Liberal “Moderates” Unite In Governor’s Ticket


Thank you to Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network for this fine piece.

For the record, here’s how the Associated Press quoted Mark Parkinson in 2002:

“I would say that any Republican who supports Kathleen Sebelius for governor is either insincere or uninformed,” Parkinson said. “She is a left-wing liberal Democrat and no Republican in good conscience can support her.”

It is hardly surprising to me that two politicians, Mark Parkinson and Governor Kathleen Sebelius in this case, could have such a dramatic change of heart. I think we can reasonably conclude that these two politicians are so hungry for power that either will do anything that is necessary to gain or keep their office.

There is a simple solution. Reduce the power of government. If government was limited to performing only those very few functions that only government can do, politics would be so boring that few would be so attracted to political offices. Private life would be much better, however, as we regain the liberties that government has taken from us.

Liberal “Moderates” Unite In Governor’s Ticket
Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network

Over 40 years ago the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor of New York City provided the perfect response to describe his liberal Democratic and Republican opponents in that 1965 election, “Their differences are biological, not political,” said William F. Buckley. Kansas statehouse observers would not be cynical for having the same feeling about the self-described “moderates” in both the Republican and Democrat parties. This became vividly clear as Governor Sebelius made her selection of former GOP state chairman and former Johnson County legislator Mark Parkinson as her 2006 Lieutenant Governor running mate official May 31.

Naturally conservative Republicans were quick to point out the liberal positions on taxes, on judicial dominance over state school spending, on a variety of hot button social issues from illegal immigration subsidies for state college tuition, drivers licenses, expanding gambling, late term abortions, and the governor’s unsuccessful veto of conceal carry legislation in criticizing Kathleen Sebelius. Many self described GOP “moderates” in the legislature have voting records that reflect many of these positions along with their Democratic colleagues. For many average Kansans, if not the bulk of the Kansas news media establishment, these are left-wing, not “moderate” positions on key state issues.

Kansas GOP state party chairman, Tim Shallenburger, the unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, described Parkinson as, “…want to raise taxes, want to spend more, want to give their friends jobs.” The irony is that Parkinson’s comments in 2002 as state party chairman sound utterly prescient today, “Clearly, she’s (Sebelius) worried about her record which puts her squarely in the liberal camp. No running mate can disguise that.” In 1994, then Sen. Parkinson had joined with then Rep. Sebelius and a majority of the Kansas legislature to raise the statewide property tax from 33 to 35 mills or over six percent.

In 2002 then candidate Sebelius kept making fiscally conservative claims about opposing tax hikes before that gubernatorial election. Kansans now know from the last four years that Governor Sebelius supports tax hikes, expanding state gaming to raise revenues, as well as other revenue “enhancements” to help grow Kansas government. Recent polling indicates that will not go over well with the average Kansan.

Rasmussen Reports conducted a Kansas survey between April 3 and May 4 this year. This scientific poll asked 500 Kansans if tax increases helped or hurt the economy. By a better than 3-to-1 majority, Kansans said tax hikes hurt 59 percent-to-19 percent. When asked if tax cuts helped or hurt the state’s economy, a similar 3-to-1 majority said tax cuts helped. The figures here were 58-to-18. On a third question a narrow plurality said they would rank tax preparation worse than visiting the dentist 43 percent to 41 percent.

The conventional statehouse wisdom is that Governor Sebelius was going to win easy reelection against a weak GOP opponent coming out of the August primary in November. Actually, despite her hefty campaign treasury and all of the advantages of incumbency, Governor Sebelius is struggling with voters. Her poll numbers in a heads up match up with any of the likely GOP challengers has her stuck in the high 40’s despite the fact that none of her challengers even has 50 percent name recognition statewide.

There is a huge vulnerability to the governor from the activist and Democrat dominated Kansas Supreme Court that has forced the rest of the state government to submit to their specific fiscal demands. The average Kansan is not comfortable with judicial appropriation of state spending, an oligarchy of black robed lawyers steering state government, state subsidies for illegal aliens receiving everything from drivers licenses, in-state college tuition, as well as various forms of welfare. Throwing billions of more tax dollars at the government school structure in Kansas seems like a dismal repetition of the fiscal and educational failure that occurred in a Kansas City, Missouri courtroom 20 years ago.

Kansans view this judicial spending spree as left wing judicial activism but all practical Kansans want to see success in government and not a repetition of very expensive past failures. That’s why Governor Sebelius along with her activist and ethically challenged liberal Supreme Court are in political trouble in 2006. Mark Parkinson’s selection won’t solve that primary problem facing the governor since she must defend her record during the last four years.


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