To the editor:
In 2016, those in political control of the state were working to change education from an obligation to our future generations into whatever money was left over after we kept an ever-increasing proportion of wealth for ourselves through the 2013 income tax cuts and the trigger mechanism.
The Kansas Legislative Research Department estimated that the 2013 state income tax cuts would have decreased revenues for education and public services by $7 billion over seven years’ time. The projected revenue cut increased every year, partially because as our wealth and economy grow, the trigger mechanism would have cut income tax rates further to ensure education did not grow. The share of our wealth we dedicate to education would have shrunk in perpetuity.
In 2016, we voters of the 33rd district elected Mary Jo Taylor as Senator and reversed this course. The major responsibility that we have and the largest work that we do in our state government are educating our children. As a teacher, principal and superintendent Mary Jo Taylor has lived this reality, one child at a time, benefiting generations of students over 30 years’ time. She has continued to carry that responsibility and deliver that benefit during her four years in the Senate.
The postcards we have received in recent weeks show the same pro-income tax cut political lobby that backed Taylor’s opponent in 2016 supports her current challenger. These are organizations with the backing of millionaires and billionaires, budgets of tens of millions and hundreds of national staff. They produce postcards, media ads and robo-calls that target legislators and candidates that do not comply with their self-serving political agendas. None of these organizations apologized for the Brownback income tax cut financial mess. If they had their way, we would still be living the Brownback income tax cut wreck plus more. Apparently, they see Taylor’s opponent as their path to get what they want.
In March, 2019, Taylor’s opponent, Alicia Straub, was selected by political party committee members to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Greg Lewis of the 113th House district after he resigned for health reasons. The 113th district representatives have a long history of traditional Kansas common sense values and service to the people of the district. During the legislative session, Bob Bethell would send a weekly newsletter on current hearings and bills, asking for input from his constituents. Often times he would reply on the same Saturday mornings that I sent him an email. Marshall Christmann contacted me by cellphone. Basil Dannebohm stopped by my house. Greg Lewis replied to correspondence, issued newsletters during session and even emails outside of session. They were serving their constituents. And they were targeted by the pro-income tax cut political lobby.
I have asked for newsletters, information and response to questions from Straub. The response from Straub as my representative in the Kansas House has been absolutely nothing. But it appears the pro-income tax cut political lobby has seen or heard enough to know she is their candidate.
Taylor is a proven supporter of traditional Kansas common sense values and service to her constituents. Please honor our heritage and vote to re-elect Senator Mary Jo Taylor on Aug. 4.