Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2011

Statehouse Live: Brownback wants only Republicans to approve the budget

May 12, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback urged his fellow Republicans to support the proposed $14 billion state budget that is coming up for a vote later tonight.

And Brownback said he didn't want any Democratic votes. Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go," Brownback said to the House GOP caucus.

"Show the state of Kansas that Republicans can govern and they can govern as a team," he said. Republicans hold large majorities in the House and Senate.

The spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 would cut funding to schools, social services and numerous other areas.

Legislators started the 2011 session facing an estimated $500 million revenue shortfall.

Brownback said the budget represented the best that could be done under tough economic circumstances without raising taxes.

"I really, really urge your first-round vote for it," he said to the Republican group. "I would plead with you to vote for this."

He said the larger the margin of passage, the more the policies and funding in the budget will be accepted by the public.

And he said he'd like the session to end tonight, the final day of the scheduled 90-day session, without having to go into legislative overtime.

Meanwhile, Democrats, who are in the minority in both the House and Senate, blasted the proposal, saying it will lead to teacher layoffs, school closures and increased class sizes.

The bill would cut base state aid to schools by $232 per student, or 6 percent.

"As the economy recovers, there's no reason to force these sweeping cuts," said Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka.

The proposal also cuts a pay plan to bring up the wages of state employees who are paid way below market value.

"By reneging on this promise, thousands of state employees who maintain our highways, provide our public safety and care for the disabled will continue earning far below their private sector counterparts," Hensley said.


Phillbert 7 years ago

Good. That way Kansans will know exactly who deserves the blame for this train wreck of a budget.

woodscolt 7 years ago

Apparently conbilly 1, you just get to make stuff up no matter what you read or don't read. A democratic majority!!!!! There has never been a democratic majority in my lifetime. But then when have you ever let facts get in your way.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Fail! Kansas did not have a democratic majority. The governor was a democrat, but the legislature was always solidly GOP.

And remember, the governor only signs or vetoes budgets. The legislature writes them.

So yes, left over from whom?

Don't you grow tired of embarrassing yourself like this?

speak_up 7 years ago

Good morning consumer. We are talking about the KANSAS legislature here, not federal.

Fiasco 7 years ago

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

newmath 7 years ago

What a total mess. This budget will result in the loss of hundreds if not thousands of jobs.

Dave Trabert 7 years ago

No one wants to see anyone lose their job, but with so many people out of work and impacting tax revenue, some difficult decisions have to be made. Still, the general fund budget of $6.07 billion for next year is a 7% increase and $800 million more than we spent in FY 2010. Legislators were warned that the sales tax hike that drove last year's spending increase would cost thousands of jobs, but they did it anyway. Sure enough, we had 15,000 fewer private sector jobs in March than we did last June. Total private sector job loss since the April 2008 peak is 84,000; state and local government jobs declined by 2,000.

It's easy to find justifications for spending more money but until Kansas gets spending under control and reduces the tax burden, we will continue to suffer the consequences. We're employing fewer private sector workers than we did in 1998. That's an unsustainable path.

Jeff Zamrzla 7 years ago

then quit sending private sector jobs out of the country. Here in Topeka, printers at Adams Business Forms trained their replacements to run the equipment that was loaded up and moved to Mexico. Create jobs here not there and lift up the working class, not beat them up over something they do not control.

sci4all 7 years ago

Kansas reduced corporate taxes to the tune of $10 billion during the past decade. Those reductions were supposed to create more jobs in Kansas . . . so where are they?

Dave Trabert 7 years ago

I know that Joan Wagnon talked about $10 billion in corporate tax cuts but it's simply not true. We (Kansas Policy Institute) asked to see her numbers and they were cooked beyond belief. Send me your email and I'll give you the breakdown. I'll also send you the last decade of tax receipts by category. Receipts were down the last couple of years because of the recession but business tax collections rose 83% between 2001 and 2008. Taxes on individuals rose 47%. Taxes that are paid by businesses and individuals (mostly sales tax) were up about 20%.

llama726 7 years ago

And income, revenue, and profits for most firms also grew. Thus, taxes grew. "Her numbers were cooked." Yeah. Yours aren't? Please. You show the numbers that support your point.

"Legislators were warned that the sales tax hike that drove last year's spending increase would cost thousands of jobs, but they did it anyway. Sure enough, we had 15,000 fewer private sector jobs in March than we did last June."

