Advertisement

Archive for Monday, August 9, 2010

Campaign Notebook: Brownback wants to freeze state spending; unveils goals

Brownback outlined a proposed "road map for Kansas" during a news conference at his Topeka campaign headquarters.

August 9, 2010, 8:35 a.m. Updated August 9, 2010, 1:21 p.m.

Advertisement

Governor hopeful Brownback announces his goals if elected

One of his goals as governor would be to freeze state spending. Enlarge video

Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback (right) on Monday unveils his "Road Map for Kansas" during news conference at his campaign headquarters in Topeka. Also attending was Brownback's lieutenant governor running mate Jeff Colyer, a state senator from Overland Park.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback (right) on Monday unveils his "Road Map for Kansas" during news conference at his campaign headquarters in Topeka. Also attending was Brownback's lieutenant governor running mate Jeff Colyer, a state senator from Overland Park.

— Unveiling his “Road Map for Kansas,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback on Monday promised to freeze state spending and reorganize government.

But Democratic opponent Tom Holland called Brownback’s plan a “Road to Ruin.”

Holland’s campaign issued a statement saying Brownback’s proposals lacked details, grew government at the expense of public schools and contained gimmicks that “should raise red flags.”

Brownback, a U.S. senator from Topeka, and Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, square off in the Nov. 2 election.

Brownback rolled out his goals at a news conference and planned a bus tour this week to tout the proposal.

His stated goals include increasing Kansans’ net personal income, private sector employment, the percentage of fourth-graders reading at grade level and the percentage of high school graduates who are college or career ready, and decreasing the percentage of Kansas children who live in poverty.

Brownback declined to reveal details on how to accomplish the goals, but did say that in his first month of office he would establish a general state fund spending freeze and issue executive orders to reorganize parts of government.

He said funding shifts would be made in state spending, but that the bottom line spending figure will be frozen. Brownback didn’t say how long he would maintain such a freeze. Over the past 18 months, an unprecedented drop in state revenue has forced several rounds of budget cuts and an increase in the state sales tax that went into effect July 1.

Brownback also said that in his first month of office, he would implement an economic development plan, establish a citizens board to review new regulations before implementation, and empower an Office of the Repealer to recommend removing statutes and regulations “that have outlived their original function, are in conflict with one another, or simply do not make sense.”

Holland’s campaign manager, Dana Houle, said Brownback’s call for smaller government was undercut by proposals for “a lot of new bureaucracies.”

“These gimmicks might work in Washington, but here in Kansas he’s raising more questions than he’s answering,” Houle said.

Brownback said he will “retask existing resources” to create the Office of Repealer.

During the news conference, Brownback also reiterated his statement that the school funding formula is broken but declined to say in what way. Public school funding makes up about half of the state budget.

Houle said advocates of public schools should be wary.

“The only way Brownback could pay for his new government programs is to put public schools on the chopping block,” he said.

On school funding, Brownback said, “ ... we need to focus the state’s dollars on classroom instruction, promote innovation, reform the school finance formula, and pursue unified accounting of school districts’ use of state funds.”

Comments

Orwell 3 years, 11 months ago

Brownback's "road map" would leave us further in the ditch – the one on the extreme right side of the road.

0

BorderRuffian 3 years, 11 months ago

It's about time we moved from an "entitlement" attitude to a self-sufficient attitude.

Absolutely we need to spend no more than we take in.

Absolutely we need to reign in our spending - especially in a weak economy. Increasing taxes on people who are already struggling to stay afloat is ridiculous.

Absolutely we ought to be looking to create new jobs instead of paying more and more Americans NOT to work.

Absolutely we ought to be looking for ways to increase the quality of education - instead of lowering standards so more can say they graduated.

Absolutely increase the personal income of the average American - get rid of this "spreading the wealth" attitude of big government. Robin Hood had the attitude of robbing the rich to give to the poor - the Obama-Pelosi administration's attitude is rob from the rich, rob from the middle class, even rob the poor, and give to the government. That don't work!

