It had to happen. The Tea Party faction has been pushing the Republican party hard to the extreme right with more and more long-time Republicans becoming increasingly disaffected. In Kansas, it’s come to a head with more than 100 elected Republicans turning their backs on Tea party favorite Sam Brownback and endorsing his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis.
States don’t come any redder than Kansas. In Presidential races, only one Democrat has won the state since 1940. Lyndon Johnson carried the state in 1964 over Barry Goldwater who was a moderate by Tea Party standards.
Republicans for Kansas Values is a newly formed group consisting of 104 current and former Republican office holders including former RNC Chairman Dick Bond who is also a former state senate president and current state Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.
“The guy that organized this group is Sam Brownback. He’s the recruiter. He’s the reason we’re here,” Bond said.
The group issued a statement listing ten reasons it was endorsing Davis over Brownback:
1) Brownback’s massive education cuts hurt kids, increased property taxes and school funding is ruled unlawful
2) Brownback’s reckless tax “experiment” resulted in (1) deficit spending, (2) increased debt and (3) reduced credit rating
3) The Brownback “experiment” hurt job growth: Kansas economic development is last among neighboring states
4) Brownback’s “experiment” in tax policy benefited special interests but raised sales and property taxes on middle and low income Kansans
5) Kansas highway funding and future safety and job growth suffer from state highway fund raids of more than $1.1 billion
6) Job growth and healthcare in rural communities is hurt by Brownback policies
7) Judgeships become Brownback political prize as judicial branch independence suffers
8) Brownback attacks other Republicans, breaking tradition of cooperation and compromise
9) Brownback extreme agenda makes Kansas appear intolerant and backward
10) Brownback’s Washington DC-style approach downgrades Kansas character and brings embarrassing headlines
Saying that Brownback is adding to the numbers of Republicans supporting Davis every day, Bond explained why:
“As he said just very recently, he’s going to ‘double down’ on the tax cuts. He brings in an extremist like Rick Santorum to Kansas, who is as far right as you can get. And Kansas has not had that kind of tradition. We value higher education. We value K-12. And we’re abandoning that in the name of some kind of extreme policy.”
Executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, Clay Barker is dismissive of the group calling the endorsement nothing more than “sour grapes” pointing out that there is no one among the group that is currently running for office.
“A lot of them represented an older generation of political thought that the voters rejected in 2010 and ’12,” Barker said. “When’s the last time any of them walked a precinct and talked to voters and said, ‘What do you care about?’
“You don’t see even the people who are described as moderates running today; you don’t see them endorsing Davis, because that would be political suicide,” he added.
h/t: Addicting Info