Derek Schmidt threatens to drag Kansas back to the days of Brownback’s underfunded public schools and mismanaged budgets. Schmidt was a huge part of the problem then, and now he’s pushing to bring back the same failed policies. Schmidt is a career politician with a track record of wasting taxpayer dollars and using his office to help himself – no matter how much it hurts our families. Kansans can’t afford to go back to the Brownback days where this kind of selfish leadership was standard.
back to budget deficits and underfunded schools
Schmidt would take Kansans back to the days of budget mismanagement and deficits, underfunded public schools and four-day school weeks, and tax cuts for the wealthy that leave middle-class families on the hook.
As Senate majority leader, Schmidt left Kansas public schools dramatically underfunded, ignoring his constitutional duty to fully fund public education. As Attorney General, Schmidt’s crusade against public schools continued, spending over $1.4 million taxpayer dollars defending Brownback’s decision to underfund schools.
back to cutting life-saving aid
Schmidt has repeatedly blocked Kansans from receiving life-saving aid and increased access to health care. Even in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, Schmidt personally blocked workers firefighters, law enforcement, emergency first responders, and healthcare workers from receiving workers’ compensation - undercutting essential frontline workers who were saving lives.
Of course, this is a pattern. As a state Senator, Schmidt voted against Medicaid expansion. As attorney general, he kept it up, fighting against Medicaid expansion for 150,000 Kansans and preventing an estimated 23,000 new jobs. He poured salt on the wound when he sided with Big Pharma, letting them jack up prescription drug costs for seniors and families. As attorney general, Schmidt has been intent on ripping essential health care away from tens of thousands of Kansans, suing to make it legal for insurance companies to discriminate against Kansans with pre-existing conditions. Schmidt has been on taxpayer-funded health care his entire career, but said “to hell” with Kansans’ right to access affordable health care.
back to broken roads and bridges
Schmidt put his extreme, and disproven, theories of economics ahead of creating jobs, fixing roads and bridges, and making Kansas a better state for business. He defended former Governor Sam Brownback’s effort to drain the Kansas Highway Fund of $2 billion to fund his failed “tax experiment.” This left 1,000 miles of Kansas highways neglected from routine maintenance.
back to cronyism and self-dealing
Derek Schmidt put personal profit before Kansans’ best interest – the same type of cronyism and self-dealing Kansans rejected in 2018. The Kansas Reflector recently uncovered that Schmidt owns 240 acres of land and a natural gas lease in Labette County. When Kansans’ natural gas bills spiked, so did Schmidt’s profits. So far, Schmidt has refused to let Kansans know how much went into his own pockets while their own gas costs went soaring.
back to wasting taxpayer dollars
Kansans are fronting the bill for Derek Schmidt’s legal ineptitude. Instead of ending “the case to nowhere” started by notorious waster of taxpayer dollars, Kris Kobach, Schmidt kept fighting to strip tens of thousands of Kansans’ right to vote, costing the state an additional $2 million for a legal battle bound to fail from the beginning.
Schmidt was on the losing end of an appeal that cost Kansas taxpayers $133,000 in legal costs. Under Schmidt’s watch as Attorney General, dozens of allegations of Medicaid fraud went unchecked for years, allowing fraudsters to steal necessary care from those in need.
As attorney general, Schmidt has paid political lawyers millions of dollars to do his job defending state laws in court. Schmidt even hired one of the state’s wealthiest law firms that had donated over $9,000 to Schmidt’s campaign and whose partner happens to be a top Schmidt campaign contributor.
Over the years, Schmidt has siphoned over $128,000 in campaign cash to himself, often providing little transparency as to what he was being “reimbursed” for. Between 2000 to 2010, during the time he served in the state Senate, Schmidt claimed over $118,000 in reimbursements related to legislative travel, calling into question whether he believes to be above Kansas’ law that forbids political candidates from using campaign funds for personal use.
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