And absolutely go back to good old fashioned values that commends an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, values that say if you don't got the money, don't spend it, and values that encourage people to work and support themselves instead of keeping them down by keeping them on the dole.

Absolutely get us back on track with Brownback!

0

Sparko 3 years, 11 months ago

With a name like border ruffian; of course you prefer simple ideas and slavery. You folks have to help yourself by actually understanding the issues. You seriously don't even understand what is in your own best interest--talk down entitlement while hoping for crumbs from the wealthy. Hypocrisy--and daft hypocrisy at that.

0

Jimo 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow, the Koolaid is falling like rain today.

It is interesting though to see which facts have to be turned into fictions to explain the bizarre conclusions some people reach - robbing the middle class, indeed. That's leaving aside the empty sloganeering - create new jobs! Gee, if someone had just thought of that!

It must be so comforting to live in a make-believe world where all the old, worn simplicities are trotted out, shorn of their legacy of failure, and are presented as homespun wisdom.

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

Right, let's stop robbing from the rich to pay for things that make them tons of money, like public highways, public research, having employees that can actually read and do math (which is what half the budget is about). You know, little things like that. I mean seriously, you're talking like this is California. This state has been ran on a shoestring budget by a Republican legislature for decades.

Peddle crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

0

Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 11 months ago

Well, if they are going on a bus trip of Kansas, i would imagine they would need a road map. But it still seems kind of outdated, why don't they just use GPS? Do we really want to elect a guy who won't embrace new technology?

0

pfeifer 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh I get it, you're making fun of him for being Catholic. Last I checked, that didn't make him a bad person. Make fun of his stance on issues, don't make fun of his religion. That makes you worse than he is.

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

How does not wanting to run a democratic 21st century government based on 1st century principles make you a "bigot"?

0

overthemoon 3 years, 11 months ago

He has toned down the talk for the election campaign, but his allegiences to a number of very aggressive dominionist groups leads one to speculate that he may have one of those 'hidden agendas'. Gvnobus may have been pushing the point a bit, but Brownback's statements regarding the role of religion in government should give anyone pause. Sorry, no links or quotes, but they shouldn't be hard to find.

0

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 11 months ago

Please, gvnobas. I doubt if Brownback would make a St. Augustine reading workshop mandatory.

0

BorderRuffian 3 years, 11 months ago

And you can back these claims up with which citations/quotes?

0

Kris_H 3 years, 11 months ago

We could start the budget freeze with (presumed) Gov. Brownback's state salary. Since he's not earning one now, let's not pay him one. His deity will take care of his needs and he can work for free.

Actually, most state agencies I'm aware of already have budgets that are pretty well frozen. How much colder can you get?

0

So_tired_of_the_whiners 3 years, 11 months ago

What if he wished for a hand full of poop?

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback said his “Road Map for Kansas,” includes increasing Kansans’ net personal income,"

Does he need our mailing addresses, or is just going to this by direct deposit?

0

puddleglum 3 years, 11 months ago

i'm all for direct deposit. and start taxing the illegal aliens. and their employers.

0

overthemoon 3 years, 11 months ago

He's going to support living wage and raise the minimum wage, right? HA. He's going to raise the net income of his rich friends who will then maybe sort of trickle some of that down in the form of a few pennies to the 'little people'.

0

BorderRuffian 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I get it. Just like the failed Obama stimulus checks, right? What a failure THAT was.

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

I think you're confused. Bush was the one who mailed out the checks. Obama just rejigged the taxes so you pay slightly less during the stimulus period. Not sure if either really did that much though.

0

BorderRuffian 3 years, 11 months ago

Well, thank goodness we have someone like Hillary Clinton to provide an unbiased assessment of Brownback. At least in Brownback we have a person trying to do what is good; Hillary is nothing but pure, dripping with hate, power-hungry evil.

