RINO stampede in Kansas
The headline from AP certainly is alarming: “100 Kansas GOP endorse Democrat for governor.” And the lead paragraph continues the theme:
Democratic challenger Paul Davis sought Tuesday to give his campaign for Kansas governor a bipartisan boost by announcing endorsements from more than 100 moderate Republicans who've split with conservative GOP Gov. Sam Brownback over education and tax policy.
You might be wondering, to borrow Thomas Frank’s infamous book title, “What’s the matter with Kansas”? I can’t claim to be an expert on the Jayhawker State, but it does appear that this is a matter of sour grapes:
Six state senators on the list lost their seats in 2012 primaries to Brownback-favored candidates, including former Senate President Steve Morris, of Hugoton.
Brownback, after winning the governor’s office in 2010 with 63% of the vote, has moved aggressively to implement a conservative agenda, cutting income taxes. This has rankled the government industry and its many rent-seekers. The good old days when everyone gouged the taxpayers and shared their wealth among the ruling class are missed.
Speaking of old:
Many of the former lawmakers have been out of office for at least a decade.
"When was the last time any of them took a day and walked a precinct to talk with today's voters about the voters' concerns?" state GOP Executive Director Clay Barker said.
State Rep. J.R. Claeys, a conservative Republican, was even more dismissive, tweeting, "and they really raided the nursing home for some of them."
So how’s the Brownback program working out for Kansas?
Brownback campaign spokesman John Milburn responded to the new group's criticism by noting that since Brownback took office in January 2011, Kansas has gained more than 50,000 private-sector jobs. He also pointed to enactment this year of an education funding plan boosting aid to poor school districts.
"Governor Brownback is focused on leading Kansas by growing the economy, investing in education for future generations, and preserving the bedrock values of hard work, faith and family," Milburn said.
But the new group backing Davis said Brownback's "experiment" with tax cuts has impeded the economy, with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that private-sector job growth has been slower in Kansas than in the U.S. as a whole. The new group also contends spending on public schools remains inadequate.
Put Kansas on the list of states to watch for November