Correlation isn't causation. In psych and other statistics, they call this the third variable problem. There could be dozens of other causes, like, say, I don't know, the recession which has been ongoing? Perhaps corporate outsourcing, right-sizing, etc? Reducing staff to serve your shareholders better with larger margins? Nope. Must be evil public education. I shouldn't have to give my email to you in order for you to provide a published study or some sort of credible evidence.

sci4all 7 years ago

But where are the jobs, Dave Trabert?

Furthermore, you don't need my email address to give me the breakdown. Bring 'em on - let the light shine!

. . . AFTER you answer the question -


notanota 7 years ago

Unicorns and puppies deliver the jobs after you cut taxes. If it doesn't happen, clearly you have not cut taxes enough.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Wow Trabert, what an impressive jobs stat. Tell us --- when was the last time there were more jobs in March than there were in the previous June? Oh, and when was the last time prior to that? Please cite the last two times there were more jobs in March of one year then there were in the previous June.

You're bastardization of numbers does a gross disservice to the lazy reporters and policy makers who give you the time of day. There are, for all intents and purposes, ALWAYS fewer employees in March than in the previous June and you know it.

Do you have any real data to back up your assertions? Nah, of course not.

not_dolph 7 years ago

Trabert talking about someone else cooking the books beyond that's a good one. Go look at any one of the "cooked up" studeis KPI does. My particluar favorite is the one where he says we should use the billion(s) of unecumbered reserve dollars in school district accounts, and so on. I love how he counts the money that isn't part of the State's bank account...but is all of the sudden his to spend on our behalf.

Furthermore, Trabert, by engaging on these threads further exposes the reason government leaders should not listen to his rhetoric. It is good for some late night humor though.

texburgh 7 years ago

Thank God the Koch's official mouthpiece Dave Trabert is finally weighing in here. Trabert wants to tax you and me out of our homes. The KPI and their sister organization Americans for Prosperity like to propose brilliant ideas like sending tax dollars to private schools, raising tuition at state universities so they don't have an "advantage" over private ones, eliminating corporate taxes, privatizing state services. The goal is to eliminate state services and re-establish the plutocracy of the gilded era. They use Koch paid researchers who crank out "research" that supports Koch positions. They exist by the generosity of those who already pay far less in taxes as a percentage of income than working stiffs like the rest of us.

texburgh 7 years ago

Thank God the Koch's official mouthpiece Dave Trabert is finally weighing in here. Trabert wants to tax you and me out of our homes. The KPI and their sister organization Americans for Prosperity like to propose brilliant ideas like sending tax dollars to private schools, raising tuition at state universities so they don't have an "advantage" over private ones, eliminating corporate taxes, privatizing state services. The goal is to eliminate state services and re-establish the plutocracy of the gilded era. They use Koch paid researchers who crank out "research" that supports Koch positions. They exist by the generosity of those who already pay far less in taxes as a percentage of income than working stiffs like the rest of us.

notanota 7 years ago

Your corporate sponsor, the Kochs, have found that laying people off is very very good for their bottom line, as their record-breaking profits have come on the backs of decreasing employment on their end. But yes, I'm sure that choice is all the fault of a sales tax.

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago


Where do these people come from?

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

I'm refering to the Kansas Policy Institute.

I think this is what happens when ideology trumps reason and somebody funds a group of fanatics to promote their "revelations".

TheStonesSuck 7 years ago

The problem with the world, is that the stupid are cocksure, while intelligent people are full of doubt. -some guy

someguy 7 years ago

I don't remember saying this.

question4u 7 years ago

"Reaching across the aisle for votes 'is not the way you want to go,' Brownback said to the House GOP caucus."

The roadmap for Kansas: 1) take control of government agencies (Machtergreifung); 2) undermine the arts (henceforth entartete Kunst) and create your own model for the arts (Grosse deutsche Kunstausstellung); 3) eliminate opposing political voices (Gleichschaltung).

Three guesses as to what comes next. This is a roadmap all right, but it wasn't invented in America.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Il Marrone was pounding on the podium as he addressed his partisans.

Democracy is beautiful in theory, in practice it is a fallacy. Il Marrone is bringing to Kansas a beautiful merger of state and corporate power.

sciencegeek 7 years ago

"'Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go'" .

Not only a dictatorship, but an arrogant, thumb-your-nose-at everyone-else dictatorship.

The Arts Commission coup was just the beginning. Teachers will lose jobs, a lot of state employees already have, with more to come, the Bioscience Authority, which would have brought in jobs, is under attack. All of this to push a philosophy.

Jobs, jobs, jobs, help rural Kansas, care for the disadvantaged (like patients at KNI)--one lie after another. I have a question for the Christian-in-name-only-and-when-it-serves-my- purposes governor: Is this what Jesus would do? What a hypocrite!

