Monday, July 24, 2006

Kansas filings

The big story of the Kansas election finance filings was, of course, Phill Kline getting trounced 2-1 by Paul Morrison. Democratic challenger Paul Morrison raised $659,635, for $764,839 on hand. Incumbent Kline, who had big GOP names in stumping for him, raised less than half, only $315,506, for $418,491 on hand. What looked likely to be the big money race is shaping up as a lop-sided rout.

In the gubernatorial race, Kathleen Sebelius is raking in the cash. She raised $1,018,850, for $2,079,854 on hand.

Compare those numbers to the cash raised and cash-on-hand for the supposedly serious challengers:

CandidateCash raisedCash on hand
Jim Barnett237,503194,213
Ken Canfield196,2336,536
Robin Jennison112,68056,736
Tom Pickell15,7505,026

Barely pulling a tenth of what the incumbent has bodes ill for all involved. Pickell, the barely serious moderate in the race, barely deserves to be in the table.

But the results we all want are the school board fundraising.

First, the conservative incumbents, plus the conservative challenger to the one moderate incumbent up for re-election. Filings for Brad Patzer and Ken Willard are not yet online:

CandidateCash raisedCash on hand
Connie Morris19,44013,320
John Bacon6,2188,087
Jesse Hall12,8309,426
Ken Willard12,0779,656
Brad Patzer21,5604,732

Noteworthy things include prominent contributions from John Calvert and his wife to Jesse Hall, and John Bacon's lackluster fundraising and even more lackluster spending. He invested $300 in the race since the new year. Even if he has left-over campaign material from 4 years ago, that's a pretty weak outlay. But he hasn't raised enough money to be spending much more.

And now the challengers (and incumbent Waugh). Cauble's filings were not available yet. In looking at these, consider that Kansas primaries are in 1 week, and the primary is often the most important race. Beat Patzer, Morris, Bacon, or Willard in the primary, and the victor will probably sail to victory. But a Democrat will have to fight uphill against an incumbent Republican in a general election. Help these people win now!:

CandidateOpposingCash raisedCash on hand
Janet Waugh (D)Hall4,3974,316
Harry McDonald (R)Bacon30,4037,712
Don Weiss (D)Bacon4,2294,280
Sally Cauble (R)Morris16,6369,288
Tim Cruz (D)Morris7,8512,908
Donna Viola (R)Willard3,9951,711
Jack Wempe (D)Willard2,6851,744
Jana Shaver (R)Patzer15,44791,214
Kent Runyan (D)Patzer11,5332,325

Note that Jesse Hall has already outraised the incumbent. Now, it might be that Waugh was letting people who had opposition raise money first, but she clearly needs help if we're to keep the only incumbent moderate up for re-election. The only election that matters will be this primary, so give generously now and you won't hear about that race ever again.

Connie Morris is a whack-job, and deserves to lose catastrophically, not just for saying foolish things about evolution, but for trying to scam money out of the people's coffers for a trip to Florida. Sally Cauble and Tim Cruz are both great candidates, and wherever you live, now is the time to send a contribution of up to $500 to each of them. Make it $10 if that's what you have on hand, but please, now is the time.

Kent Runyan and Jana Shaver are both the real deal, experienced educators with good ideas and a sense of what Kansas education is like. But they both need your help. Especially Shaver, who has mere days before taking on the son-in-law of stealthy Iris Van Meter. Twelve hundred dollars isn't enough, so give now!

And Jack Wempe and Donna Viola clearly are in desperate need of financial help.

Given these numbers, I think Harry McDonald (former president of Kansas Citizens for Science) can probably take care of himself until August 1, primary day. Bacon has no money on hand and barely campaigned, which hopefully means he's handed the nomination to McDonald. But that doesn't mean we should stop sending money into that race. Don Weiss is a great guy running a strong campaign and he'll be there no matter what happens, giving the 3rd district a serious debate.

And maybe it's just coincidence, but I see a lot more money raised by candidates who take contributions online. And Don Weiss seemed to be the only one with substantial contributions from out of state, contributions from 5 people amounting to $525. Harry McDonald had some contributions from McDonalds in California, but not much beyond that.

In other words, all those people out there who've been wringing their hands about the outcome of this election have not been stepping up for the people who need help. And that's a problem. If you wonder how a creationist school board gets elected in Kansas: here it is. The religious authoritarians vote with their wallets, and then they vote in primaries. The only way to get the Board back to sanity is to do the same. Those of you who can't vote next Tuesday or who don't have a race in your district need to do your part.

I know I have readers from across the country who want to help bring Kansas back to this side of the Enlightenment. This is your chance.

Updated: The last of the reports are online, so I've added them to the post.

Cauble is raising money nicely, though not quite at Connie Morris's level. It's a big district and she still needs your help, as does Tim Cruz, who will face whoever wins that primary.

Ken Willard dominated the fundraising in his district, and while I wish one of his opponents was showing signs of kicking him out, I won't hold my breath.

Brad Patzer has more cash on hand than Jana Shaver does. I really think that race may surprise a lot of people and turn into a very competitive race. I really like both candidates, though I've spent more time with Runyan and confess that I'm a fan. In any event, I won't have to pick a favorite there unless Shaver wins, and I badly want to have a choice between the better of two excellent candidates. So sent Jana some dough!

Update 2: A keen-eyed reader noticed an error in a table. Harry McDonald doesn't have $28,000 on hand, he has $7,700 on hand, which is still pretty good. He's outspending Bacon heavily, which is excellent news.