Editorial: Don’t follow Brownback’s lead

October 10, 2017


As Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer prepares to take over as Kansas governor, one can only hope he is more pragmatic than his predecessor.

Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to be confirmed soon as the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. When he does, the largely unknown Colyer will move in to the governor’s role and preside over the 2018 legislative session.

Colyer is Kansas’ longest serving lieutenant governor, having served almost seven years. Prior to agreeing to run with Brownback, Colyer served in the Kansas House for one term and the state Senate for two years. Suffice to say, there isn’t a lot to go on in terms of what to expect from the new governor.

The one issue that Colyer, a plastic surgeon, has been out front on is health care policy. He is the architect of the state’s privatized Medicaid program, KanCare. Like Brownback, Colyer has been a critic of the Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation approved by the Obama Administration. And like Brownback, Colyer has opposed the expansion of Medicaid. The ACA allows for states to expand Medicaid eligibility, most at the federal government’s expense, to those younger than 65 whose family income is no more than 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Brownback vetoed a bipartisan Medicaid expansion bill during the 2017 session and all indications are that Colyer will take a similarly hard line against expansion.

But Colyer would be wise to carve out his own approach going forward, especially if he hopes to win the governor’s election next year. Fair or not, Colyer is largely seen as an extension of Brownback, who is leaving the governor’s mansion as one of the most unpopular governors in the country. According to Morning Consult’s July governor rankings, only Chris Christie of New Jersey had higher disapproval numbers than Brownback.

Colyer will face an increasingly crowded Republican field in the race for governor. Those who have announced they are running include Secretary of State Kris Kobach; Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer; former Sen. Jim Barnett; Wichita businessman Willis “Wink” Hartman; former Rep. Mark Hutton; and former Rep. Ed O’Malley.

Colyer has a built-in advantage over the field because he will be in the role when the election is held. But if he doesn’t distinguish himself from Brownback, being the governor will quickly turn into a disadvantage for Colyer.

For the first time in a long time, legislators from both sides of the aisle showed a willingness to work together to get legislation passed. But they did so without the help of the governor, whose activity during the session basically boiled down to vetoing bipartisan legislation.

Colyer has a choice of what kind of governor he will be: a pragmatist willing to work toward compromise to move Kansas forward or a rigid ideologue like his predecessor. His decision likely will determine how long his gubernatorial tenure lasts.


Ernest Barteldes 6 months, 1 week ago

How Kansas kept electing Brownback is beyond me

Michael Kort 6 months, 1 week ago

The mentally ill who live in the middle of nowhere are voting their favorite illnesses and their beliefs in the political promised tooth fairy who comes at night to pay the state's bills because that is how "Jesus whatevers it to be" in the old (?) testament..............well,......so they get the books confused .

They know that the poor need to suffer before the world ends and they ( only ) go to heaven or something ?

i guess that delusional Brownie can go to Italy and wash the Pope's feet ( next ) .......as sent by the devil himself .

And now Trump is trying to sell the same tax cut nonsense to this country that brownie was selling in Kansas.............well, get brownie out of the country so brownie can't be around to tell about how well his tax cuts worked in Kansas ! ! !

Richard Heckler 6 months, 1 week ago

These ALEC influenced legislators are not allowed to deviate.

My guess is Colyer was not the architect of KanCare. The architect is spelled ALEC aka The American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC designs legislation and such behind closed doors then funnels the concepts to state legislators. ALEC sponsors secret closed door conferences for their robots through the year at high dollar locations.

Do a larger number of robots attend these secret discussions ...... absolutely.

Richard Heckler 6 months, 1 week ago

Governors Are Stifling Workers Financed With ALEC Dollars http://otherwords.org/governors-are-stiffing-workers-and-democracy/

Beware the Koch-ALEC cabal | Hightower | Colorado Springs ... https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/beware-the-koch-alec-cabal/Content?oid...

May 17, 2017 - More than a firefight here or an ambush there, the Koch-ALEC cabal have launched a ... You can contact Hightower at jimhightower.com. Hightower on ALEC in Michigan: Dictatorial Coup of Emergency ...


Sep 28, 2012 - Jim Hightower outlines in a well-researched piece the dictatorial nature of the Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder's Emergency ...

The Koch brothers' massive money cache is worming deep into our ... https://hightowerlowdown.org/article/kochalec/

ALEC Archives • Hightower Lowdown https://hightowerlowdown.org/tag/alec/ We the People are being burgled. Again. The most recent hit is just the latest in a long string of political robberies, a nationwide crime wave being pulled off by ...

Abandoning ALEC • Hightower Lowdown https://hightowerlowdown.org/podcast/abandoning-alec/ Jun 13, 2012 - Good Grief ALEC is even too icky for Wal-Mart! The American Legislative Exchange Council is the corporate-financed bill mill that thinks up ...

The Hightower Report: Koch Brothers Are Out to Conquer the ... https://www.austinchronicle.com/.../the-hightower-report-koch-brothers-are-out-to-co... Jan 6, 2017 - More than a firefight here or an ambush there, the Koch-ALEC cabal has launched a massive, coordinated maneuver to conquer the ...

The Hightower Report: The New Founder: What is Gov. Greg Abbott ... https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2017.../the-hightower-report-the-new-founder/ Jan 20, 2017 - The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – at the direction of ... newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com.

Hightower: Koch brothers still trying to influence state, local elections ... lubbockonline.com/.../hightower-koch-brothers-still-trying-influence-state-local-electi... Nov 19, 2016 - —At least five Koch-funded groups are sponsors of and active participants in ALEC, including Americans for Prosperity, State Policy Network (a ...

Richard Heckler 6 months, 1 week ago

37 years of voting in ALEC RINO conservatives AND the Fundamentalist MINORITY has provided what?


The ALEC/Fundamentalist Platform Conservatives MUST Adhere to ..... NO matter the rhetoric played to voters.


The ALEC War ON America:

--- War against Medical Insurance and Single Payer

--- War on public education and Higher Education

--- War against women

--- War on Voters Rights

--- War on strict gun regulations

--- War On National Monuments/Parks

--- War On Environmental Cleanliness

--- War On Good Wages aka Right To Work Legislation

--- War On USA Jobs aka Free Trade Agreements and Leveraged Buyout Scams

--- War On Social Security Insurance

--- War On Medicaid

--- War On Medicare

--- War for Oil Control Worldwide

--- War on truth about global warming/climate change http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/03/30/174616/koch-denial-machine/

Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org

Corporate Welfare Profiteering http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-in-state-legislatures/#Voter

Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/27/the_united_states_of_alec_bill

=== Pay close attention to this 24/7 organized activity: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic

--- How the Koch brothers helped dismantle the Democratic Party https://samsmitharchives.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/6467/

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