Archive for Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paul Davis makes it official: He’s running for governor

September 17, 2013, 11:48 a.m. Updated September 17, 2013, 7:39 p.m.


Paul Davis

Paul Davis

— House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, on Tuesday officially launched his campaign for governor, setting up a likely underdog race against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Without mentioning Brownback, Davis vowed to build a moderate coalition to work on the state’s problems.

“Like so many of you, I’m very troubled by the direction our state’s been heading over the past three years,” said Davis.

Davis, 41, an attorney, rolled out his announcement on Facebook and Twitter.

Davis said Kansas families have been hurt from state budget cuts to public schools and higher education under Brownback, while property taxes, tuition and utility bills have increased.

“The wealthiest and well-connected get all the breaks and our Kansas economy feels broken,” Davis said.

“Topeka gets bogged down in party labels and partisan agendas while the rest of us just want them to get things done,” he said.

Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold said Brownback has a solid “pro growth” record to run on.

The state GOP posted on its Facebook page that Davis was twice a delegate for President Barack Obama, and added, “Paul Davis is a partisan leader of a minority caucus with a long Lawrence liberal’s voting record. That’s out of touch with Kansas.”

Davis has served in the Kansas House for the past 11 years and been House Democratic leader since 2008.

Backed by top party leaders, Davis is expected to win the Democratic nomination to challenge Brownback in 2014.

Former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who is now secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be attending a reception for Davis in Mission Hills on Thursday.

Davis faces a steep climb against Brownback, a conservative Republican who was elected in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote.

Of the state’s 1.73 million registered voters, Democrats rank third behind Republicans, with approximately 45 percent of registered voters; unaffiliated, 30 percent, and Democrats, 25 percent.

For Davis to succeed on Election Night 2014, he has to raise a lot of money.

“The current challenge is getting their message out, and in American politics, you need to have money,” said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University.

It will take at least $1 million for Davis to introduce himself to voters, and whatever Davis spends, Brownback will easily match and double, Beatty said.

“With the heavy registration advantage for Republicans, research has shown the default is to vote for a member of your own party. But to be a viable alternative, you have to get that message out,” he said.

Davis said he has a record of working across party lines to build moderate coalitions.

Last month, Davis started a gubernatorial campaign committee and appointed former state Rep. William Kassebaum as his campaign treasurer. Kassebaum is the son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and grandson of former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, all of them Republicans.

In recent years, Davis has been one of the leading critics of Brownback’s tax policies.

Brownback has pushed for and signed into law lower income tax rates, eliminating income taxes for nearly 200,000 business owners, removing deductions designed to help low- and middle-income Kansans, and in the recent session, a sales tax increase to offset some of the lost tax revenue.

Brownback has said the tax changes will improve the economy. Critics say the changes increase the tax burden on the poor while benefitting the wealthy and will lead to budget shortfalls that will hurt schools and social services.


Pastor_Bedtime 7 months ago

It's noteworthy that some of those here who are minimizing Davis' chance of defeating Brownback are the very ones who predicted a Romney/Ryan landslide. Until the Republican party distances themselves from the Teabaggers and the theocrats and the Kochs it'll be my pleasure to vote against Brownback in the primary, and to vote for Davis in the election. It's simply naive to think that Brownback has lockstep support within his party at this point.


Liberty275 7 months ago

Congressman Davis, as governor would you sign legislation to further limit the second amendment rights of Kansas citizens?

Answer that question. A yes or a no will suffice.


oldexbeat 7 months ago

Liar Sammy Brownback stated in a public debate that he believes the earth to be 6,000 years old. That should make it impossible for him to vote, let alone run for office. We need a non-idiot as governor.


SynjynSmythe 7 months ago

No chance of success. A mere sacrificial lamb for the party. "Sebelius, who is now secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be attending a reception for Davis in Mission Hills on Thursday": Look for Sebelius to nominate Davis to be the next US Attorney for Kansas in Hillary's upcoming administration in return for embarrassing himself running for Governor!


yourworstnightmare 7 months ago

To stand a chance against Brownback, Davis will need money to sustain a campaign. The Kochs will make sure Brownback is well funded. Davis will not outspend Brownback, but he needs enough to keep in the race.

