It seems the state’s college Republican groups have stirred the political pot. After several college Republican groups came out in support of Rep. Todd Tiahrt- no doubt due to their lack of reception from Rep. Jerry Moran’s campaign- a handful of college Republican groups that had not yet endorsed a candidate have been rumored to have received phone calls saying collegiate groups can not endorse candidates. Many believe the phone call is coming from a campaign worker, not a Republican committee official. That has, not doubt, angered many college Republicans.
In response to the rumored calls, a conference call has been scheduled with the Kansas Federation of College Republicans to determine whether individual collegiate groups can in-fact, support a candidate. It is believed the state federation, as a whole, might have to ban together to endorse a candidate. If that’s the case, word is, Tiahrt’s likely to get the nod. That’s like to not settle well with the Moran campaign, which has already lost out of a couple of big endorsements.
Update: Wednesday morning we learned, via an E-mail from Tiahrt’s camp, that Moran has declined the Kansas Federation of College Republicans’ “Ten in ’10 Debate Challenge.” The college republicans had challenged Moran and Tiahrt to two debates, many of which had been previously offered by various organizations throughout the state- including the debate proposed by The McPherson Sentinel and McPherson County Farm Bureau.
“Jerry Moran’s refusal to debate is, unfortunately, more of the same from a candidate who has a proven track record of running away from confrontation and ducking hard questions,” said Tiahrt campaign spokesperson Michelle Schroeder. “Instead of having the courage to face Todd and try to defend his voting record, Jerry hopes to buy this election with the special interest money he has amassed over the years.”
Tiahrt has continued to accept debate invitations from groups across the state and has issued Moran an “anytime, anywhere” challenge.
Update II: One of our sources has clued us in to how Tuesday night’s conference call went down. PSU, Benedictine, Wichita State and KSU all voted in favor of supporting Tiahrt. It’s no surprise that most of those schools have interns in the Tiahrt campaign. KU, Washburn and FHSU all voted to stay neutral on the issue. Apparently the disagreement in support has caused a civil war of sorts among campus chapters with those wanting to stay neutral feeling like they have been “bullied” by the Tiahrt fans.