Brownback Says They’Ve Found extra State Money

September 23, 2014 - Leave a Response

Kansas’ incumbent Republican Governor Sam Brownback says his administration has found about $100 million in “efficiencies” . Brownback told KMBC TV in an exclusive interview the money does not come from program cuts.
“We’ve already found–we’re going to be announcing this this week–we think, another 10 million dollars of efficiencies in state government,” Brownback said.
Earlier this year, the non-partisan Legislative Research department estimated the state would be facing a $238 million dollar shortfall without added money.
“This is nothing new to me,” The Governor noted of the budget shortfall. He was talking about a large budget hole he confronted when he first took office in 2011. Bornwback as cut back the number of employees and reduced some state programs because of the budget crunch.
“We’re going to be able to handle this and get on through it,” Brownback said.
Brownback was in Overland Park Tuesday afternoon for an official gubernatorial stop, as opposed to a campaign visit.
He participated in the official ribbon cutting for the expansion of the Black and Veatch engineering firm headquarters.
Brownback’s two years of tax cuts are a central issue of the campaign.
Two leading credit rating companies, Moody’s and S&P’s have downgraded Kansas’ bond rating this year, citing concerns about the state’s finances.

Disclosure/ Orman Would Be Among the Wealthiest if Elected to Senate

September 22, 2014 - Leave a Response

KC Star:
Independent candidate Greg Orman would be one of the richest senators in Washington if Kansas voters send him there in November.

Orman owns assets worth between $21.5 million and nearly $86 million, according to a news release and financial documents provided by his campaign Monday.

The average of that range — $64.5 million — would have placed him fifth on the 2012 list of wealthiest senators, according to figures compiled by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.

Senate disclosures do not include precise figures for assets or income. Instead, filers must only provide a general range of values for each.

Read more here:

Kansas Candidate Taylor was a Strip Years Ago During Raid

September 21, 2014 - 2 Responses

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis dismissed as irrelevant reports Saturday that he was at a strip club when it was raided in a search for drugs 16 years ago.

A Montgomery County sheriff’s office report, first reported by The Coffeyville Journal, says police found Davis on a couch in a private room with a woman wearing a G-string when the club Secrets was raided in August 1998. Other law enforcement reports later obtained by other media appear to confirm that account.

The House minority leader from Lawrence said he was not charged, arrested or detained.

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody has ever accused me of any wrongdoing,” Davis said during a stop Saturday afternoon to meet campaign workers in downtown Overland Park.

Davis was 26 and single at the time the raid occurred, about five years before he entered the Legislature.

The Davis campaign released a statement from the police chief in Independence, Kan., who led the 1998 raid.

“Paul was not, and never to my knowledge, the focus of that or any other investigation,” Police Chief Harry Smith said in the statement. “He was simply questioned briefly and released.”

Davis said the club was represented by the owner of the law firm he worked for at the time. In a separate statement Saturday, he said his boss at the law firm took him to the club.


Kansas Overseas Ballots Going Out With a Warning

September 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

(AP)– Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says about 500 voters living overseas will be told they may have to re-vote in the U.S. Senate race after ballots were mailed to them Saturday.

The Kansas election official on Friday directed counties to begin mailing overseas ballots under a federal deadline.

The ballots will have no Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race after the Kansas Supreme Court ordered Kobach to honor nominee Chad Taylor’s request to remove his name. Some Democrats pushed Taylor out to help independent candidate Greg Orman’s chances of defeating Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

Kobach said Democrats are still obligated to pick a new nominee.

Schools & Taxes Dominate JoCo Governor’s Debate

September 19, 2014 - Leave a Response

With the polls showing incumbent Republican Governor Sam Brownback trailing in a very red state, the Governor went on the offensive during the second debate of the fall campaign.

The forum featured Brownback, Democrat Paul Davis and Libertarian candidate Keen Umbeher.

Brownback warned the Johnson County audience Democrat Davis might hurt their schools.

Education is a big topic in Johnson County at all times. Brownback is in political trouble with some local Johnson County Republicans for their view he’s cut the schools too much.

He warned the audience today Davis could be worse.

“What he’s talking about when he’s talking about money for schools is your money, but not your schools,” Brownback charged.

Davis responded, saying because of the deep Brownback tax cuts and the possibility of a billion budget shortfall in the coming years, Brownback will have to make school cuts.

“The best example of future behavior is past behavior. And what he’s going to do is cut school more,” Davis said.

Davis accuses Brownback of making the largest cuts ever in the state school budget because the basic per pupil spending in the state has dropped.

Brownback says his administration has put a record of amount of money in the school budget. Some of those funds are to replenish the teacher pension fund.

Davis says that money does not get into the classroom.

Libertarian Keen Umbehr says the state should not be shifting school money from wealthier districts to poorer ones just because they don’t value education.

While Brownback was on the offense during much of the debate, both Davis and Umbehr attacked his tax plans.

“I feel like this is kind of 2 against 1”, he said at one point.

The conservative republican defended his tax cuts as a way to bring more jobs to the state, especially for small business.

As he made the claim, the Kansas Department of Labor was announcing the state created 900 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs throughout the state during August.

The Kansas unemployment rate remains at 4.9% for the second straight month.t. Davis said the Brownback tax cut plan was a “one size fits all” plan. He said what works in affluent suburban Johnson County may not work in rural Kansas and small towns like Garden City.

Another unusual aspect of the debate was the amount of news coverage it attracted. National news organizations sent reporters and crews into to cover the event.

Normally the re-election of a Republican in Kansas is purely a state story.

Bownbacxk, however, is trailing in the polls and the political climate of the state is more interesting than normal this fall.

Even three term US Senator Pat Roberts, once considered a shoo-in, in trailing in some polls and is a close race with an independent candidiate.


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