Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Dear Governor Brownback,

 

It’s been a while since I’ve reached out, but I couldn’t ignore the latest email that is making the rounds from your Deputy Communications Director Malika Willoughby regarding reporting on the education cuts.

 

“As you may have heard, Governor Brownback announced additional budget reductions yesterday. Here is what the Kansas mainstream media won’t be reporting,” the e-mail begins. “The Legislature significantly increased spending on schools in the budget bill last year. Six months later, the Governor and Legislature were given a $63.6 million dollar bill above the budgeted increase as the Kansas Department of Education underestimated the fiscal note for the school finance bill passed last year. This is one example of why the school finance formula needs to be replaced.”

 
 

As you may have heard?  Yes, I believe unless you are taking up residence under the closest rock, everybody has heard.  Here’s what the Kansas mainstream media won’t be reporting?  Oh snap!

 
 

The old blame the media trick.  Damn you media for not writing the whole story! You left out the good part where classes will now be taught by Bill Gates for computer science and Bill Clinton for political science.  Stephen Hawking will fly in to teach physics.  Every student will wear a uniform designed by Ralph Lauren and Michael Jordan will teach gym.   School lunches will now be served by Martha Stewart and all the schools will be renovated by Nate Berkus.
 
 

Wait…that’s not happening?  Silly me.Chalkboard

 
 

Now I’m not part of the mainstream media.  In fact, I’m not upstream or even downstream in the media, let alone mainstream.  Hell, lets just call it what it is – I’m not even IN the stream when it comes to the media. I’ve just occasionally dipped my big toe in the  mainstream a time or two.  I’ve just got my little blog here so I feel like I can say this between the two of us…

 
 

Governor, you are wwwaaaayyy off base.

 
 

Maybe the Legislature did present you with a bill that increased spending for schools, but your memory may be a bit fuzzy on this – the courts found that you were significantly under funding our schools in the first place.  In fact, the under funding was found to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  I’m no economics wiz or government relations guru and even I get this.
 
 

 
 

Even if the legislature did present you with a bill that increased spending for schools, they were still being under funded in the first place.  But I forgot – that’s the formula’s fault.  Yes, the formula is to blame!

 
 

Here’s the other part to this story.  The aggressive tax cuts hurt our state and now we don’t have the funds to cover education. We could still be having a robust discussion about the formula and you and I both know you would have won.  The formula would have ended up changed in your favor anyway.   What this wouldn’t be is a major crisis, because we would have the funds to cover education no matter what the formula!

 
 

Who is to blame for the revenue shortfall?

 
 

Let’s see….who is to blame?  I know it has something to do with tax cuts.  Geez…the name escapes me. I think it starts with a B.  Dang memory.  I think I need some of that Ginko stuff.

 
 

Anyway, if the name comes to me I’ll let you know.  I know advice isn’t appreciated unless it’s asked for, but I’m going to give a wee bit anyway.  Lay off blaming the media for not reporting the whole story.  Trust me, there aren’t enough hours in the day to report on everything that is happening in Kansas right now.  Focus on getting us out of this mess.

 
 

Yours for getting Kansas back on track,
Aimee
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8 thoughts on “Dear Gov Brownback – blame lots of things, but not the media for this mess!

  1. Aimee, Aimee … there you go again. These “facts” you rely on – they have no place in the modern GOP! They have their own facts. Just ask Hannity. Just ask Limbaugh. Hey, just ask fucking Scarborough. Remember, that membership in the Reality Based Community disqualifies you from adding anything to the discussion.

  2. kansasvoices says:

    Aimee …

    … if I haven’t said it to you, I’ve definitely thought it after I read 97% of your posts … so, here is what you’ve missed …

    *Aimee, I Love You![?][?][?][?][?]*

    I’m sure I have just violated some law and will be arraigned soon.

    Please call me if you *don’t* have someone helping you celebrate Valentine’s Day. I have an extra bottle of Boulevard Chocolate Ale you can put on your desk *”from an admirer”* … and small 4-piece box of Andre’s Amelia can share with you.

    Thank you for what you’re doing.

    Rob

    Aimee. In addition to confessing my love, I need to tell you I’ve never used these little emoticons. I really do feel like we’re passing notes in 7th hour Study Hall.

  3. Greg says:

    Funny how I never heard such DISGUST when the National news did not investigate the IRS scam -or when the narrator in the debate between Romney and Obama interfered with false information – or when Obama compared the Holy wars with what is going on today in the middle east!!
    Or how Obama is dissing our only real ally in the middle east!!
    Honestly it doesnt surprise me!! Just disgusts me!!

