Kay Wolf is an endangered species, who – if she wins in the November general election – would be one of only five moderate Republicans in the Kansas Senate.
She defeated her conservative Republican opponent, David Harvey, with 57 percent of the vote in the August primary. All other local moderates running for the Senate were defeated. She now faces Democrat Kyle Russell in November.
Some moderate Republicans are saying Wolf of Prairie Village, who is the candidate for the moderate 7th District, representing the northeast part of Johnson County, has changed her spots.
As far as I can tell, the only reasons her skeptical moderate Republican cohorts are accusing her of switching sides to the conservative wing is because Wolf attended a fundraiser given by Gov. Sam Brownback for Republicans running in open seats, and because Brownback endorsed Wolf in the general election.
These are bogus issues.
Wolf is still a Republican. She believes in small government, not raising taxes, and is resolute in her efforts to increase jobs and grow the economy.
But to say Wolf is no longer a moderate is a farce.
She still will always attend Republican fundraisers, and, of course, the governor would endorse her over her Democratic opponent, no matter how moderate she is.
Wolf said the governor knows exactly where she stands on the issues, and in many cases her positions are in direct opposition to the governor’s agenda.
Let’s take it issue by issue:
Wolf is pro-choice on abortion until the 22nd week, at which time she considers a life viable. She is also opposed to changing any abortion law that would adversely impact the University of Kansas Medical Center’s abortion training program. She certainly was not endorsed by Kansans for Life.
She believes in greatly increasing funding for K-12 education, even though the governor is looking to hold the line on spending, and the Legislature may be seeking reductions.
Wolf is adamantly opposed to changing the way judges are selected in Kansas. She said, “We have to keep politics out of our judicial system.” This is in stark opposition to the conservative agenda, which seeks gubernatorial appointments with Senate confirmation, in an attempt to make the judicial branch more conservative.
Wolf opposed the massive tax bill that sharply cut income tax rates and provided huge tax cuts to certain corporations. “This is irresponsible,” said Wolf. “I would never vote for a tax bill where huge deficits are forecasted.”
Bucking the governor, Wolf said she would oppose extending the one-cent sales tax increase, or any portion of it. “I promised my constituents this was to be a three-year tax, and I will keep that promise,” she said.
Wolf is opposed to concealed carry of weapons into public buildings, a measure that is certainly going to come before the next legislative session. She is also opposed to all “open carry” weapons laws and thinks Overland Park made a mistake by allowing it. She called that a “dangerous precedent.”
Wolf believes undocumented immigrant Kansas high schools graduates should be able to pay in-state tuitions at Kansas public universities. “These children, who were brought here by their parents, have gone through the Kansas educational system,” she said.
Conservative Kansans must be gnashing their teeth over Kay Wolf’s positions, which are clearly moderate and are at odds with the conservative agenda. It makes no sense for moderate Kansans to be gnashing their teeth, as well.
How Kay Wolf can be accused of changing her spots is beyond me. She is standing her moderate ground, despite any intense pressure to change her votes to please her party’s leadership.
| Special to The Star