0

cowboy 3 years, 11 months ago

Get a big kick out these type of political clowns who release bullet points as a developed strategy. Are you too ignorant to fill us all in on what you truly intend to do , or is the agenda so screwy that you don't care to share it with the public.

Sam , do tell us what your eco devo plans are , more farm subsidies for your family ?

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Considering who the country elected as a president, that's pretty amusing, cowboy.

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Right, eddie. Because a statement like "these type of political clowns who release bullet points as a developed strategy" really doesn't apply to the weasel-in-chief.

0

Thats_messed_up 3 years, 11 months ago

gvnobas take your meds and get back to bed.

0

grammaddy 3 years, 11 months ago

A freeze on state spending solves all those problems how? Is he donating his salary as governor to education in the state. Anybody but Brownnose...er Brownbavk

0

feeble 3 years, 11 months ago

I take the pledge to increase personal incomes to mean that he will push for a cuts to state income tax or sales tax. It could be that he intends to reduce payroll taxes and expect businesses to pass those gains on to their employees, but I suspect any such gains would be few and far between.

This would mean that while Brownback intends to "cap" state spending to no more than current leves, he cannot possibly "freeze" state spending at current levels, as he is already planning to reduce state revenues.

Can someone confirm if the freeze would be to the entire budget or just items paid out of a general fund (re: "he would establish a general state fund spending freeze"). If so, how much of the state budget does the general fund account for?

My understanding is that the largest items in the state budget are Medicare/Medicaid, Education and KPERS/pensions. Are any of these paid out of a general fund?

On the face of it, this seems similar to cuts on the Federal level to economic aid to foreign nations. While on the face of it, such cuts seem prudent and would save millions, on the federal level, such spending accounts for 1%, or less, of the actual budget.

I guess what I am wondering is, are these real cuts or just election year token offerings?

0

Steve Jacob 3 years, 11 months ago

Nothing he says is new. You know he's going to lower taxes and cut spending. And those cuts will sting.

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

Assuming he actually gets it through the legislature. They've already decided they can't cut anymore this year and raised taxes (with a sunset clause). It might be interesting to have a right wing governor who can't get his legislation passed by a coalition of Moderate Republicans and Democrats.

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

What a truly wonderful piece of irony and satire. Have you written for the New Yorker?

0

ivalueamerica 3 years, 11 months ago

I always found someone that froze spending or called across the board cuts to be cowardly (no matter what side of the Aisle proposes it)

An elected official should define priorities.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

State spending is already frozen, and has been for several years.

Just last month, the budget director announced plans for the next year's budget were frozen and agencies were to prepare for a 5% budget reduction.

So what did Brownback announce today?

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

In the midst of this debate, I'd like to make note of a Houle quote outlining Holland/Kultala's platform: "They will create jobs by continuing to invest in education and workforce training."

These actions in themselves do not create jobs. So this is also a hollow statement. Once you have educated people, you have to have jobs in which to place them. What will Holland/Kultala do to insure that there are such jobs available in Kansas for these educated and trained citizens?

Word to Brownback and to Holland: This year, you're going to have to cut the hype and give us real details, because we're onto the party dialogues and won't settle for these platitudes any more.

0

frank mcguinness 3 years, 11 months ago

Jobs come to places with an educated workforce and infastructure. Pretty simple

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

No so. Jobs come when entrepreneurs and corporations and small businesses decide to open for business. "Build it and they will come?" Wrong!

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

"Brownback wants to freeze state spending"

About

frikkin'

time!

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

So witty and completely uninformed. Way to defend your argument.

0

KS 3 years, 11 months ago

notajayhawk - I agree. It is about time somebody said enough is enough.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

Like the Kansas budget director did a month ago when he not only froze spending but suggested a budget cut of 5%? Was it "about time" then, or only when Sam Brownback tells you it is time?"

Sheep.

