FBI investigates influence-peddling claims

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April 29, 2014

“Sources: FBI examines lobbying by Brownback loyalists”

That’s how the Topeka Capital-Journal broke the news this past weekend that the FBI was investigating troubling allegations that “confidantes of Gov. Sam Brownback operated influence-peddling operations in Kansas…”

 

Putting Kansans first? Maybe not.

At this point, it’s just an investigation into worrisome allegations. Allegations that may seem outrageous, but not unexpected considering Brownback’s demonstrated willingness to put his political cronies and wealthy friends ahead of working Kansans.

Tax cuts for the richest, hikes for the neediest: Brownback’s tax policies handed big benefits to wealthy corporations and those with incomes in the top 1 percent — paid for by the largest cuts to education funding in the state’s history. Meanwhile, Brownback actually raised income taxes on Kansans in the bottom 20 percent, those earning less than $20,000 a year.

Utility rate increases for households, reductions for big business: Last year Brownback’s appointees to the Kansas Corporation Commission approved a proposal that boosted electricity rates for residential customers while lowering rates for many big business customers.

 

The Capital-Journal went on to report that the FBI’s concerns included “behind-the-scenes financial arrangements related to Brownback’s privatization of the state’s $3 billion Medicaid program,” a signature accomplishment of the Brownback administration. Under the banner of KanCare, the administration turned over to three for-profit insurance companies the funding for medical services to the state’s disabled and needy.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE: Kansans will have to wait to learn the details of the disconcerting reports that the newspaper says prompted the FBI investigation. But we know Brownback’s record isn’t one of putting everyday Kansans first.

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