Instead of posting tedious messages on this forum, how about contributing money to Davis? That is real help to unseat Brownback, not just tedious postings and blather.


Alceste 7 months ago

Ludus mistakenly states: "They take greater advantage of it - as he sort of points out and the article does, Davis has the potential to receive around $85k while Morris (R) and the Majority Leader could receive as much as 100k."

Incorrect...but close enough. These hacks do not get that kind of money in their pocket. Their KPERS retirement pension is based on those amounts as their gross pay for their time in the legislature. The trick is that the legislators gave (and give) themselves an option when they enter office to elect how they want their KPERS calculated, which the ordinary KPERS recipient does NOT get: The hacks can elect to check the box that they want their calculation to be "annualized" on a 365 day basis (they DID switch from a 372 day work year to a 365 last year; big deal) or on the actual days they spend in the legislature. The formula is laid out above; per diem et. all.

Granted, these professional money jugglers have to pay into KPERS based on those high dollar amounts.....(the money they actually get from "working" as a legislator is closer to $35k actual dollars)....but they get PAID when they're in their "golden years". Since the vast majority of Kansas legislators are wealthy's a great scam to get elected simply to draw down this "pension/annuity" in their golden years. So, Kansas legislators don't make no money being legislators (they're not supposed to.....this is Kansas.....we don't believe in high wages for much of anything in this state) but they quietly wait for the time when KPERS kicks in and THEN they're getting paid. What'd that song say? "....a man with a briefcase. Can steal more money. Than any man with a gun..." (Don Henly Gimme What You Got)


Alceste 7 months ago

tomatogrower opines: "And you'll notice that the so called fiscally conservatives haven't done anything to change this, have they?"

Nope....and they're a larger aspect of the problem. Nonetheless.....If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. (That's a metaphor).

All these politicians stick together when the rubber meets the road. They play around with the peoples' money and lives....but first....and Alceste will assert foremost....they make sure they get paid....each and everyone of them.

Let t a populist clamor to the top of this giant dung heep; one whose primary goal is not to make a career of mucking about with the real lives of real working people....and that's 99% of us; one who can see the forest for the trees; etc.

There is not one single solitary reason one of "the progressives" couldn't have and can't "break ranks" to either pay ALL members of KPERS the same way they PAY themselves...or repair their own KPERS calculations such that they reflect what joe and jane civil servant pull down.

Of course Paul Davis is a better "choice" than Sam Brownback. Frankly, it really doesn't matter....not in this state. However, we're talking about least worse decision making here....not actual "leadership".

When one of these progressives steps forward and publically repudiates this KPERS payoff, Alceste will know the sea does and can part. Until then, in the deep and dark final analysis....all these boys and girls up there in Topeka are scalliwags and quoting John from the film "Stripes", "...that's a fact, Jack....".


Larry Moss 7 months ago

My guess is Davis has already wrote his concession speech. Something like "well someone had to get shredded, they decided it was to be me"....Oh well, somebody got a Band-Aid?


Clark Coan 7 months ago

Let's see, Davis has no name recognition, no money, and no organization. The good news is Brownback is not doing well in the polls and when the severe budget cuts come next year due to his big tax cuts, he's going to get hurt badly. I would say Davis has about a 30% chance of winning, so we are probably going to be stuck with another 4 years of the worst governor in Kansas history (certainly the most conservative since the KKK-controlled governors in the 1920s).


SouthernMan 7 months ago

Davis is a nice guy. And nice guys finish last. Which is exactly where he'll finish in the race for Governor. All the Liberal spouting in the world (in this, one of only two Dem counties in the entire state) will not elect Paul. He has absolutely Zero chance of serving as the Governor of the Great State of Kansas. Zero. Zilch.


consumer1 7 months ago

Here is a straight forward question. I would be interested in hearing what the readers of this paper consider the characteristics of a moderate would be. If at all possible, please try to keep the vitiol to a limited amount. I know sometimes it is difficult when we get into passionate discussions. Thanks for any and all information you provide. NOTE: This is not an attack on either position, I am honestly curious about your responces. Thanks again.


Richard Heckler 7 months ago

A Brownback Agenda is worth reviewing.

The corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state land federal laws that govern your rights.

These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.

In ALEC's own words, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?