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

75-3715 Chapter 75.--STATE DEPARTMENTS; PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES Article 37.--DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION

  75-3715.   Powers and duties of the director of the budget. The director of the budget shall:

  (a)   Keep in continuous touch with the operations, plans and needs of state agencies, and with the sources and amounts of revenue and other receipts of the state;

  (b)   analyze the quantity and quality of services rendered by each agency, and the needs for such services and for any new services;

  (c)   prepare under the supervision of the incoming governor, the budget report for submission to the legislature;

  (d)   prepare a legislative measure or measures reflecting the incoming governor's budget;

  (e)   consider and act on applications for transfers between appropriations of the same agency as provided by law;

  (f)   survey such work programs and periodical allotment requests submitted by state agencies as are required by this act;

  (g)   report to the governor and to the incoming governor on the operation of the budget system and advise and assist the governor, incoming governor, state finance council, legislature and its ways and means and appropriations committees on request, concerning any matters relating to the budget; and

  (h)   Provide management analysis service to state agencies.

Gee, kanga, can't seem to find where the legislature ever granted the authority to freeze anything at all to the director of the budget. That position, answerable to the governor's office, is empowered only to advise and implement the policies/legislative directives of the people who write and sign the budget.

But thanks for playing.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

So your argument is that Brownback didn't announce anything yesterday, because the legislature has to grant that authority?

Sheep. State spending is already frozen. Brownback should have just announced that the sun will come up this morning.

0

notajayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow. Turns out that not only can't you read, bobbie, but you don't even remember (if you ever knew) what you said yourself.

You said the budget director froze the budget. Do I really need to refresh your failing memory for a post you made just two steps up? Here, let me do so:

"Like the Kansas budget director did a month ago when he not only froze spending ..."

The director of the budget (his actual title, not 'budget director') didn't - can't - freeze squat, bobbie. He can tell the agencies to prepare for a cut, but he doesn't have the authority to actually enact them, does he? Those decisions are made a little above his pay scale.

It's okay, bobbie. Maybe when you know what you're talking about you can play again. As if that would ever happen.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/07/20/2096553/kansas-agencies-told-to-prepare.html

Your bizarre combo of ignorance and rude behavior doesn't make you right, particularly when you are arguing on behalf of the legislature and proving the point that Brownback announced nothing.

Sheep.

0

GardenMomma 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope you are ready for private schools. I hope you are ready to not be able to afford the school of your choice or be denied entrance due to "enrollment restrictions." I hope you realize private school vouchers are a real easy way to set up a caste-like system.

I hope you vote properly this election and vote for the future of the state.

0

frank mcguinness 3 years, 11 months ago

Do tell us about your vast wealth and genius children. Or did you go to this same school system too?

0

thebigspoon 3 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

HomeSlice 3 years, 11 months ago

He is half way there. Freezing spending (all) is a no-brainer and should have been done a long time ago. Now, cut spending, and we will have a fighting chance, rather than taking the road to Athens.

0

cowboy 3 years, 11 months ago

Sam's Eco Devo Plan from his website

Jobs: Kansas unemployment is at historic levels---the highest in decades. Over 100,000 Kansans are looking for full-time work and can't find it. The effects on individuals and families can be devastating.

photo

Sam Brownback has identified several specific areas where we can create new jobs in Kansas, including the development of alternative energy, the establishment of the National Bio-Agro Defense Facility in Kansas, expansion of high-tech animal health and aviation research, the expansion of medical education, the Polymer Institute at Pittsburg State, destination tourism in the Flint Hills and value-added agricultural products with new uses for Kansas foodstuffs.

I see nothing there that has not been spouted about for the last decade , how bout you ?

His website is pathetic , and reflects how empty this candidate really is.

Were all holding our breath for the details Mr. Brownback.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

Sam's Eco Devo Plan - stuff that is already being done made to sound like a new idear.

0

BigDog 3 years, 11 months ago

And from Tom Holland's website:

Creating Jobs, Growing the Economy

Creating jobs for Kansans and getting our economy back on track is the central focus of my campaign – if elected Governor, it will be a continuing focus of my administration.

