GOP: Look to the states
April 6th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

GOP: Look to the states

(CNN) - It's all but certain the Republican-backed budget won't be adopted for the federal government this year, so the GOP governor of Kansas pointed Saturday to a place the party can make change: at the state level.

Gov. Sam Brownback explained in the party's weekly address, "the ideas on how to fix the federal government are now percolating in the states, 30 of which are led by Republican governors.

"You see, you don't change America by changing Washington. You change America by changing the states. And that's exactly what Republican governors are doing across the country, taking a different approach to grow their states' economies and fix their governments with ideas that work," he said.

And Brownback should know. He served one term in the U.S. House before winning a special election for a U.S. Senate seat in 1996. He won a full Senate term two years later and was re-elected in 2004. In 2010, Brownback turned his attention back to state government.

His state was in straits, he explained.

"The year I became governor, the state began the fiscal year with just $876.05 in the bank, less than $1,000, and it projected a $500 million deficit. Two years later, we had a $500 million ending balance and did it without tax increases," he said

Brownback says he turned the situation around not by cutting needed programs, but finding "ways to reduce the cost of running state government while increasing our investments in key areas like research in aviation, agriculture and medicine."

But that doesn't mean everyone thinks Brownback is good news for the state.

"Kansans are common sense people who can see the disastrous consequences of Governor Brownback's policies," Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon said in February, after a Democratic polling firm found Brownback's disapproval rating was just over the 50% mark.

"Kansans are waking up to the fact that Governor Brownback is raising taxes on middle- and lower-income Kansans to pay for tax breaks for his wealthy supporters. This poll is proof that Kansans see through the fairy tale Brownback is spinning and understand his policies will hurt Kansas students, Kansas workers, and Kansas families."

The governor, however, says his leadership shows his party's ideas work.

"What I and other Republican governors around the country are doing is a lot like the Wichita State Shockers basketball team playing in the NCAA Final Four this weekend – unranked as a team, the pundits said 'you can't win' and the Shockers said, 'watch us,' " he said.


Filed under: Kansas • Sam Brownback
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. marcuscassius

    The GOP is looking more like the Taliban every day. They just can't stay out of anyone's life.

    April 6, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  2. fordneri

    We can't support the children we already have that were conceived voluntarily, so exactly how are we going to support children women are forced to birth. We need to build a nation friendly to citizens and the children will follow voluntarily.

    April 6, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Republican governors are growing their economies by denying women's rights, promoting invasive procedures, eliminating voters' rights, pushing anti worker legislation, cutting educational assistance, and taking us back to those rootin' tootin' gun shooting good old days of the 1880's.

    April 6, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Thomas

    Nor will the GOP – NRA position on assault weapons .

    Even republican governors are asking for tougher gun laws .

    April 6, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Like the latest communistic laws in N.C.???

    Is that what you think is so great?

    April 6, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Anonymous

    In other words, the red states are going to give back to the federal government more than they take? Didn't think so.

    The GOP has no idea the landslide against them coming their way in maybe not 2014, but most definitely in 2016. Especially in those southern red states still clinging to their racism and bigotry. Barack Hussien Obama won't be on the ticket then, but a democratic candidate that CAN deliver the red states will be on the ticket. So keep fooling yourselves, red states.

    Please proceed, Governors.

    April 6, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. lottie

    the states are turning into little nations run by the governors. Peoples rights go by the wayside, What ever we the people vote against the governors and senators and congress just pass as a bill. republicans are turning their backs on women and the poor and minorities. Same as usual . The poorest states with the worst education rankings highest welfare are all republican. Go figure.

    April 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |