Two former Kansas governors, one Republican and one Democrat, had some choice words this weekend for current Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-led Legislature.
And those words weren’t pretty.
“They should be ashamed,” said former Republican Gov. Mike Hayden of lawmakers who are sticking with those controversial 2012 tax cuts. “We either need to get a reversal in course or we need to get new people in public office.”
Brownback’s tax “experiment,” he said, is failing.
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John Carlin, a Democrat, talked of the need for Republicans to elect moderates and steer away from conservatives who got the state in such a financial fix.
“The problem we have on August the 2nd is the good people are busy, they’re kind of relaxed, they’re not driven by wedge issues, they’re kind of, well, they don’t turn out as much as the other side,” Carlin said. “And it’s going to be a very challenging day. But we’ve got to win some of these.”
The two spoke in Wichita at a luncheon sponsored by Women for Kansas.
A Brownback spokeswoman said the current governor was “not interested in having a debate with (Hayden and Carlin).”
“Governor Brownback has a great deal of respect for all of his predecessors,” Eileen Hawley said.
Still, it’s not often that former governors speak out forcefully against the policies of a sitting governor.
“The state of affairs today is such that we have virtually no reserves,” Hayden said. “We virtually don’t have a penny in our pocket, and that’s a very sad state of affairs.”