Entries in Kansas (7)


Republican Congressman Scolded After Drinking and Nudity in Israel -- A group of House Republicans visiting Israel as part of an official Congressional delegation last summer enjoyed a late night of drinking at the Sea of Galilee that included swimming and, in the case of one member, a little skinny dipping in the place where the Bible says Jesus walked on water.

The story was first reported by Politico and has been confirmed by ABC News.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was on the trip but was not present for the late night antics.  When Cantor was told about what happened, according to Republican sources, he was “livid” and called members of the delegation to say the behavior was unacceptable and must never be repeated.

The skinny dipper, according to the sources, was Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas.

In a statement to Politico, Yoder said: ”A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel.  After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.  It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”

Cantor’s deputy chief of staff, Doug Heye, tells ABC News what he told Politico: ”Twelve months ago, [Cantor] dealt with this immediately and effectively to ensure such activities would not take place in the future.”

Heye confirms that the FBI asked about the incident, although the investigation does not appear to have gone anywhere.

“Last year, a staffer was contacted by the Bureau [FBI], which had several questions, the staffer answered those questions and that appears to have been the end of it,” Heye said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Wins Big In Kansas, While Romney Takes The Pacific and The Virgin Islands

Jay LaPrete/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum claimed a sweeping victory in Kansas on Saturday, winning the state’s caucus with 51.2 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney placed second in the caucus with 20.9 percent, Gingrich and Paul came in third and fourth place with 14.4 percent and 12.6 percent respectively.

“We are very excited to see the Santorum surge sweeping through the Jayhawk State,” Santorum Communications Director Hogan Gidley wrote in a statement. “This is a great win for the campaign and further evidence that conservatives and tea party loyalists are uniting behind Rick as the true, consistent conservative in this race.”

Santorum was the favorite to win in Kansas; though there were was no formal polling, the state’s large socially conservative population was seen as a strong advantage for Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator was also one of only two GOP candidates to visit Kansas ahead of its primary-- Ron Paul was the other candidate.

Kansas Republican Party Chair Amanda Adkins issued a statement on Saturday evening congratulating Santorum on his victory.

“Today 30,000 Kansas Republicans showed their enthusiasm and support for a new leader in the White House. Congratulations to Rick Santorum for his significant victory in our state” Adkins wrote.

The party estimates that 33 out of the total 40 delegates will be awarded to Santorum. The remaining 7 delegates will go to Mitt Romney.

Romney took three smaller, yet equally decisive victories on Saturday in the American territories of Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands. He won Guam where he won Guam with 84 percent and the Northern Marianas 87 percent of the vote winning all nine of the delegates offered in both of those locations, bringing Romney’s total to 25 delegates.

Romney was also declared the winner in the Virgin Islands by the Virgin Island Republican party. The party released an unofficial delegate count which gave Romney seven delegates, Paul one delegate and left one delegate uncommitted. The party said that these numbers are subject to challenges in the coming days and therefore might change, though that is unlikely.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Caucuses In Kansas, Guam, Virgin Islands, Northern Marianas

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Super Tuesday has passed and it’s full speed ahead for the four remaining GOP candidates in upcoming states like Mississippi, Alabama and Illinois. A couple of locations will, however, come first.

Kansas, along with the American territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas hold their caucuses Saturday.

Because of the time difference, the results have already been released in Guam and the Northern Marianas; Mitt Romney swept both caucus with 84 percent of the vote in Guam, 87 percent in the Northern Marianas. Rick Santorum came in second place in Guam with 7 percent, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul came in third and fourth place with 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Santorum also placed second in the Northern Marianas, and Gingrich and Paul each took three percent of the vote.

There are a total of 67 delegates at stake in the four weekend voting contests: 4o in Kansas, and nine in each of the three territories.

In addition to his victories in Guam and the Northern Marianas, Romney is expected to do well in the Virgin Islands. John McCain received the most support for any specific candidate in the Virgin Islands in 2008. “Uncommitted” actually received the most votes there in the last cycle.

Kansas is a different story. In 2008, Mike Huckabee carried the state with a whopping 60 percent of the vote. Romney received 3 percent of the vote in the state’s caucus. However, the contest fell two days after Romney announced he was dropping out of the race, so his performance should not be used as a barometer for this cycle.

In an interview with ABC News earlier this week, former Kansas senator and GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole said that he expects Romney to perform “better than a lot of people believe.”

Dole, who has endorsed Romney, said he believes Santorum will also perform well on Saturday.

“Rick Santorum will probably do very well, particularly in western Kansas,” Dole said. “He won’t do as well in the eastern part of the state.”

Dole said he thinks Santorum could also perform well in Wichita, the largest city in the state, which would bode well for his chances of a victory there.

After Saturday’s events, it’s just a short couple of days until the next series of contests, which will take place in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Pushes Hard for Kansas; Won’t Call on Gingrich to Quit Race

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LENEXA, Kan.) -- Rick Santorum, fresh off a strong Super Tuesday, told reporters in Kansas that though he “wanted” Newt Gingrich out of the race, his supporters, not he, had called on the former speaker to drop out.

