Column by Martin Hawver: Heavy-duty, full-contact insider politics

Martin Hawver:

A proposed Kansas constitutional amendment that voters could consider at an election next year:

“A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose.”

It sounds pretty harmless. Can’t hurt to double-up on those constitutional rights, can it?

Now, the back story.

The resolution calls for the amendment, if it passes the Legislature (and the governor doesn’t have any role in this at all), to wind up on the 2010 general election ballot … for now.

But what insiders are watching is whether the amendment stays on the general election ballot or is shuffled to the primary election ballot, where it becomes an explosive political issue that ignites massive voter turnout.

If conservatives in the Legislature manage to move the vote to the primary election in 2010, it becomes a rallying issue that draws floods of conservatives to the polls, likely ousting any GOP candidate who has ever voted against a gun-rights bill (think concealed-carry).

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