Jeff Colyer: Brownback Clone

Sam Brownback is gone, but his policies are here to stay with Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Jeff Colyer is a Brownback clone through and through. Brownback and Colyer worked side by side over the last seven years to dismantle Kansas’ economy, schools, and roads.

Jeff Colyer was the largest financial supporter of Sam Brownback, lending his campaign $1.5 million. As Lieutenant Governor Colyer bragged of his “big influence” on policies and gave Brownback’s tax plan his “full support.” It’s no wonder that Governor Brownback himself thinks that Colyer will do “an outstanding job.”

Jeff Colyer represents more of the same Sam Brownback disaster for Kansas families. The Brownback-Colyer record speaks for itself:

· $900 million+ budget deficits
· Teachers fleeing the state’s poorly funded schools
· Over a billion dollars stolen from the Kansas’ Department of Transportation to pay for other programs
· One third of the state’s rural hospitals at risk of closing
· Economic growth that lagged well behind the national average

So even though Jeff Colyer is a fresh face in governor’s mansion, Kansas families have already suffered under his failed policies for years.

Brownback and Colyer have been in lockstep on policy from the beginning.

Jeff Colyer stood side by side with Brownback since the beginning. Colyer loaned $1,500,000 to Brownback’s campaign, jumpstarting Brownback’s run for office and keeping him afloat throughout the race. And once elected, Colyer worked tirelessly to enact their agenda. From the infamous tax cuts, to slashing Medicaid, Colyer claims to have been a “big influence” in shaping and implementing Brownback’s policies. Brownback’s tax plan went into effect with Colyer’s “full support.”

Colyer Loaned the Brownback Campaign $1,500,000. According to the Kansas City Star, “Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign has raised $2.2 million since July 25, but $200,000 came out of his own checking account. Another $500,000 came from his running mate, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a loan that has gone back and forth from Colyer’s account to the campaign’s several times…Colyer, a plastic surgeon, has loaned Brownback’s campaign a total of $500,000 this election cycle. But he’s given that amount at three different times.” [Kansas City Star, 10/27/14]

Brownback Enacted Tax Plan with “Colyer’s Full Support.” According to an editorial in the Kansas City Star, “Over the next four years, Brownback — with Colyer’s full support — enacted a series of tax cuts and budget changes that worsened the problem dramatically. The state’s credit rating was downgraded, its schools hauled into court again, its road program underfunded.” [Kansas City Star, Editorial, 7/29/17]

Colyer: “I’ve Had a Big Influence on a Lot of Major Decisions.” According to the Kansas City Star, “‘I’ve had a big influence on a lot of major decisions,’ Colyer said about his role in the administration. ‘It hasn’t been, you’re just waiting around twiddling your thumbs.’” [Kansas City Star, 7/27/17]

HEADLINE: Next Kansas governor is a surgeon; also a Brownback loyalist. [Associated Press, 7/27/17]

Colyer Led the Team That Developed Gov. Sam Brownback’s Plan for Requesting a Federal Waiver Related to Medicaid. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, “With Cabinet secretaries by his side, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer announced Friday the state has submitted a formal waiver request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, asking permission to begin the KanCare Medicaid reforms. […] Colyer led the team that developed Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for overhauling the $2.9 billion-a-year program, which covers health care for the poor, needy and disabled. Brownback plans to turn Medicaid’s management in Kansas over to three private, managed-care companies.” [Topeka Capital-Journal, 4/28/12]

Colyer defended Brownback’s policies over and over again

Colyer has been Brownback administration’s biggest cheerleader. As the Brownback-Colyer agenda began to take effect, Colyer vigorously defended it. No matter how bad Kansas’ economy got, no matter how badly schools suffered, no matter how many infrastructure projects were abandoned, Lt. Gov. Colyer never wavered.

Colyer Said Brownback’s Tax Plan Was Not a Mistake. According to CBS-12 KWCH, “One of the biggest controversies in Kansas politics in recent years is tax exemptions for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Lawmakers rolled those back just this session, overriding the Governor’s veto. Colyer said Brownback’s tax plan was not a mistake. ‘The decision then was what sort of economic issues were going on then,’ said Colyer. ‘That’s not the issue. The issue is where are we going now.’” [CBS-12 KWCH, 7/30/17]

In January 2012, Colyer Told the State Legislature that the Brownback-Colyer Tax Plan Would Elevate Private-Sector Income and Serve as a Magnet for Small Business Start-Ups. According to the Capital-Journal, “Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer were challenged by skepticism of Republicans and Democrats who expressed concern about how Brownback offered to pay for income tax rollbacks or believe the GOP governor should concentrate instead on property tax reductions. […] Jordan and Colyer told a joint meeting of the House Taxation Committee and the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee the governor’s streamlining of the tax code would elevate private-sector income and serve as a magnet for small business start-ups.” [Topeka Capital-Journal, 1/13/12]

During the 2014 Campaign, Colyer Praised Brownback’s Efforts on the Economy. According to the Hays Daily News, “Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer wielded a broom Thursday at Thirsty ‘s Brew Pub & Grill in Hays and urged approximately 100 supporters to vote for a Republican sweep in Tuesday’s election. […] Colyer said adding 58,000 private-sector jobs since January 2011 is among the feats achieved by the Kansas State Legislature and Brownback. ‘We cut taxes, lowered regulation and put more money in people’s pockets,’ he said.” [Hays Daily News, 10/30/14]

Kansans Agree: Colyer will be just like Brownback

Republican officials, political pundits, editorial boards, and even Brownback and Colyer agree: Governor Colyer will be just like Governor Brownback. Now that Colyer is in charge, no one expects there to be a difference at all.

Governor Sam Brownback: Colyer Will Do “An Outstanding Job” When He Becomes Governor. [Wichita Eagle, 12/1/17]

Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer: “I’m His First Officer.” [Garden City Telegram, 7/28/17]

GOP Rep. Keith Esau: “I’m Not Sure That Much Would Change” If Brownback Leaves. [Kansas City Star, 12/1/16]

GOP Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr.: “Ideologically, I Think He’s Aligned with Gov. Brownback.” [Associated Press, 7/27/17]

GOP Rep. John Whitmer: “Dr. Colyer’s Policies Are Very Similar To The Governor’s, So I Don’t Think We’ll See Much Change If Any.” [CBS 12 KWCH, 7/26/17]

Topeka Capital-Journal Editorial: “Right Now, Kansans Have No Reason to Believe That They’ll Be Heralding a ‘New Day’ Under [Colyer’s] Governorship.” [Topeka Capital-Journal, Editorial, 8/12/17]

Kansas City Star Editorial:Colyer owns the state he’s inherited, and what a mess it’s in.” [Kansas City Star, Editorial, 1/28/18]

Columnist Steve Rose: Colyer “Will Somehow Need To Tell Voters He Is Not Another Brownback — Which He Clearly Is.” [Kansas City Star, Steve Rose Column, 5/26/17]