television in Wichita and SurveyUSA have released a poll of candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas. The poll, conducted July 11th through 13th, shows Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo maintaining a narrow lead over his chief rival, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman.

The support for both of the top two candidates, however, declined as Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf and Wichita businessman Jim Anderson picked up support.

The poll shows Pompeo at 32 percent, Hartman at 31 percent, Schodorf with 16 percent, and Anderson moving up to garner nine percent of the vote. Latham engineer Paij Rutschman registered one percent in her first appearance in a SurveyUSA poll.

Undecided voters were nine percent.

In analyzing the results, SurveyUSA noted that Schodorf has doubled her support over the past three weeks among women and self-described moderate voters. Further, “Today, Schodorf leads among moderates and among the relatively small number of GOP primary voters who oppose the tea party movement, and has effectively tied the front-runners among seniors, pro-choice voters, and those voters who do not own guns. Any outcome remains possible.”

These results are not surprising, as all along Schodorf, with her moderate positions, has set herself apart from the three male candidates, who are all self-described conservatives.

The truly surprising — I think we can safely say shocking — results were on the Democratic party side of this contest. Raj Goyle, whose campaign is expected to report a campaign fund balance of some $1.2 million when reports are filed later today, has fallen behind Robert Tillman. SurveyUSA reports Tillman polling 40 percent, while Goyle registers 36 percent. 24 percent are undecided.

In the same poll three weeks ago, Goyle led Tillman by 42 percent to 32 percent.

In the Democratic poll, SurveyUSA warns that this is “movement which may or may not be statistically significant.” But the fact that Tillman has been registering such a high percentage of support and is now in the lead must be a huge blow to the Goyle campaign.

These results are trouble for Democrats nationally, too. Goyle is one of 26 candidates showcased by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in its “Red to Blue” initiative.

Goyle started television advertising within the past week. Tillman, on the other hand, recently passed out business cards promoting his campaign, not having even the traditional glossy “palm card” for campaign literature. As of today no website for Tillman can be found, although I have noticed yard signs for his campaign.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

Update: A Wichita Eagle profile of Tillman is at Tillman running for Congress to support President Obama’s policies. A profile of Goyle is at Goyle pushes bipartisan solutions.

Kansas fourth district poll shows Pompeo lead, Hartman drop

A new poll of candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas shows Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo maintaining a lead over his chief rival, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman.

The poll, produced by Oklahoma City consulting firm Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates on behalf of the Pompeo campaign and conducted July 6th through 8th, shows Pompeo leading Hartman 27 percent to 21 percent.

While other recent polling has shown Pompeo’s support increasing, this poll is the first that shows a decline in Hartman’s support. That decline, according to the Pompeo poll, has taken place since the end of May, when the campaign had a previous survey conducted.

These results are largely compatible with polls conducted by SurveyUSA, an independent agency not connected with any campaigns. These polls showed Pompeo increasing his numbers rapidly after starting in a near-tie with Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf and Kansas Senator Dick Kelsey, who has since withdrawn from the race for family reasons.

Conducted near the end of June, the SurveyUSA poll showed Pompeo and Hartman in a statistical tie, with numbers far above the other candidates. A June poll released by the Schodorf campaign showed Pompeo and Hartman in the lead, but with a larger number of undecided voters than other polls showed.

As with all such polls, we need to remember that polls produced and released by campaigns are just that, and the results would probably not be released by a campaign if the results did not portray the candidate favorably.

Kansas fourth Congressional district poll resultsKansas fourth Congressional district poll results

The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

The Hartman clean campaign pledge: Pompeo response

In the contest for the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman has run many advertisements making an issue of a clean campaign pledge. He’s signed it, and says that leading rival Mike Pompeo won’t sign it.

I asked Rodger Woods, manager of the Pompeo campaign, why his candidate didn’t sign the pledge. Woods mentioned two reasons.

First, Woods said that the meaning of the word “clean” is subjective. He said that Pompeo has committed to running a truthful campaign, the meaning of which is not subjective, noting that “truth” and “factual” do not appear in the Hartman pledge.

Second, Woods said that the purpose of primary elections is the find the best candidate. The tone of Hartman’s pledge, he said, is that Republicans are best served by not bringing up certain sets of issues.

Woods said that Pompeo has been committed from the start to being truthful, and he is satisfied that the campaign is fulfilling that commitment. A recent Pompeo press release stated “To date, no Mike Pompeo ad has mentioned any opponent. All Pompeo advertising has been built around Mike Pompeo’s positive record and the issues facing voters.” By my observation, this appears to be true.

