Last night, we held our annual awards dinner. It was a great event, with 750 people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, often sitting at the same table—all coming together to celebrate activism and the spirit that is driving change in Kansas this election season. It was a welcome moment of respite, a time to recharge before the final push.
But that final push is here.
One week from now will be the last chance Kansans have to vote in this election.
What is at stake?
Nothing short of the future of Kansas, possibly with ramifications as far down the line as thirty or more years.
The Supreme Court
Topping that list are the retention races for Kansas Supreme Court and other judges. MainPAC strongly asks voters to retain ALL the judges. The campaigns to remove them argue that the judges made political, personal decisions in their cases. But when reviewed by their peers, every judge was recommended for retention. If the Kansas Supreme Court loses five justices, the Governor will be able to appoint replacements who will vote the way he wants them to, to paraphrase the Governor himself. That could affect issues like reproductive rights and school funding for decades to come.
Viable Health Care in Kansas
One of the most critical issues in the balance in this election is the future of health care in Kansas. KanCare, Governor Brownback's takeover of Medicaid, has floundered, delaying payments and cutting services. His petulant refusal to expand Medicaid has lost Kansas more than a billion dollars of tax money we paid to the government. And all the while he pouts, more than 150,000 Kansans go without health care, relying on dwindling safety net services and emergency rooms.
The education of Kansas children
The Brownback Administration has always put tax cuts for the wealthy above the education of children. From siphoning tax money meant for public schools to private and parochial schools through corporate tax giveaways, to repeatedly slashing K-12 and higher education funds, to a sustained attack on the profession of teaching, Brownback and his allies have relentlessly diminished the bright future of Kansas students. Teachers are leaving the state, or not coming in the first place, and we've begun to see achievement rates drop.
And everything else!
The list could go on and on. In his single-minded drive to lower taxes, Brownback has mortgaged or sold off or compromised whole swaths of state services Kansans rely on. From social and health care safety nets, to the long term security of pensions, to the very roads we drive on, all are at risk. More irresponsible tax policies, reckless gun laws, and further attacks on women and their rights are likely.
Can you imagine it?
Imagine Kansas continuing down the road it is on. Can you even fathom it? Job opportunities continuing to leave, perhaps replaced by more of the lowest wage positions. Welfare rolls increasing, even as the Governor tries to lower it by changing the standards that define "poor." Continued closing of hospitals and reduction of services. Schools that have to rely more and more on parents to give more to maintain educational standards. Guns on campus, in the hands of students under the intense stress of college. Even higher sales taxes to prop up discredited "trickle down" tax theories.
If you can imagine that, you must do something about it this week.
DO MORE THAN VOTE!
Sure, your vote is important, but once you have voted, or have a plan, you must do more than that. We've gone over and over what you can do. Do something. As our popular bumper sticker says, "If you didn't vote, this is all your fault." If you don't do more than vote, it will be all your fault.
Don't regret that your vote didn't count, come Wednesday, November 9th.
See our suggestions from last week, and step up. Then tell the world with the hashtag #domorethanvote