Back in June of ’96, the Lawrence, Kansas Journal-World did a fiscal check of the Kansas Congressional delegation. Included, was freshman Representative, Sam Brownback. According to his financial disclosure forms, a year earlier he and his wife, Mary, had sold 12,800 shares of Stauffer Communications stock for somewhere between $1 million and $5 million. They added another ½ to 1 million bucks by dumping their kids stock. The paper reported that the sales came a day or two prior to Stauffer being purchased for $275 million. What a coincidence.
Mary Brownback’s maiden name was Stauffer. Her granddaddy founded Stauffer Communications. No word on what Sam and Mary paid for the stock, if anything. I guess the kids had to sell a fair amount of lemonade to assemble their shares. Or were the shares a gift from a generous and loving old man? With that healthy investment base, Brownback’s current net worth is around $10 million, as he has benefited mightily from his spouses’ kin’s largess.
And that’s exactly why the now-governor of Kansas is such a morally pitiful figure. The Kansas legislature is about to pass a bill that is a piece of paper-hate directed at the poor. Hate primarily driven by Protestant cum Evangelical cum Catholic, Brownback, who, during his tenure as governor has seen the number of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program SNAP (food stamp) recipients, drop from over 40,000 to just under 15,000. KCUR-FM News quotes several nonprofit advocacy organizations as attributing the precipitous drop to restrictions limiting access to the program. And Brownback wouldn’t have it any other way.
Wichita Eagle Beacon reporter, Bryan Lowry, lists some of the high(low)lights of the “hate poor people” bill about to go into effect in the Jayhawk (or Sunflower, or Midway, or Wheat) state. The lifetime TANF limit has been lowered from the current state span of 48 months to 36 months. The federal limit is 60 months. Republican legislators call such unfeeling cuts an “incentive” to re-enter the workforce. Interesting, since a great number of welfare recipients are the working poor who already labor in the crappiest of jobs for the crappiest of wages.
Kansas household income hasn’t budged in ten years and per capita income has actually fallen. It should also be noted that the feds pay the TANF and SNAP tabs. Kansas just administers the programs. Hiring and employment advocate, Alice Lang, points out that “The world of work has changed drastically since my parents came to North America from Europe in the 1950’s.” She correctly identifies today’s job environment as an employer’s market. Hiring managers can pick and choose among hundreds of applicants for a few available jobs. That’s the reality of the job search; something my colleagues and I have pointed out on endless occasions.
But Brownback and Kansas legislators barrel forward, not the least bit concerned about the well-being of those in need. NOT THE LEAST BIT CONCERNED!!!
There’s a Brownback carryover requirement that able-bodied TANF recipients must enroll in a job training program or work 20 hours a week to receive benefits after a mere three months in the program. I’ve known of numerous participants in so-called training programs who were unable to find anything after completing such “job training.” Such a mandate is both naïve and unrealistic.
The bill about to be passed limits ATM withdrawals to $25 a day using a special card associated with welfare. There are currently no federal or state limits on withdrawals. The absurd restriction will wreak havoc on the average recipient. Do you pay your rent on a daily basis? Wichita Democratic State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau rightfully called the amendment ludicrous.
But, we’re not finished. Brownback and his posse really come down hard on people afflicted with addictions. Repeat drug offenders are banned from the programs for life. That’s right, no food assistance for people with two drug felonies on their record. I can hear right-wingers raising the rafters with their cheers. “That’ll teach them druggies” they bleat. I wonder what percentage of Republican legislators casting aye votes are drunks? I’ve been to legislative social gatherings; I can assure you lots of ’em can drink you under the table!
High-profile OD celebrities, many whom rehabbed repeatedly, but ultimately lost the battle against addiction, include such awful people as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Farley, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Glee’s Cory Monteith, John Belushi, Amy Winehouse…it’s an unending list of people who are anything but monsters, but victims of emotional and physiological demons they couldn’t conquer. Only the most stone-hearted among us could turn their backs on such troubled souls.
You might want to check your physicians for their addictions. Equal or even greater numbers than the general population. Easy access. Truth be known, coke keeps lots of those folks going, or after hours hooch, vehement denials notwithstanding. And the hard-driven business and investment types? Those numbers might surprise you as well. And how about alcoholics? We’ve given booze an embarrassing pass for decades despite its destruction of probably millions of lives. Check out the major contributors to your state legislators. And Kansas is going to pick on helpless, poor addicts?
Ironic that Kansas has state-funding for rehab, mostly referrals from the court system. Judges appear to get it. There’s a long waiting list. I could only find one such facility; Wichita Community Action on North Market. There could be more. There are also private facilities. That means you pay and, of course, $25 a day most likely won’t cut it.
This is a radical bill pushed by radical people. The purpose of the flood of legislation that is so mean-spirited and makes so little sense is to divide the American people. I warned you in an earlier submission that it would be the state General Assemblies that would bring extreme harm down on the populace. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Many, many more of our citizens will die as a result of right-wing legislative atrocities than will die through foreign terrorist organizations. Just the act of refusing to extend the Obama Health Care plan’s extension of Medicaid will claim thousands of American lives annually.
