Kansas is full of people who are fiscally conservative and willing to go the extra mile to help out a neighbor.
Or so the stock image goes of the Sunflower State.
Yet that gauzy view of Kansans has been marred in recent years under the rule of Gov. Sam Brownback and an ultraconservative Legislature. They have approved reckless and costly fiscal policies plus a punitive social agenda.
In Tuesday’s primaries, voters will go to the polls in Johnson County and all across Kansas to reveal whether they really want to keep those kinds of Republicans in power in the House and Senate.
The better alternative: Replace them with more moderate GOP lawmakers, the challengers who are running so they can dump part or all of the costly Brownback income tax increases passed in 2012.
In short, Kansans get to show their true colors two days from now.
Here’s a solid analysis of the situation in 2016, which I’ve cribbed from a veteran watcher of Kansas politics. It goes this way (and if you agree with it, please consider voting for the moderate candidates in your House and Senate districts on Tuesday):
The GOP challengers are trying to bring the Republican Party back to the years of Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Dole and Nancy Landon Kassebaum.
Kansas is more of a “purple” state than a flaming red one. The people in the middle of the political spectrum in Kansas do support Republicans on many pocketbook issues. However, they also want strong public services, which means first-class K-12 schools and darn fine universities.
The income tax cuts and large borrowings of funds under Brownback rub these “purple” people the wrong way. These actions are not fiscally conservative and, instead, are dangerous to the long-term health of the state as a great place to live in the Midwest.
Ultimately, let’s hope the voters who support this more moderate approach to government show up on Tuesday and get rid of many of the ultraconservative politicians in the Legislature.
That could put more responsible people in place in Topeka, lawmakers who can prevent Brownback from passing further tax cuts or imposing even more sanctions on poor people.