Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback talks to supporters during a campaign rally Monday, July 14, 2014, in Olathe, Kan.
Charlie Riedel/AP

Kansas’ Brownback poised to jump to Team Trump

Kansans hoping to see their beleaguered governor, Republican Sam Brownback, clean up the mess he’s made may soon be disappointed. The Kansas City Star reported:
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is in talks with President Donald Trump’s administration about taking an ambassadorship position, according to sources close to the governor.

No offer has been extended yet, according to The Star’s sources, but the governor has discussed the possibility of taking a position as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for food and agriculture, a position that would move the Midwestern governor to Rome…. The ambassador serves as the U.S. government’s conduit to three Rome-based international organizations dedicated to combating global hunger — the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
There’s some ambiguity about where the process stands. Kansas Public Radio said Brownback’s departure to the Trump administration was a “done deal,” but the Kansas City Star, citing sources close to the governor, “framed the situation as more tentative than that.”

But if Brownback takes the gig, it would be a fitting end to a jaw-dropping tenure. The Kansas Republican launched a radical economic “experiment” after taking office six years ago, and Brownback’s plan failed spectacularly. As regular readers know, the far-right Kansan, working with a GOP-led legislature, cut taxes far beyond what the state could afford, slashed public investments, and waited for prosperity to flourish across every corner of the state.

None of that has happened. Not only have Kansas’ job growth and economic growth rates lagged behind neighboring states, but the state’s budget is in shambles, and Kansas’ debt rating has been downgraded multiple times.

Last week, conditions grew worse when the Kansas Supreme Court told state officials that the state’s budget has illegally underfunded public schools, which turned Kansas’ ongoing budget crisis into a budget catastrophe. (Brownback’s solution: take new steps to privatize education.)

It’s reached the point at which even Kansas Republican legislators, no longer willing to defend the governor’s failures, have started pushing sensible policies in defiance of Brownback’s demands.

It’s against this backdrop that the GOP governor has started chatting with Team Trump, looking for a way out of Kansas. Amazing.

Kansas and Sam Brownback

Kansas' Brownback poised to jump to Team Trump