Election’s a referendum on Brownback



November 5, 2018 - 11:21 AM

Only Kris Kobach raised his hand when a debate moderator asked who supported the policies of former Gov. Sam Brownback. At left is Greg Orman, and right, Laura Kelly.

As the 2018 elections approach, Greg Orman continues to do the citizens of Kansas a disservice with his dead-in-the water independent campaign. His floundering effort, with its treasurer resigning and endorsing Democrat Laura Kelly, is denying Kansas voters a clear referendum-like choice on whether to reject or embrace Sam Brownback’s policies.

To review, Brownback barely defeated House Minority Leader Paul Davis in 2014. Opinions differ as to why, but I see the wave of GOP outside money that washed over Kansas in support of endangered Senator Pat Roberts as nationalizing the entire election and helping Brownback eke out a victory. Indeed, approval for Brownback’s tax policies was already underwater in 2014, and it sank lower after the election.

In 2016, Brownback was not on the ballot, but many right-wing Republicans, who had supported his extensive, high-income-oriented tax cuts, proved vulnerable. A host of moderate Republicans and Democrats won enough seats to override Brownback’s 2017 veto of higher income taxes and then, in 2018, these legislators responded to the Kansas Supreme Court by passing a $500 million increase in school funding.

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