Archive for Saturday, September 11, 2010

Campaign Notebook: Brownback, Holland trade verbal jabs at State Fair debate

September 11, 2010, 1:39 p.m. Updated September 13, 2010, 7:55 a.m.

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— Anger with Washington, D.C., was the major theme Saturday during the first gubernatorial debate between Democrat Tom Holland and Republican Sam Brownback at the Kansas State Fair.

Brownback tried to link Holland to President Barack Obama, while Holland criticized Brownback, a U.S. senator, for his “failed Washington policies.”

The two frequently made allegations against one another during an outdoor debate where hundreds of supporters on each side loudly booed, hissed, cheered and shouted.

Holland, facing long odds against the better-funded and more well-known Brownback, went on offense, criticizing Brownback for saying he wanted to change the public school finance formula but refusing to say how.

Brownback said he wants more school funding dollars to go into the classroom but didn’t offer any details.

In the past, Brownback has said he would like to allow local school districts to raise more money for their schools. Holland has said that would result in local property tax increases.

Holland said Brownback, while in the U.S. Senate, has continually supported special interests and the economic policies that brought on the recent recession.

“Our best days are ahead of us, but only if we keep the failures of Washington, far, far away from Kansas,” said Holland, who is a state senator from Baldwin City.

But Brownback fired back, saying Holland has backed more regulations, higher taxes and “Obamacare.” He said, “We cannot keep on the path that we have seen.”

Brownback said Holland supported the status quo, which has resulted in a loss of private sector jobs and higher taxes.

Holland defended his record in the Legislature, saying he worked with a bi-partisan coalition to reduce the state budget and then approve the taxes needed to prevent further damaging cuts and help fund the state comprehensive transportation plan.

He said Brownback couldn’t be trusted to implement the $8.2 billion, 10-year transportation plan. Holland noted that Brownback’s lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Jeff Colyer, R-Overland Park, voted for the transportation plan but against the sales tax increase to help support it. Brownback also has been endorsed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which opposed passage of the transportation plan.

After the debate, Brownback said he does support the transportation plan.

On a question about illegal immigration, Holland said he worked with Republicans and Democrats on legislation aimed at holding employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants, while Brownback was on Capitol Hill supporting amnesty.

“Sam, you have been in Congress for 16 years. You are part of the problem,” he said.

But Brownback blamed the Obama administration for the illegal immigration problem. He said the government should complete building a fence on the border between Mexico and the United States. He also said he will support legislation to require a photo ID to vote.

Brownback said he didn’t approve of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Brownback has been a supporter of the so-called Dream Act, which would have allowed in-state tuition for the children of some undocumented immigrants, and provided a way toward permanent residency. The federal legislation was similar to laws that were approved in some states, including Kansas. The federal legislation has never been enacted.

Holland criticized Brownback for recently voting against federal legislation, which if it had not been approved would have shorted Kansas $192 million for schools and health care for the poor. But Brownback got a loud cheer from his supporters when he said, “We have got to stop depending on the federal government.”

Holland responded, “You just heard Mr. Brownback talk about the federal government. He is the federal government.”

The two also tangled over the issue of judicial selection. Brownback said he is open to looking at changes in the way appellate court judges are selected, but Holland defended the current system, saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

In closing statements, Brownback accused Holland of being a “dedicated liberal” who favored growing government, while Holland said Brownback wasn’t being upfront with the voters about his plans on school finance, judicial selection and shifting the tax burden to locals.

“Real leaders shouldn’t hide their agenda,” Holland said.

Both sides said there will be more debates before the Nov. 2 election, but none have been scheduled yet. Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon also are on the ballot but were not invited to Saturday’s debate.

Comments

63BC 4 years, 7 months ago

Democrats run the White House, the Senate and the House by huge majorities. Want change? Vote Republican!

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

yes, let's turn things around and run headlong into a complete depression. What a great idea.

wastewatcher 4 years, 7 months ago

Tom Holland is LIBERAL LIBERAL LIBERAL as LIBERAL as they come. He is a mirror image of OBAMA in philosophy and approach, that is why he supports OBAMA CARE and HIGHER TAXES and CAP AND TAX LAWS . Kansas does not need this philosophy of government.

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

news for you. Obama is not liberal or even liberal x 4. He's a centrist and always has been.

KSManimal 4 years, 7 months ago

So.....according to Brownback, the problem of illegal immigration is a result of the Obama administration? So, that means it is a NEW problem....? Having just started in the past 2 years?

Meanwhile, Brownback says he does not support amnesty; but supports the "Dream Act", whereby illegal immigrants can get in-state tuition for their kids and, eventually, citizenship. Way to spin the spin, Sam.

