Self-serving political forces in Kansas won’t quit, determined to unseat state lawmakers who pushed back against an irresponsible ultraconservative agenda.
They’ve targeted those lawmakers in postcards filled with bogus claims. As the mailings arrive — repeatedly — Kansans should consider the source.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), supported by the billionaire Koch brothers, endorsed the failed economic experiment that drove huge budget deficits and saddled Kansas with unnecessary debt and numerous setbacks to core services that will take years to mend.
The postcards are deliberately misleading, as usual. The stunt started in 2012 when AFP and like organizations launched a campaign of lies that helped purge several moderate lawmakers who resisted radical change directed by Gov. Sam Brownback, a faithful AFP-Koch ally.
Once Brownback and fellow ultraconservatives were in charge, Kansas headed backward as deep income-tax cuts practically broke the state.
Last year, commonsense Kansans determined to stop the bleeding voted numerous pro-Brownback legislators out of office. From there, a more moderate Legislature responded to the will of the people by restoring the income-tax revenue recklessly slashed by the governor and his cohorts.
Still, the AFP postcards try to portray the change as bad for Kansas families.
It’s a lie. Lawmakers helped families by restoring deductions for home mortgage interest, property taxes and medical expenses, along with child-care tax credits Brownback’s side scrapped.
Personal and business tax rates now are lower than when Brownback took office.
AFP started sending postcards well in advance of the 2018 election cycle,and appears to have spent more than $1 million on the effort — so far.
Among area Republicans in their sights are Sen. John Doll and Rep. John Wheeler of Garden City; Rep. Russ Jennings of Lakin; House Majority Leader Rep. Don Hineman of Dighton; and Sen. Mary Jo Taylor of Stafford.
They vowed to restore fiscal sanity in Kansas, and did so knowing they’d be maligned by the Koch-fueled political machine.
The same attack-ad strategy did fail miserably in 2016. Kansans weren’t fooled then, and should find it easy to ignore the pathetic sequel now appearing in mailboxes.