KS-Sen: KS News Site Calls On Medical Board To Suspend GOP Doctor's License For Campaigning Unmasked

The Kansas Reflector wrote an op-ed to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts asking them to suspend  U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Representative, Dr. Roger Marshall’s (R. KS) medical license for constantly campaigning without a mask:

As many in your profession have said repeatedly, masks are one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx, begged state leaders to encourage everyone to wear masks.

Yet Marshall has said wearing masks should be “up to the individual” and that he’s “not going to be in favor of any federal mandates that state that you have to wear a mask.” While he professes to honor the wishes of individuals and places of businesses that request visitors wear masks, and advises they should probably be worn in nursing homes and around sick people, he has suggested they’re part of “a crisis of our civil liberties.”

While Marshall has campaigned without a mask in places that seem relatively safe, such as at outdoor events where everyone seems to be maintaining the proper social distance, he also has shown clear disregard for public health guidelines in other instances.

The piece goes on to point out a number of incidents where he’s violated the Kansas Board of Healing Arts guidelines by campaigning in indoor spaces without a mask. Here’s an incident that happened last month:

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U.S. Senate candidate Roger Marshall recently tweeted a picture of himself at an indoor campaign event in eastern Kansas.

“Great to be back in Wyandotte County to discuss our plans for the general election,” the Kansas congressman wrote Sunday. The picture posted with the tweet shows roughly two dozen people in the audience.

Marshall isn’t wearing a protective mask. In fact, only two people in the audience appear to be wearing masks. Many of the chairs are close together as well.

And Facebook did have to remove his post about him spreading lies:

Marshall’s original post suggested that the 94% of COVID-19 deaths with underlying health conditions did not die from COVID-19. Rather, they died with COVID-19 and as the result of other illnesses, he said, according to a screenshot obtained by Topeka television station KSNT. He said the CDC “quietly updated” the death data.

As of Tuesday, there have been more than 180,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

“As a physician, I believe in discussing all data, options, and research with my patients,” Marshall said. “This was data published by the CDC, but unfortunately did not fit the narrative that the left and the liberal media want us to believe. We cannot allow social media companies to determine what we do and not learn about this virus. Americans deserve to be informed.”

This is a race between two medical professionals but Dr. Barbara Bollier (D. KS) is the only one acting like a real doctor:

Bollier has Democrats hoping they can win a Kansas Senate seat for the first time since 1932. The retired anesthesiologist is a state legislator and former Republican, who left the party in 2018, saying it no longer represented her values and that’s partly because of Trump.
She’s run a largely virtual campaign, a caution she says is guided by both her background and personal experience. A retired minister-friend was infected this spring and nearly died, she says.

“I cannot understand why a virus is being politicized,” she said during a recent interview. “It is public health, period.”
But Marshall, an obstetrician who gave up his medical practice for Congress and has aligned himself closely with Trump, doesn’t see the issue as so settled. He says he’s taking an anti-malaria drug promoted by Trump to prevent infection, even as regulators warn the risks outweigh the benefits.
While his campaign tries to hold events outdoors and follow social distancing rules, the congressman has gone to at least a few events where guidance on masks and distancing isn’t followed.
Marshall doesn’t argue against the effectiveness of masks and says he “respects” the virus. But he acknowledges sometimes his decisions are a response to cultural and political factors.
“I tell you what, if I walk into rural Kansas with a mask on, people look at me like I’ve got three eyes or something, right?” Marshall said after his recent indoor Kansas City-area speech.

STAT pointed out earlier this month that health care is the main reason this race is so close:

The surprisingly close race, in an otherwise deep-red state, is hyper-focused on health care: The Democratic nominee, Barbara Bollier, is a former anesthesiologist and bioethicist, and has campaigned aggressively on policies to expand the state’s Medicaid program, allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, and outlaw “surprise” medical bills. The Republican, Rep. Roger Marshall, is a practicing OB-GYN who figured prominently into his party’s 2017 attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and continues to campaign on a “repeal and replace” health care platform.

The race could serve as a measure of health care’s outsized importance in the 2020 election, and of voters’ level of frustration with Congress, which has flailed in its recent attempts to meaningfully lower drug prices or cap medical expenses.

Bollier’s ability to run a competitive race in Kansas, pollsters said, is indicative of the power of her health care platform, and Democrats’ broader advantage on health care issues.

She’s picked up a lot of crossover endorsements:

Barbara Bollier, candidate for U.S. Senate, announced last week that 75 current and former Republican elected officials and community leaders across Kansas have endorsed her campaign.

“It’s exciting to see how many Kansans are ready to put aside hyperpartisanship and political labels to come together and help the people of this great state,” Bollier said in a statement. “I am proud to be running a campaign that is unifying Kansans behind a commonsense vision of working together to expand access to affordable health care, fund our public schools, keep taxes low, and provide good jobs to our people. When we work together and listen to one another, we can achieve great things.”

