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Do you agree with Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to abolish the Kansas Arts Commission?

Response Percent Votes
76% 1649
21% 466
I’m not sure
2% 51
Total 2166


Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 5 months ago

This leaves Kansas as the only state in America without an arts board or commission. What's next? How backwards is this? Kansas appears to be the leading state in a race to the 1920s.

kinder_world 6 years, 5 months ago

Not totally true.

California famously cut its arts commission budget from $38 million to just over $1 million during a budget crisis a decade ago; its money partially comes from a license-plates-for-the-arts program.

In Arizona, the commission would lose all its money from the state’s general revenue fund. In Washington state, it would be shrunk dramatically and merged into the Commerce Department, its level of independence uncertain.

South Carolina. Newly elected South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley singled out two agencies for elimination: South Carolina Educational Television, and the state’s Arts Commission.

Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry has proposed cutting the arts agency’s entire $5 million appropriation.

Search the internet and you may find more.

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

Funny thing is...Cali still has an art market, and their budget is most then just over $1 million...hell, I know three museums in the Los Angeles area who, put together, get more money than that in funding from the state.

Arizona and Washington still have their arts boards/commissions as of right you can't put that in this conversation.

In South Carolina, both the house and senate are in the process voting those programs back in, and there has been talk of getting Gov. Haley out of office, even by new papers and stations, besides the fact that SC doesn't really have that much of an art scene...almost less than what Kansas does.

In Texas, I just got back from there two weeks ago, Dallas to be exact, from a conference to save the arts. It is very unlikely that they will get all $5M cut, as several news agencies have reported.

As you said, search the internet, read news papers, listen to the new radio, and you will see that Brownback is doing so much more than any other governor in this country to kill the arts...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

Republicans don't tend to have original ideas on much of anything these days. They have a well-financed and fairly centralized network of think-tanks that give them their marching orders, and they are quite disciplined in carrying them out.

State arts commissions, public employees, the working poor, the middle class and unions of any kind are all targets of a primarily corporate agenda that seeks to finally and fully bring all government functions (those that remain) under corporate hegemony.

Milton Friedman would celebrate these corprofascist campaigns, but right now, just as they did in Chile and other places, they seem to be overreaching. Let's hope it doesn't get as violent and repressive here as it did in those places before they are stopped.

gkerr 6 years, 5 months ago

Have to begin cutting state spending somewhere now don't we? Or do you want to raise taxes again for the umpteenth time in the past 30 years. To the state of Kansas I say quit spending so darn much, we taxpayers can't afford it- we are cutting back ourselves in our own families budgets and inflation is gathering on the horizon. Geez if they measured inflation like they did in the early 90's it would be at ten percent. I'm retired and saved for years dollars that cost me dear- now government is destroying the purchasing power of my savings. If I have to choose between an art commission and more taxes or more deficit spending it's all to easy to choose to cut the commission and many other government projects and services.

Arthur McElhenie 6 years, 5 months ago

Our right wing nuts in Topeka keep reminding me of the question I ask every day, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Answer? The populace keeps electing these idiots.

Gareth Skarka 6 years, 5 months ago

Ooooh! Wicked BURN!!

What a comeback! The devastating rhetorical come-uppance of ALL TIME.

gkerr 6 years, 5 months ago

hey fredmac, were you named after THE Freddy Mac of DC fame that is busted and was significantly responsible for rules and regulations voted in by congress that initiated the whole debt crises in the first place. Yow, we don't need that sort of irresponsible graft and corruption in Topeka or Lawrence any more than we want it in DC.

Seems that big spenders on the left want to keep getting duped and then bitterly complain about Bush or right wingers for causing what entrenched leftists like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and the like did in the first place to initiate the debt crisis albeit after 70 years of excess deficit spending.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

The recent investigation into the causes of the meltdown disagrees with you - they found that Freddie and Fannie, while contributing factors, were not significant causes of it.

