Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Statehouse Live: Republicans achieve big gains in Kansas House

November 3, 2010, 10:48 a.m. Updated November 4, 2010, 8:07 a.m.


— The Republican wave was no more evident than in the Kansas House, and that could mean a big lurch to the right in state government.

Before Tuesday’s election, the GOP held a 76-49 advantage in the House. Now it has a 92-33 advantage. That success goes along with a Republican sweep of statewide races from governor on down.

“It was not a pretty night for Democrats,” House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said Wednesday.

It was a history-making election.

The last time the House Republican margin was so lopsided was in 1954 when the GOP held a 105-20 advantage. And the last time Republicans swept the statewide races was 1964.

The Democratic losses in the House means the end of a bipartisan majority of Democrats and moderate Republicans that has fought for school funding, and passed a 1-cent state sales tax increase earlier this year to fend off what supporters said would have been devastating cuts to education, social services and public safety.

“It’s gone,” Davis said of the bipartisan group. “The face of state government has changed significantly with this election. You are going to see some very different things coming out of the Legislature. You have a very significant conservative majority in the House.”

Davis said he believes there will be much more force behind attempts to put additional restrictions on abortion, make it more difficult to get a divorce and prohibit domestic partner registries such as the one Lawrence has. All these issues have been in play during the past few years.

Republican Gov.-elect Sam Brownback emphasized fiscal issues during his campaign, proposing a “Road Map for Kansas,” which focused on improving the economy and student academic performance.

In his victory speech, Brownback continued that theme, saying, “We campaigned on the Road Map. We won on the Road Map. We will govern on the Road Map.”

But Brownback and Attorney General-elect Derek Schmidt have called for repeal of federal health care reform, and Brownback and Secretary of State-elect Kris Kobach have called for photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register to vote.

In addition, Davis said abortion opponents know they have a friend in the governor's office and will expect movement on their issue.

Kansans For Life put out a news release that said Brownback “will welcome, and sign, the many pro-life bills” that had been vetoed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. And Kansans for Life said the Republican victories in the House further strengthened its hand.

“While he (Brownback) may not be actively promoting those kinds of issues, they are going to land on his desk. I expect he will sign most of those provisions,” Davis said.

Brownback has said he wants to impose a state spending freeze, while overhauling the school finance system, which accounts for more than half of state spending, and state tax policies.

He now has a larger majority to help him. The GOP advantage in the Senate was already 31-9.

Republican gains in the Kansas House occurred statewide.

In Johnson County, voters ousted five of six Democratic incumbents.

Republicans also picked up open districts that had long been held by Democrats, and toppled other incumbents across Kansas.

Davis said the Democratic losses were the result of Republicans making the elections a referendum on President Barack Obama.

“Republicans were very successful in executing a campaign strategy that clearly played well with the electorate,” Davis said. He said he doesn’t think the election results showed voter unhappiness with the sales tax increase.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, which worked to defeat legislators who supported the state sales tax increase, hailed the results of the election.

“As we work to grow the Kansas economy by promoting job growth and retention, we are looking forward to a new era in Kansas government, led by Gov. Sam Brownback and bolstered by a more pro-business Legislature,” said Kent Beisner, chief executive office of the Kansas Chamber.

State Treasurer Dennis McKinney, a Democrat, who lost in his election bid against Republican Ron Estes, said Kansas Democrats are a resilient bunch.

“I’m going to predict that we’ll be back,” he said.


Patrick Wilbur 7 years, 4 months ago

It's worth noting that Brownback has stated he will not attempt to rescind the recent sales tax increase. This is a critical piece of any fiscal strategy for the next cycle. So basically he's against any new taxes, but just fine with the tax burden if he cannot be held accountable. In other words - he's a member of the GOP.


Kirk Larson 7 years, 4 months ago

Hang on, this could be a bumpy ride. Brownback...Santorum.

madameX 7 years, 4 months ago

"Agree with me or get the heck out." How very neighborly of you.

oldvet 7 years, 4 months ago

Hey, it works for your darling obama...

pace 7 years, 4 months ago

What a crock, your welcome to move out of kansas . I love Kansas and if sour pusses like you left it would improve the atmosphere. If the "new" republicans really mean to invest in tax cuts for the rich and have no interest in education or children, A lot of families will have to move out, to find decent schools. That is long term loss.

nyprphd 7 years, 4 months ago

And you are welcome to act like an American. In America there are no purges, no political exiles or ideologically motivated deportations. This is not China. Try to remember that.

Jimo 7 years, 4 months ago

"you are welcome to move out of Kansas"

Most do - along with the jobs. Perhaps you hadn't noticed but despite the State adopting virtually everything on the Chamber of Commerce's Wish List, business is hardly beating down the state's doors to locate here.

Now with the Tea Party wagging the GOP dog, what are Kansas' welfare farmers going to do when ag subsidies are cut out?

If Kansas' greatest export wasn't its youth, unemployment in the Sunflower State would be about 40% by now.

Centerville 7 years, 4 months ago

Here's a sweet little statistic: of the 22 House seats in Johnson County, 21 are now Rs. The losing R was more liberal than his D opponent.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

The Pottery Barn rule will be in full effect. Careful what you ask for, Republicans. Especially when you have no clue what you're going to do to fix what you've broken.

MyName 7 years, 4 months ago

Great just what this state needs: more cowboys to leach off the successes of the Eastern 1/3 of the state that actually has jobs and people wanting to live there.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 4 months ago

They're coming for you next Mr. Obama.... you hear the knocking on the door??

JayhawksandHerd 7 years, 4 months ago

Boy, what a fantastic exchange of ideas we have here!

rtwngr 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Rockchalk77, if you're not happy, too bad! Hahahahahaha! This is going to be the most conservative state in the Union. Hooray for Brownback, Estes, and Kobach! Murder under the guise of "women's healthcare" just got more difficult. Support of illegal immigration in this state just got more difficult. Taxing the populous into submission just got more difficult. The topper of it all is the ability to appoint supreme court justices that are not libs when it comes time to replace them!

Oh, I almost forgot about all of the future superfluous litigation against Phill Kline will stop too! This is a great day to be a Kansan!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

Brownback will be able to do anything he wants, with little or no opposition.

He will have complete power, and with that comes complete responsibility.

I advise Brownback that he choose wisely.

rtwngr 7 years, 4 months ago

We told you libs you would be laughing out of the other side of your mouth two years ago when Obama was elected. We knew the country would not stand for his Marxist ideals. He has wrecked the Democrat party much to my delight. This is great.

Hey, Merrill, I hear Berkeley is hiring. Maybe you'd be more comfortable there?

james bush 7 years, 4 months ago

Lyndon B Johnson wrecked the democratic party; Obama just usurped it for socialism.

situveux1 7 years, 4 months ago


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