Archive for Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Statehouse Live: Governor-elect Sam Brownback picks veteran team, Americans for Prosperity consultant

December 7, 2010, 11:42 a.m. Updated December 7, 2010, 2:17 p.m.

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— Gov.-elect Sam Brownback on Tuesday picked a veteran Statehouse squad to lead his economic efforts, except for one: an Oklahoma-based consultant for Americans for Prosperity who will be the new state budget director.

Steve Anderson, a certified public accountant from Edmond, Okla., will now be in charge of helping craft a state budget recommendation for Brownback, a Republican who will be sworn in Jan. 10.

In recent years, Anderson has worked for Americans for Prosperity in Kansas and other states, trying to get legislators to decrease state spending and cut taxes. For the most part, AFP-Kansas’ recommendations have been ignored by the Legislature so far.

Last year, Anderson did a report on Kansas finances for what was called the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. The report was roundly criticized. The report said there was $2 billion of state funds buried in “unencumbered balances” that should be returned to the taxpayers.

The current state budget director, Duane Goossen, and other state officials, said the report made some incorrect generalizations and noted that the funds cited in the report were used for specific purposes set up by state law.

Brownback was asked if he would use some of the fiscal proposals from Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by billionaire David Koch, leader of Wichita-based Koch Industries.

“I’m going to look across the globe for the best ideas,” Brownback said.

Anderson said he would be stepping back from his private business to work for the state of Kansas. Of Brownback, he said, “This is the right man at the right time.” Anderson said he is moving to Kansas.

Aside from Anderson, Brownback picked a group of people who, for the most part, are accustomed to the ins and outs of Capitol work.

“Our Economic Growth team is heavy on experience and offers fresh perspectives on the challenges that we face,” Brownback said.

For his Cabinet, Brownback retained Deb Miller as secretary of transportation and appointed former state Sen. Nick Jordan of Shawnee as secretary of revenue; state Rep. Pat George, R-Dodge City, secretary of commerce; state Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe, secretary of labor; and Dale Rodman, secretary of agriculture.

“They bring to state government a blend of private and public sector experience that will produce results,” Brownback said.

He said his top priority is to “get this state growing again,” adding that means streamlining regulations and putting together a pro-growth tax system.

Miller, a Democrat, has been head of the Kansas Department of Transportation since 2003 and was first appointed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Brownlee, Jordan and George have combined more than 30 years of experience in the Legislature. Rodman has spent nearly 50 years as an agri-business executive and consultant.

Jordan, who will lead the revenue department, said Brownback’s appointees will work as a team. “We all pretty much know each other. We’re excited about working together,” he said.

More Cabinet announcements are expected soon.

Comments

CreatureComforts 4 years, 4 months ago

I can see the future: 95% of LJW posters will complain about 100% of appointees!

hail2oldku 4 years, 4 months ago

I just want to know if our soon to be new budget director is from Kansas or Oklahoma -

Steven J. Anderson, CPA, is licensed in Kansas and Oklahoma. He is managing partner of the Edmond, Okla. office of Anderson, Reichert & Anderson, CPAs LLC, which is headquartered in Osborne, Kan.

hail2oldku 4 years, 4 months ago

The update answers my question. He's a carpetbagger.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 4 months ago

“I’m going to look across the globe for the best ideas,” Brownback said.

To Brownback, Oklahoma probably seems like some faraway, exotic locale.

notanota 4 years, 4 months ago

Because he needs to stay home and count all the extra money he'll make.

Centerville 4 years, 4 months ago

MIller on board will pre-empt a lot of a lot of sky-is-falling from her husband and noted Sebelius water-carrier, Jim McLean.

WilburM 4 years, 4 months ago

Deb Miller is a highly competent transportation profession, who is well regarded in Topeka, in DC, and around the country. Brownback's selection acknowledges this. Who she's married to doesn't matter and shouldn't matter.

Paul Decelles 4 years, 4 months ago

A certain taint? You mean smell perhaps?

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 4 months ago

These are the people that during a meeting cheered when they heard that the U.S. was not selected for the next Olympics... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOJ4ej...

They root against America, because that will stick it to that dirty Obama. They're not good people.

Centerville 4 years, 4 months ago

Did I say Miller was incompetent? No. I said Sam is pretty savy to cut the obligatory caterwauling from her lackey husband off at the pass.

charleskhyter 4 years, 4 months ago

Miller is a widow, her husband and father-in-law were killed in an airplane crash.

james bush 4 years, 4 months ago

She's married again.......to Jim McLean.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

Interesting the Brownback people are holding Anderson out as being from Osborne.

A simple google search reveals Anderson has lived for at least 6 years in Oklahoma. It also reveals that in all of his previous work for AFP-Kansas he has clearly identified himself as being from Oklahoma.

Why would the Brownback camp attempt to hold him out as being from Osborne? Do they also identify Dean Smith as a resident of Topeka?

westkansas 4 years, 4 months ago

Steve Anderson - father lives in Oberlin, mother in Osborne. Born and grew up in Oberlin. Doesn't sound like a "carpetbagger" to me.

hail2oldku 4 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the term was used loosely. He has been licensed as a CPA in Oklahoma since 1999. He lives in Oklahoma. He is the managing partner of his firm's Oklahoma office. While he received his undergrad degree from Fort Hays State, he got his MBA from Central Oklahoma. He is an Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Research Scholar. Why would I think he was from Oklahoma and not from Kansas?

63BC 4 years, 4 months ago

Bio says Anderson is a Fort Hays State grad.