  4. David Murphy says:

    I certainly don’t mean to be rude with such a long post.. but I’d like to hear some reaction from Democrats on it.

    My friend Anne Hodgdon (I know Aimee has written about Ms. Hodgdon before on here) – a republican political insider and very strong supporter of the governor in KS wrote the below on Facebook recently, I was intrigued.

    The KC Star basically has a daily meeting (I picture Yael and some dry-erase board with lots of ink on it!) ‘how can we further vilify Brownback today!’ as is evident from their Facebook feed alone! This is her answer to that essentially.
    Interesting and worth investigating…. is the below true? How come we never seem to hear about any aspect about what Anne writes about below? Is Brownback really Darth Vader … or is there more to the story?

    Anyone on here care to comment? Please read and discuss! Have a nice day!

    __________________________________________________________________________

    ANNE HODGDON: I was out of town last week when the Topeka Capital Journal first reported on this, and now it appears that Steve Kraske has picked it up to salivate over…. so it’s important for all to know ‘the rest of the story’ that the media is not telling you (although I assure you they know it, just like I and others ‘inside baseball’ know it). And the Governor is too professional to ‘name names’ of those who were indeed responsible for what happened with the 2012 Kansas tax plan. But the beauty of being a private citizen is that I don’t have such constraints. So here’s the full story for you…. not the ‘spun version’ that gives the media goose bumps.

    Truth: ‘the Legislature’ is indeed to blame for any budget issues that may exist — but NOT THE CURRENT LEGISLATURE – not by a long shot. So there will be no bad blood to come from Governor Sam Brownback’s comments because those who serve in the current legislature know exactly what they’re having to deal with. And here’s what it is, in a nutshell (many details and nuances will by necessity be left out because it’s way too complicated) …….

    In the late spring of 2012, toward the end of the Session when it was time to wrestle with taxes and budget, the composition of the Kansas Senate was very different than it is today. The Republicans had control of the Senate, but it was the ‘Moderate’ Repubicans who were in leadership positions. The Senate President was Steve Morris; VP was John Vratil. Vratil was the bulldog who took the lead on just about everything, while Morris grinned and shook a lot of hands. Over the years these ‘Moderates’ had drifted very far left; and they had created a cozy coalition with the Senate Democrats. They essentially called themselves Republicans and ran for office as Repubicans, but voted in a block with the Democrats on just about everything. In doing so, they had enough votes to control the Kansas Senate and render useless all the rest of the more conservative Repubican senatorial votes. The Kansas House was more conservative in general, and had shrewd conservative leadership in Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal. So that spring of 2012, the House passed an initial tax package that was well-balanced with both tax cuts and spending cuts; and they sent the bill to the Senate. VP Vratil, with support of his mods/dems coalition, decided to ‘pull a fast one’ – a ploy – which was clearly designed to fail once it got back to the House: Vratil left in all the tax cuts and removed all the corresponding spending cuts (‘pay-fors’). He got that basterdized bill passed in the Senate by his liberal coalition as a bluff.

    It was a game designed to frustrate the Governor and the House. And then Vratil completely refused to negotiate it. So the House had to either vote it down and start all over again, working against a Senate they knew would not negotiate or agree to anything reasonable; or pass the bill and let it become law, as-is, with an imbalance in tax cuts because there were no equalizing pay-fors, as the Governor has just correctly stated recently. So the House called the Senate’s bluff and concurred on the bill as the Senate had sent it back to them; and since the Governor was well-aware of the dilemma, he signed it into law. What choice did anyone have? Of course, most of the ‘moderate’ Senators either retired to save face because they knew they could not be re-elected (like Vratil), or lost their re-elections to the Kansas Senate in the fall of 2012 (like Morris and others). Their entire house of cards came falling down, and that has created much disharmony between the Kansas moderates and conservatives.

    But that disharmony started with Senator John Vratil and his arrogant power game that blew up in his face, but also hurt Kansas citizens. But it’s important that everyone know how it really happened, and take a moment to thank our Governor and our current legislators in the Senate and House for the hard work they are doing in striving to right the wrong that was done to them – and to all of us – by Vratil & Co. in 2012.

  5. Jon says:

    Public education is an over-regulated financial monstrosity- the respite for every wacko “new age thinking” nutty idea that comes down the pike from the liberal thought centers at the nation’s universities, where research grant must beget research must beget research grant and no problem can ever really be solved, because the money for it might dry up.

