Barbara Shelly for The Kansas City Star
The Kansas Republican Party has put out a truly horrendous mailer in its quest to get Gov. Sam Brownback re-elected. Bereft of economic accomplishments, Brownback and his allies are trying to scare Kansans into voting for him. Who knows, maybe it will work. But he will start a second term having sacrificed all dignity and decency.
Gov. Sam Brownback made the largest cut to classroom funding in state history. As a result, class sizes have risen and student test scores have dropped. As a direct result of Brownback’s economic policies, Kansas’ bond rating has been downgraded and Kansas lags the nation in job growth. We think it’s time to tell Gov Brownback to stop digging.
Cokie & Steven Roberts in the Portage Daily Register
Brownback preached the gospel that slashing taxes would actually increase government revenues. When the exact opposite happened, he blamed Washington for the deficits, but even fellow Republicans are not buying his attempt to escape responsibility. The state of Kansas is now suffering from their governor’s refusal to recognize that “when you cut taxes, you lose revenue...that’s just the way it works.”
John B. Judis for New Republic
Sam Brownback tried to create a conservative utopia. He created a conservative hell instead.
Throughout its history, Kansas has birthed an extraordinary cast of political extremists—radicals who have won fervent followings and sometimes even national attention. But when those extremists have threatened to take over the state’s political system, they have inevitably been checked by Kansans’ deeply held preference for moderation in the governance of their state.
Patrick Lowry for The Hays Daily News
Of course, nobody believes any of this will happen other than Brownback and his supporters. But others around the country are listening, paying attention and using the Kansas experiment as a model how not to cut taxes. Departments already were overhauled and streamlined during the first three years of Brownback's tenure. If there are more efficiencies to be found, then claims in the past had to have been exaggerated.
Still, the governor is clinging to the belief the promised "shot of adrenaline" to the state economy is still on the horizon. But judging how even other small-government GOP counterparts from elsewhere refer to the Kansas experiment, there is a growing contingency that simply doesn't believe that growth will appear.
We hope Kansas voters are listening -- closely.
Mark Peterson for The Wichita Eagle
Kansas must create a social/cultural/educational environment that enriches the minds of its children. It must foster institutions that can allow people with dreams to find sophisticated problem-solving and advanced technologies. It must provide first-rate infrastructure that enables effective communication and efficient, speedy access to large markets. And, it must encourage a culture that accepts change, welcomes new thinking and tolerates the maverick.
If we condemn the less fortunate with a self-righteous judgment of self-inflicted failure, we grossly injure the prospects for success for them and their children. If we refuse to embrace the trends toward a greener, more global, more cosmopolitan world, we deny the innovators and the unorthodox the chance to flourish and exercise the potential insights of their alternative views.
If we endorse the politics of exclusion, divisiveness, slash-and-burn pruning of the public sector, resistance to diversity, and a preference for tradition over change, there’s likely to be no answer at all.
Phillip Brownlee for The Wichita Eagle
Brownback ran for office four years ago opposing that temporary sales tax increase but, once elected, decided not to revoke it. What’s more, Brownback then moved to make the sales tax increase permanent (and succeeded in keeping part of it in place). So Becky is paying more in sales tax now than she was supposed to. That is sad.
Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio
When you add up classroom spending from the state, local taxes and the federal government, many schools are still in a tight spot. Under that measure, total classroom funding in Kansas is up since 2009. It dipped during the recession, but now it has topped the 2009 number. But if you adjust for inflation, classroom funding is down by a big chunk since 2009 -- by hundreds of million of dollars.
Gov. Sam Brownback tells us ”the sun is shining in Kansas.” What he won’t tell us is that Kansas job growth trails our neighbors and the nation, our credit is being downgraded, and he made historic cuts to our schools. Watch our latest television ad holding Brownback accountable for not telling Kansans the truth.