Word that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback had been confirmed as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Wednesday was good news for Kansas.
Brownback is one of the most disliked governors in the country, and certainly the most unpopular — with both sides of the political divide — Kansas has had in living memory.
Some two years ago we called for his resignation over the state’s ongoing fiscal woes and budget projections that were — charitably — inaccurate.
To be fair, not all the state’s financial problems were Brownback’s fault. He inherited a state with a massive spending problem and far too little revenue to cover it. To be sure, low ag and oil prices did not help. Nor did repeated decisions by the Kansas Supreme Court that millions more in funding must be found for schools, despite a state so broke and debt-ridden that, were it a household, the residents would have declared bankruptcy.
But his “Race-to-Zero” tax cuts, while admirably conceived, were demonstrably a failure.
Moreover, rather than admit that failure, he doubled down in his second term, claiming the cuts were working to stimulate economic growth, when clearly, they were not.
Again in July, we said Brownback should step down when he was appointed to this position, to give Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer time to acclimate to the job before a new legislative session.
Again, oblivious to the trouble he was causing, Brownback stayed in office.
Finally the Senate confirmed his appointment and Mr. Brownback has tendered his long-needed and long-awaited resignation effective next Wednesday. Naturally enough, at a most inconvenient time for Mr. Colyer — coming as it does right in the middle of the legislative session.
So we wish incoming Governor Jeff Colyer the best. He is taking over a state desperately in the hole and deeply unhappy with the current administration in Topeka.
We also wish Ambassador Brownback the best in his new job — far, far from Kansas.