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A 20 year old man walks into the breakroom at his barely-over-the-minimum wage job. The year is 1996 and his first vote for President is right around the corner. He sits down in the breakroom, opens the newspaper, and reads "Bill Clinton is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders." Every time the man turns on his radio or TV he hears "Bill Clinton is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

The man's friends and family tell him that "Bill Clinton is for workers!" The man rolls his eyes at the two extreme rhetorics and votes for the unzipped Democrat anyway.

Four years go by. The man is now married and has a working class Union job at the local bread factory, the third male in his family to work there. The man is making decent money as he watches his daughter take her first steps. He is disappointed that the two most Conservative laws passed in his lifetime were signed by a Democrat, the repeal of Glass-Steagal and NAFTA. He watches as the media reports that Al Gore rolled his eyes but somehow fails to mention that GWB promised to sign Cap and Trade.

He sits down in the breakroom, opens the newspaper, and reads "Al Gore is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

The man's friends and family tell him that "Al Gore is for workers!" The man rolls his eyes at the two extreme rhetorics and votes for Ralph Nader.

Four more years go by. Now the 28 year old man is sick and tired of GWB and blames himself for voting for Nader, even though he is disappointed in the number of Democrats who voted for an unfunded murderous war (rhymes with Billary). He still has the same good Union job. His family moves from Iowa to Kansas so his wife can go to a graduate school close to a bread factory. He believes his daughter should have every opportunity to succeed in life. The man has become an accidental Feminist without even thinking about it. The man even supports marriage equality, not because of politics, but because of the reality of his friends and family.

Still the man opens the newspaper, turns on the TV or radio and hears "John Kerry is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

The man's friends and family tell him that "John Kerry is for workers!" The man rolls his eyes at the two extreme rhetorics and votes Democratic anyway.

Four years later the 32 year old man and the nation have suffered through eight years of GWB. Enough is enough. He joins his Union Brothers and Sisters in fighting for Barrack Obama, the first (and only) Progressive/Populist national campaign of the man's lifetime. The man is vested in his Union and looks forward to the pension he contributes to every day of his life. His wife nears her Masters degree and the family grows to four with a second daughter.  

Nevertheless, the man opens the newspaper, turns on the TV or radio and hears "Barrack Obama is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

The man rolls his eyes and tells his friends and family "Barrack Obama is for workers!" He charges into the voting booth and casts the most exciting vote of his lifetime!!!

Four more years go by. The 36 year old man's Union job has been taken over by hedge funds. His pension contributions are being stolen directly off of his paycheck. He continues to go to work every day in the hopes that it will be worked out in court and through the Union. The Democratic party squanders it's historical House/Senate majority and does nothing significant to help the working class or protect pensions. His two daughters are little geniuses with bright futures. His wife is now chasing her Phd while his Union warns him that the bread factory may close and keep his pension contributions forever.

Even though this era will go down in history as a bipartisan golden age for Wall Street the man opens the newspaper, turns on the TV or radio and hears "Barrack Obama is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

He tells his coworkers "Barrack Obama is for workers....and at least he doesn't suck as bad as the Republicans." They roll their eyes at him as he hopes they vote Democratic anyway. Within days of the election the bread factory closes for good.

Another election cycle is passing and the man will be 40 years old soon. The stock market is at record highs while the poor and working class are seeing none of it. The hedge funds closed the bread factory in order to sell the brand name$ at auction and to keep the man's pension contributions, along with those of his Union Brothers and Sisters. He is now unemployed and his family is introduced to a new financial reality. He sends an email to the nearest elected Democrat in the Senate, Claire McCaskill, and asks her to help the bread factory workers. He receives a form letter in return asking for a contribution so that she can keep "fighting for workers." The man rolls his eyes as he enrolls at a nearby tech college.

He is now the freeloader he has heard so much about, receiving unemployment (too briefly) and tuition assistance. But at least his highly educated wife can support the family while he attends school. An advantage many of his former Union Brothers and Sisters do not share.

As the next election approaches the left of center voices the man has grown to trust have settled on a favorite. The man is not so sure about the choice. When he voices his concerns, they roll their eyes at him.  

Needless to say, when the man opens the newspaper, turns on the TV or radio he hears "Hillary Clinton is a lying socialist who will tax your paycheck and give your money to freeloaders."

The man does his daily routine of visiting the Dailykos, where he is reminded "Hillary Clinton is for workers!" The man rolls his eyes and....

Punch line below the fold-


Well, do ya?

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1. Did the law at the time Hillary was SoS say that all emails related to State Department business need to be archived, no matter what account the SoS used, personal or otherwise?
2. Does that include non-personal emails to foreign leaders/political activists, not just to State Department/Administration employees?
3. Did Hillary archive all of her non-personal emails to non-State Department/Administration employees, such as foreign leaders/political activists? Keep in mind that the phrase "political activists" includes any corporate lobbyist that wants to affect US trade laws.

If the answer to all three questions is "yes" then this is nothing more than a dime a dozen failure of journalism and the NYT owes her an apology.

If the answer to the first and second questions are "yes" and the third is "no", then this a failure of transparency and possibly illegal.

This is not about using her personal email. It is about archiving all emails related to State Department business. I see that she turned over all of her emails that were sent to State Department employees.

For government business, she emailed them on their Department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained," Nick Merrill said in an email.
But that information does not answer the questions about State Department business conducted with non-employees, such as foreign leaders/political activists.

It seems like the answers to questions 1 and 2 is "yes" according to the 2009 NARA, section 1236.22. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally, I would like to hear Hillary directly answer the 3rd question and put this to rest. I have too much respect for her to believe she would use the "email is new and confusing" argument or the "didn't know of the law" argument.

And no, Nick Merrill's comments are not specific enough to the three questions above. It almost sounds like he is trying to avoid the point altogether. But I guess that depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.

Just to be clear, I have every intent of voting for Hillary in 2016 if she is the nominee. But these are valid questions that I would have for anyone who wanted my vote and volunteer efforts.

Update- While I was working on this post a thorough diary from Cthulhu appeared. Please read that diary, which takes a deep look at the law.


Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM PST

Thank you for your concern-

by bluebarnstormer

trolling. Is that an acceptable title? It needs to be an accurate thesis statement for the points I'm about to make. Of course, you would have to read the rest of the post to make such an assessment.  Clearly this post is too long to read, but you've already gotten past the title. Besides, you wouldn't want to miss it if you were quoted would you?

I can't exactly STFU while under a barrage of STFU comments. That would be a like running from the issues. I am just being defensive and should let it go, right? But that's a loser strategy, like they have at the DNC. Why would I copy their failed blueprint? (Warning: substance and context follow)

There was a title at the top of the Rec list last Wednesday that offended me. IF the title were nothing more than a disagreement of opinion I would leave the author alone. Do unto others as they say. But this particular title was framed to take my statements out of context for the purpose of misleading others about my intent. I'd say that warrants a response.