United States of ALEC – Bill Moyers

ALEC – The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in State Legislatures

ALEC EXPOSED – The Koch Connection

ALEC – Ghostwriting The Law for Corporate America


ALEC Private Schools - Corporate Education Reformers Plot Next Steps at Secretive Meeting

Knowing more about the enemies to public education, the working class and our communities is important.


yourworstnightmare 7 months ago

Anger and acrimony directed toward Brownback will not unseat him. Money has a chance. It is reality. Put your money behind your anger. Contribute to Paul Davis' campaign early and often.


Richard Heckler 7 months ago

Yes I know Paul Davis is a responsible supporter of public education who is asking for the money legislated that has been removed by the reckless right wing be replaced... is not an increase. It is replacing money that has been illegally removed.

Increasing spending? for what? Perhaps is more like reinstated.

Privatizing government services is not a tax dollar savings. The most reliable source of fraud on taxpayers is private industry. Privatizing is another means of laundering tax dollars into the bank accounts special interest campaign contributors. This is what Sam Brownback represents.


Richard Heckler 7 months ago

Reckless management of tax dollars = Sam Brownback!!

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

Just a bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! (((AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China. )))

Where is the $47 million tax dollars? Reckless spending indeed!!!!


BigDog 7 months ago

merrill ..... You must be imagining again ... Paul Davis a fiscal conservative???? Saying he is conservative doesn't change his history and that is of social and fiscal liberal.

The man loves to spend money. Most of his statements involve the ... Spending should be increased for__


Richard Heckler 7 months ago

"William Kassebaum as his campaign treasurer. Kassebaum is the son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and grandson of former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, all of them Republicans."

That's right these are republicans. Thus far there are no republicans running for governor.

Sam Brownback represents the Radical ALEC Right Wing Party which misrepresents the republican party. The other two candidates seem to be Libertarians.... which are all over the page.

U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum got my vote. Kassebaum is a moderate-to-liberal Republican who is known for her health care legislation, known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was co-sponsored by Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat.

She was also active in foreign policy. She expressed strong support of anti-apartheid measures against South Africa in the 1980's and traveled to Nicaragua as both an elections observer and to encourage diplomatic resolutions to the conflict between the Contras and the Sandinistas.

Paul Davis is absolutely the best choice thus far. A prudent fiscal conservative.


truthhurts 7 months ago

Since the LJW continues to ignore them here are 2 active candidates for Governor that have innovative ideas and won't waste time with partisan politics.


Dont_Tread_On_Me 7 months ago

Paul is too liberal to work for the rest of the state...and here I was looking forward to a competitive race.


Alceste 7 months ago

Ah...quoting Mr. Davis: ""The wealthiest and well-connected get all the breaks .....". And Mr. Davis has certainly taken care of his own personal wealth apart from his "practice of law" by making sure he signed on the KPERS dotted line that he wanted to claim an annualization of the money the people of Kansas pay him to "represent" them. He could elect to accept a benefit that is based on the actual days he is in legislative session....but, nope....he signed up for the full monty. Kindly note:

Did everybody know our ever so dedicated Legislators in Topeka participate in KPERS, too? After all, they're state workers also. But, guess what? These legislators set up a very special system for how they get their KPERS benefits. Here it is in a nutshell. Davis made certain he signed up for his along with everybody else from Douglas County who was eligible: Holland and Sloan. Francisco and Ballard get an even sweeter deal from the Regents. However, either Ballard or Francisco could float a bill to correct the KPERS scam. They haven't.

Legislators have given themselves one heck of a sweetheart deal in how their own KPERS benefits are calculated. 372 days in a year! Leave it to a political hack to figure that one out!

For the legislator listing all income - the daily rate, subsistence and allowance - this is how annualization is calculated:

•$88.66 (daily rate) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $32,981.52

•$123 (subsistence) x 31 (days) x 12 (months) = $45,756

•$7,083 non-session allowance.

Altogether, that equals $85,820.52, and that's the pay figure that would be used for that legislator retiring now.

The Senate president and House speaker are at the top of the pay scale, and annualized pay for those posts could be as high as $99,859.74, depending on their enrollment choices.

