Government & Politics

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback gets dinner … and an educational tip from the waitress

This tip from Chloe Hough to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has gone viral.
This tip from Chloe Hough to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has gone viral. From Chloe Hough

On her last night on the job, a waitress at a Topeka restaurant decided to turn the tables and give her customer a bit of a tip.

And that customer Saturday night was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, no less. The tip – which amounted to a piece of the waitress’ mind – has gone viral, hitting national news sites by Sunday evening.

As Brownback and his family sat at one of her tables inside Boss Hawg’s Barbecue, Chloe Hough turned to social media for some advice. In all caps she wrote on her Facebook page:

“You guys 911 emergency. Its my last shift and I am waiting on our governor. What should I say to him. This is not a test. Go.”

A few of her Facebook friends offered ideas. Among them: “Ask him what his problem with education is.”

Hough, 22, said she follows the news regularly and knew she wanted to speak her mind to the governor in some way. And like her Facebook friend, she’s been concerned about the state of education in Kansas.

In late March, Brownback signed a new school financing law that replaces the complex school funding formula with flexible block grants for the next two years. The bill reduces funding that districts had expected for the current school year.

Before Hough took the tab to the governor — which rang in at $52.16 — she put an X in the line where he would leave a tip. And to the left of that she wrote, “Tip the schools.”

Hough said she was originally going to say something to the governor. “The reason I didn’t do that is I kind of chickened out,” she said.

She handed the bill to Brownback, whom she said was pleasant to her all evening, and went to serve other tables. A co-worker saw him look at the receipt and then put it in his wallet, Hough said.

Later, she posted to Facebook an image of the receipt with the message she wrote. Now that the incident has hit media across the country, she hopes people don’t lash out at Boss Hawg’s.

“They didn’t do anything wrong,” said the college English major. “They had no control over this. I didn’t ask their permission, I just did it.”

As for Brownback, he did indeed leave a tip. Hough wouldn’t say how much.

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a tip,” she said. “I was trying to make a point.”

To contact Laura Bauer, call 816-234-4944 or send email to lbauer@kcstar.com.

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