Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Kansas needs a fresh face representing them in Senate

1/15/2014

After more than 45 years of political service to Kansans in Washington D.C., it’s time for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts to retire. Roberts long ago lost his energy and urgency to serve his constituents as he became more and more mired and beholden to special interest groups with nearly 90 percent of his votes along party lines.

Those are sentiments we share with one of Roberts’ opponents for the Senate seat.

After more than 45 years of political service to Kansans in Washington D.C., it’s time for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts to retire. Roberts long ago lost his energy and urgency to serve his constituents as he became more and more mired and beholden to special interest groups with nearly 90 percent of his votes along party lines.

Those are sentiments we share with one of Roberts’ opponents for the Senate seat.

Radiologist Milton Wolf, 42, Leawood, was in Ottawa this week at the Franklin County Republican Central Committee’s meeting seeking support for his campaign to unseat Roberts from the Senate position he’s held since 1997. Before that, Roberts served in the House. We agree with Wolf’s comment that everyone who can work should do so, and that those who can’t take care of themselves should be taken care of. Some of his other views, however, veer too far to the right.

While we aren’t yet convinced Wolf is the right one to succeed Roberts, it’s time for a more vibrant and diplomatic candidate to claim the Senate seat. Hopefully more candidates will enter the race before the August GOP primary and the November general election.

Wolf’s boldly “conservative” views more closely align with the Tea Party than with the more mainstream GOP, thus earning him the endorsement of the Madison Project and the Senate Conservatives Fund — a PAC dedicated to “electing strong conservative leaders ... We do not support liberal Republicans and we’re not affiliated with the Republican Party or any of its campaign committees,” according to the organization’s website. Wolf likened his political stance Monday evening to those of U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Blood apparently isn’t thicker than water within Wolf’s family. The challenger said he’s President Obama’s second cousin, but that he disagrees with every policy of Obama’s. Wolf, a physician, is adamantly opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and said he doesn’t believe any of the words in the legislation name are honest nor does he believe the program is good for patients. Wolf instead said he believes in a free-market system focusing on patients to bring down health costs.

Amazingly, the cousins might actually agree on one thing: the Republican Party is facing an identity crisis.

At age 77, career-politician Roberts should step aside to enjoy his well-deserved retirement and allow someone else the opportunity to serve, lest he get re-elected and then promptly resign because of an ailment of one kind or another. It is scary to think who Gov. Sam Brownback might appoint to the Senate seat if given a chance — especially since the Sunflower State has no shortage of frighting characters, including ambitious Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who clearly has his sights set on a national office and platform.

Washington, D.C. needs representatives with the chutzpah to be non-partisan statesmen first and who can reach across the proverbial party aisle to solve America’s diverse problems. Has the right candidate to succeed Roberts presented himself or herself? Perhaps. But if not, let’s hope he or she does so before election time.

— Jeanny Sharp,

editor and publisher

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