I went to a reception (read: fundraiser) for the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Jim Slattery. From the time I moved here, until 1994, Slattery was my congressman. That year, he decided to run for governor against Bill Graves, a Republican who held a statewide office (Secretary of State) and was thus better known. Graves was a moderate, and better on reproductive rights than Slattery was or is, so, dear reader, I voted for him. When all else is equal (and it pretty much was), I'm always going to go with the guy who doesn't want to tell women what they can do with their bodies.
That was then. Now, after a 14 year hiatus from politics, Slattery is back and running against the incumbent Pat Roberts, best known for his star turn as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during the run-up to the war. Ol' Pat's outrageous behavior on that committee--he stalled production of the report on pre-war intelligence in 2003-4 because he knew it would hurt Bush's re-election effort; called Phase II of that report a "monumental waste of time"; supports every law allowing domestic wiretapping; let committee member Senator Richard Shelby off the hook for leaking classified docs, (all of this is documented at Think Progress)--is making the prairie people take a second look. Republicans VASTLY outnumber Democrats in the state, but they completely understand the kind of malevolence and hypocrisy exhibited by Pat as he sought to keep his constituents in the dark in order to re-elect his President.
The reception was CROWDED. I'm sure this is, in part, because we were at the hands-down most beautiful home in town. But there were a lot of Republicans there too, including Slattery's campaign manager, Nelson Krueger, and his wife Judy, who was Bill Graves' campaign manager in 1994, when he ran AGAINST SLATTERY!
After a little chit-chat and chablis, Slattery spoke and took a few questions. He's no Obama, and I'm not in love. But he's smart, funny, works hard, congenial--and sincerely pissed about Pat Roberts' conduct. Check Jim out at Jim Slattery for Senate.