Woods didn’t say this, but sometimes these clean campaign pledges are used to neutralize or deflect negative information that is about to be revealed. In this case, Hartman promoted his pledge shortly before issues of his controversial Florida residency and Florida voting were made public. (Hartman’s Florida voting was first reported in my story Hartman, candidate for Congress from Kansas, recently voted in Florida.) If a rival candidate were to mention inconvenient facts, it allows the other campaign to make allegations of dirty campaigning.

Facts, even unpleasant, need to be aired during primary election campaigns, I believe. Better for both parties to deal with them then rather than during the general election contest.

While Pompeo did not sign the pledge, that shouldn’t stop Hartman from living up to its standards, if he chooses to. But recently Hartman started running a television advertisement that lives up to all the worst expectations of negative campaigning.

It uses — as is standard practice in negative attack ads — unflattering images of the opponent. After quoting a leftist Kansas blog when it declared “Pompeo has thrown the first ugly punch,” the announcer states “No big surprise. Pompeo worked in Washington DC as a lawyer before moving to Kansas.”

The fact is that Pompeo worked in Washington for three years after graduating from law school. While Hartman’s ad is factually correct, this is the type of attempt at a backhanded compliment that most people would agree violates a plank of Hartman’s clean campaign pledge: “2. Treat Republican opponents with respect by focusing campaign advertisements on our own campaign’s vision for Kansas; this includes not mentioning fellow Republicans negatively in television or radio commercials.”

Hartman’s ad continues with the announcer stating “And the Pompeo record on jobs? He took Kansas jobs to Mexico. That’s right: took Kansas jobs to Mexico.”

Pompeo has stated that when the company he managed, Thayer Aerospace, opened a facility in Mexico, the Mexican plant was a condition of a contract with a customer. The Mexico jobs were new jobs, not jobs previously held by Kansans that were transferred to Mexico.

The ad concludes with “Mike Pompeo: just another Washington insider we can’t trust.” While there is no specific definition of “Washington insider,” at least one of Pompeo’s policy positions and his past action is in direct opposition to what “insiders” want: term limits.

In a speech to the Wichita Pachyderm Club last November, Pompeo told of his efforts, working pro bono, in favor of an effort in Arkansas of that state placing its federal office holders under term limits. I also reported “On term limits, Pompeo said he would like to see a constitutional amendment for term limits, but he would not make a personal pledge to limit his own service.”

Along with most of the other candidates in this contest — including Hartman — Pompeo opposes earmarks, another favorite Washington “insider” perk.

Hartman’s ad, besides going against the spirit and letter of his clean campaign pledge, also starts to drag the fourth district campaign down into the type of negative campaign that voters say they dislike. The other candidates besides Hartman and Pompeo in the race have not raised enough campaign funds to do any television or other widespread advertising.

The candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.

Schodorf poll shows closer Kansas fourth district contest

Last week’s poll concerning the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas showed Mike Pompeo making big gains to slightly overtake Wink Hartman, with Jean Schodorf and Jim Anderson far behind. A striking feature of that survey was the low number of undecided voters, just eight percent.

Now Schodorf has released a poll with results that, while producing the same ordering of candidates, show a closer race between the top three candidates, with a much larger number of undecided voters. The results, along with the SurveyUSA results from last week, are as follows:

            Schodorf Poll    SurveyUSA
Pompeo          20%              39%
Hartman         19%              37%
Schodorf        14%               9%
Anderson         2%               6%
Not sure        45%               8%

Schodorf’s poll was conducted on June 18 and 19, while the SurveyUSA study announced last week was conducted from June 21 through 23.

SurveyUSA included 609 respondents who SurveyUSA determined to be likely voters in the August primary election. Its 95 percent certainty interval is 4.1 percent. The Schodorf effort, according to the press release, consisted of 400 personal interviews conducted with a 95% level of confidence. No interval was given for that confidence level.

Jayhawk Consulting Services conducted the poll for the Schodorf campaign.

The SurveyUSA poll starts with a Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by a third party. Respondents are then asked questions to determine if they are likely primary voters. In an email response from candidate Schodorf, she said that her poll included only voters who voted in two of the last three primary elections. This information can be determined from publicly-available voter records.

The press release for the Schodorf campaign poll criticizes the methodology SurveyUSA uses in its polls. According to Jim Yonally, president of the polling firm: “We use well-educated adults, who are experienced callers. We talk to people one on one to get a better feel for what they are thinking. It’s my understanding the media poll uses a recorded voice to ask questions.”

SurveyUSA feels that its automated response polls are accurate and publishes a report card of its results compared to other polling firms. An interview with Jay Leve, SurveyUSA CEO, provides more insight into SurveyUSA and its methods. He would not comment on this specific poll and the criticisms leveled by Schodorf’s pollster.

The Republican Party candidates and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.