Just as well Sam lives in Topeka--he and Fred can exchange theology. And methods.

monkeyhawk 7 years ago

"Not only a dictatorship, but an arrogant, thumb-your-nose-at everyone-else dictatorship."

Are you speaking of Bombacare? Progresso/libs love that sort of thing unless it is not something THEY want and then they squeal like stuck pigs, (not to mention the personal attacks). Suck it up - you lost, and most of what you object to is taken directly from the radical play book.

1957 7 years ago

Talk about arrogant, there is no dictatorship as there will be another election and if the majority of the people agree with you then the Repubs will be replaced. Don't you feel any shame making such strident remarks?

Also it is good riddance to the Arts Commission. If you want the Arts supported why don't you and all your buddies phony up and stay out of the pockets of hard working people who have enough bills to pay without funding your playground.

And since you are a theologian too, why don't you tell us what Jesus would do.

KWCoyote 7 years ago

This state is on its way to drying up and blowing away. The first half of citizens to leave will do better on house sales than the second half. After everyone leaves except the Kochs and their cousins, maybe they'll be happy.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

Well they certainly won't be left with anything but a wasteland. Not sure what they expect to either accomplish or gain by driving every one from the state. The politicians won't have anyone left to "govern" or exploit but I guess agribusiness will have a few more hundred acres to farm with everyone gone. I'm having very dystopian images right now.

coloradoan 7 years ago

Let me surmise that, in response to your implicit query, the goal is to populate the state with illegals who can be controlled and enslaved, without recourse. Who needs people that think, and have choices? Just a thought, but what the hay...

mloburgio 7 years ago

Koch Industries,

Dirty Energy Money is an interactive tool that tracks the flow of contributions to US Congress

notanota 7 years ago

So let's all prove that if your friends jump off a cliff, you all must follow! Don't represent the will of your constituents!

imagainstit 7 years ago

Can we just change his official title to Jr. Pope Brownback and get it over with.

lastcall4oh 7 years ago

Way to lead Gov. Brownback. Oh wait, that is not leadership, it is unilateral totalitarianism.

To He11 with democrary when you have all the lemmings following in lockstep.

davey 7 years ago

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

Ralph Reed 7 years ago

@lunatic: Nothing like that at all, and you know it.

oldvet 7 years ago

Exactly like that, and you know it...

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

NIce to see you have such high aspirations for Kansas. Who knew the Kansas right-wing were such big fans of Pelosi and Reed? Apparently these are the new heroes of folks like oldvet and RalphReed.

Ralph Reed 7 years ago

OK, one last question. Just so we can put it on our calendars, when has Brownshirt scheduled his own Nacht der langen Messer and Kristallnacht activities?

bolshavik_vw 7 years ago

yeah because he know we would disapprove of his trainwreck of a budget. Along with everything else he has done.

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

So now we're an aspiring totalitarian One Party State.

We're not in Kansas any more

gkerr 7 years ago

Sam is doing the right thing. We are taxed to death in this state, and we've had enough. Kansans voted in folks to draw the line on government growth and Sam's following through on the politicians promises. Pol's following through on promises are rare- we should celebrate rather than whine like spoiled brats about not being able to spend other people's money for stuff we want but dont absolutely need.
We better get used to spending less and less in government cause the belt tightening is just beginning. Debt burdens, public and private are too high in the western world, government must cut back like all the rest of us peons who after all have to pay for all government service in the first place. Right on Sam! Don't get cold feet. If you do we'll vote you out quicker than you can say Rand Paul. Gkerr

lastcall4oh 7 years ago

So why are you not calling for him to veto the budget item approving 34 million for continued statehouse renovations?

roadwarrior 7 years ago

from what I remember my state rep saying about the continued statehouse renovations; the contract with the construction company has penalties for breech which make work stoppage cost prohibitive to savings.

overthemoon 7 years ago

One. Rand Paul claims that people have no 'right' to drinking water. Can't afford it? You die. What a guy.

Two. Taxes are at record lows...lowest rates since the 50's. And unemployment is at record highs, as is the gap between rich and poor. And income for the lower and middle class has been declining. And job creation tanked after the Bush tax cuts. Correlation between these facts???

jafs 7 years ago

That argument would apply as well to property, no?

So, then, there would be no right to own property as well.

Ralph Reed 7 years ago

"If you don't have any property than you can't just forcefully take some from someone else."

