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Kansas Chamber shows hand in singling out lawmakers E-mail
Friday, 16 August 2013 11:53

Second Opinion from Garden City Telegram


John Doll sounded surprised to hear he didn't make a list supposedly tied to job growth.

As a newer lawmaker with just one session under his belt, the state representative for Garden City hasn't established much of a voting record on the issue. Ditto for fellow GOP Rep. Russ Jennings of Lakin.

Yet the Kansas Chamber of Commerce saw fit to exclude the two and Rep. Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican, from its list of "pro-jobs legislators."

Others no doubt surprised by the list were folks on the front line of local economic development efforts. They know best how their representatives support job creation, and were quick to question the "pro-jobs" list from a Kansas Chamber aligned with the wealthy Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity and ultraconservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Economic development officials in Finney County know Doll and Jennings embrace their endeavors, and support economic growth initiatives that best serve their districts. Ditto for economic development forces in Scott City who reported regular communication with Hineman.

Naturally, the Kansas Chamber didn't specify which votes helped legislators make its so-called "pro-jobs" list. But it's easy to see the group's true goal was to prop up lawmakers who would support the crusade from Brownback and his allies that brought us an unwelcome policy of income-tax breaks for wealthy Kansans — a strategy deemed worst in the nation by tax policy experts from opposite ends of the political spectrum, one conservative and the other left-leaning, who predicted such tax avoidance wouldn't energize the economy with the significant job growth Brownback and company envision.

Doll, Jennings and Hineman apparently are viewed as lawmakers who would resist rubber-stamping an ultraconservative agenda that only promises to penalize low- and middle-income Kansans.

So, the three are indeed representing the interests of the people they serve.

As for not making the Kansas Chamber's "pro-jobs" list, they should not feel slighted.

First, it's necessary to consider the source. And, Kansans should take a hard look at those state lawmakers favored by an organization intent on serving the rich at great cost to others in the state.

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