We’re talking about Sam Brownback, Kansas governor who appears to be losing to his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis.
Conservative dominance in a state long known for moderation (and, before that, populism, socialism and violent abolitionism) has in many ways been the work of Davis’ opponent. Brownback, the son of eastern Kansas pig farmers, got his start in politics as state agriculture secretary. He went to the U.S. Congress in 1994, turning one of Kansas’ congressional districts from blue to red and contributing to the first GOP majority in the House in 42 years. Two years later, when Bob Dole ran for president, Brownback won his vacated Senate seat, thanks in no small part to a last-minute $400,000 ad blitz paid for by an organization linked to Wichita’s billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
As a senator, Brownback became nationally known for his opposition to abortion, gay rights and gangsta rap. He also helped train the next generation of Washington conservatives. In the 1990s, future vice presidential candidate and GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan served as Brownback’s legislative director. After a failed bid to secure the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, Brownback returned to Kansas in 2010 to win the governorship in a landslide, carrying 103 of the state’s 105 counties. In the race, he outspent his opponent by 406 percent. Many expected him to sail on to a second term and then resume his quest for the presidency.
Yet Brownback trails Davis in recent statewide polls by as many as 10 points. ...AlJazeera
The Koch brothers’ money is spread unchecked right across the map. It’s America’s own ebola virus. Pete Gallego, a first-rate Democrat running to keep his seat in the House, gets almost daily assaults-by-$$ in attempts by the Kochs and other national interests to push him out of his dry district along the Texas border, a largely “red” area where he has been popular and effective.