Monday, August 22, 2016

Kansans in Congress: Here's Why Pat Roberts Is Backing Trump

Test-piloting a feature here at the blog: “Kansans in Congress” — a roundup of coverage at the local, regional, and national level of our state’s congressional delegation. Let me know if you like it, hate it, or if there are sources I need to be eyeballing when I do this roundup.

Pat Roberts advises Donald Trump on farm issues: Donald Trump can’t quite secure the explicit backing of the GOP’s leading figures, but Sen. Pat Roberts has jumped in with both feet — no backhanded nose-holding kinda-endorsement for him: He’s joined Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. How much advising they’ll do remains to be seen, but it’s actually easy to see why Roberts joined up: Farmers might be Trump’s most loyal base of voters: “The latest Farm Futures survey shows that farmers prefer Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Trump led Clinton 73% to 10% in the survey of 1,178 farmers conducted July 18-Aug. 3.” (Editor’s note: !!!!! That would be great for Trump, except it's possible Farm Futures actually surveyed all the farmers in this poll.) [Farm Futures]

Meanwhile, Jerry Moran is trying to help desperate wheat farmers: Politico reports: “The agriculture industry is trying to score a series of quick fixes from the Agriculture Department and Congress to help prop up the farm economy, leaning on lawmakers to advocate for their cause, as many farmers face sinking commodity prices, falling revenues and tighter credit conditions. The effort is working, Pro Ag’s Catherine Boudreau reports this morning. More than 60 lawmakers from both chambers have asked USDA to provide emergency assistance to dairy producers, while Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is requesting USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development to prioritize wheat in food aid shipments — both measures aimed at curbing commodity surpluses that are keeping prices low. And another effort is afoot to hike funding for USDA loan programs.”

Jerry Moran’s opponent doesn’t actually want to get elected to the U.S. Senate: The Cap-Journal profiles Patrick Wiesner, the Democrat running against Moran. “Some of Wiesner’s policy positions are politically unorthodox. He wants to expand the Internal Revenue Service and enhance its enforcement. He is opposed to farm subsidies, such as crop insurance, heavily favored by agricultural groups in Kansas and beyond. His immigration policy is to establish processing centers in northern Mexico, urge all undocumented immigrants to travel to them and grant the immigrants American citizenship after they have been processed.” (Ed: Um, yeah. That ought to work.)

It looks like Kevin Yoder is safe, too:  Wyandotte Daily reports “Yoder, whose residence is in Overland Park, had raised about 17 times the amount of contributions that (Democratic challenger Jay) Sidie had raised by mid-July, according to campaign finance reports. A look at campaign contributions showed Yoder had raised $1.9 million and had $2.1 million cash on hand in mid-July, while Sidie had raised $113,332 and had $73,444 cash on hand in mid-July, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” Meanwhile, Daily Kos moves the district from “safe Republican” to “likely Republican.” “GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder just released an unanswered internal poll showing him with a 53-36 lead on businessman Jay Sidie. But the same survey also contained a major warning sign: It put Hillary Clinton up 44-38 on Donald Trump, in a suburban Kansas City seat that Mitt Romney carried 54-44 just four years ago. Such a large swing away from the GOP at the top of the ticket has the potential to put candidates further down the ballot in jeopardy.”

The anti-Huelskamp PAC flexes its muscles: “ESAFund, the Ricketts family-backed super PAC formerly known as Ending Spending, spent more than $1 million this summer in a successful effort to oust Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) in the primary this summer. Now the super PAC has picked its next target: Mary Thomas, who's running for an open seat in Florida's 2nd District. ESAFund is spending $126,000 to air TV ads attacking Thomas, and another $45,000 on online ads, according to its latest FEC filing. The buy brings the group into conflict again with the Club for Growth and the House Freedom Caucus, which are backing Thomas.” [Politico]

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