The Koch brothers and their political entity, Americans for Prosperity, are spending millions in support of candidates who share the billionaires’ extreme conservative, anti-working families agenda. We’ve recently recapped their efforts to push this agenda in North Carolina, Colorado and Wisconsin, but one needn’t look any further than the Kochs’ own backyard for the latest example. According to the Washington Post, they’re coming to the defense of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, whose failed far-right policies are threatening his reelection prospects.
The Kochs’ support for Governor Brownback is hardly surprising, as the Governor has championed several pieces of extreme legislation straight out of the Koch playbook. During his first term, Brownback cut taxes for the wealthiest Kansans, while slashing state spending and cutting public jobs, according to the Post. As the economy continues to recover, other states have been able to reinvest increased tax revenues in K-12 education, but thanks to Brownback’s misguided, billionaire-friendly tax cuts, public schools in Kansas have had to significantly reduce their per-pupil spending. The Post notes that the state is currently facing a more than $300 million budget shortfall and some of the slowest economic growth in the region as a result of Brownback’s budget.
Brownback once referred to his drastic tax plan as a “real-live experiment,” a comment that drew ire for his favoring extreme ideology over effective fiscal policy. It’s no wonder that two of Kansas’ — and the country’s — biggest ideologues are deploying their largesse in his defense. In fairness, the money the Kochs could spend in support of Brownback’s reelection will likely pale in comparison to the tax break he handed them and other wealthy Kansans during his first term.