Sam Brownback on Principles & Values

Republican Sr Senator (KS)


Our dependence is not on Big Government but on a Big God

Today, the nation dithers while the path forward seems uncharted. America can't decide which way to go. Yet, the path forward is clear. Kansas is leading an American Renaissance--a return to the virtue and character that built this state and a great nation in the first place.

The path is NOT uncharted. We know the way. We must re-drill the wells that gave us life the first time. They will refresh and renew us again!

We rebuild our families so that [future] Kansans can know the value of a family---none of which is perfect. Yet we all aspire in them to be better, virtuous, just and righteous... that we might be blessed and a blessing.

Our dependence is not on Big Government but on a Big God that loves us and lives within us. Our future is bright. Our renaissance is assured IF we move from dithering to action. Which way to choose? We know the way. God wrote it in our hearts.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Kansas legislature , Jan 15, 2014

Five measurable, significant, achievable goals

    My Administration will put forth five measurable, significant goals that cumulatively will help push our great state forward into better times with courage, humanity, and hope. They are:
  1. Increase in net personal income
  2. Increase in private sector employment
  3. Increase in the percentage of 4th graders reading at grade level
  4. Increase in the percentage of high school graduates who are college or career ready
  5. Decrease in the percentage of Kansas' children who live in poverty
We are certainly subject to global currents largely out of our control, but we are not rudderless. I believe these goals to be significant and achievable; successfully reaching them will change countless lives for the better and make the future of Kansas brighter.
Source: 2011 Kansas State of the State Address , Jan 12, 2011

Kansas Report Card: measure critical points

    We ask you to join us in standing firm on the things that have made this state great. In this spirit, we are committed to the following Kansas Report Card for a Brownback Administration:
  1. Increase in net personal income.
  2. Increase in private sector employment.
  3. Increase in the percentage of 4th graders reading at grade level.
  4. Increase in the percentage of high school graduates who are college or career ready.
  5. Decrease in the percentage of Kansas' children who live in poverty.
While there are many perspectives as to what areas of public policy are most important to the future of our great state, it is our belief that these five specific points of focus are of the most critical importance. These five points will have the greatest influence on growing the economy, reforming state government, enhancing the impact of our children's educational experiences, and ultimately, protecting the well-being of Kansas families.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website brownback.org, "Roadmap" , Nov 2, 2010

Start with the basics: faith, family, and freedom

I’ve found in these fights over the years, the only way we lose is by not fighting for what we believe in. We’ve got to stand and fight. We’ve got to stand and fight for life. We’ve got to stand and fight for the family. We’ve got to stand and fight for our values--cheerily, merrily, happily, but we’ve got to stand and fight, and we lose when we keep backing up.

And so, I really appreciate the people that are here, and the fights that we’ve all been in together, and we’re working, but we’ve got to win ‘em now, and we’ve got to win ‘em in this presidency.

But to whom much is given, much is required, and I believe fundamentally that the heart of our greatness is our goodness. If we ever lose that good heart, if we ever lose that goodness, we will most certainly lose our greatness. And that’s why I come back to where I started, on the basics. Faith, family, freedom. That’s where you get the goodness to build for the greatness, to move us on forward.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Voted with Republican Party 90.0% of 201 votes.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Republican Party 90.0% of 201 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” , Sep 8, 2007

Bush has over-relied on Cheney’s experience

Q: What authority would you delegate to the office of vice president?

A: I wouldn’t delegate things to the vice president. But I would involve the vice president in a lot of things. But I think there’s a key point here to look at. One is that Dick Cheney came in with a lot of experience. He came in with a lot of experience on defense, foreign policy issues. And I think the president over-relied on that. I think Dick Cheney has done an admirable job. I think the president’s over-relied upon that. I think you need somebody coming into the presidency that’s had foreign policy experience, that’s worked on these national and global issues, so that they don’t have to depend on the vice president as much. I think you should have a highly competent person as vice president that can step in at any time and can provide you high-quality information, reflection, wisdom that’s needed in that job, but not somebody that takes over the job.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

A Kemp-Bennett Republican: pro-growth & pro-cultural renewal

One of my first meetings when I entered the Senate in 1996 was with Bill Bennett, who had served as Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration, and as drug czar in the first Bush administration. I had been an admirer of his work on cultural issues for a long time, and Jack Kemp and he had recently founded Empower America to work for economic and social reform. As far as operational politics, I viewed myself as a Kemp-Bennett Republican, pro-growth & pro-cultural renewal. Jack had the economic issues, and Bill had the family issues, and between those two, that was a key set of domestic agenda items for me.

