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What makes Sam Brownback the Stupidest Governor in America…

Why, eliminating its State Arts Commission in his proposed budget… and, at the same time, eliminating countless jobs and over a million dollars in matching grants from outside of his state.

This article on “Artless Sam” from HuffPo:

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"Artless Sam" Brownback

Kansans suffered a painful embarrassment several years ago when a ruthlessly conservative school board rewrote its definition of science, paving the way for “intelligent design” to be taught alongside evolution in public schools. The decision since has been reversed, and sensible Kansans’ facial muscles only recently recovered from their collective cringe.

Now, though, they wince at a different sort of political horror: Newly elected governor Sam Brownback plans to issue executive orders eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission. (Brownback’s budget report for Fiscal Year 2012 is sub-titled, “Happy New Year, Art Fags.”)

The move, the commission states, would result in a monetary loss of nearly three-fold for the state: $778,300 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, plus $437,767 in partnership money from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Not to mention countless jobs in the public and private sectors. Ripple effect, indeed.But maybe it’s not the state budget that drives the new governor. Perhaps Brownback, who threw his hat into the 2008 presidential election and likely has designs on the next one, views this move as draconian means of pleasing deep-pocketed fans among his fellow ideologues. “Want to keep government out of, well, everything?” he seems to be saying. “Then I’m your man.”

Meanwhile, it’s the people of Kansas — most pointedly, its children — who will suffer, as myriad organizations and programs fostering creativity and artistic expression go the way of the dinosaur (and other now-fossilized life forms that vex folks like Brownback, who raise their hands against the idea of evolution).

If Brownback is successful in abolishing this state agency, Kansas would be the only state in the nation — including the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — without a state-funded arts commission.
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In my opinion, a state that can produce…and elect… a Sam Brownback desperately needs the intelligence and educational merits of more arts funding. What a terrible thing to bequeath to Kansas’ children. And this from a state that gave America Frederick Remington, Gordon Parks and Bruce Connor among many other well-known artists, photographers, writers and musicians.