With the 2014 mid-term elections less than three weeks away, it seems as though the incumbent Republican candidates are becoming more desperate in their re-election efforts as each day passes. This is most apparent in the increasing parade of out-of-state conservative “celebrities”, enlisted by the campaigns of Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts, among others, to re-vitalize their base and restore support for their bids to retain state office. In recent weeks, Kansas has been visited by such notables as Sen. John McCain, (R. Arizona), Rep. Paul Ryan,(R.Wisconsin), former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, Former Alaska Republican Gov. and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Gov. Rick Perry(R.Texas), and 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney,who is scheduled to visit the state on Monday.
Perhaps even more notorious are the television ads employed by the Republicans to smear their opponents in the eyes of their constituents, hoping to scare the electorate into voting for them. As the Nov. 4th election draws closer, these ads have become more misleading and derogatory. And yet again, Gov. Brownback , with help from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, have resorted to divisive tactics and frivolous lawsuits in defiance of the recent decision by the Tenth Circuit Court, which stuck down bans on same-sex marriages in Utah, Oklahoma and Wyoming, making Kansas the last state in this group to comply. Brownback has even attended anti-gay rallies, hoping to once again make this a campaign issue , according to his personal beliefs.
Recent polls have shown that the races in Kansas for Governor and U.S. Senator have been extremely close, and this has Gov. Brownback and Sen. Roberts running scared. It seems as though they are pulling out all the stops in these remaining weeks before the election. Their desperate efforts could very well backfire on them. They are counting on the old methods of smear, scare and divide to gain political advantage. But it just may be that Kansans, like much of the rest of the nation, have had enough of dirty politics, and are hungry for renewed cooperation among our legislators and inclusiveness of all our state’s populace. Perhaps we are more concerned with more important issues, such as more funding for better education within the state, attracting and keeping good teachers for our children, better employment opportunities with higher wages and job security, restoring our state’s credit rating and being able to move Kansas forward, so as to ensure a bright future for all its citizens. Perhaps we are more interested in hearing positive plans for our future, rather than the pessimistic, personal attacks of the past. Perhaps we voters are desperate enough this time to take a chance on newcomers with new ideas, to set a new precedent in politics, to make history in our state, and to elevate ourselves, our politics and our state in the process.