Brownback has long list of ‘firsts’ that need highlighting

Sen. Mitch Holmes (pic courtesy of Kansas Legislative website)

I recently received an email from a colleague in the Kansas Legislature that I wanted to share with my constituents. I agree with the writer, Sen. Mitch Holmes from the 33rd District, that these facts about Gov. Sam Brownback need to be known. As a fellow conservative Republican, I believe it’s vital that we continue this legacy of successful leadership in our state.

Here’s what Mitch had to say (minor edits for online reading):

“Dear Friends,

With Election Day approaching fast, I thought I would share some of my observations of Governor Brownback. I hope to share some things that the major media has downplayed or ignored altogether.

Governor Brownback has a long list of “firsts” that really need to be highlighted. Furthermore, he has been more concerned with policies that will have long term benefits for Kansans than about getting re-elected. He wants your grandchildren to have a great state to live in.

When visiting with him once, he stated that he didn’t do as most politicians do and save all the controversies till after getting re-elected. Instead, he pushed for what he believed to be the right policies during his first term. In other words, Kansans won’t be surprised by a different man during a second term.

Here’s a list of firsts that I came up with without much mental effort (notice the long-term nature of these):

  • He is the first Governor in memory to demand the Legislature fix our ailing pension system – it is now recovering nicely
  • The first Governor to initiate a 50-year plan for all of our state’s water needs – extremely important for both urban and rural people
  • The first to be proactive in taking on rural decline with the “Rural Opportunity Zone”
  • The first to reduce the size of the bureaucracy in Kansas
  • The first to pass over career bureaucrats, and appoint real people with business and science backgrounds to top positions in state government
  • He’s the first to allow public schools to opt out of rules and regulations that are burdensome to comply with
  • The first to require reading proficiency for 3rd grader
  • Brownback is the first governor to stand up to overreaching Federal agencies
  • Brownback is the first governor to strategically cut taxes to attract new businesses and encourage new startups
  • The first to streamline the process of adopting a child.

On the subject of adopting children, I have a good friend who has adopted 12 children over the past 17 years and fostered many more. He told me that since Brownback took office, there has been a dramatic culture change in the state agencies they have to deal with. He says the state agencies have changed from being a bureaucratic nightmare to actually being helpful to those who would take on children coming from bad situations.

In contrast, Rep. Davis is a totally different person. My first memory of him was my first year in the House of Representatives (2005) when he stepped up to the microphone and boldly declared that the end justifies the means.

Shortly after that, we were debating a bill that would fix a loophole in Kansas law. If a person being arrested for drug possession can get rid of the drugs by managing to swallow them, he/she is no longer legally “in possession”, and the arrest gets aborted. This particular bill corrected the law by defining “drug possession” to include those ingested or injected by the possessor. Paul Davis, along with Rep. Ann Mah, argued that this bill would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens!

One more note about Rep. Davis. His voting record has been consistently liberal…any suggestion that he is moderate is absurd and a deliberate attempt to obfuscate his political philosophy.

Keep in mind that he was hand-picked by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be the Minority Leader. He has voted against almost every major bill that has passed. This record shows how out-of-touch he is with Kansas values. I believe, based on his record, that he would veto more bills than not if elected as governor! Remember, these bills come from citizen legislators, not from professional politicians.

You can see that I’m not building a case to vote for the lesser of two evils. The differences in the candidates are striking, and you have a very clear choice. Also, we can statistically show that in a three way race, a vote for a third party (such as Libertarian of Independent) helps get the Democrat elected.

I hope this helps you see the polar opposite of our gubernatorial candidates from someone who has firsthand knowledge. A lot is at stake and I hope you’ll think of Kansas’ long term interests for your extended family this election day.

Mitch Holmes

Kansas State Senate

33rd District”

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