Even Republicans who were involved thought that was the case.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 5 months ago

When entering a donated arts building notice the name in most cases denotes a very generous rich person. I could go on about free enterprise and giving, but...........

Also think about Joltin Joe Biden and his thoughtfulness with actual cash money donations.

Libs talk about giving, conservatives give.

So, with stating this, let the bashing begin on a very small populous state governor and his courageous decision in horrible economic times.

Go Sam Go, cut deeper we r broke.

notanota 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, cut more jobs and take away federal matching money. States always get richer by cutting back on revenue generating activity like employment and matching grants.

woodscolt 6 years, 5 months ago

"Libs talk about giving, conservatives give."

Now there is a no fact based line of crap. chearleaders. raw raw raw go team go.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

Too bad this will probably cost us money rather than save it.

youngjayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

So incredibly sad for our state but not surprising!

BlackVelvet 6 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me that all those who hate Kansas know where the border is. The sooner the better, too.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 5 months ago

uh, perhaps the MAJORITY of us here want one thing and yet those in the MINORITY think we should give up what WE want so YOU can have what YOU want? It's not about turning tail and giving up.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 5 months ago

and by the way, are you related to LJW editors? When I even THINK of calling someoe a name (any name) MY post gets deleted. Congrats I guess, seems you have an "in."

John Hamm 6 years, 5 months ago

Youse folks wanna "Arts Commission" so much - fund one! with your money, not mine.

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey let me ask you this...what then would you want your money to go to besides funding something that creates jobs (not just in Topeka but allows communities like Salina, Junction City, Dodge, Wichita, Emporia, Lawrence and so many other cities around the state), brings in money from the National Endowment for the Arts and other government matching programs, as well as private donations. This institution actually brings in more money for the state than it cost to run it, almost by triple if you actually do the math.

So if you don't want your money to go to something that has proven to help the state, bring money into the state and create jobs, then what do you want your money to go to?

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

Results of a two-year Kansas Economic Impact Of The Arts Study indicate that expenditures by arts and culture organizations and audiences total more than $153.5 million.

That $153.5 million generates the following:

4612 full time equivalent jobs $95 million in household income $6 million in local government tax revenues $9 million in state government tax revenues

Read the full report.

$9 million in state government tax revenues as a return on an investment of less than $700,000. I wish my 401K could do as well.

Of course not all of the $153.5 million is directly attributable to the Kansas Arts Commission, but how well will the arts continue to play out in the only state without an Arts Commission? There may very well be a large and costly backlash.

The Kansas Arts Commission's $700,000 budget covers not only the wages of the five paid members, but also provides grants and establishes arts programs throughout the state, as well as paying for advertising, a very informative web site, etc.

For Brownback to turn a blind eye to the economic impact of the arts in Kansas, and focus only on the small but visible spending shows that he is more concerned with making a show of his tax cuts than he is with improving the actual state economy.

notanota 6 years, 5 months ago

He's done a fantastic job of preventing Western Kansans from being exposed to the horrors of ballet lessons and community theater performances.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 5 months ago

Jay, good good goodie, so why the 700K?

FlintHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Regardless of whether or not you support a Kansas Arts Commission, doesn't it bother any of you Bb defenders that the manner in which he killed the Commission also kills the judicial-legislative-executive balance? Do you believe the end justifies his means? Last time I looked we were still a Republic. And why does criticizing Bb make us "Kansas haters"?

Mike Ford 6 years, 5 months ago


notanota 6 years, 5 months ago

Jobs aren't on the list during the downturn? We should get rid of more jobs now, because cutting jobs is how you grow the economy? Really? The $700k he "saved" will now cost us matching grants and jobs. Remember how he was focused on jobs? And did I forget to mention the jobs he's cutting here?

Kyle Neuer 6 years, 5 months ago

He'll use those "saved dollars" to give more tax breaks to people that don't need the money, of course.

notanota 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, because more money in your pocket means more people you employ. Just ask the Kochs who... oh wait, they laid off bunches of workers as they reaped record profits during the economic downturn. Clearly they just didn't have enough tax cuts.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

Like most Kansans, I probably know very little about the Arts Commission.