"No, actually, Kossacks never were equivalent to the Tea Party, and never should be"
Notice that carefully placed phrase,  "Kossacks never were equivalent to the Tea Party". I never said or implied any such thing. The actual title-
"There used to be a Leftist Tea Party. They were called Kossacks. Remember them?"
Context matters, if you can't find enough context in the title, then perhaps that is why the post was written. My point remains, we are an activist movement on the Left who try to move our party. The Tea Party does the same thing on the right. They are successful, we are has-beens of yesteryear. They get what they want from their party, we get ignored. They hold the GOPs feet to the fire and end up moving both parties positions. That may be just my opinion, but it is mine. And shaming me into changing it insults my intelligence and contradicts the standards of this blog site.

The author first appeared in my comment section and insisted I change my title. I explained my context. At this point the author decided to double down.

"i don't care about the diary (1+ / 0-) i care about how this title will appear to casual readers."
He got a few responses to that one, but not from me. I do care about the diary and I was ready to move on. It would have been easier to change the title than go through what followed. But I could have never predicted where the day would take me.

He published his well framed post shortly after. But nowhere in his diary did he tell the reader HE HAD NOT READ MY POST! He had said it to me and others in the comments but never to the "casual reader".

"exactly (31+ / 0-) people are telling me to read the diary- i don't care about the diary, i care how its title will be perceived by the site's casual readers."
For some reason it slipped his carefully framed mind to inform his "casual readers" that he had not read the blog in question. Sure he said it in the comments, but not in the piece itself. A rather obvious oversight in a post lecturing on the optics of titles and casual readers. What was that you were saying about having nothing in common with the Tea Party?

If you want to say the optics are bad, fine. But don't create new optics with the intention of taking me out of context. Those optics are not fine, and demand that I stand up for myself. His post launched a mass of commenters into my post, all with obviously mislead perspectives about what I was trying to say. The tone had changed. The talking points had been made available in the form of a substance-free criticism of my title in a post filled with irrelevant Tea Party factoids, as if I had never heard of them before.

It sat at the top of the Rec list all day. How's that for embarrassing optics?

Those factoids were more of the careful framing of the author. By listing their criticisms of the Tea Party he gave his casual readers a false impression of just what such an "equivalent" was. He structured it to look like he was debating me, while bragging in the comments that he hadn't even read my post. No honest interpretation could believe that I support the Tea Party, even if they disagreed with my points.

This may come as a shock to you, but I can love the Royals and hate the Giants, while admitting they both play baseball. There were over 100 Recs on my post and hundreds of comments. I was not the only person who could admit that the Royals and Giants both play baseball. If you succeed at shutting me up, it might tell other bloggers to be careful where their criticisms fall. The point, I humbly conclude, was to make me an example so others would know to stay on message. I won't be learning that lesson here.

The justification for this attack is the optics. Stop! You're killing me! Democrats campaign with optics, not substance and you are preaching the gospel. You are more worried about the headline than what I actually said! Your narrative trumped reality and that is what my post was about in the first place. Stop tickling me! I guess I believe you when you say you didn't read my post.

I write my posts in a red state, Kansas. Did it occur to you that the optics here may be different? You may be able to get away with demonizing voters in a blue state, but in Kansas we have to work for people's support.

Lets take a look at some of your fine-tuned framing. I assume you think I should use these gems on the campaign trail when I talk to my neighbors. (NOTE- You may notice that I use an obscure English symbol known as quotes"". Between these symbols you will notice your actual words. Followed by me making fun of them. It would have been nice to have been shown the same respect.)

"Tea Partiers are fringe loons"
"Tea Partiers are funded largely by shadowy people like the Koch Brothers"
"Tea Partiers are suckers for astroturf manipulations"
"A good number of Tea Partiers are motivated not by populism but by seething fury that a black man occupies the Oval Office."
"Tea Partiers are often ignorant, unhinged, and irrational"
Great optics you got there, slow down I'm taking notes.

Knock Knock, 'Hi I'm a Democrat and I know you're an "unhinged" "crazy" "fringe loon" "motivated by seething fury that a black man occupies the Oval Office". And I realize you are "suckers for astroturf" "funded by shadowy people like the Koch Brothers" but would you listen to my well rationed explanation of why you are so "ignorant"?'

I wonder if that works in the Blue states? Quick! Somebody ask Massachussettes Gov Martha Coakley! I'll make you a deal. From now on I will label all my diaries with a RED STATE WARNING. That way you can make like a Democrat and fly-over.

The fact the Tea Party voter is exploited by their leadership and the media does not change what voters want. If someone hears a Republican talk about economic freedom and justice while Democrats scream about how "unhinged" the Tea Partier is, how does that look to a casual voter?

Why does the GOP leadership say they are the champions of economic freedom and justice? Because they know what voters want. Sure the GOP is lying, but the voters gave Democrats the reigns of power and they didn't do a damn thing about Wall Street banksters. So you shouldn't be surprised when they stay home or elect the people who are at least talking the game. Call them "unhinged" at your peril.

When I write my blog posts I do it with the goal of converting votes to Democrats from Tea Party sympathizers in Kansas. Did that sentence make you scoff? Catch yourself right now. I write to convert Tea Party sympathizers in Kansas. Did you scoff? Then you are looking at optics in a mirror.

(BLASPHEMY ALERT) There are a lot of political points we have in common with voters who are sympathetic to the Tea Party. Not all Tea Partiers, but a lot more than you are admitting. But you want to use vindictive labels and sacrifice their votes to the other side. In my original post, which you may or may not have read, I point out that we ignore huge chunks of the voting public.

Republicans also understand that the default position of every voter is Libertarian/Populist. Think about it, the first time you became politically aware it was because someone's rights were violated; perhaps yours, or women, or POC, or workers, or some bank got away with murder and you got active. The GOP spends millions reaching out to this mindset, Democrats mock and belittle it, then hide from it. Sure the informed know better than to believe the GOP on those issues, but it is extreme arrogance to assume the average voter is informed. Remember how the GOP embraced the Tea Party? Remember how the Dems avoided Occupy like the plague...
I now realize that many at this site are not simply ignoring this chunk of voters, they are actively disparaging them. From the Tea Party to Occupy, a Populist movement is ripe. One party courts these voters, one side alienates them. Even voters who hate the Tea Party refuse to vote Democratic, because they see Democrats as no better. Harsh criticisms of Tea Party leaders is one thing, attacking voters the same way is a gross over-simplification and bad politics.

