Archive for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Libertarian Umbehr files for Kansas governor

May 20, 2014


— Libertarian Keen Umbehr put his name on the November ballot for Kansas governor on Tuesday, declaring that residents want a government that is fair for all people all the time.

The 55-year-old Alma attorney filed the paperwork and paid a $500 fee at the secretary of state's office. Umbehr said taxes and protecting the civil liberties of all residents, not just special interests, would be themes during the race.

"Kansas is fair. People are looking at Kansas to see what we do," Umbehr said.

Umbehr says taxes and civil liberties are first on his agenda. His running mate is his son, Dr. Josh Umbehr, a Wichita physician. He said if elected he would seek to eliminate the state income and sales taxes and replace them with a 5.7 percent tax on consumption of goods and services. Umbehr said the cuts that eliminated income taxes for certain classes of businesses, including his own, in 2012 were unfair.

"They did it for 191,000, they can do it for the other 1.3 million wage earners," he said.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, filed last week for their bid for a second term. Democrat Paul Davis, the current House minority leader, is running for governor with Jill Docking as his running mate, but they have yet to officially file. The filing deadline is June 2. No other Democrats have entered the race.

Umbehr said the goal wasn't just to get 5 percent of the vote, which would elevate Libertarians to major party status in Kansas. He thinks a Libertarian could get 35 percent in a three-way race with Brownback and Davis.

"It does change the calculus, and that's a good thing," he said.

Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist who has studied Kansas governors, said Umbehr could be a factor in November, especially in a tight race between Brownback and Davis.

"This year the Libertarian candidate is the wild card," Beatty said. "Is it a close race? It's sort of a phantom election right now because there isn't any real contentious campaigning going on."

Beatty said Umbehr's challenge, as it is for any third-party candidate in Kansas, is to raise enough money to get his message on television and radio so voters see him as a legitimate alternative.

"There is often the thought that they should be doing better than they are in Kansas, but they rely too much on free media," Beatty said.

Umbehr said he has put $50,000 of his own money in the race, adding he wasn't "going to ask voters to do something he wasn't willing to do on his own."


Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Two Libertarians running for office. Keen Umbehr and Sam Brownback.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 1 month ago

How little you must understand about the Libertarian agenda if you truly think Sam Brownback is a Libertarian. While typically fiscally Conservative (like Sam), Libertarians tend to be radically socially Liberal. I find it hard to believe that Sam would support gay marriage or the legalization of marijuana. Richard, perhaps you should stick to copying and pasting hyperlinks.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 years, 1 month ago

Sales taxes are not fiscally responsible. They make the poorer poorer and the rich richer. And no, not rich enough to "create jobs".

Jim Slade 4 years, 1 month ago

From the article: "...would seek to eliminate the state income and sales taxes and replace them with a 5.7 percent tax on consumption of goods and services."

Eliminate the sales tax.

A GST (or VAT) is NOT a sales tax.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for clarifying that. But he would still have to convince me that it would create enough revenue to support our school. Unlike Libertarians, I think it's the government's and society's responsibility to educate our children. I realize most libertarians think that supporting people who have disabilities is not their responsibility, I have to disagree with that as well. We could push all the homeless and disabled out on the streets to beg, but I wouldn't call us humane or human.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 1 month ago

the term you are looking for is 'regressive'. No tax, be it sales or otherwise "makes the rich richer". It may have a larger negative effect on one population than another but no individual person (other than the government) gets wealthier by paying taxes.

Raymond Muñoz 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you for the article! It's nice to see the LJWorld providing a bit of coverage for Keen and the Libertarian Party.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

Sales taxes go for paying about half of general city expenses and also things such as infrastructure and public transit. They are necessary and fair since everyone pays the same sales tax when they buy something.

While socially I might be a Libertarian otherwise I am not as I think that the federal government should be in charge of SRS and that everyone in the US should receive the same amount of benefits based on universal qualifications.

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