Editorial — More lies from Steve Rose, who appears scared of Rep. Patricia Lightner and not smart enough to debate her on facts

As Kaw and Border puts it:  “Steve Rose lets voters know who he’s afraid of.”

First, let’s remember that Rose is the only publisher in the Midwest who is on record:

  • 1.  Going out of his way to try to stop a college’s investigation into the friend and former college president who was accused by four female employees of sexual harrassment, resulting in the immediate resignation of the president.
  • 2.  Energetically supporting the violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act by a local government, when his friends are elected government officials.

But a few people do still read the once-successful paper that he inherited, and it’s left to others to correct Rose’s false statements.

Let’s look at facts surrounding Patricia Lightner, those things that Steve Rose usually avoids.

In 1998, now-3rd District Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore barely beat a conservative incumbent, during a year where Democrats picked up seats around the country.  In 2000, Republican Phill Kline (he’s a conservative, if you didn’t know) won Johnson County and only narrowly lost to Moore in the 3rd District.  In 2002, Adam Taff — an economic and national security conservative — narrowly lost to Moore.  In 2004, Taff was considered to be a moderate and overwhelmingly lost in the GOP primary.  Taff receive around 42%, and his two opponents received the remaining 58% of the vote.  Both of them were known pro-life, social conservatives:  Kris Kobach also received about 42% (beating Taff by about 200 votes), and State Representative Patricia Lightner received about 15%.

Dennis Moore ended up beating Kobach — after a rather negative primary between Taff and Kobach, after 6 years of Moore’s incumbency, and after a highly negative general election campaign where Dennis Moore, The Kansas City Star, and others called Kobach a racist because he had the audacity to propose solutions to the ongoing problem of illegal immigration.

In the 1990s, while Kobach had been an Overland Park city councilman, on one occasion that Steve Rose has never forgotten, Kobach voted his conscience in what should have been a very forgettable vote.  But, you see, this particular city council vote somehow affected, in a minor way, the property of Rose’s mother Shirley, a member of the ACLU-like “Mainstream Coalition.”

Ever since Kris Kobach made that city council vote, Steve Rose has had it out for Kobach.

So, in 2004, Rose loved Patricia Lightner, because most of her primary votes would otherwise have gone to Kobach.

But now it’s 2009, and Lightner is back, and she’s a real threat to Congressman Moore.  Moore, of course, is a part of the far-left, just like Rose.  One of Rose’s main life purposes, at this point, appears to be working year after year to convince swing voters in Johnson County that Moore is a moderate.  Rose realizes that, this year, it will be very difficult to massage Dennis Moore’s liberal record.

There are three possible — all potentially strong, and all largely conservative — challengers to Moore in 2010.  The last thing Rose wants is for a strong challenger to win the Republican primary, AND for that Republican nominee to be an independent-minded conservative.  That 2010 candidate — the toughest general election challenger, and the one with the most independent, conservative record — may very well be Patricia Lightner.   And that means that Rose needs to make stuff up (or else ignore facts) to attempt to damage Lightner and to make Lightner’s challengers appear extra great:

  1. Rose says that Moore has a record of trouncing right-wing candidates.  Actually, Moore often performs the weakest among the most conservative candidates.
  2. Rose says that Rep. Kevin Yoder is a moderate, while Lightner is a “hard right conservative.”  Actually, the two have virtually identical records.  And on immigration — an issue where Rose will go out of his way to make Kris Kobach appear unreasonable — Yoder has a more conservative record than Lightner.  Yoder voted against in-state tuition for illegal immigrants (something that should be a moot point, at any rate, considering Kansas is clearly violating federal law).
  3. Rose says that physician Steve Reintjes would make an “affable candidate.”  That doesn’t even make sense.
  4. Rose says that Reintjes is a Catholic, and that this would help Reintjes.  But Lightner is Catholic, and Rose never mentions it.
  5. Rose says that Lightner is the only candidate who has announced her candidacy.  Actually, she has not announced.  Rather, she has formed an exploratory committee.

So, considering the great lengths to which Rose goes to make stuff up in a way to damage Lightner, one must ask:  is Rose afraid of Patricia Lightner?  It appears so.

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