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Buckshot and politics
Fiscal solutions lie somewhere in the middle
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Later this week, dozens of hunters will join Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for the second-annual Ringneck Classic. The four-day event, which opens Thursday at Oakley, will feature trap and sporting clay shooting on Thursday and Friday. A seven-hour hunt takes place on Saturday, with an extra hunt on Sunday.
The purpose is to cast a spotlight on pheasant hunting in northwest Kansas, and what it means to the state.
Meanwhile, 290 miles and over four hours east on I-70, conservative state Republican lawmakers in Topeka are plotting how they plan to close a budget shortfall resulting from their push to cut taxes.
The GOP right will control the Legislature as its members and their leader, the conservative Republican Brownback, face a projected $328 million gap between anticipated revenues and existing spending commitments for the fiscal year beginning in July 2013. Last week’s elections resulted in Republicans keeping majorities of 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House, and the Senate is far more conservative than it has been.
The governor has already taken aim and pulled the trigger on a number of cuts to state spending. So far, he and his ilk have utilized a shotgun approach to reductions, scattering the budget with buckshot.
 At least Kansas as a state isn’t facing a “fiscal cliff” like that dogging our president and Congress. Regardless of the party in power in the Sunflower State, we’ve maintained a level of common sense not seen at the federal level.
In their speeches Tuesday night, both the victorious President Barak Obama and his challenger Gov. Mitt Romney urged for cooperation as the nation tackles its deficit woes. Although it is way to early to see if their words had an impact, at least they are trying to set a positive tone of bi-partisanship.
Our governor and Legislature continue to buck overtures and assistance from Washington. We can only hope that as they hunt for solutions, they look at what’s best for the state as a whole without allowing their ultra-right views to cloud their judgement.
Dale Hogg