This guy Morris who is the President of the Kansas Senate has even been quoted as saying he deserves that kind of KPERS benefit because he is so underpaid!!! Man, this is some amusing stuff!!! Aren't legislators supposed to be servants of the people? Isn't the common thinking that people run for office, not to get rich, but to serve? We sure do think stupid real good like in this state: The people who do the day to day work which make Kansas run have their KPERS figured one way.....and the galoots who pose for 3 months a year as "legislators" get to figure their KPERS benefit in a totally different the point where they've invented a new calendar: 372 days in a year and they work each and every one of them!! Woo Hoo!!!


wastewatcher 7 months ago

BIG DOG HAS IT RIGHT. If DAVIS ISN'T A LIBERAL , I would like for someone to define a LIBERAL and then list Davis' positions and votes. He will surely qualify as an EXTREME LIBERAL.


Patricia Davis 7 months ago

We the people of Kansas need to start the conversation with each other about what has really been happening under the Browback regime and we need to take our state back. We will not be able to fight the Koch money with money. We can, however, do it by working together. I've been very impressed with Boulder's campaign—grassroots, high tech, lots of young people—trying to fight for it's own energy company.

We have to believe our children deserve better. We have to believe that our Kansans who are disabled deserve a safety net. We have to remind ourselves that Kansans before us saw the need to keep politics out of the selection of our judges.


BigDog 7 months ago

fearthephog512 Those will be issues for many people. Davis has been a staunch supporter of Obama Care .... and follows it up by having a fundraiser with the public face of Obama Care.

Davis has opposed 2nd Amendment rights on multiple occasions and opposed the concealed carry laws .... which even Democratic Sen. David Haley supported.

And has opposed any proposals that regulated abortion clinics.

I don't recall him fighting against cuts to the disabled and elderly during the Sebelius/Parkinson adminstration. And he supported tax hikes on a variety of things including sales tax.


Centerville 7 months ago

Now they start with the comedy: "But, but, Paul Davis is a moderate! Honest!"


wastewatcher 7 months ago

LIBERAL DAVIS shows his true colors by having his first fundraiser in super rich Mission Hills with super LIBERAL SEBELIUS. I guess this says he likes Obama Care, high taxes, big government, big regulations, big spending, big deficits and everything that LIBERALS love. I am not crazy about all of Governor Brownback's proposals, but compared to LIBERAL DAVIS, I will vote for the Governor every day. And I believe most Kansans feel like I do. Where are the common sense middle of the road Democrats?


Centerville 7 months ago

So no sooner does Davis announce than Sibileus horns in to endorse him. David Kensinger, you are one magnificent maestro.


rgh 7 months ago

Brownback will run the state into the ground but it still won't be enough to wake up his own party enough to vote for Davis. Brownback is all about big business but little else about Kansas.


kansas_cynic 7 months ago

Unfortunately I don't think there is any longer such a thing as a moderate republican, they've all moved over to the extreme right wing ring fringes.


consumer1 7 months ago

Instead of going from one extreme to the other, why not have some moderates run? Someone who actually cares about Kansas instead of just "their Party".


consumer1 7 months ago

Big Surprise what far left person won't vote for him. Fortunately they do not carry the majority.


rooster 7 months ago

I think it would be a significant boost to his chances at winning if he selected a moderate republican as his running mate for Lt. Gov.


fearthephog512 7 months ago

I've been surprised at how many of my conservative chums are speaking out against Brownstain, and that Davis more closely resembles a true, common-sense moderate. Unfortunately, he's about to incur the full force of Americans for Prosperity's smear tactics. Prepare for loads of propaganda on how Davis wants to force Obamacare down your throat, take away your guns and kill your babies.

He's got my vote.


douglas6280 7 months ago

A reception in Mission Hills, hangin with the 1%'s already.


Maracas 7 months ago

He's got my vote. I'd vote for my neighbor's dog if he ran against Brownshirt.


oldexbeat 7 months ago

Good. But I am afraid that if rational people speak up for Paul, it will just bring more irrational people out of their caves and holes. Good news -- a very religious conservation married white working woman just told me how much she disliked what Liar Sammy is doing to children and schools. There may be hope.


Michael LoBurgio 7 months ago

Paul Davis for Governor of Kansas

Paul is honest, humble, talented, and has good judgment. He will do something about runaway sales tax he cares about education, the poor, disabled, elderly, single mothers, children and runaway property taxes that are strangling our rural areas.


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