Commentary: GOP must prove worthy of voters' trust

The Kansas City StarNovember 3, 2010 

Ballot names followed by an (R) proved irresistible to Kansas voters Tuesday. And it wasn’t much different in Missouri.

For the first time since 1964, traditionally Republican Kansas went all the way red. How dramatic was the shift? Consider that Kansas Republicans now control every statewide office and all four congressional seats. What does this mean for moderation or debate? Sadly, it means try elsewhere.

And it means that Kansas Republicans had better be right in their vision for the state because for now they have free rein.

Total dominance is rarely in the best interests of democracy so we must hope this class is an exception.

There is little evidence of that thus far. For instance, new Secretary of State Kris Kobach managed to trounce Democratic semi-incumbent Chris Biggs, despite not showing much interest in being a full-time secretary of state.

Perhaps the honor of having six of 10 voters put him into office will change his focus from figuring out ways to thwart the nonexistent problem of voting by undocumented workers to the actual job of helping Kansans vote. But more likely the best that can be hoped for is that he hires a good office manager.

Incoming Gov. Sam Brownback faces great challenges with the state’s education system. To date, his proposals have been vague, though he seems to favor allowing local communities to opt to increase local school taxes, which is good.

Overall, the list of defeated Democrats included many moderates, foremost among them fill-in incumbent Steve Six, whose tenure as Kansas attorney general was laudable for putting both the finances and moral tenor of the office on the right track.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kansascity.com.

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