November 29, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Montgomery County Chronicle Uses Parlor Tricks

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Add the Montgomery County Chronicle to the list of agenda-driven news sources. The paper published an article, Legislature Unable to Override Brownback’s Veto, on its Facebook page Feb. 23.

It begins: “The Kansas Legislature late Wednesday was unable to secure enough support to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto on an income tax reduction repeal that was approved by both chambers of the Kansas Legislature last week.”

The writer never once refers to a tax increase, choosing instead to refer to the vetoed measure as an “income tax reduction repeal.”

Sleight of Hand

The writer uses semantics throughout to disguise his bias and resorts to outright myths near the end of the piece.

“Just one year ago, the Kansas Legislature’s consideration of repealing the Brownback-led income tax reductions would never have been considered, due to the conservative composition of both legislative chambers,” he editorializes. “However, ouster of about one dozen conservative lawmakers in the 2016 ushered in a more moderate element in the state capitol.”

This is demonstrably false.

Since 2014, legislators have voted more than once to roll back the so-called LLC-loophole. It failed every time, because so-called moderate Republicans and the Democrats voted it down. Take SB 63 in 2014. The legislation would have overturned 2012 tax reforms, but 24 moderate Republicans and the Democrats voted it down.

The no votes included Barbara Bollier, Tom Burroughs, Sydney Carlin, Stephanie Clayton, Diana Dierks John Doll, Blaine Finch, Gail Finney, Stan Frownfelter, Broderick Henderson, Jerry Henry, Larry Hibbard, Don Hill, Don Hineman, Roderick Houston, Russell Jennings, Annie Kuether, Tom Moxley, Tom Phillips, Melissa Rooker, Kent Thompson, Brandon Whipple, John Wilson and Valdenia Winn.

The legislation Brownback vetoed marked the largest tax increase in Kansas history, despite the newspaper’s parlor tricks to suggest otherwise. The Montgomery County Chronicle writer uses sleight of hand to mislead its readers. If newspaper staffers want to publish misleading information, they should have the integrity to label it as opinion.


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