[Excerpt] Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t just any old extremist driving the religious right’s social agenda and the Tea Party’s economic ideas. He’s not just any anti-government zealot in charge of a government.
He’s the one next door.
Yes, Brownback is Missouri’s new neighbor, the one who tore out the front lawn and replaced it with a moat and gun turrets, presumably to protect that reptile farm in the back yard and whatever it is he’s got in the basement. And as if that isn’t enough, the kids want to check out his place for a play date.
Since becoming governor in 2011, Brownback has been a man on many missions. He completely defunded the state’s arts commission, making Kansas the first state to do so. He signed one of the strictest packages of anti-abortion laws in the nation, and fought gays and lesbians at every turn.
But Brownback’s signature issue has been taxation. After leading a massive primary-season purge of Republican moderates in the legislature, including the president of the state Senate, Brownback was able to enact the most draconian tax cuts in Kansas history—or maybe any state’s history. All of this was aimed at helping business owners and other wealthy individuals.
This is magical to many Missouri Republican legislators and their benefactor, Rex Sinquefield, St. Louis’ answer to the Koch brothers. Last year, inspired by Brownback and sponsored by Sinquefield, Missouri legislators passed their own tax-cut program, despite the state’s near-the-bottom national status in both tax burden and the funding of education and other vital services.
[End of Excerpt]