Archive for Monday, August 18, 2014

Brownback discusses efforts to fight federal laws

August 18, 2014, 12:07 p.m. Updated August 18, 2014, 6:52 p.m.


Gov. Sam Brownback vowed Monday that if he is re-elected, he will continue battling the federal government over issues such as environmental protection, health care and gun rights. Brownback spoke at a small gathering at the Wichita Area Builders Association.

Gov. Sam Brownback vowed Monday that if he is re-elected, he will continue battling the federal government over issues such as environmental protection, health care and gun rights. Brownback spoke at a small gathering at the Wichita Area Builders Association.

— Gov. Sam Brownback vowed Monday that if he is re-elected, he will make battling the federal government on issues such as environmental regulation, health care and gun rights a major focus of his second term.

“Man is not free unless government is limited,” Brownback said, quoting a famous 1964 speech by Ronald Reagan. “You can’t have a government taking everything from everybody all the time.”

Speaking to a few dozen people gathered at the Wichita Area Builders Association, Brownback, who is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Paul Davis, of Lawrence, outlined seven areas where he said the federal government – and the Obama administration in particular – had infringed on states’ rights.

Chief among those, he said, are new clean air standards that limit emissions from power plants, which he said were adding $227 million a year to customer utility accounts.

“These are on people, in a lot of cases they can’t afford the utility bill they’ve got,” Brownback said. “And now you’ve raised it because of an increased regulatory atmosphere.”

Campaign officials weren’t immediately able to identify the source of the $227 million cost figure. In July, the Kansas Corporation Commission approved an $11.5 million rate increase for Kansas City Power and Light. And in November 2013, it approved a $31.7 million rate hike for Topeka-based Westar Energy.

Both rate increases were to cover the capital cost of upgrading the LaCygne generating plant, which the two companies jointly own.

Brownback also vowed to continue fighting implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Kansas, including any expansion of Medicaid.

“Obamacare is not working. It’s not going to work. It has been harmful, and we don’t need to see that expansion taking place in the state of Kansas,” Brownback said.

The law originally required states to expand Medicaid to cover all individuals, regardless of family status, up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. But the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that provision of the law, saying the federal government could not make such an expansion mandatory.

Currently in Kansas, working-age adults are eligible only if they have dependent children and their income is below about 25 percent of the poverty level.

The White House Council of Economic Advisors has estimate an additional 100,000 people in Kansas would gain coverage if the state expanded Medicaid, and the federal government would pay about 90 percent of the cost.

But Brownback has said he doesn’t believe Congress will follow through on that funding and that the cost would eventually be borne by the state.

Other issues where Brownback said the federal government is interfering with states’ rights include:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species in Kansas, something he said interferes with agriculture and oil and gas production. Earlier this month, Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said they would sue in federal court to block that designation.

  • Proposed new clean water regulations, which Brownback said would extend federal regulation to farm ponds and drainage ditches, a charge that EPA officials have denied.

  • Gun rights. Brownback signed a bill into law this year making it illegal for federal officials to enforce federal gun laws over guns that are manufactured and kept solely in Kansas. The Brady Center, a national gun control advocacy group, recently filed suit in federal court challenging that law, but Brownback said he would defend the state’s statute.

  • The aviation industry. Brownback accused the Obama administration of “bad-mouthing” the general aviation industry through its repeated calls to eliminate tax deductions for corporate jets. He said the private aircraft manufacturing industry is important to Wichita and the tax incentives help make those planes more affordable.

  • Education. Although he did not mention it in his spoken remarks, the accompanying press release alluded to the new Common Core standards for reading and math and new nutrition guidelines for school lunches as examples of federal overreach. “Decisions made for our children on standards, assessments, and accreditation should be made for Kansans by Kansans,” the release stated. “I favor local control.”

Brownback said fighting for more state control was part of his second term agenda, which he has dubbed “Road Map 2.0.”

Speaking with reporters afterwards, Brownback also offered a few details on the economic portion of the agenda that he outlined last week.

That included a call for creating “urban opportunity zones” in high poverty urban areas. On Monday he said such zones would be modeled after the rural opportunity zone program enacted during his first term and would likely include income tax breaks and student loan forgiveness for people who move into or make business investments in those areas. He said areas of Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka would be the most likely locations for those zones.


