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Emporia’s Jim Barnett will run for Congress

Jim Barnett, a physician and Republican member of the Kansas Senate from Emporia, will join the field seeking the nomination for United States Congress from the first district of Kansas.

Barnett ran for Kansas governor in 2006 against Kathleen Sebelius. His running mate was Kansas Senator Susan Wagle of Wichita.

But when Wagle — a proven fiscal conservative — ran for president of the Kansas Senate, Barnett did not support her. In fact, sources say he encouraged others to vote against her.

So instead of a proven fiscal conservative leading the Senate, Kansas was stuck with the continued tenure of moderate Republicans: Senate President Stephen Morris, Vice President John Vratl, and Majority Leader Derek Schmidt.

This was particularly unfortunate for Kansas as this was a tough budget year. The Kansas House ended up simply concurring with the budget that the Senate produced — a budget that we now know had mistakes and omissions. Already the governor is forced to make spending decisions that should be made by the legislature.

Barnett’s lifetime rating from the Kansas Taxpayer Network’s legislative rankings is poor, meaning that he has been inclined to vote for increased taxation and spending. His message in today’s Emporia Gazette story was different, however, citing his “history of fiscal responsibility.”

He also said that “There is no doubt that government has gotten too big” and that “we need someone who’s fiscally responsible.”

Too bad he doesn’t believe that as a member of the Kansas Senate. He could have backed up his words with action.

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4 Comments

  1. Cybex June 2, 2009

    “Your friends will become your enemies and your enemies your friends.” Anyone in politics understands that concept or you will not survive.
    Sen. Wagle is a proven conservative that tries to do the right things. Sen. Barnett is ideological soft.

  2. Wichitator June 2, 2009

    Jim Barnett has been all over the place on fiscal issues. I remember reading the Kansas Taxpayers Network’s web site (now taken over by Americans For Prosperity’s Kansas branch) and he scored 8% in 2002 while voting for all kinds of tax hikes while in 2006, just before running for governor, he scored 100% (as did Sen. Wagle) just before he ran for governor.

    In 2002 Sen. Wagle’s vote rating earned her a “Taxpayers’ Friend” ranking from KTN while Barnett was at the bottom of the senatorial barrel. Sen. Barnett is a very bright fellow whose lifetime KTN vote rating was a pathetically mediocre 44% after the 2008 legislative session.

    I’ve heard that AFP has taken KTN’s vote ratings down. If that is true, that is tragic for KS taxpayers who are trying to track the fiscal performance of their state level elected officials.

  3. sheila June 4, 2009

    Only one worse than Barnett is Moran. Taxing, nannying, bullies, both of them!!!

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