Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), trails Democratic challenger state Rep. Paul Davis by 10 percentage points, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.
The poll, released Tuesday, found Davis, the state House minority leader, leading Brownback 51 percent to 41 percent. Another 3 percent said they preferred another candidate and 5 percent said they were undecided. The poll, by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen, is the latest in a series of signs showing Brownback in serious trouble in his re-election campaign.
Brownback's little-known primary challenger, Jennifer Winn, did surprisingly well in the primary against the governor, despite her long odds.
Before this Rasmussen poll, the TPM Polltracker average gave Davis a 6 point lead over Brownback.
A Republican incumbent losing by ten in a Rasmussen poll probably translates closer to 12 or 13 in reality. Brownback is in brutal amounts of trouble politically.
Oh, but Brownback's legal troubles, well that's a whole new tornado.
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said it would file charges against the state of Kansas, alleging that bond documents failed to disclose just how much of the state’s pension system was underfunded.
The SEC said a series of bond offerings from 2009 and 2010, which raised $273 million for the state, did not disclose the unfunded liabilities owed by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. The documents required by the SEC also failed to disclose the amount of debt service payments those unfunded liabilities would require.
The commission blamed a lack of communication between the Kansas Development Finance Authority, which issues the bonds, and the Department of Administration, which provided the information required in the filings.
“Kansas failed to adequately disclose its multibillion-dollar pension liability in bond offering documents, leaving investors with an incomplete picture of the state’s finances and its ability to repay the bonds amid competing strains on the state budget,” LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, who heads the SEC Enforcement Division’s Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit,said in a statement.
Which means if all this is correct, Kansas's economy is way, way deeper in the hole than previously thought. Brownback's massive tax cuts, combined with the state's billions in pension liabilities, means the state is going to be hemorrhaging cash, and Kansas taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a whole hell of a lot of money.
Maybe Brownback should give California Gov. Jerry Brown a call, so he can see how to actually manage a state's finances.
Make no mistake though: if you thought Kansas austerity was bad before, just wait. Meanwhile, Brownback's caught in the rain with no umbrella in sight.
PS: this is what happens when Republicans run your economy: they destroy it and blame the Democrats that get elected afterwards for not fixing it fast enough.