A rule for civility slipped Kansas Rep. J.R. Claeys’ mind this week: Respect your elders.
The Salina representative fell to the trap of posting snark on social media in reply to news that 104 moderate Republicans had endorsed Democrat Paul Davis in his attempt to unseat Gov. Sam Brownback. Claeys’ offending tweet about Republicans for Kansas Values: “and they really raided the nursing home for some of them.”
He’s right on the more senior status of some within the group. Former congresswoman Jan Meyers served in the Kansas Senate from 1972 to 1984. And former state senator Audrey Langworthy served the state from 1984 to 2001.
So what? These ladies are engaged and up to date with how far politics have strayed.
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Theirs is the generation of politicians who accomplished much for the area. They were less apt to be caught up in culture wars and punchy quips for negative campaign ads. They focused on what Republicans for Kansas Values is underscoring — the necessity of strong public schools and tax policies that make sense for the long-term financial health of the state.
Under the triple banner of “financial responsibility, quality education and social tolerance,” former and current politicians are clear about their view of Brownback as governor.
“We reject Gov. Brownback’s political agenda and divisive style of leadership and believe Kansans deserve better.”
They list 10 bullet points emphasizing common-sense approaches to do right by the majority of citizens.
They point out that on Brownback’s watch, the state raised sales and property taxes on middle- and low-income families while cutting them for upper-income people. At the same time, tax credits benefiting the middle class were eliminated. Brownback’s opposition to expanding Medicaid is noted, and cuts to school funding caused the Kansas Supreme Court to intervene.
The competiveness of Kansas, like that of the nation, rests on a well-educated and solid middle class. It’s an economic reality of demographics, one that is foolish for any politician to ignore.
Former Kansas senator Dick Bond of Overland Park served from 1986 to 2001. He is among those prominently quoted by Republicans for Kansas Values: “This election should not be about electing a Republican or electing a Democrat, but it should be about electing a moderate, common-sense Kansan as governor.”
Wisdom from a statesman who should be respected.