In large part because of Brownback, the largest county in the state of Kansas has an activist as its top law enforcer. Due to in-name Republican Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe (left), whose office is charged with enforcing the rule of law in a county with a fifth of the state’s voters, the 30 or so local governments bodies that receive receive billions of tax dollars can now completely ignore the state open meetings law. During the Republican primary of 2008 for the Johnson County District Attorney’s office, Brownback unnecessarily decided to endorse Howe, a candidate with a blank slate, over a proven conservative who would have faced a tougher chance of winning the general election.
Did Brownback know that DA Howe would fail the voters? Probably not, but I don’t care. Brownback failed to properly vet this guy. Brownback took a calculated risk for political reasons, and lost the bet.