Tuesday November 2, 2010
Brownback Takes Kansas in Landslide
By John Jalsevac
November 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-lifers in Kansas can breathe a sight of relief now that Sam Brownback has won the governorship that was formerly held by one of the most extreme pro-abortion politicians in the country – Kathleen Sebelius.
Brownback cruised into the governor’s seat, with more than a 30% margin over his competitor Tom Holland. He takes over from Mark Parkinson, who assumed the governorship in April 2009 after Kathleen Sebelius was nominated by President Obama to become secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Tomorrow we put on our work gloves and start about the task of getting this state on track to grow,” Brownback said in his victory speech.
But while Brownback has long been a hero of the pro-life movement, his victory is not without controversy, even among pro-lifers.
Brownback won a rare, but severe chastisement from pro-life leaders last year after he endorsed Sebelius’ nomination to head the HHS. The President of American Life League, Judie Brown, said at the time, “I think we’ve just lost pro-life leadership in the U.S. Senate, and it’s a tragedy.” Other pro-life leaders followed suit in calling Brownback out on what they viewed as a betrayal of pro-life principles based upon callous political calculation.
During her time as governor, Sebelius had close ties to Kansas’ controversial abortion industry, including notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller. Columnist Robert Novak once called Sebelius “the national pro-choice poster girl.”
Brownback’s endorsement, and confirmation vote in the senate, smoothed Sebelius’ way into the HHS, and onto the national stage.
Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, told LifeSiteNews.com tonight that the pro-life movement in Kansas has not forgotten Brownback’s endorsement of Sebelius, which he described as a “deal with the devil.” Newman said that he is concerned that the newly elected governor’s “aspirations for the presidency will triumph over principle.”
Nevertheless, he said, it will be up to pro-lifers in Kansas to hold the new governor’s “feet to the fire,” to ensure that he supports the pro-life legislation “that we’ve passed time after time.”
During her governorship Sebelius issued two vetoes against abortion facility regulation legislation, and one against a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late-term abortion.
Brownback also raised questions among pro-lifers in 2008 when he supported Phill Kline’s opponent for District Attorney of Kansas’ Johnson County.
Kline and his team said they fully expected to get Brownback’s support because of Kline’s strong pro-life record and his previous public support for Brownback’s successful Senate run and Republican presidential candidate bid. They were astounded when the pro-life senator instead threw his weight behind Kline’s opponent.
Kline supporters conjectured to LifeSiteNews that Brownback’s move was pure political expediency to enhance his chances of becoming governor of Kansas in the next election. Kline lost the election and recently left the state to teach at Liberty University in Virginia.
Given Brownback’s history of support for the pro-life cause, however, it doesn’t seem too much to hope that he will be a major improvement over Sebelius, and that he will put his weight behind pro-life legislation when it hits his desk.