William Weissbeck 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to comment on anything Brownback says, but I do want to point out the him that claiming that water is uniquely a state issue is what has everyone looking to Colorado regarding the Platte, Republic and Arkansas Rivers. Colorado's position is that if God makes it rain and snow over Colorado, it's theirs to keep. Is that what we want?

James Howlette 3 years, 6 months ago

It's Colorado's, somewhere, but not yours as a property owner. Rain barrels are illegal in much of the state, because that water from the sky already belongs to someone else before it lands in your yard.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 6 months ago

LOL :-) Sure sounds like a typical example of Brownback's "logic". Yeesh.

Phillip Chappuie 3 years, 6 months ago

How does Sam know that Lesser Prairie Chicken population has increased 20% in this most recent brood season? Does he understand that the number will be much lower by fall with natural loss through predation and other factors? Does Sam want us to return to lower standards for water and air so it can be as dirty and toxic as it was previously in the early '70's? Does he know that much of the water in Kansas flowed through Colorado and Nebraska before it got here? That is interstate Sam. Not intrastate. He sure doesn't seem to have much to hang his hat on except that revenue is down and the coffers are dwindling quickly.

James Howlette 3 years, 6 months ago

Pphhthttht. Stop talking all that science. He's got beliefs, and that's all that counts.

Larry Sturm 3 years, 6 months ago

Spending money on lawyers to fight federal laws is not a profitable way to spend taxpayer money.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 6 months ago

Aha!! Maybe THAT is where that $227 million figure comes from!!! Lawyers' fees for fighting federal laws.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

"The Republican governor found a friendly audience for his re-election pitch at the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association convention in Wichita."

He's always out there begging for campaign $$$$$$$$.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

The popular conception of nuclear power is straight out of The Simpsons: Springfield abounds with signs of radioactivity, from the strange glow surrounding Mr. Burn's nuclear power plant workers to Homer's low sperm count. Then there's the local superhero, Radioactive Man, who fires beams of "nuclear heat" from his eyes. Nuclear power, many people think, is inseparable from a volatile, invariably lime-green, mutant-making radioactivity.

Coal, meanwhile, is believed responsible for a host of more quotidian problems, such as mining accidents, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions. But it isn't supposed to spawn three-eyed fish like Blinky.

Over the past few decades, however, a series of studies has called these stereotypes into question. Among the surprising conclusions: the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts.

In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.

At issue is coal's content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements. They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or "whole," coal that they aren't a problem. But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.

Fly ash uranium sometimes leaches into the soil and water surrounding a coal plant, affecting cropland and, in turn, food. People living within a "stack shadow"—the area within a half- to one-mile (0.8- to 1.6-kilometer) radius of a coal plant's smokestacks—might then ingest small amounts of radiation. Fly ash is also disposed of in landfills and abandoned mines and quarries, posing a potential risk to people living around those areas.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

Who wants 4 more years of the Libertarian Party dictating to Kansas?

Founding members of the John Birch Society Charles and David are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.


Who wants this? Exposing the Koch/Brownback Agenda to Defund and Dismantle Public Education

Make no mistake about it Paul Davis has been very active in public education funding since 2003 that I personally know of.

Taxpayers should want more taxes spent on our USD 497 for that brings more of our tax dollars back home……where they belong

Katie Dennis 3 years, 6 months ago

so another term of wasting our tax money on fighting the federal government, instead of trying to work with them. awesome. glad i moved.

Bob Forer 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe Sam was busy praying or at church or something when his Constitutional Law class discussed The Supremacy Clause.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 6 months ago

Someday we will stop having wars over oil and begin having them over water. Heck in the county alone we should hit half a billion population by the end on the century.

Mike Ford 3 years, 6 months ago

Maybe Mr. Brownback (Bryllocreme) wants the stars and bars because when he talks all of this states rights nonsense he sounds like someone from Mississippi circa my EX grandfather.....a Dixiecrat. George Wallace created the Southern Strategy when he ran Third party in 1968. He was shot and the Nixon campaign stole the idea and ran with it. Now we have a modern states rights platform in the central US of all places that sounds straight out of the segregationist south I saw the end of as a child in the 1970's.

Eric MacDonald 3 years, 6 months ago

The purpose of the Constitution was to preserve individual and States rights while unifying the country for purposes of national and foreign affairs interests. It was to define those things that the Federal Government shall do because it was believed that the Federal Government would be uniquely capable of doing it. That should be the test for every piece of Federal legislation. That it is not shows just how far from the original intent we are. With each generation we leave them with less and less liberty.

