My assessment earlier this week was that Kansas “independent” Senate candidate Greg Orman would likely caucus with Democrats. The events of the past week have served only to further confirm my suspicions, and they have brought criticism from other sources as well. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), former Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin have all spoken out recently.
Someone with a liberal record like his, that's not independence. That's someone trying to snooker you. -Sarah Palin
And Orman does have a bit of a liberal past. He admits to a 2008 vote for Obama, though he claims to have voted for Romney in 2012. He made several donations to Democrats in the mid 2000's, and briefly ran against Senator Roberts in 2008 as a Democrat before dropping out.
He's not a Republican. He walks like a duck, and he quacks like a duck, he is a duck. -John McCain
He has said several times that he intends to caucus based on issue or with the majority party following the November election. But more and more it is looking as though his “independent” label is being used as a convenient brush-off when prosective constituents attempt to question him on relevant issues. In a parade last week, when asked directly if he would vote to repeal Obamacare, he responded, “That's an interesting question,” and turned to shake the next hand in line.
(video from westernjournalism.com)
And perhaps the most concerning issue of all: while he refuses to come right out and say whether he would back an assault weapons ban, he has said that he supports increased restrictions on gun ownership.
Not only that, but as an independent, Orman is skating by on things that no Republican ever could. A multimillion dollar business acquisitions guy (sounds familiar, doesn't it, Governor Romney?), he has refused to disclose his tax returns or his effective tax bracket.
As much as it disturbs me to find myself in agreement with Senator John McCain, I have to say it: Greg Orman is not an independent. He may not actually quack like a duck, but he certainly walks like a Democrat.