Hard working Kansans didn’t create recession we’re in – it was forced upon us by a Washington corrupted by pork spending, special interests and partisan gridlock.

When Washington got behind Wall Street, they turned their back on Main Street. As a result, Kansas companies lost business and Kansas workers lost their jobs.

Enough is enough – we don’t need Washington’s problems, or its politicians, back in Kansas.

That’s why I want to bring my experience as a successful, small business owner to the Governor’s office.

I have real-world experience in creating jobs, making payroll and balancing a budget. My business experience is what sets me apart in this election; and I’m proud to join the thousands of other business owners in our Great State who are ready to help put Kansans back to work.

Creating jobs is more than just delivering talking points about “growth” – it’s about setting aside partisan blinders and putting real effort behind proven job-creators: renewable energy, animal biosciences and training more nurses, doctors, dentists and health care workers at our colleges and universities.

As we take advantage of these expanding opportunities, we must also continue to support those bedrock industries that have made Kansas a place we’re proud to call home – aviation, manufacturing and our oil and gas resources.

By having the right priorities and focusing on these industries, we have a clear path to prosperity.

Politicians get distracted, but business leaders know what it takes to get the job done. That’s why, as a business owner whose priorities you can trust, I’m ready to get to work.


Sounds like one heck of an economic plan .....yeah right no detail either just jargon.

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

tsunami, you are not helping the discussion. You mustn't assume that everyone who asks a question is trying to spin things out. Some of us are independents, not swayed by either party's rhetoric, and we want REAL answers this time and we want to hear them loud and clear not just in one or two venues, but everywhere these candidates and their mouthpieces speak.

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

This is exactly the type of detail that needs to be not just on Holland's website but foremost in the talking points Houle is making. She does him a disservice when she retreats to party rhetoric rather than stating what he is really about!

0

pace 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank God, he has finally came out with some sort of goals. I have been watching him say no to everything for 20 years. Some of the mess we are in is due to the inaction of the house and senate on immigration issues, education and regulating the out of control financial kings. He sat, shaking his head when the republicans were in power, shook his head when the democrats were in power. Now at last, he is at least proposed doing something, even if it is just something that will harm working families and the state. He must be animated to become governor, it must mean a lot to him to come out and state a goal.

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

lol yeah, I'm sure it means to much to state that they are freezing spending, instead of merely cutting it like they have been the last 3 years.

0

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 11 months ago

Freeze state spending at what level? How does Brownbac define state spending? How did he distinguish state general fund and fee funds or federal funds? How do "stimulus" dollars affect this definition? How do local property tax dollars affect this definition? How do other federal funds affect this definition?

Does a "freeze" assume a "frozen" current level of stimulus spending to support k-12 and higher education? If so, why did Brownback vote against K-12 support in the last week?

Big huge issues in defining these gratuitous statements.


Unless the press ties Sen. Brownback down to some numbers and detail this is all just meaningless gobldegoop. And I would guess that is what this will become.

But that depends on a press being able to understand and explain the state budget. Few reporters nowadays can. It is a complex topic. But it can be accurately reported, if understood.


With all the layoffs and retrenchments the LJW has implemented over the last eight or so years, and which continue yet again this summer, you readers will all be left clueless. Nobody understands the state budget enough to explain it.

These social media/advertiser/bloggers are not fully-vetted reporters. They mean well. They are nice people. But even they understand they do not walk in the shoes of those they attempt to replace. who really built this newspaper, and could explain these topics.

Bremner knows who qualifies. And he is looking.....

