4/26/16

Priorities . . .

Here's my new gripe on the state of politics in 2016 . . . the focus on the stupid and small. The misprioritization of the profession. We live (if a neighbor of mine you be) in a state FULL of actual problems.

We have high unemployment. We have more and more people moving out of the state every year. We have a deficit that would make even an NFL payroll wince. We have football and basketball coaches as the highest paid employees at not only our universities but some of our high schools. We have growing obesity. We have dropping test scores. We have a dated infrastructure. We have towns that are literally disappearing. We have thousands of square miles ripe for wind and sun "farming" and a push to NOT develop those resources. We have one of the richest families in the world three miles from where I sit and they lord over the political process for actual sport. Our schools are woefully underfunded. Our focus on education somewhere below the pursuit of better movie snacks and collector's edition sports memorabilia.

More over we have elected officials who, true to form, seem to be stoking the fires of ignoring these issues and trying to distract people away. What has our Legislature been up to? Bathroom policies. Honoring the professional sports team from a neighboring state. Protecting the "rights" of florists to not make corsages for "the gays"(and our "right" to pay the huge fees for an expert witness/bigot to fly in to testify). Oh, oh . . . and taking recess. Because it is exhausting to be a legislator in Kansas. All those hearings on nothing and all that energy grandstanding about how much you care about all people (while advocating for wealthy, white, Christian males).

Don't even get me started on Governor Brownback who - again this week - needed to tell the world that Kansas is not open to Syrian refugees (because of the "threat" - but he's also not open to discussing gun policy despite this happening here recently). He won't look at eliminating the "LLC Loophole" because there are "many other options" to fixing our budget woes. He's a truly lost cause. "We" re-elected him. "We" did this to us.

But here's the thing . . . there is a growing rift. The Republicans in the Legislature seem to be "getting" it. They are grumbling behind the scenes and are expected to be more vocal when they return from their much-needed respite later this week. There is a chance they will push the issue of looking at EVERY option to fixing our budget woes, to getting a better focus on schools and infrastructure, to making things right for the future of Kansas.

You see, unlike The Guv, every one of THEM (on the Assembly side, half in the Senate) is up for re-election in November. THAT has their attention. THAT has them getting focused. Priorities, dear fellow Kansans, PRIORITIES.