So then please explain how developers can "forcefully" take property to build a big box by having it condemned and making the existing owners leave.

cowboy 7 years ago

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

jayhawxrok 7 years ago

Brownback is a liar, an extremist, and partisan hack. All the Republicans care about is preserving the wealth of the ultra rich, making sure corporations get welfare and people don't, and advancing their ultra-religious agenda.

Republicans like Brownback are the equivalent of the American Taliban

gkerr 7 years ago

jayhawxrok, Is that whining ad hominem screed all you really have to say? Can you not think a bit outside the leftist hive mentality of guvment good, big guvment better?

Don't you see what 75 years of tax and spend has done for us? For Europe? For our culture? Don't you wonder why the dollar buys less and less these days? Less gas, less food, less insurance, less health care, less schooling. Don't you see how high state taxes drive business out of states? Look at Michigan, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, and other high tax states? They are on the rocks my dear jayhawx, the rocks!

Sam needs to hold the line, cut back more, preserve the private sector which alone creates jobs and capital required to grow the precious tax receipts that the left requires for it's plunder. You don't want to kill the golden egg laying goose do you? We tax payers have had enough. We are no longer feeling your class envy and guilt for our hard work and discipline. You on the left who speak for bigger government and more security and jobs for yourself at the expense of my security and savings can look to your own business and sweat equity for a change- we've simply had enough.

By the way if Sam were to cave in to the bleating of the entitlement class of freeloaders and do gooders, the overpaid and under thinking academics, journalists, and public franchise holders, then we will vote him out and find somebody tougher and more committed to fiscal and moral sanity.


jafs 7 years ago

While I generally agree that folks should debate and discuss ideas rather than personalities, much of jayhawx's post is in fact factual.

Brownback promised to "protect" education and social service funding while campaigning, and then immediately cuts them once elected - that qualifies him as a liar.

His religious views qualify him as extreme in my book.

He recently said he didn't want any Democratic votes, and that working across the aisle was something he didn't want to do - that would qualify him as partisan.

Your history is a bit flawed - for much of our recent history, we haven't had "tax and spend", we've had "borrow and spend" (the Republican version). The last time we had "tax and spend" was during the Clinton administration, the only one in the last 40 years or so to balance the budget, and leave with a surplus.

If Republicans had in fact been being fiscally responsible, and not spending what we didn't have, you might have some sort of a point.

William Weissbeck 7 years ago

gkerr: The easiest way to refute your claim - over the last 30 year and especially the last 10, who is better off - the affluent or the middle class? By any measure the affluent share of income and wealth has far outstripped the middle class. Those in poverty have increased. Middle class wages have stagnated. Housing, health care and especially college for their kids are quickly getting beyond their reach. So who exactly is being over taxed? For the affluent, the Great Recession was little more than a pimple on their butts, but they want to use it to justify lowering their taxes and removing even more business regulation. It's not enough that they made money, they want it all, and want the middle class to accept lower wages and fewer government services in the process.

gkerr 7 years ago


Who are the affluent you speak about?

Most in ruling class of wealthy are Democrats and in bed with Politicos of both parties. Nine of ten wealthiest counties in America are heavily democratic and rely on big government patronage to maintain their corporate success and political power. The Big investment bankers? Four to one Democrats. Corporate fat cats? Two to one Dems. From the Hamptons to Marthas vineyard from San Francisco to Silicone Valley from New York to Boston to Philly corridor including Madison Avenue the marketing capital of the Americas and for Hollywood and Broadway the marketing capital of popular culture and mores we have Democrat dominance.

Why does big money love the democrat party so? Why do democrats control the counties where the rich people and the poorest people live? Because big government must consume the middle class for resources to pay for the big government machine.

Look. Oh many W's, The rich will not pay their fair share that's why their rich and that's why they buy and sell themselves to politicians- to maintain their elite economic niche. The poor cannot pay their share cause they don't have anything to share they are likewise bought and sold to and by politicians who need them to be a dependent constituency.

Who is squeezed in the middle who pays the most? You got it right the middle class, especially the prosperous upper middle who own and develop the engine of employment for the economy the small business men and women who create most jobs and nearly all new wealth in America. These people pay the way for the government workers and civil servants, the poor, the political class, and the corporate elites who like general motors, general electric, Goldman Sachs, get far more from the government (which is funded by the prosperous half of the middle class) than they give to the government in taxes. Oh by the way the same middle class also makes up and pays for the military that is crucial to the whole countries security.

So yeah the politicians and the governing elites as well as the corporate elites of the coasts and shores of the wealthy are still doing quite well and will be the last to suffer. Meanwhile the dollar that the middle class worked hard for and saved and put by for their security is being utterly destroyed by the brazen corruption and decadence of the ruling political and cultural and corporate elites.

