Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday November 3, 2010


Republican Party on probation. Noted conservative figure Richard A. Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com expressed a common idea: “Voters have given Republicans one more chance to get it right. They are on probation, and if they mess up again, they won’t get another chance. The last time the Republicans were in charge, they became the party of big spending, Big Government, and Big Business. They abandoned the philosophy of Ronald Reagan and cozied up to lobbyists and special interests. And they paid a price at the polls.”

Limited government and economic freedom not desired. In today’s Wichita Eagle editorial assessing the election results, Rhonda Holman just can’t grasp the importance of limited government and economic freedom to prosperity. Instead, she prefers what some call “nuanced” politicians, who can be pressured by newspapers to vote for big-government boondoggles: “Incumbent Commissioner Dave Unruh and Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton already have proved to be thoughtful leaders; the same cannot be said of Richard Ranzau, whose tea party tendencies could put important county priorities at risk.” The victories of Ranzau — there were two, one in the primary over an Establishment Republican and again in the general election over a Democrat in a Democratic district — were gained the old-fashioned way: by meeting voters and letting them know what he stands for. And he was not bashful in his message of limited government. Both times, voters responded. The Wichita Eagle ought to take notice.

Future of Sedgwick County Commission. Yesterday’s defeat of incumbent Gwen Welshimer by Jim Skelton replaces a commissioner committed to low taxes and spending with someone with a less convincing record. While Skelton has sometimes voted against TIF districts — he and Paul Gray voted against the $10.3 million Exchange Place TIF district, although they were okay with it at $9.3 million — he firmly believes it is his duty — as city council member and as future county commissioner — to direct the economic development of the region.

Future of Wichita City Council. Skelton’s move to the county commission means there will be another new face on the council be fore long. Already the spring elections will bring two new faces, as members Sue Schlapp and Paul Gray will be leaving the council due to term limits. Now Skelton will be replaced, either by city council appointment or election next spring, depending on the timing of Skelton’s resignation. That’s a total of three new members. Mayor Carl Brewer and Vice Mayor Jeff Longwell must run for relection in the spring if they want to stay on the council. Brewer has already announced his intent to run.

Commission criticized as “gutless.” Because Wichita real estate developer Rob Snyder wasn’t granted some $400,000 in taxpayer subsidy because of the action of the Sedgwick County Commission, he criticized the commission as “gutless,” according to Wichita Eagle reporting. When testifying before the Wichita City Council as to the need for his developer welfare, Snyder whined about how that earmarks are now unpopular with the American public and not available to finance his proposed Save-A-Lot grocery store. An earmark — that is to say, a grant of money paid for by U.S. taxpayers — was used as a large part of the financing for the other Save-A-Lot in Wichita at 13th and Grove.

Kahn to substitute at Pachyderm. A scheduling change means Wichita State University political science professor Mel Kahn will be the presenter at this Friday’s (November 4) meeting of the Wichita Pachyderm Club. The always-interesting and entertaining Kahn will speak on the topic “Do Political Attacks Help or Harm our Republic?” This seems like a timely topic given the recent general and primary elections. The public is welcome at Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club.


12 responses to “Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday November 3, 2010”

  1. Wendy

    Skelton believes in Central planning. So did Marx, Lenin and Stalin.

    So, what’s the record on Central Planning?

    Does Skelton think the central planning would have worked if only it was “done right”?

  2. Comarade C

    RINO Skelton outed fiscal conservative Gwen Welshimer on the coattails of republican victories. What a shame … Gwen will be missed. How sad the Eagle endorsed Skelton, known in many circles as guilty of domestic violence .. guess the Eagle missed the memo on men that abuse.

    Also Ron Snyder’s comment about the County Commissioners being “gutless”: Guess Snyder missed the memo that unlike, the City Council, the County Commission at least has what they don’t: i.e. “balls.” And unfortunately, Skelton will not bring those with him when seated!

  3. Bud

    His contribution to the City Museum?

  4. Comarade C

    Love it BUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. observer

    If Rob Snyder is calling the county commission “…gutless…” is this insult an invitation to debate? I suspect that Snyder would be too gutless to publicly debate any of the five county commissioners who rejected his subsidy scheme. Then it would be clear who lacks intestinal fortitude.

  6. Frankie

    I don’t think it will be long before the 5th county commission district will be very sorry they voted for Jim Skelton, a tax and spend RINO. I am sure Gwen will be missed shortly after she leaves her commission seat.

  7. Ann H.

    Ironically in this Republican-leaning year, I voted for my first-ever Democrat, Gwen Welshimer. Although I am ecstatic about all the conservative wins, I believe Gwen’s loss reveals an unfortunate truth, and that is that many people were not particularly informed on who or what they were voting for in each particular race (especially the down-ticket races), but just voting Republican on everything in reaction to all the crap the Democrats (in general) have foisted upon us. If we’re really going to get good government, people are going to have to look more beyond party label. Unfortunately I don’t think most people like to take the time and effort that is required to get at least some info on every single candidate on their ballots. We’re going to have to realize this is a long war on many fronts, and effort is required–“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” and all that.

  8. Anonymous Mike


    If Gwen was such a good conservative (fiscal at least), why wasn’t she a Republican? If Skelton is such a big spender, why wasn’t that brought out earlier? more forcefully? Thanks to Bill Clinton, I probably won’t ever vote for a democrat again. It’s very difficult to find the time to research everyone.



  9. Camerade C

    MIke, Do you think the illustrious Eagle was going to analyze Gwen’s fiscal conservativeness?They supported the tax and spend candidate because he was the closest thing to “liberal” they could get.
    The Eagle does no service to its community. Are there any true journalists on staff there? I think not.

  10. Anonymous Mike

    Hi, Nope, I didn’t think that the Eagle was going to do anything more than spew propaganda to their liking. I didn’t remember seeing much about Gwen or Skelton, but I’m not in their district anyway.


  11. Ann H.

    Mike, I am guessing the reasons Gwen’s a Democrat are due to other issues. There are a few, though VERY few, fiscally conservative Democrats, so it’s no unheard of. In the Kansas legislature, Gwen was a social liberal–according to Kansans for life she is pro-choice and pro-same-sex “marriage.” If she was running for another position I would never have voted for her because of these reasons, but from what I could tell, abortion and marriage were not relevant to the County Commissioner position, so I reluctantly voted for her. Anyway, that seems to be a clue as to why she’s a Democrat and not a Republican (although there are socially liberal Republicans too but usually they are Democrats).

    I agree, it is difficult to find the time to research everyone, especially when there isn’t an abundance of information (as in the appellate judge retention races–there was virtually zero information).

  12. Anonymous Mike

    Hi Ann

    I’m sure to win friends among the Lawyer types here, but when I don’t know anything about one of the judges, I vote against them just out of reflex. I plan on sending off for an early ballot next election so that I can look everyone up that’s on the ballot, on the net. I remember getting to vote on Precinct committeemen last year, and I didn’t even know they existed, or that I could vote on them. I hate that.


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