The Topeka congressman is touring the state, pointing out the differences between himself and his primary opponent, Sen. Sheila Frahm.
Two good people. Different philosophies.
That's how U.S. Rep. Sam Brownback, a conservative, sums up his Republican primary race with new U.S. Sen. Sheila Frahm, a moderate, for Bob Dole's former Senate seat.
With 27 days left before the Aug. 6 primary, Brownback has been buzzing the state, from Phillipsburg to Kansas City, trying to show GOP voters the differences.
During a brief stop Tuesday at the Journal-World, he spelled out what he thinks are the main differences:
- Term limits. "I'm for term limits and she's opposed," he said.
- Campaign finance reform. Brownback said he co-sponsored a campaign finance reform bill that passed the House. Frahm voted against it in the Senate.
- Reducing government. "I've been a staunch opponent of government downsizing," he said. "She's more of a `Let's wait and see if that's really something we can do.'"
Brownback continues to insist that tax voting records are the campaign's defining issue.
"I've voted to cut and she's voted to increase," he said. "She has a six-year voting record in the state Senate. I've got a two-year voting record in the Congress. She voted for seven different tax increases over six years. And I voted for tax cuts the whole time in Congress."
Frahm has said that Brownback "is completely distorting" her tax voting record.
Frahm was lieutenant governor before being appointed June 11 to fill Dole's seat. She has said Brownback has ignored the $1.3 billion in tax cuts that were made when she was part of Gov. Bill Graves' administration. And she has said she voted against two tax increase bills that Brownback said she favored.
Brownback also said they differ on abortion -- although he downplays the issue. She's pro-choice while he holds the same pro-life views as Dole.
"In my way of thinking, we just represent different philosophies," Brownback said. "Are you going to go at the system and push it hard for change? That's what I've done in going into Congress."
He organized a group of 60 Republican freshman and sophomore representatives into a New Federalist organization that focused on two goals: reducing government and reforming Congress.
"That's what I'm going to do in the Senate, be very aggressive on pushing on those issues," he said. "I just don't think we have a lot of time to make the sort of changes we really need to make."
Brownback criticized Gov. Graves for endorsing Frahm in the Senate primary.
"I wish the governor would stay out of the race. I think he should," Brownback said. "I think that's been the traditional position of the governor to not get involved in a contested primary."