That’s the reality, and as long as Democrats continue to sit on their tails come election time and all days in between, that will continue to be the reality.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
Follow me on Twitter @demwriter
34 Replies to “Bully Sam Brownback Stomps On The Poor While Living Off Of His Wife’s Millions”
Name change forever more it’s Sam Greenback; sam being an acronym for Sorry Azz Man.
Good christians, all of them. Sanctimonious pieces of crap. What a cesspool of hateful jerks.
They should be known as the Cruel Christians. They are disgusting.
No one is as good as they are and they are so self Rightous. They are compassionless,hateful and judgmental. Maybe a plague will be sent by God just to wipe only them out. It will be greatly appreciated by the rest of humanity.
Kansas is a stupid blockhead red state…that’s the way they do things there.
GREAT piece but do NOT toss away the critical line – TANF and SNAP cost the people of Kansas NOTHING other than administration. NOTHING. It is already in the federal budget, it is there to help states such as Kansas, so throwing it away leaves federal tax money untapped, money that already was paid OUT in federal income taxes.
This shows the barbarism of Brownback’s view on religion – it has devolved into Social Darwinism and has nothing to do with justice and all-encompassing love for those in need. This is so nakedly political I can’t believe he can shave – looking himself in the mirror OUGHT to make him so ashamed he cannot bear it. But he has obviously fooled himself into believing that this is a good thing.
But I ask the same question that Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman asked of Reagan’s parsimony in 1981: “Why do the rich need incentives but the poor need desperation?”
Yet the people keep electing these RWNJs!
Why is itEVERYTIME republicans are in charge of something it goes belly up?? why do republicans ALWAYS find a way to turn SUGAR into $HIT? Heres WHY!! trickle down economics is and will forever be a PONZI SCHEME!! trickle down economics NEVER was designed to TRICKLE down!! it’s simply a CON by wealthy people to ROB poor people!! I was 19 yrs old when REAGAN started that CON and I clearly remember saying to myself, Why would I give my money to some wealthy people just so they could hand it back to MY benefit????!! NO thanks, if I wanted to throw my money away I’ll play the lottery!!!
BTW for all our smart A$S republicans TROLLS who give us all some well needed comedy relief, heres an idea, since you caring, loving, christian types LOVED talking about cutting off WELFARE, lets try this? CUT IT OFF!, CUT IT ALL OFF!! because as soon as that happens, your beloved RED STATE will be completely DESTROYED!! no more mississippiSTAN, alabamaSTAN, louisianaSTAN, arkansasSTAN, georgiaSTAN , ”florida DUH STAN ” tennesseeSTAN, kansasSTAN, south carolinaSTAN, north carolinaSTAN, you get my point, don’t you?? republicans economics = WELFARE QUEENS now go get me some steak and lobsters!!
It’s only the poor that suffer. The rich will go on to weasel their way into even more money once all the peons are gone. Rural Kansas is dying because no one builds businesses or maintains businesses in those areas. Residences can’t be maintained without businesses nearby willing to service the area. The only reason some of us still live in rural areas despite the complications to living so far out of town is because cost of living is more than we are making.
If only your way would work out :-( The rich will never die even if the rest of us do.
I’m sorry, but I lately am having a hard time feeling sorry for those people who keep voting against their own best interests or worse, don’t vote at all. They are the creators of their own hell there in Kansas and many other states. They then have the gall to blame the President. You re-elected Brownback as your Governor after the destruction he already caused. You made your bed, sleep in it until you finally learn that the Republicans are definitely not your friend.
If I lived in Kansas I would kill the SOB. I’d squash him like the bug he is.
Please quell any talk of killing anybody.I know you don’t mean it in a literal sense, but such rhetoric is what the extremists want; a second civil war. Don’t play into their hands. Your greatest weapon (the vote) can be brandished on intermittent Tuesdays in the coming years.
So, not spending money on “sex oriented services, tattoos, body piercings, massages, spas, tobacco, nail salons, lingerie, arcades, cruise ships or visits to psychics,” is “bullying,” and “stomping on the poor,” right???
It takes a special kind of stupid!
So, just like lumpy little Johnny Mac, he married a rich woman. Both the fathers-in-law got a great deal from that, a voice in DC. Too bad the guys were not better looking, they are both deficient in the looks department, also ethically. McCain has announced he is running AGAIN to keep his (flabby, saggy) seat. He is afraid if he retires, his medical and military records will be unseald and the TRUTH will come out.
And these are the people that call themselves “CHRISTIANS”. Not where I come from. We MUST ALL GET OUT AND VOTE THESE EVIL B”STARDS OUT ON THEIR ASSES!! It doesn’t make the news, but this kind of CRAP is going on in EVERY STATE!!
