In our presentation, we discussed just how much has changed in the political environment in the years since we each left office—from the decline in civility, to the increased impact of special interest money, and the viciousness and extremism of our politics. Of course there were very strong differences when each of us served in the legislature and the governor’s office. But the fight then was always over how best to serve Kansas, knowing that we had to wisely invest in education, take care of our infrastructure, and provide help to our citizens most in need. Throughout our history, our approach to solving problems has been straightforward: we listened to each other, clarified our differences, and reached compromises that wisely served the people of Kansas.
Fortunately, the proud past I just described isn’t ancient history—in fact, it’s far from it. This August and November, the people of Kansas have an opportunity to restore this common sense approach by electing more problem solvers to the legislature. And that spirit of collaboration and compromise for the common good is alive and well among the many courageous individuals—both citizens and public servants—who are working (or will join the effort) to turn things around. It’s critical that voters understand the importance of being informed on the challenges we face and that they know which candidates would serve their real interests. In order to accomplish this, volunteers and supporters will need to work purposefully every day to make sure that their personal networks—and their neighbors—are ready to vote for a change of course.
The first benchmark day will be August 2nd, where the Primary Election will decide a number of key seats in both the House and Senate. That will be the first opportunity to send a clear message—around the state and to the nation—that we’re getting back on track, that the failed tax experiment will be brought to an end, and that the long tradition of sane, forward-thinking policy is on its way back to Kansas.