Archive for Friday, October 8, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates tangle over taxes, schools

Democrat Tom Holland of Baldwin City, left, and Republican Sam Brownback, Topeka, want to be Kansas' next governor.

Democrat Tom Holland of Baldwin City, left, and Republican Sam Brownback, Topeka, want to be Kansas' next governor.

October 8, 2010

— In their only televised debate in the race for governor, Democrat Tom Holland and Republican Sam Brownback on Thursday tangled over taxes and school funding.

They were joined in the forum on KWCH-TV by Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon.

On the issue of taxes, Holland proposed a commission to consider the state’s numerous sales tax exemptions, and then have the Legislature vote up or down on the commission’s recommendations.

“Some of those exemptions make sense, others don’t,” said Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City.

But Brownback, a U.S. senator, said removing tax exemptions was the same as raising taxes, which he said he opposed. He said the state needs to consider the totality of tax policy and see whether changes are needed.

Both Gray and Cannon said they opposed increasing taxes. Cannon said he was the only candidate to support a so-called fair tax, a proposal to replace most taxes with a single sales tax.

On school finance, Holland said Brownback’s intention to reform the school finance formula without saying how “should raise a lot of red flags.” Holland said he opposes cutting school funding, and wants to increase money to education as the economy improves.

All four candidates said they opposed the statewide ban on indoor smoking in public venues, such as bars and restaurants. Holland voted against the ban during the last legislative session, saying the decision should be left up to local governments.

Brownback said he agreed with local control on the smoking issue, and expressed displeasure with the statewide ban’s exemption of state-owned casinos, saying that was hypocritical. He said if elected governor he would be interested in imposing the smoking ban on casinos.

After record budget cuts in recent years, the candidates were asked how they would secure funding for social services.

Holland said he worked with a bipartisan group in the Legislature that did the hard work of passing a balanced budget that will provide services for vulnerable Kansans.

“Senator Brownback has never created a job or balanced a budget,” he said.

Brownback said the key to providing funds for needed services was to improve the economy.

“We have to grow our way out of this,” he said, adding that means reducing regulations and holding down taxes.

The best one-liner in the debate may have been delivered by Cannon. Brownback referred several times during the debate to his policy statements contained in what he calls his “Road Map for Kansas.” Cannon said, “Kansans are not lost. We don’t need a road map.”

After the debate, which lasted less than 30 minutes, Holland called for more candidate forums.

Brownback has agreed to one more debate later this month, but Holland has turned that one down, in part he said, because it is hosted by conservative talk radio hosts. There are no other debates scheduled at this time. The Thursday debate on KWCH will be broadcast on Saturday on KTKA in Topeka.


BaldwinDad 7 years, 6 months ago

Figures....I always love how the independents want to debate the issues but empty suits like Brownback wont do it unless they can control the forum and questions.

I think there should be some sort of Election reform in which they can't hold the election unless their has been at least 4 debates prior to the election each one focusing on one aspect of the current term, like Education, Taxes, Social issues, and General information.

Personally, i can't vote for Brownback since I just don't trust him and his vague answers. I'm not sure I can trust Holland for the same reasons. I want a Governor that realizes that the private sector will do a much better job on a lot of these issues if Govt will just simply gets out of the way.


NanCrisp 7 years, 6 months ago

Spot on! I'm going to vote for Tom Holland based on what I've seen him do in both the Kansas House and Senate. And Sam Brownback has been a political opportunist for decades. He came onto the political stage back in the mid-'80s when I was working for the Kansas Press Association. There was a LOT of talk about him around Topeka, even then. Not a very trusted soul. And through the years he's done everything to prove we were right about him all along.

But I am as frustrated as you are about the way Holland's campaign managers are running this. In 2004 I was disgusted with the Republicans after watching their militaristic fear-mongering national convention. Well, this campaign season, I've been similarly disgusted with many of the fear-mongering tactics that the Democrats are employing. Tom Holland is an excellent candidate. In these final weeks of the campaign, we need to see more of that and less of the sophomoric name-calling against Brownback. Most of us do not need reasons not to vote for Sam; we already know we don't want to vote for him. But a lot of people in this state would like to be able to feel good about voting for Tom.


hipgrrrrl 7 years, 6 months ago


Political Landscape of Kansas Changing

– October 6, 2010

Kansans are asking if the political landscape of Kansas and America has begun to change. Looking at the numbers, the answer has to be “Yes”.

The Kansas Secretary of State provides voter registration statistics on their website. The data is published irregularly, and the most current published numbers for voter registration are from June 1st 2010. When we look at these statistics we find some surprising facts.

Using the most current published statistics, 2010 Year-To-Date, the only political party with positive growth in registered voters is the Libertarian Party of Kansas. Republican, Democrat, and Reform have lost voters.

In the last 11 months the same holds true. The Libertarian Party shows growth; all other parties have been shrinking.

The same is also true for the last 18 months.

In the last 22 months, both the Libertarian and Democrat Party show positive growth while the Republican and Reform demonstrate a near two year trend of losses in the number of registered voters. As a percentage, the Libertarian Party’s growth over this time is three times greater than that of the Democrat Party.

The only other category that has shown growth similar to the Libertarian Party of Kansas is unaffiliated voters. Data from the most recent months shows that the Libertarian Party’s growth is even eclipsing that of the unaffiliated voters.

It’s not just voter registration data that demonstrates this morphing of the political landscape. A recent Gallup Poll showed that nationwide 58% of Americans want a third political party.

“The desire for a third party is fairly similar across ideological groups, with 61% of liberals, 60% of moderates, and 54% of conservatives believing a third major party is needed. That is a narrower gap than Gallup has found in the past; conservatives have typically been far less likely than liberals and moderates to support the creation of a third party.” 9/17 Gallup Poll


NanCrisp 7 years, 6 months ago

This is very interesting. I've taken a good, long look at the Libertarian Party myself. I agree with the basic ideology and I find myself in agreement with most of the points made on their website. I tend to wonder if the undercurrent is too "corporate." In the past, they have put up candidates who, I think, had their own agenda. And that would be a big-corporate agenda that would be detrimental to the general public and to small business. Still, we need a truly viable third political party and I feel much more strongly about that than I feel about anything else in the current U.S. political climate.


BaldwinDad 7 years, 6 months ago

Spot on, this is pretty much the reason why I'm thinking of voting Libertarian this year. That and I love their proposal for Education.


flying26u 7 years, 6 months ago

Both are weak. Holland is LAZY attending only 50% of legislative sessions and is a LIBERAL looking to expand government, (commissions etc). Brownbeck although a republican is without balls. Supported Sabelius who is PRO ABORTION in face she is called the ABORTION QUEEN TO inherit her votes. Some say he should be called BROWN -NOSE INSTEAD OF BROWNBACK.

Some say he has a hidden/secret plan to join Obama's clan.


greyghost 7 years, 6 months ago

I like it when people post messages while drunk.


BaldwinDad 7 years, 6 months ago

Someone seems to have lost their tinfoil hat.

Why some of what you say might be true your presentation comes off as crazy and angry. Plus you really give not other options other then Republicans or Democrats??


defenestrator 7 years, 6 months ago

Not lost. Just wearing it up their backside.


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