Introducing Republican Gov. Sam Brownback … the moderate?
Brownback — the conservative leader of an increasingly conservative Republican Party in Kansas — is campaigning across the state to drum up support for funding higher education with a sales tax extension.
The latest battle with the Legislature — he has lost precious few — pits him awkwardly against traditionally conservative allies.
They want to end part of the sales tax and cut higher education to pay for tax cuts that left a roughly $700 million hole in the budget for next year.
In some ways, he can’t lose.
If the state’s colleges and universities are spared, Brownback’s efforts would be a key reason why. And the governor would stand to get credit.
“If he loses, he’d say, ‘The Legislature didn’t agree with me, but I fought for higher education,’” said Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty.