Sure, the Kansas City Royals’ amazing postseason run and a little old thing called the World Series soaked up a lot of our attention over the last four weeks.
But suddenly, Election Day is Tuesday. The incessant running of negative ads on TV should have alerted you to that fact.
Tough as it might be, let’s focus today on some of the more important contests that will affect taxes, education policies and a host of other important issues over the next few years on both sides of the state line.
▪ Four years of Sam Brownback as Kansas governor are enough. Paul Davis would be a responsible replacement.
Brownback’s record is easy to sum up in negative terms, despite the misinformation being spread by his campaign.
Fact: Education spending, when adjusted for inflation, is not at an all-time high. Using figures even the governor’s supporters cite, spending in the current fiscal year is exactly the same as it was his first year in office: $6.093 billion.
Fact: The state’s credit rating has been downgraded under Brownback’s watch.
Fact: The tax cuts he signed into law have not created a surge in employment. A total of 31 other states have had faster rates of job growth since January 2013, when the tax reductions took effect.
Fact: The state’s rainy day reserve fund was drained of more than $330 million as revenues fell short in the first full fiscal year after the cuts were in place.
As a Republican in a deeply red state, Brownback still might squeak to victory. But if he does, just how disastrous could the state’s fiscal situation be in 2018?
Kansans shouldn’t take that chance. Davis could be a solid and responsible leader.
It’s time to end Brownback’s self-proclaimed “experiment” with the Kansas economy and remove him from office.
▪ It was tough for Kansas Republicans to whip up any enthusiasm for re-electing U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts — until it appeared he could lose his safe seat of 18 years to independent Greg Orman.
As Roberts has showed on the campaign trail, he is bereft of ideas on how to improve the state and the country. He blames all woes on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Meanwhile, Orman talks thoughtfully about trying to end the gridlock in Washington over immigration reform, health care and a raft of other crucial matters.
He actually could make Kansas meaningful when it comes to discussing this country’s future; Roberts’ “just say no” approach is an embarrassment to Kansans.
True, Orman needs others to help him be a change agent. But his voice could be crucial in tempering bad Republican ideas and improving Democratic ones in the nation’s capital. He deserves the seat over Roberts.
▪ Tax issues often dominate the headlines in Kansas City and sometimes in the suburbs, too. Not this year.
For all those people who say I haven’t met a tax I don’t like, hear this: March to the polls on Tuesday and kill Questions 1 and 2 on the Kansas City ballot.
These are the sales tax increases that would be spent for ... well, no one actually knows, because Mayor Sly James and the City Council refused to say before the election. They claim they were following a court’s order to keep the ballot issues simple. Originally, these were transit-related initiative petitions, but they have morphed into a silly exercise in democracy.
Punch them dead.
The Royals’ 2014 baseball season was exciting. Elections often aren’t. But they are crucial when it comes to shaping the futures of Kansas, Missouri and Kansas City.
Please go to the polls on Tuesday and do your part.