Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): WHY ARE WE ALWAYS BEHIND THE 8 BALL?? Why? Why?

Monday, February 9, 2015


 Unless you've been living off-the-grid in a shack on the side of a mountain, you've recently been bombarded by public school shills threatening to recall Gov. Sam Brownback over cuts to school funding.

Their response to the $45 million in cuts is laughable. They're using a Moveon.org petition to recall the recently re-elected Governor. Their odds of success are slightly lower than my chances of winning Wednesday's $450 million Powerball lottery.

But the silly petition is getting some traction. Recently, I have seen perfectly sane people bemoaning the "cut." 

And now I'll explain why normal people have been drawn in to this irritating circus of misinformation. It is the fault of conservatives and the Governor. I'm sorry, but it is. 

That's right, you dear conservative, need to take a small sliver of the blame for this.

Anyone with two functioning brain cells and the tiniest bit of information could see this news story coming. Kansas revenue was short of projections and public education receives more than 50 percent of the revenue pie. Of course, education funding was going to take a hit. And as surely as night follows day, the liberal media and KNEA shills were going to use that fact to bludgeon the Governor. This should not have come as a surprise. 

Media loves bad Brownback photos
What I find continually shocking is conservatives are always two or three days behind the running media narrative. I don't get it.

First, Kansas GOP leaders should long have been saying one likely reason for the revenue drop is a change in federal capital gains rates, caused by the President's forced expiration of some Bush tax cuts.

(I realize they tried, but not hard enough. One must search hard to find that explanation, and one must be wiser than a turnip to understand it.)

Try harder, GOP and Governor. Mentions of the forced expiration of Bush tax cuts and its effect on Kansas' budget should have been dropped into every single press release on the budget -- FROM DAY ONE. 

For the general populace a truth must be repeated several times before it sinks in. Liberals have to hear a truth about 60,000 times before they even consider it or attempt to refute it.

More importantly, the fact that this is a cut to an anticipated increase can not be repeated enough. Despite the perceived cut, Kansas schools will still receive more in state funding than they did last year.

Why, oh why, did the Governor's Office wait what seemed like three days before mentioning the fact? 

And let's talk about that mention: It was mentioned in the weirdest, strangest, most awkward way. I received a personal email from the Governor's Office. It appeared in my email as from "Melika Willoughby (GO)." The "(GO)" stands for Governor's Office and the email address attests as  much.

But from there, I can't figure out exactly to whom to attribute the email.

It reads:

"My fellow Kansan,

"As you may have heard, Governor Brownback announced additional budget reductions yesterday.  Here is what the Kansas mainstream media won't be reporting.  The Legislature significantly increased spending on schools in the budget bill last year.  Six months later, the Governor and Legislature were given a $63.6 million dollar bill above the budgeted increase as the Kansas Department of Education underestimated the fiscal note for the school finance bill passed last year. This is one example of why the school finance formula needs to be replaced. 

Yesterday, a reduction of $28 million to school districts was announced.  Even after the reduction (to the increase), school districts are still getting $177 million more this school year from state funds than last school year.  What about the concern of reductions during the school year?  The reserves of school districts have grown significantly over the last few years.  At the following link, there is a listing of each school district's reduction (of the increase) under the heading 1.5% General State Aid Reduction.  In the column to the right of the reduction is each district's cash reserves that are in accounts they are statutorily allowed to move over to cover classroom operating costs."

And then there are some links -- one to each school district's reduction in increase and another to a Wichita podcast.

The email is unsigned.

This public relations response is baffling to me. If you're going to be a full-day behind, why bother responding? Seriously. Responding when you're this far behind the narrative only serves to keep a damaging narrative front and center.

Conservatives (and the vast majority of Kansans -- who not only voted for Brownback, but did so overwhelmingly) know that our public schools are bottomless pits of spending. No amount of money yanked from our pockets and diverted to indoctrination camps will ever be enough to keep the KNEA happy.

There's barely a blip in the pupil-teacher ratio. In 2009, there were 14.4 students per teacher in Kansas schools. Now there are 15 students per teacher. That's according to the Kansas Department of Education. (More information is here at Wichita Liberty.) I'm just spit-balling here, but maybe that fact should get a mention from the administration up front -- as in the day the cuts are announced, rather than a day or two later. Despite the wailing of teachers and their sycophants, the sky isn't falling.

A savvy administration could harness some of the power of the press, but for reasons I will never understand, this administration chooses not to. 

(Dear administration friends, the next time you're about to do something that you know is going to be controversial, please, please phone a friend. Or email one.)

It may be time for Brownback to keep a public relations firm on retainer. (Or if he is, maybe it's time to find another one??? I mean no disrespect to Brownback's myriad of public information officers, but come on!!! We all knew what the response to the "cut" announcement was going to be.)

And here's where conservatives get a healthy dose of the blame for this unflattering narrative: Where on earth are you, conservatives? Social media is flooded with stupid links to that Moveon.org petition. There is very little opposing information in the comments sections or in status updates to these stupid posts.

I first started seeing links to the petition of ignorance from my KNEA-active friends. They have a very selfish reason for posting such nonsense, but their incessant teeth-gnashing is now gaining some traction. I am noting apolitical, but quietly right-leaning friends now posting and signing this ridiculous petition.

Why? Because when the petition first began circulating, no one was soundly and loudly posting facts to dispute it.

This should serve as a lesson to legislators. While I agreed whole-heartedly with recent tax cuts, thinking people understood that spending cuts had to happen (at first) in order to stabilize the budget. (Over time, tax cuts generate additional income as businesses add people and increase their own spending. Key words: Over time.) 

Legislators should have cut spending BEFORE they cut taxes. And it should be noted, I believe there's still room for additional cuts. Kansas doesn't have a money tree. I can speak from personal experience, working people and the middle class are hurting right now and have been for some time. State and federal spending MUST be cut to preserve our way of life, and tax cuts should follow -- eventually leading to increased revenues.

I have to believe the vast majority of Kansans, who recently re-elected Brownback, understand what's going on here. And I'm not sure what those (paltry few) who voted for Paul Davis expected to happen if Davis received the nod. Budget revenues were trending low before anyone cast a ballot in 2014. Voters understood that budgetary concerns were likely to mean cuts somewhere or tax increases. Davis would likely have added tax increases, if he could find enough legislators to support them. (Unlikely). Brownback was likely to pursue cuts. Voters had a clear choice and they made it -- two months ago.

Still, I wonder: When will conservatives learn? 

The silent majority isn't the majority for long if it remains silent.

1 comment:

  1. Why are the Repubs behind the eight ball? For any number of reasons:
    No forethought. No real end game. The Koch's didn't tell you what to think/how to handle beforehand. Party of neanderthals, morons, and liars. Would Would cut off your nose to spite your face if it meant making the loud minority happy.