The people in Kansas must have it tough. Last Sept, we were going west on vacation. we spent the night in Topeka, paid for the room and breakfast by credit card. We also ate lunch and gassed up by credit card some where in Central Kansas. The next night when I tried to check into a motel in Pueblo CO, my credit card had been killed because of fraud by Visa. Somebody had charged over $100.00 on my credit card at a gas station in western Kansas in a town where we didn’t even stop. Beyond me how they did it, but they did it. Kansas people must be desperate to resort to thievery.
EBT cards already cannot be used for those type of services. Another Republican lying talking point. I’d like the link on how many EBT cards were used to book cruises. Maybe you’re talking about all the prostitutes who now accept EBT cards for payment (provide that link also)
Telling a real big lie still makes it a real big lie.
You’re a special kind of stupid, aren’t you? You ALREADY can’t buy those things with food stamps! The idea that you can shows how vapid the GOP – and you – really are. You can’t even buy toothpaste, toilet paper, or soap with food stamps because – wait for it – they are for FOOD ONLY.
Piling on the poor who need this hand under the elbow in compassion for their situation is despicable. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for your lying ways.
IMPEACH HIM OR STFU..YOU GET WHO YOU VOTE FOR
I guess that’s why you call yourself “littlemike”, it’s the size of your character. Telling and/or repeating lies just shows how little of a person you are.
Too true. Kansas had its chance to vote this POS out of office last year and they didn’t. This is what we get when citizens don’t vote.
I hold similar feeling, though not so strong. There are some in Kansas who didn’t vote for this moron. At least have some compassion for them. For those who did vote for him, you reap what you sow.
Good Christians? NO.
The right-wing people who support this kind of exclusion and also are opposed to social issues in the name of religious standards are NOT Good Christians. They need to study the Bible again. The real Christian way is to be compassionate and take care of your fellow-man.
You are insulting true Christians by lumping them in with these uncaring, self-righteous, judgmental politicians.
Besides that, they are being bought off by the incredibly rich that are trying to take over this country. That is the main part of the problem, but that belongs in another post.
Hey, don’t throw all Kansans in the trash. Many of us have only one vote each to give and we tried to vote Brownback out. But there are political action groups, such as Americans for Prosperity funded by certain ultra-rich brothers (one of them living in Wichita), that have bought off the elections. If not literally, then by campaigning using lies, deception, exaggeration, and making profound claims that are unjust and not true, thereby influencing voters that are not paying attention to the true facts. However, I believe that they are buying votes in some voting machines.
You should read about some of the ridiculous things going on in the Kansas legislature now. Mostly on the testimony of lobbyists paid for by the said brothers.
Just wait for the 2016 elections. They have pledged to spend nearly $300 million to buy that election, nation-wide. So they plan to take over your state too.
I agree! Lumping all Christians together with these hate-mongering morons is like lumping all Muslims together with Isis…
It’s just as hateful and moronic.
The problem is that it’s the loud, abrasive “Christians” that get all the attention… never the Christians who are spending every minute of every day helping the “Whosoever Will”.
Hey littlemike, none of the items you mentioned are out of reach of the wealthy. The article was about making it more difficult for the poorest of the poor.
I was 18 when Reagan began his CONNING of the U.S.
However I lived thru his CONNING in California as it began to crumble under his governorship ’67-’75.
Who got California into deep debt!
The legacy of California liberal governor Pat Brown 1959 – 1967
Pat Brown’s legacy includes
Fair Housing act, Fair Employment Act, Master Plan for Higher Education, Highway Expansion, The California Aqueduct
Pat Brown taxed everyone, citizens and corporations, fairly
Due to his legacy, California public schools were the envy of the nation, then came governor Reagan….
What in the heck are you blathering on about? SMH.
Isn’t that the same state the BTK serial killer came from? Denis Rader or some such?
I believe we are suppose to help our fellow brothers and sisters……..but for how many years??? Are we suppose to keep supporting them if they are alcohol and/or drug addicted? Are we suppose to support them to get all the tattoos they want? If they do not work because we are supporting them, how many tattoos are we suppose to provide finances for? How many children are we suppose to support? And is there to be no limit on how many children they have? Again, I am for helping my fellow brothers and sisters, but at what point do they help themselves???
Please read my comment to ACgrandma!
At what point do you get to decide how many children they have? And how do you plan to do that, when you shut down their clinics and muzzle their doctors?
I can somewhat understand your frustration, but until we stop giving the 1% the majority of the revenue and start paying workers LIVING wages, you can’t put all the blame on those in need. There are some who don’t want to work or make bad choices in how they spend their money, but there are many who are in need who are working, but getting paid wages that they can’t make a living on. Even a lot of our military families need to rely on food stamps to make ends meet sometimes. Are you going to call them lazy takers as well? Don’t blame the many needy for the few greedy.
Mike it is more than that and obviously you missed the point. I doubt there are many receiving assistance who are spending their money on these things. This is just this asshole Brownback’s way of saying to the poor ..”you are lower than anyone, you are nothing.” And swimming pools? Really Mike, yeah lets give the poor kids nothing to do, that way they can be bored use drugs and get involved in gangs. Yes Mike look in the mirror because YOU are a special kind of stupid.
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