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Butler County Times-Gazette: Kansas GOP bus tour visits Butler County on Wednesday

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By Julie Clements & Belinda Larsen 

The 2014 Kansas Republican Party’s “Clean Sweep” Bus Tour made stops in El Dorado and Augusta Wednesday as they began their four-day tour across Kansas.

Sen. Pat Roberts, Gov. Sam Brownback, Rep. Mike Pompeo, State Treasurer Ron Estes, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and candidate for insurance commissioner Ken Selzer made the stop visiting with constituents and talking about the upcoming election.

The first to speak was Roberts.

“I’m Pat Roberts,” he began. “You know me. I’m a fourth generation Kansan, I’m a Marine, I’m a conservative, I’m a Republican. We’ve won a lot of battles together, we’re going to win more. I want to tell you that this race is so much more than about me. This is a race that boils down to whether or not we have a Republican majority in the United States Senate to end the gridlock, get things done and get our country back.”

He said President Obama said it well when he said this race was a referendum on his policies, programs and legacy.

“My opponent, Greg Orman, is not an independent,” Roberts continued. “He is in fact a liberal Democrat, on the issues and by contributions and about who he is.”

He said recently Orman was in New York and talking with the Soros family and Michael Bloomberg for endorsements. He also was endorsed by the AFL-CIO.

“The choice is pretty clear – you have a person who is pro-amnesty, I am not; who is pro-abortion, I am not; he thinks we ought to keep Obamacare as law of the land, I want to repeal and replace it,” Roberts said.

He said the last thing he wanted to say is Orman would not stand up to Obama or Harry Reid, saying he gave them money, support and voted for them. 

“The road to a majority in the United States Senate runs right through Kansas right now and we are going to win this race,” he said.

Brownback spoke next.

“We have things moving the right direction in Kansas,” he said. “Our unemployment rate is at 4.8 percent; it was 6.8 when I started. Our schools are the fifth best ranked in America. We invested more money than ever before, we got your taxes down, and the other guy, Paul Davis, wants to raise your taxes. That’s not the way we want to go in Kansas. That’s not the way to grow. He said ‘We don’t like what you’re doing, I’m going to raise your taxes.’ That’s the way for us to get in decline, not to grow.”

The next to speak was Pompeo.

“I’m going to be really brief, because the issue is really clear,” Pompeo said. “The option that the folks in the 4th District face on the ballot is really straight forward. It’s about whether you want Kansas to be an opportunity society, and if you do, you’re going to vote for Gov. Brownback. If you want America to look more like that too, more like the set of values we have here in the heartland, the chance of you voting to return Harry Reid to majority leadership in the United States leadership is precisely zero. We cannot emphasize enough, this is going to be about who decides to go cast the ballot.

“Let’s return this conservative notion of opportunity to Kansas and to America,” Pompeo said. 

Kobach spoke next.

“Not only are we going to win on Nov. 4, we are going to win fair and square,” he began. “Why? Because there are fair elections in Kansas. You probably know Kansas became the first state in America to combine photo ID at the polls, equivalent security for mail-in ballots and proof of citizenship when you register to vote.”

He said now Alabama and Pennsylvania are copying the law.

“We’ve shown you can make it easy to vote but hard to cheat,” he said. “Now isn’t that common sense. The other side is saying voter fraud doesn’t exist.”

He said they must not have been reading the papers much, citing a story about a woman in Connecticut who committed 18 acts of voter fraud being prosecuted and a story in the Washington Post about 14 percent of non-citizens in the country are already registered to vote illegally and about 6 percent voted in 2008 and 2 percent in 2010.

“That’s not happening in Kansas because we’ve shown you can secure our system,” he said. “I hope you all get out and vote fairly, vote only once, but do vote.”

Estes spoke next. 

“Four years ago when we had the clean sweep bus tour we elected Republicans all up and down the ballot statewide and federal,” he said. “In those four years we’ve gotten a lot done; Republicans have gotten a lot done. We returned over $65 million to Kansans so they can help grow the economy in Kansas.” 

He said the governor and legislature worked to improve the pension system in the state.

“We’ve got a few more days to get over the finish line to return all Republicans again so we can keep getting the job done,” he said.

The final speaker was Selzer.

 “I’m a CPA. I have 32 years of directly relevant insurance experience for this job,” he began. “If you want somebody who understands business and how to bring good business practices to this incredibly important insurance department. I’m your man.”

He talked about party unity, saying just think what it would look like in the state government with a liberal in the governor’s office.

“I look forward to everybody voting Republican,” he said. “We can do good things in this state. We are all proud to be Republicans.”

Brownback concluded by saying, “Let’s go win it Nov. 4. God bless you all.” 

David Crum, Kansas Representative, Dist. 77 from Augusta, endorsed Brownback’s re-election and shared some thoughts Wednesday before the tour stopped in Augusta.

“It has been a pleasure to serve with Gov. Brownback these past four years. His policies, developed in cooperation with the legislature, are having a very positive impact on our state,” Crum said. “We have been through one of the most difficult economic times in our nation’s history. The impact has been devastating to families who have lost jobs.”

Crum explained Brownback’s support of technical education has helped increase attendance at community colleges, as well as technical schools.  He also credited Brownback with expansion of engineering programs which will improve the capability of the state’s workforce. 

“As far as K-12 education, we have an outstanding teacher workforce and thanks to state funding of capitol improvements, excellent facilities throughout the state,” Crum added. “Governor Brownback has worked tirelessly to restore our economic vitality and in turn make more jobs available. I encourage every voter to re-elect Gov. Brownback on Nov. 4.”