Yael T. Abouhalkah

Sam Brownback’s new race-baiting TV ad insults Kansans


Gov. Sam Brownback says he loves Kansas and worships God.

If so, Brownback needs to get down on his knees and pray for forgiveness from Kansans and the Lord for the shameful, race-baiting TV ad his campaign is running right now.

It’s the worst kind of filth that close elections create.

Brownback is so desperate to hang on to power in Kansas as he runs against Democrat Paul Davis that he’s willing to take the lowest of roads to try to accomplish that.

Set aside the very real financial problems Brownback has caused Kansas during his first four years in office — which are reason enough to oust him — and the new TV ad is so despicable that voters should show him the door for daring to insult their intelligence that way.

Here’s the summary:

The ad — and yes, I will link to it here — is an attempt to smear Davis as a “liberal lawyer” who will appoint “liberal judges” to the Kansas Supreme Court so they can make more decisions like the Carr brothers’ case.

That’s the one involving two black men — and if you have any doubt, the Brownback ad flashes the faces of Jonathan and Reginald Carr on the screen — whose death penalties were overturned by Kansas Supreme Court rulings earlier this year.

This is very important, something you won’t get from watching the 30-second ad: The two men aren’t receiving “get out of jail” cards. Their convictions stand. But the judges ruled legal errors were made during the penalty phases, and the death sentences were overturned.

Davis said he was appalled that Brownback was stooping so low as to use this case for political purposes.

“I knew one of the victims of the Carr brothers, and governor, you trying to exploit that terrible tragedy is disgraceful, and you should be ashamed of it,” Davis said.

Even victims of the Carr brothers agreed that the motives for running the Brownback ad were wrong.

“We really don’t agree with using the case for political gain when it comes to particular candidates trying to use this case to get ahead,” Scott James said.

The adult in the room during this has been Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a hardliner on crime himself, who has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decisions overturning the Carr brothers’ death sentences.

The ad also says a Kansas Supreme Court judge held a fundraiser for Davis. Wrong. As colleague Barb Shelly points out, it was sponsored by the husband of the judge.

Brownback stands by the nasty ad.

You can see it in the final frame of the TV ad, the part where it says “Paid for by Brownback for Governor, Inc., T.L.Anderson, treasurer.”

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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