Written by Rep. Paul Davis and Sen. Anthony Hensley
September 21, 2009

At the height of political hypocrisy, Sen. Sam Brownback announced last week that Kansas has secured a $1.78 million grant to build a rail spur in Salt City Business Park.  This is terrific news for Hutchinson and our state, but Sam Brownback deserves no credit.  In fact, Sen. Brownback opposed the legislation which provided the project funding. 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was a lifeboat for this state during a dismal budget year.  Without it, even the most basic functions of state government would have been demolished and economic turnaround would have been delayed for years.  Unfortunately when it came time to vote on this critical legislation, Sen. Brownback was more interested in toeing the party line than acting in the best interest of his constituents. 

On the Senate floor, he proclaimed ARRA was a “speculative bet that would not pay off,” and a “grab bag of aimless government spending.”  In truth, it provided for millions in major transportation projects and got thousands of Kansans back to work. It saved public schools from additional teacher layoffs.  It brought $69 million for unemployment insurance.  More than 1,000 public safety jobs were salvaged.  And now that ARRA is paying off in Kansas, Sen. Brownback is eager to claim credit, despite his ardent opposition to it in Washington.

In the ever-changing arena of politics, one truth remains constant: Kansans need elected officials who care more about the people they represent than the political party with which they affiliate.  Sen. Brownback- who is always running for an office aside from the one he holds- has never kept these priorities in order.  He has little more to show for his 14 years in Congress than a shattered economy, skyrocketing health care costs and an embarrassing attendance record.  It’s time to hold him accountable- the stakes are simply too high for Sam’s same old political games.

 

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