Jim Barnett, a physician and Republican member of the Kansas Senate from Emporia, will join the field seeking the nomination for United States Congress from the first district of Kansas.
But when Wagle — a proven fiscal conservative — ran for president of the Kansas Senate, Barnett did not support her. In fact, sources say he encouraged others to vote against her.
So instead of a proven fiscal conservative leading the Senate, Kansas was stuck with the continued tenure of moderate Republicans: Senate President Stephen Morris, Vice President John Vratl, and Majority Leader Derek Schmidt.
This was particularly unfortunate for Kansas as this was a tough budget year. The Kansas House ended up simply concurring with the budget that the Senate produced — a budget that we now know had mistakes and omissions. Already the governor is forced to make spending decisions that should be made by the legislature.
Barnett’s lifetime rating from the Kansas Taxpayer Network’s legislative rankings is poor, meaning that he has been inclined to vote for increased taxation and spending. His message in today’s Emporia Gazette story was different, however, citing his “history of fiscal responsibility.”
He also said that “There is no doubt that government has gotten too big” and that “we need someone who’s fiscally responsible.”
Too bad he doesn’t believe that as a member of the Kansas Senate. He could have backed up his words with action.