Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Nice try, Cap-J.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nice try, Cap-J.

Gov. Sam Brownback has a ne'er-do-well relative. I myself am stunned. Just kidding.

The only thing surprising about this story from last weekend's Topeka Cap-J is that it took professional journalists in Kansas so long to dig it up. 

Raise your hand if you didn't know Brownback had a backwoods brother in the rural hills of Kansas. If you don't have your hand in the air, I have to wonder under which rock you've been sleeping. 

To recap: Brownback's brother, Jim Brownback, has a stepdaughter who, in 2011, owned a dog that mauled hogs on a neighboring farm. Jim said he didn't know who owned the dog and said it should be shot. 

The neighborhood spat somehow turned into the Hatfields and McCoys, with Jim Brownback and his children accused of a rein of terror which included stealing a mailbox and firing window-rattling "explosives" on his own property. The worst accusation: a Labrador retriever was killed, and the neighboring property owners accused the members of Brownback brother's clan.

Honestly, I think the story is supposed to be some form of damaging narrative, but it's super difficult to follow. I still can't figure out what happened to the original dog, which, incidentally, is one of the only characters in this story I care about.

Jim Brownback's neighbor attempted to get justice, but it was denied when the evidence was lost. The story suggests that Jim uses his brother's name to escape the law and that the justice system lost evidence that would have convicted Jim Brownback of something. Of what, I'm still not clear -- harassment? Dog killing? Trespassing? Being un-neighborly?

The Governor's office declined to be interviewed for the story, and really, who can blame Sam? Oh wait, numbnuts like the Kansas City Star's Barb Shelly who wrote in an opinion piece that the Governor owes the people of Kansas some sort of explanation. Poor Shelly. It must be difficult to be so mental. She writes:

Sorry, but that doesn’t work. The governor isn’t responsible for the actions of a brother described as a “black sheep” in an otherwise respected family. But he doesn’t get to hide and act like it’s none of his business that a family member is terrorizing Kansas citizens.
This makes no sense at all. Why should the Governor be asked to explain his relations? Who among us doesn't have a few embarrassing relatives? (I imagine if your hometown is Parker, Kan., you probably have more than one. I don't think the Parker folks take too kindly to outsiders.) 

While we're on the topic of embarrassing relations, let's unpack what's occurred in Parker: First, it's possible, as the story suggests, Jim Brownback goes around daring people to mess with him using his last name as some sort of battle cry. That doesn't mean Sam Brownback has ever suggested to Jim or anyone else that the Governor's office would protect Jim. Second, that doesn't mean that law enforcement still isn't a little more reserved in their efforts where Jim Brownback is concerned. Not because Sam ever told them to be that way. That's kind of human nature.

Also, we are talking about Appalachian-style law enforcement, which in my experience is very hands-off, very let-the-people-handle-it-themselves. They don't get too involved until they start finding bodies in barrels. 

I'm not saying Jim Brownback is a stand-up guy. I'm simply saying there's not a whole lot Sam Brownback can do about his ne'er-do-well brother. His brother is going to Jim just like Sam is going to Sam and no amount of stiff talking-to is going to change that. 

Obviously, this story was a desperate attempt by the media to throw shade at Sam Brownback. They are terrible at it if this is the best they could do, especially since I knew about the never-do-well relative a lifetime ago. If everyone in Kansas is six degrees from Kevin Bacon, everyone in Kansas is less than one degree from Sam and Jim Brownback. Did no newspapers/news stations/opposition researchers ever visit Parker? I didn't even have to go there to learn about Jim the Embarrassment. I am baffled that it took the liberal media this long to learn that worst-kept secret. Stunned.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/barbara-shelly/article30611604.html#storylink=cpy

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