Harold Fridkin, a counselor to Democratic senators, governors and members of Congress from the Kansas City area for more than six decades, died early Wednesday. The cause was congestive heart failure, family members said. He was 86.
“Earlier today, the Mainstream Coalition learned that a political mailer was sent under the Mainstream name to Wyandotte County households attacking mayoral candidate Mark Holland. Make no mistake: the Mainstream Coalition DID NOT send this mailer, nor did its political action committee, MainPAC. As soon as Mainstream learned about the mailer, it lodged an official complaint with the Kansas Ethics Commission.
Even more troubling, the mailer misrepresents Mainstream’s position in this race: MainPAC endorsed Holland. As part of its endorsement process, MainPAC invited both Wyandotte County/KCK mayoral candidates to submit questionnaires. Holland completed one; his opponent, Ann Murguia, did not. After carefully reviewing Holland’s answers and his record as a Unified Government Commissioner, MainPAC determined that Holland would best represent what Mainstream values most: moderate politics, a separation of church and state, and a high-quality public education system.
Since the MainPAC endorsement, we have learned that Murguia has received support from extreme right-wing interests in Kansas, confirming that this element of Kansas politics is now trying to gain a foothold in one of the state’s last remaining moderate communities. One mailer attacking Holland was paid for by Americans for Prosperity, an organization that is funded by the Koch brothers, strong supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback’s agenda to starve Kansas of the resources it needs to protect the state’s quality of life.
Years ago our name was co-opted by a group of right-wing activists bent on confusing voters. They used our name to advance conservative causes that go against Mainstream values. That group long ago disappeared from the political landscape, and we continued to do business as “Mainstream Coalition.” Obviously, this group has re-emerged with the same purpose in mind: to confuse and manipulate voters. This is a malicious attempt to co-opt the name of an organization known for its moderate political stances and use it to advance the political fortunes of a candidate who is backed by extreme right wing organizations like Americans for Prosperity. We deplore such tactics. They are counterproductive to the healthy dialogue our communities need to address pressing challenges and underscores the lengths to which the extreme right will go to bully its way into every corner of this state, including Wyandotte County.
Founded in 1993, the MainStream Coalition is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote the separation of church and state, with an emphasis on public education and religious freedom.”
Additionally, MainStream Coalition : “We have confirmed that the group that put this out has ties to Americans for Prosperity and Koch Brother funds.” [source]
"It has come to our attention that a mailer attacking Kansas City, Kansas, mayoral candidate Mark Holland was sent out under the Mainstream Coalition name. This IS NOT a mailer that Mainstream created or mailed. It includes a post office box as a return address that IS NOT ours. In fact, Mainstream Coalition’s PAC, MainPAC, has endorsed Holland in the race.
Since we just learned about this fraudulant act within the last hour, we have many unanswered questions. We are doing our best right now to answer those questions, including who sent the mailer and from where and have lodged an official complaint with the KS Ethics Commission. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.”