Topeka Citing a new poll, the Kansas Republican Party on Thursday criticized Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, for proposing a tax increase.
The Survey USA poll taken Jan. 11 showed that 42 percent of Kansans approved of Parkinson’s job performance, 43 percent disapproved and 14 percent said they were not sure. The poll had a plus or minus margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.
State GOP Chair Amanda Adkins compared the results to the standing in Kansas of President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"These numbers are startling,” Adkins said in a news release. “The message couldn't be clearer -- Kansans oppose the Obama-Pelosi-Parkinson agenda of higher taxes and bigger government.”
But another Survey USA poll, showed that 56 percent of Kansans support Parkinson’s proposal to increase the state sales tax by one percent for three years to help solve the current state budget crisis.
Parkinson and the Legislature cut the $6.4 billion state budget by nearly $1 billion last year, and still face a $400 million revenue shortfall.
Asked to respond to the GOP criticism, Parkinson’s spokeswoman Beth Martino said, “In the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the governor has been forced to make some very difficult decisions. Some of those decisions may not have been good politics, but they were necessary. Gov. Parkinson's top priority is leading the state through this economic crisis and helping Kansans find jobs.”
Parkinson is a former Republican and once held Adkins’ position as party chair before he switched to the Democratic party in 2006 to run as lieutenant governor with former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Parkinson became governor last year when Sebelius was chosen by Obama to serve in his cabinet. Parkinson has said he would not run for the governorship this year.