Archive for Friday, June 22, 2012

Statehouse Live: Kansas Chamber of Commerce PAC endorses conservative Republicans

June 22, 2012


— The Kansas Chamber of Commerce political action committee on Friday kicked off a fiery debate when it announced its endorsements of only so-called conservative Republicans in legislative races.

PAC Chairman Ivan Crossland said the chamber's PAC was committed to supporting candidates who believe in free market principles, a competitive tax climate and responsible government spending.

"During the difficult economic downturn, while businesses were tightening their belts to survive, some in the Kansas Senate and House opted for tax increases instead of responsible spending cuts," said Crossland.

Both the Kansas Democratic Party and a moderate Republican group blasted the Chamber PAC endorsements.

"The Kansas Chamber of Commerce's endorsement of only conservative Republican candidates demonstrates it no longer represents Kansas businesses or Kansas voters — the Kansas Chamber only works for Gov. Sam Brownback and his gang," said Dakota Loomis, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party.

"Candidates on this list can be trusted to continue pushing for reckless tax breaks for the wealthy while ignoring growing waiting lists and public schools on the brink of bankruptcy," Loomis said.

The Chamber has been vocal in its opposition to moderate Republicans and Democrats who in 2010 approved a temporary sales tax increase.

Supporters of the tax increase said it was needed to avoid permanent damage to schools, social services and public safety after six rounds of budget cuts during the Great Recession.

But Chamber officials said more budget cuts were needed.

After the 2010 election, however, the Chamber and Brownback, a Republican backed by the Chamber, supported making the temporary sales tax permanent as a way to help decrease income taxes.

The Legislature has so far rejected making the sales tax increase permanent, and the temporary portion of the sales tax is still scheduled to decrease in July 2013.

But Brownback did recently sign into law Chamber-backed tax cuts that will reduce income tax rates and eliminate income taxes on non-wage income for 191,000 business owners. Brownback says the cuts will boost the economy, but critics say the cuts will lead to major cuts to education and other areas of the budget.

A group of 55 former legislators called Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, has been highly critical of the tax cuts. Rochelle Chronister, a spokeswoman for the group, said the Kansas Chamber was selling "what amounts to modern-day, economic snake oil."

She added, "The Kansas Chamber has done a service for voters by helping identify the incumbents who helped create the largest deficit in the history of our state and the candidates that will continue to push an out-of-step, economic agenda that will force sales and property taxes to skyrocket." She said many local chambers and businesses have left the Kansas Chamber because it represents the interests of a select few and not the Kansas business community.

Earlier this month, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce decided not to renew its membership with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, saying that the state organization's work did not fit with the Lawrence group's mission.

In January, the Chamber PAC reported collecting $163,000 the previous year with the biggest donor being Wichita-based Koch Industries, which contributed more than $36,000. At that time, the PAC had donated $1,000 to eight Republican challengers of moderate Republicans n the Kansas Senate.

In Douglas County, the Chamber PAC announced Friday it has endorsed Anthony Brown, a state House member from Eudora, who is running for the Republican nomination for state Senate District 3, against James Tellefson of Leavenworth in the Aug. 7 primary. The winner will face state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, in the November general election.


Orwell 5 years, 11 months ago

If anyone still needed a reason to vote against Anthony Brown, here it is.

GovJunkie 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Kansas Chamber... Makes it a lot easier to figure out who supports Sam's Experiment on Taxes (his words, not mine...). BTW... How much money does Ivan Crossland take from government coffers for all of his company's "public" projects?". Million$ of Dollar$.

But of course, being anti-union, not paying prevailing wage and cutting corners otherwise, the taxpayers win, right? Eating at the trough, Ivan. No other way about it.


JamesTellefson 5 years, 11 months ago

Three Federal Judges gave Kansans a great opportunity recently. We have the chance to see who has our interests at heart and who is the problem. I am saddened by the Kansas Chambers willingness to extend their endorsement without ever even communicating with me, not once.
I have strong opinions, and a proven track record of fiscal restraint. I also have a pretty strong sense of right and wrong. My military experience has taught me “Leaders should Lead,” and maybe some are challenged by that. We need a strong candidate that will represent 100% of the constituency base, not one party or the other; not one position over the other. I am someone who is willing to get into the arena and work for real solutions that do not benefit some single interest group over others all at the expense of education, of our future, our well being. I am a candidate that can win in November, but more importantly I am a candidate who when elected, will listen and represent this district and all of the people within. With support, we can take that recent judge granted opportunity and revitalize the government that we idealize. J.C