Just because a bunch of racist invoked States Rights doesn't make all those that understand the importance of States Rights racist. The Federal Government in that instance was acting within its authority against abuses of the individual by States. There was clear Constitutional authority to protect individual liberty.

I favor less centralization of authority and power at the federal level in favor of more local control. This centralization is the cause of the divide in the country.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 6 months ago

Is this the job of the Chief Executive of a state in the United States of America?? To fight with the Federal Government?? To oppose the President of the United States who was elected by the entire country?? To make a foolish and ignorant image of the State of Kansas to the rest of the county (Kris Kobach has been doing that very well)?? Is this what the citizens if Kansas elected this guy to do?? Is this what the people of Kansas want? Really???

If this guy gets re-elected it will be the greatest disaster ever, anywhere for people who expect some respectable and dedicated public service. This guy has a personal and probably racist fight with the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the country and he has no business in this public office. How did this happen?????

Eric MacDonald 3 years, 6 months ago

Simply put, yes. Where appropriate the executive of the State should defend the state from the overreach of the President. The Constitution clearly defines the limitations of the Federal government. Unless all Governors are willing to defend their States from this encroachment States will continue to lose their sovereignty. This is not a party issue as Presidents and legislators of both parties continue to wrestle more and more control from the states.

Steve King 3 years, 6 months ago

What a hypocrite. The Feds interfere too much but it's ok when the State interfers in City and County affairs?

I'm already planning multiple garage sales to make it easier to move if he gets reelected. Kansas will be a waste land when he's done with her.

James Howlette 3 years, 6 months ago

You won't regret having the garage sales now. Aside from the decluttering aspect. Sad truth is that even if he isn't reelected, he's done damage that will take decades to repair.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago


Voters must assume Brownback and Kobach may have purged YOU from the voting rolls. Any way possible

Okay let's plan ahead. We know that the Brownback/Kobach agenda is to keep voters from the polls.

Voters ORGANIZING A VOTING DAY PACKET might be a preventive measure:

--- a birth certificate

--- drivers license or state ID card

--- proof of voter registration etc etc etc.

--- Keep it close by as voting opportunities will occur about 4 times in the next 10 months.

Let's get on with it. Vote the Paul Davis/Jill Docking ticket they are going to have a messy house to clean up.

Kansas needs Margie Wakefield in Congress

Richard Heckler 3 years, 6 months ago

These right wing campaigns get very personal as the Brownback campaign did in the primaries.

Make no mistake about it Paul Davis and Jill Docking will be subjected to attacks of a very personal nature. In order for the Brownback team to avoid discussing matters of substance related to the job of governor.

Nasty personal attack campaigns became popular during the Reagan/Bush years and have not looked back.

Voters be ready to ignore the Brownback campaign and vote Davis/Docking no matter what level of crap comes from the Brownback team.

Paul R Getto 3 years, 6 months ago

When will he play the jew card like he did to get his Senate seat?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 6 months ago

Page Two - Lawrence Daily Journal-World - Aug 19, 2014

"State jobless rate goes up to 4.9 percent"

Now............Tell us again what you plan to do to benefit Kansas??

I am waiting.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh darn....It is "page 3A" Man I hate it when I am wrong!!!!!

Shane Garrett 3 years, 6 months ago

The dozen or so people Sam spoke in front of must have money. Because as a State Governor he is promising to take the "fight" to the Federal level. So, another four years and he will be running as a presidential candidate? Counting eggs and hoping for chickens. Yes, get your voting packet together.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 6 months ago

So if he is president, then the state's don't have to do anything he says?

James Garvey 3 years, 6 months ago

Isn't it amazing that the State is going Bankrupt, the Education System is in the toilet, The State can't draw employers and Brownback is concentrating on fighting federal Legislation? Good job Sam!! Divert the attention from the REAL PROBLEMS!!

Greg Cooper 3 years, 6 months ago

Exactly, and their names are David and Charles. You take it from there.

James Howlette 3 years, 6 months ago

"Gov. Sam Brownback vowed Monday that if he is re-elected, he will make battling the federal government on issues such as environmental regulation, health care and gun rights a major focus of his second term. "

So basically he's pro pollution, disease, and gun violence?

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