By Lynn R. Mitchell
In Kansas, AP political writer John Hanna is following the U.S. Senate Republican primary between incumbent Senator Pat Roberts and tea party challenger Milton Wolf where controversy over Wolf’s postings on Facebook of work X-rays have caused some waves (see Doctors’ PAC helps Roberts in Kansas Senate race). Leading up to a statewide primary on August 5, Hanna writes:
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is getting help in his Republican primary race from a political action committee representing tea party challenger Milton Wolf’s fellow radiologists, and the group’s director said Tuesday that it would be “hard to rally around” Wolf because of his past postings of graphic X-ray images on Facebook.
The American College of Radiology Association PAC disclosed to federal regulators that it spent nearly $43,000 last week on mailings supporting Roberts in his bid for a fourth six-year term. PAC Director Ted Burnes said the mailings, praising Roberts, started this week and are going to prospective voters statewide ahead of the Aug. 5 election.
Roberts executive campaign manager Leroy Towns said the group’s support for the senators show that medical professionals are troubled by Wolf’s past Facebook postings and news reports that Kansas’ medical board is investigating them. Wolf, who apologized publicly for the postings months ago, said during a campaign stop in Osage City that the radiologist group’s activities demonstrate that it is like other PACs.
Roll Call’s Alexis Levinson expanded on the Facebook controversy and noted last week’s poll showing the challenger falling far behind in the race (see In Kansas, conservatives suffer from Mississippi hangover):
Wolf trailed Roberts by 20 points in the most recent automated poll, conducted July 17-22. He has been dogged by criticism that he posted X-rays of seriously wounded or deceased patients on Facebook, along with unsavory comments. Last week, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Wolf was under formal investigation by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts because of the posts.
Wolf also upset Republicans by showing up from nowhere:
Kansas Republicans criticized Wolf for not paying his Republican Party dues before running statewide.
“He just showed up and expected to be there and expected people to line up behind his campaign,” said Kansas Republican consultant Scott Paradise, who is unaffiliated in the race. “And it has not happened.”
The primary is August 5.