Tonight in Wichita, Republican senator Pat Roberts will debate self-proclaimed independent challenger Greg Orman. Roberts likely will repeat his earlier charge that Orman is “just another Democrat who won’t shoot straight or come clean with Kansas.” Judging by Orman’s record of political donations, Roberts’ accusation is only 93 percent accurate.
According to OpenSecrets.org, the extremely revealing website of the Center for Responsive Politics, Orman contributed $37,300 to political candidates and party committees between October 23, 1996 and January 12, 2010. Of this total, $34,800 went to Democrats, and $2,500 landed in Republican coffers. Thus, 93.3 percent of Orman’s political giving benefited Democrats. Only 6.7 percent of his campaign largesse helped Republicans.
As for specifics, Orman gave the Republican National Committee a check for $250 in 1996 and another such infusion in 1997. He neglected Republicans until 2010, when he sent $2,000 to Scott Brown, who captured the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of long-time liberal field marshal Edward Moore Kennedy of Massachusetts. (Brown is now locked in a pitched battle with incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for a New Hampshire Senate seat.)
Orman’s favors for Democrats include $500 in 2006 to comedian-turned-parliamentarian Al Franken of Minnesota (as Yogi Berra would say, “Only in America”), $4,600 to Obama in 2007, and $9,400 in 2009 to the Kansas Democratic State Committee.
Orman’s declarations of independence are belied by the fact that 93 cents of each of his political dollars financed Democrats. This makes it about 93 percent likely that, if elected, Orman’s first senatorial decision would be to vote for Harry Reid of Nevada as majority leader and try to restore his granite grip on the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. If Orman’s were the deciding vote, this would let Obama maintain the Senate as the mausoleum where reforms passed by the presumably Republican House would be laid to rest, rather than endorsed and forwarded to the Oval Office for signature or veto.
In tonight’s debate, Senator Pat Roberts should hammer that point all the way to victory.