Empower America has done some great work on cultural issues such as song lyrics and the impact of popular culture on young people. Bill Bennett was dealing with that from a conservative perspective, which was not so much legislative as talking to the culture and saying, “Look what we’re doing.”

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.104 , Jul 3, 2007

1994: First elected, but didn't sign Contract With America

In the 1994 election, I hadn't signed the Contract with America that Republican leaders had introduced--mainly because I had a different idea about how to manage welfare reform. Also I wanted to be an independent candidate and not simply as part of a machine. I made my principles and beliefs clear to the voters, and I did my best to assure them that I was a Reagan conservative.

When the smoke finally cleared, a Republican was chosen as Speaker of the House for the first time since 1953. Fully half of the freshman class of 1994 had never held elective office before. In some ways that was a good thing. We weren't frightened by anything and didn't know what was possible or impossible.

Our advantage was in our numbers and in our fearlessness--a rare trait in politicians! We may have been green, but the key was to attack the system hard--and that's just what we did.

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 18-21 , Jul 3, 2007

Considers "constituency of one"--God--in every decision

The pivot point in my understanding of my role in the Senate was a 1997 Bible study held by the Senate chaplain, who asked a simple question: "How many constituents do you have? I'd like to suggest to you that each of you has just one constituent, and that constituent is God. If God is happy with what you're doing and the measures you're supporting in the Senate, then everything is going to be fine. But if he isn't happy, none of this is going to matter."

That was an important insight. From then on I was going to think seriously about that "constituency of one" in every decision.

After about 6 months I began thinking, "I wonder if you can get reelected with one happy constituent. He's a good constituent, and a key one, but is that really enough?" My poll numbers had gone up during that period. Once again, the words recorded in Matthew 6:33 rang true: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (NKJV).

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 34-5 , Jul 3, 2007

Embrace faith; don't run it out of the public square

A country that walks away from God, walks away from its future. This is particularly true for America. We are a faith-based country. Our motto is "In God we trust." We should encourage and embrace faith, not run it out of the public square and into a closet to be brought out in an emergency or for sentimental purposes. To be clear, I'm adamantly opposed to a theocracy. It would be bad for religion and bad for government and bad for America. But let's end the war on faith in the West.
Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p.216 , Jul 3, 2007

Ex-presidents should not weigh in on policy

Q: How would you use George W. Bush in your administration?

A: Well, I would ask him about it. His father’s been a wonderful ambassador in situations like the tsunami. I think that’s the right role for an ex-president. Pres. Clinton has not assumed the right role of an ex-president, where he’s injected himself a lot more on policy issues that haven’t been appropriate, and he really should defer more to the person that’s in the job. There’s one person that’s president at a time.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Invite faith into the public square and celebrate it

We’ve had 50 years now of trying to run faith out of the public square. We’re a nation of faith. As my colleague, Sen. Lieberman, a Jew, says, “America is a faith-based experiment as a country.” We should celebrate and invite faith. our motto is, “In God we trust.” This isn’t something that divides. This is something that pulls together and lifts us up. And it’s key, and it’s important. We shouldn’t be trying to run it out of the public square. We should invite it in and celebrate it.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Our society has grown meaner, ruder, & more alienated

In many ways, it is the best of times. Over the past several decades we have made extraordinary progress. Medical advances have lengthened our lives. New doors of opportunity have been opened to those historically denied entrance. Economic growth is exceeded only by investor optimism. The cold war is over, and communism has fallen.