That being said, I think Brownback went to unusual lengths to kill the Commission. I think this is interesting and there seems to be more going on here than just saving money.

In other words, I think there must be much more behind this than cost savings and we are not getting the whole story.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago


Does the LJW do investigative journalism?

blindrabbit 6 years, 5 months ago

If you grew up around Parker, Kansas, you would understand Smilin Sam's position on "The Arts"; no prior exposure!

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

What's dull and gray and has a brown back?

Kansas without an Arts Commission!

mloburgio 6 years, 5 months ago

it turns them in to sheeple so they can follow pious sam back to the 40's and his goal of WW2 values in kansas.

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 5 months ago

"I don't see where either party ever did much to help that part of the state."

You answered your own question...if retardlicans have been in the majority in this State since like the '50s or something and things have gotten progressively worse for western Kansans, then logically they should jump on the progressive bandwagon, which would encourage investment of public funds in the areas with the most need; after all, Kansas' roots are progressive.

And now with the neo-conservitards, whose mantra is "cut cut cut, spending bad, tax-cuts good", western Kansas is left to the vultures.

denak 6 years, 5 months ago

I would be fine with Brownback eliminating the Arts Commision if he also agreed to eliminate any pet project related to Kobach.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually Parker Kansas is East of Lawrence near a large metro complex full of art.

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

It is east of Lawrence? maybe by a mile or two. and what large metro complex full of art is it close to? Garnett? When was the last time you were in that City (and if you didn't know, it is south and a little west on highway 59, or Iowa street in Lawrence), or are you referring to Osawatomie? No...that isn't really that big...and other things go on there instead of art...maybe you are referring to Lacygne...or Mound City...see the thing is, I personally have been by Parker many times on my way to southern Kansas to visit family, I live in Lawrence. Basically wissmo, what I'm saying is learn geography, history and where art is actually located at before posting. Thank you!

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

and if you want to be tech. about things...Lebo is bigger than Parker is I believe and is a lot closer to, what did you call it, "large metro complex full of art"...oh hold on...that's just Emporia...but it is still closer than Parker is to any city of any size.

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

I know that...I was simply referring to the fact that the above poster said that Parker was close to a huge art mecca...which it is not...It is about an hour away from Spring Hill, which is still, what...10 minutes out side of Olathe/Overland park. That is not close.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey Magellan, wanna lay 10k on who can be in Overland Park first, I leaving Parker, you leaving Lawrence.

I know more about Kansas than the average bear. Oh, I'll save you time Columbus, cut back to the Louisburg Road, hightail it past L. town 4 lane bust it about 4 miles and you are in O.P.

Think I can get you to JO-CO in about 10 minutes from Parker.

The point of the whole post was if you live in Parker, you are really part of the Metro Area. (of course unless you live in Lawrence)

Stephen Roberts 6 years, 5 months ago

We had an Arts Commission?? Wow I didn't know that but also I didn't get any money from them...

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

Ever go to a concert, museum, theater performance? If yes, then you have benefited from the Arts Commission. If not, what a shame.

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

and you paid a whopping 30 cents last year to fund it.

independant1 6 years, 5 months ago

tough economic/fiscal times require tough decisions. i'm okay getting gov't out of promoting the Arts. (even though i are1)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

This wasn't a "tough" decision. It was petty and ideological, and will eliminate many more jobs than it produces.

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

Interesting point. And what kind of jobs are we hoping to create? Menial labor? Factory work? I mean really. A vibrant jobs environment is one in which all sectors are represented and I've yet to see or hear anything about what jobs are going to be created by those rich tax avoiding business people.

