George Graham

Weird & Weirder in Kansas

I met a guy from Kansas once and he seemed quite normal. He was managing a phone company in Trinidad and we played a few rounds of golf together while I was on vacation there in the mid-1970s. But surely he must be an exception. From what I’m reading these days, Kansas is really, really weird.

For one thing, Kansas is one of the reddest of red states – despite the fact that their governor has inflicted economic disaster on the state by implementing the bogus policies you hear those Republicans preaching about. You know – subsidize the rich and corporations, and let the rest of us go hungry. That kind of thing.

The governor, a pig farmer’s son named Sam Brownback, eliminated taxes for small businesses, cut the highest income tax rates by 25 percent, and made smaller cuts for people with lower rates.

Of course, that left the state drowning in red ink and its residents without an array of essential services.

To their credit, some Kansans have figured out what’s going on – enough of them to put the governor’s job in jeopardy and even endanger long-serving Republican Senator Pat Roberts, who is up for re-election in November. So they’re going to vote Democrat, right?

Not necessarily. They might be fed up with the Republicans but those weird Jayhawks are not about to put a Democrat in the Senate.

They might, however, elect an Independent – specifically Independent Greg Orman.

So, with their majority in the Senate teetering on the brink, the Democrats decided to fight weird with weird. Democratic candidate Chad Taylor announced he was dropping out of the race so he wouldn’t split the anti-Roberts vote.

Weird enough for you? It gets weirder.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach refused to remove Taylor’s name from the ballot. He said Taylor hadn’t filled out all the right forms or something like that.

So the Democrats sued. And the Kansas Supreme Court decided Taylor had filled out the right forms and was officially out of the race. So is Kobach giving up?

No, this is Kansas. It gets weirder still. Kobach insists that Democrats must field a replacement candidate and he has given the party eight days to do it.

So where do we go from here? Who knows? This is Kansas, remember?

Click for more on the Kansas Senate race.

Click for more on the governor’s race.

Click for the economic disaster in Kansas.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for