June 24, 2024

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Kansas Democratic Party Showdown Possible at DemoFest

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The Kansas Democratic Party will gather this weekend in Wichita for the organization’s annual DemoFest. There, they’ll host special guest, Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Congressman Keith Ellison, hold executive meetings, and attend campaign training workshops.

Though Ellison headlines the meeting, a petition to ouster Kansas Democratic Party Secretary Casey Yingling will likely take center stage. A petition seeking Yingling’s recall alleges she voted on whether the party should direct $20,000 to James Thompson’s Congressional campaign last April. Thompson lost to Ron Estes in a special election to replace Mike Pompeo. The petition to recall Yingling alleges she voted on using party funds for the Thompson campaign despite having ties to a firm, Ad Astra Group, LLC, being paid by the Thompson campaign.

The petition also alleges she used social media to attack the party, and now there’s a website devoted to saving the party. SavetheParty.org is dedicated to “exposing wrong doings and driving reforms within the Kansas Democratic Party to insure that the party and party leadership operates in a fair and transparent” fashion.

The website publishes a tape of the state party’s executive committee discussion about whether to give the Thompson campaign $20,000, and a blogger writes about the allegations.

“It is very clear to everyone that listens to the recording that there was a coordinated effort to interrupt a professional presentation by the Thompson campaign manager and Casey (Yingling) with their bait and switch attack routine,” Courtney Dagny writes.

Dagney is one of three bloggers to post to the site. Levi Henry blogs that the Kansas Democratic Party tried to “steal” the Thompson nomination for the April special election in favor of Dennis McKinney.

Henry writes party leadership attempted to handpick a candidate who could raise money

The Kansas Democratic Party will gather in Wichita this weekend. A new website and a petition to recall a Democratic party official suggest the event could be tense.

for the state party. Thompson thwarted that plan.

“The Kansas Democratic Party’s establishment elites have a specific playbook that doesn’t change: to hand-pick a candidate; use our party’s resources to overwhelm us financially; and then use character assassination to destroy the person or persons who stand in the way,” Henry writes.

Democratic precinct committee people selected a nominee to run for the vacant Congressional seat last spring. Leading up to the nominating convention, Henry writes that the party failed to provide rules in advance for how the process would be conducted, and during the convention, the state party chair introduced McKinney as a candidate.

“No other candidate enjoyed this luxury,” Henry writes.

The state party also used its committee on McKinney’s behalf, according to Henry. He writes the Kansas Democratic Party paid $5,000 to Post Rock Partners, Inc., a company owned by KDP executive committee member Ryon Carey, who represented McKinney during the nominating convention.

“Every step of the way, KDP establishment Democrats, specifically those upon the executive committee of the Kansas Democratic Party, have attempted to systematically game nominations in favor of hand-picked candidates,” he writes. “This behavior is not only reckless; it is precisely the reason that Democrats cannot come together following a primary or other nominating procedure: they feel like their voice was stolen by their own political party.”

SavetheParty.org is a project of ICTIndivisible. Kansas DemoFest is Sept. 29 and 30 in Wichita.


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