Voters who are sympathetic to the Tea Party are in 3 basic groups, Conservatives, Libertarians, and Populists. In that order. We should at least try to peel off the Populists, especially since the Populists view the Conservatives as the imposter hijackers of the Tea Party. The Populists represent the drop in Tea Party support over the years, but the Democrats have failed to reach them, as 2014 clearly indicates.

This is why I dream of an Elizabeth Warren run. Hillary scares these voters away and they will prove to be a large hurdle to the White House. And yes, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for the Populist mindset to distrust Hillary. Her record is long and no one is going to make a serious argument that she has a history of looking out for the little guy.

My desire for Elizabeth Warren to run does not out of some Progressive purity fantasy. I want her to run because she is the better candidate to win in November. But don't think I've gone off topic. From my poorly titled piece-

Those of you who think the GOP has no path to 270 in 2016 need to get your heads out of your asses.  Hillary is not a shoe-in. She will triangulate as always and continue the strategy of being 'no things to any people'. She has the current lead and will 'play not to lose'. Like she did in the Dem primaries in 2008, and we all know how that turned out.....She needs to be the Populist candidate. But even her supporters know that isn't going to happen. She may be with us, but she wants us to keep it our little secret, doesn't she. Get lost.
Elizabeth Warren articulates her views in a way that can reach the previously unreachable. If EW went to the general election she could campaign to draw new Democrats to our party, in a broader geographical area. Her coattails will be made out of the strong fiber of meaning what she says. We could make real inroads for the House. I think it is pretty obvious she would outperform Hillary in Kansas, strengthening our party. Bringing in new blood that we can build on.

Hillary will march into the general election chasing already existing votes in what is left of a very unmotivated Democratic Party. A party that has a reputation of standing for and doing nothing to the financial criminals of the Great Recession. It may take the Democrats a long time to get over that failure in the age of the Tea Party and Occupy. I think EW would know how to make the GOP look like hypocrites when they talk about economic freedom. Hillary will look and sound like the GOP on these issues.

Here is a handy list of issues that Kossacks do in fact have in common with at least the Libertarian and/or Populist wings of the Tea Party. Issues that we could try to use for inroads with new voters, that is, if we aren't too busy pushing them away. Please keep in mind this is a list about voters, not billionaires or your favorite #TCOT trolls. I suddenly feel I need to clarify that for you.

Libertarians- Net Neutrality, Marriage Equality, reign in the military, keep religion out of Government, prevent gerrymandering.
Populists- End bank bailouts, punish banker criminals, paycheck protections, end Citizen's United, prevent outsourcing, campaign finance reform, return of Glass Steagall.

Are you scoffing again? Don't do that, the voters will see you, and I wouldn't want your terrible optics to chase them away. Before you educate me in the comments, I fully realize that most Tea Partiers, mainly Conservatives, don't agree with us on every one of those topics. But I refuse to believe that insulting a large pool of potential voters as a monolith of racist imbeciles is good politics.

The Democrats are allegedly better than the GOP on every one of those issues, yet voters don't know it. The Dems are too busy trying to be "no things to all people". And who's fault is that? We can blame the GOP and the Kochs all we want, but at some point the Democrats need to actually fight on these issues. From my original offending post-

"Republicans draw a hard line in the sand on every issue. It lets the voter know what they stand for. Until the Democrats do the same they can expect to lose over and over again. If they want Union votes they should do something for Unions. They want women and POC votes, here's an idea, do something for women and POC. Unhappy with the youth turnout, try speaking to them. Or just keep blaming the voter. Whatever."
The GOP, the Kochs, Tea Party leaders/Talk Radio hosts all work diligently for the hearts and minds of those voters. FIGHT BACK! You want to be offended by something? How about the fact that the Democrats have given Populism over to the billionaire crybabies. Does that offend you, because it sure pisses me off.

Now that I have explained the context of my perfectly fair and unpopular opinion, lets take a look at another post that appeared that afternoon. It made fun of the ridiculous reaction to my headline and accurately pointed out that I was taken out of context. It was from the Royals and Giants both play baseball crowd.  I didn't see this diary until later at night, but I appreciated seeing that some Kossacks aren't buying the consultant KoolAid.

Most of the comments were hilarious, sharing their own experiences with being called names here at this always fair and inviting community. Then I came across this one.

"The original diarist (+5/0) was lurching and struggling to imply we should be focused and principled and unwavering like the Tea Party - like we were.  (strike up nostalgic music -- The Way We Were.) So why not be even more focused and principled and unwavering -- like the Nazis."
I think you gotta pay a toll to drive on that high road. First I am chuckling at the stupidity of a Nazi reference, then I have the eureka moment that it's about me. Somehow I don't think that's a particularly fair comparison. But shucks, I'm just from little ole Kansas. I got me one of them-there Nazis right up yonder. What was that you were mad about? Oh yeah, Kossacks have nothing in common with Tea Partiers. Got it...

Here is another comment that warrants response. I would love to see this statement backed up with direct quotes.

"True blue(s)" is the latest permutation… (2+ / 0-)… I've seen our resident left-bashing troll tossing around."
Sheeeesh. It's not like I took over someone's comment thread with a manufactured point, then wrote a carefully framed counter post taking them out of context in order get him to STFU, launching a wave of angry mislead commenters at them....

I rarely comment on anything. It would be very easy to go through my comment history. Have at it. Apparently all it takes to be labeled a troll is to have an opinion that isn't popular, even if I politely explain my position, and they choose to not read it.

But I know, I'm being defensive, I should just take it on the nose and whimper in the corner like a good 2014 Democrat.

The reason this scolding was launched at me was to make me STFU and know my place. It has failed. What I have to say is important even if you don't think so. That is why they call it debate, and that is exactly what Democratic framing and optics needs. You shouldn't be so quick to toe the party line after the lowest voter turnout since WW2.


Did that sentence make you scoff?

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I used to be one. Maybe you were one too. We were tired of losing elections to Republicans. The GOP had the House, Senate, Supreme Court, and White House all at the same time in the early 2000s. The Democrats of the time were happy to sell out the Left in order to secure campaign dollars and committee seats. Their votes on Iraq were exclusively motivated by politics, not policy.

I lived in Iowa until Aug of 2003 before moving to Kansas. Since Iowa is the first to caucus it seemed like we were always in a campaign. I liked John Kerry and respected his personal history, from publicly fighting to end Vietnam to indicting Reagan's people over the Iran Contra scandal. But beyond that, he did not speak to me. Especially on Iraq.

I was a Howard Dean believer! He had been campaigning in Iowa for a while and politics was my sport. That's when I discovered the Dailykos. I wanted campaign finance reform. I wanted American jobs. I wanted Union strength. I wanted banks to beg for mercy. I wanted to stop dropping bombs. I wanted the rich to have their votes mean as little as mine did. And I wasn't alone, there were like minded people hanging out at the Great Orange Satan (kos) and all I needed to do was visit in order to keep my sanity.

