Barbara Bollier’s entire campaign for U.S. Senate is built on a fiction that she hopes no one will challenge. As a member of the Johnson County delegation to the Kansas Legislature who has served alongside Barbara since 2011, I’d like to present the truth.
Barbara Bollier is not a moderate.
Barbara Bollier does not reach across the aisle.
A moderate would have voted for the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by Governor Laura Kelly in June. Barbara voted no.
A moderate would have voted for the 2019 budget measure that included the landmark, bipartisan deal to restore school funding and satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court in the Gannon case. Barbara voted no.
A moderate would have voted for reasonable measures like requiring licensing and inspections for abortion clinics to ensure patient safety and accountability. Barbara voted no.
A moderate would agree with eight in ten Americans that late-term abortions should be banned. Barbara voted no, taking the position considered even too extreme by two-thirds of Americans who favor abortion rights. In fact, she’s voted against every single abortion restriction considered in her ten years in Topeka. Voting 100 percent of the time on one side of an issue is, by definition, not moderate.
A moderate would never cast the single dissenting vote against a law strengthening penalties for failure to report child abuse.
A moderate would never cast the single dissenting vote against a law strengthening penalties for failure to report child abuse. Barbara stood alone and voted no, as 123 of her colleagues voted yes.
Would a moderate inaccurately smear longstanding, sincerely-held Catholic beliefs as “sick discrimination” and “bigotry?” Barbara did in a speech on the Kansas Senate floor. You can go watch the video for yourself if you don’t believe me.
Each of these examples puts Barbara well outside the mainstream in Kansas.
Now, less than two years after repudiating the Republican Party, she has made the cynical calculation that she can use her old party affiliation to fool enough Republicans that she’s one of them. It’s a slight modification of the strategy she employed from 2010 to 2018, when she called herself a Republican on the ballot while proceeding to support hard left Democrat policy.
Voting nine times out of ten with one political party while calling yourself a member of the other isn’t moderate, it’s dishonest. Running television ads touting “bipartisan” endorsements from many of the same “Republicans” who have been endorsing Democrats for many election cycles is dishonest too. Voters deserve to know virtually everyone on the list voted for Paul Davis, Hillary Clinton, Laura Kelly, and plans to vote for Joe Biden.
In ten years as a member of the Kansas Legislature, she never got one piece of legislation signed into law.
Barbara and her campaign consultants have also decided to tout her “working across the aisle” to “get things done.” They’re hoping no one will point out that in ten years as a member of the Kansas Legislature, she never got one piece of legislation signed into law.
Not a single one. Definitely not any surprise medical billing legislation like she claims. In 2014, Barbara voted against House Bill 2668 to protect Kansans from this very practice.
Working across the aisle is important for good governance. It takes courage and leadership and isn’t always easy – and I say that from experience. My work on mental health issues and crisis stabilization centers with Representative Kathy Wolfe-Moore (D) earned both of us national recognition. The National Council of Behavioral Health awarded us the “Excellence in Advocacy by an Elected Official Award” in 2018. One of most, if not the most prestigious awards in this area. It was the first time any Kansas public official had received the award. The award was shared with Representative Wolfe-Moore in recognition of bipartisan cooperation. My work on a bipartisan health care access bill with Governor Kelly, Senate Bill 252, received national attention and respect for producing a robust solution for measurable affordable health care in Kansas.
The Bollier campaign is using millions of dollars, raised from California and New York with Chuck Schumer’s help.
The Bollier campaign is using millions of dollars, raised from California and New York with Chuck Schumer’s help, to claim that she “led the charge” on surprise medical billing in the Kansas Legislature. A short internet search reveals that her bill, Senate Bill 357, received not a single cosponsor, was not debated, and died in the committee where it was introduced.
In what world does not convincing a single member of the Kansas Senate to join your effort amount to being a leader?
Barbara Bollier is running an alternate reality campaign. These are simply the facts.
–By Jim Denning, Senate Majority Leader, Kansas Senate