Politics & Government

Tiahrt campaign tries to tie Kansas Senate rival to Communist Party

The Jerry Moran campaign is seeing red over an e-mail from Senate rival Todd Tiahrt's campaign that implies Moran is a fellow traveler of the Communist Party.

The e-mail subject line asserts — falsely — that Moran has been endorsed by the Communist Party USA.

"The assertion that Jerry Moran would be affiliated with communists is so outlandish, only a desperate campaign like Todd Tiahrt's would make such an assertion," said Moran campaign spokesman Aaron Trost. "It's a desperate public statement by a campaign that's still trying to find a message."

Tiahrt spokeswoman Michelle Schroeder said the e-mail was sent to select supporters to remind them of "the good conservatives who support Todd and Todd's campaign."

Moran, who represents Kansas' 1st District in Congress, and Tiahrt, who represents the 4th District, are locked in a struggle for their party's nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sam Brownback, who is running for governor.

Moran led Tiahrt 43 to 27 percent in an October SurveyUSA poll commissioned by KWCH-TV Wichita and KCTV-TV Kansas City.

The e-mail at issue came from the Tiahrt press office Tuesday with the subject line "Moran picks up endorsement from Communist Party USA."

The body of the e-mail reads, "While our opponent's legislation to allow travel between the United States and Cuba has picked up the endorsement of the Communist Party USA, we are pleased to remind you of the groups endorsing Todd Tiahrt for the U.S. Senate."

Then follows a list of well-known conservatives who have endorsed Tiahrt, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett and activist Phyllis Schlafly.

The Tiahrt e-mail contains a link to a statement by the Communist Party urging people to call their representatives and senators in support of House Resolution 874 and Senate Bill 428, which would lift a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba.

The statement makes no mention of Moran.

To read the complete article, visit www.kansas.com.