0

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 11 months ago

Make no mistake; Brownback will be governor. This little tiny city in the NE part of the state is an exotic zoo bird; a hot house flower to the rest of the state. We're a freak show and people in Hugoton and Pratt come to stare at us and walk Mass street and ogle. We are the dregs of what used to be Athens on the Plains; Harvard on the Kaw. The people of this state are too busy st kickin', goat ropin' and fixin' up their trucks while their women fix them a sammich and bring them a beer to actually research and question a political candidate. They don't even know how to and wouldn't know where to start. All they know how to do is watch Fox News, take it for gospel truth and toe a party line; the sheeple that every political candidate dreams about. I can hear the screams now; "elitist", "generalizations", yada yada. Scream your lungs out. But I've been in backwater Kansas. I know what they think and what they do. The only ones who might be different are the pot growers who have taken over little ghost towns and grow hydroponic weed in abandoned buildings. Thing is they're too scared to come out of their holes and actually vote. It would mean registering and having people know where they live. You want to look at this state through rose colored glasses (pun intended) go right ahead. I know better.

0

drake 3 years, 11 months ago

Snob was the term I was thinking of but elitist works just fine too.

0

Steve Jacob 3 years, 11 months ago

CNBC I saw just had a great point. People in polls what lower government spending. But what kind of tolerance do people have in losing services? Do we want state spending to drop so much, you get no services like California and people flee the state? It's hard to get the right balance.

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

People flee the state, you might get more balance with the services.

0

deskboy04 3 years, 11 months ago

Sam has decided that he will have a better chance at the White House in a few years as a governor. Senators are viewed as "insiders".

0

MyName 3 years, 11 months ago

exactly! He's following the Palin 2 year plan of governance. I guess it's a good idea to watch for who his Lt. is...

0

truman1902 3 years, 11 months ago

Office of the "Repealer"?? Increasing private sector employment at the expense of state employees, whose occupations will most certainly fall by the wayside--conveniently restored by private contractors who'll charge MORE, but SAM will claim credit for cutting state spending.. Nice try Sam, but your veil will come off during the debates..

0

Sean Livingstone 3 years, 11 months ago

Save during good times, spend during the bad.... suddenly every Republicans want to stop spending money... populists are dangerous....

0

avoice 3 years, 11 months ago

That's how it should be. Problem is, no one saved during the good times but instead increased the spending and now can't ratchet down. And there's no savings to draw from so the only way to spend during these bad times is to borrow. So goes the wage worker. So goes the nation.

0

Centerville 3 years, 11 months ago

He'll have less to spend, because we won't have any of Zippy's magic money and sales tax receipts will be down.

0

Shardwurm 3 years, 11 months ago

Some day a candidate will have the nerve to say:

"Reform education from top to bottom and make college affordable for the middle class again."

I think they would win whatever election they were in.

0

pantheon 3 years, 11 months ago

Don't FREEZE spending, eliminate it. Taxes too. That'll stimulate the economy, with absolutely no unforeseen side-effects.

0

Ralph Reed 3 years, 11 months ago

@ deskboy04: I agree with Paul Getto, your 0728 was spot on. Brownback is simply looking for his leadership tab so he can have a better chance in a race for the Presidency, pure and simple. I expect to see him start campaigning for that in a year or so.

Neither candidate has any substance with their broad goals because neither one wants to be pinned down. That's simply the way of all politicians; that way they can say, "I didn't say that, here's what I really said." When it's nebulous you can spin it any way you want.

I still don't trust Brownback though, Tom Holland has my vote.

0

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

At least Brownback will respond to his constituents. I called at least five time to my Senator last session (Holland) and he did not even return my phone call. All of the previous Senators in our district at least had the courtesy to respond to their district constituents and visit about issues, especially issues like raising our taxes, I am sick and tired of being ignored as a voter! I'm not about to put Holland in an even higher office when he doesn't respond to his voters now.

0

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 11 months ago

All the previous Senators? Name them...

0

Jimo 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Brownback is famous for spending hours at a time chatting it up with constituents who call him to share their crackpot theories or complain about taxes they don't even pay. Lobbyists complain that Brownback keeps taking their money but never has time to deliver on their corporate wishlists.

At least in ImaginationLand. wink wink

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.