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Kansas House candidate Tony Brown to chat

October 21, 2008

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Tony Brown

Tony Brown is running for election to the 10th Kansas House district. The seat, currently held by Tom Holland, includes southern Lawrence, southeast Doulgas County and much of northern Franklin County.

Moderator:

Hello and welcome to this LJWorld.com Election 2008 online chat with Tony Brown. I'm Online editor Jonathan Kealing and I'll be your moderator. We're co-hosting this chat with BaldwinCity.com, welcome to all of our viewers there.

Moderator:

Let me start off by clarifying that this chat is with 10th district candidate Tony Brown - and not 38th district incumbent Anthony Brown. The names are confusing and I didn't help that earlier this week.

Moderator:

Tony, thanks for joining us.

Tony Brown:

Hello Jonathan. Glad to be here.

Moderator:

Let's get right into questions.

Pywacket:

I think you have several good ideas regarding energy exploration and development in Kansas. What are two other high-priority issues for you and what practical measures can you take to implement your ideas if you win the district seat?

Tony Brown:

Perhaps my highest priority is education because I have been involved in teaching at Baker for 18 years. I think we need to find ways to increase funding for K-12 education. I would also like to increase our efforts in early childhood education.

A second issue I would like to address is health care. I am frustrated by a recent report by the Kansas Health Institute that 340,000 Kansans do not have health care coverage. I think we've got to find ways to reduce that number and streamline the health care process to make it more affordable.

Moderator:

I think this next question is from a voter confused about who you are. Perhaps you can use it to address any confusion you've seen between yourself and Anthony Brown, the Republican who's district is north of the one you seek.

HannahKK:

Your website says that education is one of your top priorities, but Kansas Citizens for Higher Education, a nonpartisan organization, ranks you as having the single worst record of supporting higher education in the Kansas House of Representatives, supporting higher education legislation only 16 percent of the time. How would you respond to this ranking, and what would you do to rectify if re-elected?

Tony Brown:

That's the other candidate -- Anthony Brown. I'm "Tony" Brown and have very different stances on educational issues. In fact, I've taught my entire career, so education is one of my legislative passions. I would hope I would receive a more favorable rating from the Kansas Citizens for Higher Education members.

coldandhot:

Mr. Brown:

Your opponent has said that he is a hard working dairy farmer and that he knows the struggles of "Joe the Plumber" Kansans. I can believe him. What do you think qualifies you to understand the plight of "Joe the Plumber" families? Aren't you a psychology professor?

Tony Brown:

I'm not sure if being a professor should necessarily disqualify me from being a good legislator. I would challenge the whole idea that elected officials need to come from "blue collar" or "white collar" backgrounds to understand the issues that concern the people of Kansas. I believe what we need are elected officials that listen to constituents, think critically about issues, and are willing to make tough decisions. I think I understand the struggles of "Joe the Plumber" as well as my opponent because I've spoken with plenty of people like him as a member of the city council here in Baldwin City.

Moderator:

Our next question comes from BaldwinCity.com:

Moderator:

TheOnlyGreyghost: Both you and your opponent are listed as Baldwin residents--but I would swear that Mr Coen actually lives in Ottawa, or at least, Franklin Co. Can you give me some assurance that, if elected, you will always play it straight with your constituents, and be honest about everything from residency to your actual position on the issues? With both Mr Coen and Roger Pine apparently confused about where they lay their heads at night, I think voters need to know that there are candidates they can trust--who will not twist the truth just to manipulate the vote. Is Tony Brown that kind of candidate? I happen to think that character matters. Thank you.

Tony Brown:

This has been a point of confusion for a lot of people in the 10th district -- thanks for the question. My opponent has been a lifelong resident of Franklin County, with a Wellsville address and numerous business associations in Ottawa. He seems to be very proud of this -- at least until he put his name on the ballot for this race. He then decided that he wanted to list Baldwin City as his home, based, I suppose, on the fact that he has a post office box here in town. I want to assure voters that not only do I have a post office box here in town, but I also own a home here and live in it. Further, I am not the kind of person or the kind of candidate that will try to shade the truth or hide the facts from voters. You deserve better -- you deserve honesty from those of us who are asking for your support.

coldandhot:

Mr. Brown, you have said that the clean coal plants would be catastrophic for the next generation...Do you have an energy plan? I believe that this will be the next big world crisis if this is not addressed. Please don't give me the same politico speak about wind, solar etc...Wouldn't the coal plants be a good transitionary step?