I visited every day for years, and I still do with rare exception. I saw the power of the Kossacks to pull the Democratic Party in it's direction. I saw an angry mob demand Progressive candidates. Not just more Democrats, but better ones. I saw the Left give Howard Dean cover while he moved in to the DNC and operated the only 50 state strategy I have ever seen the Dems run. He understood that if you are going to win a war, you have to move the frontline into the enemies territory. He knew how to lead the troops.

I saw Kossacks hold the media and politicians accountable. I saw the NYT belittled for promoting the Iraq war and covering for the CIA's black sites. I saw Kossacks keep America informed when the media refused to do it. I saw GWB's popularity desintigrate along with the House and Senate GOP majorities. I watched Joe Lieberman squirm. And I saw it all in orange.

You can credit, or blame, 2006 on anyone you want but I say Howard Dean and the Kossacks did that. Kansas had 2 (out of 4) Democratic House members (not a typo) AND a Democratic Governor. America had a Democratic House again for the first time in 12 years. The groundwork had been laid to keep the Senate and the White House out of GOP hands in the next election. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy made it possible to elect a Democratic President, a black dude no less! Howard Dean will have my love and support whenever he calls for it. I will be there with my work boots on and waiting for orders Mr. Dean!

But in 2008 Dean was pushed out of the DNC for reasons I will never comprehend. I remember thinking this can only end badly. 2010 confirmed my worst nightmares. 2014 proved my nightmares weren't bad enough as Democrats lost elections all over the nation, in decidedly blue states.

I am still a Kossack, but it doesn't feel the same anymore. The orange has lost its luster. I have watched Kossack's (myself included) make excuses for bad candidates who run away from the party. When a candidate runs away from their party they make the voter wonder, 'just what is it you stand for?'

Like when Alison Lundergren Grimes couldn't answer who she voted for. Kossacks should have ridiculed her, demanded better. Instead, "That's a gotcha question. Chuck Todd is a jerk..." Right. I bet he stayed up all night dreaming that one up. Maybe she could try answering the damn question instead of hoping that the voters were too stupid know the answer anyway. That was a Sarah Palin/Katie Couric moment if I ever saw one.

Voter turnout was low in an abysmal way in 2014. There are no excuses for the losing party when voter turnout is low. Voters never fail a party, the party fails the voters. When the party says we lost because it was a 'wave election' they are forgetting the definition of cause and effect.

That's the excuse we are hearing in Kansas. "The wave was insurmountable." What. A. Joke. The GOP did not build insurmountable vote totals. Want proof?

2010 Brownback (R) 530,760 votes
2014 Brownback (R) 423,666 votes, a drop of over 100,000!
"But Democrats can't win in Kansas, there aren't enough Moderate or Left voters." Really? Tell that to two time Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who TWICE got more votes than Brownback did in 2014.
2002 Sebelius (D) 441,858 votes
2006 Sebelius (D) 491,993 votes
Either one of Sebelius's totals would have been enough to beat Brownback in 2014. The votes were there, the voters just didn't think the Democratic candidates deserved them. Even Jill Docking, Davis's running mate, received over 461,000 votes when she ran for the Senate in 1996, when Kansan Bob Dole was the top of the GOP ticket! Again, voters don't fail a party, the party fails them.

Paul Davis dropped the ball everytime he was asked to be a champion for something. He worked tirelessly to prevent voters from knowing what he stood for. He thought being the 'other guy' on the ballot would be enough. Sorry, but no one is that unpopular, not even the Sam Brownback who came up 100,000 votes short of his previous total.

When Republicans passed the 'Turn the Gays Away' bill that allowed businesses to discriminate against homosexuals Paul Davis not only avoided the issue, he warned other Democrats to stay out of it. He was too busy trying to be 'no things to any people' and he didn't want to be turned into the pro-gay candidate. That was a sign of weakness that sent my red flags up but I still supported him, because he was the Democrat. That was the first time my inner Kossack knew better and I wasn't listening.

It wouldn't be the last this election. I repeatedly wondered where Paul and the Kansas Democratic Party stood on many issues. But my support was unwavering, I spent hours and hours of my life trying to defeat Brownback, most by writing blog posts at The site did great, with close to 10,000 Facebook fans. Several of the posts had literally 10s of thousands of views. But that was because they were Progressive posts. They stood for something and gave the reader something to rally behind. Something the KDP and Paul never got around to doing. After a while, I had no motivation left to help with the site. I simply wasn't motivated by the candidate anymore.

If you haven't read TMservo's extremely detailed post-mortem of the KDP's failed campaign strategies then I suggest you do it immediately, no matter what state you are in. If anything is clear after 2014, it is that the state parties are becoming more like Kansas. What's the matter with Kansas? The same thing as Massachussetts, Maryland, Maine, Iowa....

The sad part isn't just that Chris is right, it is that the party is attacking him instead of dealing with the problems they have caused. I have been 'warned' about him. Told that he is just a consultant in it for the money. That he doesn't even really campaign. Total BULLSHIT! Rumor-mongering at its worst. No one worked harder for Kansas than Chris did this year.

He spent his own money on candidates and even filmed GOP candidates in their home districts around the state. Anyone spreading rumors about Chris right now is a perfect example of why the KDP needs to have their house cleaned! If you draw a paycheck from the KDP, then you should be careful who you say is 'in it for the money' because the KDP clearly isn't in it to win it. If the KDP wants to lecture about how to win campaigns they should start by winning one.

I don't mean to rail on Kansas politics but it is emblematic of what is going on in the national Democratic Party. They are trying to be 'no things to any people'. They are trying to appease donors and voters at the same time by implying but not stating what they stand for. In states across the country Democrats ran AWAY from the ACA, the single most significant legislative accomplishment of my lifetime. Defend it damn you! Stand for something you spineless cowards! If you run from your success you will always be a failure.

Former Kansas Insurance Commissioner (and Governor) Kathleen Sebelius did a job at HHS that should stand the test of history. But Democrats threw her under a bus over a botched website launch! Why? Because they didn't want to fight back, it was easier to run away from the party. At least Obama stayed off that bus. The result is millions of Americans who think the GOP was right. Sebelius could have came back to Kansas and kicked Pat Roberts ass across the state for the Senate. But I wonder if even she started to believe the hype. I blame the national Democratic Party for this. Period. Who knows, her coattails may have been enough to put Paul Davis over the top.

Now the state parties and the DNC are in the excuse making phase of the campaign. This Kossack isn't listening. I am done. I am as pissed as I was in 2000 when I voted for Nader. I am as fed up as I was in 2004 when I voted Democratic because I hoped there was a chance. I am going back to the 2006 version of me that demanded the party move to the Left, or lose me forever.