Keep blaming the fool republicans if you want but for me I know they are culprits but are lessor players in the hall of shame that is responsible for the demise of this once great and good country.


Ken Lassman 7 years ago

Interesting assertion about the rich being all democrats, Mr. Kerr--do care to look at the facts? Here are the data:

===================================== Political Partisanship of New Rich and Old Rich =====================================

New Rich

Democrat 9% Strong Democrat 20% Republican 16% Strong Republican 36% Bipartisan 19%

Old Rich

Democrat 6% Strong Democrat 13% Republican 10% Strong Republican 59% Bipartisan 12%

The above data is on page 8 - Figure 2 University of Oregon

Oh, well, if your central tenet is incorrect, then what happens to the rest of your argument? What exactly do the people--democrats and republicans alike--want, exactly? An Ayn Rand ultra-capitalistic utopia or a society of more equal income distribution? Oops-- sorry; turns out both dems and reps want the same thing, which is the latter:

If you're old enough to have seen the old Saturday Night Live episodes, perhaps you'll understand that maybe it's time to say.....Oh, Nevermind!

mloburgio 7 years ago

pious sams old senate party house is coming under attack, protecting cheating senators by giving hush money to keep them quiet. REPORT: Sen. Tom Coburn Actively Negotiated Multi-Million Dollar Hush Money Package For Ensign’s Mistress Coburn eventually agreed to cooperate with the Ethics Committee; their findings on the level of his involvement are startling. According to the committees report, Coburn actively assisted in the discussions of a hush money package, negotiating a proposed package from $8 million down to $2.8 million. The ethics committee report, on pages 37 to 38, describes the negotiation between Mr. Albregts, an attorney for the husband of Ensign’s mistress, and Sen. Coburn:

the secretive international Christian organization The Family, to charge significantly below market rents to its residents. In recent year, Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Reps. Zach Wamp (R-TN), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) have all reportedly called C Street home.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Yep, it will be interesting to note involvement of other C street family members, including Brownback, as the potential criminal investigation into Ensign and his hush money proceeds.

gkerr 7 years ago


At least our guys pay some rent and pay their taxes. Freeloading Dems populate this administration. At least seven current cabinet members cheated on their income tax including the chief fed figure turbotax Geitner. How bout hero Congressman Rangle head of ways and means who cheated you and I out of millions of taxes do the government (that's you and me).

Nearly all politicians have become members of the theiving class or at least are compromised to look the other way. Both Republicans and Democrats cheat but the Democrats are clearly the most deceitful and dishonest of the lot. Just objectively look at the record.

jafs 7 years ago

I suggest that an objective look at the record would not arrive at your conclusion at all.

appleaday 7 years ago

Sammy misses his sleepovers in the C-Street man-cave.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

"And Brownback said he didn't want any Democratic votes. Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go," Brownback said to the House GOP caucus."

This is quite a statement, even from someone like Brownback with commanding majorities in both houses.

No more blame sharing, either. Kansas is totally controlled by the GOP, with democrats nipping at a heal here and there.

Pop some corn and sit back as the GOP tears itself apart over the next four years.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

"And Brownback said he didn't want any Democratic votes. Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go," Brownback said to the House GOP caucus."

The more I think about this statement, the more it seems to me that this was aimed at the sane wing of the GOP who might have voted against the budget. It is a call to the non-right-wing members of the GOP to toe the line.

jafs 7 years ago

Yes - that's how it looks to me too.

But, it is a startling comment - he doesn't want any Democratic votes.

So much for even a pretense of bi-partisanship or working together.

Doesn't this bother even folks who voted for him??

gkerr 7 years ago


Democrats have shown themselves to be unreliable partners in bipartisan politics. Like the current Dem regime in Washington, the Chicago machine, the corporate elites in Silicone valley, the Hamptons, Hollywood, San Fran, Wall Street, J street, all dominated by democrats it will be business as usual.

Meanwhile the middle class and it's small business men and women as well as the cultural conservatives who account for some 38-40% of the population will be better served by focusing on cutting governments size and cost and intrusiveness in the lives of citizens. A pox on the trolls of politics who dissemble, deconstruct, and use all sophistry to maintain their power and privilege. Alas, all too often these go by the name that is becoming synonymous with corruption- DEMOCRAT. Remember jafs only fools want to be fooled

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

And what exactly does your comment, Mr. Kerr, have to do with the democrats in the state legislature? I have found both our area republican and democrat state representatives and senators to be thoughtful, responsive and effective at their jobs. Brownback's statement is a slap in the face of every legislative member who has shown a willingness to rub shoulders to address a common problem and smacks of a type of arrogance that exceeds your screed about perceived national excesses, as off the topic as they are.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

Il Marrone's budget in the Gov's office will be cut 0.5% by this budget.