Tony Brown:

I think you're right in your belief that energy may be the next world crisis and that is one of the reasons I am so concerned about it. Coal plants are a good transition to the next generation of energy, whatever that may look like. We have energy needs now and coal is the most available energy source to meet those needs. But if we continue to just build coal plants, we are never going to make the transition to other energy sources. That's why we've got to start talking about weaning ourselves from carbon-based energy and building the infrastructure for renewable energy. I don't think that's just political talk, I think it's a viable plan to move our energy technology forward. As for the "catastrophic" comment, I am very concerned about the quality of the environment over the next generation. We cannot change our energy production overnight, so unless we start the process now, our children and grandchildren are going to inherit a very dirty, and perhaps unsustainable, planet.

lmatt:

Hello, how do you feel about the Governor's plan to lower the speed limits on Ks highways to 65mph, just to try and save fuel? This to me is the government going to far telling me that I have to conserve, not by choice. Thanks.

Moderator:

See this article for more info: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/sep/10/public_comment_period_set_proposal_reduce_speed_li/>

Tony Brown:

Imatt, I agree with you on this point. It is true that we save fuel if we slow down, but I'm not sure if the government needs to sit next to us in our cars and tell us save gas. Best to let people decide this on their own and pay the price for the extra gas they use.

jmcgovern:

Dr. Brown, former student of yours here, you probably know who this is. I can see you're concerned about health care, which as a disabled Kansan i appreciate. What are your plans/ideas overall for disabled and low income citizens of this state, especially in these times?

Tony Brown:

This is a very important, but very tough issue. I think we've got an obligation to make sure that citizens with disabilities or those with low income have access to the services they need, and that we should be judged accordingly if we pull those services. The money has to come from somewhere and right now it's tough to know where that is. That's one of the reasons I think we've got to do our best to reign in health care costs and streamline the process of providing those services so we can get as many needs addressed as possible.

Moderator:

We have just one question left, and it's an easy one:

Pywacket:

Please print Tony Brown's website address before you sign off so that voters like Hannah can find the right candidate. Thanks!

Tony Brown:

Thanks for the suggestion! Here it is: www.tonybrownforkansas.org.

Moderator:

That's all the questions we have. Tony, thanks for joining us. Just a reminder, we have several more Election 2008 chats setup for this week and next. If you'd like to post a question in any of those, or if you'd like to read transcripts of a past chat, log onto LJWorld.com/chats.

Tony Brown:

Thanks to the Journal-World and the Baldwin City Signal for hosting me -- I enjoyed it. If anyone has further questions for me, they can e-mail me at tonybrownforkansas@gmail.com.

Comments

staff04 5 years, 5 months ago

Does Coen have a website? I tried a google search, but didn't come up with anything.

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Pywacket 5 years, 6 months ago

Oops~ Sorry, Joe--I meant "coldandhot," of course. Or perhaps that should be "froidetchaud" for those intellectual elitists!

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Pywacket 5 years, 6 months ago

Confrontation~ No--no-- I'm sure "hotandcold" is a very clever name for Joe the Plumber!

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Pywacket 5 years, 6 months ago

I have to disagree on this one. Baldwin is a small community and if you live there, you pretty much know everyone--especially those who are in office. I've known Tony since long before he ever ran for any public office, and he's a regular guy. His wife was a teacher and now is a librarian. You mislead people if you say he doesn't understand what "everyday hardworking" Kansans are going through. Since we seem to be elevating plumbers to the pinnacle of the working class this election season, one of Tony's friends--who, along with his wife, has spent many a happy time at Tony's get-togethers over the years--happens to be a plumber. If sitting down with someone and sharing a meal and an evening of conversation has any merit, I'd say that Tony understands plumbers--and other working people--pretty well. Tony and his wife have many friends--whose professions range from the bluest of blue collar to the starchiest pink or white. He reads prolifically and makes every attempt to understand an issue before forming an opinion on it. He has an intellectual curiosity that leads him to ask questions first, before spouting an opinion. Can you say these things for Mr Coen? Please don't ask people to buy into that "intellectual elitist" drivel. Most people I know with any claim to being "an intellectual," including Tony, are also the most cosmopolitan in their choice of friends and acquaintances--and the most likely to understand where people are coming from --because often they've come from the same place. And then there's the integrity thing. I'm sorry, but renting a PO box does not make Coen a Baldwin resident, as he would like to have Baldwin (and other Douglas Co) citizens believe. And what a slap in the face to his base--the people of Franklin County. If I lived there, I'd have grave doubts about his motives with that slick move.

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Confrontation 5 years, 6 months ago

Nice to see that Coen is now posting on this site.

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coldandhot 5 years, 6 months ago

Tony Brown does not understand big issues like energy and healthcare and he does not have a plan for these big issues like most of our politicians. I will vote for Coen because at least he understands what an everyday hardworking Kansan is going through.

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