    Everyone from Congress to the dithering Department of Education to your state rep to your school board member has his/her tentacle in the education of your kid, and none of them with any real effect on the outcome.

    Aimee, dear heart, what you miss in your selectively mis-informed surface scratching mini-rant is the base philosophy of the conservatives you so despise – that government is too big, too expensive, and that the constitution guarantees even the mean old rich people- who pay most of the tax dollars regardless of the tax breaks and the other infantile arguments liberals make- have some rights as well. Someone you and i elect should be in charge, and not too far removed from, the real education of our kids, not the U.S. Department of education.

    Kansas spends 70 percent- think of it… 70 percent… of its budget on education. Yet it’s never enough, especially to the do-gooding liberal state supreme court judges. Ask the KCMO school district how well education directed by the courts works for the community. You can double what is spent on education in Kansas or any other state this year, and next year they’ll be back to the Legislature with their pockets turned inside out.

    Why?It’s the culture produced by the largest and most coddled bureaucracy in most every state. Look at the bottom line in your school district’s published budget every year. Does the number ever get smaller? No, and every year, your superintendent is more and more befuddled about how to balance all the funnels regulating district spending for at risk kids, school lunches, reading dog programs and God knows what else.

    Ah, but question education spending one iota, and you’re a heartless, pro-life Cro-magnon ready to strip the vote from women and draw and quarter homosexuals. The sacred cows of Aimee’s liberalism are unassailable, indeed.

    What education in our country needs is a complete financial retooling from the bottom up. The federal or state governments or local school boards need to arm wrestle to determine who’s going to be in charge, and then let them get the job done.

    And incidentally Aimee, a decrease in an increase does not a “cut” make, even according to liberal logic.

    1. David Murphy says:

      Whenever you want to rant and whine about Brownback Aimee, I suggest you simply go back and re-read Jon’s comments. They brilliantly destroy nearly every argument you’ve tried to make.

      You and Yael and the Bomb-throwing lefty Kansas City Star staff with your daily selectively mis-informed (quoting Jon there!) damning of Brownback doesn’t hold up under any sort of scrutiny.

      No Dem seems to have a response to the fact that a bunch of shitbird (see my earlier post), outgoing Republicans (in name only) took a giant shit on Brownback AND the State (which is 70% Schools right?)… on their way out – sending a ridiculous bill to the governor to sign and Brownback called their bluff and signed it.

      That little detail certainly changes the discussion, doesn’t it?

      LMAO!

  6. Aimee Patton says:

    Oh yes by over regulated you mean expecting outcomes like having kids reading at a 3rd grade level when they are actually in 3rd grade. I agree! Those dang regulations!

    But anyhoo….I question the funding for education all the time. I’m not a big fan of smaller class size equals better. I”m not a fan that the administrators are making six figures. I think there are cuts that can happen and should be happening. I’m not for unlimited education funding. I want results tied into education funding. HOWEVER, you can’t ignore that there is a funding formula that our reps agreed to and then they didn’t fund. I didn’t ask them to agree to that formula. I didn’t give them that formula. I’m not making that formula up. It’s not some sort of liberal magic that came up with this funding formula. The funding formula isn’t my fault.

    My child is in the smallest public school in our district. It’s at risk of being closed every year. Parents are outraged at this possibility. I’m not outraged. If it has to happen, I understand that. I won’t fight the closing if it’s the right thing to do. This is a VERY unpopular opinion among my peers. Trust me – I’m not invited to many PTA meetings because of this. I stand by my opinion because I understand that cuts have to be made and sometimes the cuts will impact my child and that’s the way it has to be.

    What I will stand by is that if there is a formula that has been agreed to, you have to FUND THE FORMULA. Then assess the formula. Once the formula is funded and then assessed then you can make adjustments to the formula. You can’t change the formula until you fund it. I call bullshit on that. I will always call bullshit on that.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I question education spending all the time. I don’t think that’s a liberal or conservative – I think that’s just smart.

  7. Ernest Evans says:

    Dear Ms. Aimee: Good posting!! I had an op-ed in the Leavenworth Times this past Saturday about education funding in the state of Kansas; I am deeply worried that we are undermining the attraction of our state for new residents and businesses by not adequately funding education. Remember, Governor, people do not just move to a state because of its tax rates–they also take into account the quality of its education system. Take care and God bless!! Sincerely and Respectfully, Ernest Evans PS: Blessed Valentine’s Day!! I hope that someone as wonderful as you has a “significant other” to be with on this day!! You deserve to have such a person in your life!!

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