Why ultra-con GOP should fear the Mainstream Coalition in Johnson County

Republicans and Democrats pose Saturday at a Mainstream Coalition event in Johnson County.

Republicans and Democrats pose Saturday at a Mainstream Coalition event in Johnson County.

When the Mainstream Coalition held its “Walk the Vote” event Saturday, just over 500 people reportedly showed up.

Leaders of the organization that has strong supporters in Johnson County said they wanted to raise money to “keep the momentum  going in Kansas.”


This progressive group properly wants to elect more Democrats and more moderate Republicans from the Kansas City area to the House and Senate in 2018. The targets definitely will include some of the remaining ultra-conservative GOP members in Johnson County. Fortunately, Mainstream in 2016 helped push a few Democrats and moderate Republicans across the finish line when some ultra-cons were defeated.

The 2016 elections helped turn the Legislature into a place where common sense ruled. Earlier this month, in a seismic event, Gov. Sam Brownback’s disastrous tax cuts were finally rolled back to a great degree. That will help put the Kansas budget back on track, better financing public services for Kansans.

Note the word “bipartisan” above. It’s what a lot of people were talking about regarding the walk. And it’s why the ultra-con GOP in Johnson County should be scared of what might happen in 2018 and 2020 elections.

On Saturday, Democrat Rep. Nancy Lusk reported in before the walk was scheduled to begin.

Moderate Republican Stephanie Clayton was happy to be there.

A few hours later a conversation started after Rep. Jim Ward, the House minority leader, posted this.

That irritated Eric Teetsel, president of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, which promotes itself this way on Twitter: “Join us for a Kansas where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.”

Moderate Republican Melissa Rooker posed with fellow GOP elected officials — as well as Ward (red shirt, top row) and a few other Democrats.

Kansas City Star political reported Bryan Lowry offered a pithy comment on the goings on.

And Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly responded later in the day to Teetsel’s concern:

The Mainstream Coalition will face plenty of obstacles when the next election cycles roll around.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach already has indicated he wants to reinstate deep tax cuts if elected in 2018. He would need help to do that. Ultra-con Republicans likely will attack Democrats and moderate GOP members for voting in 2016 for the tax increases.

At that point, voters in this area will have a duty to keep Kansas on the correct track.

2 Thoughts.

  1. “Ultra-con Republicans likely will attack Democrats and moderate GOP members for voting in 2016 for the tax increases.” The very same folks who voted for the largest tax increase on food in the country!?! The very same folks who raided KS assets for quick money (resulting in multiple ratings downgrades) only to have to pay higher rates later? Bring it on, I say. There is a more robust conversation to be had, and it ain’t just about taxes!!

  2. I do appreciate those moderate Republican legislators who will resist Brownback, Kobach and the Koch brothers. They appear to be decent, sensible individuals. However, the extreme imbalance in Kansas politics is damaging to democracy. The August primaries should be a mere prelude to the real election–the general election in November. No Democrat should ever feel the need to register as an R in a primary just to block a monstrous right wing candidate. We need to build a strong Democratic party which can support strong candidates. That would be better for everyone, including the moderate Rs. When the Koch brothers threaten to “primary” them if they don’t do what they want, the moderate will be able to reply that their constituents would vote them out in November if they caved in to that kind of pressure. Conservatives only represent about 35% of the population of Kansas, but their ability to manipulate primaries is giving them disproportionate leverage. That would change if we’d just support Democrats in Kansas.

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