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The Topeka Showdown

Tuesday night’s Senate debate in Topeka was a test of the stamina and dirt-digging ability of each campaign. As the first televised debate between the two established candidates, Tuesday’s event was a litmus test for each side’s ability to eloquently and concisely present their stances while debunking and denouncing the other’s actions. And The Sentinel was there, sitting right behind the cameras, to witness it all.

Tiahrt and Moran both came out swinging and throughout the debate continued to insert digs where they could. But it was the delivery of those quips that set the candidates apart. Tiahrt’s insults were sharp and frequent while Moran slid quips in but didn’t have quite the same aim.

It was obvious both campaigns had done their research on one another, pulling up votes and actions from as far back as 2003. There was little the candidates actually disagreed about so the small actions- such as Tiahrt’s claim that Moran was shooting a commercial while the House was trying to repeal Obamacare- were mentioned. The one surprise of the night was Tiahrt’s acknowledgement of his previous support for amnesty for children of immigrants. But, he said he had changed his thinking on the issue after listening to the opinions of the people of Kansas. The Moran campaign quickly jumped on the statement, sending out releases highlighting the mishap and playing off Tiahrt’s change of view.

The overall rhetoric and actions of each closely mirrored what we have seen thus far in the campaign. During the closing statements, Moran focused on his desire to represent the people, create a better tomorrow and continue his service. Tiahrt used his two minutes to repeat his earlier accusations and throw a few more digs Moran’s way. Fortunately, we were spared the personal, low-ball attacks that had made their way into campaign press releases and comments over the past few weeks.

Both candidate were nervous to begin with but Moran seemed to settle down a little quicker than his opponent. The greeting at the start of the debate was quick and cold and nothing was said between the two Congressmen during breaks for advertising. After the debate, reporters seem to flock to Moran, leaving Tiahrt with few questions to answer. But the Goddard Republican did have a host of fans outside the studio who campaigned on his behalf before and after the debate.

About Katie Stockstill-Sawyer

I am a city girl that is learning about life on the farm. I met and married a fourth-generation farmer, Derek. I am now a farmer's wife and country girl. The move has required a few changes and a lot of learning. But I wouldn't change my new life and all of the little lessons and surprises it provides.


2 thoughts on “The Topeka Showdown

  1. I won’t even take sides here, since I was at my kids’ ball tournaments all night and didn’t get to see the debate.
    I do, however, dislike the fact that candidates always dig deep into history to find votes that can now be construed as negative. 2003 isn’t really that long ago, but I do believe the mindset on immigration has changed drastically in the last two years, compared to seven years ago.
    When they’re running for elected office, candidates have to hope they got every vote right the first time, because while they’re campaigning, they’re hardly allowed to say “I voted wrong on that one and have changed my mind after learning more about it.”
    Instead, they’re called flip-floppers or accused of pandering. Normal people are allowed to mess up, but politicians aren’t. That sucks. In defense of Tiahrt, what he probably originally saw were little kids in need. He wasn’t looking at them as little Mexicans. He was looking at them as little kids. I think we suck as a society for taking him to task for that sort of thing.
    Ugh. Now that I’ve defended Tiahrt, I’ll follow that up by saying Moran is definitely the best person for the Senate seat!!

    Posted by backroadsnewsroom | July 7, 2010, 1:32 pm
  2. In the Debate Tuesday night I saw two seminal moments that truely encapsulates the difference between the two men running for the Kansas Senatorial seat. The first occurred when Mr. Tiahrt asserted that Mr. Moran voted against the 2001 BUSH TAX CUTS that included permanent repeal of the Death Tax. Mr. Moran responded, ( I paraphrase)”That’s outrageous, I supported THE BUSH TAX CUTS and voted for them twice: once in 2003 and again in 2005.”

    Do you see it? Do you see the evasion? By not voting for the 2001 tax package the moment was lost to permanently repeal the Death Tax. The later 2003 and 2005 compromise packages put a 10 year moritorium, not a permanent repeal of the Death Tax, that comes back in 2011.

    When pressed by Mr. Tiahrt, Mr. Moran finally admitted that he had voted against the bill because the spending was 4% more than originally projected. At this point I will not argue with Mr. Moran’s rationale. What is important is that he evaded, dodged, lied. When the going got tough his moral compass pointed south not true north.

    The other moment occurred when the question was asked about Immigration. Mr. Tiahrt asserted that Mr. Moran supported sanctuary cities, bilingualism and easier citizenship requirements. Mr. Moran dodged the assertion but countered with the assertion that Mr. Tiahrt supported the DREAM ACT.

    The DREAM ACT, provided supports for children of illegals, ease of obtaining a drivers license and future amnesty.

    Mr. Tiahrt responded that in 2003, he did favor the supports and protections for the children but had a change of heart, and that after listening to his constitutents he changed his mind and does not support such an act today. At this point I will not argue with Mr. Tiahrt’s rationale. What is important is that he manned up, explained his position and went on. He did not dodge, or evade or run.

    Do you see it? Do you see the difference between the two men?

    I want a tough man in the Kansas Senate seat. I want a man who is strong enough to disagree with me, explain his decisions and then go on. He does not have to agree with me nor I with him every time. I want my Senator to be strong willed, with strong values and moral fiber. I do not want a weak man who when pressed will dodge or obstificate the issue or the truth. I do not want a man who will flatter me or mislead me to further his cause or image.

    What happened Tuesday night is exactly why I will vote for Todd Tiahrt.

    Posted by jdn1947 | July 8, 2010, 7:09 am

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