In the past thirteen presidential elections, the state of Kansas has given all of its electoral votes to the Republican nominee. The state's House of Representatives is comprised of a GOP super-majority at 73.6 percent and both U.S. Senators are red. So why is the incumbent GOP governor, Sam Brownback, behind in the polls?
During Brownback's first term, he supported substantial tax reform that reduced the top income tax rate by 25 percent, lowered the state sales tax, and did away with a tax on small business income. Though many liberal opponents disagreed with his approach, the advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform praised Governor Brownback and said that the "tax cuts are working."
This August, Standard & Poor downgraded the state's credit rating from an AA+ to AA citing the controversial tax overhaul. The decrease in state income did not help the budget's bottom line leaving uneven income and outcome numbers to blame for the credit downgrade.
Kansas Democrats have anchored their campaign in what they believe is failed tax reform and have cornered Brownback for his small government, low taxes platform. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, Gov. Sam Brownback is down 4 points against Democratic candidate, Paul Davis who has been running a spotless campaign thus far.
And now, finally, Governor Sam Brownback has something to hoot and holler about.
After weeks of giving Republican Gov. Sam Brownback a strong challenge in GOP-leaning Kansas, his Democratic opponent is on the defensive over disclosures that he was inside a strip club during a 1998 meth raid and an officer reported finding him in a dark back room with a nearly naked woman.
Democrat Paul Davis was 26 and single, a young attorney in a firm representing the owner of the club near Coffeyville in southeast Kansas. The owner spent six years in federal prison after the raid, but Davis was not arrested.
Now the deeply conservative voters of Kansas will have to decide: Do moral convictions outweigh controversial tax reform? Are they okay with a gubernatorial candidate caught with a stripper during a meth raid? I think conservatives could go either way on this issue, but one thing is for sure: Governor Brownback's attack ad with a guy getting a lap dance will be easy for voters to understand and possibly turn their stomachs.