Pheasants will be the prey during a hunt hosted by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback this week.
But state lawmakers and Kansas Supreme Court judges could be Brownback’s targets later this year.
At last report, Brownback planned to spend Tuesday and Wednesday hosting a “European driven” pheasant hunt at Flint Oak in southeast Kansas.
Cost to rub elbows with the governor: $15,000 a person. And the proceeds to be used for?
Well, the governor wasn’t saying. But some politicians told reporter Tim Carpenter they think Brownback will spend the funds given to his Road Map PAC to try to oust moderate Republican lawmakers in August primaries and most of the five Kansas Supreme Court judges up for retention this November.
In addition, Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has said he wants to get rid of four Supreme Court judges.
So this week’s hunt could lead to a bloodbath for pheasants and lawmakers and judges.
Now what exactly is a “European driven” hunt? Carpenter’s story called it “a prolonged slaughter.”
But that sounds so ... crass.
Here, let the Flint Oak folks describe the “Open European shoot” that it offers in more soothing words:
“The pageantry of this event makes each and every shoot unique because of the mix of participants, the weather and a myriad of other factors.... The European has 39 blinds that surround the oak-covered hill. Pheasants are driven to flight towards the shooters. As the pheasants are harvested, the Flint Oak Retriever dogs are picking up birds for you. When the brace is over you move to a new blind and the fun starts all over.”
Of course, it won’t be much “fun” for the pheasants.
But the guys and gals with guns who paid $15,000 each to back Brownback’s PAC? That’s another story, as they shoot at helpless prey coming toward them.
Which, come to think of it, is a pretty good way of looking at how Brownback is shooting down ideas to save the state’s financial situation.
Earlier this year he reiterated his support for the reckless income tax cuts he pushed through the Legislature in 2012, giving unfair tax advantages to several hundred thousand LLCs.
And in recent days he vetoed a bill that the GOP-dominated Legislature passed to try to rein in the governor’s ability to give away even more tax dollars to a questionable effort to attract the American Royal to Wyandotte County.
Worst of all, the hunt follows by just days two more negative events in Kansas.
First, February revenue figures came in nearly $54 million below estimates, prompting immediate Brownback-ordered cuts to higher education institutions. More budget reductions are ahead, too.
Second, Kansas lost 4,000 jobs in January. Overall, the state gained only 1,400 jobs from January 2015 to January 2016. That’s a growth rate of a minuscule 0.1 percent, one of the worst in the country.
The Sunflower State needs Brownback’s full attention right now. A pheasant hunt is not a good way to spend his time given the circumstances.