Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Who ARE these people?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Who ARE these people?

Almost daily, Kansans who don't live in shacks in the woods are forced to listen to nonstop drivel about the eeeevil Gov. Sam Brownback and his diabolical plan to let people keep more of their own money.

I realize that the Kansas budget has a problem, and I recognize the wise consideration legislators are giving to closing the unintended consequences of the LLC loophole. That said, I STILL believe that Kansas has more of a spending problem, and I'm also not opposed to just starving the bureaucratic beast.

Legislators returned to Topeka on Wednesday, and the Senate spent part of Thursday debating closing the loophole. From the outside looking in, it really appears that legislators are digging in their heels. I can't even guess how this one ends. 

But I do know that for the next few weeks, we'll likely be daily bombarded with quips from this group -- the Kansas Center for Economic Growth.Their drivel is tiresome, that's for sure. This outfit sprung out of nowhere in 2013. They snuck up on the Sunflower State like an uncle with boundary issues. And can I just note that today's "economic growth" is yesterday's "for the children?" At one time, no spending was too bloated if it was "for the children." Today, we can never spend enough in pursuit of "economic growth." 

An avid news reader can't throw an elbow without running into a quote from the KCEG or one of its leaders. (It boasts a staff of four people, including a lady who worked at the University of Kansas, some guy from Minnesota and a woman who has an English degree, so almost the Kansas equivalent of a degree in puppetry.)

I have some truly unkind thoughts about these people, but I'll spare you. With the exception of Duanne Goossen, the sour grapes former budget director who truly helmed the USS Kansas into the side of a budget iceberg, they are all quasi-private citizens, and I'm polite. So I'll spare you my thoughts on the individuals involved.

I will NOT however spare the media nor the organization itself. Just who is this group of has-beens attempting to direct public policy?

That's where it gets interesting. 

Their website describes them as a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research and analysis to promote balanced state polices that ensure that all Kansans prosper."

First, we can throw out "nonpartisan." I have yet to find a single story in which this group offers any solution that doesn't involve bashing Brownback or conservative principles. That appears to be the organization's raison d'etre. 

If they're a "non-partisan" organization, then I am, too. Please send checks, and I'll start testifying in Topeka and knocking people over to get in front of news cameras to offer my "research" and "analysis." Seriously, send checks.

And let's chat about the questionable term "nonprofit" as used in the organization's description. Nonprofits are required to file an IRS Form 990, but according to Guidestar.com, no such org exists. You're welcome to check it out yourself, but here's a screenshot:

They're also not registered as a corporation in Kansas with the Kansas Secretary of State's Office. 

Please compare, for example, the way the Topeka Capital-Journal describes this outfit to the way the journalists at the Cap-J describe the Kansas Policy Institute -- a think tank with a very similar description, albeit one that has filed forms with the IRS and the Secretary of State's Office.

So just who is this outfit, and for the love of all things holy, why is the media just taking them at their word?

As one savvy person recently suggested to me that, "the Kansas Center for Economic Growth doesn't actually exist and is perhaps a shell organization with a fancy-sounding name that exists to criticize the Brownback administration on economic matters."

I'd add only one thing, and it's something that so-called fiscal conservatives who are socially liberal don't seem to grasp: Morals are directly tied to dollars and cents. There's a reason most fiscal conservatives align with social conservatives. Finances and morals are inextricably tied together. I don't believe that the KCEG's sole political focus is financial. That's the story they're selling -- poorly, albeit with ample assistance from the media -- and that outfit is a beast likely to grow more (social left-leaning) heads. 


  1. Attack dogs of war that sound conservative but reek to high heaven as stinking derisive progressive-liberal plants. Do not listen to these tax and spend more crony capitalists.