July 31, 2012

AP’s Expanded Report on Heartland Primaries Delivers More Scary Conservative Hype

Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I critiqued a short Associated Press item posted earlier Monday by reporter John Hanna which seemed quite alarmed at the notion that “Conservatives in Republicans are turning against moderates in their own party.”

Hanna expanded his report on Monday. Its apparently final version, time-stamped at 5:16 p.m. at the AP’s national site, goes further into describing those scary conservatives who want Republicans who will act on principle instead of just going along. What follows are excerpts from material added after the initial report:

The primary strife reflects differences that were somewhat concealed in the party’s triumphant victories in 2010, when, aided by public discontent about the economy, the GOP won its broadest control of state government since the Great Depression. After the vote, Republicans held governorships in 29 states and control of most of the legislatures from Michigan to Texas.

Conservatives, some aligned with the tea party movement, hoped to begin realizing their vision of smaller government and of a reformed education system that would give parents more alternatives to traditional public schools. But some of their initiatives were scaled back by GOP colleagues to soften the impact on public schools and other public services.

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin’s plan to begin phasing out the state income tax was blocked entirely, and Brownback and Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman had to settle for a fraction of the tax cuts they wanted.

“It’s no secret that there’s kind of a battle for what the Republican Party will be into the future and, as a consequence, what this state will look like into the future,” said Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the largest teachers’ union in Kansas.

Stop right there. Desetti, as seen in his February 9 testimony before Kansas’s House Committee on Taxation, is clearly a progressive, defending the state’s “long history of tax sanity” — obviously thereby claiming that Governor Sam Brownback’s proposals for state income tax reductions, among other things, aren’t sane. The AP’s Hanna never identified Desetti or his employer, the Kansas National Education Association, as a liberal or leftist. Meanwhile he tagged Club for Growth and Texans for Lawsuit Reform as conservative, and Americans for Prosperity as an “anti-tax group” (gee, I don’t think they’re against all taxes, John).

Continuing:

The conflict in Kansas is heading toward a showdown in the Aug. 7 primary. Conservatives want to oust Senate President Steve Morris, Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler and the leaders of most of the important committees in the state Senate, which acted as a check on Brownback’s move to make Kansas a laboratory of conservative fiscal and social policy.

“It is all about taking over the state in a conservative vein and eliminating as much as possible anybody who didn’t agree with their philosophical ideas,” said moderate GOP incumbent Sen. Tim Owens, one of the targets.

The conflict in Kansas is heading toward a showdown in the Aug. 7 primary. Conservatives want to oust Senate President Steve Morris, Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler and the leaders of most of the important committees in the state Senate, which acted as a check on Brownback’s move to make Kansas a laboratory of conservative fiscal and social policy.

Well, that is a useful quote from Mr. Owens, although perhaps not as Hanna may have intended. The quote appears to conjure up fears that (heaven forbid) a state might be run in a truly conservative fashion, but what it really betrays is the fact that Owens, in his own words, is admitting that he’s not with down with the limited-government basics of his own party.

Hanna also appears obsessed with making sure that anyone, everyone, and anything which is conservative is identified as such, while using the term “moderate” in, well, moderation. The word “conservative” appears 19 times in his report. “Moderate”? Seven times. “Liberal”? Zero.

Finally, there’s a Koch sighting:

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce raised $163,000 for the effort last year – a significant sum in a less populous state like Kansas (condescension alert — Ed.)with more than $36,000 coming from Koch Industries Inc., the company led by Charles Koch, a prominent political donor.

Koch is spending 1.25 cents for every man, woman and child in Kansas in hopes of steering the state in a direction it would prefer. Oh the humanity.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Share

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.