Congressional briefing: Election could stymie Brownback’s voucher efforts
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
(The Examiner) D.C. vouchers program could get Dem ax: D.C.'s controversial school voucher program is likely to be a casualty of the Democratic ascendancy in Congress. The voucher program pays poor families to go to private schools in the District. It was a pet program of Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, chair of the Senate subcommittee that controls D.C.'s finances. Brownback's spokeswoman did not return a request for comment Thursday. Critics say that the program undermined public education and has also failed to work properly. Few families have registered for the vouchers. Brownback had suggested raising the income requirement and expanding the program to suburban schools.
(McClatchy) Democratic victory slows Brownback's presidential effort: As Sam Brownback surveyed the presidential landscape over the last two years, he always insisted he had one major advantage: The country was becoming more conservative. Maybe not. The results of Election 2006 cast doubt on the conservative Kansas senator's central assertion and further complicate his long-shot bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. ... Brownback and his aides dispute that notion, interpreting the election instead as a message to Republicans to "get back to basics," including a focus on social conservatism, said Brian Hart, Brownback's spokesman. "This is still a center-right country, trending more and more conservative," Hart said, pointing out that gay-marriage bans passed in seven other states on Tuesday and that many newly elected Democrats ran on conservative platforms.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(KAKE TV) Election Changing Kansas Role in Congress: The 2006 vote is not only giving democrats power of Congress, but could also change the leadership roles of some Kansas politicians. Three Kansas leaders all lost a little bit of leadership after Tuesday's election. Senator Pat Roberts will be losing his high-ranking position as chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Political scientist Ken Ciboski says that's an important factor because Roberts has been a very heavy supporter of President Bush.
Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda (D)
(New York Times) Incoming Democrats Put Populism Before Ideology: Nancy Boyda, who defeated Representative Jim Ryun, the legendary track star, in a district in Kansas that President Bush carried by 20 percentage points in 2004, summarized her mandate this way: "Stop the gridlock, stop the nastiness, get something done. People are tired of excuses." ... Similarly, Ms. Boyda of Kansas, a first-time office holder who relied on lengthy newspaper inserts to make her case to the voters, said, "The rural economy has been left out." She added: "A lot of my district feels a great deal of insecurity about their jobs, their health care, their business, their family farm. They feel like they're just kind of hanging out there."
Rep. Jerry Moran (R)
(Topeka Capital-Journal) Call him 'Avalanche Moran': In an election where a decade of Republican rule came crashing down, U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran suffered hardly a scratch. In fact, the western Kansas politician proved he is among the most popular Republican congressmen in the country. Moran last week won a sixth term in Congress with 79 percent of the vote. In a Democrat-dominated election -- where the GOP lost control of the U.S. House in a wave of Democratic upsets, including one in Kansas -- only two other congressional Republicans in America won with a greater percentage of votes, both of them in Louisiana.