Public safety budgets are cut by 18% and schools by over 6%.

At least the "core functions" are being preserved. Victory for Kansas and for Il Marrone!

Beth Bird 7 years ago

Welcome to a Kansas democracy........What a ignorant statement! When everything gets even worse, Brownback won't be able to blame the Democrats.....

Paul R Getto 7 years ago

This might make it interesting, for both sides: I.R.S. Moves to Tax Gifts to Groups Active in Politics


Big donors like David H. Koch and George Soros could owe taxes on their millions of dollars in contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing an increasing role in American politics.

Invoking a provision that had rarely, if ever, been enforced, the Internal Revenue Service said it had sent letters to five donors, who were not identified, informing them that their contributions may be subject to gift taxes depending on whether the donations exceeded limits under the tax laws.

These advocacy groups have been drawing more scrutiny, from President Obama as well as others, as they have proliferated and funneled vast sums of money in support of campaigns and causes, without having to publicly disclose their donors.

During the midterm cycle, for example, groups like Crossroads GPS, which has ties to the Republican strategist Karl Rove, and Americans for Prosperity, backed by Mr. Koch and his brother Charles, were heavily involved in politicking, spurring campaign finance watchdogs to complain that they were flouting election and nonprofit laws.

Spokesmen for the Koch brothers and for Mr. Soros would not comment as to whether they had paid gift taxes on these types of donations, or whether they had received letters from the I.R.S.

These organizations were established as nonprofit corporations under a section of the tax law, 501(c)(4), and the rules governing them say their primary purpose cannot be political.

The timing of the agency’s moves, as the 2012 election cycle gets under way, is prompting some tax law and campaign finance experts to question whether the I.R.S. could be sending a signal in an effort to curtail big donations.

“There are a whole heck of a lot of people misusing (c)(4) groups as a means of getting around campaign finance regulations, and we lack a coherent system of laws to deal with that,” said Donald B. Tobin, a legal expert on campaign finance and tax laws at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. “Now here’s a stick, frankly, that says there are consequences for doing that.”

gkerr 7 years ago

Stefanie Strom writes as noted and perhaps seconded by Paul Getto that potus Obama is thinking of sending IRS after "special interest groups that launder money through other special interest groups. She mentions specifically Koch and Soros.

Politicians must first be held accountable for obeying the very laws they write and expect us to follow. Rangle, Dodd, Daschle, Geitner, and I'm sure some Republicans are guilty as well are only the most recent high-up offenders. Why should a government office riven by politics run at the top by politicians like oh for instance the IRS, the Fed, the head of the Treasury department be allowed to police anyone for noncompliance with tax code when the politicians themselves do not and will not follow their own tax code built upon trades in kind with special interests?

Why Mr. Obama himself refused to have his campaign vet the millions in donations from anonymous credit card contributions from foreign sources. Remember the Chinese national who was a star fund raiser for the administrations last campaign he was closely associated with Clintons as well and Remember Rezko? I don't trust any of these scamps as corrupted as they are by hubris, greed, ambition and all to tell Mr. Koch whom I like or Mr. Soros who I loathe when they should be taxed for donations when the cheaters who give and the cheaters who receive contributions will just lie or stonewall the regs that they make for the rest of us who tend to follow the law cause that's how we were raised.

Thieves in high places need to go to jail. Politicians first. Those who take an oath to defend the constitution should be held to that oath. Laws are needed for politicians to take an oath before they are sworn in to office that they will not become lobbyist's when they leave office and will not have spouses, concubines, or children who serve as lobbyists whilst they serve as officeholders. There are weak laws that pretend to address that issue on the books now but it is twisted and broken by the very politicians who wrote the laws in the first place.

Just plain folks are beginning to tumble to the game that has been played forever in politics. Checks and balances were created by wise men who knew human weakness well. These checks and balances have been suborned over the generations. They have currently been rendered useless. The people will not tolerate much further deception-especially As the debt crises becoming a financial crises and finally a currency crises continues to unfold in slow motion. If government will continue to act recklessly, unjustly, what do you suppose the people will finally do? It won't be pretty. Gkerr

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

So to gently redirect the conversation back to the topic, please tell me how the concentration of power that is occurring under the guise of the Brownback administration helping the checks and balances within our state government? If budgetary measures can make end runs against the legislature, and the legislature has become a defacto one party system, where are the checks and balances?