overthemoon 5 years, 11 months ago

Boots on the ground, sir! While I will be supporting Tom Holland, I urge you to stand by your principles and help put this monster back in the box. Oh...and keep an eye on those chamber people, if you see them coordinating or consorting with their chosen candidates, their PAC could be in violation of IRS and Election laws. (Not like you'd get Kobach to go after them, but its good to be vocal, anyway.) Best of luck.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, what good news this is. Business is what the chamber is all about. Driving business and not driving taxes on business. Anyone who is involved in local chamber business knows that for the past 30 years the chamber has exploited money from chamber members and always supported more local government spending. I guess since the Lawrence chamber decided to not join the state chamber we will see how that works. It is so refreshing to see organizations such as the Kansas Chamber support low taxes and government revenue that is dependent on the success of the state revenue. If tax revenue drops government spending drops equally also and not the other way around. The Kansas Senate, under the influence of so called republican moderates were out of their heads to increase government spending when the the average Kansan is broke. If there is any drop in tax revenue the drop in government spending equal or larger. When times are good we should demand that there be no more than at most a 2% increase in state taxes. The governor's spending plan is going to work because the legislature will have to choice but to reduce spending to make ends meet. That is about as much common sense as you can ask for. Whomever these so called 55 moderate republicans are, we need to you go ahead and move to the other side. We need a spade to be a spade. We do not want you in the republican party and clearly the democrats do. I bet you won't like that much either but either way your ideas are a failure. The Republican Party has lacked common sense for a very long time. Tax and spend is not common sense but stupidity.

overthemoon 5 years, 11 months ago

While it may come as a surprise to some, a functioning society is made up of more than business interests. The rights and needs of the people should always come is simply a means to that end, not the end itself.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 11 months ago

Ksfaithful, I guess you would prefer borrow and spend like W. and Brownback? Slash and burn tax policy harms the public. It doesn't benefit them. I'm weary of people like you who believe the government is bad...remember WE are the government. I also think that if you want to belong to the Taliban wing of the GOP that you should move from the Midwest to the middle east.

overthemoon 5 years, 11 months ago

They won't raise the mill levy. They'll bring in 'crisis managers' for a shock and awe takeover of our schools by private interests. And see how the 'small gov't fanatics' will squirm and squeal when they find that in addition to taking our tax dollars, those for profit educators will charge fees well beyond what a sensible tax structure would ever do.

Richard Benson 5 years, 11 months ago

Another black eye for the Kansas Chamber.

A reputation for straightforward, appropriate, and determined advocacy for Kansas business hardwon over decades is being squandered.

Dashed really.

On the rocks of a rare extremism.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

This post pre-removed for using a vulgar sexual term to describe a disappointed progressive.

tomatogrower 5 years, 11 months ago

Kansas Chamber of Commerce PAC endorses conservative Republicans

I'm shocked!!! (sarcasm)

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The Chamber of Commerce supports the Koch family and Walton family approach to winning elections:

If a voter is registered to vote GO VOTE no matter what some line of misinformation may come your way. GO Vote Go VOTE GO VOTE!

Massive Misinformation Machine Confuses Voters –This will be applied in every election because it is successful.

The " big special interest bucks " will put these tools in place. Brownback/Kobach thinkers will not be playing fair.

Let's not kid ourselves about what can happen in any upcoming election when considering lies and misinformation.

Election Protection Hotline Kept Busy with Confused Voter Calls

Questions about requirements for Election Day Registration, poll workers improperly asking voters' ID and deceptive robocalls suggesting voters who signed petitions or voted in earlier elections did not have to vote again are among reported issues.

Below are some of highlighted issues being reported:

  • Voters initially turned away despite providing sufficient proof of residency;
  • Voter was challenged by poll worker because she did not provide a photo ID; however, when the voter threatened to record the conversation, the poll worker apologized and allowed her to vote;
  • Voter received a letter in the mail falsely stating that her polling location had changed because of an event;
  • Voter reported being turned away and witnessing others turned away despite providing sufficient proof of residency;
  • Voters reported being challenged repeatedly by the same poll worker, but having no problems with a different poll worker;
  • Voter received a voicemail from an unidentified voicemail falsely stating that if you voted in a recall primary you don't need to vote in the recall election);
  • Voter reported individuals wearing "Vote!" teachers providing incorrect and misleading information to voters about the location of their polling location. They suspected that these individuals were attempting to dissuade voters by frustrating and misleading them;
  • A voter reported that he and his wife encountered people inside the polling place (not officials) yelling at him “you better not vote for Scott Walker,” and another individual asking to see their ballots and, when they refused, accusing them of being Republicans;
  • Poll workers were making mistakes by marking the wrong names on the voter roll, and not monitoring the polling boxes;
  • Leading up to the elections Milwaukee County buses had false information about photo ID laws, dissuading voters because of their lack of ID.

ronaldwayman 5 years, 11 months ago

I want to konw who specifically is endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce so that I will know who to vote against. I have lossed one son to budget cuts and the political atmosphere created by Gov Brownback. I dont want anyone else to go thru it either

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Is recycling always good for the environment?

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Is a red herring always a tasty treat?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Is recycling always good for the planet?

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