More than a dozen Republican elected officials and community leaders on the list are from northern Johnson County or Overland Park, including:

  1. Barbara Allen, KS Rep, Overland Park
  2. Pat Colloton, KS Rep, Leawood
  3. Ron Fox, KS Rep, Prairie Village
  4. Linda Gallagher, KS Rep, Lenexa
  5. Stuart Hoffman, City Councilmember, Fairway
  6. Jan Kessinger, KS Rep, Overland Park
  7. Audrey Langworthy, KS Senator, Prairie Village
  8. Tony Liu, City Councilmember, Fairway
  9. Patty Markley, KS Rep, Overland Park
  10. Donna Owens, City Councilmember, Overland Park
  11. Tim Owens, KS Senator, Overland Park
  12. Jill Quigley, KS Rep, Lenexa
  13. Gary Sherrer, Lieutenant Governor, Overland Park
  14. John Skubal, KS Senator, Overland Park
  15. Sheryl Spalding, KS Rep, Overland Park
  16. John Vratil, KS Senate Vice President, Overland Park
  17. Ron Worley, KS Rep, Lenexa
  18. Jim Yonally, KS Rep, Overland Park

Including this recent big endorsement:

Former Kansas Republican Sen. Nancy Kassebaum endorsed Democrat Barbara Bollier Thursday for the Senate seat that she held for 18 years.

Kassebaum was the first woman elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate whose husband had not previously served in Congress.

Known for her moderate outlook, Kassebaum served from late 1978 to 1997 when she was succeeded by fellow Republican Pat Roberts, who Bollier is running to replace.

Kassebaum also endorsed Gov. Laura Kelly (D. KS) in the 2018 gubernatorial race. This crossover appeal will be helpful for bringing out Bollier’s base:

Republicans make up roughly 45 % of the state’s registered voters as of September 1. Democrats and unaffiliated voters account for about 27 % apiece.

Both parties have grown their ranks since 2016, but Democrats have grown at a slightly faster rate. Their share of the Kansas electorate is up by roughly 2 percentage points since Trump’s election, a shift that has been particularly pronounced in the Kansas City area.

“The moderates that are still Republicans, they’re just ticked off,” said Stephanie Sharp, a former GOP state legislator and a political consultant for moderate candidates and counts Bollier as a long-time friend and client.

“Those moderates that are relatively to very engaged, I could see them voting Democrat straight ticket,” Sharp said.

Super PACs are spending big in this race:

Wednesday an ad attacking Barbara Bollier began airing in Kansas, paid for by the Senate Leadership Fund, a conservative PAC. It’s part of a $5.2 million, four week ad buy according to the Washington Post.
A similar attack ad aimed at Roger Marshall started airing just last week, paid for by the National Education Association’s PAC.
“They are really thinking in terms of connecting directly with voters,” Dr. Russell Arben Fox, political scientist from Friends University, said about why groups are looking to TV ads so soon in the race.
Dr. Fox says this proliferation of negative ads purchased by national organizations is the fastest way for them to get their messages direct to the voter. No matter how much you may hate seeing them on TV, they do work.

It’s also caused this guy to come out of retirement:

The activist network backed by libertarian billionaire Charles Koch is dropping big bucks into the Kansas Senate race as polls show the contest beginning to tighten.

Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC that’s part of the larger Koch network, is backing Republican physician and congressman Roger Marshall in a state that’s historically been a GOP stronghold.

Marshall emerged victorious from a recent primary, after Republican Sen. Pat Roberts decided to retire. Roberts has served four terms in the Senate. He was reelected in a closely fought race in 2014 with help from the Koch network.

P.S. The Supreme Court is also playing a role in this race:

The two candidates also differed dramatically over how quickly the Senate should move         to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Ginsburg's death Friday. Bollier, like many Democrats, argued that the Senate should wait, that leaders elected in November should make the decisions.

“We should not be politicizing our Supreme Court,” she said.

But Marshall fully embraced U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to have a confirmation vote on President Donald Trump's nominee. Republicans in 2016 blocked consideration of Democratic President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland after conservative Justice Antonin Scalia's death nine months before Obama left office, but Marshall said this year is different because voters elected a GOP president and Senate with a Republican majority.

FYI:

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could have implications for Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision affirming a woman's right to an abortion.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas, Roger Marshall, said he believes the ruling was a mistake.

Throughout the Senate campaign, Marshall tells voters he is an OB-GYN who has delivered 5,000 babies.

Marshall said he believes the abortion ruling should be overturned.

“I think abortion is wrong at every stage and reversing Roe vs. Wade would be a great step towards saving millions of babies' lives,” Marshall said.

We have a real chance to win this seat and end the GOP super majorities in the Kansas State Legislature. Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Kansas Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Bollier, Biden and their fellow Kansas Democrats campaigns:

Joe Biden

Barbara Bollier

Michelle De La Isla

Sharice Davids

Kansas Democratic Party