Charlie Bannister 6 years, 5 months ago

After reading some of these outlandish comments it was refreshing to read the comment by independant1. He (she) is a realist and an adult. He (she) is a member of the arts world but realizes that government should not be involved in something like that. Arts needs to receive its funding from private sources. It can and will be done. If not, then so what? We will survive. Limited government means just that. Keep taxes low and government's involvement in our lives to the barest of minimums. Bravo Gov. Brownback!! You are shaping up to be one of the best governors we have ever had!!

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

Government is what we choose to do together. If we do not value the arts, the environment, our health and well being collectively, then WHAT are we??? And yet that 'small government' makes decisions for our private lives that inflict narrowly defined morality and beliefs on everyone. I would rather we work together for the enrichment of all than the empowerment of the few.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

Increasing taxes on the wealthy, alone, most certainly will not cure our budget problems. But as I noted in another post, unless you deem the creation of a great deal of human suffering as a necessary cost of balancing the budget, then those taxes do need to be substantially raised.

To be sure, there will also need to be large cuts in spending if anything approaching a balanced budget is to be achieved (let's ignore for the moment whether the budget really needs to be balanced-- something that's rarely happened in our 235-year history.)

There are really only a few areas that can be cut without causing a great deal of human suffering. Those cuts have to come from the defense budget, and otherwise, from subsidies of all sorts to major corporate entities that couldn't survive without them-- many of whom were responsible for creating this economic crisis in the first place.

But I'm sure Republicans will continue to insist that the budget must be balanced on the backs of the working poor and the middle class, the disabled and the elderly.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

So what will happen to the people who are being laid off? Will they be able to just go out and get a job the next day? I mean one that pays a living wage. Or will we be paying them unemployment? Food stamps? Oh, yeah, we need to get rid of those things also. Then these unemployed people will just disappear.

There are a number of people who would do well to study the difference between macro- and micro-economics---or economics in general.

insearchofauniqueid 6 years, 5 months ago

so how many famous artists has kansas produced in the last decade? Any?

williampic 6 years, 5 months ago

You miss the point ..... The arts are not publically funded to develop a few famous artists; rather, they are publically funded to broaden our perspectives, multiply our compassionate deeds. and increase our tolerance of alternate points of view. How would you grade citizens of Kansas who have experienced the arts? I think there is little evidence that we are becoming a more broad minded, compassionate and tolerant people --- in fact the opposite is true. Therefore, maybe we could spend that money elsewhere and achieve our goals to become a better people in a different way.

williampic 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you totally. I think funding the arts out of public funds needs to be cut since it has not achieved the goals they set out to achueve. I think a better model is like the Kansas Public Radioi which has fund drives. I would give $50 to $100 dollars every year top fund the arts in my community.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

If the budget for the KAC was $6.7 million, instead of $0.67 million, you might have a point. But any fair analysis says this move costs more than it saves.

This was pure culture wars, not budget balancing. Can't we at least expect him to be honest about that?

midwestarts 6 years, 5 months ago

My question to you is, do you know of any famous artist? and what is your definition of "famous"? If you are referring to one who has had showings all over the US and Europe, and being interviewed by organizations like the BBC, I can think of one, who was born and raised in Lawrence, and still resides there.

My question you know the difference between a Van Gogh and a Monet?

Steve Miller 6 years, 5 months ago

Otherwise do the know the difference between brush and big timber ?

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

Not sure what your point is, dudedog, but, yes, I know the difference both between brush and big timber and a Van Gogh and a Monet. The knowledge of one does not preclude the knowledge of the other. It is not only the "snobby elite" who appreciate art. Even some of us rural/small town folks do.

And the Kansas Arts Commission helps bring art to those who might otherwise not learn to appreciate it.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Except that folks did in fact communicate with their legislators, and those legislators listened, and opposed closing the commission.

So, the people spoke, the legislature responded, and Brownback ignored all of that.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Useless if the governor simply thwarts the will of the people as expressed through the legislature.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

Holy Jesus in a jar of pee, batman!

The teapublicans are eroding the foundation of our democratic experiment.