Centerville 4 years, 4 months ago

I thought we only like carpetbaggers from Ohio.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 4 months ago

Ah, Experience. That's the ticket. Experience worked so well in Viet Nam. I will sit by the mailbox awaiting my refund check, Steph.

Godot 4 years, 4 months ago

Rothschild writes: "Last year, Anderson did a report on Kansas finances for what was called the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. The report was roundly criticized."

By whom? Care to name, and why, on what grounds, or just make the baseless claim, you know, throw the stuff against the wall and hope it sticks? Lazy, sloppy, unethical reportage.

olddognewtrix 4 years, 4 months ago

So, Brownback is turning the state of Kansas unto the state of Koch--SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

Mark Pickerel 4 years, 4 months ago

Brownback is going to slash the budget and create jobs at the same time? Maybe he really is Jesus.

Ralph Reed 4 years, 4 months ago

@Godot, re: your 0920, 7 Dec. I agree that SR should be more explicit in supporting his statement that the report was roundly criticized. However, you really should look at the report at the Kansas Policy Institute. It is poorly written and makes some gross assumptions in the analysis, especially if you look at the back which shows how they got their figures. The assumptions were made so as to support their goals.

Here's from the article above, SR's support is there, but you need to read all of the article.

"In recent years, Anderson has worked for Americans for Prosperity in Kansas and other states, trying to get legislators to decrease state spending and cut taxes. For the most part, AFP-Kansas’ recommendations have been ignored by the Legislature so far.

Last year, Anderson did a report on Kansas finances for what was called the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. The report was roundly criticized. The report said there was $2 billion of state funds buried in “unencumbered balances” that should be returned to the taxpayers.

The current state budget director, Duane Goossen, and other state officials, said the report made some incorrect generalizations and noted that the funds cited in the report were used for specific purposes set up by state law."


Brownstripe Comment. I don't have much complaint about the majority of Brownback's cabinet, but appointing a Koch Industries lackey as State Budget Director simply points to who owns the Governor's Chair (Koch and the AFP). He should have appointed someone from Kansas, not from Oklahoma. Anderson repeatedly says in writing that he's from OK. This is even evidenced when he says he's moving to Kansas, not moving back to Kansas. I wonder if Kobach will check him for voter fraud to make sure he's not voting here, but registered in OK.

Andrew Reeves 4 years, 4 months ago

Who cares where he's from. The attention should be paid to the fact that he's a Koch-funded lobbyist. Sounds pretty unethical to me. But am I surprised? Hell no.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Say hello to higher taxes for the middle class and spending cuts.

lawslady 4 years, 4 months ago

Mark my words. He wants to run for President. Everything he does is designed to advance his political aspirations.

Synjyn Smythe 4 years, 4 months ago

You are correct. He failed miserably last time, as his only accomplishment: Darfur, was exposed. He believes that Clinton and Bush II were elected because they had been Governors, and that this is the road to the White House. He will run again, probably soon!

Lawrence_Pilot 4 years, 4 months ago

You get what you vote for, right? You voted for what is perhaps the most Right Wing governor in the country, so why are you surprised that he appoints other Right Wingers to his cabinet?

As another poster wrote here earlier today (but which has now been removed by God): Good luck with economic development. Do you REALLY believe the great engineering, science, and math minds who reside on the coasts and in other Blue states would ever considering moving here for a job or to start a business? Seriously. No, you're stuck having to find smart people who live in other Red states. Without the northeast, Illinois, and California, your selection will be way limited. What a shame.

But idiots get what idiots vote for...more idiots!

Centerville 4 years, 4 months ago

No matter how Goessen dances around it (since he's terrified of the board of education), there is still $2 billion dollars, not designated for a specific purpose, squirreled away in various school district accounts.

hail2oldku 4 years, 4 months ago

Have you even read his "report"? The $2 billion in unencumbered funds were in almost 1700 different accounts. These were NOT all school district accounts. They range from the unemployment insurance fund, to the board of public accountancy, to yes even school districts. Additionally, some of these "funds" aren't even real money but budget items for things job positions that don't get filled for whatever reason so they appear as a surplus when budgeted funds don't get expensed.

You want to talk about shady accounting work, read the report. This guy should have worked for Enron.

Alceste 4 years, 4 months ago

So much Corrections and SRS, eh? Oh....the horror....the horror.....

finance 4 years, 4 months ago

Flat out wrong. Every fund in school districts' budgets has a legislatively specified purpose. What you mean is that every dollar is not encumbered. There is a huge difference. An encumbered dollar is a dollar already spent. To claim that every dollar a school district has must already be designated as spent is stupid beyond belief. You may be living hand to mouth at home like you're proposing school districts should do, but that's stupid on your part at home and even more stupid to propose that school districts cannot possess an unencumbered dollar. Jeez.

pace 4 years, 4 months ago

Brownback seems almost a Johnny apple Seed. He is planting plum trees and people will come from all over, well from the conservative think tanks, to pick the plums. We need to ask working families to sacrifice for the good of the party.

IdahoWinds 4 years, 4 months ago

Secr Miller has been working hard on the T-Works program since last spring when it was passed as part of the 1% sales tax. She has been very careful to make the process as non-partisan and transparent as possible. If she had not been re-appointed the process of selecting what road projects will be funded could have started all over again. To her credit it will now be a smooth transition and project selection will probably occur as expected in late January or early February. You can expect the completion of K-10 around Lawrence to very close to the top of the list.

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