Some Kansas Republican legislators doubt Sam Brownback’s conservative credibility


State Rep. Charlotte O’Hara, R-Overland Park, for example, isn’t shy about discussing with constituents what she perceives as the governor’s conservative shortcomings: His fight, for example, against the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — too weak, she says.

Brownback last summer returned a $31.5 million grant designed to help Kansas prepare for the federal act and vows to continue opposing it until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality in June.

The rejected money was intended to help develop insurance data banks needed for the act to work. But O’Hara and a small group of legislators fear the governor’s proposed replacement — data banks to help run the state’s welfare programs — could be used for the health-care plan.

O’Hara, who did not immediately return phone calls, has said she is disappointed in Brownback’s promotion of wind energy in Kansas, which she likens to similarly failed Washington, D.C., programs, and the governor’s seeming reluctance to push for a single-rate consumption tax to replace personal income taxes.

State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, questions Brownback’s proposals for cutting government spending.

“To be fair, I don’t see the whole landscape as the governor does, but it’s frustrating that he’s not been as aggressive on the budget as we need,” said Brown, who is one of the House Appropriations Committee’s most vocal spending hawks.

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