If Jean Schodorf captures the Republican Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas, the general election contest against likely Democratic Party nominee Raj Goyle might feature a reversal of commonly-held roles.
That’s because in this year’s session of the Kansas Legislature, Schodorf, as a Kansas Senator, voted for the budget bill that increased spending and required an increase in taxes to support the spending. In this case, the main source of increased taxation is the one cent per dollar increase in the statewide sales tax that will go into effect on July 1.
At about the same time, as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Goyle voted against both bills. Only one other House Democrat voted against the budget bill.
The usual case, of course, is that Democrats favor increased taxing and spending, while Republicans are generally opposed.
During this year’s legislative session school spending advocates said that schools have “cut to the bone,” and that without increased school spending, Kansas schoolchildren would suffer. Similar claims were made for people dependent on social services from the state. Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, agreed. He proposed the spending and sales tax increase (and a cigarette tax increase) in his state of the state address in January, and aggressively promoted both during the session.
More evidence of the reversal of the usual positions of candidates from the two parties comes from analysis of votes during the recently-completed legislative session. In the Kansas Economic Freedom Index for this year, Schodorf scored 18%, resulting in a tie for 27th place among the 40 Kansas Senators. In the House, Goyle’s votes earned a score much more supportive of principles of economic freedom. He scored 67%, ranking 47th in a field of 125 members of the Kansas House.
On scorecards produced by Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, things again are upside-down. Schodorf’s rating was 25%, while Goyle scored a rating of 60%, which is more in align with AFP’s promotion of limited government and free markets.
Schodorf’s votes are not out of line with her history. Goyle’s votes this year are more conservative than his past votes, leading us to wonder if there was a bit of election-year window-dressing going on as Goyle prepared for his campaign for Congress.