Charlie Bannister 7 years ago

Funny how many here are criticizing Brownback's admonition to not reach across the aisle. Good for the Governor. There is really not much common ground to reach across the aisle for. Just like at the national level, Dems want more and more spending and programs and Republicans generally want to cut spending and eliminate or diminish social programs that do nothing but promote the continuing "sucking off the public teet." Two separate ideologies that really have nothing in common. Why reach across the aisle? Liberalism is just something that needs to be defeated, and thoroughly. It is an ideology that belongs on the dust bin of history as a lesson to future generations of what not to do. It has brought us to the point of bankruptcy as a nation. 2010 has started us on the slow road back. Let's see if we have the courage to continue. Have a blessed day everyone.

llama726 7 years ago

Hello, conservatroll #2430. How are you today? . Fantastic. Well, let's get started, shall we?

"There is really not much common ground to reach across the aisle for. Just like at the national level, Dems want more and more spending and programs and Republicans generally want to cut spending and eliminate or diminish social programs that do nothing but promote the continuing "sucking off the public teet." '

Programs we, as taxpayers pay for. Medical care for the elderly, food stamps for the people who lose their jobs because our corporations are loyal to profit over country, schools that likely educated you, unless you are a privileged private schooler. Cutting spending is nice, but we spend a lot of money on things that don't directly translate into a better economy in the way these things do.

"Two separate ideologies that really have nothing in common."

...except... both... being... American...

"Why reach across the aisle? Liberalism is just something that needs to be defeated, and thoroughly."

Yeah! Git'r'done civil war WOOO HOOOO! There's no room for debate or borrowing from each idea, huh? Compromise doesn't work, just turn over power to one side only. That's been a good idea every time it has happened in history! Yeah! Power to the People (Inc.) - note that I don't mean actual people, I mean corporations. Which are a different, better kind of people.

"It is an ideology that belongs on the dust bin of history as a lesson to future generations of what not to do. It has brought us to the point of bankruptcy as a nation."

Interesting. $1.1 trillion on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, notwithstanding the rest of the money we pay to the DoD, and it's public education that is bankrupting our country. Right? It's all good though. Let's continue to live in a world where corporations dominate our lives. No more national borders, instead, we should be governed by the corporate alliances in our regions. That would make more sense. After all, we're encroaching on their liberty and ruining their party by suggesting they pay for the social services they're causing us to need by playing their little game in the financial industry.

I suggest you back down on the idea that something needs to be eliminated. People don't respond kindly to that kind of rhetoric.

To the liberals who read this: I've been thinking this for a few years, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more widespread political violence in the country in the next decade. Here's some evidence of the rhetoric that will get us there.

gkerr 7 years ago

Llama726, The trillion for Iraq and Afghanistan was provided by conservatives? Or by Congress with much reaching across the isles. The vote to send us to war was bipartisan and near unanimous- read with shame if you will allow yourself shame, the comments of oh Kerry, Clinton, Biden, all good democrats who were orgasmic in support of the Iraq campaign.

The three trillions spent on bail outs, grants to foreign banks, pump priming pork of all kinds to jump start a debt burdened failing economic system, construction projects to political cronies-so called stimulus package no more than Chicago machine graft writ large over the whole country, all this was much more unilateral partisan than the exuberantly bipartisan support for war.

You would think one who is flippantly smug about conservatives and trolls and anxious to start a debate to school the foolish opposition would get his or her facts straight, wouldn't you- well wouldn't you?. Gkerr

llama726 7 years ago

So Bush and his party did not lead the call to get us involved? Particularly in Iraq? Look at you, trying to play the logic game. It's adorable. Please, give me some more WND/Hannity/O'Reilly/Limbaugh/Cal Thomas talking points. They're less pointless when you say them.

Where do I say I am a Democrat? Hmm? Second, of course Republicans don't agree. They never do. The ideology of the party is exemplified by Father Brownback. Worship at the corporate altar, slash taxes for the richest, and say "No" to everything proposed by non-Republicans.

