The Donald Betts campaign has issued a press release responding to lies in radio commercials from the Todd Tiahrt campaign. Tiahrt has a huge funding advantage, is a long-term incumbent, and polls reportedly show him far ahead. Why then has the Tiarht campaign stepped into the gutter?
WICHITA, Kans. – Rep. Todd Tiahrt began airing commercials on local Wichita radio stations saying that State Senator Donald Betts, Jr. (D-KS), voted against expanding oil refineries, is opposed to lowering gas prices, and voted against a bill that allowed sexual predators on the street. These are outright lies as Betts wants to maintain refineries, is not opposed to lowering gas prices and has in fact voted for “Jessica’s Law” to enforce stronger sentencing for sexual offenders – 1st offense 25 years; 2nd offense 40 years; third offense life in prison. “These are malicious lies that have no basis in fact and are meant to scare voters into voting for Tiahrt,” said Betts. Betts’ Campaign Manager, Lisa Reiss, further clarified the record “Tiahrt is saying that Don voted against ‘Jessica’s Law’ and there were only 2 legislators opposed to it – not Senator Betts- who voted for the bill. Furthermore, while he was opposed to drilling in ANWR as it would not produce oil for a minimum of 10 years according to a study done by the Department of Energy. This does not imply that he is opposed to lower gas prices. That is the most ridiculous statement ever – who is opposed to lower gas prices,?” said Reiss.
As of today, Joe Niblett, a voter who lives in Wichita, contacted the Betts for Congress office to tell us that he called Tiahrt’s campaign office and spoke with staff member, Pat Ream (sp?), about why Rep. Tiahrt won’t debate Betts. Ream responded “Are you retarded?” and the constituent asked her to repeat what she said. At that point she went on to say “Todd Tiahrt is too smart to debate someone that has no character, no common sense and is not a Christian.” Furthermore, she said they are having a rally this weekend for Tiahrt to “vote for someone with common sense.”
It is shameful that a member of Congress condones this type of behavior for his staff. Betts has been a Christian since he was born and is an active member of the St. Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita since 1999. His grandfather, Rev. I.W. Wilson, baptized him in 1988 at True Love Missionary Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Futhermore, he is a statesman with common sense, honesty, and integrity. Senior Pastor at St. Mark, Junius Dotson said “Senator Betts is a faithful and committed Christian. As his pastor, I have witnessed firsthand his dedication to the many ministries and community outreach efforts of Saint Mark. His servant spirit benefits not only our church and community but also the entire state of Kansas.”
“I can’t believe that Tiahrt’s staff would stoop to this level. I love the Lord with all my heart and would never question someone’s faith. Furthermore, I am disappointed that his staff member would refer to a Kansas voter in this way,” said Betts
Betts is running for the 4th Congressional seat currently held by Tiahrt, who has been in office since 1994. Betts has been actively working for Kansans since 2002, when he was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives. He went on to serve in the Senate, bridging party lines to focus on the important issues that affect everyone including support for education through the Workforce Kansas Quick Careers. Betts took a stand against the practices of genocide with Senate Substitute for HB 2457 which was signed into law divesting Kansas Public Employee Retirement Funds from Darfur. “It has been my pleasure to represent Kansans in Topeka but I believe that now is the time to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C.,” said Betts.