Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is putting his conservative credentials at risk by stumping to have an extension to the state sales tax in order to use the cash for advanced schooling funding. Since a phone call for additional taxes will probably put him at odds using the Legislature’s conservative lawmakers, Brownback is taking his appeal straight to the voters by looking into making personal appearances and speeches all around the state.
Legislators have previously expressed the need to end the florida sales tax and impose further advanced schooling funding cuts to close a budget deficit of nearly $700 million in next year’s budget. If Brownback manages to win over both public opinion and Kansas Republicans, any political benefits which are gained will accrue directly to him.
However, according to Bob Beatty, who\’s a professor of political science at Washburn University, Brownback is an enviable position of not standing to get rid of anything regardless of the eventual outcome.
\”If he loses, he\’d say, \’The Legislature didn\’t accept me, however i fought for advanced schooling,\’?\” said Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty.
\”This may be the sort of thing,\” Beatty said, \”that can drive Brownback\’s opponents crazy.\”
While critics can argue the governor\’s tax cuts set the stage for paring back higher education and other state services, the detailed explanation of how it unfolded may be a hard case to create in the heat of the election.
\”It would be much easier to say, \’I went to the campuses and urged that people protect higher education,\’?\” Beatty said.
Of course, Brownback’s sincerity could be tested when the lawmakers carry the day and he’s include a position to sign or veto the final version of your budget. So far, he\’s not committed one way or the other.
Meanwhile, he’s touring university campuses around Kansas, starting with Wichita State earlier this week accompanied by a stop at the University of Kansas. Next week he will deliver a speech in the University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas City Community College.
However, Brownback has trouble getting House members to aid the tax extension. Many conservatives either voted against it in 2010 or campaigned from the sales tax to get elected. It puts the governor within an unfamiliar political position.
\”In some methods it makes him look (like) a rather more moderating force within the politics of the state,\” said Wichita State University political scientist Ed Flentje. \”I have no idea that\’s where he really wants to be.\”
Democrats think that\’s clearly by design.
\”They are attempting to make him look more moderate,\” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. \”(But) people know that the Republicans have total control of government and he\’s in control.\”