Do you think liberalism needs to be eradicated, too? That's not extreme (saying an ideology needs to be eliminated), but I'm extreme for saying that the rich can be super rich, but they should give some of that back to society in order for kids to go to school. That's considered extreme in Kansas.

mloburgio 7 years ago

kosmo513 Dems want more and more spending and programs and Republicans generally want to cut spending really. Republican Hypocrisy: During Bush Presidency, GOP Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the United States debt limit was $5.95 trillion. Despite promises that he would pay off the debt in 10 years, Bush increased the debtto $9.815 trillion by the end of his term, with plenty of help from the four Republicans currently holding Congressional leadership positions: Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Ky and we can't forget mr pious sam brownback.

gkerr 7 years ago


You mean Autie that Obama and Democrats should be ashamed for ramming through huge healthcare bill without any bipartisan support and still opposed by strong majority of country? Now, that was divisive wasn't it. Were you against that strong armed partisan bill? Were you likewise against the near unilateral extremely divisive stimulus bill? How about the bank bailouts or the huge foreign stimulus package bailing out European banks by fraudulent AIG? Or surely you were for the Iraq war that was overwhelmingly supported by Democrats, independents and Republicans. I weep when I read John Kerry's speech supporting the invasion or read of the dear UN's seventeen sanctions threatening action by the civilized world and the final authorization of the Security council for military invasion of Iraq. Surely you were likewise opposed to the bombing of Libya, another poorly supported congressional decision at behest of Administration?

Ken Lassman 7 years ago

So back to the original question: what differentiates the excessively partisan approaches at the national level from the excessively partisan approach of the Brownback administration? If it's not good for the goose, is it also not good for the gander?

William Weissbeck 7 years ago

I guess Brownback learned the meaning of bi-partisanship from his days in the US Senate (NOT!). The GOP is such a sham. They don't want to govern. They want to control.

dmanone 7 years ago

I can only assume that the majority of KS citizens view Brownback and his policies as favorable otherwise he would not have been elected governor. I can also assume that I will be leaving this state as quickly as possible and the collective IQ of KS will drop upon my departure.

jafs 7 years ago

Actually, it would only be the majority of eligible voters who chose to vote.

But, it's still a good point - I'm hoping there are a number of people who voted for him who aren't happy with what he's doing, and will vote differently in the future.

BigAl 7 years ago

And no one questions Brownie still receiving federal farm subsidies. As long as he gets his, he really doesn't care. Typical far-right thinking. All the little lemmings are falling in line like good little soldiers.

beatrice 7 years ago

He believes in a one party system and wants to put limits on citizens' rights. Now, show me your papers!

OldSoldier 7 years ago

Thank You, LJW, for reporting this. The Topeka paper and other news outlets did not report it. It is truly incomprehensible how the governor of any state, let alone Kansas, would articulate such a petty, narrow-minded, rigid, out-of-touch with reality statement. Let's only hope that it come back to bite him. Let's plan, that when the tables are turned, the same outlook will be used against Brownback. It's embarrassing to have him as a governor.

Kirk Larson 7 years ago

The republicans are going to ruin everything...again. When can we start the recall petition?

Linda Endicott 7 years ago

Maybe the government could help out now by only giving tax breaks to corporations who DON'T outsource jobs to other countries... If companies had to keep jobs in this country in order to receive tax breaks, you better believe things would change in a hurry... But of course congress would never do that...they don't want to harm all their little buddies that paid to get them elected... Brownback is a farce...and I'm very glad I didn't vote for him...he certainly doesn't listen to the people of his own state...he just plows forward with whatever the hell he wants to do...

jafs 7 years ago

Eminently sensible, in my opinion.

And, that would probably help quite a bit.

camper 7 years ago

A govenor who supports polarization in an "us" vs. "them" kind of way is like a small slice of facisim. Well that is probably an exaggeration, but these are the things fascists do. I certainly don't agree with the govenor's logic here. In America we value freedom, and elected official should be encouraged to vote how they see fit, not from a leader's mandate.

jafs 7 years ago

see the post directly above yours - we don't all value freedom.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

"And Brownback said he didn't want any Democratic votes. Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go," Brownback said to the House GOP caucus."

This is what he brought back from Washington D.C.! Any republican that goes against Brownback can expect Brownback to seek a replacement = how they got rid of the republican party.

Look what we got for that thinking: Entitlements for the well connected

AND they are still trying to steal OUR Social Security Insurance dollars and give it to greedy Wall Street investors.

It's YOUR money! Cases in point to be considered and read completely:

  1. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion)

  2. Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

  3. Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money?

  4. Social Security Insurance AT Risk for no reason( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion, add $700 billion to the debt each of the next 20 years, place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy)

  5. Medical Insurance Insurance is COSTING YOU MORE BUT YOU ARE GETTING LESS How much is the sick U.S.A. Medical Insurance industry costing you?

  6. Billions in Over Charges! Why did the medical insurance industry allow their clients to pay what they should have paid?

  7. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

Commenting has been disabled for this item.