“I’m not saying I don’t want him to get out. If he wants to get out, I’m all for him getting out. I’m for Mitt Romney getting out. I wish President Obama would just hand me the thing, but that’s not going to happen,” he said.

The pro-Santorum PAC Red, White & Blue Wednesday morning called on Gingrich to leave the race so that the conservative-leaning candidates would stop splitting votes.

Santorum, however, insisted he had not coordinated with the group, calling on Gingrich to quit.

“If they’re doing so, they’re not doing so at my knowledge, let’s just put it that way. I’ve been very, very clear about my position on this,” he said.

Santorum accused the Romney campaign of bullying him for saying it would take an “act of God” for him to clinch the nomination.

“What won’t they resort to to try to bully their way through this race? If the guy thinks he’s now ordained by God to win, then let’s just have it out.”

Santorum hopes conservative Kansas next week will continue to add to his delegate count. Newt Gingrich announced Wednesday he would not compete in Kansas, and Mitt Romney canceled an appearance he planned in the state for Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Invoke Roosevelt While Pushing Payroll Tax Cuts in Kansas

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Tuesday will travel to the same site where former President Theodore Roosevelt summoned the nation to a new progressive era, where he will deliver remarks urging Congress to act on the payroll tax cut and outline his vision for the middle class going forward.

“The president is going to lay out clearly his sense of what’s required to have an economy that will ensure more middle class security, where everyone gets a fair share and a fair shake,” a senior administration official said.  “The policy choices we’re going to have to make to get there...I do think that’s going to animate, not just the political debate next year, but the debate in the country.”

The president will travel to the small town of Osawatomie, Kan., the same place where Roosevelt outlined his vision for a “New Nationalism” over a century ago.

The choice of location was no accident, and the White House has spent a month focusing on the event.  Obama’s advisors read Roosevelt’s speech word for word and said it was eerie how much of it still applies today.

“There’s a tremendous amount of parallel between that moment in time and the economy and how middle working class families felt and where we are right now,” a senior administration official said.

In his speech, Roosevelt, faced with a growing disparity between the rich and poor, highlighted the responsibility of the wealthy to help those at the bottom of society.

President Obama will likely apply this message directly to the fight over the payroll tax cut.  Throughout the debate over the tax holiday extension, Obama has crafted an image of Republicans putting the interests of the wealthy ahead of those of the middle class.

While some Republicans in Congress have signaled support for the extension, they continue to oppose a tax on the wealthiest Americans to pay for it.  Failure to extend the tax cut, according to the White House, will increase taxes on 160 million Americans. Republicans have submitted their own plan for extending the cuts, maintaining Obama and the Democrats want to pass a "job killing" version that put the burden of paying for the cuts on the backs of the country's largest employer: small businesses.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kansas Governor to Endorse Rick Perry Thursday

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the Republican nominee for president in Florida Thursday, a source close to the Perry campaign confirmed to ABC News.

Brownback, who will be the first former presidential candidate to endorse the governor, will attend a Fox News debate as Perry’s guest.

Brownback is the third governor to lend his support to the Perry campaign.  Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accompanied Perry to the CNN debate in Tampa, Fla., and announced his support for the Texas governor, and one day later, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed Perry, as well.

Brownback, who once served as a U.S. Senator espousing social conservative causes, was the lone governor to attend Perry’s day of prayer and fasting in Houston in early August.

Brownback’s support will add to the bevy of endorsements rolled out by the Perry campaign this week.  On Wednesday, Perry’s campaign announced the support of 27 state legislators in New Hampshire and 21 state assembly members in South Carolina, along with snagging a former Romney supporter, Van Poole, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s steering committee in Florida in 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kansas Attorney General Asks to Add State to Health Care Lawsuit

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Kansas sent a letter Wednesday to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asking that Kansas be allowed to join the lawsuit which challenges the constitutionality of the nation’s recently passed health care reform law. The request fulfills a campaign promise Schmidt made to add Kansas to the long list of states opposed to federal health care.

“This lawsuit is about standing up for the rule of law and protecting the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution. Our federal government is designed to be a government of limited, enumerated powers, and we do not believe it has the power to order citizens into commerce so it can then regulate their conduct under authority of the Commerce Clause.  Whatever the merits or demerits of health care reform, the ends cannot justify an unconstitutional means,” Schmidt said.

Kansas joins the list of states requesting to join the lawsuit, originally filed in federal district court in Florida, along with Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming. If all of those states are added, 26 in total would have pending legal action against the health care law.

Schmidt said he believes the questionable constitutionality of the original health care bill is so important that it will eventually land on the desks of Supreme Court justices.

"This is an historic defining of the relationship among our federal government, the states, and the liberty of individual American citizens.  For those of us who believe that not all wisdom resides in Washington and, therefore, neither should all power, this is a constitutional fight worth fighting,” Schmidt said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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