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?


16 responses to “Wink Hartman, Libertarian Party candidate?”

  1. sue c.

    I don’t think people should run for political offices if they are unable to stand the possibility of losing. There can only be one winner, after all.

    Wink and all the other candidates “solemnly pledged” (Anita Cochran’s words) support to the winner of the Primary at the Orpheum debate. This was AFTER all the mudslinging was started by Wink. Just an FYI.

  2. Average Joe

    If Wink jumps to the Libertarian Party, he should know I’ll also vote with my feet–by avoiding Jimmy’s Egg and the Hartman Arena.

    Politics is a tough game and there are more losers than winners. And nobody likes sore losers, Wink.

  3. Anonymous Mike

    Hi Joe, that’s gonna hurt, Jimmy’s Egg is my favorite breakfast place, and I have to drive past both Jimmy’s Diner, the Good Egg, and Denny’s to get there. I do agree though.

    I sort of doubt that the Libertarians would take Wink, Anderson maybe, but Wink doesn’t seem that Libertarian to me.



  4. kimpot54

    There are likely still plenty of die-hard Wink Hartman supporters out there, but running as a Libertarian doesn’t change the fact that Wink was registered to vote in FL for many years. That simple fact was the beginning of Wink’s downfall and that will not change. One must wonder at this point if we really want a congressman with such an ego as this man’s. I can’t help but think that Libertarian Wink and Republican Pompeo would give us a replay of the Rep. primary, giving Democrat Raj Goyle a much better chance of winning. Wink should concentrate on his businesses and re-declare FL as his primary residence.

  5. Craig Gabel

    I don’t pretend to know how it works at the Anderson or Hartman house but at the Gabel house if I give my word
    I am going to do something it is going to happen, and another persons actions don’t release me because it is my word. I have completed many many business deals just because I can shake a mans hand and look him in the eye and he knows my word is my bond. Craig

  6. Sheila

    If Wink wants to support the Libertarian cause with his money that is dandy with me. It would be a nice change for someone with some money to be on their side! The Democrates and Rinos get funding from the major pharma and insurance and casino companies, the Libertarians get nothing. (They have not sold their votes to corporations at this point.) If he wants to be a Libertarian, that is his business. He ran as a Republican. As long as somebody beats Raj I am good to go. If he splits the Republican vote and hands this to Progressive, liberal funded, Raj, I will be very unhappy!! Raj is a flunkey for pharma.

  7. Anonymous

    A neocon posing as a libertarian. Goyle will slip right in on the split vote. So now we might have 3 bad choices for congress?

  8. Anonymous

    “A man is only as good as his word. And this one’s word is no good.”

    So much for Hartman. So much for Anderson. These two will always make an excuse to get away with breaking their word. It’s called rationalizing doing what you want to do regardless of your pledge to your constituents.

    Yes, Anderson and Hartman, I recorded what you each promised your constituents at the forums, and you are now breaking your promise. No one should ever trust either of you on anything ever again. So much for being “honest businessmen.”



  10. Ann H.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me!!! Not only is Hartman not a Libertarian (meaning this is not at all about his principles), but if they somehow let him run as one, all it will do will ensure a Goyle victory. There is no way Hartman could win on a third-party line, so the only reason to do this would be to sabotage Pompeo’s chances.

    I was already worried about this race, as Goyle is a strong candidate because he is popular, makes himself look convincingly moderate, has an enormous warchest, and does not have the disadvantage of running against an incumbent. If Hartman re-enters the race, Goyle is in, no doubt about it.

  11. Anonymous Mike

    Hi, why so upset by Anderson? I didn’t do the best job of keeping up with him, and he isn’t running, he’s got a radio show (that I haven’t heard).



  12. Anonymous

    Weeks, you are now, and always have been a Pompeo hack. You’ve been a mouthpiece for Mike from day one, so it should come as no surprise that you now take his side once again.

    For the record, it was the Eagle that first broke the story on Hartman’s Florida home, and they did so because the Pompeo campaign released a press-release questioning his residency, so they did indeed attack first.

    You might want to make sure you have the facts right…. or whay would you change now!

  13. Anonymous

    Yes, Weeks has been a Pompeo supported from the beginning same
    as Sue C.

  14. Anonymous

    So Mr Weeks who claims that he himself is a Libertarian is afraid of an actual viable Libertarian candidate? And Pompeo probably could count on the support of his fellow candidates had he not said they should be shot

  15. Anonymous

    When did Pompeo say his opponents should be shot?

    Also, on a side note, Anita Cochran was about the worst choice for a moderator at the June debate at the Orpheum. She claimed that she was coming simply as a voter who had not made a decision, but it was utterly obvious she was backing Pompeo.

    Look, I’m a Pompeo supporter, but it was a disgrace to the Sedgwick County Republican Party that they allowed Cochran to be the “unbiased” moderator. I don’t agree with Jean Schodorf, who obviously ought to be registered as a Democrat, but the way Cochran treated Schodorf at the debate was shameful. Plus, the silly impromtu “cheer vote” was just childish when it was obvious Pompeo supporters made up a significant part of the audience.

  16. Anonymous

    Schodorf has all but said the Hunting RINO ads are the reason she hasn’t endorsed Pompeo, Wink was also named in those ads and I’m guessing that was a factor in his flirtation with the KSLP

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