NEJC Democrats rally at Prairie Village event; Davis focuses on funding education, effect of tax cuts

Paul Davis was greeted by Johnson County Democrats at a rally in Harmon Park Saturday.
Paul Davis was greeted by Johnson County Democrats at a rally in Harmon Park Saturday.

Prairie Village was the site of an old-fashioned political rally and picnic that drew all of the Democrats running for statewide office to Harmon Park Saturday evening.

The headliner for the event was Paul Davis, the Democrat running against Sam Brownback for governor and Davis rallied the partisan crowd with broadsides on Brownback’s tax cuts. The focus for Davis, though, was education. “Education has always been a priority for me,” Davis said, describing himself as the son of two teachers.

Former Congressman Dennis Moore made brief remarks to the crowd Saturday.
Former Congressman Dennis Moore made brief remarks to the crowd Saturday.

Davis charged Brownback with engineering the single largest cut to education in history, specifically noting cuts to higher education and early childhood education under Brownback. The result, he said, has been larger class sizes in Kansas schools and higher fees for parents. “My top priority as governor is to restore the funding Brownback has cut to our public schools,” Davis said.

“The results of the Brownback experiment (with tax cuts) are in and it has been a fatal failure,” Davis said, asking how the state can restore cuts to public schools if it is “1.3 billion in debt.” Davis also pledged to restore the Kansas Arts Commission.

Davis introduced Finn Bullers, the Prairie Village resident who has had difficulties with his health care services. “The KanCare experiment is not working either,” Davis said. “They wanted to save a few bucks at the expense of (Finn’s) life or death situation,”

State Democratic chair Joan Wagnon, introducing Davis, said she has never felt such a “sense of urgency” in an election. Besides Davis, the crowd also heard from Kelly Kultala, running for the U.S. House of Representatives against Kevin Yoder, Jean Schodorf, running against Kris Kobach for Secretary of State, A.J. Kotich, running against Derek Schmidt for attorney general and Dennis Anderson, running against Ken Selzer for state insurance commissioner.

Schodorf received plenty of applause as she hammers Kobach’s record, saying he is “working for the extremist right wing.” Anderson said he has been endorsed by outgoing commissioner Republican Sandy Praeger.