I have been to the last two Netroots Nations. I am constantly surprised at how many people are comfortable writing off a Red state. If you aren't going to fight, then you shouldn't expect to win. Republicans go to war in every state, every district. They do the 50 state strategy every single year. They put Dems on the defensive, forcing them to spend money everywhere. We talk about the 50 state strategy in historical terms. Pathetic.

Republicans also understand that the default position of every voter is Libertarian/Populist. Think about it, the first time you became politically aware it was because someone's rights were violated; perhaps yours, or women, or POC, or workers, or some bank got away with murder and you got active. The GOP spends millions reaching out to this mindset, Democrats mock and belittle it, then hide from it. Sure the informed know better than to believe the GOP on those issues, but it is extreme arrogance to assume the average voter is informed. Remember how the GOP embraced the Tea Party? Remember how the Dems avoided Occupy like the plague...

Republicans draw a hard line in the sand on every issue. It lets the voter know what they stand for. Until the Democrats do the same they can expect to lose over and over again. If they want Union votes they should do something for Unions. They want women and POC votes, here's an idea, do something for women and POC. Unhappy with the youth turnout, try speaking to them. Or just keep blaming the voter. Whatever.

Those of you who think the GOP has no path to 270 in 2016 need to get your heads out of your asses.  Hillary is not a shoe-in. She will triangulate as always and continue the strategy of being 'no things to any people'. She has the current lead and will 'play not to lose'. Like she did in the Dem primaries in 2008, and we all know how that turned out.

That strategy is a losing one with today's voters, they are looking for a leader. She needs to take a Progressive stand. On the NSA. On banking regulations. On worker's rights. She needs to be the Populist candidate. But even her supporters know that isn't going to happen. She may be with us, but she wants us to keep it our little secret, doesn't she. Get lost.

My personal opinion is that she can't beat Rand Paul. Sure he's a liar. But he's taking hard line stands that make it easy for voters to identify his position. You and I may know that he is full of crap but the media will hold his water and the voter won't figure it out till it's too late. Remember when GWB promised Cap and Trade while debating Gore? No? But you do remember Gore rolling his eyes...

She also can't beat Elizabeth Warren for the Dem nomination. I know, I know, she's not running. But if she did every voter would know what Warren stood for on banking and NSA while Hillary tried to imply her views without ticking off any bankers or Conservadems. It would be like 2008 all over again, as she was bested by the loud mouth who had something to say that the voters longed to hear.

In 2016 it will be up to the Left to make sure the truth gets out but will the voters be able to hear us over unlimited Koch money? I am not sure how much faith I have in that after this last election.

I will only be helping those who take a stand in the coming years. This Kossack is done getting used and abused. My vote and efforts can no longer be taken for granted. Now is the time to pull Hillary to the Left. If she isn't interested, then neither am I. And no, I won't care if she is my only choice.

This Kossack isn't going to take it anymore. I hope your listening Mr. Dean. I got your back, and I'll bet I'm not alone.


Are you going to work on Maggy's farm no more?

6%9 votes
15%21 votes
28%38 votes
8%11 votes
40%53 votes

| 132 votes | Vote | Results


My family and I love it here in Kansas but the Conservative politics can be very discouraging. However, the news that Democrat Chad Taylor has dropped out couldn't make me happier. He created a smooth sailing path for Pat Roberts to continue to pee in our Kansas cornflakes. Now that he is out of the way, Independent candidate Greg Orman is the obvious choice for those of us who care about Kansas.

Many are saying Greg Orman isn't Progressive enough. And I suppose Pat Roberts is? Greg Orman is our only choice if we want to change our Kansas Senator. For those of us who live here, this is a chance for change. One we have waited for a long time. Don't let your search for perfection leave you with nothing.  

I have scoured Greg Orman's website, watched videos of his interviews, and read his words. I have done the same with Chad Taylor. Their political differences on many issues have more to do with campaign language than actual policy. Orman may not be a radical lefty, but neither was Taylor. I may not agree with Orman on all issues but I can't think of a single candidate where I do. Not in Kansas anyway.

So what do Greg Orman and I agree on? Citizen's United and Hobby Lobby are a pretty good start! What Republican is campaigning against Hobby Lobby? Or Citzen's United? That is a fairly left-of-center position and it shows guts to campaign on it in a state that treats talk radio like it's legitimate news. Do not kid yourself into believing that the average Kansan has been given an honest version of events for those two Supreme Court decisions. The media here is some of the most biased in the nation.

Another example is VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act. Pat Roberts voted against it, Greg Orman would be another vote for it, having already recieved the endorsement of Women For Kansas, even before Taylor dropped out. That is a big change not only for national policy, but for the representation of Kansas values.

Greg Orman does not hide from a woman's right to choose, posting on his website under the heading "Reproductive Rights"...

“We’ve spent a lot of time over the last two decades debating whether or not women should have the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health. As a man, I’ll never have to face some of the decisions that women have to make. I know the women of Kansas are smart, and I trust them to make their own decisions about their reproductive health.

I believe it’s time for our government to move past this issue and start focusing on other important issues, such as healthcare and higher education affordability, tax code simplification, and fixing our broken immigration system.”

Is that better than Pat Roberts? Then celebrate, because there is a chance for change in Kansas.

What about immigration reform? I don't need to tell you that Pat Roberts is a xenophobe, he has the voting record to prove it. Greg Orman has been clear in his call for comprehensive immigration reform and the need for a path to citizenship. Here is a direct quote from his website...

Our policy must be practical. It’s just not practical to say that we’re going to find and send back to other countries 11 million undocumented people. We’ve got whole industries in Kansas that would go away if we attempted to introduce such an unworkable policy. Towns like Dodge City and Garden City and much of the agricultural community in Kansas would be absolutely devastated.

Finally, our policy must also be fair to taxpayers. The 11 million undocumented individuals in America should be required to register with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by a certain date, pay a fine or perform community service as an acknowledgment that they’ve broken the law, hold down a job, pay taxes, and obey our laws, and ultimately, at that point, if they want to get in line and apply for citizenship, they should be able to do so.

That is a gutsy stand for a politician in Kansas, where Koch brother money rains from the sky on xenophobes. You can find Democrats all over the country that don't have the guts to make that statement. Is that better than Pat Roberts? Is it a victory for Progressives? Of course.

What about background checks for gun purchases? Where does Greg stand? Here is another direct quote taken right off his website...

Both times that I bought a handgun, I was required to go through a mandatory background check to ensure that I was a U.S. citizen who hadn’t been convicted of domestic violence, subject to a restraining order for harassing, stalking, or threatening behavior, incarcerated for longer than a year, dishonorably discharged from the military, or determined to be mentally defective. Over 700,000 people who met the description above have been prevented from buying firearms at licensed dealers since the background check requirements went into effect.

