Following a statement today from former Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond accusing the Kansas Republican Party of using his image and quote in a mailer that shipped last week to the Hays area as an implied endorsement of incumbent Governor Sam Brownback, the Kansas GOP has responded with a message of its own, suggesting the use of both the quote and the image are within the normal operating practices of a political campaign.
The message from Kelly Arnold, State Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, asks media to more closely analyze the mailer before jumping to conclusions, suggesting “it was a routine election postcard with quotes and bullet points from several sources.”
The statement also suggests that even though the mailer used a quote from Hammond, the statement was not intended to be seen as an endorsement.
“No reasonable person could interpret the postcard, containing a standard news clip quote, as implying there was any type of endorsement,” Arnold said.
The full message from Arnold can be seen below.
KS GOP response
There has been a substantial amount of coverage of a standard election post card that included a clip-quote of a public statement voluntarily made by former Fort Hays State University President Hammond.
We encourage the Kansas media to look at the attached postcard to verify the following statements.
1. It was a routine election postcard with quotes and bullet points from several sources. It was sent to those in the greater Hays area.
2. In our postcard we were happy to highlight President Hammond’s public statement supporting the governor’s budget for Fort Hays State University.
3. There was no endorsement of any kind whatsoever in the postcard. No reasonable person could interpret the postcard, containing a standard news clip quote, as implying there was any type of endorsement.
4. The mailer included the following quote that President Hammond voluntarily gave to the media- “Overall, we are very pleased with the governor’s budget recommendation.”
5. The quote came from a WIBW story published Jan 31. 2014: Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, urged lawmakers to support Gov. Sam Brownback’s recommended budget. “Overall, we are very pleased with the governor’s budget recommendation,” President Hammond said. “His recommendation would restore the ‘salary cap’ reductions from the 2013 session that cost Fort Hays State $276,176.”
6. The post card included a small picture of several individuals with shovels taken at a public groundbreaking. The picture was not linked to the quote, nor were the individuals in the picture identified. One is the Governor and one is President Hammond.