And yet, the last few decades have also ushered in a vague sense of unease, a belief that, as a society, we have lost ground morally, spiritually, and culturally. Horrific crimes are committed by children still in grade school. Neighborhood ties are growing thinner and fraying. Our popular culture is awash in violence and vulgarity, with movies, television programming, music, and games that glamorize killing garnering both commercial success and critical acclaim. Civic participation is falling and public cynicism toward government rising. There is a sense that our society has grown meaner, ruder, and more alienated.

Source: Building a Healthy Culture, Don Eberly, ed., p. xi , Jun 3, 2001

Our nation is on the wrong track morally and culturally

Poll after poll show both an optimism in America’s economy & an anxiety over its moral direction. A large majority of Americans believe that our nation is on the wrong track culturally--& that the state of our society is the most important issue we face. Having triumphed over so many great external challenges, America’s great challenge for the new century is internal: the renewal & reinvigoration of its cultural institutions.

We are at a cultural crossroads: the weight of the academic, aesthetic, social & civil institutions that have sunk into relativism is approaching critical mass. The traditional guardians of the true, the good, and the beautiful have abandoned their posts.

This is not to suggest that all of America’s cultural institutions are corrupt. Far from it. It does mean, however, that the ideas promoted through many of our most influential cultural-shaping institutions are themselves inimical to a healthy culture and a civil society--and, ultimately, to democratic governance.

Source: Building a Healthy Culture, Don Eberly, ed., p. xi-xii , Jun 3, 2001

To renew our culture, restore culture-shaping institutions

If we are to renew our culture, we must restore our culture-shaping, value-making institutions. Clearly, we have a lot of work to do. Building a Healthy Culture: Strategies for an American Renaissance helps us get started with this work. It is a practical manual, as well as a strategic guide, for renewing, revitalizing, and reclaiming the culture-shaping institutions that mold and influence our lives. It takes up this task in several ways.

First, it provides a dispassionate analysis of the state of our culture-forming institutions, and of their impact, influence, and function. Second, it spotlights innovative and effective emerging social movements that are now in the process of working their way through various institutions. It is important to identify and recognize these social entrepreneurs and movements, not only to celebrate them, but to bring them to attention so that others may replicate them.

Source: Building a Healthy Culture, Don Eberly, ed., p. xiii-xiv , Jun 3, 2001

Voted NO on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Religious affiliation: Methodist.

Brownback : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH7 on Nov 7, 2000

Fund the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program.

Brownback co-sponsored the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act

Corresponding House bill is H.R.2414. Became Public Law No: 105-124.
Source: Bill sponsored by 28 Senators and 1 Rep 97-S1228 on Sep 26, 1997

Other governors on Principles & Values: Sam Brownback on other issues:
KS Gubernatorial:
Carl Brewer
Mike Pompeo
Wink Hartman
KS Senatorial:
Chad Taylor
Milton Wolf
Pat Roberts
Randall Batson
Todd Tiahrt

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Guadagno(R) vs.Phil Murphy(D, won 2017 primary) vs.Ray Lesniak(D, lost 2017 primary) vs.Mayor Steve Fulop(declined Dem. primary, Sept. 2016) vs.Lesniak(D) vs.Wisniewski(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R) vs.Rullo(R)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Perriello(D) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.(no opponent yet)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.David Carrington (R) vs.Tommy Battle (R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I)
CO: Ed Perlmutter (D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.George Brauchler (R) vs.Doug Robinson (R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Drew(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mike Huckabee (R) vs.Adam Putnam (R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Casey Cagle (R) vs.Hunter Hill (R) vs.Stacey Abrams (R)
HI: Ige(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Andy McGuire (D) vs.Nate Boulton (D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.J.B. Pritzker (D)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Richard Madaleno (D)
ME: (no candidate yet)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D)
MN: Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D, Portsmouth Mayor)
NM: Grisham(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
NV: Jared Fisher (R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Sutton(D) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Jon Husted (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D)
OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Connie Johnson (D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman (D)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
VT: Scott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D)
WY: (no candidate yet)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Contact info:
Fax Number:
Mailing Address:
Senate Office SH-303, Washington, DC 20510
Phone number:
(202) 224-6521

Page last updated: Jul 26, 2017