The idea that those 700,000 people could simply head to a gun show and buy a firearm without the same background scrutiny doesn’t make sense to me. While there are likely other illegal ways for criminals to get firearms, we shouldn’t make it easy for a violent offender or a mentally ill individual to get a gun. The for me took a few minutes and ultimately resulted in me being able to buy my handguns without delay.

Senator Pat Roberts has opposed every kind of sane gun legislation ever put up for a vote. Greg Orman supports background checks. Greg may not be a progressive on every issue, but he is more progressive than Pat Roberts on every issue. And he is not bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, a unique qualification for a Kansas politician.

It is time that the representation of Kansas in the Federal government come into line with the will of Kansas voters. National Democrats need to wake up and smell the coffee! There is a pickup opportunity in Kansas if the Democratic party and it's donors are smart enough to help. Instead of nitpicking his platform to death let's compare it to Pat Roberts. Then the decision should be easy.


This past week a Democratic congressional candidate in Kansas did something courageous. He chose to endorse an Independent candidate in the US Senate race against Pat Roberts. This never happens and the result has been predictable, as party officials and donors pile on the criticism. Nevertheless, 1st district candidate Jim Sherow did Democrats nationwide a service.

Kansas has a legit 3 way Senate race between Sen Pat Roberts (R), Democrat Chad Taylor, and Independent Greg Orman. Only two have a chance of winning and neither of them is a Democrat. You want to beat Pat Roberts? Make the Senate a little less crazy? Listen to Jim Sherow.

“I believe that Greg Orman presents the best chance at providing Kansas new energy in the US Senate - and that energy is needed to help promote the growth of the Kansas economy,” Sherow said.
I had already abandoned Chad Taylor, but seeing Jim Sherow do it really just confirmed my belief. I consider Jim to be the very definition of what Kansas needs in Congress. He is a fourth generation Kansan, a KSU professor, and the former mayor of Manhattan, KS. His opinion carries weight for me because of his lifetime of statewide action.
Continue Reading

A new poll shows what most Kansans have already figured out- the people are giving up on Brownback's empty promises. As buyers remorse settles in to it's new home in Western Kansas, let's break the numbers down. Davis/Docking leads 47% over Brownback/Koch 41%. Did I say Koch? I meant Colyer...I always make that mistake.

When asked about the new poll Governor Brownback's campaign stated the following...

“We are confident that once Kansans learn of the record of Sam Brownback...”

Learn his record? We are living in it! Kansans are fully aware Governor, that is why your numbers are so low. Shall we use this new poll from KSN News in Wichita to show you the level of the peoples awareness?

Apparently Kansans age 50-64 are fully aware of your refusal to expand Medicaid and saddle them with Kancare because they support Davis 53% to Sam 's 37%. How about those over 65? Davis 48% - Brownback 43%. But don't let that be your only Kansas stereotype to fall today.

Mitt Romney took Western Kansas with 72% of the vote. Brownback needs at least that from Western Kansas to overcome the more populous areas of the state. The west made Sam the Governor in the first place but he is polling at a mere 52%. After seeing first hand what Brownback's #RedStateModel looks like...

The west seems ready to kick the tires on a new model!

Davis also leads in Eastern Kansas 48% to Brownback's 38%. If Davis gets 50% in the East and Brownback pulls his current 52% in the West, Davis will be the Governor of Kansas.

The one issue Brownback wants to hide from more than any other is education. After spending 4 years starving the public school system, the people of Kansas are more than familiar with his record. Among those who list education as the most important issue in Kansas, Davis leads 73% to Brownback's 19%. The Governor would do well to distract people on education.

“Governor Brownback will keep fighting to get more money where it belongs – in Kansas classrooms.” Statement from Brownback's campaign - KSN News

Nice try Governor!

That must be why moderate voters prefer Davis 69% to Brownback 23%. It's going to take more than a dishonest campaign statement to convince these everyday parents that you are putting money “in Kansas classrooms.”

So no, Governor, your unpopularity is not because people are unfamiliar with your record. It is because of your record. This is a real opportunity to remove this man from power and start fixing our state this November.

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Last week the Kansas Young Democrats held their state convention. In other news, the Young Republicans received new member discounts from the AARP. So good news all around. As the Kansas Young Democrats were indoctrinated into the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy that rules Kansas, no media came to the event. None. Zilch. Nada. Where is the Liberal media when you need it?

Brownback and the GOP Kansas House have an excellent plan to keep young students from voting- make it as difficult as possible. And if that doesn't work, export them. That's one way to rock the vote I guess. But these students came to discuss improving Kansas, not leaving it!

They are concerned about the Brownback anchor on the state. They will be searching for their first careers in the one sided Brownback economy and driving on these crumbling Kansas roads to work every day. They will send their kids to the schools the Governor has sold to the Koch brothers for campaign dollars.

In 2010 the Governor forced the GOP to the hard extremist right in the Kansas House and Senate. This paved the way for Brownback's #RedStateModel. He wanted to install a government that had never existed in Kansas, where the Tea Party called the shots and compromised with no one. One where the rich would pay as little tax as possible and the burden would be shifted to small businesses and local communities. Where services would disappear and the only people who would rejoice are billionaires and talk radio hosts. He has since turned the state into a Tea Party wasteland.

In the years since, we have seen the House pass anti-immigration, anti-woman, anti-LGBT, anti-teacher, and anti-worker legislation. The embarrassments keep coming, as earlier this year the House made national news with the 'turn the gays away' bill, which legalized discrimination by businesses against the LGBT community. This sends a terrible message- don't come here, and if you are here, go away.

Brownback's message to recruit out-of-state business is simple. Come to Kansas so your employee's kids can go to deteriorating schools with lower teacher standards on crumbling roads and be discriminated against. Who could resist that?

The Governor even rejected an offer from the Federal government to return 5.3 billion dollars of Kansas taxpayer money to fund the expansion of Medicaid. This ideological decision has cast a large shadow over the Kansas economy, providing weak service to our poor and elderly, while leaving many out, and forcing us to pay for it with new funds!

These young Kansas voters came to hear what the Democrats had to say (video here). Future Governor Paul Davis spoke of the broken promises the Brownback administration had made to students and the need to fight back against the #RedStateModel before it's too late. These students need Paul Davis as Governor to keep the radical right wing Kansas House in check. Someone needs to be the voice of reason.

Jim Sherow is the Congressional candidate in the 1st district, held by a Democrat as recently as 2006, running against Tea Party extremist Tim Huelskamp. This is a candidate for students if there ever was one. As a Kansas State University professor he was right at home. He discussed the disdain Representative Huelskamp has for public education. Huelskamp voted to cut college Pell grants and to protect the private student loan industry, driving up the cost of education.

