Lawrence - Governor Sam Brownback wasted no time in trying to tackle the state's economy woes. But some feel he could have done more, and the reason he hasn't is because he's too focused on social issues and laying ground for another run at the White House.
For many on the state's political left, Brownback is their worst nightmare. He's a conservative politician unafraid to take on inherently controversial social issues like abortion. While his harshest critics say he's pre-occupied with making Kansas a no-abortion state, the governor sees it differently. "Kansas is generally a pro-life state," said Brownback. "There have been a series of governors who have not signed pro-life legislation, but if you poll Kansas if you reflect the will of the people that's reflected in the legislature, these passed by super majority bipartisan votes."
But the claim that his pro-life legislation has passed with bipartisan support doesn't add up. The fetal pain bill received just one Democratic vote in the Senate and only 12 in the House. The governor also made headlines nationally for his most recent piece of legislation that sets strict requirements on abortion clinics. But he says he's only trying to protect patients. "The clinic has to meet some basic health standards, which I would think most Kansans would say that's a good idea," said Brownback.
What some Kansans are saying is that the governor's conservative politics are laying a foundation for another run at the White House. He's already agreed to attend RIcky Perry's prayer event in Texas next month, and he also hopes to introduce faith-based marriage initiatives through the state's SRS office. But Brownback says he likes the job he has. "I am six months into a job I am fully occupied with," said Brownback. "This is a hard season for the country in the public sector and it has been in the private sector. That's what I'm focused on."