We the People endorse candidates at state level
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
When the colonists needed to inform a fledgling nation about the lack of respect they were receiving from the British government, they did so with pamphlets.
According to Lynn Ballinger, a “mechanic” for the American Majority, today’s political activists need to follow the same pattern as the founders did in keeping the nation informed.
“We need to be modern day pamphleteers,” Ballinger told the local political group We the People during its monthly meeting at Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant Thursday evening.
“There are still the same ideas and same principles as the founding fathers, but they are being lost,” she told the group.
Ballinger is considered a “mechanic” in honor of Paul Revere and others who sought to fix the political system more than 134 years ago.
With national movements like the Tea Party taking root, the American Majority helps citizens take the next step in being active politically.
“Many people have been to a Tea Party, and then they say, ‘What’s Next?’” she said. “Leaders are wanted, and we all have leadership potential.”
Ballinger, a former school board member in Garden City, was not a highly politically active person. She didn’t have the confidence to engage in political discussions. Now, others see her as a political activist even though that is not how she sees herself.
“I was one of those people pleaser,” she said. “We don’t want to rock the boat.”
But she said she started to do some homework on candidates and study voting records. Then she started to write some letters and get involved with some campaigns.
“We have to get out of our comfort zones and get behind somebody,” Ballinger said. “We need to understand our government structure and the founding principles.”
The people, not the politicians, are in control, she said, and that by supporting candidates and developing some influence with them is the best way to keep our elected officials accountable.
Her visit to Liberal provided a glimpse of the political awareness that she has not seen in Garden City.
“Nothing like this is happening in Garden City,” she said. “I’m impressed.”
Liberal’s We the People group had more than 25 in attendance Thursday to listen to Ballinger as well as to cast ballots for endorsements of candidates in state races. The group opted not to endorse candidates at the local level.
We the People only endorses a candidate if it receives more than 70 percent of the votes in the group.
In the race for U.S. Senate, We the People endorsed Todd Tiahrt. No candidate in the race of U.S. House received 70 percent support.
Other endorsements included Sam Brownback for Governor, Kris Kobach for Secretary of State, Ralph De Zago for Attorney General, Ron Estes for State Treasurer and David Powell for Insurance Commissioner.
Political campaign materials were available for those who attended the meeting. The group will be looking at a date to receive training from the American Majority on how to build effective coalitions and how to use the new media sources to become modern-day pamphleteers in an effort to hold government accountable in a nonpartisan way.