Friday, May 02, 2014

Dear Friends,
It’s hard to believe that May is already upon us, yet here we are, another month closer to Election Day. We have six months and less than 200 days to go. After spending the first three months of 2014 in the Kansas Capitol for the legislative session, I have enjoyed being back on the campaign trail these last few weeks! 
Here are a few campaign highlights:
Kansas Teachers Descend on the Statehouse: In March, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that school funding was unequal across the state and ordered that the Legislature resolve the issue before July 1st. This dominated discussion in the final hours of the legislative session. Although there were parts of the end agreement I supported, the partisan strings attached to the bill were unacceptable. I ultimately voted “no”, as did every other Democrat and Moderate Republican. Click here if you’d like to read more about the damaging education bill that Governor Brownback signed into law. 
Despite the passage of this terrible bill, it was encouraging to witness hundreds of Kansas schoolteachers descending on the state capitol to participate in the debate. The Legislature worked through the night and for almost three days nonstop before finally reaching an agreement. I was proud that so many teachers took the time to join us in this fight (even though they had to teach school the next morning).
Third (and second and first) time's a charm! For the third time since October, an independent poll has our campaign leading Sam Brownback 45-41! This was encouraging news, but make no mistake, this race will be very close. The Brownback machine is already airing misleading ads in an attempt to rewrite the governor’s failed record, and there are many more misleading ads to come. We have to keep working hard to fight back and get our message out.
Growing Momentum: We were back on the road this month, making stops in Goddard, Wichita, Pittsburg, Fort Scott, Johnson County, and Parsons.The crowds at our events this month have been incredible! People are very, very concerned about the direction Kansas is going under Sam Brownback. Thank you to everyone for joining our campaign to #RestoreKansas!
Two different Approaches to Education: Governor Brownback and I both spent time on the road this month, but we had two very different strategies. I visited local schools and talked to teachers about the controversial education bill, taking questions from educators about this policy and how it will impact our kids and our classrooms. 
Governor Brownback had a different approach. He was nowhere to be found throughout the education debate (forcing teachers to leave “While You Were Out” messages on the door of his office), dodged public school teachers at public events after the bill passed, hid from protestors after he signed it, and altered his position on education depending on the audience he was addressing.

A Few Other Campaign Tidbits: We reached an exciting  milestone this month: our campaign hit 4,000 individual donors! Thank you to all who have donated your time and money to this campaign. It is making a difference every day. Also, I am pleased to inform you that we have officially opened our Johnson County Headquarters! If you’re in the area and would like to join us, we’re located at 7319 W. 79th Street in Overland Park, and we’re always looking for volunteers.
In Closing: This week I am headed back to the Kansas State Capitol for the legislative Wrap Up Session, officially winding down my tenure as a state representative. It has been an honor to serve in the People’s House these last 12 years, although I hope to return next year in a slightly different capacity! Once the Wrap Up session concludes, Jill and I will be charging full speed ahead to Election Day. We hope you will continue with us on this journey - we can’t make it to the finish line without you. 
Warm regards,

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