Jobs goal – Here’s the hype from Gov. Sam Brownback: He recently announced a goal to help create 100,000 private-sector jobs over a new four-year term if he’s re-elected this fall. Here’s the sobering reality: Brownback’s first term has provided little evidence that he can come close to making good on that pledge. For 2014, the state is averaging just 1,000 new private-sector jobs a month. Kansas would have to create 2,083 new jobs a month over four years to reach 100,000.
In 2012, the governor pushed for significant income tax cuts as a way to stimulate job growth and energize the economy. He promised businesses would flock to Kansas, existing firms would eagerly add to their respective payrolls, and we’d realize an economic “shot of adrenaline.” It hasn’t happened. A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that in terms of growth in nonfarm jobs, Kansas trailed all neighboring states except Nebraska over the last year.
‘Brownbroke’ – Even if Gov. Sam Brownback is re-elected (doable) and is able to create 100,000 jobs (doubtful), that won’t solve the state’s budget problem. More Kansans working would be great, but that won’t pay the bills, pave the roads, educate the kids, care for the elderly or enforce the laws. You have to have revenue, and Brownback’s tax cuts have severely reduced that. If all the budget numbers are too confusing, then just remember one word: “Brownbroke.”
Preschool politics – Consider Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s central re-election campaign message since the primary – opponent Paul Davis is a “liberal Lawrence lawyer.” This is politics today. It’s all about labels and television advertising designed to make emotional, not rational, appeals to voters. It’s preschool politics, and it’s insulting to the intellect of voters.
Right to know – In denying a request by the Parsons Sun newspaper to unseal a probable-cause affidavit, District Judge Robert Fleming of Labette County said: “I think I need to keep in mind that it’s the public’s right to know, not necessarily the individual media.” What? Does the judge think a Parsons Sun reporter is going to read the documents for his or her own edification, then toss them in a drawer or simply pass them around the newsroom? Whatever the judge was thinking, his statement was incredulous. There is no law that addresses the media’s right to know separate from the public’s right to know.
Money in athletics – When asked about how university athletic programs have bowed to outside interests, such as lucrative TV contracts, Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder didn’t mince words. “I think we’ve sold out,” he said. “We’re all about dollars and cents.” Does the fact that the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium recently underwent a $90 million renovation, with another $65 million in work scheduled after this season, weaken the coach’s point? Maybe so, or maybe it offers him the perfect platform to say enough is enough.