From KVI

Sam Brownback: In the dark?

The news brings more evidence that Gov. Sam Brownback just doesn’t seem to know what's going on.

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Happy holidays!


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Gov. Brownback: We have not yet begun to fight!

When I started the Kansas Values Institute, my goal was simple: Bring together Kansans from different backgrounds and educate, equip, and mobilize them around issues that we support like strong schools, safe roads, and tax policy that doesn’t disproportionally hurt hardworking Kansans.

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Bad leadership gets noticed

In recent months, the media all around Kansas — and, increasingly elsewhere in the country — have regularly taken Gov. Sam Brownback to task for the dual failures of his leadership and his “experiment” on the state and its people.

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More bad news for schools

How is Gov. Sam Brownback’s experiment on education working?

It’s not.

And there’s a new report from the nonpartisan Kansas Center for Economic Growth that lays out the evidence.

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Is it worse to be called a liar or a fool?

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? Well, Gov. Brownback has been having a lot of those lately.

And today is no different.

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Accountability: A Kansas value

A message from Ryan Wright, executive director of the Kansas Values Institute:

As a lifelong Republican, I embrace the sentiment of one of President Ronald Reagan's most famous quotes: “Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears.”

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The Brownback education 'gimmick'

President Harry S. Truman once said, “I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s hell.” He said it in 1948 — but he easily could have been speaking in 2014 about Gov. Sam Brownback and his failed experiment.

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See KVI's new ad on Brownback's failed experiment

The Kansas Values Institute began airing Aug. 12 a new television ad seeking to hold Gov. Sam Brownback accountable for his failed “experiment” with Kansas governance.

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From around Kansas

Kansas GOP Scrapes Bottom With New Mailers on Behalf of Gov. Sam Brownback

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.

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Dick Bond can’t be a Brownback Republican

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Gov. Brownback Just Keeps Digging

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.

Kansas Experiment a Failure

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.”

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This is What's the Matter With Kansas

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 extremistsradicals 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.

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Kansas Experiment

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.

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What Must State Do to Succeed?

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.


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'Becky' Has Reason to Be Sad About Sales Tax

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.

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School Funding a Top Issue in Kansas Race for Governor

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.

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Gov. Brownback’s Sunshine

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.