Margie Wakefield is running for Congress in the Lawrence area (2nd district). She spoke of standing against extremism in Congress and the effects of having Tea Partier Lynn Jenkins representing us. Margie can win, there are plenty of Democrats in her district, which was also held by a Democrat as recently as 2006. She needs the Kansas Young Democrats to dig in. She will be in Congress with their help!

The Kansas Young Democrats have a large job in front of them. It is in their hands to motivate college student voters and make sure they turn out in November. Whether they see it now or not, Brownback is costing them money, not just in education costs, but over the course of their lifetimes.

I am glad to see the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy grow just a little bit here in Kansas last week. Now if we could just get the Liberal media to report it....

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 09:29 AM PDT

Brownback's Barefoot Bureaucrat

by bluebarnstormer

Imagine the qualifications needed for someone to watch over a 50 million dollar a week government program. If you listed a barefoot DUI, campaign fraud, defaulted loans, unpaid taxes, and personal bankruptcy then Governor Brownback has a job for you!

Most people might think the person appointed to be Inspector General for Kancare would have skills like accounting, legal knowledge, and traits like honesty and integrity. Maybe even a dash of experience. You might think that an appointment like this would be newsworthy, deserving of a public announcement, considering the 'pay to play' (Pay to Play) troubles the Governor is in. But then again, this is Governor Kickback and his pet project Kancare we're talking about.

The Governor has already proven that Kancare is a cash crop (Brownback Buddy System) for his inner circle. Now he has secretly placed an incompetent fox in charge of the hen house! What better way to get away with insurance fraud then to have someone in charge who has no idea what they are looking at. Perhaps I am being unfair, lets take a look at Phil Hermanson's qualifications...

"The 49-year-old has no college degree or career experience in insurance, legal, accounting, health care or law enforcement fields applicable to examining conduct of clients and service providers interacting with three insurance companies awarded Medicaid contracts by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback."- from CJOnline 

In other words, Brownback is overseeing the taxpayer's money with someone who doesn't know anything about overseeing the taxpayer's money. But don't worry, Republican David Crum of the House-Senate oversight committee on Kancare says...

"He’s very excited about the opportunity. He’s been doing a lot of homework.”- CJOnline

Of course he didn't do any of that homework in accounting class or law school. Don't panic though, Phil says he has found a new source of education for himself...

“Everyone makes mistakes, and I have certainly learned from my mistakes," Hermanson said- CJOnline

And what mistakes does he have to learn from? For starters, he learned to wear shoes while having intoxicated car accidents...

"Hermanson rear-ended a car at a red light in Wichita. Two women in the other vehicle were injured. Hermanson, who was barefoot, submitted to a field sobriety test but refused a Breathalyzer exam." CJOnline

He has also learned to keep his story straight...

"He reportedly blamed his faulty driving on prescription medicine taken for an injury. His attorney said in court the medication was for high blood pressure." - CJOnline

And he's learned a little about campaign finance laws...

"A commission investigation revealed $2,700 in undocumented campaign expenditures and checks for cash. In addition, $1,000 from his political account was reported as spent on repayment of a loan when no loan existed."

And thankfully, some tax law...

"state and court records show, a tax warrant was issued against Hermanson for $1,100 in unpaid income taxes." - CJOnline

Great choice Governor. You have really shown the people of Kansas how important competence is to you. You're doing a heckuva job Brownie!

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Step 1) Work for Sam and help write the contract

Step 2) Move to the other side of table

Step 3) Sign the contract and get checks from Sam

Was that so hard? Even someone who doesn’t believe in science could see how this stuff works.

“We try to that you don’t have the ethical questions raised about it,” Brownback said. - CJonline

I stand corrected. Shall we review the points that Governor Brownback thinks won’t have “ethical questions raised” that have been making the news lately?

“The FBI is examining whether Gov. Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff and a lobbying and consulting firm he helped found are trading on their ties to the governor to benefit themselves and others financially” - LJWorld

Just what is it that has the FBI’s attention?

“Of concern to the FBI were behind-the-scenes financial arrangements related to Brownback's privatization of the state's $3 billion Medicaid program.” - CJonline

Let’s break it down. The Governor’s right hand man for many decades, David Kensinger, helped Brownback develop the Medicaid privatization scheme the #Koch brothers have been pushing for years in Kansas. He then quit his government position and started a lobbying firm with two other members of the Governor’s personal staff.

Within two month the government workers-turned-lobbyists were hired by the very insurance companies who signed $3 billion worth of contracts with the Governor to privatize Medicaid. A decision that denied the state $5.3 billion in returned taxes from the Federal government, an $8.3 billion swing.

Governor Kickback would like you to think he is the victim of a ‘smear’ campaign. Here he is on TV accusing no one in particular of smearing him, but smearing him none the less. 

An odd assumption considering that the FBI has said nothing about it publicly and all the information has come from those interviewed.

“Two of the interviewees said they were intimidated to support and donate to certain candidates by Kensinger” -Wichita Eagle

The Eagle and The Star have since spoken to three lobbyists and a former state official who said they were interviewed by federal investigators as early as 2012 and as recently as a month ago. they were interviewed about … “pay-to-play” influence, in which political promises are made in exchange for money.”  

The Governor’s staff and their lack of tact have embarrassed Kansas once again. The national media is no longer ignoring his Koch addiction.

“the tactics underline the degree to which Washington-style politics and lobbying have taken root in state capitals. “K Street has moved to Kansas,” said a former State Senate president, Steve Morris, one of those moderates who was defeated in 2012” - NYtimes

“Over the last four years, Brownback and his team have been accused repeatedly – by locals in both parties – of running a ruthless, hardball political operation. Whether that operation crossed any legal lines will become clearer soon enough.” - Steve Benen

“This huge and escalating shortfall occurred after Kansas's right-wing Republican legislature and governor, Sam Brownback, enacted huge and foolish tax cuts” - Ian Reifowitz 

This excellent video from Rachel Maddow highlights the effects of big donors such as the Koch brothers and Rex Sinquefield. The alignment between Brownback’s biggest donors and what he signs into law is made clear. 

The Governor’s alleged Pay-to-Play scheme raises serious questions about other unpopular laws he has forced down the throats of Kansans. His income tax plan has little support outside of his biggest donors, and has done irreparable damage to this year’s tax revenue.

“But the immediate effect has been to blow a hole in the state’s finances without noticeable economic growth.” – Business Week

And let’s not forget the Governor’s education bill received more influence from the Chamber of Commerce than it did from educators.

Kansas Chamber president and former Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal wrote in an email. “...More money alone is not the answer. More important is how educational resources are delivered, and by whom”

ALEC, the big money bill mill, counts 47 elected officials of the Kansas House and Senate among their members. Together with the Governor they worked on at least 15 ALEC bills in 2013.

