By 2015, Kansas K-12 education will have been cut over $1,000 since 2008. That’s more than $100 per year. And it’s all thanks to Gov. Brownback and the Kansas GOP who doubled down on more education cuts when they “passed a plan this past weekend to drain the state’s reserves, cut taxes for the rich, raise taxes for many lower-income families, and slash education in the process.
The state is on a path to ruin unless it changes course.”
Republicans in the Kansas Legislature have flushed $330,000 down the drain fighting about how best to raise taxes on working Kansans. Share this if you think that $330,000 would have been better spent hiring ten new Kansas teachers and not paying Kansas legislatures for failing to do their job.
Lobbyists seeking to influence state laws have spent $380,000 feeding, entertaining and giving gifts to legislators in the first three months of this year.
But you will never know how three-fourths of that money was spent because the state disclosure law doesn’t require it.
Records obtained from the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission show that more than 74 percent of lobbyist spending, almost $285,000, was reported as “unitemized” on state forms, meaning that it can’t be linked to any particular lawmaker or event.
From day one, the Kansas Democratic Party, tax policy experts, and Kansas workers have decried Gov. Sam Brownback’s ill-conceived 2012 tax bill that threatens education funding and core services while blowing a projected $2.5 billion hole in state budget by 2018. This special interest giveaway to big business and the wealthiest Kansans deserves all the scorn that has been heaped upon its festering back, but even we were surprised to read this quote in Governing magazine’s article “What’s wrong with Kansas’ tax reform:
At a recent Urban Institute forum, two policy analysts who follow state and local finances were asked a simple question: What’s the worst and best tax bill a state passed this past year? Without hesitation, both Nick Johnson, an economist with the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Joseph Henchman, a lawyer with the right-leaning Tax Foundation, gave the same answer. Kansas, they said, was the worst.
Economists on the both sides of the aisle agree: Sam Brownback got it exactly wrong. That helps explain why over the past few weeks, Governor Brownback has made it a habit to lie about his policies and ignore the economic realities facing Kansas. Worst of all, Brownback is doubling down on the worst tax plan in America, arguing for bigger tax breaks for the richest Kansans while trying to raise our sales tax, kill tax relief for hard working Kansas homeowners, and slash the Earned Income Tax Credit, the best work promotion policy in Kansas.
Let Governor Brownback know he must stop balancing his budget on the backs of Kansas’s working families. Call 877-579-6757 or click here to email his office.
“Earlier today, the Mainstream Coalition learned that a political mailer was sent under the Mainstream name to Wyandotte County households attacking mayoral candidate Mark Holland. Make no mistake: the Mainstream Coalition DID NOT send this mailer, nor did its political action committee, MainPAC. As soon as Mainstream learned about the mailer, it lodged an official complaint with the Kansas Ethics Commission.
Even more troubling, the mailer misrepresents Mainstream’s position in this race: MainPAC endorsed Holland. As part of its endorsement process, MainPAC invited both Wyandotte County/KCK mayoral candidates to submit questionnaires. Holland completed one; his opponent, Ann Murguia, did not. After carefully reviewing Holland’s answers and his record as a Unified Government Commissioner, MainPAC determined that Holland would best represent what Mainstream values most: moderate politics, a separation of church and state, and a high-quality public education system.
Since the MainPAC endorsement, we have learned that Murguia has received support from extreme right-wing interests in Kansas, confirming that this element of Kansas politics is now trying to gain a foothold in one of the state’s last remaining moderate communities. One mailer attacking Holland was paid for by Americans for Prosperity, an organization that is funded by the Koch brothers, strong supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback’s agenda to starve Kansas of the resources it needs to protect the state’s quality of life.
Years ago our name was co-opted by a group of right-wing activists bent on confusing voters. They used our name to advance conservative causes that go against Mainstream values. That group long ago disappeared from the political landscape, and we continued to do business as “Mainstream Coalition.” Obviously, this group has re-emerged with the same purpose in mind: to confuse and manipulate voters. This is a malicious attempt to co-opt the name of an organization known for its moderate political stances and use it to advance the political fortunes of a candidate who is backed by extreme right wing organizations like Americans for Prosperity. We deplore such tactics. They are counterproductive to the healthy dialogue our communities need to address pressing challenges and underscores the lengths to which the extreme right will go to bully its way into every corner of this state, including Wyandotte County.
Founded in 1993, the MainStream Coalition is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote the separation of church and state, with an emphasis on public education and religious freedom.”
Additionally, MainStream Coalition : “We have confirmed that the group that put this out has ties to Americans for Prosperity and Koch Brother funds.” [source]
“It has come to our attention that a mailer attacking Kansas City, Kansas, mayoral candidate Mark Holland was sent out under the Mainstream Coalition name. This IS NOT a mailer that Mainstream created or mailed. It includes a post office box as a return address that IS NOT ours. In fact, Mainstream Coalition’s PAC, MainPAC, has endorsed Holland in the race.
Since we just learned about this fraudulant act within the last hour, we have many unanswered questions. We are doing our best right now to answer those questions, including who sent the mailer and from where and have lodged an official complaint with the KS Ethics Commission. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.”
Brownback, Kansas GOP pushing to raise taxes on middle-class
Last year, Governor Brownback and Republican legislators passed a bill that handed tax breaks to the extremely wealthy and big businesses, eliminating income taxes for most businesses and drastically reducing income taxes on the richest Kansans.
This year, Governor Brownback, the Kansas GOP Senate, and the Kansas GOP House have all introduced different tax proposals to help cover the massive tax breaks signed into law last year. They all differ in their design, but they all share one thing: they drastically and disproportionately raise taxes on middle-class Kansans.
Don’t believe us? Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, asked the non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department to run the numbers on all three plans. Here they are in all their gory detail (numbers in millions) [See photo]
All three plans raise taxes over the next five years and all three plans do it by taxing hard working Kansans, not big businesses or the richest Kansans. But it’s not surprising given the fact that Governor Brownback’s 2012 tax plancreated a $2.5 billion deficit - something needed to fill the last revenue from that round of tax breaks for top earners and business owners - and Brownback and the GOP think your hard earned dollars should be that something.
What’s worse, these tax increases won’t even cover the hole. That’s why Gov. Brownback and GOP legislators are proposing cutting higher ed, reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for struggling working families, and sweeping funds from parks and other self-sustaining programs. Check out exactly how cutting the EITC epitomizes the GOP’s approach to tax policy - paying for tax breaks for those who need them the least by raising taxes on working Kansans struggling to make it.
Gov. Brownback and his GOP allies are demonstrating exactly what they care about and it’s not schools, working families, wage earners, highways, or parks. It’s tax cuts for a narrow band of wealthy Kansans who will benefit personally while the rest of Kansas suffers.