The Topeka Capital-Journal chose to honor the nomination of Gov. Sam Brownback to serve as America Ambassador for Religious Freedom with one, hopefully last, low blow. Headlined,“The Brownback years: our 10 most popular stories about the governor,” the article is an unhinged exercise in schoolboy schadenfreude unworthy of a major newspaper.
The number 10 article goes under the headline “A way out.” The reader learns, “As soon as it became clear Donald Trump would become president, talk began of Brownback finding a role in the new administration.” It “became clear” around 1 a.m. on November 9. The article continues, “Chatter focused on Brownback’s agriculture experience.” The sentence is testament to why “chatter” is pointless and ought not be trafficked in by a major newspaper.
Article 8 “Flushed with cash” tells of how hunters paid $15,000 “to slaughter birds” to help raise money for a PAC affiliated with Brownback. Shockingly, the PAC later “funneled cash to Kansans for Life.” Cash? Our guess is that the PAC sent KFL a check. KFL, with an able assist from the governor and other Cap-J targets like former Attorney General Phill Kline, was instrumental in ending Kansas’s reign as the world’s late term abortion capital.
Article 7 celebrates the “Quartet in harmony”–governors Hayden, Graves, Carlin and Sebelius–who either tolerated or enabled Wichita’s George Tiller to ignore state laws and “slaughter” healthy viable babies throughout their governorships. In June, “They established an alliance to oppose Brownback’s policies and allies in the Legislature.” In so doing, they brought to power a cabal of Republicans so fake the term “RINO” does their fraud an injustice.
For all of the undoubted virtues of these governors, they left Kansas in desperate need of an economic fix. Private job growth in Kansas had tanked by the time Brownback was elected. While surrounding states were cutting taxes and making business climates sunnier, Kansas was doing its unwitting best to punish productivity and to reward cronyism.
As a result, there were fewer private-sector jobs in the state in 2011, after Sebelius’s cronies had been driven out of Topeka, than there were in 2003, when she and they set up tent. About the only sector that prospered under her watch was the late-term abortion industry. “Quartet of harmony” indeed!
Articles 6 through 2 allow Brownback haters to indulge in the governor’s trivial missteps more imagined than real, but with article 1 the Cap-J moves from the sophomoric to the downright sleazy. Readers get to relive the misadventures of Brownback’s criminally troubled brother Jim, who is accused of “involking” (sic) his brother’s name to escape punishment.
In this article, the Cap-J folks have done the seemingly impossible: make the Star look smart by comparison.