Now ALEC and the Koch’s have declared war on windmills (MSNBC video) even though wind energy is one of the most lucrative economic opportunities available in western Kansas. The only reason a bill this unpopular would have any traction is big money backers. 

“It all began with a simple mailer that went out to Kansans encouraging them to talk to their legislators” - Dailykos

The official bios of these titans of lobbying tells a great deal about David Kensinger and his two cohorts. 

David Kensinger’s bio- …Senator Roberts said the following, “The true Machiavelli of Kansas, David Kensinger, our pitbull without lipstick, whose expertise in this new and very different world of political campaigns is unrivaled.  David mounted the parapets, waved the flag, fired the first and last shots and led our troops to victory.” David next embraced the challenge of managing then Senator Sam Brownback’s successful campaign for Governor of Kansas. Governor Brownback chose David to serve as Chief of Staff for his administration.

"George Stafford’s bio-  The seeds of George’s political and legislative journey that led him to Kansas are rooted in Washington, D.C. He joined the staff of then-Congressman Brownback as a legislative assistant, before moving to Kansas to manage fundraising and help run the campaign for Brownback’s U.S. senatorial race. He worked directly with the transition team to help implement Brownback’s “Roadmap to Kansas” into effective legislative policy.

Riley Scott’s bio-  Working as a legislative staffer, Riley handled several issues for Senator Brownback, including agriculture, energy, banking, and appropriations.  At the time of Senator Brownback’s retirement from the Senate, Riley was his Deputy Chief of Staff and served as a senior policy and political advisor, including fundraising and advising Senator Brownback on his successful gubernatorial run in 2010."

We don't call him #GovernorKickback for nothing. These failed policies have caused one of the nation’s largest credit rating agencies to downgrade the Kansas credit rating.

"Citing a sluggish recovery from the recession, risk inherent in the governor’s tax plan and uncertainty over the Legislature’s ability to keep cutting spending, one of the nation’s two major debt rating agencies downgraded Kansas’ credit rating Thursday." - Wichita Eagle

The effects of Sam Brownback's reign over Kansas will be felt in our economy for years beyond his time in office.

Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook to keep up with this developing scandal and help us Stop Brownback from destroying Kansas. 

Make the world a better place today by tweeting #GovernorKickback on Twitter!

A puppet on strings preaching to the choir!

Governor Sam Brownback took to the stage at the meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council to celebrate his successful 4 years of service to the group. After all, he worked on at least 15 ALEC written bills in the year 2013 alone. He even proved his loyalty to ALEC by staying the course in the face of a Moody’s credit downgrade. His favors to ALEC include denying Medicaid expansion, starving our public schools, stripping worker rights, and gutting our income tax structure.

The Governor could not do it alone, of course. He needed the tireless work of the 47 ALEC members in his hand chosen House and Senate. And don’t forget lobbyist/State worker/lobbyist David Kensinger, who eased the negotiation process by working both sides of the Medicaid privatization table. Then there’s ALEC scholar (cough) Arthur B. Laffer, who served as a paid consultant to Sam on the income tax cut. And last but not least, the deep pockets of the Koch brothers and other poorly named groups like “Kansans for No Income Tax,” which is funded by Missouri gajillionaire Rex A. Sinquefield.

Despite the damage inflicted by these policies Governor Kickback never wavered. When education experts warned that poor funding would leave our kids behind, he cut again. When the Supreme Court ruled for higher funding, he gave them property tax cuts. And when the Fed offered to return $5.3 billion to expand Medicaid, he said no thanks; we’ll pay for it ourselves; again.

Most impressive to ALEC was the Governor’s ability to stay on message even in the face of reality. When April tax revenues came in $92 million short he remembered his training and delivered...

“The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation.”

Faced with tough questions about the role of ALEC and lobbyists within the Brownback administration the Governor made clear that the whole thing is simply overblown…

"They do model legislation, they have meetings, but there are probably hundreds of groups that do model legislation and hold meetings. I think it gets overblown a lot," Brownback said during an interview Monday with the Lawrence Journal-World.

 Bravo Governor. Maybe next year you can get the ALEC lifetime achievement award.

Update- take a moment to watch Rachel break down the oligarchy by state. Kansas is the center of this crisis.

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Kansans are paying a high price here at home for the Governor's political favors. He has dedicated his only term to policies that are unpopular with Kansans. The education bill, his income tax scheme, and denying Medicaid expansion have all been against the wishes of the majority- yet the Governor stays the course. Meanwhile his staff strolls through the revolving door of Government and Industry to great personal gain. It's not just embarrassing, it costs Kansas real money.

"Tax revenue in April dropped 45 percent from a year ago, the Kansas Department of Revenue announced Wednesday.The state’s revenue for the year is $92.9 million less than projected earlier this month. The state has taken in $480 million less overall than it had by this point in the last fiscal year." - Wichita Eagle

The Governor was tooting his own horn just a few weeks ago, hoping to help everyone keep their heads in the sand.

"Until now, Gov. Sam Brownback expressed optimism state tax and budget reforms would produce a bounty for Kansans moving ahead. State revenue projections were revised upward in mid-April by a consensus estimating group, which included Brownback administration officials. Those adjustments were touted by Brownback and others as evidence the governor was delivering economic renewal promised when elected in 2010." - CJOnline

In light of these new numbers the Governor and his staff will of course want to deal with the cause of the shortfall, his income tax scheme....

"The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation." Brownback said.

Uh-huh. Pass the buck much Governor? Perhaps very serious person Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan will take an honest look at it...

"This is an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and over-regulation," Jordan said.

BlahBlahBlah. That must be why Kansas is so far behind our neighboring states economically? According to Brownback's own team of advisors... 

"A report by Gov. Sam Brownback’s Council of Economic Advisors shows that Kansas is lagging the region and nation in numerous economic categories. Over the past year, Kansas trails the region in categories that cover growth in population, gross domestic product, personal income, private-industry wage level and private business establishment, the report says." - LJWorld


Excuses, like budgeting, are not the Brownback administrations strong suit. Abusing power for personal gain, that's more their speed. To be fair, making national news for an FBI investigation into his staff wasn't what Governor Brownback had in mind this election season. Getting caught before voters head to the polls wasn't the plan. From Dailykos radio comes this inspiring conversation....

Joan McCarter -

"this gives Brownback two Medicaid problems going into reelection....the existing program (KanCare) did not go so well in it's implementation and was problematic for a lot of people in trying to get coverage and get their care paid for; but also we've got 182,000 in the Medicaid gap because Brownback refuses to take Medicaid expansion."


David Waldman -

"So if you aren't on it yet- screw you... and if you are on it now- screw you as well.... Maybe we should call him Governor Kickback"

We couldn't agree more!
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