I listened to Governor Sam Brownback’s “State of the State Address” on Jan. 15th. I found it to be a wishy-washy speech. I agree with his proposal that the two agencies: The Kansas Department of Transportation and The Kansas Turnpike Authority should be merged. The Governor is quite correct that we do not need two separate highway departments. If I were Governor, I would press one step further to make the Turnpike a “free highway” as it was originally promoted to be, after a period-of-time of tolls, which has expired many years ago.
Gov. Brownback then diverted to a “blame game” of blasting former President Lyndon B. Johnson regarding the war on poverty. Granted, some of President Johnson’s programs didn’t reduce poverty, as fully as was then hoped for. However, for Brownback to blame a man (L.B.J.) who has been dead 40 years is the lowest of lame excuses. Then, for Brownback to promote elimination of the State of Kansas’ income-tax by gleefully saying: “Look out Texas ---- here comes Kansas”. Brownback blasts Lyndon Johnson ---a Texan; yet Brownback wants to emulate and copy Texas fiscal policies. I have some “news” for Gov. Brownback: Kansas doesn’t have the population, geography, climate, jobs, natural resources, and access to the Gulf of Mexico...all of which Texas has (along with more excellent attributes). Brownback suffers from admiring Texas Governor Rick Perry too much with literal blind-faith. Both men suffer from “Oops moments”.
I applaud Gov. Brownback when he’s right. However, when he is doing a hypocritical whitewash, I believe in demonstrating when Brownback is wrong. Regarding selection of appeals court Judges, Brownback said: “Kansans deserve a government that is not beholden to any special interest group”. Currently, he makes selections from a list provided him by the state Bar Association. Brownback wants to make the selections directly himself. That isn’t streamlining, that’s dictatorial. Micro-managing state-policy is Brownback’s greatest failing. James A. Marples