And "allowing local communities to raise money for their schools" is wing-nut code for "gut state funding of public education, then eliminate caps on local option budgets". This "let them eat cake" philosophy has been shot down by the courts - repeatedly - because it leads to inherently inequitable public education. Brownback knows this, but he doesn't care.

The really scary thing is that there are people - a lot of them, apparently - who aren't smart enough to see through this crap.

thatonedude 4 years, 7 months ago

Meanwhile the righties scream that Holland is an ultra-liberal, and a "mirror of Obama", yet don't elaborate on how.

camper 4 years, 7 months ago

Where is the money going to come from to build the fence along the border? Taxpayers? If they do this, while they are at it, they may as well lay down some tracks. Think about it. A railway from Brownback to San Diego.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

"But Brownback blamed the Obama administration for the illegal immigration problem. "

Seriously, anybody want to defend that? Anybody want to seriously suggest that 20 months ago there was no illegal immigration problem?

beatrice 4 years, 7 months ago

More illegals have been deported under Obama than the same period of time by Bush, including the important illegals who commit more than just the crime of being in the country illegally.

“ 'We have never, ever deported so many people from the country as we are doing now,' says Douglas Massey, an immigration expert at Princeton University in New Jersey." http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/319283

Why don't conservatives know this?

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

And illegal immigration has been steadily decreasing as has crime in the border area. You have to ask law enforcement officials other than the nut from Mariposa County....

Mike Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

hey wastewatcher, Mr. Holland as a Democrat voted against gay marriage in Kansas as a Blue Dog last year. Mr. Holland represents an area with educated independent people like myself who don't buy into to this hollow tie the guy to the person we're racist against bs. Mr. Brownback is as slick as they come. If I ever lost my ability to learn and be open minded and became a Conservative Republican I wouldn't vote for Mr. Brownback because he plays certain groups of Republicans for votes and then tosses their concerns to the wayside. he's the kind of Republican that tea partiers should be against but they're too angry and misinformed to actually know who they should blame these circumstances on. Oh well, I can always wonder what's the matter with Kansas because Kansans south and west of Topeka always make sure we lool like idiots nationally.

KSManimal 4 years, 7 months ago

I have a hypothesis that most right-wing & tea party types who rant about "Obamacare" have no solid understanding of what the recent health care bill even is. So, I'll test this hypothesis on "Wastewatcher".

How about it, Wastewatcher? Tell us what, exactly, is included in "Obamacare" that offends you so?

wastewatcher 4 years, 7 months ago

The absence of cost control measures and the absence of any significant tort reform measures are two of the significant shortcomings of Obama care. In addition, the law does not mandate coverage of military dependents under the age of 26 on their parents policies as it does for civilians. This is simply wrong to treat our military families this way.

KSManimal 4 years, 7 months ago

The lack of coverage for military dependents IS a cost-cutting measure. The law requires insurance companies to keep dependents on family policies up to age 26....that is NOT the same as PAYING for their coverage up to age 26. The insurance premiums still come out of mom & dad's pocket.

Since TRICARE benefits are paid by the federal government, it would be quite costly for the federal government to include military dependents up to age 26.

You either cover more people, or you reduce costs. You can't do both.

Tort reform is demonstrated to do virtually NOTHING to bring down the cost of health care. Ohio passed major tort reform about 4 or 5 years ago. Health costs in Ohio have risen steadily just like the rest of the nation. The one thing that has gone down significantly is physicians' liability insurance costs, but those savings have done no good for anyone but the physicians themselves (perhaps why physicians, but few others, lobby so hard for tort reform).

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

"But Brownback fired back, saying Holland has backed more regulations, higher taxes and “Obamacare.” He said, “We cannot keep on the path that we have seen.”"

As I get older, I find myself becoming more conservative. However, that does not mean I plan to vote based on nonsensical and non-factual statements. What in the world did Holland have to do with federal legislation on health care? Holland has represented at the state level and is a down-home Kansan. It appears that the Republican party is using a few simple chants to indoctrinate voters at all levels of government whether it applies or not. Down with Obamacare. No new taxes.

Actually, we do not really have more regulations. Our finance problems are a result of too much deregulation. We are adjusting the regulations based on what we have learned. But I digress. Holland is running for governor of Kansas. What regulations are too much at the state level?

"Holland defended his record in the Legislature, saying he worked with a bi-partisan coalition to reduce the state budget and then approve the taxes needed to prevent further damaging cuts and help fund the state comprehensive transportation plan."

So far, Holland has my vote. There is no indication of bipartisan efforts from Brownback. He does resort to name-calling:

"In closing statements, Brownback accused Holland of being a “dedicated liberal” who favored growing government, while Holland said Brownback wasn’t being upfront with the voters about his plans on school finance, judicial selection and shifting the tax burden to locals."

Liberals are not bad. That's silly. Brownback's campaign makes me angry. There's no way I would vote for that drivel.

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