Skip to main content

Welcome to Brownbackistan
AKA Kochland
One of the oddest political developments in the country may be the Kansas GOP Civil War.  In a mini-version of Wisconsin, the Koch-funded rightwing Governor (Sam Brownback, who is not a nice guy), is being stopped from implementing the rest of his extremist agenda by the state Senate... only this time, the block is being made by a coalition of Democrats and the few Moderate Republicans left.  

In tomorrows primary... Kansas Republicans will largely decide the fate of their state.  More in extended...

The story so far...

Kansas Republicans failed to come up with a satisfactory (i.e. reasonable) redistricting map, so the process went to the courts, who pressed the reset button.

At the end of the legislative session, Kansas Republicans passed a hastily and poorly-written (by Koch lobbyists) rewrite of the entire tax code, making a backroom deal with moderates and then, at the behest of Brownback, betraying them at the last minute. Excellent diary on the impact of this here.  (Poor people pay more, corporations and rich people pay almost nothing, huge cuts to education and services, etc.)

So... the Kansas Republican parties response is to PRIMARY many of its key moderate leaders, with the permission of the Brownback administration.  

"We are our own worst enemy," says Tim Owens, who is a state senator – and struggling to stay that way.

Owens is waging one of the toughest campaigns in a 30-year political career. Today he's dispensing yard signs at a strip mall in his prosperous suburban Kansas City district — and examining some of the mail bombarding his constituents. One reads, "Obama sought a robot, and found one."

"And they've got Obama and me, which is absolutely ridiculous," Owen scoffs.

Owens is a lifelong Republican, so this is pretty scandalous stuff, and it's coming from his own party.

"The conservative element today is a far cry from what the conservative was when I was growing up," he says. "It's angry. It's hateful."

Owens was the Republican Moderate who successfully blocked a map that would have written many other moderates out of their districts.  Many of these moderates are, by any other standard, fairly conservative, but they have been champions of things like public schools, higher education, etc.  And so they have been targeted.
Jeff Melcher, who runs an IT firm called NetStandard, is vying for state Senate seat now held by a moderate.

"There is a party for people who want big government and high taxation, and that's the Democrat Party," he says. "And that's where a lot of the moderates belong."

What does this mean?  It means the Koch Bros. real laboratory is not Wisconsin, its their home state of Kansas.  And unless Kansas Moderate Republicans survive the primary tomorrow, Kansas goes the way Wisconsin would have.  

Huge cuts to what were decent public schools.
Huge cuts to social service infrastructure.
Emergency cuts when the tax plan leads to revenue chaos.

Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, says it's strange to see Gov. Sam Brownback working to dismantle powerful incumbents within his own party.

"To have this kind of absolutely brutal internecine warfare is certainly unprecedented," he says.

I have read some comments on other blogs where this is discussed, and one overwhelming sentiment is "let the Koch's have their laboratory and fall flat on their face".   The problem is SOME OF US HAVE TO LIVE HERE.

An excellent summary of the Kansas Senate map is here.

Originally posted to jgkojak on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


I hope

70%181 votes
29%77 votes

| 258 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site