FF12 Fact Check: Ad seeks links gubernatorial candidate AG Schmidt to former Kansas governor

Brownback and Schmidt
Brownback and Schmidt
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 11:11 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Another political ad seeks to draw a link between the Republican candidate for Kansas governor, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, and former Governor Sam Brownback.

The Kansas Values Institute, a tax-exempt social welfare organization, uses building blocks in this ad against AG Schmidt. Let’s see how the claims stack up.

Claim #1: “When Sam Brownback made devastating cuts to schools,” the ad states.

This is in reference to a 2015 decision by former Governor Brownback to cut $44.5 million from K-12 and Higher Education funding. The ad references a Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report evaluating the impact of the Brownback tax experiment. It should be noted this first claim isn’t directly related to AG Schmidt, but it leads into the next.

Claim #2: “Schmidt defended him. Wasting a million dollars in taxpayer money,” the ad continues.

Schmidt was part of the state’s legal team in his role as attorney general. This was part of the state’s years-long Gannon lawsuit challenging the state’s school funding formula and cut to education funding that was settled in 2019.

An AP story from 2016 said Kansas had spent $1.4 million at that point for outside counsel on the case, which is something the AG’s office can do to assist with cases.

This isn’t the last parallel the ad claims.

Claim #3: “And when job growth slowed because of Brownback… Schmidt said Brownback delivered time and again,” states the ad.

The ad again cites the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report finding job growth in Kansas lagged behind neighboring states following the tax experiment.

We looked into the statement “delivered time and again” during the fact check of another KVI ad in May.

Schmidt said these words about Brownback during a 2014 campaign event but it wasn’t in reference to job growth. Schmidt was talking about how as AG, Brownback supported his office’s priorities like building a new state forensic laboratory.

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