They have become extraordinarily cynical toward any thing that hints at the idea of public good or social welfare.

Even to the point of irrationally condemning institutions that make good sense.

The constituency of those who avoid critical thinking has reached a critical mass.

The mantra has been simplified for the simpletons, and it's echoing off the walls.

Private Everything Over Public Anything!

That goes for labor, health care, education, the arts, you name it.

Private Everything Over Public Anything!

Teapublicans are wiping their butts with the social contracts signed by our ancestors, and claiming that to do anything else is socialist and un-American.

Holy Jesus in a jar of pee, batman! Where do we go from here?

number1jayhawker 6 years, 5 months ago

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything the Gov't runs or controls that makes money, but they sure know how to spend it.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

exactly my point dude. It's not the job of the government to make money. It's the job of the government to spend money, our money, on things that benefit us all.

Why has this simple concept been so inexplicably erased from the otherwise critical minds of common sense folks?

Since when did profitability become a viability test?

Since when did America start loving capitalism more than democracy?

After listening to Glen Beck on the radio this morning, I think I have an idea. The man is literally spitting in the minds of millions of Americans, causing them to think less rationally, and be more fearful of our own government, with every bitter comment.

Now that's what I call treason.

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

Capitalist Idea for Funding the Arts:

Presenting the new "Flex-a-Sack Brownback" doll.

Doll features super human bulge in front of trousers and "Kung-Fu Death Grip" on public education.

Sell them for $30 a pop. Fund the arts. Easy.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

Can we apply the same formula to military spending?

thebigspoon 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

independant1 6 years, 5 months ago

the gang of thugs - republican thugs wrested control from democrat thugs. been swinging back and forth as long as I can remember. all thugs just the same. a dem ain't worth any more than a repub.

tunahelper 6 years, 5 months ago

take away ALL the money from the stupid art commission. stupid leftist whiners.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

There is publicly funded art in the Kansas State Capitol and in the Governor's Mansion. I wonder how much Brownback will get for it once he sells it all. He couldn't possibly take such a stand against public art and then work around and live with all that publicly funded art, could he?

Art is a form of education. Take a walk through an art museum (the Spencer is a fine example) and see what you learn about the past and present, in America and around the world. Brownback is clearly against education for the masses.

You get what you vote for folks.

purplesage 6 years, 5 months ago

It is graduation weekend. Time to face the real world and all that. I guess the arts commission just graduated to having to find its own way in the world. Maybe some of the flakiness will fall off and the arts will become more reality based.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

When politicians allow their personal values run the show it's time for a recall!!!

Kontum1972 6 years, 5 months ago

so he will not have his portrait painted by some well known artist to hang in the Hall of Gov's?...

average 6 years, 5 months ago

This state and this nation managed some (actually, pretty substantial) public funding of the arts during the dust bowl and Great Depression.

This state and this nation managed some public funding of the arts during the ration-card days of WWII.

Have we decided that the current problems are more severe than either of those times? Then let's get out the WWII era tax rates and rationing, then, if it's really a crisis of that proportion.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 5 months ago

It might be possible to reorganize funding for the Arts Commission, but it would require a planned transition for the arts to survive. SB's approach is cut throat and probably does not save enough money to cover the cost of voter ID's.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

At the very least, they could have come up with a compromise plan that would delay the destruction of the Arts Commission and transition it into a privately funded program. I don't know how this would have effected federal funds but at least they could have considered options.

What they did was take the horse to the back of the barn and put it down.

End of story.

acg 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't agree with anything he's done. He's a boil on the ass of humanity and I can't stand him.

Centerville 6 years, 4 months ago

" it would require a planned transition for the arts to survive" Oh, please.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 4 months ago

Would you care to elaborate? Do you think the arts will survive with one month's notice? Or, do you think the arts are not a priority?

Centerville 6 years, 4 months ago

"the manner in which he killed the Commission also kills the judicial-legislative-executive balance" . Now, that is funny. I love it when libs get all theatrical.

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