Conservative Kansans are hoping that Brownback chooses boldly as he makes major appointments over the coming 18 months. One of the first will be the choosing of his running mate. There’s little doubt that Brownback will pick a pro-life person as Lt. Governor, but there is a large amount of doubt about whether that person will be a fiscal conservative, and whether he or she will be a leader.
Many expect that Brownback will pick a Johnson County legislator as his running-mate. That’s a bit troubling, because the number of economic conservatives is so small. In the Senate, there are Jeff Colyer and Mary Pilcher Cook. In the House, there are Anthony Brown, Lance Kinzer, Mike Kiegerl, Ray Merrick, Rob Olson, Arlen Siegfreid, and Kevin Yoder.
Some other Republicans are indeed pro-life, but are otherwise unreliable. Kansas would be better off with Brownback choosing Topeka pro-choice, economic conservative Lana Gordon — or even former Democratic Rep. Candy Ruff — before choosing Sen. Karin Brownlee, a nice woman who unfortunately spends and taxes like a Democrat, or Sen. Julia Lynn, whom few conservatives trust.
In many ways, it comes down to how Brownback defines “conservative.” If Brownback defines the GOP Congress of 2000 to 2006 as good-government, reform-minded conservatives, then we’ve got a big problem in Kansas.