In summary: In 2008, Kansans for Life endorsed Kevin Yoder, but only because he was better than his Democratic opponent, and not because he was fully pro-life. Kansans for Life should today clarify this, for 3rd District pro-life Republican voters.
For first-time readers, I would like to briefly highlight what I’ve written before in detail here and here — I will be strongly supporting Kevin Yoder in the general election, if he is the winner of the primary, and if Yoder is the Republican running against Democrat Stephene Moore. But today we are not in the general election; rather, we are still in the beginning stages of the primary race for the August 3 primary election.
Today, Kevin Yoder is mildly benefiting among conservative Republicans from the fact that Kansans for Life endorsed Yoder in the 2008 general election, against his Democratic opponent Gary Glauberman, when Yoder won with 65% of the vote.
It’s likely that this 2008 KFL endorsement is causing some confusion among pro-life voters in the 3rd District, and KFL should release a brief statement clarifying the fact that its 2008 endorsement was one in which Yoder was “better than the other guy,” and that KFL did not (and does not) consider Yoder to be 100% pro-life.
While I haven’t confirmed the following, I was told that Yoder didn’t seek out the 2008 endorsement from Kansans for Life (KFL), meaning that he was given the endorsement without filling out a survey or meeting with KFL leadership. This would not surprise me, given some of KFL’s recent, unhelpful actions and inactions, including their decision to effectively stab in back proven pro-lifer Kay O’Connor by co-endorsing Ron Thornburgh during the 2006 primary election between the two of them, and when O’Connor won an incredible 44% in Johnson County despite spending very little money.
To be clear, I support KFL’s decision to endorse Yoder in 2008. While I do not know the record or philosophies of Yoder’s 2008 Democratic challenger Gary Glauberman, it is likely that Glauberman was not at all pro-life, whereas we know that Yoder has a good, pro-life record when it comes to late-term abortions.
In 2008, Yoder was also endorsed by the pro-cloning group “Kansans for Lifesaving Cures.” It’s important to note that not one “life-saving cure” has yet to be found through the cloning of human embryos.
On the 2008 endorsement by the pro-cloning group, I am somewhat surprised to see this confirmed and advertised — currently — at the Yoder for Congress Web site (emphasis added):
In 2008, he was endorsed for re-election to the Kansas House by the Kansas Association of School Boards E-PAC, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Kansas Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, and Kansans for Life and received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. In 2003, he was recognized by the Kansas Disability Caucus with an award for “courageous leadership to address the need to fund programs for people with disabilities.”
We know that Yoder will vote on the side of life, when it comes to late-term abortions. But, obviously, the pro-life issue is more than just about late-term abortions. It also is about first-trimester abortions, and it also is about medical research that involves the cloning and destruction of human embryos. To my knowledge, Yoder does not have a record on abortions that involve fetuses 21 weeks and younger. In the state legislature, Yoder does have a voting record on cloning, and it’s a pro-cloning record.
At the state and federal levels, legislators vote on clone-and-destroy legislation, with regard to not only research done by private companies but also with regard to the use of taxpayer dollars. And at the federal level, when you’re talking about using taxpayer dollars for anything, you’re then dealing with two important issues: the morality of the actions taken with the use of that money, and then separately the 10th amendment (regardless of the morality or effectiveness of the legislation, the question of, “Is it constitutional for the federal government to be doing this, in the first place?”).
I’ll be the first to say: it is a defensible position as a Republican to say, “I support the use of state funding for cloning, but because of the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution, I do not support the use of federal funding for cloning.” But Yoder isn’t saying this, as he won’t commit to voting against the use of federal funding for clone-and-destroy research. As I wrote the other day,
“Importantly, I’ve asked Yoder point-blank if he would pledge to vote against taxpayer funding of human cloning research, and he said, no. I’m not talking here about laws banning private companies from creating and then destroying human embryos; rather, I’m talking about the use of federal taxpayer dollars for this research. That’s not pro-choice, and neither is that in line with a correct interpretation of 10th amendment of the US Constitution (to summarize: “if you don’t see it written here, Congress isn’t supposed to be doing it.”)”
Again, once it comes to the general election, and if Kevin Yoder is the Republican nominee, I’m going to be a Yoder supporter. But we are in the middle of a primary election, and I’m committed to supporting a candidate who will not allow my federal tax dollars to be spent to clone and destroy human embryos.
Kansans for Life would serve its supporters by clarifying its 2008 endorsement of Kevin Yoder.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).