Chamber PAC endorsements useful to supporters, critics

The political action committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce released last week a list of “pro-business candidates” it supports in the August primaries. A key litmus test was whether lawmakers voted against the temporary sales-tax increase in 2010. “Some in the Kansas Senate and House opted for tax increases instead of responsible spending cuts,” chamber PAC chairman Ivan Crossland said in a press release. Yet Gov. Sam Brownback and chamber-endorsed candidates had the past two years to revoke the sales tax but made no move to do so. In fact, the Kansas Chamber and Brownback now want the sales-tax increase to be permanent. The chamber also doesn’t seem to like lawmakers such as Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, who challenged parts of Brownback’s agenda. Rochelle Chronister, spokeswoman for Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, said the endorsement list is useful to critics of the chamber’s tax policies because it identifies whom not to vote for – candidates who “push an out-of-step economic agenda that will force sales and property taxes to skyrocket.”