Daily Archives: Aug. 12, 2013

Kansas a model on wrong way to cut taxes

Nebraska wants to lower its state income tax, and is using Kansas as a model – of what not to do. Rather than approve tax cuts without a plan for paying for them, as Kansas did, the Nebraska Legislature created a tax-modernization commission to carefully evaluate different options. “The lesson from Kansas: Don’t wade into the complicated swamp of state policy without thinking through the consequences on state services and other taxes,” wrote Paul Hammel of the Omaha World-Herald.

Odds favoring Moran-led GOP takeover of Senate

Democratic retirements in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia and competitive GOP challengers elsewhere are serving the mission of National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran, R-Kan., to win six seats in November 2014 and return the Senate to GOP control. “You have to say the Senate is broadly in play. Most of the takeover opportunities are Republican opportunities to take over Democratic seats,” Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, told the Wall Street Journal. Moran –who last week was listed as one of the “100 People to Watch This Fall” by the Hill newspaper – said: “There’s a lot of work to be done, but we feel very comfortable about the progression of the map in our favor.” There are no signs Moran will have to worry about Sen. Pat Roberts’ bid for a fourth term in his home state, of course. Roberts had $1.5 million on hand as of last month and no Democratic challenger, though Army veteran Aaron Estabrook is exploring a run as an independent under the banner of the Moderate Party of Kansas.

Is Kansas GOP to the right of libertarians?

“We are moderates who will represent the interests and security of the people, natural resources and industries in Kansas that are ignored by big-money politics,” said Tresa McAlhaney, who is seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for Kansas governor in 2014. Is the Kansas GOP now so far to the right that it makes libertarians seem moderate? Of course, much of the big money behind Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas GOP is coming from wealthy libertarians.

Brownback’s quick move to Senate still stands out

Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced last week that he’s running for Senate, which is no easy leap. “Over the last 40 years just two House freshmen have won seats in the Senate: Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) in 1996 and Rod Grams (R-Minn.) in 1994,” reported the Washington Post’s Fix blog. Brownback (in photo), who made the move when Bob Dole exited the Senate to run for president, went on to serve in the Senate until 2010, when he won his race for governor.